UConn Is 1 Win From Being The Streakiest College Team Ever

After the University of Connecticut Huskies won their 109th straight game Monday, their chances of winning the NCAA women’s basketball tournament and carrying that win streak into next season remain just about steady at 48 percent (down a tick from 49 percent after round one), according to FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions.Up next for the Huskies is No. 4-seed UCLA, a team that was ranked 15th at the end of the season and that UConn hasn’t played since 2014. If UConn wins that game, it’ll have 110 straight wins, moving it clear of Penn State’s 109 consecutive wins in women’s volleyball in 2007-10 — acknowledged as one of the longest winning streaks in collegiate sports history.Both streaks are over twice as long as the next-longest streak by any other entity in their sport. Before Penn State’s mark, the longest win streak by any other team in Division I women’s volleyball was USC’s 52 games in 2002-04. The longest streak in NCAA women’s basketball by a team other than UConn was 54 games by Louisiana Tech in 1980-82. (For comparison, UCLA men’s basketball’s heralded 88-game win streak was only 28 games longer than the previous record-holder’s.) Of course, Geno Auriemma’s UConn squad also holds the second- and third-longest streaks in women’s NCAA basketball, as well as the fifth-longest, which ended one game before the current streak began.VIDEO: How the Villanova and Duke losses shook the bracket Indeed, the Penn State streak may be the longest that is directly comparable to the current Huskies run. There doesn’t appear to be any official list of longest streaks across all sports, but the generally acknowledged record for a team winning streak is the Trinity College men’s squash team, which won 252 straight team meets from 1998 to 2012. Similarly, the University of Miami won 137 team tennis contests in 1957-64. But a team’s squash or tennis meet winning streak isn’t really the same as a game or match streak in a team sport, since each meet is a collection of smaller matches from an individual or pairs sport.Individual sports have generated streaks longer than UConn’s. Cael Sanderson of Iowa State won 159 straight matches to go 159-0 in his collegiate wrestling career (other wrestlers have won more in a row than UConn’s 109 as well). But comparing individual dominance to team dominance is suspect. And other acknowledged streaks can be even more dubious, because they come from lower divisions or carve out a subset of games played — like Mount Union winning 112 straight regular-season games in Division III football.In other words: Don’t miss Saturday’s game! The Huskies will be playing for a claim to the longest winning streak in collegiate team sports history.But things get harder from there. To win this tournament, there’s a good chance that UConn will have to beat three of the next four highest-ranked teams. Barring upsets, the Huskies would face Maryland in the Elite Eight, Baylor in the Final Four and either Notre Dame or South Carolina in the final. If the Huskies face the Irish, they’ll be matching up against the team with the second-longest current win streak in NCAA women’s basketball, 16 games.Check out our March Madness predictions. read more

