Here at FiveThirtyEight, we’ve watched Chip Kelly’s 2015 campaign as Philadelphia Eagles head coach/general manager with a combination of fascination and horror. His offseason roster-shuffling was spellbinding; the season itself, not so much. And on Tuesday night, it all came to a screeching halt with the news that Kelly had been fired in the wake of Philly’s 38-24 loss to Washington, with one game left in the season.Although Kelly had two years left on his contract, the dismissal wasn’t exactly a surprise. According to Elo ratings, our pet metric for gauging team strength, the Eagles have been one of the league’s most underwhelming teams this season. It’s telling that Philly refused to even let Kelly play out the string in Week 17, as if to emphasize the magnitude of the disappointment — this is only the seventh time since 1970 that an NFL team has fired its coach with exactly one game left in the schedule.Despite the fanfare that accompanied Kelly’s transition to the NFL in 2013, Philly couldn’t sustain the flashes of offensive brilliance it showed during Kelly’s first season as coach. The team regressed each year under his watch, to the degree that — according to our expected points added (EPA) grades, which rate teams on a scale in which 100 is average and one standard deviation is worth 15 points — Kelly’s final edition of the Eagles was below average at running the ball and stopping the pass, and downright horrible when it came to passing and stopping the run. PER PLAY, HURRY-UPPER PLAY, NON-HURRY-UP Broncos20132425.7+1.3636.5-0.17 It bears mentioning that the league-average EPA on hurry-up plays is significantly worse than it is on other types of plays (shaded both ways by manic end-of-game scenarios), so we might have predicted that the Eagles would fare much worse while in blur mode, not better. Yet Philly managed to keep its hurry-up efficiency above league average and compounded that edge by running these up-tempo plays about four times as frequently as the typical team. This should have been a tremendous advantage.And if all Kelly did was run fast plays, we might not be discussing his firing right now. But aside from Kelly’s first season, Philly’s offense has been hugely ineffective when it isn’t pushing the tempo. A freakishly efficient showing on fast-paced plays last season helped temporarily mask that issue, but the Eagles offense cratered this year when its hurry-up efficiency dipped, even though it remained above league average. It’s hard to rely solely on your hurry-up when, even at its peak, hurry-up can account for only about a third of your plays.The irony, of course, is that Kelly’s failed Eagles tenure will probably be seen as a sort of referendum on his fast-paced style. And perhaps the types of players necessary to properly execute that formula are less suited to a conventional playing style, or the allocation of practice time required for their execution precludes a team from being sharp in a standard set. But Kelly’s fast-break offense itself turned out to be one of the Eagles’ greatest strengths. The problem, it turns out, was damn near everything else the team did. Eagles20143025.1+0.4434.2-0.17 Giants20151326.4+1.2737.3-0.17 Chargers20151325.1-1.0338.8+0.13 Texans20141425.9+2.0238.3-0.36 Source: TruMEDIA The NFL teams that hurried up the most, 2013-15 Eagles201536%25.1s+0.1033.0s-0.14 201311512195117 Source: TRUMEDIA Patriots20131525.5-0.4637.5+0.14 Bills20132226.9-0.0835.3-0.06 Browns20141525.0+0.6637.6-0.18 20141039897112 Eagles20132726.0-0.0135.0+0.13 201587979791 Packers20151326.1-0.6438.7+0.12 Jaguars20131626.0-2.2837.7+0.25 Patriots20141626.1+1.3837.2-0.17 OFFENSE RATINGDEFENSE RATING The decline of Kelly’s Eagles TEAMYEARHURRY-UP %TIMEEPA VS. AVGTIMEEPA VS. AVG Ravens20131227.0-0.7437.2-0.00 Texans20151225.4+1.2737.9-0.22 NFL Avg.825.7-0.1239.5+0.01 YEARPASSINGRUSHINGPASSINGRUSHING Now, maybe this season’s ignominy was a hiccup, albeit one largely attributable to the slew of personnel changes Kelly made over the offseason. Certainly, teams this bad at passing tend to bounce back the next season. But it’s rarely enough to get back to league average,1Since 1966, only 27 percent of teams with a passing index from 85 to 90 made it to 100 the next season. and even if the Eagles did, they’d still be left with a mediocre offense overall. That’s hardly the revolution Philly had in mind when it lured Kelly away from Oregon three years ago.But here’s the thing: The “blur” offense actually worked for the Eagles. In terms of using the fewest seconds of clock time per play, the 2015 Eagles were the fastest-paced NFL team since TruMedia began tracking the statistic in 2006. They kept pushing the proportion of their plays that used fewer than 30 real-time seconds between snaps — which I’ll define as “hurry-up” plays for our purposes — and those plays largely continued to be more effective (by per-play EPA) than the league average across all plays.
It’s a smart and subtle way to serve in the situation, and his success rate suggests that his opponent, potentially predisposed to Nadal’s T serve, does not see it coming.Granted, it’s also a bit of a “tell” for anyone lucky enough to find himself with a pair of break points against Nadal — those guys should look for the out wide serve. But more than that, it reveals a mental game-within-the-game orchestrated by Nadal.He turns balls hit to his backhand side into forehand winnersNadal’s forehand is his biggest weapon. Opponents try to dodge it at all costs, which means avoiding hitting the ball to the ad court as much as possible against the southpaw. A good way to understand the baseline is to divide it into four vertical zones — two in the deuce court and two in the ad court. In tennis, these zones are sometimes labeled A, B, C and D, with A being the out wide in the deuce court, all the way to the D zone, which is the out wide in the ad court.If you’re Nadal’s opponent and you’re trying to avoid his forehand, you would hit to zones A and B (the ad court). And that’s where he gets you.The King of Clay is also the King of Running Around His Backhand to Hit Forehand. He’s an expert at it. Indeed, he loves to run around his backhand to hit forehand so much that in some matches, he has hit about the same number of winners from what would be his natural backhand side of the court — zones A and B — than from his normal, left-handed forehand side of the court — zones C and D. Through five rounds at this year’s French Open, 54 percent of Nadal’s forehand winners (46/85) have been hit as run-around forehands from zones A and B, according to officially recorded statistics from Roland Garros.By comparison, consider the right-handed Djokovic, the number one player in the world. Through the first four rounds at Roland Garros this year, 42 percent of Djokovic’s forehand winners have been run-around forehands (14/33).Nadal is like a spider looking to snare a rally ball, and players would be ill-advised to hit toward Nadal’s backhand unless they can be sure he’ll only be able to use his backhand. At the same time, better not hit too far out wide or the errors will flow.Just when you think you know Nadal, think again. He will bend your mind more than he bends the ball. When you think of Rafael Nadal, you might think of a player who hits balls with hellacious topspin and grinds out points on clay. His RPMs and his sweat grab the glory. But the 11-time French Open champion uses a few insidious tricks that go beyond the obvious strokes and traditional tactics.All of Rafa’s ways and means traveled to Roland Garros in 2019 — the energy, the rituals, the patterns of play — it’s all been put to use in another run to the semifinals, this time at age 33. He’ll need every tactic at his disposal, the conspicuous and the cunning, as he takes on Roger Federer and potentially Novak Djokovic after that.Here are three examples of the subtle mental maneuvers that Nadal makes against his opponents.He makes them waitStrictly from a length-of-match standpoint, Nadal is one of the slowest tennis players of this era. And there are a host of things Nadal does to extend matches — and possibly distract and annoy his opponents in the process.The ultimate creature of habit, Nadal starts managing time with his first step on court. When the chair umpire prepares to toss the coin and the presence of both players is required in the middle of the court before the start of the match, Nadal is typically the second to arrive — after a delay of several seconds while he goes through his routines with water bottles.Once the match is underway, Nadal’s pre-point rituals have been fodder for everything from complaints to comedy routines. Even the typically chilled-out Roger Federer has been critical of the time that Nadal takes between points. By rule, players are limited to 25 seconds between points. Beginning this year at most events, the sport put in formal, visible shot clocks in an attempt to keep servers from abusing the rule.According to an analysis by Melbourne, Australia-based Data Driven Sports Analytics of more than 140 matches each for Nadal, Federer and Djokovic from 2008 through this year, Rafa averaged 26.1 seconds between points when serving — the longest of the so-called “Big 3.”1Djokovic averaged 25.2 seconds, while Federer averaged 18.6. Nadal’s average time between points is over the limit — and that’s just an average, which means that he regularly serves beyond the 25-second rule. Chair umpires can use their discretion in starting the clock, so, clearly, Nadal is getting some wiggle room.Nadal finds a way to play on Rafa time when he’s returning as well, going through a catalog of rituals and often turning his back on the server or lifting his racquet until he’s ready to receive.The overall effect is that Nadal asserts his own pace of play, which can be legitimately discomfiting for opponents.He conditions them like PavlovOne of the hardest things to do in professional tennis is return serves. Speeds regularly top 125 mph, and then there’s the spin. Professional tennis players also excel at “spot serving” — landing serves in precise locations. They most often hit close to the lines of the service box, placing the serve at angles to inflict the most damage. Those most-visited, go-to spots are either up the T, which is the middle of the court, or out wide, which is on the outer edge of the service box. Servers work hard to place their serves effectively on both the deuce side (serving from the right side to the servers’ left and returners’ right), when the game score is usually tied, and on the ad side, when one player is always ahead.Nadal has a curious modus operandi when serving on the deuce side. The effect is Pavlovian: It conditions his opponents for one thing and then kills them with another.Because Nadal is a left-handed server, the natural play for him in this situation is to serve up the T. The ATP Tour has collected serve placement data from 2011 to 2019 for Masters 1000 events, which are just beneath Grand Slams and the Tour Finals in terms of stature, ranking points and prize money. According to that data set, on clay, Nadal’s first serve has been up the T 56.4 percent of the time on the deuce side. His success rate for this location — meaning how often he wins the point — is a healthy 68.5 percent. Much less often — 27 percent of the time — Nadal takes his first serve out wide from the deuce court on clay. And in that spot, his success rate is eye-popping, 74.8 percent. In 2019 alone, it’s up to 79.2 percent.Why would Nadal use a serve that is statistically so successful for him so infrequently? It’s possible that the tactic is about mentally conditioning the returner, greasing the tracks as it were, and then flipping his pattern when he really needs it.Indeed, data from that same set of ATP Masters tournaments reveals this morsel about Nadal on clay: He habitually hits his first serve from the deuce court up the T on nearly all scores. The most notable exception: when he’s down 15-40. When Nadal faces two break points against him, his primary service pattern switches to his secondary, “money” spot — the out wide. At 15-40, he goes T only 39.7 percent of the time, and his primary pattern becomes out-wide, at 44.9 percent.How does the King of Clay perform with that deuce court, out-wide serve down two break points? Put simply, he crushes: 82.9 percent of the time he wins the point.
Former OSU guard Evan Turner (21) is set to have his number retired on Feb. 16.Credit: Courtesy of TNSA fifth number will soon be hanging from the rafters of the Schottenstein Center to signify Ohio State men’s basketball immortality: Evan Turner’s No. 21.The former three-year OSU guard made Columbus his home from 2007-2010, winning the Naismith Award for the top player in the country for his final 2009-10 season. In that year, he averaged 20.4 points per game on 51.9 percent shooting and added 6.0 assists and 9.2 rebounds per contest.Turner left for the NBA after his junior season, where he went second overall to the Philadelphia 76ers. After parts of four seasons there and a brief stop in Indiana, the Chicago native now comes off the bench for the Boston Celtics, averaging about 27 minutes per game.The 6-foot-7 Turner was the fourth individual OSU player to win the national player of the year award. He finished his collegiate career 18th in OSU scoring with 1,517 points and ninth in assists with 414.The No. 21 is scheduled to be lifted on Feb. 16 in a halftime ceremony during a game against Michigan, the same opponent Turner hit a famous buzzer-beating 3-pointer against in the 2010 Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.Turner’s number will join John Havlicek’s No. 5, Jerry Lucas’s No. 11, Jim Jackson’s No. 22 and Gary Bradds’ No. 35 in the Schottenstein Center rafters. All but Havlicek won a national player of the year award.The game against Michigan is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Feb. 16.
