American defender Seth Jones was a top candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NHL draft several weeks ago. His position was seemingly advanced when the defense-needy Colorado Avalanche won the draft lottery. But Jones fell to No. 4 and the teams that passed on him will see the error of their ways in time to come.One person who was happy about Jones’ early misfortune was Nashville Predators general manager David Poile.Jones was rated as the best defender in the draft. In addition, he was arguably the best overall player, so the Predators had a major steal on their hands when they snagged him with the fourth pick.
The 2013 Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama lived up to the anticipated hype in what was arguably one of the greatest college football games in history.Auburn beat Alabama 34-28 on the final play of the game. After being tied with .1 second left in the game, the Alabama Crimson Tide missed a long last-second field goal, where the Tigers’ Chris Davis caught the ball in the back of the end zone and ran it back for a 109-yard touchdown.“What it was like?” Davis said. “Like I keep saying, God is good, God is good.”Auburn’s coach Gus Malzahn attributed the win partially to the fans.“We talked about that we wanted to keep it close, and if we could get it to the fourth quarter playing at home, with our crowd, we would find a way to win,” Malzahn said. “You know, the way we won the last two weeks is really unbelievable.”
Serena Williams of the United States celebrates winning her women’s singles quarterfinals match against Italy’s Camila Giorgi, at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London, Tuesday July 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)LONDON (AP) — Serena Williams came up with a comeback to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon, then walked off Centre Court with her right index finger aloft.Yes, no matter what the rankings or seedings say, she still looks as if she’s capable of playing like someone who’s No. 1.Williams moved closer to her eighth title at the All England Club and 24th Grand Slam trophy overall — but first since missing more than a year while having a baby — by beating 52nd-ranked Camila Giorgi of Italy 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the quarterfinals Tuesday.“This is only my fourth tournament back, so I don’t feel pressure. I don’t feel I have to win this; I don’t feel I have to lose this,” Williams said. “I’m just here just to be here and to prove that I’m back. And I feel like I’m back. I still have a long way to go to be where I was.”Williams was seeded 25th by the All England Club, a nod to all of her past success at the grass-court major, including titles the last two times she entered it, in 2015 and 2016. She missed Wimbledon a year ago because she was pregnant, and she went about 16 months between Grand Slam tournaments, so her ranking is just outside the top 180.That is going to change now.Next up for the 36-year-old American is a match against No. 13 seed Julia Goerges of Germany, a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 winner against No. 20 Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.This is all brand new for Goerges, who had never even been to a Grand Slam quarterfinal before this week. Plus, at Wimbledon in particular, she lost in the first round each of the past five years.Williams is 3-0 against Goerges, winning in straight sets each time.“Every match starts from zero,” Goerges said. “Everybody has the same chances to win that match, and I’m looking forward to it.”After their most recent meeting, in the French Open’s third round last month, Williams pulled out of that tournament, citing a chest muscle injury that made it too painful to serve.After going a couple of weeks without hitting a serve, Williams has regained her ability with that stroke nicely at Wimbledon.She hit one at 122 mph against Giorgi, delivered six of her seven aces in the final set, and won 44 of the last 54 points she served.It was the first time she’d needed to erase a real deficit this fortnight: Williams hadn’t dropped a set until facing Giorgi, who was in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.“After the first set, I was like, ‘All right, let’s go three sets.’ And that’s kind of what I thought. … ‘I’ll just keep fighting,’” Williams said.The other semifinal Thursday will be No. 11 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany vs. No. 12 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.Kerber is a former No. 1 who owns two Grand Slam titles and was the runner-up to Williams at the All England Club two years ago. Ostapenko won last year’s French Open.Kerber needed seven match points to close out No. 14 Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-3, 7-5 at Centre Court, while Ostapenko defeated 2014 Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 7-5, 6-4 on a windy No. 1 Court.Kerber took advantage of Kasatkina’s 31 unforced errors, including seven double-faults, but took a while to end things. Kerber served for the victory at 5-4 in the second set, but got broken. When she served for it a second time, she needed to navigate a 16-point game that included five deuces and all of those match points, until forcing a forehand error on the last.Ostapenko played her usual aggressive style, compiling a 33-6 edge in winners.In the last men’s quarterfinal, which was suspended because of darkness after the third set Monday night, 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro defeated Gilles Simon of France 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5).Del Potro held four match points while serving for the victory at 5-4 in the fourth set, but had to wait until the last tiebreaker to advance in 4 hours, 24 minutes, making it the longest men’s singles match of the tournament.On Wednesday, del Potro faces Rafael Nadal.
New York Giants President John Mara said Tuesday that the NFL would probably not expand its postseason field from 12 to 14 teams for the 2014 season. But make no mistake, expansion is coming sooner or later. The television ratings for playoff matchups — even for early rounds — are so monstrous that it makes sense from a revenue-maximizing perspective to add postseason games.But how about from a football perspective? ESPN’s Stats & Information correctly points out that, even with 14 playoff qualifiers, only 43.7 percent of NFL teams would earn postseason berths, which is still lower than the 53.3 percent qualification rates in the NBA and NHL. Then again, both of those sports play best-of-seven series to determine who advances to the next round; the NFL’s postseason is a single-elimination tournament. (And, 2013 excepted, the NFL playoffs are trending toward less predictable outcomes as it is.)Even in a 12-team playoff format, the best team in football fails to win the Super Bowl far more often than not. But would a 14-team bracket add another layer of randomness? Using the power of Monte Carlo simulation and the theoretical distribution of true talent in the NFL, we can estimate how often a team of a given ranking in “true talent” wins the Super Bowl under both the 12-team format and the proposed 14-team arrangement. For both formats, I assigned each team a true-talent rating at random (from a normal distribution with a mean winning percentage of .500 and a standard deviation of .146) and simulated the 2013 NFL schedule 10,000 times, recording how often a team of a given talent ranking won the Super Bowl. Here are the results:As it turns out, a 14-team playoff format wouldn’t change much for the favorites’ chances of a Super Bowl victory. The No. 2 seed in each conference would be forced to play an extra game (rather than receiving a bye during the wild-card round), but that doesn’t move the needle a lot — mainly because the No. 1 seeds still get byes into the divisional round.What would really shake things up, though, would be a move to a 16-team bracket, which would give the NFL a playoff participation rate closer to the NBA and NHL (although the NFL would still be lower). If we run the same simulation process above but plug teams into a 16-team playoff format, the following probabilities emerge:Forcing the top seed in each conference to play an extra game would drastically shift the Super Bowl odds for the NFL’s three most talented teams, redistributing much of their current probabilistic advantage across the rest of the league. The move to a 16-team playoff would be a much bigger change than from 12 teams to 14.The remaining question is whether that’s a bad thing. A 16-team playoff would increase the role of chance in the NFL’s postseason — an element which has already been on the rise in recent seasons. The NFL’s landmark popularity over the past decade suggests that such parity has moved the league closer to the optimal mix of determinism and randomness. (By contrast, a system designed to turn the NFL playoffs into a science experiment always yielding the most deserving champion would be tedious and unpopular.) But it’s not clear whether there are diminishing returns to the NFL’s parity formula.
Home-ice advantage in the NHL playoffs might be a myth, but don’t tell that to the Nashville Predators. During these playoffs, the Preds are 9-1 when skating on their home sheet at Bridgestone Arena, and home wins in Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Final have drawn them level with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the series, which moves back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Thursday.But it might have been bad luck in the first place that the Predators had to come home and dig out of a 2-0 hole. That’s because the Preds actually played pretty well during Games 1 and 2 in Pittsburgh, dominating possession and outshooting the Pens 64-39. If not for some uncharacteristically awful play from goalie Pekka Rinne, who stopped just 78 percent of the shots he faced in Games 1 and 2 before being pulled in the third period in Game 2, the Preds might already be planning their parade route through Nashville. (It’s not all on Rinne; some questionable officiating in Game 1 didn’t help the Preds much, either.)It was fitting, then, that Rinne’s return to form these past two games has Nashville back in the hunt for its first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Rinne was spectacular in Games 3 and 4 — he stopped 50 of the 52 shots he faced, including insane saves like this one. Rinne leads the playoffs in wins and ranks fourth in save percentage among qualified goalies. (And he’s shouldered a much larger workload than the three goalies ahead of him on that list.)Perhaps the best proof of Rinne’s revival is his dominance on high-quality scoring opportunities. The Penguins took more than twice as many shots from the slot — the dangerous area directly in front of the net1The definition of “the slot” varies depending on who you talk to, but in this case, we used its boundaries as defined by war-on-ice.com. — in Games 3 and 4 as they did in the series’ first two games (20 vs. 7) but scored seven fewer goals. If the Predators hope to finish off their comeback, they’ll need their netminder — who remains the favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as postseason MVP — to keep shaking off Games 1 and 2 and continue his excellent play.Rinne isn’t the only reason that Nashville has been able to claw its way back into the series. Nashville’s shooters have remembered how to finish: In Games 1 and 2, the Preds scored on just 6.3 percent of the shots they took. In Games 3 and 4, that number jumped to 15.3. And the Predators’ defense has limited the effectiveness of some of Pittsburgh’s top forwards. In Games 3 and 4, Phil Kessel, Chris Kunitz and Evgeni Malkin combined for a grand total of zero points on just nine shots and combined for a -10 plus/minus. For the Pens to avoid blowing a 2-0 series lead, they’ll need their stars — in particular Malkin, who leads the league in scoring this postseason — to start playing as such.Only five NHL teams have ever come back from a 2-0 series deficit in the finals and won; the Preds are in a position to become the sixth. To do it, they’ll need to keep dominating at home and win at least one game in Pittsburgh — much easier said than done. But based on the way Nashville has played this series, even in the losses, it has the goods to earn the state of Tennessee its long-awaited first pro championship.CORRECTION (June 7, 4:15 p.m.): An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that only four NHL teams have come back from a 2-0 series deficit to win the Stanley Cup Final. There have been five. The Nashville Predators are trying to become the sixth.