Read More →

Opinion Michigans resurgence a blessing for Ohio State college football

Then sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) carries the ball during a game against Michigan on Nov. 29 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 42-28. Credit: Lantern File PhotoSince the turn of the century, Michigan has been to five BCS Bowls. The Wolverines won two: a three-point victory in the Sugar Bowl over Virginia Tech in 2012 and a one-point victory over Alabama in the 2000 Orange Bowl. However, their Rose Bowl performances have been utter disappointments. Additionally, they have yet to participate in the Big Ten Championship Game.Since 1950, Michigan has captured one national championship; Ohio State has won seven.Since the turn of the century, Purdue’s four wins over OSU are more than Michigan’s three.Simply put, Michigan football has been marred in recent decades by coaching instability, poor quarterback play and an inability to win The Game.Having said this, the question as to the annual significance of the OSU-Michigan game must be raised. Seemingly, rivalries like the Auburn-Alabama, OSU-Michigan State, LSU-Alabama and Oregon-Stanford have overshadowed The Game due to recent dominance by the men in scarlet and gray. In fact, in most of our lifetimes, only one game between the two comes to mind as meaningful; a clash of the titans, per se. That one game, however, epitomizes the importance of The Game, as I can recall every little detail despite having been just a little 9-year-old Buckeye without a master’s degree in OSU fandom.The game of the centuryIt was a pleasant fall afternoon in Hudson, Ohio. Autumn leaves fell from high above as the sun departed from the clear blue sky. Inside our neighbor’s house, our family and friends reminisced over school systems, neighborhood drama and our crazy families. Meanwhile, two hours south down I-71, the same could not be stated. College GameDay set up shop on the OSU campus to promote the heavyweight title fight between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the nation. When Lee Corso donned the Michigan helmet in front of thousands of Buckeyes, he was met with ruthless replies to the likes of, “Corso sucks!”Regardless, this game clearly had a special place in the rivalry’s history, as to this day it remains the only installment of The Game to ever kick off at 3:30 p.m. in ESPN/ABC’s primetime window. The town was buzzing. The hype was tremendous. Ohio Stadium was bursting with excitement. And the Big Ten was ready to put one of its two signature programs in the national championship game.Dubbed “The Game of the Century” as kickoff became imminent, conversation back in Hudson swayed to BCS projections, to quarterbacks Troy Smith vs. Chad Henne and to the duel between two coaching greats, Jim Tressel and Lloyd Carr. Finally, OSU won the coin toss, deferred to the second half, and Michigan prepared to receive the opening kickoff in what would go down as one of the greatest college football games not only in the OSU-Michigan rivalry, but of all time.After trading touchdowns on their opening possessions, both teams followed by exchanging punts. In the beginning of the second quarter, the Buckeyes took their first lead behind a Beanie Wells 52-yard touchdown run. Add on two Smith touchdown throws — one to Ted Ginn Jr. and the other to Anthony Gonzalez — offset by one Michigan touchdown, and OSU would take a two-touchdown lead into the second half.The ‘Shoe was hopping. The family room in which I watched the game was buzzing with excitement and anticipation. I realized that the Buckeyes were just two quarters of solid football from the national championship game.Unfortunately, no football game comes without adversity. OSU would learn that the hard way.In the blink of an eye, the Scarlet and Gray went three-and-out, conceded a touchdown and compounded the mistakes with a pivotal interception captured by Michigan defensive lineman Alan Branch.Great teams, however, overcome adversity and respond stronger.The Buckeyes proceeded to stymie the Michigan offense and held it to just a field goal, and they soon after responded with a touchdown of their own. All of a sudden it was a two-score game. All of a sudden the dream of two national championships in a four-year span was unfolding before my very eyes.After a couple of series of mistake-filled football, Michigan started the fourth quarter in the red zone, down 11. Running back Mike Hart scored two plays later, cutting the lead to just four. A Buckeye fumble followed, but Michigan could not capitalize.OSU would then not miss this opportunity to close the game out for good. An 11-play, 83-yard, season-defining drive ensued, punctuated by Brian Robiskie’s 13-yard touchdown grab.With just over five minutes remaining, it seemed as if OSU had its plane ticket to Glendale, Arizona, booked, but Michigan, once again, as great teams do, fought back.A clutch 11-play, 81-yard drive capped off by Tyler Ecker’s 16-yard touchdown reception and a two-point conversion brought the Wolverines to within three. An onside kick could reverse the course of college football history.But it wasn’t meant to be that day for the Maize and Blue. Ginn secured the onside kick, the victory and a date with Florida in the championship game.Pandemonium infiltrated the exit stairways of Ohio Stadium and followed students and alumni alike to the High Street bars and to drives up and down I-71 home. This was a classic OSU-Michigan game, magnificent in quality of play and implications. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about many of the games played recently.A new eraEven with the advent of the College Football Playoff and the resurrection of the Wolverines, it is naive to expect every clash in the next decade to become a de facto qualifier for the Big Ten Championship Game, and thereby the playoff. It is way too early to elevate Jim Harbaugh vs. Urban Meyer to the status of Woody Hayes vs. Bo Schembechler and to associate any upcoming OSU-Michigan game with the great ones from the “10 year war.”However, with Michigan beginning to supplant itself as an annual contender, this rivalry that has seemingly lost a bit of its luster should and will revive its tension. And no college football fan can deny that an intriguing and relevant OSU-Michigan game is the greatest game on turf.I’m not asking for every Buckeye-Wolverine showdown to match the classic that was the 2006 clash; just every once in awhile it would be appreciated that the two of the most historic programs in college football provide a game that is worthy of the national spotlight it inevitably attracts.I’m not asking for every Buckeye-Wolverine clash to be a No. 1 vs. No. 2 clash of the titans. Sometimes, in fact, it adds to the rivalry when one team has the opportunity to undermine the rival’s playoff aspirations even amidst a disappointing season.But, thinking about the potential of the OSU-Michigan game turning into the must-see game every year is tantalizing. What if someday, the Buckeyes and Wolverines somehow met for the national championship? It’s definitely not impossible given the precedent the CFP committee has set on schedule strength, margin of victory and quality of loss.It would be tough to deny a one-loss OSU team that traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan, as the No. 2 team preparing to face undefeated and No. 1 Michigan. And this scenario is coming sooner rather than later, especially with the recruiting standards Meyer and Harbaugh are currently setting.Gone are the days of Michigan being worse than Purdue. Home are the days of Michigan being the archenemy it was destined to be. And I can’t wait. Nor can the world of college football. read more

