Ramon Sessions, acquired to add speed to the Los Angeles Lakers’ backcourt, hardly did that, and now he is forcing the Lakers to commit to him as their point guard of the future.Sessions chose against exercising the final year of his contract to stay with the Lakers next season and will explore the free-agency market, his agent said Tuesday.“Ramon has carefully considered this decision,” said Sessions’ agent, Jared Karnes, in a statement. “He had to make a career decision and ultimately decided to do what was best in providing stability and longevity for him in the NBA, and this could only be achieved through a multi-year contract.”Sessions, 26, was acquired by the Lakers at the trade deadline from Cleveland to replace 37-year-old Derek Fisher, who was moved to Houston.The 6-foot-3, 190-pound point Sessions averaged 12.7 points, 6.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds on 47.9 percent shooting from the field and 48.6 percent shooting on 3-pointers in 23 regular season games with the Lakers. Sessions’ numbers plummeted in the playoffs, however, as he averaged just 6.8 points and 3.0 assists while shooting 35.3 percent in the Western Conference semifinals against Oklahoma City.It was his first trip to the postseason in his five-year career after starting off with cellar-dwelling teams in Milwaukee, Minnesota and Cleveland.Sessions would have made $4.55 million next season had he opted in to the final year remaining on his contract. Free agency begins on July 1st. Steve Blake, who has two years remaining on his deal, paying him $4 million annually, is the only Lakers point guard under contract.
LeBron James might remain the best player in the NBA. He might remain the most valuable. He might even remain a player around whom a team can build a perennial Finals contender. But the question right now is, “Can LeBron remain this good for the rest of the season?” Because this LeBron is very close to as good as we’ve ever seen, in ways we’ve never seen before.Just so everyone’s clear at the top: James is not the sun-eater he was in 2012-13, with the third and greatest of his Miami Heat teams. He may not be quite as incontestable as he was at the end of his first tenure in Cleveland, when he won back-to-back MVPs and dragged meager rosters on long and doomed and occasionally brilliant playoff runs.But James is posting career highs in true shooting percentage (66.4), 3-point percentage (41.6), assist percentage (42.9) and block percentage (2.6). His free throw percentage (77.3) is the second-highest of his career. He’s shooting 80.7 percent within 3 feet of the basket and going to the rim about as often as he ever has. He has created more shots for teammates than anyone but Russell Westbrook, according to data from Second Spectrum, and he’s done it while playing 37 minutes per night — a heavy load for a player in his 15th season (who has also logged more than 200 playoff games).The easy answer to the obvious question — How? — is that his jumper is falling. According to data from Second Spectrum, James is shooting an effective field goal percentage of 58.8 on step-back shots and 63 on pull-up jumpers — his two most common shot types after brute-force drives. Those dwarf his normal rate of makes on those shots over the last three seasons.The large and sensible parts of the brain say this is unsustainable. That it’s fun to watch James play-act past glories while understanding that the underlying foundations have shifted, moved on — that James’s MVP-level start is a mirage of risky habits and clustered luck. The smaller, more rascally regions wonder: What if this is how LeBron goes late-Jordan?James is one of the most amorphous stars I’ve ever watched from season to season. In various offseasons over the past decade, he’s picked up a post game, lost and recovered his 3-point stroke, added sneaky perimeter dribble feints and pivots, and refined the drive-and-kick game to its most basic and brutally effective elements. Who’s to say he hasn’t gone out and added the step-back midrange game that Michael made art and Kobe made genre fiction?I mean, just look at this:I’ve been watching LeBron for a lot of years, and I don’t remember him looking so fluid on those shots, so smooth through the hips and shoulders. That shot has always been available to him, it’s just always looked more calculated than natural — a computer making an arcane chess move more than a master moving in on the hunt. Now, it looks more graceful, a little tighter in the footwork. They aren’t suddenly perfect shots — there’s still the occasional (and occasionally more than occasional) wild launch from 35 feet or with a foot on or just inside the line, but they look better in aggregate. Maybe it’s easier to see it like that because it’s going in; that’s one danger of applying the eye test.But it also makes sense given how well James has shot both from distance and point-blank. There’s simply more room to maneuver in the midrange if defenses must treat him as a 40-percent 3-point shooter and an 80-percent finisher at the rim — while also playing the lanes because he’s passing more than ever. That’s going to remain true for as long as James is canning 3s like this and remains unstoppable at the rim. The jumper can come and go, but it has been relatively steady since it went missing in 2015-16. The drives are more reliable.The Cavs score 125 points per 100 possessions when James drives and finishes himself, passes to a teammate for a shot or is fouled (or he makes a turnover), and 118 points per 100 possessions on scoring chances that come from multiple passes after a James drive, according to Second Spectrum. Both rank first among players with at least 100 drives this season, and both are unlikely to change as long as James remains unstoppable, crashing into defenders and creating space where the defender had previously been standing.One