Playoff %Playoff % This year, though, New England is a perfect 5-0 at home but only 3-3 on the road — respectable but nowhere near the league’s best. (The Pats have also been outscored by 11 points in away games, against a road schedule that ranks just 28th in average opposing Elo.) And this might come up in the playoffs, unlike so many seasons in which the Pats had home-field advantage through the AFC title game.1Since 2010, New England has played a total of 15 non-Super Bowl playoff games — of which 13 have been hosted at Gillette Stadium. Right now, New England is in line for the AFC’s No. 2 seed behind the Kansas City Chiefs, but only a half-game separates them from the fourth-seeded Steelers.Owning the turnover battleTurnover margin is one of the most important factors in determining who wins or loses any football game. Conventional stathead wisdom, though, tells us that outlier turnover seasons — whether avoiding them on offense, forcing them on defense, or both — are unsustainable. While there are some ways a team can influence its tendency to have more takeaways than giveaways, a lot of it also comes down to luck.Unless, of course, you’re the Patriots. New England perennially dominates this category, ranking first by a mile from 2010 through 2017 with a +116 turnover differential, almost double that of the next-best team. A lot of that is a function of having Tom Brady at QB; he’s tied for the second-lowest interception percentage of any passer in NFL history. But the Pats are also great at avoiding fumbles — only the Falcons had coughed it up fewer times since 2010, and no team had lost fewer fumbles than the Pats. And their defense had forced the second-most turnovers of any team this decade (behind the Giants), ranking second in interceptions and tied for third in fumbles recovered.Such opportunism has historically paid big dividends for New England, but this year’s squad is still trying to recapture that formula. The Pats are currently +5 in turnovers, which ranks ninth in the league but is nothing special by their standards. Brady has his highest interception rate since 2013 (his seven picks already are only one off of his full-season total from last year), driving a big overall increase in giveaways per game, though the team is being more careful in recent weeks. And while the Pats have forced at least one turnover in all but one game this season, they are tied for eighth-to-last in the league in games with three or more takeaways, six behind the league-leading Bears.Yards and pointsIn addition to — and correlated with — their dominant turnover differential, the Patriots have always had another trick up their sleeves in terms of winning extra games. It involves their yards per point (YPP): essentially, how efficiently they turn field position into scores on offense and how inefficiently they force opponents to do the same. By definition, when you have a lower YPP than the opponent, you will win more often because you’re trading field position for points at a more favorable rate than they are.Like turnover margin, YPP is supposed to be pretty inconsistent from year to year, bouncing around with a team’s luck at picking up key first downs and converting red zone chances, along with the all-important knack for “bending but not breaking” on defense. Yet the Pats dominate this category so thoroughly and so consistently, it might be the single biggest factor in their ongoing success. Not only had they ranked first in both offensive and defensive YPP since 2010, but their net YPP differential of +5.6 was more than double the No. 2 Packers’ +2.5 mark over that span.(This is one of the big reasons that worries about the Patriots’ defense always need to be tempered. Belichick’s team has traditionally punched above its weight in terms of points allowed, just because it always makes opponents work so hard to turn gains on the field into rewards on the scoreboard.)This season, the Pats remain among the top net YPP teams, ranking fourth, but they are not quite dominating like usual. They rank just seventh in offensive YPP and sixth on defense, with a net YPP of +2.8, which trails the Bears, Saints and Chiefs. On top of the increase in turnovers per game from above, New England’s efficiency rankings on third down and in the red zone are worse, and the team has slipped in those same “situational” categories on defense. And if you want another cause for the Patriots’ YPP decline, their net starting field position is -2.6 yards per drive this season (meaning the opponent starts 2.6 yards closer to the end zone than the Pats), after a decade in which that number was a league-best +4.6.In other words, many of the little things that usually add up to that massive YPP advantage for New England aren’t quite working as well so far this year. But the good news for the Pats is that their turnover margin and net YPP tend to improve radically from this point in the season onward, in no small part because Belichick specifically tries to build a tough, physical team that thrives in bad weather. So even in a relative down season by their key indicators, don’t be surprised if the Patriots build them up at least some before season’s end.Gronk smash!Tight end Rob Gronkowski has long been the Pats’ not-so-secret weapon on offense, helping the team transition seamlessly from the powerful Randy Moss-Wes Welker offense of a previous era to the version that’s been terrorizing the league for most of this decade.But the famously fragile Gronk has appeared to show his age and mileage this season more than perhaps ever before. He’s missed three games with various ailments, and when he has played, he’s been limited to just 63.0 yards per game with a career-low 0.25 touchdown catches per contest. Gronkowski’s reduced mobility has hurt his trademark ability to rumble after the catch for spectacular gains, and it’s made him much less of a focal point in the offense than he’s accustomed to being. When on the field, Gronk has seen only 18.7 percent of the targets in the Pats’ passing game, his lowest number since getting 17.7 percent as a rookie.But Gronk’s influence on the Patriots’ offense remains undeniable. In the eight games the star tight end has played in 2018, Brady’s passer rating is 98.2; in the three he missed, it dropped to 91.6 (league average is 94.9). Even with Gronkowski playing in a more limited physical condition than usual, producing less of a statistical footprint than before, this is confirmation that he’s still one of the biggest engines driving the Patriots’ success. The biggest question might simply be what kind of durability Gronkowski’s banged-up body will have over the rest of the season.Brady stays ageless … sort ofAlong with Belichick, the one constant in New England’s dynasty has been No. 12 under center. Brady has probably been the single most valuable player in the NFL this century, and he’s been crucial in engineering five Super Bowl titles for the Patriots with his consistency, leadership and ability to rally the team back from seemingly insurmountable deficits.But at 41 — an age at which almost no other QB has ever been productive — there is a near-constant watch for any sign of slippage in Brady’s performance. And he has been a bit less sharp statistically than in years past. His adjusted net yards per attempt index at Pro-Football-Reference.com, which measures passing efficiency relative to the league (where 100 is average), is 111 this year, down from 117 last season and 138 the year before that. It hadn’t been so low since Brady was barely above average (102) in 2013.Of course, there are reasons for Brady’s decline that go beyond his advanced age, from Gronk’s aforementioned absences to a four-game suspension for top target Julian Edelman at the start of the season and a WR corps in flux early on before adding Josh Gordon and shuffling roles for the likes of Phillip Dorsett and (WR-turned-RB) Cordarrelle Patterson. But Brady has managed to work around weird receiving situations before — and, in fact, his passer rating was better over the season’s first four games (94.0) than it’s been over the four most recent ones (90.8).Combine that with a ProFootballFocus grade that’s down a bit from last season (though still sixth-best among QBs) and those ubiquitous stats about Brady’s off-target throws (at 22.1 percent, no qualified passer has thrown an errant pass more frequently this year), and it’s fair to ask whether Brady is playing at quite the same level as he did over the past few seasons. Whether because of Brady or the receivers, the Pats are currently tied for eighth in adjusted net yards per attempt — their worst showing since (again) 2013, a season that saw New England fall short in the AFC title game.2Though it does bear mentioning that six of the eight Super Bowl champs this decade ranked among the top 10 in ANY/A, right in line with the Pats’ current performance. Taken altogether, these numbers reveal a Patriots squad that is not fully playing at the level it’s used to at this stage of the season. And that shows up in big-picture indicators such as Elo or even point differential, where the Pats’ +58 margin is its weakest of the decade through 11 contests. But even so, a lessened version of the Patriots still ranks among the league’s top teams. And as we mentioned above, the Vikings will be a good opponent for Belichick to use as a measuring stick for his roster. According to our combination of matchup quality (i.e., the harmonic mean of the teams’ Elo ratings in each game) and game importance (how likely it is to swing either team’s odds of making the playoffs), this will be the fourth-best game of the week: HOU95.73.8CLE184.108.40.20662 GB6.13.0ARI<0.1<0.13.01412 BUF56JAX55BUF 24, JAX 21-13.0– WSH38.9%+/-19.5PHI23.7%+/-11.130.61525 NO81NO83NO 31, ATL 17-0.9– CIN75%CIN63%CLE 35, CIN 20+13.4– The best matchups of Week 13Week 13 games by ranking of average Elo ratings (using the harmonic mean) plus ranking of total potential swing for the two teams’ playoff chances, according to FiveThirtyEight’s NFL predictions CHI96.33.9NYG<0.1<0.13.91474 KC99.90.2OAK<0.1<0.10.21479 IND29.514.5JAX0.10.114.71468 IND68IND70IND 27, MIA 24-0.6– SEA74.910.5SF<0.1<0.110.51460 HOU58HOU63HOU 34, TEN 17+2.3– PIT70PIT69DEN 24, PIT 17+0.0 Home teams are in bold.The scoring system is nonlinear, so readers’ average points don’t necessarily match the number of points that would be given to the average reader prediction. DEN13.010.7CIN6.45.316.01453 Game quality is the harmonic mean of the Elo ratings for the two teams in a given matchup.