You might know that William Buford is the starting guard for the No. 1-ranked Ohio State basketball team, but you might not know that he is a quiet student, a below average ping-pong player, loves the kids’ meal at Raising Canes and his car could use a trip to the shop. Buford arrived at Central Classroom Building at 10:32 a.m. Monday. He walked briskly up the stairs on the right to get to his 10:30 a.m. class, Swahili 102. Even though he arrived a few minutes after the bell, students were still settling in and Buford found his seat in the middle of the room without causing a disruption. He is not the only recognizable athlete in the class, as football players Jaamal Berry, Mike Adams and Michael Brewster were also in attendance. Buford talked with Berry while the professor distributed a graded quiz. “Most of the athletes, we stay together and try to be close,” Buford said. As the last quiz was handed out and class lecture began, the talking stopped. Buford took notes and did not talk again until the opportunity to work in groups arose. “I’m pretty shy in class. I really don’t say too much,” Buford said. “I try to stay out of the way and get my work done.” As class came to a close, Buford checked with a classmate to make sure he was clear on the assignment for the next class. “Seventy-two sentences?” he said, shocked at the amount of work. With only one class on Mondays and Wednesdays, Buford had finished his academic load for the day. His obligations, however, were far from over. He made the short walk from Central Classrooms to the Tuttle Parking Garage and climbed into his silver 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix, which has been on campus since his sophomore year. The “check engine” light was on as he left the parking garage. Buford drove to Parks Hall and picked up his teammate, senior guard David Lighty. Buford moved to the passenger seat, which was already as far back as the car would allow, and let Lighty drive while he made a call about getting the car serviced. The two starters pulled into the Schottenstein Center parking lot and made their way to the player’s entrance. Buford slowed down and waited for Rob, his barber, who cuts his and Lighty’s hair in the locker room. Rob has been coming to the arena to cut Buford’s hair since the player’s freshman year. With a prime-time game against Purdue to be aired on ESPN the following evening, the timing couldn’t have been better. “I just really needed a haircut since last week, but it worked out that way,” Buford said, smiling. A chair was set up in the bathroom portion of the locker room and Rob opened his bag and went to work. Buford played music on his phone, the EVO, while barber and client rapped along. Buford wandered to the upper bowl of the arena after the 35-minute haircut, in search of an ATM so he could pay Rob. After compensating the barber, he dropped some things off in his locker, which stands between Lighty’s and freshman guard Lenzelle Smith Jr.’s. Buford then retreated to the team’s ping-pong table to pass the time. “Everybody plays,” he said. “We compete a lot at ping-pong.” After 30 more minutes, Lighty’s hair was cut and the two tried to decide where to get food. They agreed on Raising Cane’s and Buford left to pick up the order while Lighty studied. Buford walked into the location on Ackerman Road and ordered a kids’ meal for himself and one for Lighty. “We always get the kids’ meal,” Buford said. “We got practice so we aren’t trying to get too full.” Numerous patrons and employees stared at the basketball player as he placed his order and waited for it to be filled. “I don’t pay attention,” he said of the added attention. “I try not to make eye contact with people.” After returning to the locker room, Buford ate his lunch while watching SportsCenter. At 1:40 p.m., he left the locker room and headed to the training room for treatment on an ankle injury he suffered against Illinois on Jan. 22. With Tuesday’s game looming, Buford needed the ankle treatment in order to play. Under the guidance of team athletic trainer Vince O’Brien, Buford iced his ankle for three different increments of five minutes with stretching exercises in between. After an hour in the training room, Buford returned to the locker room for more ping-pong before the team film session. Strength and conditioning coach Dave Richardson challenged Buford to a game. “I’m about to Forrest Gump his ass,” Buford said. Richardson swapped out the traditional paddle for a small block of wood with an Ohio State emblem on it. “If I beat you with this, you’re not allowed to play anymore,” Richardson said, laughing. Richardson won, 21-8, and Buford retired to the couch to watch his teammates play. “Coach Rich got a ping-pong table at his house so he’s pretty good,” Buford said. “I suck. I just play it to have fun.” During the following game, Smith, a spectator at the time, was called for “hands.” Every player in the room slapped Smith hard on the back of the hand. Buford slapped twice after Smith flinched the first time. You get called for hands “if you say something dumb,” Boston College transfer Evan Ravenel said. “Something real dumb.” At 3 p.m., the games stopped as the team convened to watch film on the Purdue offense. Buford’s eyes were fixed on the screen for the entire 25 minutes while he rotated his ankle, trying to keep it loose. No one spoke as coach Thad Matta and his assistants broke down the footage. As the team left for the court, Buford returned to the training room to have his ankle taped a final time before entering the gym. Buford did not participate in the practice because of his injury and instead did individual shooting and dribbling drills. “It was kind of frustrating because I’m not used to it,” he said. “What is that, my second time (missing practice) in three years? It didn’t feel normal.” Buford stuck his head into the first-team huddles during full-court drills. “I was just seeing what they were running,” he said. “I didn’t want to be left out.” After practice concluded, the team stayed on the floor, shooting around and playing games. Buford placed second to assistant coach Brandon Miller in one game involving 3-point shooting. “I had to let him win,” Buford said, laughing. Buford, freshman guard Jordan Sibert and senior guard Eddie Days left the court at 5:20 p.m., the last three players to leave. Buford returned to the training room for treatment. After five minutes with his ankle in the hot tub to loosen the muscles, athletic trainer Chalisa Fonza began to administer a Sound Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (SASTM) massage, a technique involving small instruments that Fonza has been working with for three years. “I’m going real easy because he has to play tomorrow,” Fonza said. The grimace on Buford’s face would suggest the opposite. Buford jokingly bit a towel and asked freshman guard Aaron Craft to talk to him while he got the massage. “You feel that crunchy-crunch?” Fonza said while rubbing a small purple instrument on the ligaments on the front of his ankle. “That’s the problem.” For Buford, the entire technique was a problem. “That was my first time ever getting it. I don’t want to get that thing no more; that thing hurts,” he said. “She said she has to give it to me again on Wednesday, so it is what it is.” After the massage and a round in the ice tub, Buford changed into his street cloths, got taped up again and left the arena. At 6:35 p.m. Buford stepped into his car, ready to head home to the apartment he lives in alone at Olentangy Commons. He planned on studying, icing his ankle and resting in preparation for the next night’s game. Buford started in Tuesday’s game against Purdue. The junior logged 23 minutes and a team-high 19 points in the team’s 87-64 victory.
Success against Seattle Sounders FC is rare for the Columbus Crew and, for now, they have to be content with a tie. Seattle took an early 1-0 lead Saturday at Crew Stadium after forward Fredy Montero’s headed goal in the seventh minute. Columbus responded with a 67th-minute penalty kick goal by forward Emilio Renteria. Despite Columbus’ persistent offensive attack, the game ended in a 1-1 tie. Seattle (3-3-4) made itself comfortable in the rainy conditions early in the first half when midfielder Erik Friberg served a cross into the Columbus penalty area. Montero gave Seattle its lead when he leaped to head the ball, which deflected off the post and went past Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer. Crew defender Chad Marshall said the ball played into the Crew’s penalty area by Friberg was “weird.” “It was just a weird cross,” Marshall said. “It was a good finish by (Montero). It’s just gotta be better organization by us.” Columbus (3-1-4) took four shots on Seattle’s goal in the first half, forcing two saves by goalkeeper Kasey Keller. One of the two on-target shots belonged to Crew midfielder Robbie Rogers. Rogers came close to leveling the score in the 32nd minute when a seemingly harmless clearance by Columbus skipped through Seattle’s defensive line. Rogers sprinted to collect the ball, but had minimal time to get a shot off as Keller met him at the top of the Seattle penalty area and kicked the shot aside. “(Keller) made a great save,” Rogers said. “He got it with his hand. Of course, I would like to score that.” The Crew went into halftime trailing, 1-0, but came out firing in the second half. A corner kick by forward Eddie Gaven in the 65th minute eventually resulted in a game-tying goal for Columbus. After Gaven hit his corner, Seattle defender Patrick Ianni pulled Marshall to the ground inside the Sounders’ penalty area. As a result, referee Mark Kadlecik awarded a penalty kick to Columbus. Marshall, who pulled his shirt up to expose scratch marks on his chest as he talked to reporters after the game, said he was glad the referee awarded the penalty. “(Gaven) hit a good ball in,” Marshall said. “I got away from (Ianni) and he had to foul me, I guess. The ball was coming right to me. I’ve got freaking marks all over me.” Renteria took the penalty attempt for the Crew and knocked it passed Keller to tie the game, 1-1. With the goal, Renteria has now scored all four of his goals this season in Columbus’ last three matches. The Crew’s pressure on the Sounders’ defense — and Keller — did not subside. As play continued into the final minutes of the match, Columbus had accumulated 13 second-half shots, while Seattle managed only one shot on Hesmer in the half. Columbus also failed to convert on a flurry of opportunities in stoppage time, which began with a diving save from Keller. Midfielder Andres Mendoza came on in the 61st minute as a second-half substitute for the Crew, and took the kick from just outside the Sounders’ penalty area, which Keller parried over his goal. The Crew’s chances in stoppage time also included three corner kicks, none of which resulted in a goal. Kadlecik blew his whistle to end the game in a 1-1 tie after Seattle cleared the last of Columbus’ corners. After the match, Crew coach Robert Warzycha said Columbus responded well to the Sounders’ early goal. “Second half, completely different game,” he said. “We pushed for the goal, and we obviously scored one and we’d like to have scored another one. (We) created numerous chances in the end, and we didn’t get lucky. The most important thing is the result.” The Crew next will travel to California for a Saturday match against the San Jose Earthquakes. Kickoff is scheduled for 10 p.m.
Recruits have taken varying stances on Meyer’s hire. Washington, who is out of Cincinnati Taft High School, committed to Ohio State Nov. 22 and told The Cincinnati Enquirer that he hoped Meyer would be his head coach. Meanwhile, Canton GlenOak’s Dunn told The Repository Monday that he didn’t want to play in a spread offense, which Meyer will be implementing. Dunn has been wavering back and forth between OSU and Michigan, but tweeted Monday that he spoke with Meyer after the press conference. Finding the athletes to transition from the “Tressel-ball” pro-style and I-formation offenses to a spread won’t be much of a problem recruiting-wise, Helwagen said. “I don’t know that it will be as big a transition as some people think it might be,” he said. “I think he’ll play to his team’s strengths on the field next year and take it on a year-to-year basis. He and his staff are obviously going to be looking for guys who fit what they want to do.” In fact, Helwagen said transitioning offensive schemes will have more positives than negatives. “You’re talking about a coach who won two national championships in the last five years,” he said. “There aren’t many guys out there in coaching that can say they even have one.” Some students said they looked forward to the kinds of prospects Meyer could bring to OSU. Dustin Stinson, a third-year in sport and leisure studies, is interested to see if Meyer can lure some “Florida speed” to OSU. “I think he’ll recruit speed,” he said. “I’m interested to see his Florida contacts and what he can bring from the speed state.” Kyle Becker, a second-year in exploration, believes recruiting will be solid with current coach Luke Fickell still around. Fickell will remain on Meyer’s coaching staff next year, though his role is not yet known. “Recruiting will jolt,” Becker said. “I think we need to keep Fickell because he is honestly a good defensive coach and I heard he is a good recruiter.” David Gerad and William Hessler contributed to this story. Now that Urban Meyer has been confirmed as Ohio State’s next head football coach, he’ll turn his attention to the recruiting trail. Meyer will take the reigns on a 2012 recruiting class currently ranked No. 14 by Scout.com and not ranked in the top 25 by ESPN. The class is led by five-star defensive end Adolphus Washington and five-star running back Bri’onte Dunn. Meyer made it known during his introductory press conference Monday that he was going to put a heavy focus on recruiting, even saying he was looking forward to recruiting the state of Ohio and making calls to recruits soon after the press conference was over. “I can’t wait to get back involved in that,” he said. Meyer, who was called an “outstanding recruiter” by OSU athletic director Gene Smith in Monday’s press conference, has a history of raking in highly ranked recruiting classes. Meyer’s recruiting classes from 2005-2010 at Florida were ranked No. 15, No. 2, No, 1, No. 3, No. 11 and No. 2, respectively, according to Rivals.com. Steve Helwagen, managing editor of Bucknuts.com, said Meyer might be able to salvage a top-10 class by National Signing Day, which is set for Feb. 1, 2012. “He’s got a national name,” Helwagen said. “He’s right with (Alabama head coach) Nick Saban right now (as) probably the most famous college football coach out there. I think that’s going to open doors.” Saban, for example, has garnered the fourth-ranked recruiting class for the Crimson Tide for 2012, according to Scout.com. Still, Helwagen said it’s best to wait for 2013 for an elite recruiting class at OSU. “I really wouldn’t get too wrapped out or worried about this class,” Helwagen said. “Where you’re going to see his impact is next year. My guess is he’ll have a top five class next year and probably stack one on top of another is my guess.” Part of boosting the talent in those classes is pulling talent out of places Meyer locked down while at Florida. That includes the state of Florida, which is known for its “SEC speed.” Meyer said it will be tough to recruit the South, especially with powerhouses such as Alabama scooping up talent. “The SEC is hot right now,” he said. “And I’ve recruited against Alabama as well. They’re hot. But so is Ohio State.” Helwagen also said it might be difficult for Meyer to easily sign those players, but his history there will help him. “It’s going to be more of a challenge to get some of those guys to come up to Ohio and play in the Big Ten but he’s got the ties back there in Florida to really go in there and try and get some good players,” he said.
Facing difficulty in balancing classes, work and social life is commonplace for college students. Add in conditioning and training, and you get a combo that leaves little time for sleep. Just when there is a moment to get a few hours of rest, it is time to wake up and do it all over again, said John Laing, a senior pommel horse specialist for the Ohio State men’s gymnastics team and a civil engineering major. The life of a male gymnast is a balancing act between the achievement of perfection and time management while working toward competing on a collegiate level and being a college student. “It’s tough balancing the workout schedule and all the stuff outside the gym,” said Michael Newburger, a redshirt junior pommel horse specialist and a mathematics and physics major. “I spend a lot of time in my classes and you always want to have a social life, too, but you always think about putting the team first.” Rustam Sharipov, the OSU men’s gymnastics coach, said he thinks learning is the most important part of being a student-athlete. “Gymnastics is one of the sports where you never waste your time,” Sharipov said. “As long as the kid got his education and he doesn’t have any regrets, I’m fine with that and that means I did my job. And that’s what it is all about.” While some naive onlookers may not realize it at first, men’s and women’s gymnastics have different sets of rules and regulations, even though both sports are fundamentally based on perfection and physical and mental strength. “People think we use a lot of music like the girls and it’s really choreographed,” Newburger said. “Although it is an artistic sport, we try to keep that perfection and that performance attitude, but it is a very physical, very serious athletic sport.” After tying for second in the 2013 Windy City Invitational Jan. 19 in Chicago and earning second place in the Metroplex Challenge Friday in Dallas, some members of the No. 5-ranked men’s team said they still are striving for more. “Things don’t just happen by themselves, you have to make things happen and not sit back and wait for things to happen,” Laing said. While sports like football and basketball enjoy relative levels of popularity nationally, Laing said gymnastics’ relevance in major college athletics isn’t quite as clear. “There are 17 Division I colleges that participate, and it is slowly getting less and less popular with everyone in general,” he said. “The average person can’t come in here and do a flip, which to us is very basic, but it’s not something where someone off the street can just come in here and mess around and do.”
It’s been almost two weeks since Ohio State men’s basketball forward Deshaun Thomas announced he is leaving early to enter the 2013 NBA Draft. Being one of Thomas’ biggest supporters this past season, my heart sank when I heard about his decision, but it is one that I fully understand and respect. Something that I am struggling to understand is all the so-called “experts” saying that he will not have much success at the next level. Some say he is not quick enough to defend at an elite level and earn playing time. Some say he is too selfish and takes too many bad shots that will frustrate coaches. Some say that he is a “me first” player who will get frustrated when he does not get shots. This madness needs to stop now. Thomas led the Big Ten in scoring this past season at 19.8 points per game and scored in double digits in every game. He shot 83 percent from the free throw line, 34 percent from behind the arc and an impressive 45 percent overall. Thomas made all of that happen while being the main scoring option on a limited offensive team and thus getting the opposing team’s best defense thrown at him every game. Sure, sometimes he forced some outside shots that were cause for frustration and he was not as good as of a defender as some people might have liked. But when you play on the same team as junior guard Aaron Craft and sophomore guard Shannon Scott, you are never going to look as good defensively as you want. The truth of the matter is Thomas improved the defensive part of his game immensely during his three years at OSU. He never visibly got upset when he was not getting the ball, and when his shots were not going in, he wasn’t afraid to keep firing away with confidence. Take the NCAA tournament, for example. In both the third-round game against Iowa State and Sweet 16 matchup against Arizona, it was Craft and sophomore forward LaQuinton Ross, respectively, who made game-winning shots to help the Buckeyes advance. I will admit that I wanted Thomas to be the one with the ball in his hands at the end of the game, but after both of the shots went in, he was among the first to hug his teammates in excitement. I’ve never seen a player who enjoys playing basketball as much as Thomas. He rarely seems to be upset and is usually smiling. I know that I am biased, but after watching the OSU episode of “The Journey” on Big Ten Network, I could not help but think that Thomas is tremendously positive and has the right outlook toward life. I think those qualities will translate well to the NBA. At 6-foot-7, Thomas most likely will play wing in the NBA. His critics say that he is not quick enough to play on the outside and too short to play on the inside. However, Thomas possesses an exceptional mid-range jump shot and has proven that he can get it off thanks to a quick release. He also excels in isolation situations, a trait that will work well at the next level. The topic that is rarely mentioned is how much Thomas has matured in comparison to his freshman year at OSU. For example, during the Wisconsin game in Columbus on Jan. 29, he got the ball in transition with an opportunity to try and score against three defenders. He chose instead to wait for his teammates to get down the court to set up the offense. Two years ago, Thomas might have tried to be the hero and score in that situation. Something as simple as that shows how much he has grown and how smart he is as a player. I’m not saying that he should be a lottery pick. What I am saying is that the team that drafts him will get a player who loves the game, is willing to work hard and can score from anywhere on the court. I think he deserves to be selected in the first-round, and after going through the adjustment period that nearly every player goes through when he makes the jump from the college to professional ranks, he will be a productive player. No matter how you feel about it now, I’m sure Thomas will be fun to watch, and I know that I will certainly be tuning in. Eric Seger is a Big Ten Network Student U intern.