caveat: This isn’t the indomitable James. The onslaught is not exactly unrelenting. The pitch is not fevered. James is finding more success driving to the rim, but he’s also drawing fouls at a career-worst rate — his .294 rate of free throws per field goal attempt is down considerably from his career average .418 — and his turnovers are a hair under his career worst (from last season). These may be clues that James’s underlying skills have tailed off and his results will soon follow. Or they may be evidence that LeBron isn’t actually trying yet.His defensive numbers confirm that he hasn’t returned to his peak. The Cleveland defense has been nearly 11 points better per 100 possessions when he sits, and ESPN’s defensive Real Plus-Minus has him in the negatives, below James Harden and Kyle Lowry. RPM is famously skewed toward defensive-minded big men, but James has historically performed much better in the stat. So, no, James isn’t the clamp-down bear trap he was in his Heat years. But he’s in the top 40 for shots defended (a good sign he’s not getting blown out of plays) and opponents are shooting just a 46.6 effective field goal percentage against him (a very good number). While he’s giving up “good” shots (expected value 52.8 eFG percentage, adjusting for who’s shooting, which is one of the worst figures in the league), he’s depressing value on those shots by 6.2 eFG percentage points, sandwiching him between standout defenders like Kevin Durant and Paul Millsap once he’s actually engaged in the play.We expect more from James because we’ve seen more from him. We’ve seen him slip from the best player in history to merely the best at this moment, and so his deficiencies call out in a way other players’ do not. Maybe he’s playing catch-up defense these days, or not drawing fouls the way he used to, or not willing Jae Crowder into making his wide-damn-open 3s. But 15 seasons into his career, he’s still getting better, and so far this season, the pieces he’s added have more than made up for the ones that have fallen away.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
After a torrid start to the season, Kansas City Chiefs’ rookie running back Kareem Hunt has had a dreadful handful of games. What happened? Has he hit some kind of “rookie wall?” In the video above, we investigate.
The only person who appeared unmoved by the announcement was — unsurprisingly — Bill Belichick.When the rest of the football world recovered, the consensus outlook for the Colts under Brissett wasn’t particularly good. On Sunday, Las Vegas dropped the line on the Colts win total from 9.5 to 6.5 wins. Our FiveThirtyEight Elo system dropped the Colts from a 9.2 win team to 7.5 wins. And as seen on Sunday Night Football, the model developed by Pro Football Focus put the new Colts win total at 7.1, down from nine wins.Looking at Brissett’s performance over his career, it’s easy to see why the math and the markets are bearish on the Colts’ prospects. Indianapolis has a 4-11 record in games Brissett started, and the quarterback has averaged 6.6 yards per attempt over his career, below the league average of 7.2 for the years Brissett has been active. Brissett averaged just more than 200 yards passing per game in his only full season as a starter — a season in which he compiled a QBR of 41.5 — and his career completion percentage is just 59.1 percent. These numbers are not good.We can try to find a silver lining. Completion percentage can sometimes be misleading. Quarterbacks who attempt deeper passes at a higher rate than their peers will see their stat line punished despite the fact that they are helping their team by attempting more valuable throws. If we account for how deep Brissett’s passing attempts have been over his career, however, we find that there aren’t many depths where he’s above league average — although the sample sizes at some depths aren’t large enough for us to conclude this with certainty. It surprised everyone. The news that Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was retiring Saturday night set Twitter on tilt and was met with skepticism from grizzled beat reporters, boos from the Lucas Oil Stadium crowd and even disbelief from new starting quarterback Jacoby Brissett: Among active QBs, Brisset ranks in the bottom 10 percent in completion percentage over expected. His poor performance is exacerbated by the fact that Brissett also doesn’t attack downfield as often as Luck did. Brissett’s average depth of target — a measure of the distance downfield a quarterback throws — is just 7.2 yards, 1.4 less than Luck’s 8.6. The Colts will need Brissett to target star wideout T.Y. Hilton often to compete offensively, and Hilton’s average depth of target is located well downfield at 12.4 yards. This is a legitimate cause for concern. In 2017 — the only full season Hilton and Brissett have played together — Hilton saw his targets drop to just 109 after 155 in 2016.1With 15 games of Luck.There’s really no sugar-coating the Colts’ 2019 prospects. Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard has been widely praised for the work he’s done since taking over from Ryan Grigson in 2017. But losing a franchise quarterback when you’ve built a team around the idea that you’re currently in a championship window will stress the skills of even the most competent GMs. Ballard’s options are unpalatable but clear: Try to win now with the team he’s assembled and risk being trapped in a purgatory of mediocrity while the cheap talent ages out of their early contracts, or front-load the pain and tank this season in an attempt to secure a high pick in what looks to be a promising quarterback draft class.In a league where having a franchise quarterback is damn near everything, Brissett’s value to the Colts might be highest as air cover for a front office and coaching staff trying to lose as many games as possible.