*Average change is weighted by the likelihood of a win or loss. (Ties are excluded.)Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group LAC88.27.0PIT93.95.612.61619 DET1.31.6LAR>99.9<0.11.61550 LAC84LAC85LAC 45, ARI 10-0.9– MIA5.13.9BUF220.127.116.1125 Here’s a surprise: The New England Patriots are 8-3, leading the AFC East, with some of the best odds in the conference of winning the Super Bowl.Oh, right. I’ve just described basically every Pats season in recent memory. This is the ninth consecutive season that New England has won at least eight of its first 11 games. The team’s current Elo rating of 1641, however, is the lowest it’s been through the same stage of the season since 2009 (and we don’t talk about that season).So what are we to make of these Patriots, then? After overcoming the typical early season hiccups, is this year’s version ready to build championship momentum down the stretch like normal? Or is there still something a little bit off about a team that was showering its punter (of all players) with praise after an uncharacteristically modest win over the lowly New York Jets last week?In advance of New England’s showdown Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, let’s take a look at some of the Patriots’ calling-card metrics to see whether this season is business as usual in Foxboro.Road warriors?One of the Pats’ most eye-catching statistics during Bill Belichick’s time as head coach has been their near-invincibility at home, where they’ve won 87 percent of their games this decade. But their road record — winning more than 70 percent of the time away from Gillette Stadium — could be even more remarkable. From 2010 to 2017, the Pats’ winning percentage on the road was about 10.5 percentage points higher than what we’d expect from their home record — the third biggest gap in the NFL (behind the Cowboys and Eagles): NE77NE82NE 27, NYJ 13+0.4– Team ACurrentAvg. Chg*Team BCurrentAvg. Chg*Total ChangeGame Quality BAL46.118.0ATL4.23.121.01539 While the game has a lot more at stake for Minnesota, whose spot in the playoffs is still not fully locked in, there is still plenty for the Patriots to play for as well. Not only will this game affect seeding for the postseason (Elo says the Pats currently have a 60 percent chance of securing a first-round playoff bye), but it will also be another telling data point as to whether the Pats can get back to their mega-dominant form of the recent past, or if they’ll be merely good — but mortal — according to their signature metrics.FiveThirtyEight vs. the readersIf you want to know where your team stands, FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings are a good indicator. You can check them out in our NFL prediction interactive, which simulates the rest of the season 100,000 times and tracks how often each team should make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. Did you know you can also pick against the Elo algorithm in our prediction game? Try it out, and maybe you can climb up our giant leaderboard.Here are the games in which Elo made its best — and worst — predictions against the reader picks last week: CHI53CHI59CHI 23, DET 16+2.9– MIN62.813.6NE99.11.014.61610 OUR PREDICTION (ELO)READERS’ PREDICTION MIN71MIN60MIN 24, GB 17-10.0– DAL65DAL67DAL 31, WSH 23-0.5– Elo’s dumbest (and smartest) picks of Week 12Average difference between points won by readers and by Elo in Week 12 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction game On average, Elo beat our readers by 18.9 points in the game last week, bringing its record to 11 wins and one loss so far this season. Readers had the best pick of Week 12 — rightly pumping the brakes on Cincinnati’s chances of beating the Browns — but they were punished for picking against Elo in the Bills’ upset over the Jaguars, and they didn’t show enough faith in the victorious Vikings, Eagles and Bucs.Among individual users who did better than average, congrats are in order to Ryan Gnizak, who led all users in Week 12 with 263.5 points, and to Greg Chili Van Hollebeke, who held on to a slim lead for the entire season with 934.5 points. Thanks to everyone who has been playing — and if you haven’t, be sure to get in on the action! You can make picks now and still try your luck against Elo, even if you haven’t played yet.Check out our latest NFL predictions. CAR62CAR57SEA 30, CAR 27+4.1– BAL83BAL81BAL 34, OAK 17-2.3– TB63TB58TB 27, SF 9-5.7– PHI80PHI69PHI 25, NYG 22-8.1– DAL60.313.3NO>18.104.22.168635 PICKWIN PROB.PICKWIN PROB.ResultREADERS’ NET PTS TEN20.57.2NYJ<0.1<0.17.21417 CAR30.914.9TB0.70.815.71492
The Ohio State club football team began its inaugural season Sept. 27 with a 21-20 loss to Miami University. Despite the loss, coach Max Claman feels that the team played exceptionally well considering the circumstances.“I was surprised at how well we held up,” said Claman, a junior sports and leadership studies student. “We lost by one point despite the fact that we committed six turnovers. The Miami coaches said we played the best game by a team playing their first-ever game that they had ever seen.”Nerves were high before the game since most of the players have not stepped on a field since high school, junior safety Joe Budgake said.“I was a little nervous before the game since it was going to be the first time in three years I had stepped on a football field,” said Budgake, who is also a team captain and the club’s president.The team has had to come together in light of the fact that its original coach, Jack Solak, left to play quarterback at Florida Atlantic University.“He had a great opportunity presented to him and I can’t blame him or be mad at him for it,” Budgake said. “He got us started and still was the first club football coach. His work was greatly appreciated.”In addition to losing its coach, the team is coping with players quitting the team almost every week, leaving the team’s roster at a paltry 22. Yet the team’s chemistry is a non-issue, Claman said.“That’s the least of our problems. We’ve got great cohesion and good balance,” Claman said. “This is club football; everyone here wants to be here.”However, since it is club football, the team members are students first and players second. When a player can’t make it to practice because of homework or a job, there’s nothing the team can do.“Obviously with two practices a week we’d like to get as many guys as we can here, but we can’t do anything about it if guys don’t come,” Claman said. “Who shows up dictates what we can run in practice.”According to the team’s Web site, Budgake and juniors Marshal Carpenter and Jordan Fleischman founded the team for those who “love football” and “understand what it takes to work hard and be successful.”“I started this club and play on the team because I love playing football and because I wanted to do something big here at Ohio State,” junior wide receiver Carpenter said. “Ohio State University is the largest in the nation and we have every other club sport you could think of besides the most obvious, football.”The team conducted tryouts in the middle of April and practiced sparingly over the summer.In the team’s 2009 schedule, they will host Xavier and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, host and travel to Wright State and play West Virginia either in Morgantown or Columbus. Carpenter believes the team will excel despite its lack of experience and small numbers.“We expect to win every game and beat everyone we play. That is the attitude of the team,” said Carpenter, who is also a team captain and the club’s vice president. “We all have that same attitude and believe losing is unacceptable. With that said all of these teams are just like us; college students who love football and want to keep playing.”Claman remains cautiously optimistic about the season prospects, knowing the obstacles the team is up against.“We have to be realistic,” Claman said. “We have zero funding. Miami of Ohio’s club football team gets $12,000 a year from the university. We’re just trying to make an impact and trying to show that we’re legitimate and maybe that’ll show the university we’re legitimate.”The team hopes its unity paves a path to legitimacy, Carpenter said.“The camaraderie is amazing. All the guys get together really well. We all try to hang out outside of practice and really have a good time,” Carpenter said. “We all like to joke and have fun, but when it comes down to actually doing hard work, conditioning, or running through plays we all suck it up and get the job done.”