Read More →

Ohio State womens track and field competes the Wright way

Ohio State sprinter and hurdler Letecia Wright led the OSU women’s track and field team to its first-ever outdoor championship title last weekend. “We wanted to show everyone that Ohio State women’s track team was not going to just be an over-the-night, one-time winning team,” Wright said. “We wanted to show people exactly how my coach and the team have changed the culture.” Less than three months ago, on Feb. 27, Wright helped the team clinch its first indoor Big Ten championship. When Wright arrived at OSU, the team finished 10th in the conference in the indoor season and fifth in the conference in the outdoor season. On top of helping to overcome the team’s struggles, Wright needed to grow personally. “I definitely had to grow mentally strong,” Wright said. “I knew sports were vigorous, but not to the level of college. … There are 20 of you who can do one race great — now who’s stronger mentally?” With a strenuous workout regimen and a strict diet, Wright faced a daunting lifestyle as an athlete at OSU. As she always had done when times were hard, Wright turned to her mother and sister. “They’ve always supported me in anything I do,” Wright said. “The days I’m a little upset about how I ran or how I’ve practiced landing, they’ve been there to listen to me and just tell me, you know, it gets better, just keep focus and know why you’re there.” Besides her family, Wright relied on support from her high school coach and many other people from her hometown of Baltimore, who helped guide her to her current level of success. “When I got into college, they all still root me on,” she said. “Every week, they tell me they’re proud of me. … They’ve been there.” Wright has taken the entire experience in stride. In her time at OSU, Wright has won two individual Big Ten titles as a member of the 4×100 meter relay team, set the 100 meter hurdles record at the Drake Relays and was selected All-Big Ten six times. But Wright is humble; she’d rather deflect the spotlight onto her teammates. “I’ve been successful as an individual because of the team,” Wright said. “We are surrounded by a lot of girls who want to do good and are motivated.” Wright’s love for her teammates doesn’t go unnoticed by those around her. “Tish is very humble,” said Christina Manning, a junior teammate. “Our coach spoke on that right before the day of finals and she pointed out how it seems as though Tish doesn’t know how good she is. … She doesn’t care so much about winning, but more about the team.” Wright even gives a lot of credit to all of her competitors. The better the competitors do, Wright said, the better she performs. Her positive attitude, especially with her opponents, sometimes can get her into trouble. “Sometimes my coach says I’m a little too nice in the field,” she said. Coach Karen Dennis said she knows how rare of an athlete Wright is, both as a competitor and as a person. Although Dennis appreciates Wright’s humility, she said, she wouldn’t mind seeing Wright take charge. “Sometimes I wish Letecia were a little more selfish,” Dennis said. It’s Wright’s optimism in the toughest of situations that makes her who she is. She knows the grueling workouts and the tireless effort she has put forth have helped her rise to the top of the Big Ten. But it’s not the Big Ten titles or the All-Big Ten selections that she wants to define her career at OSU. Instead, it’s the growth she’s shared with her team. “My last four years here have been really great,” Wright said. “I’ve learned a lot of things. It’s just excellent to watch the whole team change and become a stronger team.” Dennis said she likes to think of Letecia as a role player on a basketball team. She’s the special kind of athlete who not only puts up big numbers but also inspires those around her to compete at a higher level. “Great players make people around them better,” Dennis said. “She is a great athlete and she has made everybody around her better.” An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled Letecia Wright. Correction: May 18, 2011 read more