Ohio State junior guard Kelsey Mitchell drives to the basket and attempts a layup against Purdue in the Big Ten tournament semifinal in Indianapolis on March 4. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Sports DirectorThe Ohio State women’s basketball team (26-6) has been selected to the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament as the No. 5 seed in the Lexington region and will play No. 12 seed Western Kentucky on Friday.The Big Ten regular-season champion Buckeyes will play the first two rounds in Lexington, Kentucky with a possible matchup against the No. 4 seed Kentucky Wildcats in the second round.This is OSU’s 24th appearance all-time in the NCAA tournament and the program’s third straight appearance. Last season, OSU lost as a No. 2 seed to No. 6 seed Tennessee in the Sweet 16.OSU finished at No. 11 in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll.The Buckeyes are coming off a Purdue upset in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament on March 4. The Boilermakers halted OSU’s momentum, ending their 12 game win streak. Big Ten Player of the Year Kelsey Mitchell leads the charge for OSU with 23 points per game, which ranks sixth nationally. Mitchell also averages 2.8 assists per game and is shooting 44 percent from the field and 37 percent from 3.Senior forward Shayla Cooper averages 10.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Redshirt sophomore guard Sierra Calhoun is one of OSU’s top outside threats, splashing in 39 percent of her 3-point attempts this season.It’s still a question whether or not redshirt junior forward Stephanie Mavunga will be available for the NCAA tournament. The Big Ten’s leading rebounder went down with a foot injury in the final month of the season and hasn’t played since Feb. 4 at Wisconsin.
It is imperative that inciting individuals to support terror organisations including so-called Islamic State is includedHarry Fletcher, Voice 4 Victims 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. Ministers have pledged to close a legal loophole which prevents them reviewing soft jail terms for hate preachers such as Anjem Choudary.There was outrage last week when Choudary was given a five-and-a-half-year term for inviting support for the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).He was convicted at the Old Bailey after backing the group in an oath of allegiance published online.Under good behaviour rules, Choudary, 49, could be released after serving half of that term – just 33 months. Yet despite receiving scores of complaints about his sentence, ministers are powerless to do anything. Robert Buckland QC, the solicitor general who reviews soft jail terms with Jeremy Wright, the Attorney General, said: “It is a manifesto commitment to extend the unduly lenient sentence scheme so that a greater number of offences can be considered.” The amendments are to be tabled in the House of Lords next month by Baroness Brinton, and will amend the 1988 Criminal Justice Act that lists the offences allowed to be reviewed. Peers also plan to table amendments to the Police and Crime Bill to bring about the change next month.Harry Fletcher, a spokesman for the Voice 4 Victims campaign, said: “The list of offences for appeal on the grounds of leniency is too short. It needs to be brought up to date.“It is imperative that inciting individuals to support terror organisations including so-called Islamic State is included.” Under the unduly lenient sentence scheme, members of the public can call for a sentence to be increased, allowing ministers to then review the sentence.However, the scheme is currently limited to violent and sexual offences.Choudary’s crime of supporting Isil, under Section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000, is therefore not covered.Last year’s Conservative Party election manifesto pledged to expand the scope of these unduly lenient sentences which ministers can review. It said: “To tackle those cases where judges get it wrong, we will extend the scope of the unduly lenient scheme, so a wider range of sentences can be challenged.”
The Scottish Parliament will today vote on whether to hold a second independence referendum before Britain leaves the European Union. With the Scottish National Party and the independence-backing Greens holding the majority of seats in Holyrood, MSPs are expected to call for a new vote between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019. Even though polls suggest Scots would still support the… Support for Scottish independence is at record highs – even though the Union is still the most popular option Despite this, the latest polling shows that the majority of Scottish voters wish to remain in the United Kingdom. Some 56 per cent of Scots would vote No in an independence referendum, according to recent polls.
Most people have had the best of intentions when setting up fundraising campaignsCredit:Jeff J Mitchell /Getty Greater Manchester Police and Action Fraud, the fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, have both moved to warn people about false accounts.The police force tweeted: “Please be aware of fraudulent fund raising pages on the internet.”Lydia Fairman, of The Mount, York, set up a fundraising page to help the families of the victims pay bills. She hit out at the con artists who set up the fake pages and said: “It’s appalling and a heinous crime. It’s exploiting somebody’s loss.”I hope they are investigated and they are found.”She said she has been contacted by GoFundMe and informed that anyone who set up an account for the victims of the attack will not be able to withdraw funds.They now have the option of keeping the page open or transferring the cash to an appeal set up by the Manchester Evening News, which has so far raised £1.5 million. “If we spot any suspicious activity on GoFundMe we immediately suspend the campaign and contact the campaign organiser. This has happened just a handful of times this week.” “We do this by contacting organisers, making sure they are who they say they are and that they have a clear way of getting the money to the intended recipient.”If they’re not clear on that, we’ll help them make that connection, but they won’t be able to withdraw any donations. If we can’t make that clear, the account will be suspended. 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. Manchester attack: Ensuring donations get to victims https://t.co/81EnfU4NIG— GoFundMeUK (@GoFundMeUK) May 25, 2017 Fake fundraising pages for the Manchester bombing are attempting to dupe well-wishers into handing over money to fraudsters, police have warned.Dozens of appeals were launched in the wake of Monday’s terror attack to support the families of the 22 people who were killed.But fundraising site GoFundMe said it has been forced to suspend two accounts over fears they are fraudulent. The company confirmed it is investigating a number of pages and has vowed to refund anyone it believes has been tricked. It is not yet clear which appeals have been affected.A spokesman for GoFundMe said: “Since the attacks on Monday, we’ve had people monitoring related campaigns around the clock.”The overwhelming majority of campaigns which have been started have been started with the very best intentions by kind people trying to do their bit for others.”In situations like this one GoFundMe engages our emergency procedure – vetting every single campaign to check that they’re safe for donors to give to.
Here’s how you can support those affected by the fire in West London: https://t.co/vcXUvic1aR pic.twitter.com/3zcYKjl7mz— JustGiving (@JustGiving) June 14, 2017 A demonstrator shouts during a protest outside Kensington Town HallCredit: REUTERS 5:49PMSteven Swinford reports Theresa May’s speech from church Theresa May leaves the Chelsea and Westminster HospitalCredit:M WRIGHT/BACKGRID He told BBC’s This Week: “She met in private with the emergency services, a good thing to do no doubt, but she should have been there with the residents, which is what Jeremy Corbyn was.”She wanted an entirely controlled situation in which she didn’t use her humanity.”The Prime Minister would have been shouted at by the residents, but she should have been willing to take that.” However, the protest quickly grew more raucous, as a small section of the crowd moved towards the main reception and attempted to gain entrance to the building.With many RBKC staff members reassigned to moving large quantities of aid and food for the displaced Grenfell evacuees earlier today, the Council was forced to suspend their efforts while protestors attempted to make their way into the building.Protesters soon managed to force their way in to the main building, with hundreds pouring in and occupying the reception foyer. The Queen and Prince Philip arrive at the Westway Sports CentreCredit:David Mirzoeff/PA 2:48PMLatest pictures from search operation as crews reach top of tower Later in the evening, west London came together in grief with a candlelit vigil.Many wept openly as a sea of candles softly illuminated the road outside the Latymer Christian Centre, just yards from the site of the blaze. https://t.co/6OUWYPHnHB— lily #labourtine🎈 (@lilyallen) June 16, 2017 Grenfell Tower protest currently ongoing outside the Home Office. pic.twitter.com/U30C5CBjyP— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) June 16, 2017 People hold candles aloft during a vigil outside Latymer ChurchCredit:PA 7:04PMProtesters march towards Notting Hill 8:12PMSit-down protest in Oxford Street The poster repeats claims made on the front page of The Times this morning. People storm the Kensington & Chelsea town hall to protest for the #GrenfellTower fire. These are their demands pic.twitter.com/QzLv6m9mpg— Evdoxia Lymperi (@EvdoxiaL) June 16, 2017 Council statement being read out by protest organisers outside Kensington and Chelsea town hall, cries of ‘not good enough’ pic.twitter.com/XRmGEytFon— Jack Gevertz🏳️🌈 (@jackgevertz) June 16, 2017 People light candles as they observe a vigil outside Notting hill Methodist Church following the blaze at Grenfell TowerCredit:AFP The protest, and his words, were described by people at the scene as “angry but peaceful”.Here is something he wrote on Facebook earlier today:PUBLIC DONATIONS SO FAR: £5m+ COUNCIL FUNDS SO FAR: £0Here are only those published on justgiving: 1. Evening Standard £1.3m 2. The London Community Foundation £0.6m 3. Haley Yearwood (individual) £1.06m 4. Karolina Hanusova (individual) £0.37m 5. Family Action £0.12m 6. Evening Standard £47k 7. Anass Boudarka (individual) £42k 8. The Metro £100kThis extraordinary generosity of our people. I have only been able to capture crowed funds and those published online. Please remember MOST donations are going through hotlines directly to charities and not published online.How much did the council of Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea commit so far in public!? £0How much did the developers who took £10m to renovate this building commit so far in public? £0My point is, you are amazing. Our government sucks! The latest figures from NHS England show that 24 people are still being treated in hospitals across London, of whom 12 remain in critical care. Lovely thank you letter received by crews at #GrenfellTower. The support we have received from all over the world has been overwhelming. pic.twitter.com/gnlPNu8j6t— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) June 15, 2017 Residents who have lost their homes in the Grenfell Tower disaster might be rehoused in other areas of London.Kensington and Chelsea Council said 110 households had been given temporary accommodation by Friday morning, adding that it is working to find more permanent homes.But the authority’s latest statement said: “While we will try do our upmost (sic) to ensure those affected remain in or near the borough, given the number of households involved, it is possible the council will have to explore housing options that may become available in other parts of the capital.”The households include people living in nearby blocks which have been evacuated because of the disaster.Housing Minister Alok Sharma told MPs on Thursday that the Government guaranteed “that every single family” from the Tower will be rehoused in the local area. EXCLUSIVE: @SimonCowell reveals his plans to make a charity single for the victims of the #GrenfellTowerfire ❤️ pic.twitter.com/EeAFjptoIs— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) June 16, 2017 People hold candles aloft during a vigil outside Latymer Church, close to Grenfell TowerCredit:PA 9:12PMTheresa May called ‘a coward’ after meeting Grenfell fire victims She did not address the crowd, but quickly left amid shouts of “coward”. A public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire should be split into two parts to give families answers more quickly, a former housing minister has suggested.Mark Prisk said an inquiry was needed to ensure “that we have the evidence on this issue”. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he recommended the first part of the inquiry take place over the summer and “perhaps into the early autumn”. He said: “Inspections can take place whilst an inquiry is in hand and they should and I think ministers are doing that, but I think we need to have a full public inquiry because at the moment we’re all speculating.”I want to see a two part inquiry, one looking at what are the specifics in this instance, but not too long so that families aren’t left hanging out, wanting to know what’s actually happened, then looking at the wider implications for the rest of the building stock.”We need to be willing to address the picture in the round and not just say this is an isolated incident, if the evidence shows there are wider implications we need to face up to that.” Sky reports that there has been an arrest at the protest.Their correspondent, Enda Brady, told viewers he was moving away from the scene for his own safety.This is because the atmosphere was reportedly growing hostile towards the media. Prime Minister Theresa May faces cries of “coward”, “help us” and “shame on you” as she leaves St Clement’s Church after meeting survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster, but the Prime Minister says she is doing everything she can to offer assistance to those affected. Hundreds of protesters also marched on Whitehall, central London, to voice their frustration at the Government’s response to the fire, which ripped through the tower block in north Kensington on Wednesday morning.The crowd later began marching towards Kensington High Street, chanting “no justice, no peace”. Theresa May has just arrived at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, which has a specialist burns unit, and took in most of the injured on the day of the tower block blaze. She ignored questions about why it had taken her so long to meet victims as she arrived: Megan Hession, of Kensington and Chelsea Council, said: “We had less than 10 who overnighted here.”Everybody has been rehomed except people choosing to stay here – one large family are all together in one place and are comfortable here.”Everybody has been put into hotels, B&Bs or in flats. By the weekend everyone will be rehomed in new flats.” The Government has promised to rehome victims within three weeks at the latest.They also are aiming to rehome people close enough to access their local schools and GPs – so within the borough and if not, a neighboring borough.Number 10 is also meeting the cost of temporary housing for the victims. The Government is also providing financial assistance for those who are rehoused so there are no costs for parents taking their children to school.The Treasury is also going to make sure people who lost their bank cards in the blaze will have access to their accounts, and the DWP is making sure they have access to benefits and pensions as normal. Jeremy Corbyn comforts a local resident at ST Clement’s Church during a visitCredit:PA Chris Imafidon, whose home overlooks Grenfell Tower, gave an emotional address to the crowd, holding a poster for one of the young children missing in one hand and a scorched piece of cladding in the other. He said: “I’m not here because I support the Tories, Labour or Liberals.”I’m here because this child … on Tuesday went to bed and now nobody knows where this child is.”I was in front of the block of flats that went up in flames and here (the cladding) is the evidence.” Ellie Steafel says:Mrs May is expected to meet volunteers and some families of missing people on her visit this afternoon. The crowd is growing increasingly hostile. One woman is shouting at the police: “Why have you brought her down here where there are no families? You brought her to this tiny church! “This is a PR stunt. If she cared she would have come here yesterday!”Mrs May was criticised yesterday for only visiting the scene of Tuesday’s fire for 15 minutes. So far this afternoon she has been inside St Clements Church for half an hour. Huge piles of boxes are stacked outside the church in Latimer Road, close to the remains of the Grenfell Tower block.Mr Wilson said: “There is just confusion, the council doesn’t know what they are doing. We are afraid that these things would be taken away and just dumped, stored…”Mr Wilson said companies volunteered to collect the goods and store them in a large warehouse which could be visited by survivors. His team has also sent supplies to the residents they found in Earl’s Court. Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has posted on Twitter a letter he has sent to Theresa May in which he demands “answers, action and justice” for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. #JusticeForGrenfell occupy Oxford Circuspic.twitter.com/0p9pqN1v3g#GrenfellTower #Grenfell #Inquest4Grenfell #Corbyn #ToriesOut #tories #May— ➊AlexCam ⏩ (@1alexcam) June 16, 2017 8:59AM’It sent chills through me’: Simon Cowell spurred to release charity single by ‘heartbreaking’ reports 4:38PMShouts of “we want justice” outside the town hall 2:59PMUpdate on checks to high-rise tower blocks after disaster 12:27PM’Nothing to suggest fire was started deliberately’ Sidani Atmani, 41, said his neighbour on the 15th floor, a man he knew as Stephen, died because he had followed fire brigade instructions to stay in his flat.