Ohio State’s men’s and women’s cross country teams will be competing at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championship meet with different goals. The men’s team is moving up in the national rankings and the women’s team is hoping for a big finish at the regional meet to secure a spot in the NCAA National Championship meet.After a disappointing 22nd-place finish at the NCAA Pre-National meet Oct. 17, the men’s team has been on a roll. It finished with 11 runners in the top 13 at the Eastern Michigan Fall Classic meet on Oct. 23 and second overall at the Big Ten Championship meet Nov. 1.When the national rankings were released Nov. 2, the men’s team was ranked in the Top 30 for the first time this season at No. 28.The men’s team needs to finish in the top two at the regional meet to be guaranteed a spot in the National Championship meet. If the Buckeyes finish third, they could get an at-large berth.The competition at the regional meet will be tough with two other nationally ranked teams, No. 10 Wisconsin and No. 26 Butler, in attendance.“I think Wisconsin has to be the favorite once again, but I absolutely expect us to be second,” senior runner Jeff See said. “There are a few other teams that should be tough to beat. We just have to stay focused throughout the whole race.”The key to the race is formulating a plan and sticking to it, See said. At the pre-national meet, the team did not have a plan and placed poorly. At the Big Ten Championship meet, they had a plan and executed it to perfection en route to a second place finish.See said the X-factor for the team will be redshirt sophomore Taylor Williams.“I think it’s really important for Taylor Williams to have a big day,” See said. “He’s been ourbackbone for a lot of the ups and downs we’ve faced this season, and if myself and the rest of the team sees him out there having a huge day, we will all follow suit.”The women’s team finished eighth at the Big Ten Championship meet, which hurt its opportunity to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA National Championship meet by dropping them to a No. 5 ranking in the region.“The race was tough, but we all took something away from the experience and I think that as a team, we’ve come away with that much more focus and determination for regionals,” junior Jordan Jennewine said.The top two teams at the regional meet automatically qualify for the NCAA National Championship meet. Without a top-two finish by the Buckeyes, the outlook for a place at the National Championship meet seems bleak.“It’s definitely our goal to finish in the top two at regionals and not leave anything to chance. That’s a very realistic goal for us and that’s what we’ve all been focused on since the conference meet,” Jennewine said.The NCAA Great Lakes Regional meet takes place Saturday at the University of Indiana in Bloomington, Ind.
When Ohio State hired Melissa Schaub as its assistant women’s tennis coach in 2011, it was an exciting homecoming for the Ohio native. “I don’t know if it gets any better than Ohio State and being a part of this athletic department,” Schaub said. Now, after spending just a year on the Buckeyes’ staff, Schaub finds herself as the interim coach for the 2012-13 season after the departure of former coach Chuck Merzbacher, who was hired by Minnesota in July. She said she always wanted to return to Ohio and coach the Buckeyes. “It’s been great, it’s a dream come true job for me at Ohio State, being from Ohio and just growing up a fan,” Schaub said. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls. They’ve made the transition easy.” Still less than midway through the season, some members of the team said they have bought into what their new coach is teaching them and look to build on a promising start to the year. Junior Noelle Malley has been at OSU longer than Schaub has, but Malley has picked up on Schaub developing leadership as the year has gone on. “I feel like she has gained more confidence in what she’s telling us, and she’s adjusted to her role really well,” Malley said. “She’s just doing what she wants in practice and seeing what we need to work on.” During Schaub’s first season in Columbus as an assistant coach, the team struggled, going 10-15 on the year. Malley already feels more confident about achieving a better result than last year with Schaub at the helm. “Everybody is in way better shape this year,” Malley said. “We feel really confident when we play matches.” Graduating from Tennessee in 2006, Schaub was a star for the Volunteers, earning All-American honors her freshman season in Knoxville. Gabby Steele, a senior for the Buckeyes, said she likes having a coach that is close to her age who knows what they are dealing with as student-athletes. “It helps because she’s able to relate a lot,” Steele said. “She just got out of college, too, so she knows exactly what we are going through.” Not one to let distractions get in the way, Schaub said she is confident that the shaky job security that comes with the title of interim coach will not change how she goes about the season. “You can’t let that get in the way of the kind of coach you’re going to be or how you treat the team,” Schaub said. “It’s all about trying to get wins and bettering the program and getting these guys to buy into the system.” The Buckeyes are set to travel to West Lafayette, Ind., to play Purdue for their first conference road trip game of the season on Friday at 3 p.m.
OSU sophomore midfielder Nikki Walts (4) dribbles the ball during a game agaisnt Minnesota on Sept. 17 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost 2-1. Credit: Sam Harris / For The LanternThe Ohio State women’s soccer team reached the midway point of their season Sunday afternoon in relatively uneventful fashion, drawing a scoreless tie with the Wisconsin Badgers.OSU coach Lori Walker said she was disappointed the team could not pick up a win, but she was encouraged by its overall effort.“I think we have got to take responsibility for the execution of our finishing, and it’s not sharp enough yet,” Walker said. “We created some great chances, but great chances don’t earn you points. I’m appreciative of our effort and the work we put into 110 minutes of soccer, but we are disappointed that we couldn’t walk away with three points.”A crowd of 1,174 was on hand to watch the No. 20 Buckeyes (5-2-2, 0-1-1) face the Badgers (3-4-3, 0-1-1) in the team’s second conference match.In the first half of play, the Buckeyes outshot the Badgers 7-5, and 3-1 in shots on goal. Wisconsin sophomore goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem stood strong with three saves to keep the half scoreless.The second half started quiet until OSU redshirt junior goalkeeper Jillian McVicker slid in the box to corral a loose ball. She took a hit from a Badgers player and was replaced by freshman goalkeeper Devon Kerr in the 63rd minute of play.Kerr, who had made three appearances prior to Sunday’s game, said she was excited for her chance to get in a game in a key spot.“Obviously (I was) nervous, especially being a freshman. I felt a little bit shaky coming into it, but I took it with great excitement,” Kerr said. “Our team was in a really good spot. I wanted to do whatever I could do to make a difference in the result of the game.”Eight minutes later, she made her presence felt with a lunging save against Badgers freshman midfielder Victoria Pickett, the first of four saves on the day for the Ontario product.“I came out with a couple of big stops, but my team did an amazing job defending,” Kerr said. “I think as a team today we did very well, and I think that I did help a lot with it.”The game almost came to a close in regulation as sophomore forward Sammy Edwards had two close shots in the final two minutes of the second half. Clem stood tall, and the game went to overtime.The extra period saw plenty of action as the Buckeyes and Badgers combined for six shots, three for each team. Both teams also had a goal disallowed during the extra action.Following Sunday’s game, the Buckeyes are halfway through their season. Walker said she is happy with the way the team is adjusting at this point in the season but still sees room for improvement.“I think we are adapting and adjusting much faster than we were in the beginning of the season,” she said. “Clearly we have got to take care of business in that final third and inside the box a little bit better, but I’m pleased with the adjustments they’re making on the fly.”The back half of the Buckeyes’ schedule is road heavy, with the next three games being away from Columbus. Walker, however, said she sees that as a positive.“In some ways being on the road is easier because you can control almost everything that’s going on,” Walker said. “I think we traditionally do pretty well on the road and we just take them one game at a time.”The Buckeyes are next set to take the field on Friday in Iowa City, Iowa, as they face the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.
Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) runs the ball in for a touchdown in the first half of the Ohio State-Michigan State game on Nov. 11. Credit: Nick Clarkson | Social Media EditorSaturday will mark the final time quarterback J.T. Barrett will sprint through the Hazelwood Family Tunnel in Ohio Stadium to take the field as a Buckeye. He has made that run every home game over the past five seasons, the first as a redshirt and each of the past four as the starting quarterback. Between that first game on Aug. 31, 2013 and Saturday, spanning 1,540 days, Barrett has set 22 Ohio State records, led the team to a national championship-winning season in his first year as a starter, and brought the team to two playoff appearances in three full seasons as a starter. Saturday will mark the end of an era in Ohio Stadium. Love him, hate him or stand somewhere in the middle, Ohio State fans will never again see Barrett doing quick cals with the students before the game, never again see Barrett stand at the Block O in the center of the field for the coin toss, never again see Barrett lock arms with head coach Urban Meyer and the rest of the team to sing “Carmen” at the end of every game. No longer seeing that familiar No. 16 taking snaps under center will be strange for those fans. He has seemingly been the quarterback for as long as anyone can remember. “I haven’t had time to look on it too much, but just a little bit looking back, it’s been a long time,” Barrett said Tuesday. “Five years is quite some time.”Barrett’s path to the final step in his career in Columbus has been a long, winding and often complex road. The Wichita Falls, Texas, native took over the starting quarterback position as a redshirt freshman after Braxton Miller injured his shoulder and missed the season. He lost the second game of his career as a starter, sparking questions that seems to have lingered throughout his entire career as to whether he should be the starter.Since then, he’s won a national championship and battled for a starting spot the following season. He’s been at the helm of two teams that reached the College Football Playoff and has always faced criticism from the fanbase. He has won 40 games and lost just six games over a span of nearly four years, and even in this final year, it took one loss to a top-five team for people to ask for him to be replaced by a quarterback who had made one total collegiate appearance.Through the trials and tribulations he’s faced every season, Barrett has been the most productive quarterback in program history. “Even if you get like a new job, you have certain goals you write out for yourself that you want to achieve and kind of like I said, you have a path on how to get there and you know what you want to accomplish,” Barrett said. “Then it’s almost like, well hold on now. God has a path too and it’s not always the same path. With that, there’s things along the way that I didn’t expect. God knew what was happening I think with those things. Positive or negative, I was able to build from them and I think at the end of the day, I think I’m a better person for all the things I went through.”His journey as an Ohio State quarterback does not end Saturday. Barrett knows this. Following the game against Illinois, he will travel up north to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for a matchup against the rival Wolverines. Depending on the outcome, he could then be headed to Indianapolis for the Big Ten championship game.Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) signals to the offense in the second quarter of the Ohio State-Iowa game on Nov. 4. Ohio State lost 24-55. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorBut Barrett is not looking past this game. He knows the significance of the game, even if it is coming against an opponent the Buckeyes are heavily favored to beat. Senior Day means the final home game for many players considered to be staples in Ohio State’s team dating back to its national championship winning season. As a redshirt freshman playing on his first Senior Day, Barrett remembers feeling motivated to compete as hard as possible for more than just the chance at a title, but for the seniors who would be competing in their final home game.“I remember looking at the older guys on our offense … playing for those guys and how much that meant to them that that was going to be their last time playing at Ohio Stadium,” Barrett said. “I think if anything that’s what’s going to be talked about as far as playing for something because you ain’t going to get that again.”That season, Barrett watched seniors like Jeff Heuerman, Evan Spencer and Devin Smith run onto the field to receive that final ovation from the fans, hug their parents and deliver them flowers. Saturday, it will be Barrett’s turn to make that run.Barrett has yet to give serious thought to the Senior Day ceremony, but he knows it will be an emotional moment when his name is called and he runs out onto the field for the final time to deliver roses to his parents.“I might see my mom cry for the first time,” Barrett said. “That’s a big deal. I’m 22 years old and haven’t seen that.”Barrett has taken the field at Ohio Stadium 33 times. Saturday will mark the 34th and final time. That run from the tunnel will mark the beginning of the end for Barrett. When he runs back into that tunnel at the end of the game, he will leave Ohio Stadium as one of the most accomplished quarterbacks to ever play on that field.
Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) yells out a play in the third quarter of the game against Penn State on Sept. 29. Ohio State won 27-26. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorWhen No. 4 Ohio State went down to Arlington, Texas and beat a then-No. 15 TCU team without head coach Urban Meyer on the sidelines, it looked like the Buckeyes may have passed their first difficult game of the season.But No. 9 Penn State loomed two weeks away, a team that has played Ohio State tougher than anybody in the last two seasons. This was a true road game after AT&T Stadium, a supposed neutral site game, ended up being majorly filled with Ohio State fans.Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day said the Penn State matchup is one Ohio State has been waiting for.“This has been circled on our schedule for a long time,” Day said. “We knew it was going to be hard, white out conditions, night game … winning on the road in the Big Ten is hard.”The 40-28 win over the Horned Frogs hoped to prove Ohio State can play with some big talent, but Saturday’s victory in Happy Valley was supposed to establish the Buckeyes as a top team in the country.Instead, even with a 27-26 win on the road against a top-10 opponent, Ohio State looked anything but dominant.Ohio State’s offense, which has been ran mostly through redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins, failed to get any momentum going in various sequences of the game, ending the day with his lowest quarterback rating of the season.“It was a learning game for the whole offense and for Dwayne,” Day said. “I think as the game went on he got more comfortable.”On the other side of the ball, Penn State redshirt senior quarterback Trace McSorley made his presence known early and often, tallying 274 yards of total offense by halftime.With the combination of his stagnating offense and a defense having to defend a dual-threat quarterback, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer agreed the play of his team in the first two quarters was sub-par.“The first half was awful, you know, in a lot of ways,” Meyer said. “That’s a hell of a team we just played.”The Buckeyes came out of the second half with an improved gameplan, and it immediately paid off with a touchdown from redshirt sophomore running back J.K. Dobbins, his second of the game, putting Ohio State up 14-13.On the opening touchdown drive in the third quarter Haskins ran short pass plays, and the run game was implemented at the right time.Ohio State looked to be turning a corner, but the Nittany Lions continued to push, opening up a 26-14 lead with eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, led largely by their redshirt senior quarterback.The game looked over, the Buckeyes looked defeated, but one immaculate play by junior wide receiver Binjimen Victor turned the tide.Victor caught a high ball from Haskins, broke two tackles, then perfectly followed three blocks while he made his way to the endzone for a 47-yard score.Even then, Ohio State needed to complete a 96-yard drive to go ahead of the Nittany Lions, and they did that too.Following a flurry of screen passes and quick runs, the Buckeyes inched their way across the field, taking the lead on a 24-yard screen by redshirt junior wide receiver K.J. Hill from Haskins.Even with the lead, Ohio State seemed anything but secure.McSorley was given more than two minutes to go down the field and get into field goal range. This was the player who has never lost a start at home, a guy who torched the Buckeyes defense from start to finish in a game that put him in the record books for the most all-purpose yards in program history with 461.McSorley was given his opportunity, and he was one fourth down conversion away from completing it. But Ohio State held on. Even with nearly 100 yards less in total offense, even with a lackluster showing for the majority of the game, Ohio State held on.Day said it was all about believing.“The stakes are so high, that sometimes, you can let your emotions take over,” Day said. “Our kids didn’t do that, they hung in there, they believed and they made plays and they won the game.”Now, No. 4 Ohio State has that statement victory, that major win that could hold prove to be big when the committee begins rankings for the College Football Playoff.But the Buckeyes are far from an unstoppable force, and the victory only masks the various errors made on both sides of the ball.Ohio State needs to fix how it handles read options, McSorley broke the rushing record by a Penn State quarterback with 175 yards. Ohio State needs to fix its ability to contain big plays, this is the second time in three weeks a team has broken a 93-yard play for a touchdown, the first two times this has ever happened in program history.Ohio State needs to fix many things, and a win in Happy Valley doesn’t change that.