Read More →

Defense might be Ohio States blueprint for success

Trey Burke couldn’t help but smile. Michigan’s sophomore point guard had just hit a leaning, double-clutched 3-pointer that banked off the backboard and through the net. It was, perhaps, the toughest shot Burke had taken all game, and he made it. After a contest full of ill-fated attempts, something had finally fallen for the Wolverines’ Player of the Year candidate, and it brought a sense of sarcastic joy to the face of the Columbus native. The shot was irrelevant in the game’s final outcome. It came with one second left and Michigan down six. It wasn’t the shot that Burke, or the Wolverines, needed. That shot had come 15 seconds prior, with Michigan down two, and the ball in the hands of its sophomore playmaker. Burke, going one-on-one against Aaron Craft, took a step-back three over the Ohio State junior guard’s outstretched arms. It went in and out, and with it, so did the Wolverines’ chances of beating the Buckeyes. Playing in front of about 25 friends and family members clad in Maize and Blue No. 3 jerseys, Burke struggled. The former Buckeye fan and current best friend of former OSU star Jared Sullinger went 4-13 from the field, his worst shooting performance of the season. Burke wasn’t the only Wolverine that had little success in their 56-53 loss to the Buckeyes on Sunday, though. Michigan (16-1, 3-1 Big Ten) shot 38 percent as a team. OSU (13-3, 3-1 Big Ten) held the Wolverines’ big four of Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., Nik Stauskas, and Glenn Robinson III to 35 points, 24 less than their season average. “Ohio State has a really, really good defensive team. Really good,” said Michigan coach John Beilein. “You’re watching a team that plays defense, buys into it and has very skilled defenders on the perimeter.” The Buckeyes, led by Craft, were physical with the Wolverines from the get-go. Burke opened the game with a three, but the Wolverines proceeded to go scoreless for the next seven minutes, eventually falling in a 29-8 hole. “They did beat us up a little bit,” Hardaway Jr., a junior guard, said. Michigan relies heavily on its underclassmen, with two freshmen – Stauskas and Robinson – in its starting five. Those players, Stauskas especially, were noticeably irritated by OSU’s in-your-face, deny-the-ball style of play. Stauskas, a 6-foot-6 sharpshooting guard from Canada, was held scoreless for the first time this season. After being sent to the bench midway through the first half, Stauskas couldn’t contain his anger as he yelled four-letter words not able to be repeated. “They were denying (Stauskas), so we just had to continue to play. When we got (the ball) in the paint, they wasn’t leaving him,” Burke said. “I just told him to ‘keep getting good looks, I’m going to find you, we’re all going to find you.’ Ohio State was taking him away on the perimeter.” For OSU, they need not look any further than Sunday’s game as a blueprint on how to be successful the rest of the season. Having lost their first three games against ranked opponents (Duke, Kansas, Illinois), the Buckeyes notched their first big win of the year Sunday. The Buckeyes handed Michigan its first loss of the season – thereby denying the Wolverines of their first No. 1 ranking in 21 years – and they did it with their defense. Sure, OSU shot the ball well in the first half and at one point had a shooting percentage of nearly 70 percent. But that likely won’t happen very many times again this season, if at all, as the Buckeyes proved by regressing to a 44 percent output by the end of the game. What they can rely on is their defense. It’s what makes them great, Beilein said. “This team, and (OSU coach Thad Matta’s) teams, have always been this way … the perimeter defense in particular is exceptional. Why? They’ve been doing the same shell drills for two, three, four years. They really work at this and they’re really good at it,” Beilein said emphatically. Against the Wolverines, nearly every Buckeye was solid, some playing spectacularly. Craft held Burke, a probable first-team all-American with a skill set analysts have compared to NBA great Chris Paul, to his worst outing of the season. “Craft is one of the best defenders. You have to give him credit. I love playing against him because he makes me better and he makes me work,” Burke said. “Craft is as good as there is, as I’ve ever seen. He’s tremendous,” Beilein said. OSU sophomore guard Shannon Scott blocked a Burke layup in transition, sending the sold-out Schottenstein Center crowd into a vibrating roar. Senior forward Evan Ravenel and sophomore center Amir Williams limited the Wolverines’ big men to 13 points. Even junior forward Deshaun Thomas, called “Shaun” at times last year by Matta because he “played no D,” stepped up. “I thought Deshaun played harder on defense tonight than he ever had. That is the type of defensive play we need from him to be a successful team,” Matta said. To continue to be successful, OSU, admittedly, needs to have the type of energy and effort it brought into Sunday’s contest every game. Beilein said he doesn’t think that will be a problem. “Thad’s a great defensive coach and they’ve got great defenders, that’s a great combination,” he said. OSU, ranked No. 11 in the most recent Associated Press poll, next travels to Michigan State to take on the No. 18 Spartans at 6 p.m. Saturday. Michigan is now ranked No. 5 by the AP. Lousville took hold of the No. 1 ranking. read more