OSU freshman Luke Fletcher celebrates his first varsity victory over Missouri’s Zach Synon. Credit: Sam Janicki. Courtesy of OSU AthleticsThe dual-meet between Ohio State and Missouri, featuring two 2016 Olympians and recognizing last season’s championships won by sophomore Myles Martin and junior Kyle Snyder, the No. 4 Buckeyes dominated the No. 5 Tigers 30-9.Redshirt juniors Nathan Tomasello and Bo Jordan, Snyder and Martin all won in landslide decisions.“You see these four guys, four of the 10 were a critical part of our first national championship,” OSU coach Tom Ryan said.At 133 pounds, Tomasello faced off against Missouri’s Jaydin Eierman, in a match that turned controversial after Tomasello finished a slam out of bounds after a blown whistle.“I didn’t hear any whistle and then as the whistle blew, I already had him in the air,” Tomasello said. “I wanted to finish my tag. I think it was kind of good to get the crowd more involved after that.”Tomasello won the match 11-2. Since beginning the season with an injury, he has lived up to the hype of a championship contender in the few weeks of competition.“Patience, patience is important,” Tomasello said. “Having support from the training staff and from coach Ryan and all the guys like Kyle (Snyder) has helped me to continue to push hard and come back even better than I was last year.”A point of anticipation in Thursday’s match was the debut of OSU freshman Luke Pletcher at 141 pounds, who had his redshirt pulled earlier this week. Down early in the first period, Pletcher rebounded by scoring a late takedown, ultimately prevailing 6-3.“I remember him staying in the fight,” Ryan said. “I remember him scoring late in the periods. You want to be the guy that scores the last points in the period.”Coach Ryan praised Pletcher’s ability to handle the stress and pressure that comes with short turnarounds and tough competition. “We felt pretty good about Luke going in. On a daily basis, he does the things necessary to have a performance like that.”OSU’s Kollin Moore, redshirt freshman at 197 lbs., wrestled the tightest match of the night, taking on Olympic bronze medalist and top-ranked J’den Cox of Missouri. Moore fell behind 0-2 early, but kept close the entire match. Two crucial takedowns in the third period brought Moore within a point of Cox, but his effort fell short, as Cox prevailed 6-4.Bo Jordan and brother Micah won their matches by a combined score of 37-13. Martin scored six takedowns, winning 21-5. Snyder pinned his opponent in the heavyweight division.
The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup won’t begin until June 26, but the U.S. women’s national team looks ready. Preparations for this summer’s tournament continued for the American women Saturday with a 2-0 international friendly match win against Japan at Crew Stadium. The U.S. took a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute, thanks to veteran forward Abby Wambach’s goal — the 118th of her international career. Just eight minutes later, Wambach assisted on a goal that forward Amy Rodriguez hit off the post to give America a 2-0 lead. The U.S. went on to win by the same score. Japan began the match with offensive pressure and threatened American goalkeeper Hope Solo as the U.S. sat back early. “If you look at the first 25 minutes, I don’t think it’s good soccer,” U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said. “(Japan) played good. They kept possession and so forth.” Momentum swung in America’s favor when defender Ali Krieger provided the free-kick service for Wambach’s goal from about 35 yards away from Japan’s net. Wambach met Krieger’s lofted ball in stride and headed it passed Japanese goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori to give the Americans a 1-0 lead. “We struggled big time until we scored the first goal,” Sundhage said. “Abby was great today. Just look at that goal; it (was) fantastic.” Wambach contributed to the American attack again just moments later. In the 37th minute, Wambach assisted on Rodriguez’s goal with a simple pass into Japan’s penalty area. Rodriguez hit the pass in stride, and the ball eventually trickled over the goal line after hitting off Kaihori’s near post. Despite contributing to both goals, Wambach credited the win to the U.S.’s defenders, saying they had a “strong” performance. “We have such a great defense,” Wambach said. “Our back four (defenders) are so solid. I like our chances when we score one goal.” Solo, who collected the 51st shutout of her international career, agreed. “It’s pretty easy playing with this back line,” Solo said. “My work is half as much as it usually is playing in the (Women’s Professional Soccer league).” The U.S.’s momentum continued immediately after play resumed in the second half, as the team fired three shots in the first seven minutes. By game’s end, the Americans took nine on-target shots at Kaihori, but none found the back of the net. Though her team did not score in the final 53 minutes of the game, Sundhage said the U.S.’s performance improved after the team’s early hiccups. “The second half was so much better than the first half,” Sundhage said. “We can do better.” Discipline in every facet of the U.S.’s game helped limit Japan’s offense in the final minutes — America went 21 minutes without committing a foul, from the 62nd minute until the 83rd minute. The 2-0 lead was all the Americans needed. Sundhage said she was happy with the outcome of the match. “This is a great team, and the team put it together,” Sundhage said. “We stayed composed and we came back. You don’t have to play beautiful soccer for 90 minutes, but you need to be smart enough to find a way. We did it.” The U.S. women’s national team will continue its FIFA World Cup preparation with another game against Japan on Wednesday. The match is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. in Cary, N.C.