4:32PMSigns say Grenfell Tower was “corporate murder of poor” 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. 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. 5:14PM’I hope they see this on TV – it’s a disgrace’ 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. 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. 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. 8:59AM’It sent chills through me’: Simon Cowell spurred to release charity single by ‘heartbreaking’ reports 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 1:55PMSadiq Khan writes open letter to Theresa May demanding ‘action, answers, justice’ 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.” 7:36AMMore than 1,800 plan Westminster ‘justice’ rally 11:57PM’I needed to do something’ Protesters walk towards the Grenfell Tower, during a demonstration following the fire that engulfed the 24-storey buildingCredit:AP 4:59PMDemands of protesters 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 May is leaving to shouts of “Coward” pic.twitter.com/6w0ijiDpZy— Hannah Al-Othman 🐝 (@HannahAlOthman) June 16, 2017 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. Volunteers organise boxes of donations following the Grenfell Tower fireCredit:David Mirzoeff/PA 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.” 12:22PMBreaking: Police say 30 people confirmed as dead People hold candles aloft during a vigil outside Latymer Church, close to Grenfell TowerCredit:PA 6:08PMMeanwhile in Kensington there are chants of ‘Theresa May must go’ Mohammed ‘Saber’ Neda, 57 with his wife Shakila, 45, and 24-year-old son FarhadCredit:SWNS More chants of “Tories out!”Pretty striking scene this. pic.twitter.com/MYl5ToqbbL— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) June 16, 2017 5:32PMTheresa May leaves church to shouts of “coward” 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.” 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 https://t.co/6OUWYPHnHB— lily #labourtine🎈 (@lilyallen) June 16, 2017 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. 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 1:17PMAndrea Leadsom confronted by angry local as she defends Theresa May A protest is taking place outside Kensington Town Hall following the #GrenfellTower fire pic.twitter.com/31P1gvXCq8— Sky News (@SkyNews) June 16, 2017 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. 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. 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. 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. The shell of Grenfell Tower hangs over protesters gathering at Notting Hill Methodist ChurchCredit:AFP 9:12PMTheresa May called ‘a coward’ after meeting Grenfell fire victims 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. 4:55PMDispatch from the protest 6:23PMTheresa May: Grenfell victims to be consulted on public inquiry Jeremy Corbyn comforts a local resident at ST Clement’s Church during a visitCredit:PA 6:19PM’The people aren’t satisfied with this so the protests are going to continue’ 8:32PM’Let us walk through the wards and find our children ourselves’ 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 7:04PMProtesters march towards Notting Hill 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. 1:51PMPeople who lost homes in Grenfell Tower might be rehoused in other boroughs 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. 7:30PM’I’m here because of this child’ 6:40PMTheresa May: This has been an ‘absolutely horrendous tragedy’ Speaking to the BBC, the Prime Minister said:This is not just about finding out what happened, it’s about providing that support. 6:39PM’The tower block is more strong and stable than that woman’s government’ 5:16PMLily Allen filmed the protest 9:41AMTwelve people remain critically ill after fire 10:51AMTheresa May visiting fire victims in hospital 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: 4:02PMSome Grenfell homeless lack even toothbruth despite donations, pastor claims 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. 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 11:02PMHundreds gather for candlelit vigil 12:09PMTheresa May arrives at hospital to meet blaze victims “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. 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. 11:51PMKensington town hall closed following earlier protests 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.” 12:27PM’Nothing to suggest fire was started deliberately’ “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.” 6:12PM’We are being treated like rubbish. Our people are being murdered.’: Scene at Westminster 6:07PMEstimated two hundred people gathered for march outside Home Office 5:49PMSteven Swinford reports Theresa May’s speech from church Protestors now heading for Number 10. They are chanting: “No justice! No peace!” pic.twitter.com/7OrendvEOg— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) June 16, 2017 Grenfell Tower: Could blocks like it be torn down?Credit:TOLGA AKMEN/AFP 8:40AMEx-minister urges inquiry to be split into two parts to give families quick answers 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 5:39PMAngry crowd chases Theresa May’s car 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 6:24PM’£400m…for Buckingham Palace but no money for poor people’s fire alarms’ Grenfell protest: Fists raised for a minute’s silence outside the BBC pic.twitter.com/fdww6Kvaj1— Tara Mulholland (@tara_mulholland) June 16, 2017 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.” 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. 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.” 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?” 6:57PMMan jailed for sharing photo of dead Grenfell Tower fire victim on Facebook 7:05PMChants of ‘Tories out!’ at central London protest 4:34PMProtesters demand a register of victims Shocking scenes as Theresa May bundled into a car by police amid fury from the pushing crowd— Krishnan Guru-Murthy (@krishgm) June 16, 2017 Pat holds the girl after catching her ‘like a rugby ball tucked in his chest’Credit:Guilhem Baker/LNP People are asking questions about how the tower was allowed to become so unsafe. 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. 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.” 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. People light candles as they observe a vigil outside Notting hill Methodist Church following the blaze at Grenfell TowerCredit:AFP #GrenfellTower protest at Kensington and Chelsea town hall. pic.twitter.com/lPSSY9vuPM— Michael Gravesande (@OldBlackHack) June 16, 2017 10:08AM£2m raised for Grenfell fire victims after ‘absolutely amazing response’ 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. 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.” 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.” Sadiq Khan is confronted by seven-year-old Kai RamosCredit:Yui Mok/PA 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. 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 #JusticeForGrenfell occupy Oxford Circuspic.twitter.com/0p9pqN1v3g#GrenfellTower #Grenfell #Inquest4Grenfell #Corbyn #ToriesOut #tories #May— ➊AlexCam ⏩ (@1alexcam) June 16, 2017 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.” 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.” Police have removed council workers from the building during the protest. 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.” 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”. Andrea Leadsom is questioned by an angered member of the public outside Grenfell TowerCredit:Butterworth/Splash News 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 10:24AMSon carried disabled mother down 24 flights of stairs – but father missing 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 Theresa May leaves the Chelsea and Westminster HospitalCredit:M WRIGHT/BACKGRID 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.” The poster repeats claims made on the front page of The Times this morning. 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 8:16AMSajid Javid seeks to reassure people living in high-rise blocks 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.” 3:08PM2,700 people set to attend ‘justice’ rally from 6pm 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: 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. 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”. 6:42PMAn estimated 1,000 protesters in central London 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. 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. 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”. 4:47PMStatement from the Radical Housing Network, who are supporting the protest Theresa May speaking to fire crews at Grenfell Tower. She has been criticised for not meeting residentsCredit:Dan Kitwood/Getty 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. Emergency workers search debris that fell at the base of the fire-gutted Grenfell Tower Credit:Matt Dunham/AP Meanwhile, the protest at the Town Hall appears to be relatively calm. 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. “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.” 7:54PMProtesters reach Grenfell Tower 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. “THERESA MAY…””MUST GO”The current chant at Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall #GrenfellTower pic.twitter.com/dHABZUc8NS— Paul McNamara (@PGMcNamara) June 16, 2017 11:01AMQueen and Prince William visit people affected by Grenfell disaster 10:14PMGrenfell Tower neighbourhood ‘beginning to resemble carnival’, community leader warns 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. Probably a couple of hundred of #GlenfellTower protestors outside the Home Office. pic.twitter.com/XA3Tfa3DQG— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) June 16, 2017 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. 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. 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.” 8:12PMSit-down protest in Oxford Street 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.” 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. These are the latest images reaching us from Grenfell Tower as crews reach the top of 24-storey building amid the ongoing search operation. People hold candles aloft during a vigil outside Latymer ChurchCredit:PA 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. She did not address the crowd, but quickly left amid shouts of “coward”. 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? The Grenfell protest makes its way towards Downing Street. pic.twitter.com/airgp1HKWm— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) June 16, 2017 2:48PMLatest pictures from search operation as crews reach top of tower 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. 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. They are carrying Socialist Worker signs which read: “Homes for people not for profit”. 5:03PMThe protest leader is named as Mustafa Mansour 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. 1:47PMTheresa May pictured leaving hospital after meeting survivors Several hundred now gathered outside Kensington and Chelsea town hall for the #GlenfellTower demo pic.twitter.com/Setz6AmaGh— Damien Gayle (@damiengayle) June 16, 2017 8:35PMThe protests have now moved to the BBC HQ 6:01PMJack Maidment is at the Westminster protest 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.” 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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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: Here’s video footage of the Queen touring the Westway Sports Centre, where residents left homeless by the blaze have spent a second night. 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. 8:50AMThe safety features that were at Grenfell Tower… and those that weren’t Syrian refugee Mohammed Alhajali, 23, was also killed in the fire. Click here to read more. The Queen looks close to tears as she meets residents affected by the Grenfell Tower fireCredit: FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/EPA 5:21PMMeanwhile, there has allegedly been an arrest at the Kensington Town Hall protest 5:17PMHostile crowd waits for Theresa May outside church 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. 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. 4:38PMShouts of “we want justice” outside the town hall 5:29PMPicture of Theresa May entering the church 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. 7:57PM’You misread the public mood’ 3:32PMMore than 100,000 sign petition demanding tower block safety action 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. 