Read More →

Ohio State defense makes statement by shutting down Melvin Gordon Wisconsin offense

Sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa (97) tackles Wisconsin redshirt-junior running back Melvin Gordon (25) during the Big Ten Championship Game on Dec. 6 in Indianapolis. OSU won, 59-0.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorINDIANAPOLIS — So many times in football, it helps to be realistic. Even if a team’s defense plays well, it still might give up a considerable amount of yards. Even if the defense can stop an opposing offense from scoring over two quarters, it’s tremendously more difficult to hold them scoreless for the entire game.It’s safe to say those concessions would have been accepted had the Ohio State Buckeyes managed to beat the Wisconsin Badgers and their Heisman candidate running back, redshirt-junior Melvin Gordon.But on Saturday night in Indianapolis, the Buckeye defense didn’t settle for good enough.The Buckeyes not only held Gordon to only 76 yards, but they shut out the Badgers completely, as they dominated their opponents, 59-0, in the Big Ten Championship Game.“It’s still crazy to me,” senior defensive lineman Michael Bennett said after the game. “I think if you told us this week that we would shut them out, 59-0, I wouldn’t have been believed you. But seeing the guys before the game, and what was going on in the locker room and how just hyped up everybody was, and how everyone bought into what we were saying — (I) maybe thought they’d get seven points, but a shutout’s a big deal against this offense.”It was an offense that entered the title game ranked third in the nation in rushing offense and, in Gordon, had the player with more yards on the ground than any other individual in college football.But from the beginning, the Buckeye defensive corps stood tall. Wisconsin punted on its first two drives, before redshirt-junior quarterback Joel Stave was intercepted by sophomore safety Vonn Bell the next time it had the ball.The evening didn’t get any better for Gordon and the Badgers. In the second quarter, the team from Madison, Wis., gained only 14 total offensive yards and punted an additional three times. By that point the Buckeyes were already up 31-0, but they put the exclamation point on the half on Wisconsin’s next drive.Gordon attempted a run on second-and-18 from his own 12-yard line, but Bennett forced him to fumble the football, and sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa grabbed the ball and went into the end zone for the score.Bosa said after the game that Bennett’s leadership has been a key component for the defense’s success.“(It’s) just the way he works and his attitude. He just bottles all of his anger and comes out and just let’s it go in the football game and he’s so talented,” Bosa said. “He’s finally showing what he really can do.”In addition to his football skills, Bennett showed off a new number, 53, in honor of teammate Kosta Karageorge, who was found dead last Sunday after having been missing for five days. The decision to change numbers was one Bennett said he made quickly.“As soon as I heard the news about Kosta I went to (defensive line) coach (Larry) Johnson and asked him if I could wear it,” he said. “I was only around Kosta for about four months but the guy meant a lot to me. I respected him, I looked up to him. Maybe he gave me strength, because I’ve never played like that before. I think he gave the guys strength and we were able to rally around together because we realized how special it is to do what we do with each other.”Bennett finished with four tackles for loss —  a career high — which included two sacks.The OSU co-captain is a part of a senior class who had yet to win a conference title going into the game, and redshirt-freshman linebacker Darron Lee said the rest of the team felt they needed to get the victory for their veteran teammates.“They (the seniors) had a bad taste in their mouth from last time they were on this field and it sucked for me to watch,” Lee, who led the Buckeyes in total and solo tackles, said. “What a difference a year can make. We’re a much closer team, much stronger team. I’m glad for them, I’m happy for them and I’d do anything for them. It’s just great to get a win.”Meanwhile, the win had some special meaning for Joshua Perry. The junior linebacker, who finished with five tackles of his own, graduated from Olentangy High School, and he said his Buckeye roots added another level to the postgame celebration.“It’s awesome. It’s a little bit special for me ‘cause I’m a Central Ohio kid, so growing up in Central Ohio, all I ever wanted to do was win a Big Ten Championship,” he said. “I wanted to be up on the stage, I wanted to do the whole thing, I wanted to run up to my mom and dad while they were in the stands and give them a big hug. Just being able to do that, holding up the Big Ten sign and everything, was awesome.”As the OSU offense, led by redshirt-sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones, continued to light up the scoreboard, the defense continued to keep Wisconsin out of the end zone. Senior cornerback Doran Grant picked off two passes, and the team managed to keep the Badgers from scoring altogether.Gordon’s sub 100-yard effort was his first since Sept. 6, and OSU coach Urban Meyer was at a loss for words when asked how his defense managed to contain the explosive running back.“I don’t know, it wasn’t easy. (Co-defensive coordinator and linebackers) coach (Luke) Fickell and our defense really stepped up,” he said. “That is a first round draft pick we were playing against. I can’t wait to watch that film because that was just phenomenal.”Lee said the players simply did their individual jobs to stop Gordon, and Perry said preparation also played a key role.“This is the stuff that we train for when we talk about offseason training and the whole deal. We trained for this moment, we trained to be back here, to be in a tough game against a tough team and then just be able to go out there and play our best.”The Buckeyes will see if their best is enough for a place in the inaugural College Football Playoff when the committee selects the four teams Sunday at 12:30 p.m. read more