The FIFA Executive Committee convened in Zurich Dec. 2, 2010 to decide which country would get to host the 2022 World Cup.After eliminating bids from Australia, South Korea and Japan, it was down to the U.S. and Qatar in the decision for who would play host.In the end, Qatar won.Almost immediately after the announcement, an uproar began in the international soccer community. The World Cup takes place during June and July every four years. During those months in Doha, Qatar, the average high temperature is more than 107 degrees Fahrenheit. If player safety is a concern, that temperature is too high.FIFA has since aimed to fix the problem of high temperatures by attempting to move the World Cup to the winter months, as air conditioning the stadiums enough to make play safer would cost unrealistic amounts of money.Instead of absolving the issue, this created as much, if not more, controversy.The English Premier League, the Spanish La Liga, the Italian Serie A, the German Bundesliga and other leagues across Europe are in the heart of their seasons in the middle of winter and would struggle to change their long-standing schedules to accommodate such a lengthy event as the World Cup.The Premier League in particular has been vocal about having to change its yearly schedule for the World Cup. Chief Executive Richard Scudamore said FIFA has the power to select the venue, but that the time is a very different decision, as it would interfere too much with previously planned schedules.“Those are two very different things,” Scudamore said. “The sporting calendar across the world is affected.”On top of all that, The Guardian reported Sept. 25 that at least 44 Nepalese laborers have died in Qatar of heart attacks, heart failure or workplace accidents, which brings up a human rights issue for laborers in Qatar.Despite the backlash, FIFA remains adamant in its stance that the World Cup will take place in Qatar in 2022.The association’s president, Sepp Blatter, said Oct. 4 the venue would not change.“The 2022 World Cup will be played in Qatar — that’s it,” Blatter said. “We don’t know if it’s winter or summer. I do not know what will be the outcome.”It’s pretty clear to me, though, what needs to happen. FIFA needs to admit its mistake and award the bid to the U.S. — or Japan, or South Korea or Australia. Really, they just need to pull it out of Qatar.I respect what FIFA was trying to do in bringing international soccer to the Middle East, which has not had much success in the tournament historically, but putting it there was a mistake from the start.The leagues already are forced to work around the World Cup qualifying schedule in the years leading up to the event, taking time off to allow the players to return to their home countries to play in matches.Not only would two months worth of games be taken away from them, but you have to add in the time that it would take for players to train with their countrymen beforehand, and likely give them time off afterward.That’s four months off the leagues would essentially be forced to give for the players, something that would in turn be a financial and logistical nightmare.If FIFA is smart, it will move the World Cup.I’m a homer, so I may be a little biased by the fact that I would love to watch the final in the Rose Bowl stadium in Los Angeles, but the controversy kicked up by the Qatar decision is not worth the effort.No one, it seems, outside of FIFA and Qatar, is pleased with the situation and willing to make a change.It seems as if representatives from FIFA are just stubbornly sticking to their guns because they are not willing to come out and say they were wrong. Personally, I don’t think they will.Blatter and the rest of FIFA have made it clear that they want the World Cup in Qatar, so the likelihood of making a change is very small.Allowing the U.S. to host in 2022, the second time the country would host after 1994, would fix the issue of high temperatures as the average temperature in Los Angeles is 83 degrees Fahrenheit in June and 84 in July, and allow the competition to be played in the traditional summer months.Do the right thing FIFA, give the World Cup to the good ol’ U.S. of A.