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”. 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?” 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.” 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 Quite the crowd outside the church. pic.twitter.com/88Jxze6vtk— Hannah Al-Othman 🐝 (@HannahAlOthman) June 16, 2017 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.” Picture taken inside a guted Grenfell Tower flat on Thursday shows the extent of the damageCredit:HANDOUT 1:04PMSecond victim of disaster named as 24-year-old artist 4:29PMPosters stuck up near tower say “the buck is about to be passed” These posters have appeared near the tower pic.twitter.com/uSoI4Pny03— Hannah Al-Othman 🐝 (@HannahAlOthman) June 16, 2017 7:43AMTheresa May ‘didn’t use her humanity’ in Grenfell Tower visit No10 package for Grenfell: pic.twitter.com/3P4A0AotkK— Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole) June 16, 2017 5:43PMNumber 10 promises £5million for Grenfell victims 2:12PMBoris Johnson: Attack on emergency services is outrageous politicking 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. Lily Allen attended the protestCredit:REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth 4:26PMProtests break out in London 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. 7:22AMSorrow turns to anger as residents of burnt-out block demand answers 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. 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. 5:24PMCries of “get her out” aimed at Theresa May outside church People appear to be asking for Theresa May to resign outside the church in which she is meeting families. 9:21AM’Hero of Grenfell Tower’ caught girl, 4, ‘like a rugby ball’ after she was thrown from building 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. 6:31PMProtesters march to No 10 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.” Along with a bulk of other commitments: “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 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 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. Protesters storm Kensington Town HallCredit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Grenfell Tower protest currently ongoing outside the Home Office. pic.twitter.com/U30C5CBjyP— Jack Maidment (@jrmaidment) June 16, 2017 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. 8:01AMDesperate families post appeals over relatives missing since blaze 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. 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. 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.” 9:40AMDuchess of Cornwall sends ‘heartfelt thoughts and prayers’ to victims 10:45AMVideo: Theresa May’s chief of staff refuses to answer questions about fire 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. 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 7:47AMFirefighters ‘overwhelmed’ by public’s 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.” 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 A demonstrator shouts during a protest outside Kensington Town HallCredit: REUTERS The Queen and Prince Philip arrive at the Westway Sports CentreCredit:David Mirzoeff/PA “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.” 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. 11:38AMVideo: Queen tours refuge centre where families have spent night 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. 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! 11:45AMTower blocks could be knocked down in wake of Grenfell fire Search crews at the top of Grenfell TowerCredit:Rick Findler/PA 4:39PMVideo of scale of protest 5:13PMCouncil employees evacuated from building They are shouting “WE DEMAND A REGISTER” over the man announcing what the council responded to their questions. 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.” 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. 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. 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.” 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. Emergency services personnel on top of Grenfell TowerCredit:Rick Findler/PA Huge plumes of smoke pour from Grenfell Tower as the blaze ragesCredit:JEREMY SELWYN/Eyevine 12:53PMQueen appears close to tears as she meets residents affected by fire 2:59PMUpdate on checks to high-rise tower blocks after disaster 6:12PMPolice hold protesters back at Kensington Town Hall Locals have been writing hundreds of messages of condolence on a wall near Latymer ChurchCredit: Paul Grover for the Telegraph Nadia Choucair is among the missingCredit:Nadia Choucair
“His intelligence and sharp wit was apparent from the outset; there was an ever-present twinkle in his eye and he would gladly admit that his youth had been full of adventure.”Dean was simply one of those people whose infectious humour and enthusiasm drew others to him. His professional knowledge was second to none and his sage advice already something I had come to rely on. A British Army officer has died at an Iraqi air base where UK troops are training local forces to fight Islamic State militants.Army investigators are probing the death of Capt Dean Sprouting at the sprawling Al Asad base, but said he did not die of enemy action. The soldier is not thought to have killed himself and commanders are investigating whether he died as a result of a vehicle accident, a defence source said.The officer with the Adjutant General’s Corps was serving at the air base with Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland.Lt Col Rob Hedderwick, the battalion’s commanding officer, said: “It is hard to do justice to a man such as Dean Sprouting with simple words.”In no time at all he had become an indispensable part of the battalion, not only for his professional expertise but also for his compassionate manner and camaraderie. “His loss is keenly felt by us all and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and children whom I know he cherished more than anything else in this world. I am hugely proud and thankful to have known him. He was a very good man.”The father of two, of Denny, Stirlingshire, joined the army in 1989 and had served in Northern Yugoslavia, Cyprus and Kosovo, Sudan, Angola and Germany. British troops have been training the Iraqi Army at the Al Asad air base in IraqCredit:Jamie Wiseman Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
A British woman who vanished for five days after walking barefoot into Brazilian jungle only wanted “time alone” to meditate, her mother has said after she was found alive.Dr Diane Brewster said her daughter Katherine called her to say she was “amazed” to discover how much of a “fuss” had been made over her welfare.The 27-year-old had been missing since she was last seen disappearing into the wilderness to meditate at a remote beauty spot.Police in the country had been looking for Ms Brewster, from Brighton, East Sussex, ever since she left a family that she had been staying with on the outskirts of a hippie commune in Alpestre, in the southern state of Santa Catarina, and failed to return.She was rescued at around 12.30 local time. Katherine Brewster after she was foundCredit:Caters Dr Brewster told the Daily Telegraph: “We are extremely relieved and thankful. She’s absolutely fine. She went out on a kind of meditation and has come back to find it all kicking off.”She’s been really quite surprised by it all. She really wasn’t expecting it. As far as she was concerned everything was fine and she’s come back to find this fuss.”I’ve spoken to her phone and she’s fine. She’s just finding out what she’s caused but is giving interviews to Brazilian media.” The family said they didn’t know when she was due to return but they were thankful she was safe.The people of the UniPermacultura alternative community, based in the village and which is founded on the ideals of sustainable living, reported her disappearance on Tuesday when she left all her belongings behind – taking only her passport and credit card.They have shared a photograph showing she was wearing the same clothes she had left in, with her legs covered in scratches after apparently getting lost in thick undergrowth.In a Facebook post, local resident Neli da Terra said she was “a guest for a period of 32 days, in search of a contact with earth and nature, always with a quiet behavior and relationship and without causing any damage to the community and our family”.Police carrying out searches feared the worst and claim they were hampered by “rugged terrain”. The 27-year-old disappeared on SundayCredit:Kat Brewster/Facebook Sister Lizzie added: “We’re delighted.” 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.
Other victims working under President Barack Obama included James Clapper, director of national intelligence; deputy national security adviser Avril Haines; senior science and technology adviser John Holdren; the secretary of homeland security Jeh Johnson; and FBI special agent Amy Hess.Gamble taunted them, using a TV in Mr Johnson’s family home to post the message “I own you”. Mitigating, William Harbage QC said Gamble had a naive response to what he read about in online chat rooms.”In a naive, immature and childish way, he thought he could do something about it, he could make a nuisance of himself by targeting people in America and that would somehow get them to change US policy as a result of what he was doing from his bedroom.”He said the defendant never meant to “harm and traumatise people on an individual basis”.He added: “When members of the families were brought into it, he did not think through the consequences. The thought seems to have been ‘I want to grab attention of the US government and getting the families involved is some way that will grab attention even more’.”Mr Harbage argued for a suspended sentence, saying Gamble was due to sit GCSEs in June and hoped to read computer studies at university and pursue a “useful” career.Gamble, of Linford Crescent, Coalville, had pleaded guilty to eight charges of performing a function with intent to secure unauthorised access to computers and two charges of unauthorised modification of computer material.He made no reaction as he was sentenced but his mother wept in the well of the court. Former CIA Director John Brennan (L) and Kathy BrennanCredit:Getty Images North America The judge also ordered the seizure of Gamble’s computers. Gamble, who was aged 15 and 16 at the time, was supported by his mother when he appeared at the Old Bailey wearing a green hoodie, black trousers and Nike trainers.Prosecutor John Lloyd-Jones QC said aggravating features included the “invasion” of victims’ professional and private lives as well as their families.He said: “So many of the American witnesses attest to a drop in confidence in the use of portals, many of the agencies withdrawing their contributions, reducing the effectiveness in the wider law enforcement community in America.” He left a disturbing voicemail message for Mr Johnson’s wife Susan DiMarco asking: “Hi spooky, am I scaring you?”Mr Giuliano’s passwords were reset and he and his family were bombarded with phone calls, resulting in them getting police protection.Gamble leaked some of the information he gathered using various websites including WikiLeaks.Mr Justice Haddon-Cave handed him a deterrent sentence of two years in youth detention.He said Gamble had “revelled” in the attacks, adding: “This was an extremely nasty campaign of politically motivated cyber terrorism.”The victims would have felt seriously violated.”Gamble had bragged at one point: “This is so serious I’m f***ing shaking.”This has to be the biggest hack ever.” Autistic Gamble posed as CIA chief John Brennan to hack into top secret military filesCredit:ed willcox Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. A British teenager hacked into a US security chief’s home television and made the words “I own you” appear on screen, a court has heard. Kane Gamble, 18, rocked the US intelligence community when he blagged his way into top officials’ accounts in a campaign of “cyber terrorism”. He admitted targeting high-profile figures such as then-CIA chief John Brennan and his wife, and FBI deputy director Mark Giuliano from his family home on a Leicestershire housing estate.Between June 2015 and February 2016, he accessed email and phone accounts to get his hands on “extremely sensitive” documents on military and intelligence operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Old Bailey was told.He impersonated his victims and conned call centres at communications giants Comcast and Verizon into divulging confidential information.After targeting Mr Brennan and his wife Kathy, Gamble posted anonymously on Twitter saying: “@CIA set your game up homies. We own everything. £freepalestine £CWA.”