“A lot of people died because of what they were told to do,” he said. “It was horrible.”If there were a lack of fire doors that might also help to explain why the fire spread so rapidly through the building rather than being ‘compartmentalised’. RBKC declined to comment as did the management company.Information released by Kensington and Chelsea Council under a previous Freedom of Information request also suggests that Grenfell tower may not have had a full Fire Risk Assesment since December 2015, despite undergoing a full refurbishment completed in May last year. Experts have been raising concerns for the last 30 years that building regulations concerning fire are not sufficient, especially surrounding fire escapes and the use of cladding to make buildings more energy efficient. Sadiq Khan is confronted by seven-year-old Kai RamosCredit:Yui Mok/PA Protesters marched north from Kensington to Notting Hill, the numbers swelling as they progressed.Traffic was forced to grind to a halt as the crowd pooled in the middle of Bayswater Road. As they walked, they chanted for justice, with tempers among pockets of the group at times threatening to boil over. 9:21AM’Hero of Grenfell Tower’ caught girl, 4, ‘like a rugby ball’ after she was thrown from building Downing Street announced a £5 million fund for emergency supplies, food and clothing for victims amid fears the death toll will rise, with more than 70 people in total still believed to be unaccounted for.There was a large police presence as Mrs May met a group of victims, residents, volunteers and community leaders at St Clement’s Church close to the scene of the horrific blaze on Friday afternoon. 6:42PMAn estimated 1,000 protesters in central London Lily Allen said: “I think there’s a lot of anger here towards the council, how they’ve dealt with people’s concerns building up to this event and how they have dealt with things after the event as well.”The singer added that the humanitarian effort was being led by community leaders rather than the council, saying: “It is chaotic, they don’t have any experience of it and I think it’s actually playing into the hands of the Government because once these people’s hope turns to anger, they have got a real problem on their hands.”I feel like the Government is trying to micromanage people’s grieving here.” I’m inside Kensington town hall. Police are holding an angry crowd back. Protesters who got inside 1st line turned back and asked for calm.. pic.twitter.com/HGC5xa0WdT— Great Editor (@simonchilds13) June 16, 2017 As dusk approached, the protesters were greeted by the shell of Grenfell Tower on the horizon, the charred edifice a stark sight against the bright skyline. Throughout the march chants of “justice” had rippled up the crowd.”We are here today because you must look at that building with tears streaming down your face,” one woman told the group as they neared the foot of the tower.Pausing, the hundreds fell silent for a moment before breaking into applause and cheers for those killed.”We need answers and we need answers now,” another man said through a megaphone.”This should not be happening in the United Kingdom, this should never happen.” A woman, who wiped away tears of frustration as she moved away from St Clement’s Church, said: “Everyone has lost everything and no one is doing nothing. This is our town.”Another man, who did not give his name, told police: “It’s not your fault, she shouldn’t have come. “There were only around a dozen people there and I thought, ‘I need to do something on a bigger scale’, so I went home and organised this.” May you rest in peace Khadija Saye. God bless your beautiful soul. My heart breaks today. I mourn the tragic loss of a wonderful young woman pic.twitter.com/KdIPs34FvA— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) June 16, 2017 6:39PM’The tower block is more strong and stable than that woman’s government’ 11:38AMVideo: Queen tours refuge centre where families have spent night 7:22AMSorrow turns to anger as residents of burnt-out block demand answers A Cabinet minister has said he would not feel safe if his children were sleeping in a 1970s tower block, as he suggested thousands of buildings could be overhauled of even knocked down, reports Deputy Political Editor Steven Swinford.Sajid Javid, the communities and local government secretary, has announced an emergency review into the safety of 4,000 tower blocks and said there can be “no short cuts” in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.He was asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Would you sleep easily tonight if you lived in the sort of Grenfell Tower building that exists all over the country. Would you put your children to bed thinking I wonder if they will be safe tonight?” 6:24PM’£400m…for Buckingham Palace but no money for poor people’s fire alarms’ The small building has become the hub of a relief effort, co-ordinating aid and providing support for those displaced.The hundreds gathered on Bramley Road joined in with renditions of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds, as well as Amazing Grace, during the short service.Then the crowd were asked to raise candles or torches in the air as they observed two minutes of silence for the dead.A painstaking recovery effort has been taking place at the gutted tower, with authorities predicting the death toll is likely to rise considerably. Around 123,000 people have now signed a petition demanding government action on fire safety in tower blocks.Campaign organisation 38 Degrees launched the petition calling for improved fire safety regulations in the wake of the the Grenfell Tower disaster. Campaigner Gordon Maloney said:“This huge petition proves that the British public isn’t just devastated by the fire in Grenfell Tower – we’re outraged. “This shocking tragedy is made all the more heartbreaking because it was avoidable. The government were warned time and time again of the fire risks in blocks of flats like this. But these warnings were ignored.“This is one of the richest cities in one of the richest countries in the world, and it is a disgrace that this could ever have happened. Now the government needs to listen to the tens of thousands of people demanding action, and make sure this can never happen again.” Harry Yorke reportsStarting shortly after 3.30pm, hundreds of protestors congregated outside of Kensington Town Hall, amid cries for “justice, justice now.”Bearing banners calling for a “public inquest now”, the protestors were joined by singer Lily Allen, who criticised the Council’s announcement earlier today that it may not be able to rehouse all Grenfell Tower residents in the area. Theresa May: ‘People have been left with nothing – one woman told me she escaped in only her top and underwear’ #GrenfellTower— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) June 16, 2017 Along with a bulk of other commitments: Lily Allen attended the protestCredit:REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth A man who posted pictures on Facebook of the body of someone believed to have leapt to his death from the Grenfell Tower fire has been jailed for three months.Omega Mwaikambo, 43, posted one video and two pictures of the body bag with the man inside and then later five pictures of the victim’s face and body after opening it to look inside.He pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates Court to two counts of sending by a public communications network an offending, indecent or obscene matter. May is leaving to shouts of “Coward” pic.twitter.com/6w0ijiDpZy— Hannah Al-Othman 🐝 (@HannahAlOthman) June 16, 2017 7:05PMChants of ‘Tories out!’ at central London protest 1:04PMSecond victim of disaster named as 24-year-old artist The Grenfell Tower neighbourhood has begun to resemble Notting Hill Carnival due to crowds of tourists visiting since the fire, a community leader has warned, PA reports.Brenda Mercer, 64, a member of the area’s residents’ association, said the community is struggling to grieve under the glare of the world spotlight.Speaking on the eve of a vigil for those killed in the disaster, she said they would welcome the demolition of the charred tower as a chance to move on.As darkness fell almost three days since the fire started, the roads of west London were still packed.Food stalls lined the roads and cars struggle to move. “THERESA MAY…””MUST GO”The current chant at Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall #GrenfellTower pic.twitter.com/dHABZUc8NS— Paul McNamara (@PGMcNamara) June 16, 2017 They are shouting “WE DEMAND A REGISTER” over the man announcing what the council responded to their questions. 6:31PMProtesters march to No 10 Probably a couple of hundred of #GlenfellTower protestors outside the Home Office. pic.twitter.com/XA3Tfa3DQG— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) June 16, 2017 6:01PMJack Maidment is at the Westminster protest Sandra Ruiz, who is 12 year old Jessica Urbano’s aunt tells Camilla Turner about relatives’ anger that hospitals are refusing to let relatives into wards to identify children:”People have lost family members and we don’t know if they’re alive or dead,” said Ms Ruiz, a 45-year-old business manager.”We have spent days going round and round hospitals and getting absolutely nowhere. No one helps.”Why don’t they let us walk down the wards and see for ourselves? These people don’t know them. Let us walk through the wards and find our children ourselves.” Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali, 23, was also killed in the fire. Click here to read more. 5:24PMCries of “get her out” aimed at Theresa May outside church 7:57PM’You misread the public mood’ Particular concerns have been raised about the cladding on the outside of buildings for a number of years, which experts say may have accelerated the inferno which consumed the 24-storey Kensington block in just 15 minutes.It has since emerged that the United States had banned the type of cladding thought to have been used on Grenfell Tower. The material used on Grenfell Tower was sold under the brand Reynobond which comes in three different varieties: one with a flammable plastic core and two with fire-resistant cores and the cheaper, more combustible, version was banned in the United States in buildings taller than 40 feet. It is thought that Grenfell’s exterior cladding, added in 2015, had a polyethylene – or plastic – core but conforms to UK standards.Reynobond’s fire-resistant panel sells for £24 per square metre; £2 more expensive than the standard version.Theresa May has ordered a public inquiry into the fire as she promised that all residents would be rehoused locally. It came as police admitted that the death toll could reach 100 and senior officers conceded the true scale of the disaster may never be known. A strong campaigner on mental health, William said it was important that those affected talked about the trauma they had witnessed.Loubna Aghzafi, 42, a local resident, told William that many people she had spoken to were not yet able to share their experiences.He replied: “They may want to eventually. They must talk about it.” The town hall has been closed – the following message is on the official website:The town hall has been closed following damage caused during a protest. Volunteers planning to attend tomorrow and Sunday to help sort donations should not come until further notice. Please check this website for further updates. 7:43AMTheresa May ‘didn’t use her humanity’ in Grenfell Tower visit Locals have been writing hundreds of messages of condolence on a wall near Latymer ChurchCredit: Paul Grover for the Telegraph Our reporter at the scene has said the crowd chased Theresa May’s car as she left.The Prime Minister left the church by a side entrance and did not address the crowd. The Queen heard how the community had rallied in the wake of the fire and praised those who had come together, adding their response had “come over very strongly”.Harrowing cries could be heard inside the main hall of the rest centre, where evacuated families and locals have been gathering, as a group of residents consoled one another.A short distance away, the Queen and Duke of Cambridge met helpers from the Red Cross and its chief executive Mike Adamson. 5:39PMAngry crowd chases Theresa May’s car 11:02PMHundreds gather for candlelit vigil 5:29PMPicture of Theresa May entering the church Theresa May spent almost an hour speaking to patients and staff at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on Friday, a day after visiting the scene of the blaze in west London to talk to firefighters, police and other emergency workers – but not residents.Cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom was confronted by an angry local man at a community centre near the site of the disaster, as she rejected allegations that the PM had shown a lack of “humanity” in her response.Local people have contrasted the style of Mrs May’s private visit with those of London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was seen with his arm round the shoulders of people affected by the disaster.But Mrs Leadsom, who visited the area in her role as Leader of the Commons, rejected criticisms, insisting that Mrs May was “absolutely heartbroken” by the blaze and was simply trying to make sure the Government did everything it could to deal with its aftermath. It follows warnings the inquiry may take years to conclude and may never establish the truth of what happened.Mrs May announced on Thursday she was ordering a judge-led inquiry to ensure the events at the 24-storey block were “properly investigated”.As she met a group of victims, residents, volunteers and community leaders at St Clement’s Church close to the scene of the tragedy, No 10 said the Prime Minister told survivors they will be consulted on the terms of reference for the inquiry, which will allow them to shape the way it is run so they can get the answers they are seeking. People appear to be asking for Theresa May to resign outside the church in which she is meeting families. One simply said: “Missing: Marjorie Vital” with a picture of a woman in a white hat.Smoke could be seen billowing from the charred remains on Thursday and pockets of flames were still burning onFriday morning. Click hereto read more about the victims we know about. Around 2,700 people have now said they are attending a rally in three hours to demand “justice” for those caught up in the fire.After a string of politicians have been heckled by angry locals demanding answers, there are fears that tensions could boil over at the event.A Facebook event, Justice for Grenfell!, has been listed as taking place at 6pm outside the Department for Communities and Local Government. 5:21PMMeanwhile, there has allegedly been an arrest at the Kensington Town Hall protest 1:17PMAndrea Leadsom confronted by angry local as she defends Theresa May Theresa May: ‘The stories I heard at the hospital were horrific. People have been left with nothing’ #GrenfellTower— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) June 16, 2017 “What did she expect was going to happen.”He added: “What did she bring, what useful things did she bring? The tower block is more strong and stable than that woman’s government.” The Queen and William signed a book of condolence in front of a wall plastered with missing posters describing those feared lost in the fire.Outside, crowds applauded members of the London Fire Brigade, Metropolitan Police and London Ambulance Service as they lined up to be thanked for their bravery by the royal visitors. As she spoke to Sky News at the site of the fire in west London, Mrs Leadsom was confronted by a local resident, who said opportunities had been missed to make the 24-storey block safe following a report into the 2009 Lakanal House fire in Camberwell, south London.The man said: “Why are Sadiq Khan and Corbyn coming down here to speak to people and Theresa May is coming here with police, walking around, not meeting no-one, not meeting families?”This fire could have been stopped a long, long time ago … There’s not even sprinklers in there.”In 2009, the last block was on fire. What has changed since then? Nothing. Enough is enough, I have got friends in that tower. I have a right to be angry. Because of people saving money, people are dying.” Mrs Leadsom said:”The Prime Minister came yesterday to look at the operation, to try to make sure that everything that can be done by the Government is done.”The Prime Minister is absolutely heartbroken … The whole sense in the House of Commons is absolute horror and shock. I don’t really think it is appropriate to be talking about whether people have humanity or not.”Understandably, people are desperately traumatised and, yes, people are angry and that is totally understandable.”What we need to do is to get a grip of this and make sure we are meeting their immediate needs as well as their ongoing needs and that is really the priority for Government.”Asked if Mrs May would visit the scene again to meet those affected, Mrs Leadsom said: “The Prime Minister is doing everything she can. I’m sure if it is felt that that would be helpful, then she will do that.” Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has accused Labour of “political game playing” after the London fire, saying: “I find it unbelievable that Labour are suggesting that this tragedy was somehow caused by fire service cuts.”He added: “Any attack on emergency services performance is outrageous politicking by Labour.”Here’s his full statement: They are carrying Socialist Worker signs which read: “Homes for people not for profit”. Police have removed council workers from the building during the protest. 11:57PM’I needed to do something’ The Queen looks close to tears as she meets residents affected by the Grenfell Tower fireCredit: FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/EPA Jack Maidment reports:A crowd numbering in the hundreds has gathered in front of the Home Office.Many people are carrying socialist worker placards which read “Tories have blood on their hands. Justice for Grenfell.”Other placards read “blame the market, not migrants, homes for people not for profit”.A man wearing a West Ham shirt addresses the crowd and says: “We are being treated like rubbish. Our people are being murdered. Look what they are doing to us.”He then says the Tories “murdered those children” as he attacks Theresa May for failing to meet with residents. He calls for the protestors to head to Downing Street as he says Mrs May “is not fit to be prime minister”. 8:32PM’Let us walk through the wards and find our children ourselves’ Lord Porter, Chairman of the Local Government Association, has released a statement on the checks being made in areas with tower blocks:“Following the horrific fire at Grenfell Tower, councils with tower blocks in their local area have been working with their local fire service, and undertaking urgent reviews of their high-rise buildings.