Ohio State redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop (33) takes a three-pointer in the second half of the game against Penn State on Jan. 25 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe No. 17 Ohio State men’s basketball team could not get out of its own way against Illinois. Whether it was foul trouble or turnovers, the Buckeyes did all they could to keep the Fighting Illini in the game. Even with a 19-0 run to close out the first half, Ohio State could not pull away from Illinois and found itself trailing for 16:23 of the game. However, Ohio State (20-5, 11-1 Big Ten) made a late push to retake the lead and come away with the 75-67 win against Illinois (12-12, 2-9 Big Ten), narrowly avoiding what would have been its biggest upset loss of the season.“To respond like we did being down was really important for us and we knew it was going to be a game of some runs and a game of imperfection,” Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said. “Having a resilient approach was really important and the guys did that. They deserve a lot of credit.”Trailing 63-60 with 4:31 remaining in the game, redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop drilled a 3 to tie both the game and his career high in points at 32. With 3:39 left in the game, freshman center Kaleb Wesson made a layup to give Ohio State the 65-63 lead. Ohio State finished the game on a 15-4 run to create separation from Illinois in the end.The Buckeyes were carried once again by Bates-Diop, who set a new career high with 35 points. His 13 rebounds, which also led the game, gave him his 10th double-double of the season.With 8:50 left in the second half, Illinois redshirt senior guard Mark Alstork was fouled on a made layup to tie the game at 52. He made the and-1 to give the Illini the 53-52 lead. He stole the ball on the Buckeyes’ next possession and passed it to freshman guard Mark Smith, who took a foul and made his two free throws to put Illinois up three.Ohio State got off to an abysmal start against the Illini, falling into an early 28-13 hole. The Buckeyes quickly regained traction however, fighting back to a 34-30 lead with a 19-0 run over 9:50 to close out the first half. During that stretch, redshirt junior forward Keita Bates-Diop scored 11 points. Ohio State held Illinois scoreless during the final 10:11 of the half.Starting in place of the suspended redshirt senior guard Kam Williams, sophomore forward Andre Wesson started the scoring off for Ohio State with a resounding one-handed dunk for the first basket of the game.Just under four minutes into the game, however, Illinois went on a 17-2 run to pull ahead to a commanding 28-13 advantage. Ohio State battled back, continuing to show this season that even when it allows big runs, it has what it takes to come back from those deficits.“I’m not the most confident guy at that point,” Holtmann said. “When you’ve watched Illinois there has been runs that they do a great job making on teams and then the way they play, it can lead to runs on both ends. I just didn’t think we had enough life to us defensively, but give Illinois credit. But having said that, we do have a pretty poised, confident group.”The Buckeyes did what they needed to do to win. Though they never were able to create much separation from themselves and their opponents, they never gave up and pushed ahead to the eight-point lead late when it needed to ensure it avoided the same devastating loss to Penn State.Ohio State turned the ball over 15 times and was called for 18 fouls during the game, compared to 11 and 23, respectively, by Illinois. The Fighting Illini converted those Buckeye turnovers into 16 points, whereas Ohio State managed 10 points off the Illinois turnovers.Ohio State outrebounded Illinois 45-22 and held a 38-16 advantage in paint points. Ohio State also made 26-of-33 free throws in the win.Up NextOhio State hits the road for its biggest matchup of the year, traveling to West Lafayette, Indiana, to face No. 3 Purdue at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in a clash between the top two teams in the Big Ten.
Mr Mardon said there was a safe in his room but it was empty and he feared the intruders would kill him if they found it. The man with the gun stood over him and started counting down from 10, the court heard.”I was panicking to offer him something that would placate him, just to stop him from shooting me frankly,” said Mr Mardon. “I pointed out that my wallet was on the side of my bed which had several hundred pounds in to pay a taxi driver and there was a valuable watch by my bed.”He seemed disappointed I only had £300. He seemed to want more than that.” A jury at Chelmsford Crown Court was played Mr Mardon’s 999 phone call, which he made shortly before he was shot in the leg with a shotgun. The call captured the 51-year-old begging for help and also being asked for “weed money” by the raiders. Mr Mardon told the court the intruders had become “extremely aggressive” when they discovered his bedroom door was locked. They tried to kicked the door in before he was shot and someone entered the room, he said. “The person who had entered the room [then] started screaming at me, started pointing the gun at my head and threatening me,” said Mr Mardon. He said the first thing the intruder yelled was “where is the weed money?” “I had no idea what he was asking about,” said Mr Mardon. “I think I said ‘I don’t deal weed, I work for an insurance company’.”He basically said he would kill me if I didn’t tell him where the weed