Read More →

Spoiler for EastEnders fans as cliffhanger is ruined by the closing credits

first_imgThe tense episode saw the Carters confronted in their home by the intruders, who had come to steal the pub’s takings.When landlord Mick, played by Danny Dyer, told them that the money had already been banked, the thieves threatened to drop baby Ollie down the stairs.However, during the ordeal Lee remained calm, addressing one of men as “mate”, and pocketing a wallet that had been dropped as they left.The scene sparked speculation that the character could have been involved with the raid on his family’s pub, which was further fueled by the gaffe with the credits moments later. Fans quickly put two and two together and realised that he must have been one of the masked men.One Twitter user wrote: “That was definitely that ozman guy who robbed the Vic #eastenders kindly put him in the end credits #mysterysolved”.Another added: “It’s them from the Call Centre isn’t it. #EastEnders.” Lees mates from call centre robbed the vic their names were on credits but not in the episode 😂#eastenders . Talk about a spoiler alert— emsybob davey (@missydavey) December 2, 2016 There was a break in at The Vic last night. Watch now on @BBCiPlayer​: https://t.co/Kru7h4LKU0 #EastEnders pic.twitter.com/bx0NZMymx9— BBC EastEnders (@bbceastenders) December 3, 2016 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.center_img EastEnders fans took to Twitter yesterday to poke fun at the soap after it ruined its own cliffhanger in the closing credits.The show finished with the Carter family having a dramatic showdown in the Queen Vic with three masked robbers, whose identities were unknown.However, as the end credits rolled viewers spotted the name of Osman ‘Oz’ Bolat, Lee Carter’s call centre colleague, in the list, despite the fact that the character had not appeared in the episode. Show more Oz from Lee’s work are the ones who robbed the Queen Vic and the credits prove it! #eastenders pic.twitter.com/TJgDjtQPBB— Bill H (@Bill_Predict) December 2, 2016last_img read more