“Fire risk assessments and the construction of buildings are being reviewed and double checks are being made to ensure remedial work recommended under previous assessments have been carried out. Councils are also working closely with tenants to review and offer fire safety advice.“Councils take the safety of residents extremely seriously. We need to know with certainty how this fire started and why it spread so quickly so that councils can start to take any action needed.“The LGA continues to work closely with councils, the Government and fire chiefs to help coordinate national efforts in response to this dreadful disaster.”The thoughts of the whole local government family remain with the victims and families affected by this devastating fire, the local community and the emergency services.” Protestors now heading for Number 10. They are chanting: “No justice! No peace!” pic.twitter.com/7OrendvEOg— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) June 16, 2017 6:08PMMeanwhile in Kensington there are chants of ‘Theresa May must go’ BuzzFeed correspondent Hannah al-Othman who is at the scene said: “I think the prime minister might be trapped in a church.” 5:54PMWatch: Moment Grenfell fire protesters storm Kensington and Chelsea town hall 5:16PMLily Allen filmed the protest Volunteers organise boxes of donations following the Grenfell Tower fireCredit:David Mirzoeff/PA “You misread the public mood.” PM Theresa May challenged over her response to the #GrenfellTower fire https://t.co/K5yPkMVhVN pic.twitter.com/0kOiqcGujF— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) June 16, 2017 Nadia Choucair is among the missingCredit:Nadia Choucair 2:12PMBoris Johnson: Attack on emergency services is outrageous politicking 6:07PMEstimated two hundred people gathered for march outside Home Office More chants of “Tories out!”Pretty striking scene this. pic.twitter.com/MYl5ToqbbL— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) June 16, 2017 After widespread criticism for not meeting residents at the scene of the Grenfell Tower fire, Theresa May is this morning making a private visit to speak to survivors at one of the London hospitals where they are being treated.Following the visit, the Prime Minister will chair a cross-Whitehall meeting on how the authorities can help affected communities and victims recover. 5:14PM’I hope they see this on TV – it’s a disgrace’ Several hundred now gathered outside Kensington and Chelsea town hall for the #GlenfellTower demo pic.twitter.com/Setz6AmaGh— Damien Gayle (@damiengayle) June 16, 2017 4:29PMPosters stuck up near tower say “the buck is about to be passed” 6:12PM’We are being treated like rubbish. Our people are being murdered.’: Scene at Westminster 6:57PMMan jailed for sharing photo of dead Grenfell Tower fire victim on Facebook These posters have appeared near the tower pic.twitter.com/uSoI4Pny03— Hannah Al-Othman 🐝 (@HannahAlOthman) June 16, 2017 Emergency services personnel on top of Grenfell TowerCredit:Rick Findler/PA 4:26PMProtests break out in London The family was named as mother Nadia Choucair and daughters Mierna, 13, Fatima, 11, and Zeinab, three.”Fathia Alsanonse MISSING. People still can’t get through to her. Please keep an eye out,” another said, next to a picture of a smiling woman. 5:43PMNumber 10 promises £5million for Grenfell victims 6:12PMPolice hold protesters back at Kensington Town Hall 12:09PMTheresa May arrives at hospital to meet blaze victims People are planning a rally in Westminster on Friday night to call for “justice” for those caught up in the Grenfell Tower fire.A Facebook event, Justice for Grenfell!, has been listed as taking place at 6pm on Friday outside the Department for Communities and Local Government in Marsham Street, with more than 1,800 people said to be attending. Sky News suggested that “political opportunists” could be among the crowds at the scene after a press conference was punctuated by residents shouting support for Mr Corbyn. The public anger was fuelled by an emerging picture of failings surrounding the safety in the building, including allegations that fire doors had not been fitted, which the police and fire brigade said would form part of their investigation. Two separate sources have told The Telegraph that not all the front doors in the tower block were fire-proofed. This is hugely significant because official fire brigade advice to stay put in the event of a fire is based on fire doors offering protection to residents told not to leave the building. Speaking on Radio 2 at the final of a children’s writing competition, the Duchess of Cornwall paid tribute to those who have lost their lives in the fire.She said: “I’m sure all of you here today would like to join me in sending our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the victims, their families and friends, who were so tragically involved in the horrific fire in North Kensington.” 11:51PMKensington town hall closed following earlier protests 4:39PMVideo of scale of protest Cowell said he had already been in touch with record label chiefs about recording the track over the weekend, but had yet to decide on a song or which artists to involve.Cowell is known for his support of various causes and charities, including being a patron of Together For Short Lives, a charity for children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions.In 2010 he produced a charity single, Everybody Hurts, for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. 10:24AMSon carried disabled mother down 24 flights of stairs – but father missing Many pooled around the tribute wall which has sprung up on the side of the Latymer Christian Centre, taking photos and leaving flowers and messages.Ms Mercer told the Press Association: “It is wonderful but it is making the grieving hard because it feels like Notting Hill Carnival at the moment.”I think the community itself is, we are sort of wanting it to stay in the W10, W11, Notting Hill area.”If people want to make a donation or to show they are thinking about us that’s fine, but to stay around, some start to treat it like a tourist attraction.”For people here in the community, we cannot wait for the tower to be pulled down, it is a constant reminder.”The focus for us at the moment is what happened to these missing people, not what happened to the building, people are more important.” She declined to speak to anyone outside the meeting where an angry crowd had gathered and police broke up a scuffle among the group as Mrs May’s car drove off. 8:50AMThe safety features that were at Grenfell Tower… and those that weren’t Huge plumes of smoke pour from Grenfell Tower as the blaze ragesCredit:JEREMY SELWYN/Eyevine Search crews at the top of Grenfell TowerCredit:Rick Findler/PA Mohammed ‘Saber’ Neda, 57 with his wife Shakila, 45, and 24-year-old son FarhadCredit:SWNS The Queen and Duke were greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Greater London, Ken Olisa, with the shell of the tower block visible in the distance behind them.The Queen, dressed in blue, stopped to speak to local residents who had gathered outside. At one point, she looked close to tears.The pair met with volunteers who have coordinated the effort at the centre, in front of tables stacked with donated goods.William commented to one volunteer, who spoke about the fire: “Things like that you never want to see.”The Duke told another volunteer: “That’s one of the most terrible things I have ever seen.” 5:32PMTheresa May leaves church to shouts of “coward” “We are here today because you must look at that building with tears streaming down your face,” one woman said as they neared the foot of the tower.”We need answers and we need answers now,” another man said through a megaphone.”This should not be happening in the United Kingdom, this should never happen.” 7:30PM’I’m here because of this child’ Theresa May sweeps into St Clements Church close to Grenfell House without speaking to public pic.twitter.com/K1xi6obu0O— David Brown (@DavidhBrown) June 16, 2017 Shocking scenes as Theresa May bundled into a car by police amid fury from the pushing crowd— Krishnan Guru-Murthy (@krishgm) June 16, 2017 Donations to help those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy have surpassed £2million in just two days.Several charity and fundraising campaigns were set up following the blaze. Haley Yearwood, a teacher at a school in the borough, started a JustGiving page which alone has helped raise more than £1m.Another campaign on behalf of Grenfell Tower residents has also surpassed £1m.Ms Yearwood said she was “humbled” by the “absolutely amazing response” from members of the public who have donated.“Wow! We’ve got a million pounds,” she said. “I’ve raised the target again and no doubt it may have to be raised again. Thank you all so much. Brenda Mercer, 64, who organised the vigil, has been instrumental in helping the relief effort from the Latymer centre.The 64-year-old said: “Last night I came to the wall to lay some flowers and I was overwhelmed because of how people were actually supporting each other, hugging each other. No10 package for Grenfell: pic.twitter.com/3P4A0AotkK— Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole) June 16, 2017 10:14PMGrenfell Tower neighbourhood ‘beginning to resemble carnival’, community leader warns A woman touches a missing poster for 12-year-old Jessica Urbano on a tribute wall after laying flowers as a boy and a man look at messages on the side of Latymer Community Church next to the fire-gutted Grenfell TowerCredit:AP 8:16AMSajid Javid seeks to reassure people living in high-rise blocks In contrast Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Leader, hugged relatives of the missing as at the scene and called for the empty homes of rich people in Kensington to be seized for residents made homeless by the fire.Mrs May is struggling to recover her authority and form a Government in the wake of the Conservative’s disastrous election performance. Nick Robinson, the BBC presenter, suggested that the fire represented the “biggest political risk” facing the Prime Minister and compared it to the situation George Bush Jnr faced in the aftermath of Hurricane Katerina. John McDonnell, the shadow Chancellor, urged the unions to mobilise more than a million protestors to put pressure on Mrs May to stand down in a march on July 1. 4:59PMDemands of protesters Prime Minister Theresa May has been pictured leaving London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.She had spent almost an hour speaking to patients and staff at the hospital, which has a specialist burns unit and has been treating eight survivors.Mrs May was heading to Whitehall to chair a meeting about the Government’s response to the tragedy this afternoon. 11:01AMQueen and Prince William visit people affected by Grenfell disaster Andrea Leadsom is questioned by an angered member of the public outside Grenfell TowerCredit:Butterworth/Splash News My letter to the Prime Minister, demanding answers, action and justice for those affected by the #GrenfellTower fire https://t.co/SmY1JCjftb pic.twitter.com/Ii1zRd2i5W— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) June 16, 2017 There is a march scheduled for 6pm, where protesters plan to demand justice.Now, protesters including, it is thought, survivors of the blaze have staged a sit-in at Kensington Borough Council. The protesters have demanded:A written commitment from the council on immediate rehousing of Grenfell Tower Fire, within the boroughImmediate release of funds to cover welfare and all losses suffered by the victimsCommission investigation into the recent refurbishment of the towerRelease full list of victims so families can bereave the deadCommission investigation into all similar buildings in the borough to identify fire, health and safety risks and put in place immediate control measures.They have said they will not leave the town hall until demands are met. 1:55PMSadiq Khan writes open letter to Theresa May demanding ‘action, answers, justice’ She said that some nurses have taken pity on relatives and allowed them into the wards, who have gone on to discover their children. “It works, so why isn’t everyone else allowed to do it? The children are out there and they’re without their mummies and daddies,” she told The Telegraph. “The authorities don’t help us, they don’t cooperate. Their elusiveness only results in our anger.”Ms Ruiz said that tensions were running high on Friday night, with many angry at the police and emergency services for preventing them from going into Grenfell Tower to rescue their friends or family during the blaze.”They were stopping strong young men from going into the building to help,” she said. “That’s why they’re angry. They wanted to help, they knew the risk, but they were hindered.”Jessica Urbano is one of the many children who are missing from Grenfell Tower. Her mother, Adriana Urbano, was returning from her job as an office cleaner late when her daughter Jessica rang her to say there was a fire in their building.Mrs Urbano said: “Jessica had been asleep in our flat when something woke her – I don’t know if it was the smoke or a fire alarm – so she rang me at 1.39am as I was on my way home from work.She said ‘Mum where are you? Mummy come and get me’.”Mrs Urbano said she urged Jessica to run down the stairs of the tower block and try to find a fire fighter to lead her to safety.”I told her to get out of there as quickly as she could. I said ‘run as fast as you can’, but then the line cut out.” The posting said: “At least 12 people have died in the fire at Grenfell Tower. They deserve justice. We demand answers. Solidarity with the residents of Grenfell Tower.” 7:47AMFirefighters ‘overwhelmed’ by public’s support The latest police update came as a second victim of the disaster was named as 24-year-old artist Khadija Saye.Ms Saye was in her flat on the 20th floor when the fire struck, with her mother Mary Mendy, who is thought to be in her 50s.Tottenham MP David Lammy confirmed the news on Twitter: 12:53PMQueen appears close to tears as she meets residents affected by fire 6:40PMTheresa May: This has been an ‘absolutely horrendous tragedy’ 8:40AMEx-minister urges inquiry to be split into two parts to give families quick answers 6:23PMTheresa May: Grenfell victims to be consulted on public inquiry Meanwhile, the protest at the Town Hall appears to be relatively calm. 10:08AM£2m raised for Grenfell fire victims after ‘absolutely amazing response’ Mrs May said: “We need to know what happened; we need to have an explanation of this, we owe that to the families. To the people who have lost loved ones, friends, and the homes in which they lived.”However she faced criticism over why she didn’t meet residents when she visited the scene and instead attended a briefing with emergency services. She later defended her actions, saying: “I wanted a briefing from the emergency services.”Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, was heckled by residents as he praised the emergency services. He tried to shake the hand of seven-year-old Kai Ramos, who instead asked: “How many children died? What are you going to do about it?” 10:45AMVideo: Theresa May’s chief of staff refuses to answer questions about fire People are asking questions about how the tower was allowed to become so unsafe. At least 30 people have died in the Grenfell Tower fire, Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy said.”Sadly, that figure will rise,” he said, adding: “Sadly we do not expect to find any survivors.”Mr Cundy said 24 people are being treated in hospital and 12 of them remain in critical care. One speaker at the event, whose family friend, Rania Ibrahim and her two young children have not been seen since the blaze, said police instigated the disorder. Mustafa Almansur addressed the crowd just seconds before they charged for the doors of the town hall, PA reports.The mother, who is friends with Mr Almansur’s wife, live-streamed a video to Facebook from her 23rd-floor flat as the fire rose through the tower. When her battery ran out, the video cut, and she has not been heard from since.Speaking as crowds remained gathered at the entrance of the building, Mr Almansur said: “The people aren’t satisfied with this so the protests are going to continue.”He added: “The reason for the protest is so far in the last three days the general public have done everything from raising money to actually going out there on the streets, helping people, finding the victims of the tragedy, going to the community centres, the churches and the mosques with donations and in cash.”To this day the council has failed to do anything in public, they have not made a public statement or any public comment.”The statement they made today was just a fluffy statement, open ended promises with no concrete numbers of what they are going to be able to do for the people.”Protesters ran into the town hall after Mr Almansur read the council’s statement to the crowd.”The people didn’t storm the building, they walked into the building after I read out the statement, unhappy with what they heard,” he continued”So they said let’s go into the building and get the senior executives to come down, but the police were inside the building already not allowing anybody to go up the stairs.”The people stood there and they were speaking in the microphone making their demands be known.”Then we had about 20 police officers in high-vis jackets storming into the building trying to create a barricade and that created a rush of young people clashing with the police.”When the police came in and that’s when the pushing and shoving started and things got out of hand.” Mr Javid replied: “I think any human being would be worried. From the moment they heard about that fire, waking up that morning, they would be immediately worried about their families.”Asked whether 1970s tower blocks should be knocked down because they are “inherently unsafe”, he said: “We need to act immediately, we need to do whatever it takes to make the properties safe.” Click here to read more. 11:45AMTower blocks could be knocked down in wake of Grenfell fire Here’s video footage of the Queen touring the Westway Sports Centre, where residents left homeless by the blaze have spent a second night. 