money was.” I had no idea what he was asking about… He basically said he would kill me if I didn’t tell him where the weed money wasTimothy Mardon I was panicking to offer him something that would placate him, just to stop him from shooting me franklyTimothy Mardon A millionaire businessman told armed robbers “I don’t deal weed, I work for an insurance company” after they demanded drug money and shot him, a court has heard.Intruders are said to have believed Timothy Mardon, who works for a Bermuda-based insurance company, was a drug dealer when they allegedly broke into his Grade II-listed mansion in Sible Hedingham, Essex, in February this year. The intruder told Mr Mardon that if he was lying, he would return to kill his family, the court heard.Mr Mardon, who had just returned from Tokyo and was due to fly out to join his wife in Florida later that morning, said he told the intruders where keys were to cars in his garage worth up to £70,000.When an intruder threatened for a second time to kill him, he said “I’m dying already”, the court heard.Mr Mardon had fallen on his mobile phone and the line to the 999 operator remained open as it lay beneath his bloodsoaked dressing gown, the jury heard.Charlie Simms, 23, Kalebh Shreeve, 24, and Christopher Bergin, 27, all deny offences including aggravated burglary and possession of a firearm. Simms also denies attempted murder.The trial continues. 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 number of patients seeking hip surgery has risen significantly amid an ageing population Credit:Alamy 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. Board papers seen by Health Service Journal say a “patient’s pain and disability should be sufficiently severe that it interferes with the patient’s daily life and/or ability to sleep” in order for surgery to be funded.Those who are obese with a body mass index of 35 or over will be told they need to lose 10 per cent of their weight to be eligible for NHS hip or knee surgery, unless their joint problems are very severe.Redditch and Bromsgrove, South Worcestershire, and Wyre Forest CCGs are aiming to prevent about 350 operations a year, by drawing up new eligibility restrictions.But the Royal College of Surgeons said there is “no clinical justification” for their plans.The move is the latest in a round of cost-cutting by CCGs – with wide restrictions in access to treatments, drugs and fertility treatment. Mr Cannon said the scoring system used by the CCGs – known as the Oxford scoring system – were designed to measure outcomes of care “and should not be used to create barriers to care”.”Such criteria are in explicit contravention of Nice and surgical commissioning guidance, and have no clinical justification in being applied to a general population to determine who gets NHS treatment.Last year the surgeon warned that increasing numbers of patients would be left to endure “crippling pain” as rationing spreads across the NHS.A spokeswoman from Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG said: “The CCG has reviewed the criteria for those patients requiring hip or knee replacement surgery.”The Oxford scoring system is a guidance for clinicians and they recognise that many patients will benefit from physiotherapy and weight loss before considering surgery.“If a patient feels that they require this surgery but do not meet these criteria, there is a clear appeals system via individual funding requests whereby the effects can be considered upon the patient and the decision made regarding eligibility for funding.” Patients needing a new hip will only be operated on if they are in so much pain they cannot sleep or carry out daily tasks under new NHS rationing plans.The Royal College of Surgeons said the restrictions were “alarming” and “arbitrary” – ignoring the extra costs from delaying treatment and prolonging pain.Vice-President Stephen Cannon said there was “no clinical justification” for drawing up rules which would force pensioners to endure increasing pain and misery amid a growing financial crisis.Three Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the West Midlands have drawn up plans to dramatically cut the number of people who qualify for hip and knee replacements, in a bid to save £2m a year.Patients in pain would only receive surgery if they were in such agony that they could not sleep or carry out daily tasks, while the most obese will be told they could only have surgery if they lost weight/The CCGs are aiming to cut the number of people who qualify for hip replacements by 12 per cent, with a 19 per cent drop in knee replacements.Mr Cannon said: “The CCGs’ policy decision to restrict access to NHS care, based on arbitrary pain and disability thresholds, is alarming.“It is another example of how the huge financial strains the NHS is currently under are directly affecting patients. It is right to look at alternatives to surgery but this decision should be based on surgical assessment, not financial pressures,” he said.The college said it was concerned that the latest policy was “just the tip of the iceberg” with rising numbers of areas limiting surgery to those most in pain.“Although the CCGs claim this will save them £2million a year, this overlooks the longer term impact on patients of delayed treatment, prolonged pain, and potentially higher costs of treatment. For example, patients affected by these changes may require additional pain relief medication, and may still require surgery further down the line, which may be more complex,” Mr Cannon said.