Read More →

Oxford explosion One person remains missing after pregnant woman hurt in huge

first_imgBut a statement released by SGN, a gas distribution network company for the Oxford area, said: “Following reports of an explosion in the Osney Lane and Gibbs Crescent area of Oxford, our engineers joined the emergency services on site this evening.”While it’s too early to speculate as to what has happened, we have confirmed there is no mains gas supply to the property affected.” Police confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that one person remained missing. Two people were treated for minor injuries, including a pregnant woman who was taken to hospital at around 5pm.The blast destroyed the three-storey block, owned by housing association A2Dominion, and caused several nearby boats in the marina to catch fire.Several surrounding properties were evacuated as a safety precaution and residents were being assisted with accommodation locally by the council.A fireball could be seen coming from the remains of the flats as huge flames and plumes of smoke were caught on camera. Witness Alexander Hammonds, 43, who lives nearby, took dramatic pictures of the aftermath of the explosion.He said: “I was in my living room when I heard a massive double bang. Personally I thought a lorry had overturned, so I looked out the window and saw massive plumes of smoke.”I walked over the footbridge and from there I could see the flames from above the trees.”I just started using my camera, I got stupidly close. I just went in, got as many photos as I could then left because I could hear all the sirens.”I could smell all the furniture burning. I saw the tarpaulin of a boat on fire.”There were a lot of sounds coming from the fire which was making me really nervous because it was an explosion and I didn’t want to be around if there was another one.” It is not known what caused the blast that ripped through the building, leading to its collapse A fire at a block of flats in Oxford which left at least two people injured 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. It is not known what caused the blast that ripped through the building, leading to its collapse Credit:PA/Alexander Hammondscenter_img Video taken by Luke Sproule shows the aftermath of the explosion Video taken by Luke Sproule shows the aftermath of the explosionCredit:Twitter / Luke Sproule  A fire at a block of flats in Oxford which left at least two people injured Credit:Alexander Hammonds/PA Wire Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed two people suffered minor injuries.A pregnant woman was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford with minor injuries, while a man was treated at the scene, also for minor injuries.An ambulance spokesman had earlier said it was a gas mains explosion. One person remains unaccounted for after an explosion and fire at a block of flats that left a pregnant woman among two people injured.The blast ripped through the building in Oxford, causing it to collapse, on Tuesday afternoon and the cause remains unknown.Oxfordshire County Council said around 40 firefighters joined the rescue operation, with the help of urban search and rescue teams from Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes.last_img read more