1:51PMPeople who lost homes in Grenfell Tower might be rehoused in other boroughs Harry Yorke reports from the scenePeaky Saku , 22, of Winstable house, Grenfell road, said that he attended the protest outside of Kensington Town Hall to “hold power account” and to ensure that the residents of Grenfell Tower “had their voices heard.””I’m here because if we don’t do this, then who listens to us – no one.”They need to end the regeneration plans in our neighbourhood, and the buildings around London clad in that flammable plastic need to be evacuated and replaced immediately.”The councillors that need to answer our questions have already run home apparently. But they should be here to see this.”I hope they see this on TV and take notice, because this is a disgrace. It can’t happen again.” The Queen and Prince William have arrived at a rest centre helping those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.The royal visitors are expected to meet volunteers, local residents and community representatives while visiting Westway Sports Centre, near the charred remains of the building in west London. 10:51AMTheresa May visiting fire victims in hospital Until 1986 all buildings in London fell under the London Building Acts which ensured that external walls must have at least one hour of fire resistance to prevent flames from spreading between flats or entering inside.But that stipulation was scrapped and from the mid 80s materials on outer walls did not have to be non-combustible, allowing builders to start installing dangerous cladding despite warnings from fire safety chiefs.Nearly 20 years ago, following a fire at a tower block in Irvine in Ayrshire, MPs were warned by the Fire Safety Development Group that cladding can: ‘contribute to the fire, release toxic chemicals and drip plastic on people trying to fight the fire.’Ronnie King, secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Fire Safety & Rescue Group said: “We have been saying for years that the regulations need to be changed. But there has been no effort to improve anything because everyone believes there are less fires nowadays, so there was no will. Why would you increase the burden of regulation? 9:40AMDuchess of Cornwall sends ‘heartfelt thoughts and prayers’ to victims 8:35PMThe protests have now moved to the BBC HQ The PM had earlier visited Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to meet staff and patients who were caught up in the fire.After her visit, Mrs May said: “Everyone affected by this tragedy needs reassurance that the Government is there for them at this terrible time – and that is what I am determined to provide.”The Queen and Duke of Cambridge went to temporary relief centres where they met volunteers and residents who had lost everything. #GrenfellTower protest at Kensington and Chelsea town hall. pic.twitter.com/lPSSY9vuPM— Michael Gravesande (@OldBlackHack) June 16, 2017 A man who was liasing between the Council and the protesters has asked protesters to move away from the town hall entrance and to come outside and listen to him.He read out the Council’s answers to his questions.The protesters have asked for those displaced to be immediately rehomed within the borough.They also asked for more welfare payments for those who lost their belongings and homes in the blaze. Grenfell Tower: Could blocks like it be torn down?Credit:TOLGA AKMEN/AFP Protesters walk towards the Grenfell Tower, during a demonstration following the fire that engulfed the 24-storey buildingCredit:AP Protest organiser Mustafa Mansour outlines council responses to demands made on behalf of those affected by #GrenfellTower fire pic.twitter.com/ljognGESgl— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 16, 2017 Emergency workers search debris that fell at the base of the fire-gutted Grenfell Tower Credit:Matt Dunham/AP Picture taken inside a guted Grenfell Tower flat on Thursday shows the extent of the damageCredit:HANDOUT 3:08PM2,700 people set to attend ‘justice’ rally from 6pm 9:41AMTwelve people remain critically ill after fire 3:32PMMore than 100,000 sign petition demanding tower block safety action 5:17PMHostile crowd waits for Theresa May outside church 12:22PMBreaking: Police say 30 people confirmed as dead A protest is taking place outside Kensington Town Hall following the #GrenfellTower fire pic.twitter.com/31P1gvXCq8— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 16, 2017 5:03PMThe protest leader is named as Mustafa Mansour Pat holds the girl after catching her ‘like a rugby ball tucked in his chest’Credit:Guilhem Baker/LNP 4:55PMDispatch from the protest Simon Cowell has said that watching “chilling” footage from the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire moved him to add his support by releasing a charity single.The music mogul has pledged to record a new track within the next few days to help raise funds for those affected.He told Good Morning Britain he felt he could not “do nothing”.”It sent chills through me,” he said. “For me, in my position, to not do something would be appalling.”I think the thing that really hit home to me was seeing that wall with all those messages written on, and then how residents turned up with water and clothes.” His uncle Aref, 54, told The Sun about how the Mrs Neda, who suffers from a muscle disease, collapsed from the smoke that was entering their home.He said: “Shekeb needed to get her out quickly. He took her arms, put them around his neck and carried her over his back down all 24 floors.”Flora was still in a coma in hospital last night, and Mr Neda is in hospital too. Friends said he is awake and “getting better”. Click here to read more. 1:47PMTheresa May pictured leaving hospital after meeting survivors These are the latest images reaching us from Grenfell Tower as crews reach the top of 24-storey building amid the ongoing search operation. Police officers protect the entourage carrying Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May from a crowd of people after she visited a church following the fire that destroyed The Grenfell Tower blockCredit:Reuters Quite the crowd outside the church. pic.twitter.com/88Jxze6vtk— Hannah Al-Othman 🐝 (@HannahAlOthman) June 16, 2017 Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid tried to reassure people living in similar high-rise blocks who fear they may be at risk or are living in a building which is covered in flammable cladding.He told BBC Breakfast: “There are about 4,000 high-rise buildings in the country but not all of them have been re-cladded but also let’s not just make the assumption that it is all about cladding.”We need to be led by the experts and as soon as we have more information from the experts, which we expect either later today or certainly over the weekend that is what I think should be used to do these emergency inspections.”He also defended Mrs May who went on a private visit to the scene and left without talking to any of the community who had been affected by the blaze but spoke to the emergency service workers.Mr Javid told BBC Breakfast it was “absolutely right” for her to go “as quickly as she could to learn about the operation and to discover if there is anything more that the Government could be doing to help with the operation”. A protester stands with a placard demanding “Theresa May, just quit already! We’ve had enough!!!” outside the Department for Communities and Local Government in central London on June 16, 2017Credit:AFP A growing number of frantic families are desperately appealing for news about missing loved ones after the Grenfell Tower fire.The streets around the high rise block in north Kensington were plastered with posters begging for information about those who were in the building.More appeals were put up overnight on Thursday as relatives became increasingly distraught about their loved ones. 8:01AMDesperate families post appeals over relatives missing since blaze They are asking for answers and justice following the loss of life and destruction of homes.Angry protesters are shouting outside the town hall and council offices. People are explaining their grievances and asking to know who is responsible.They are asking council officers to come outside. Dozens of residents have not been seen since the tragedy, many of them young families and children.One appeal read: “Since a deadly fire broke out in their home in Latimer, no one has heard from 16 year old Nurhuda El-Wahabi, 21 year old Yasmin El-Wahabi and their family.”They live on the 21st floor. Please spread this round and keep a look out for their family.”Another asked for information about “Amal and daughter” with a photo of a young woman with curly dark hair and a little girl.A whole family were reported missing on one poster, which said: “The Choucair family is missing in the Grenfell Tower fire. They lived on the 22nd floor, in flat 193.” 7:54PMProtesters reach Grenfell Tower 4:47PMStatement from the Radical Housing Network, who are supporting the protest 7:36AMMore than 1,800 plan Westminster ‘justice’ rally He added that there is “nothing to suggest the fire was started deliberately”.Mr Cundy said the conditions at the scene are “particularly hazardous” and the search will take some time.He said the investigation is now being led by police, emphasising that charges will be brought if criminal acts are established. Gavin Barwell, Theresa May’s new chief of staff and former housing minister, refused to answer reporters’ questions about the Grenfell Tower fire this morning as he arrived at Downing Street.Reporters asked him questions about his role in a delayed fire safety review that he was accused of “sitting on” and asked when we can expect it to be released.But he walked straight past, not acknowledging that he had been asked the questions at all. 6:19PM’The people aren’t satisfied with this so the protests are going to continue’ Demonstrators stormed the offices of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) over its handling of the crisis amid concerns that earlier renovation work was linked to the dramatic spread of the blaze. Prime Minister Theresa May is facing more criticism for failing to meet survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy when she visited the scene of the blaze.Mrs May met police and firefighters dealing with the aftermath of the disaster during a private visit to the west London site, but unlike Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, she was not seen to speak to families and residents. Downing Street aides said that the purpose of Mrs May’s visit was to get a briefing from emergency services and ensure that they had the resources they needed.She later appeared on TV to announce a public inquiry into the fire and promise that those left homeless would be rehoused nearby.But former cabinet minister Michael Portillo said the Prime Minister “didn’t use her humanity”. Grief turning to anger even on the wall of messages. One reads ‘£400m…for Buckingham Palace but no money for poor people’s fire alarms’ pic.twitter.com/ykV2y4Q8ic— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) June 16, 2017 5:13PMCouncil employees evacuated from building Protesters storm Kensington Town HallCredit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images The Grenfell protest makes its way towards Downing Street. pic.twitter.com/airgp1HKWm— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) June 16, 2017 4:34PMProtesters demand a register of victims Theresa May speaking to fire crews at Grenfell Tower. She has been criticised for not meeting residentsCredit:Dan Kitwood/Getty The organisation is staging another protest at the Town Hall tomorrow.”The fire at Grenfell is a horrific, preventable tragedy for which authorities and politicians must be held to account. Grenfell’s council tenants are not second class citizens – yet they are facing a disaster unimaginable in Kensington’s richer neighbourhoods.“This Government, and many before it, have neglected council housing, and disregarded its tenants as if they were second class. Nationally and locally, politicians have subjected public housing to decades of systematic disinvestment – leaving properties in a state of disrepair, and open to privatisation. Regeneration, when it has come, has been for the benefit of developers and buy-to-let landlords, who profit from luxury flats built in place of affordable homes. Across London, regeneration has meant evictions, poor quality building work, and has left tenants with little influence over the future of their estates.“The chronic underinvestment in council housing and contempt for tenants must stop. It is an outrage that in 21st Britain, authorities cannot be trusted to provide safe housing, and that people in council properties cannot put children safely to bed at night.“We support demands for a public inquiry into this disaster – there must be Justice for Grenfell. We call for the immediate resignation of Gavin Barwell, Theresa May’s Chief of Staff, alongside anyone else whose negligence has contributed to this tragedy.” Victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster will be asked how the public inquiry into the fire should be carried out, Theresa May has announced.Survivors and the families of those who died in the devastating blaze will also be given state funding for legal representation at the probe, the Prime Minister told residents during a visit to a nearby church. Good morning and welcome to our continuing live coverage of the fallout following the Grenfell Tower blaze.Grief and sorrow at the inferno have given way to anger as residents of the gutted block demanded answers over the litany of failings that led to the disaster, reports Hayley Dixon, Sarah Knapton and Steven Swinford.As fears mounted that the death toll could rise above 100, senior politicians who visited the scene were asked to explain why a series of loopholes had left the inhabitants vulnerable, despite repeated warnings over the last 30 years.It emerged that there have been no updates to Britain’s building fire safety regulations for more than a decade, even though a number of fires abroad suggested they are out of date. Illuminated by candlelight, west London came together in grief.Nearly three days since a fire ravaged Grenfell Tower, killing at least 30, hundreds of mourners stood arm in arm at a vigil.Many wept openly as a sea of candles softly illuminated the road outside the Latymer Christian Centre, just yards from the site of the blaze. 4:02PMSome Grenfell homeless lack even toothbruth despite donations, pastor claims On Thursday the Queen paid tribute to the “bravery” of firefighters who battled the fire and praised the “incredible generosity” of volunteers offering their support. London Fire Brigade has described support given to its staff following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire as “overwhelming”.More than 200 firefighters were called to the blaze in the early hours of Wednesday and commissioner Dany Cotton said crews would remain at the scene for many days.Search and rescue dogs have been used on the site in west London as investigations and searches continue.The service shared a picture on social media of a card which had been handed to crews in north Kensington.Written by someone called Derin to all the emergency services, the card said: “Thank you all by saving people’s lives.” A number of residents left homeless by the Grenfell Tower fire have not even been given a toothbrush despite the volume of items donated following the tragedy, a pastor has claimed.Derrick Wilson, from the Tabernacle Christian Centre, one of the many which collected donations after Wednesday’s disaster, said he had heard harrowing stories of people still without aid.Mr Wilson criticised a lack of co-ordination from the council and said his team had been forced to deliver items directly to those affected.He said that volunteers found around 60 residents, evacuated from the block to accommodation in Earl’s Court, who still had nothing.The 53-year-old said: “We have just heard some harrowing stories because of the lack of co-ordination.”We sent out people to find out where these residents are and at Earl’s Court we just found out a number of residents had not received even a toothbrush. They are very angry but they are not really saying much.”He added: “Some of them, they haven’t received anything, they haven’t got any money.”They are only being given bed, breakfast and dinner – nothing in between. So what we are doing now is setting up everything from here.” Resident Kadelia Woods, 20, told The Sun: “The mum had the little girl’s head wrapped in a towel and was holding her out of the window and was screaming for help. The fire was raging like crazy. It was about 2am and the flat was filled with smoke.“My neighbour Pat, who’s in his 40s, was calling up to her shouting, ‘Drop her, don’t worry I’ll catch her’. The mum was screaming, ‘No, no, I can’t, I can’t’.“Pat kept reassuring her and then the girl just dropped. Everyone’s hearts stopped as she fell. We were all fearing the worst.“But Pat managed to catch her like a rugby ball tucked in his chest and he just clung on to her.“She had a pink dressing gown on and she was just screaming hysterically for her mum. The paramedics were trying to put an oxygen mask on her but she was just screaming and screaming. I don’t think her mum survived. When I looked up again the whole floor was on fire.” As the days pass after the Grenfell Tower blaze, incredible tales of bravery are continuing to emerge.Pictures have emerged of a four-year-old girl being saved when a man known only as Pat caught her “like a rugby ball tucked in his chest” when she was thrown from the fifth floor.But witnesses fear the worst for her mother as the flat was engulfed in flames seconds after the small child was thrown out. Grenfell protest: Fists raised for a minute’s silence outside the BBC pic.twitter.com/fdww6Kvaj1— Tara Mulholland (@tara_mulholland) June 16, 2017 The shell of Grenfell Tower hangs over protesters gathering at Notting Hill Methodist ChurchCredit:AFP A 24-year-old man carried his disabled mother to safety down 24 flights of stairs during the Grenfell blaze, reports Helena Horton.Graduate Shekeb Neda, carried Flora, 55, on his back through smoke down the staircase. But his father, Mohammed ‘Saber’ Neda, remained in the flat and is missing. The 57-year-old was last heard from at 2.20am when he made a frantic phone call to a relative to say that the building was burning and that there was “no help”.His parents are from Afghanistan and he recently graduated from Kingston university with a degree in mechanical engineering. Speaking to the BBC, the Prime Minister said:This is not just about finding out what happened, it’s about providing that support. 