Mr Justice Bodey’s detailed ruling on who gets what is expected to be published in the near future.He had analysed the case at a private hearing but said journalists could name Dr Khoo and Ms Chai and report some information.The judge has barred reporters from revealing confidential financial material.Divorce lawyer Ayesha Vardag, who represented Ms Chai, said: “This litigation has been long and arduous. It is a journey which has now ended in the affirmation of the principle of fair sharing.“It emphasises that there is no place in England for discrimination between home maker and bread winner.“I am so proud of the whole team, including our client who worked so hard on this case.”Ms Chai added: “I just want to thank my superb legal team – everyone at Vardags, Richard Todd QC and Nicholas Yates. Thank you.” Ms Chai is a former Miss Malaysia who was married to businessman Khoo Kay Peng for 42 yearsCredit:Dwayne Senior A former Malaysian beauty queen has been awarded a £64 million divorce payout after a bitter legal battle which her lawyer has described as a victory for the ‘home maker’.A High Court judge ruled yesterday that Pauline Chai should receive the huge settlement – one of the largest in history – after 42 years’ marriage to the chairman of the Laura Ashley fashion business.Legal costs alone had already reached more than £6 million a year ago. The final bill will easily exceed that. The settlement announced by Mr Justice Bodey will be seen as striking a blow in favour of ‘stay at home’ wives.“He is the breadwinner and I stayed at home and looked after the children,” Ms Chai had told an earlier hearing.Ms Chai, who lives in a £30 million mansion in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, had married Dr Khoo, who is also Malaysian, in 1970 and the couple went on to have five children.The legal costs began to escalate when Dr Khoo fought – and lost – a bid to have the divorce decided in the Malaysian courts where Ms Chai’s settlement would have been far less favourable. 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. Ms Chai had five children with her husband, who she described as the ‘breadwinner’Credit:PA Khoo Kay Peng had wanted to give his wife £9mCredit:PA Ms Chai, who was Miss Malaysia in 1969, had demanded half of her ex-husband Khoo Kay Peng’s £205 million fortune. Ms Chai, 70, had insisted she made an equal contribution by fulfilling her role as a “traditional” wife.Dr Khoo, 78, the non-executive chairman of Laura Ashley Holdings, had wanted to give her just £9 million following their split on Valentine’s Day 2013. She won the right to have the case heard in London, arguing the Hertfordshire mansion was their main home, where she stored her collection of a thousand pairs of shoes in bedrooms, a corridor and the basement.
@TheFarmingForum @asda So Smart Price (value/cheap) equates to ‘Farm Stores’? Just what British farming needs! *ironic laughter*— Home Farm Magpie (@HomeFarmMagpie) April 12, 2017 Last year, Tesco came under fire for a rebrand which saw food being labelled as being from farms which didn’t exist.The supermarket chain invented seven farms, including Woodside Farms and Boswell Farms. Many of the items were imported from overseas. “The use of fake farm names or branding is misleading for consumers and insulting to farmers,” he said.“Many hard-pressed customers, trying to do their shopping in a hurry, are likely to be misled into thinking they’re buying a product from a specific British farm when they are not.”National Farmers’ Union advisor Ruth Mason said: “Although such rebrands can drive an uplift in sales, in our view it is important that product names and descriptions are clear, accurate and do not mislead consumers”. The Telegraph contacted an Asda spokesperson who said they do not feel it is misleading customers into thinking they are buying from a farm when the packaging says “Farm Stores”.They commented: “We know how important quality produce at a great price is to our customers. We’re reconnecting with our heritage by bringing back the farm stores brand to Asda – a name that our customers remember and trust for great value, quality produce.” Tesco’s cutesy fake farm names are an insult to the British countryside https://t.co/IhfOVfpid2 via @telegraphnews— Dr Hannah M Chiswell (@RuralResearcher) February 22, 2017 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. Asda has come under fire from farmers and been accused of misleading the public with labelling after the relaunch of its Farm Stores range.The supermarket chain recently brought back the Farm Stores label for both meat and fresh produce after dropping it in 2001.This move has angered UK farming organisations who feel the labelling doesn’t reflect the truth of the product, which may not be from a British farm.Peter Melchett, policy director of the Soil Association, told the Guardian that the rebrand is “disgraceful” and that retailers should instead focus on increasing the amount of British food they stocked.
None of the entrepreneurs on the list were named or identified by Mr Titov, but he said further applications may come his way.However, he told the Tass news agency that they had all “managed to flee the country [Russia] not to be detained there.””This may continue for decades, and some people live outside for 20 years without a chance to return, as the criminal proceedings continue. There may be no claims against them, even Interpol may take them off the list, but the case in Moscow still continues,” he said.Officials in the UK estimate that around £90billion of illegal funds is laundered through the UK every year.The establishment of UWOs will enable the authorities to freeze and recover property if individuals are unable to explain how they acquired assets in excess of £50,000. 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. Wealthy Russian oligarchs have written to the Kremlin asking if they can return home without fear of arrest after the Government vowed to use its “full force” to tackle corruption in the UK, it was reported last night.The country’s business ombudsman Boris Titov said a list of ten businessman had been passed to President Vladimir Putin, which contained names of individuals who had allegedly fled the country “not to be detained there”.It comes after security minister Ben Wallace vowed to crackdown on foreign criminals and corrupt politicians who are said to use Britain as a haven to allegedly carry out suspected corruption.Officials will use new unexplained wealth orders (UWOs) – which came into effect last week – to seize suspicious assets until they have been properly accounted for.The move came as London’s role as a playground for Russian gangsters and the super rich has been highlighted by the BBC drama series McMafia.Mr Wallace said ministers wanted to exploit the success of the programme – based on the factual book of the same name by Misha Glenny – to raise public awareness of the issue of corruption.