Read More →

Revenge porn victims complain police treated their abuser like the victim

first_imgI cannot believe that he got off with a slap on the wrist and a caution from the policeVictim Nikki Elliott Revenge porn victims have complained police treated their abuser ‘like the victim’ after he was given police protection at court and was not sent to jail.Unemployed Oliver Whiting, 37, took innocent pictures from Facebook accounts of female friends and and placed them on an x-rated website.Next to the pictures Whiting left sexist and abusive comments and invited other users to add humiliating messages.Yesterday Whiting, a former restaurant manager of Eastbourne, Sussex, escaped a prison sentence.Victims burst into tears as he was handed a suspended six month prison sentence after he earlier pleaded guilty to 11 charges of making offensive postings relating to two victims. After the two hour hearing he was escorted out by six uniformed officers who pushed past the victims families. Whiting had been chaperoned into Hasting magistrates court building by two police officers.Teresa Weir, the mother of an earlier victim, Charlotte White, said: “I think it is absolutely disgusting. He got six officers to escort him in and out of court and the victims didn’t get a single officer – it was more like he was the victim.”The maximum sentence for revenge porn is two years and the maximum for sending offensive messages is six months.District Judge Teresa Szagun told him: “There was an abuse of trust in what you did. What you used those photos for defies belief. You uploaded them onto a website that encourages other men to masturbate and then capture that activity and then upload those photographs on that site. The accompanying comments were vile, aggressive sexual fantasies. Fighting back tears she said: “I cannot believe that he got off with a slap on the wrist and a caution from the police. I feel let down by the police and think more should have been done.” He got six officers to escort him in and out of court and the victims didn’t get a single officer – it was more like he was the victimTeresa Weir, the mother of a victim Charlotte White, Teresa Weir and Nikki Elliott, who condemned Whiting in a victim impact statementCredit:David McHugh As in the current case, the father-of-one had taken the photos off their Facebook pages and then posted them on a X-rated website.Next to a photo of one victim, Charlotte White, he encouraged: “100 to rape her, 50 to get her pregnant and 20 to make her miscarry”.He even posted a picture of his half sister taken in her school uniform when she was just 16-years-old and asked users of the site how much they would pay to rape her.But he escaped Sussex Police decided not to prosecute him after he admitted the offences and expressed remorse.Instead, they gave him a caution for one offence of revenge porn and three counts of sending offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing messages.The move caused fury among victims who said the caution sent out completely the wrong message.Victim Nikki Elliott, 26, a former colleague of Whiting, whose picture appeared on the website with her holding her two-year-old daughter, Olivia, condemned the decision and hit out at police.In a victim impact statement read out in court she said: “I felt all alone and no-one would help me. I was not very impressed with the way Sussex Police dealt with my case.” Charlotte White, Teresa Weir and Nikki Elliott, who condemned Whiting in a victim impact statement “The impact on the victims has been far reaching from fear, disgust and extreme humiliation.”The case caused a furore last May when he escaped prosecution and was handed caution for a catalogue of similar offences. 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. She told the court the photo, which includes her two-year-old daughter, is still visible on the US website despite requests for it to be taken down.After a furore last year police discovered other victims and charged the former restaurant manager.He pleaded guilty to 11 offences of making offensive postings, contrary to Section 127 (1) of the Communications Act 2003.At Hastings Magistrates last month Noelle Magennis, defending, said: “It seems to me that because of the press coverage and the tabloids becoming involved, the police decided to look into it further.”As Whiting sat head bowed in the dock, Ms Magennis said the offences took place during a “bad period” in his life when he struggled to cope at work and had suffered a nervous breakdown.“He is disgusted with himself,” she said. “He doesn’t leave the house and his friends have disowned him.“He never meant to hurt them or cause them any distress. He has contemplated suicide.“The only explanation is that he was drinking excessively. He never in a million years thought the girls would see these comments.”He handed a six month sentence suspended for two years and was ordered to attend a sexual offenders’ rehabilitation programme as well as banning him form using social media.He was also forbidden for contacting the victims and ordered him to pay a £115 victim surcharge.After the case Miss Elliott said: “I really can’t believe it because the police could have done something about this first time but they messed up.”last_img read more

Read More →

Moth infestations at record numbers due to warm winter and early spring

first_img 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. Experts have said the booming levels of infestations are expected to last throughout 2017.Moths’ caterpillar larvae feed on protein found in natural materials such as wool, silk, and fur, and rough edged holes in clothing or bare patches appearing on carpets and rugs indicate an infestation is underway.Clothes moths are much less active in winter, spending the colder months as pupae in dark, undisturbed places in the home.David Cross, from Rentokil, which compiled the data, said: “The indoor population of clothes moths has been bolstered by the early onset of spring that we are currently experiencing, and the unusually mild winter that we have just had.“Outdoor numbers of clothes moths are also doing well, nesting in animal and birds’ nests before moving into our homes to settle.”As the days become longer and warming the moths are encouraged to emerge from their hiding places and reproduce.”Freezing clothes or having them dry cleaned are practical methods of pest control when dealing with contained populations of moths on infested items,” said Mr Cross.However, if you can count five to six moths in a room then it’s likely you’re experiencing a serious infestation, and I recommend that professional help is sought.”Clothes moth larvae are about a centimetre long and creamy white with a brown head.The adults typically have straw coloured wings with no markings and run rather than fly. The indoor population of clothes moths has been bolstered by the early onset of spring that we are currently experiencingDavid Cross, Rentokilcenter_img Moths are eating their way through clothes, carpets and curtains in record numbers due to the mild winter and early spring, new figures suggest.The number of call-outs to deal with infestations more than doubled in February and March compared to the previous year, according to pest control specialists.Unseasonably high temperatures accelerate moths’ reproductive cycles, allowing the insects to produce three new generations of offspring in a year.last_img read more

Read More →