4:32PMSigns say Grenfell Tower was “corporate murder of poor” Protesters gather at foot of Grenfell TowerCentral London protesters march on Downing StreetTheresa May goes to church to meet families of lost – and is greeted by angry protestersNumber 10 promises £5million relief fund for victims30 confirmed killed, but death toll could rise above 10024 still in hospital as police do not expect more survivorsQueen and Prince William meet residents affected by blazeThe missing: From babies to whole families feared deadHero “caught girl like rugby ball” after she was thrownWhat caused the blaze? The theories fire chiefs will examine Grief over the Grenfell Tower disaster turned into angry protests on Friday as the official death toll rose to at least 30 and dozens more deaths were feared.Prime Minister Theresa May faced cries of “coward” and “shame on you” as she returned to the site of the devastating fire in west London after being criticised for not meeting victims in the wake of the tragedy. “There hasn’t been a review for 11 years, and since then we have had significant fires both in Britain and abroad, which have been caused by new building materials and lack of risk assessments. “Not only has the government not completed a review as we asked they haven’t even started one.” Nick Hurd, the fire minister, said that the judge-led public inquiry will leave “no stone unturned”. Those questioned could include Gavin Barwell, Mrs May’s chief of staff, who has been accused of “sitting on” a review into building regulations in the wake of previous tower fires in 2009. 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The report found that up to two thirds of men and about 30 per cent of women were in favour of using sex robots, which currently cost between £4,000 and £12,000 and can be customised by sex, height, hair colour, eye colour and even personality.Companies are also starting to incorporate artificial intelligence so robots can communicate and respond to human emotions.Doll brothels already operate in South Korea, Japan and Spain, while the first robotic oral sex coffee shop opened in Paddington, west London, last year.The report said that as robotics, telecommunications and virtual reality merged, sex dolls could be created which was silicon replica of a long-distance partner, so that couples could have virtual sex and even speak to each other through the doll’s mouth. But the authors warned that the march of sex robots raised serious moral and ethical questions which needed to be addressed. They warned that users could become socially isolated or even addicted to the machines which could never replace real human contact.“It’s very sad because it’s going to be a one way relationship,” said Prof Sharkey.“If people bond with robots it’s very worrying. You are loving an artefact that can’t love you back, and the best they can do is fake it.”The report also warned of a ‘darker’ side to the industry in which companies were programming ‘shy’ or ‘reluctant’ personalities into their dolls so that users could feel they were forcing the robots to have sex. TrueCompanion’s robot Roxxxy Gold, for example, can be set to ‘Frigid Farah.’Japanese sex doll manufacturer Trottla has also started selling underage schoolgirl dolls for paedophiles. The company was created by a self-confessed paedophile Shin Takagi who claims he has never harmed a child because he uses the doll.Although some experts claim such robots could prevent the rape of women, or the abuse of children, the report warns that it could exacerbate the problem.Philosophy Professor and robot ethicist Patrick Lin of California Polytechnic said: “Treating paedophiles with robot sex-children is both a dubious and repulsive idea.“Imagine treating racism by letting a bigot abuse a brown robot. Would that work? Probably not. The ethics of sex robots goes beyond whether anyone is physically harmed.”The authors said it may be necessary to criminalise ‘robotic rape’ and to build in ‘handled roughly’ sensors like those used in pinball machines to prevent users developing violent sexual tendencies. And they called for a complete ban on child sex dolls.Aimee van Wynsberghe, assistant professor of ethics at the University of Delft, and co founder of the FRR, said: “There isn’t a conversation happening in the general public about what is acceptable, permissible and what should be promoted.“This is a preliminary step to engage policymakers, academics, the tech industry and the general public.”The consultation report is on the FRR website where people are invited to comment on its findings. The panel hopes to make final recommendations next year.The Foundation for Responsible Robotics operates from the Hague Institute for Global Justice at the Hague and run consultations on all areas of robotics. It has 200 members including some of the world’s most eminent robotics academics. Engineer-inventor Douglas Hines adjusts the head of his company’s “True Companion” sex robot, RoxxxyCredit:AFP/Getty Images Imagine treating racism by letting a bigot abuse a brown robot. Would that work? Probably notPatrick Lin, Philosophy professor and robot ethicist Noel Sharkey, Emeritus Professor of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Sheffield, and co-founder of the FRR, said it was time for the government and the public to decide whether to regulate pleasure-bots.“I can tell you that robots are certainly coming,” he said at the launch of the new consultation report in central London.“The concern is that this is going on nobody is talking about it. People snigger about them, but they are actually shipping quite a lot and we are going to see them a lot more. “They are being proposed for the elderly in care homes, which I think is controversial. If you have severe Alzheimer’s you can’t really tell the difference.“We need to think about as a society what we want to do about it.” Gemma Chan in Humans Credit:Channel 4 Sex robots could soon be used to keep the elderly company in care homes and help couples enjoy long distances sexual relationships, the Foundation for Responsible Robotics (FRR) has said. There are currently four manufacturers making life-like robotic dolls worldwide, but experts predict that in coming decades they could become widespread, used not just as a fetish, but for sexual therapy and as companions for lonely, disabled or older people.
Investigators outside the Zizzi restaurant in Salisbury, where the pair are believed to have dined before falling ill Credit:Eddie Mulholland For The Telegraph Police on Wednesday said government scientists had identified the nerve agent used by would-be assassins at a shopping arcade in the Wiltshire city centre. The chemical used is “likely to be rarer than Sarin or VX nerve agents”, a source told the BBC. Access to such toxins are tightly regulated, meaning the Salisbury plot would have taken considerable planning to execute.Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer of Britain’s Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment, told The Times: “This is not the stuff you can knock up in your back shed.”It is quite challenging to make. The inference is that this has probably come from a major laboratory, probably state-run.”Police: Spy and daughter ‘targeted specifically’Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the head of counter-terrorism policing, revealed on Wednesday that the incident was being treated as attempted murder and the pair had been “targeted specifically”. Mr Rowley reiterated his appeal for anyone who was in Salisbury city centre on Sunday to come forward to help with the “missing pieces” in the case.Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer, said the incident posed a “low risk” to the public and advised that all the sites the pair were known to have visited had been “secured”. Emergency workers wear protective equipment in Salisbury at one of the scenes of investigation of the nerve agent attackCredit:Peter Macdiarmid/LNP Russia denies responsibility for Salisbury attackRussia has denied responsibility for the attack, which comes seven years after Mr Skripal was released from the country as part of a spy swap with the US.He had been convicted in his home country in 2006 for passing state secrets to MI6. Ms Rudd told MPs: “There will come a time for attribution and there will be, then, consequences and there will be further information that follows.” 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. While Mr Williamson refused to say if he held Russia responsible for the attack in Salisbury, he described the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter as “absolutely disgusting”. “Of course he’s very anxious, he’s very concerned. He did his very best on that night.”All of our staff that attended the incident in Salisbury in the Maltings, they performed the role that police officers and police staff do every day up and down the country. Limited information, responded to try and protect people and safeguard people who we knew were ill.”I’m massively proud of what Nick did and all of my staff on that night, they did a first-class job.”Sgt Bailey was one of the first to go to the aid of the Skripals, who were found slumped on a bench on Sunday afternoon.He is much-loved by colleagues, many of whom have paid tribute to their “courageous” friend. Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, earlier described the events as “very troubling”. He said: “If this does turn out to be in any way the result of hostile activity by another government, or directed, led, by another government, then the people of this country can be absolutely sure that the UK will respond robustly.” Police Sergeant Nick Bailey has been named as the officer who was injured with a nerve agent as he attended the scene where Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned.He was hospitalised after attending to the pair and is now thought to be awake and engaging with medical staff, although he remains in a serious condition.Sgt Bailey was highly commended in 2016 for his work in putting a serial rapist behind bars.He worked tirelessly for two years in order to build a case against Arthur Bonner, who sexually assaulted multiple victims over four decades between the early 1970s and 2014. Sgt Bailey received the Chief Constable’s Certificate of Excellence for his work at the time.Kier Pritchard, temporary chief constable of Wiltshire Police, said: “I did go and see Nick today and I met Nick and his wife at the hospital in the intensive care unit.”I’ve known Nick for many years, he’s a great character, he’s a huge presence in Wiltshire Police – well liked, well loved, a massively dedicated officer. He’s clearly receiving high specialist treatment.”He’s well, he’s sat up. He is not the Nick that I know but of course he’s receiving a high level of treatment. He’s in the safe hands of the medical professionals working in Salisbury District so I’m very confident he’s getting the best professional support that he can. Investigators continue to work at ones of the scenes in Salisbury on WednesdayCredit:Paul Grover for The Telegraph Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, who are seriously ill in hospital, in a restaurant believed to be in Salisbury Sergei and Yulia Skripal remain in a serious condition in intensive care after being poisoned in Salisbury Meanwhile, Amber Rudd has promised to bring those behind the attempted murder of Col Skripal to justice “whoever they are and wherever they may be” as MPs accuse the Kremlin of a “brazen act of war”.The Home Secretary described the poisoning of Col Skripal and his daughter as a “reckless” crime, adding that it was conducted in the “most cruel and public way”.It came as former minister Sir Edward Leigh said the circumstantial evidence against Russia was “very strong”, warning that if the Kremlin were implicated it would be an act of war aimed at “humiliating our country”. He declined to specify the nerve agent or how it was administered.Mr Rowley said: “Having established that a nerve agent was the cause of the symptoms, leading us to treat this as attempted murder, I can also confirm that we believe the two people who originally became unwell were targeted specifically.”Our role now of course is to establish who is behind this and why they carried out this act.”Video: Mark Rowley’s statement outside Scotland Yard Ms Rudd said more details about the nerve agent would not yet be made public, but told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that it was “very rare”.PM: Poisoning is appalling and reckless crimeDowning Street said Theresa May was being kept updated by officials on developments in the Salisbury case.The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It’s clear that this was an appalling and reckless crime and the public will rightly want those responsible to be identified and held to account.”But it is important that we avoid speculation and allow police and others to rigorously establish the full facts.”As the Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary have made clear, our response to those found to be responsible will be robust.”The spokesman said Mrs May sent her personal thanks to police and emergency workers for their courage in responding to the incident, and also wished to thank the people of Salisbury.Video: Amber Rudd gives update on poison victims The investigation has triggered a diplomatic row and prompted crisis talks in Whitehall, but Ms Rudd said police must respond to “evidence, not to rumour”. Ms Rudd declined to say whether she regarded Russia as responsible for the Salisbury attack, but said the Government will put a plan in place to respond when the culprit is identified. Questions have been raised about the deaths of both Col Skripal’s wife, Luidmila, and his son, Alexander, following the attempted murder of the former double agent.Mrs Skripal died of cancer in 2012 aged 59. His son, who was 43, died in St Petersburg last July and is commemorated with a plaque at the cemetery.It has been reported that both Col Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, who are now both fighting for their lives in hospital, visited the site last week, leaving flowers to mark what would have been Mr Skripal’s 44th birthday.A cemetery worker told The Mirror: “I recognised him. He regularly came to visit the grave and also his wife’s grave. It’s so sad.” Ms Rudd added: “Let me be clear, we are absolutely robust about any crimes committed on these streets of the UK. There is nothing soft about the UK’s response to any sort of state activity in this country.”You may not hear about it all, but when we do see that there is action to be taken, we will take it.”Nerve agent ‘rarer than Sarin or VX’Hundreds of detectives, forensic officers and analysts are working on the case, which has drawn comparisons to the poisoning of former Russian intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko on British soil in 2006. “When we have all the evidence of what took place, we will – if it is appropriate – attribute it to somebody,” the Home Secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.”If that is the case then we will have a plan in place. We need to be very methodical, keep a cool head and be based on the facts, not rumour.”Video: Sergei Skripal days before he was poisoned Listing examples of Russian aggression in eastern Europe and its involvement in the conflict in Ukraine, Mr Williamson added that there was an urgent need to counter the Kremlin’s “increasingly aggressive stance”.”Russia’s changing the way they actually fight and raise the level of conflict,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “We are seeing this in the north Atlantic as well – the amount of submarines that are operating, there’s a 10-fold increase in the last seven years.”Russia’s being assertive, Russia’s being more aggressive, and we have to change the way that we deal with it because we can’t be in a situation in these areas of conflict where we are being pushed around by another nation.” The targets of the attempted murder – Col Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter Yulia – remain in a serious condition in intensive care. They are understood to both be in comas.He was among the first to go to the aid of the pair, who were found slumped on a bench on Sunday afternoon.The disclosure of the officer’s poisoning will add to growing pressure on the Government to take a hardline approach against Russia if state involvement is confirmed. This morning, Amber Rudd, Home Secretary, said he was “talking and engaging”.She said: “I’m more optimistic for him, but it’s too early to say. This is a nerve agent. “You know, we are still treating it as very serious.”Part of a cemetery where the wife of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal is buried has been cordoned off by police.Officers were guarding London Road cemetery in Salisbury, Wilts, on Tuesday morning, when it was partly closed to the public and seal off with police tape. The cordon around the spy’s house, some two miles away, has also been widened. Thank you for the huge number of messages of support for our injured officer in hospital. We all wish for a full and speedy recovery #proud— Kier Pritchard (@wiltspoliceCC) March 8, 2018 A key focus will be working to uncover the origin of the nerve agent.The BBC reported that a source familiar with the investigation said it was “likely to be rarer than Sarin or VX nerve agents”.Nerve agents, which are chemical weapons, have been used in assassinations and attacks in war zones in recent years.Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam was killed at an international airport in Malaysia last year in an attack using a nerve agent known as VX.Another well-known nerve agent, Sarin gas, killed more than 90 people in a rebel-held area in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, drawing international condemnation of the Bashar Assad regime. “The use of a nerve agent on UK soil is a brazen and reckless act. This was attempted murder in the most cruel and public way. People are right to want to know who to hold to account.”But if we are to be rigorous in this investigation, we must avoid speculation and allow the police to carry on their investigation.”We are committed to doing all we can to bring the perpetrators to justice, whoever they are and wherever they may be.”The investigation is moving at pace and this Government will act without hesitation as the facts become clearer.”It comes after the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said Britain must put up a stronger front against Russian military aggression as he warned that “we are being pushed around” by the Kremlin. As suspicions deepen over Russia’s potential involvement in the poisoning, Gavin Williamson said that Vladimir Putin’s regime posed an “ever-greater threat”.His warning comes after a police officer poisoned by a “very rare” nerve agent in Salisbury while going to the aid of Col Skripal and his daughter was said to be “talking and engaging” in hospital, according to the Home Secretary.