The M2 was closed between junctions four and five while traffic officials battled the large amounts of standing water.Forecasters also warned that more thunderstorms were likely on Wednesday morning, however it was difficult to predict where. The Met Office added: “There is a small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded or struck by lightning, causing damage to some buildings.”The latest weather warning comes just days after services at Stansted Airport were severely disrupted when a lightning strike left the aircraft fuelling system temporarily unavailable.Some flights due to land were also diverted to airports more than 100 miles away.In the West Midlands, a person was rushed to hospital on Sunday night after being rescued from the roof of a car submerged in floodwater.A man in his 80s died after his vehicle became submerged in floodwaters in Walsall.Residents of Selly Oak, Birmingham had to be rescued by firefighters using boats. “However, it is often the case that in the summer months we see these short sharp rain showers, followed by a longer dry spell. That is the nature of the beast.” The spokesperson added that it was predicted that some regions could see “up to 30mm in an hour or 40-50mm in a couple of hours.” Forecasters warned that more thunderstorms were likely on Wednesday morningCredit:Stephen Lock The UK is braced for further rain as forecasters warn some regions could see up to two inches fall in just a few hours. The Met Office today extended a yellow warning for rain across southern England which is due to last until 6am tomorrow, despite it originally set to end at 10pm today.The rain and thunderstorms have so far caused travel chaos with part of the M2 closed today and Cannon Street tube station in London was shut to some underground trains due to flooding.Across the capital London Fire Bridge were called to 50 flooding incidents at 30 properties in just one hour.A Met Office spokesperson said: “This is only the third time we have seen a storm like this in 10 years. The average rainfall for May is 57mm however some places, including Bexley have seen 19.5mm in just six hours. 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 rap artist Cadet A British rap artist has died in car crash while travelling in a taxi on the way to perform a concert at a university.Blaine Cameron Johnson, who used the stage name Cadet, was a passenger when the vehicle he was in was involved in a collision with a van in Betley, Staffordshire.The 28-year-old musician from South London was due to play a concert at Keele University. He died at the scene of the accident. The two drivers were taken to hospital with serious injuries, while three other passengers travelling with the rapper were also taken to hospital with injuries.A statement on Cadet’s Instagram page said: “We, the family of Blaine Cameron Johnson, known as Cadet (Underrated Legend) would like to share the sad news that during the early hours of 9th February, 2019, he passed away as a passenger in a taxi, en route to a performance.“Right now we the family appreciate your patience and will share with you any information as and when we can. Thanks for your support in advance.”Fellow rappers paid tribute to Cadet, describing him as “positive” and “humble” man who had an exciting career ahead of him.Cadet had toured the UK supporting fellow rappers Krept And Konan on their ‘The Long Way Home Tour’. Cadet performs on stage at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on November 26, 2015 in London, EnglandCredit:C Brandon/Redferns Krept, who is Cadet’s cousin, posted online: “My life will never be the same again… I can’t believe it. I am heartbroken.” An artist called Example wrote on Twitter: “Was chatting to you only last week about how excited you were for some festivals this summer. So much positive energy.“Smiling non-stop when I was with you, first time we met I felt as if I’d known you my whole life. Mad humble guy. RIP Cadet.”DJ Semtex wrote: “Can’t believe it… I was on stage with him last week. Never seen a man so happy. Everything was working out for him. This was gonna be his year. We were plotting on the best time to do an interview on his next single. RIP Cadet.”Mega So Solid wrote: “Woke up in shock this morning…. He brought life and substance to the UK music scene.”In a statement, Staffordshire Police said: “Emergency services attended and a passenger of the Toyota, a 28-year-old man from London, sadly died at the scene.“The drivers of both vehicles, a 36-year-old man from Stoke-on-Trent and a 22-year-old man from Crewe, were taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital with serious injuries.“Three further passengers of the Toyota were treated at Leighton Hospital in Crewe.” The rapper had accumulated millions of views on YouTube and Spotify, and was booked to play at this year’s Wireless Festival in London. The festival had said: “The proclaimed ‘Underrated Legend’, Cadet stepped into the music scene during the second half of 2015 with a hard-hitting freestyle reaching over half a million views in just a few months.“This was quickly followed by another heartfelt freestyle, Cadet is tipped for an unstoppable career.” 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.