Helen Bond & Joan Taylor in Jerusalem in the Church of the Holy SepulchreCredit:Channel 4 Rev Dr Ian Paul, a New Testament scholar and member of the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, said it is “relatively unlikely” there were women bishops in the 5th century as there was is no documentary evidence.He said: “The image of Cerula is significant for several reasons—the Chi-Ro symbol above her head, the open gospels with flames, and the oranspose in which she is ‘lifting holy hands in prayer’.“We find similar things from the third-century Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome—but there the female figure is also wearing a stole, the garb of priestly office. Cerula does not have this, so though clearly a person of influence, it seems to me unlikely that she is a priest or bishop, and we have no written evidence of women having such an office at this time.“For Roman Catholics, patristic practice will be important since the tradition is seen as authoritative for the contemporary church. For myself as a Protestant (and former Roman Catholic), what is more important is what the New Testament says, since that shapes what is means to be an ‘apostolic’ church.”In Romans 16.7, St Paul mentions a couple Andronicus and Julia, who are ‘outstanding amongst the apostles’, so Paul appears to have no problem with women exercising church-planting, teaching apostolic ministry. Looking at evidence of Jesus’s female disciplesCredit:Channel 4 Helen Bond & Joan Taylor in St Peter’s SquareCredit:Channel 4 When the first woman bishop, the Right Reverend Libby Lane, was consecrated in 2015, it was hailed a “completely new phase” in the Church of England’s history.The legislation followed decades of argument over women’s ordination and remains controversial.But academics now claim that a fresco unearthed in an Italian catacomb proves that women were acting as bishops in the early Christian church.The 5th century image of a woman named Cerula, found in the catacomb of San Gennaro, Naples, shows her surrounded by open, flaming Gospel books, which are thought to be symbolic of the role of a bishop.Academics said the discovery was “incredibly significant” evidence that women held senior roles in the early Christian church and could mean that millions will have to rethink the origins of their faith.The revelations are made in a programme, due to be aired on Channel 4 next weekend, which also suggests that Jesus had many more female disciples than was previously thought. In the catacomb, NaplesCredit:Channel 4 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. Bible experts Helen Bond and Joan Taylor visited the catacomb in Naples, where, in the early 3rd century, the Christians began to bury their dead and pave the walls with frescos.The wall paintings, hidden for 1,000 years, were rediscovered in 1971 and recently restored. Cerula was painted in the late 5th or early 6th century and is depicted in the praying position, hands raised, with the “chi-rho” symbol of Christ over her head.Crucially, she is surrounded by open volumes of all four gospels, suggesting that she had real influence and responsibility.Dr Ally Kateusz, an expert in early Christian art, told the programme: “That’s really extraordinary, because bishops were associated with the gospels.“Bishops, and bishops only, had open gospel books placed over their heads during their ordination ritual. “The flames of the holy spirit would come out of the gospels and inspire the bishops in their preaching.” Dr Luca Badini, directo r of research at the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research, said nothing similar had been discovered before.“It was known that women bishops were preaching at that time but very little evidence exists of it,” he told the Sunday Telegraph.“There are still some people who argue on the basis of tradition, stating that they can’t allow women to minister because it’s never been done before, but of course, that’s not true.”Ms Bond noted that the fresco had been created relatively late in the period but said: “These women bishops didn’t just turn up out of nowhere, there is a back story that will date back to the earliest followers of Jesus.”She added: “Any appeal to historic precedent that says Jesus did not choose women is clearly wrong.”She said it was local churches that stopped women preaching, decisions that were gradually adopted more widely. “But we see with this text the same tension between early practice and later tradition. For a long time, the female name Junia was changed to the male ‘Junias,’ to hide the possibility of women as apostles—despite the complete lack of textual evidence, or the existence of the male name Junias in any other context.“Elsewhere in Paul’s writings, he appears to treat women and men equally as proclaimers of the apostolic gospel—just as Mary was the first announce the resurrection of Jesus to the Twelve on Easter morning—something that supports the idea of women exercising ministerial authority in the church today.”Dr Badini highlighted a second fresco in the same location of a woman bishop called Bitalia, which was not preserved quite so well but featured similar symbols.He said the timing of their creation was significant as they preceded a letter written by Pope Gelasius to southern Italian bishops in the late 5th century to complain that women were ministering at holy altars.At some point thereafter, the pope’s demands for such women to stop their work were obeyed, the programme claims, and women’s senior roles were scrapped.
A man has been arrested after graphic photographs of a fatal car crash were posted on Facebook.Lizzy Keenan, 30, died following the smash in Chellaston, Derbyshire, in the early hours of Monday. She was a passenger in a car that hit a wall.”Distressing” images taken at the scene were later posted on social media and shared at least 70 times before one user reported them to police.Derbyshire Police said on Thursday that a 44-year-old man had been arrested under the Malicious Communications Act.A force spokesman said: “A 44-year-old man has been arrested under the Malicious Communications Act in connection with social media posts during the aftermath of the recent fatal collision in Chellaston.”The arrest has been made after photographs posted on Facebook on the evening of Monday, August 20 caused distress to members of the public.” Ms Keenan was a passenger in a Vauxhall Corsa that hit a wall at about 3.10am.Richard Keenan, 23, of Swadlincote, Derbyshire, has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, driving under the influence of alcohol and criminal damage.He has been remanded in custody and will appear at Derby Crown Court on September 19. Lizzy Keenan, 30, died after the crash in Chellaston, Derbyshire Credit:Derbyshire Police 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 NSPCC has become embroiled in a row with Mumsnet users after defending the right of transgender girls to join the Girl Guides. The children’s charity called off a planned live event about keeping children safe from abuse on Friday after users repeatedly asked questions about allowing transgender children into single-sex spaces. Users raised concerns about children who identify as female, but who were born male, sharing changing rooms, shower facilities and dormitories with other Girl Guides. Other participants asked about the increasing number of children who are deciding to live as a different gender while still at school. A staff member posted to say the event had been cancelled “because the questions here are so focused on gender identity, the feeling is that the NSPCC campaign itself and the NSPCC’s specific safety messages are unlikely to get much of an airing.” In a statement to the site the NSPCC said it “doesn’t consider there to be specific child protection concerns in relation to trans-inclusive policies.” The spokesman added: “Trans young people are at particular risk of physical, sexual and emotional abuse from peers.”This can heighten the risk of abuse by adults as children turn online for support and access to networks of those sharing similar views and feelings. Mumsnet users have built up a reputation for being particularly focused on transgender issues, and the stance of some members has been described as “transphobic”. Justine Roberts, Mumsnet founder and CEO, told the Daily Telegraph that the site “will always have a great deal of sympathy for vulnerable and oppressed groups but we are also committed to freedom of speech.”Sometimes these two principles come into conflict, rarely more so than in the recent debate about what it is acceptable to say, or not to say, about trans people, and changing opinions about gender and sex.”She added that the debate over transgender people’s rights had tested “to the absolute limit” the site’s ability to host “civilised discussion”. “But we fundamentally believe that with a bit of an effort all round then we can allow all voices to be heard and that by allowing all sides to be heard we can move towards a constructive compromise,” she said. 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. With a bit of an effort all round then we can allow all voices to be heard and that by allowing all sides to be heard we can move towards a constructive compromiseJustine Roberts, Mumsnet CEO “There should be high-quality, statutory relationships and sex education, alongside strong school safeguarding policies, to ensure that all children are kept safe in schools.”The Girl Guides policy, which emerged last year, says that members “are entitled to use the facilities of the gender that they self-identify as”.
British girls are among the worst in Europe for binge drinking, despite drinking less than previous generations, new research shows.The study for the World Health Organisation shows that teenage girls in England, Scotland and Wales take three of the top six places in a drinking league table comparing 36 European nations.And teenage girls in the UK are now more likely than boys of the same age to have got drunk at least twice, the figures show. The research compared the drinking habits of 15 year olds between 2002 and 2014.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––It found that in most nations – including those of the UK – the proportion of teens who have been drunk on at least two occasions has fallen.But teenage girls in the UK remain among the heaviest drinkers.While those in Denmark were the most likely to have been drunk at least twice – with 37.6 per cent falling into this category, Welsh girls were next, followed by Hungary, Scotland, Lithuania and England. In all these nations, at least 30 per cent of teenage girls had been repeatedly drunk – around twice the rates in Italy and France.The study led by the University of St Andrews shows that while drinking among British boys has fallen so far that it has vastly improved their rankings in European league tables, British girls are still among the heaviest drinkers.This is despite the fact the proportion of UK girls has halved over the 12-year period.It comes amid rising levels of anxiety among teenage girls, fuelled by social media, and rising levels of self-harm.The statistics show that in 2002, 54.7 per cent of English girls had got drunk at least twice previously – falling to 30.9 per cent in 2014. This left them sixth heaviest drinkers, compared with fifth worst in 2002.The position of Welsh girls remains unchanged since 2002, as second heaviest drinkers. This is despite the fact the percentage of girls getting drunk fell from 60.3 per cent to 33.6 per cent.And Scottish girls went from fifth to fourth ranking , with 32.9 per cent having got drunk twice when surveyed in 2014, compared with 51.8 per cent in 2002. The figures show that teenage boys in the UK are now less likely than girls to get drunk.In 2002, 55.1 per cent of boys in England had got drunk at least twice, but in 2014 the figure was 25.3 per cent – taking them from sixth to 18th place. In 2002, 58.3 per cent of boys in Wales had been drunk at least twice, dropping to 28.2 per cent by 2014 – from third to thirteenth place. And the figures for Scotland show that in 2002, 51.9 per cent of teenage boys had been drunk at least twice, falling to 32.4 per cent by 2014.Prof Sir Ian Gilmore, chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said drinking habits among girls and young women could be affected by rising anxiety levels, and by efforts to target female drinkers.He said: “There’s no doubt that we are seeing young girls and women feeling increasing pressure. But we are also seeing very aggressive marketing of drinks at female drinkers, especially via social media – for sweeter drinks and fizzy drinks.”Dr Jo Inchley, assistant director at St Andrew’s Child and Adolescent Health Research Unit, said: “We don’t know why we are seeing these gender differences, in some ways it is surprising because girls tend to respond more to health messages than boys do.“We do know that mental health issues are a big concern among adolescent girls, and coping could be one of the reasons why girls are binge drinking.” 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.
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 Telegraph understands that in light of research and pressure from charities and MPs, Defra is considering tightening regulations to cover conditions at trainers’ kennels, and providing funding for rehoming so healthy dogs are not put down.Anna Turley MP is one of many Members of Parliament who have been pushing for tighter regulation on the industry and has said there should be a centralised register of greyhounds so the government can see what happens to the animals after they retire.She told The Telegraph: “”With the horse racing industry, the scale of injuries and deaths isn’t as bad, horses are far more expensive than greyhounds and dogs need to be treated as living animals and not seen as dispensible.”We would like to see some best practice on responsible ownership, better regulation on ownership, a centralised database of dogs rather than informal recording, so we could see what happens and see what protections need to be put in place. It’s been very difficult even to get these figures.”Mr Laurie also said more needs to be done to promote ex-racing greyhounds as pets; while many see them as high-maintenance, they are ideal for first-time dog owners.He explained: “We take in many ex-racing greyhounds at Battersea – over 100 already this year. Many people think they’re high maintenance and need a lot of exercise. This is rarely the case and most Greyhounds are quite lazy dogs that would rather spend their time lounging on a comfortable sofa. Greyhounds can make wonderful pets, particularly for first time dog owners.”A Defra spokesperson said: “The government agrees with the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee that the industry has to be more transparent about the destiny of retired racing greyhounds.“We have recently reviewed the regulations for racing greyhounds and are considering whether they should be extended.” Greyhounds must be given the same protection as race horses, MPs and animal charities have said, as they demand protection for the dogs while they are in kennels.At the moment, there are no rules for how the dogs are treated while in kennels, where they spend 95 per cent of their racing lives – and no way to tell if the animals are being mistreated, neglected or abused.The government has promised to act after new figures released earlier this year showed 348 greyhounds were destroyed in a year because of lack of funds for veterinary care, and a lack of willing homes for retired dogs.Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has urged the government to give the dogs protection while they are in racing kennels, and to force the racing industry, which reaps hundreds of millions of pounds in profit each year from greyhounds, to contribute to their veterinary costs. This would mean hundreds of dogs may not have to be put down each year.Battersea’s Deputy Chief Executive, Peter Laurie, said :“Currently racing tracks are subject to statutory regulations, but trainers’ kennels are not. As we estimate that a racing Greyhound spends 95% of its time at a trainer’s kennels, Battersea strongly believes these should be brought into the scope of the regulations.“Battersea is also concerned that improvements to Greyhound welfare are being held back because the industry is significantly underfunded. Although betting firms make large profits from Greyhound racing, many are failing to make a contribution to Greyhound welfare and the regulation of this industry. We are calling for the existing, voluntary levy to be made compulsory.” The government is looking into providing further protection for greyhounds while they are in kennelsCredit:PETA via AP