Bees must become city dwellers to in order to survive, according to a new study which found the insects now fare better in towns.Scientists compared the progress of colonies in urban, village and rural environments and found numbers are roughly three times healthier in built-up areas than in the country.The researchers at Holloway University believe predators, agricultural pesticides and a reduction of food in rural areas mean city gardens and other green spaces have now become safer and more nutritious for bees than their traditional habitats.The crucial pollinators are under significant strain, partly due to the intensification of arable farming.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––But there has been an increase in the number of urban beehives as more people take up beekeeping as a hobby. The team captured 176 foraging queens from Windsor Great Park in Surrey and then reintroduced them across 114 sites in London and the South East.They found the numbers of sexual offspring, the size of food stores, and ability to avoid parasite invasion was all improved in towns.Published in the Royal Society Journal, the 10-week study is believed to be the first to show a species to demonstrate a direct relationship between ubranisation and reproductive success.“Reductions in forage availability in modern agricultural landscapes have been identified as a potential major driver of bee population declines,” the authors wrote. Show more “Accordingly, we found less stored pollen and nectar in agricultural colonies than in city or village colonies, suggesting forage availability may be a contributing factor to poor performance at agricultural sites.”Last month it was announced an insect “road network” should be created throughout Britain to protect species such as bees, butterflies and moths from decline.The Ministry of Justice and The Environment Agency are already working with the charity Buglife to identify sites such as prisons, seawalls and floodplains where they could create wildflower habitats. 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.
Ben Stokes today faced claims he was “really very drunk” and “over-exaggerated” any homophobic abuse against two camp revellers in a bid to justify launching a barrage of punches in a street fight.Yesterday Stokes told jurors he fought with two men after they lunged at two gay clubbers with a bottles. The 27-year-old said he was protecting himself and those around him by fighting with Ryan Hale, an Afghanistan veteran, and Ryan Ali, a fire brigade worker.Stokes is accused along with Ali of affray following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub on September 25 last year. Hale was cleared yesterday at Bristol Crown Court. In addition to “two or three pints” and five or six vodka and lemonades on the night before the fight, Stokes said for the first time that he may have drunk “jagerbombs” inside the Mbargo club in Bristol’s Clifton Triangle. “It was a fun night,” he told the court.Prosecutor Nicholas Corsellis suggested to Stokes that the reason he was having problems remembering exactly what happened that night was because he was “actually really very drunk”. Stokes replied: “No.” Ryan Hale (front) and Ryan Ali (back) leave Bristol Crown CourtCredit:Peter Nicholls/Reuters In attempting to bargain his way back into Mbargo, jurors heard how he told the heavily-tattooed doorman: “Come on, mate. I’ve got s— tattoos as well.”Mr Corsellis suggested to Stokes that he had been angry, shouted and pointed at Mr Cunningham, to which Stokes replied: “I don’t think you can tell if I’m angry. I might just be looking at the night sky.”The prosecutor asked him: “Who were you speaking to when you were looking at the night sky?” Stokes replied: “God?”The all-rounder accepted he suffered “significant memory blackout” surrounding the night in question. He denied Mr Corsellis’ suggestion that the cricketer’s eyes were “glazed” and his speech was slurred in the body-worn camera footage. Despite telling police he was defending his “gay friends”, Stokes told jurors: “They weren’t my friends. That’s what I chose to call them at the time.”Anna Midgley, defending Ali, then told Stokes: “Mr Ali was backing away and offering you no punches.” Stokes did not recognise Ms Midgley’s description of the fight, but said: “It’s clear in my statements that I admit to throwing multiple punches.” Ben Stokes outside Mbargo “looking up at the night sky” Stokes denied claims that he had been abusive towards “flamboyant” Mr Barry and Mr O’Connor, saying instead that his conversation with them was in regard to his poor dress sense after they had earlier mocked his £695 shoes.To illustrate Stokes’s taste, Gordon Cole QC, defending, showed the jury a pair of white Buscemi high-top shoes, with gold padlocks on the back, which Stokes claimed Mr Barry and Mr O’Connor were laughing at.Stokes, who denies flicking a cigarette butt at Mr Barry and Mr O’Connor, said their conversation revolved entirely around “my attire on that night”. As Mr Cole held up the Buscemi leather shoes, Stokes said: “I had never heard of the brand, I just quite liked them… I get told by quite a lot of my teammates that I dress the worst.” 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. “I used my right arm around his neck and my left arm to grab his left hand so I could pull him against me to try to restrain him.”Ali told the jury he is still under the care of a maxillofacial surgeon.”I still get double vision when I look around,” Ali told the court. “I get floaters and my eye goes blurry quite a lot so I have to blink to re-focus.” Addressing the cricketer’s tattoos, Mr Corsellis asked: “First of all Mr Stokes, you don’t have s— tattoos. You have spent a significant amount of money in the past on your tattoos. Three Lions on the back of your shoulder. The sleeves of tattoos to both left and right arms. They are not s—.”Stokes replied: “This one on my right arm, I really like it. The one on my back I tend to agree with the grief I get that it’s a bit s—.”Facing cross-examination in the witness box at his affray trial, the England all-rounder was accused of “misrepresenting” his friendship with the two men he claims were being insulted before he knocked out Ali and Hale. When asked if he had become “enraged” at any point, Stokes replied it was a “difficult question”. The 6ft 2in sportsman added: “I didn’t know if they were carrying more weapons… At all times I felt under threat from these two.”Stokes, of Castle Eden, Durham, and Mr Ali, of Bristol, each deny affray. Ali said there had been “banter” between him and Mr Hale and the gay men, Mr O’Connor and Mr Barry – and they had no issue with the pair’s sexuality.”I remember at some stage walking down that street, someone saying ‘We are going home with them tonight’,” Ali said.”Then someone else said ‘No you’re not’ or words to that effect but they got quite irate when they said it.”I recall we were in a group of four, having a laugh and having some banter and the next thing I remember is having a tall blonde man charging towards me.”Ali claimed he walked backwards, saying “I don’t want no trouble”.He added: “I have a memory of calming down Mr Stokes. I recall trying to calm him down. I thought I did because he turned away from me. He then turned his attention away from me and turns to Ryan Hale who is unconscious on the floor.”I saw that as an opportunity to try to restrain Mr Stokes from attacking my friend, who couldn’t defend himself. As Mr Stokes’s back was turned away from me, I saw that as an opportunity to get behind him. Show more Stokes admitted his injuries were “not anything compared to what Ali sustained”, but denied claims he was “looking threatening and aggressive” and told jurors his actions were in self-defence. Yesterday Stokes told jurors he fought with two men after they lunged at two gay clubbers with a bottles.”Everything I did… was in defence of myself,” insisted Stokes, who claims Hale and Ali were shouting “homophobic abuse” at clubbers Kai Barry and William O’Connor.But Ali, called to give evidence after Stokes, said the cricketer came at him for no reason, telling jurors: “He was very angry and he was looking for someone to pick on.”The fire brigade worker said he would have been drinking Jack Daniel’s and Coke and during the course of the night he would have drank six or seven before leaving Mbargo. Ben Stokes holds an umbrella over himself and his wife Clare as they arrive for day four of the trial Credit:Hannah McKay/Reuters Stokes agreed with Mr Cole that Mr O’Connor and Mr Barry were “openly camp”, but he denied claims that any of his actions were homophobic.”No, absolutely not,” Stokes said.”The only comments between myself and the gay couple was what we had chosen to wear that night.”Stokes, on the fourth day of his trial for affray at Bristol Crown Court, told how he felt “under threat” at all times when he punched Mr Hale and Ali. Stokes insisted he had stepped in to protect Mr Barry and Mr O’Connor after hearing Mr Hale and Ali – who had a glass bottle – shout homophobic abuse at them. told the pair: be taking the they are gay.”Stokes said the pair: “You shouldn’t he p—because they are gay.””I was told by Mr Ali along the lines of ‘Shut the f— up or I’ll bottle you’.”The cricketer said the street fight began when Ali allegedly held the neck of the upturned bottle in his hand and began “waving it around”.”As soon as I saw Mr Ali swing the bottle and physically hit them that’s when I took the decision to get involved. I was trying to stop Mr Ali doing damage to anybody,” Stokes said. Stokes also denied abusing doorman Andrew Cunningham, with whom he claimed to have shared a joke about tattoos. He told jurors that his memory of the evening was “incomplete” because of the head injury he suffered when he was knocked out by Stokes.
“I am left handed and my left middle finger was in a cast at the time due to an injury. This meant I could only hold onto my father with my right hand, and I just was not strong enough to move him.”I knew that I would have to get help.”I ran to leave our flat and as I did I looked behind me and I could just see a wall of fire through the window behind my father. I shouted at him to come with me.”Samuel Daniels continued: “I opened the front door again and thick, black smoke came pouring in.”I closed the door again and shouted at my dad, ‘Come on, come on. Get out.'”He was not responding to me at all; he was in a daze.”I opened the door again and more smoke came in. I was breathing it in and I could feel myself starting to lose consciousness.” “It did not feel safe for him to be on the 16th floor due to his limited mobility combined with his mental health difficulties. I worried about what would happen if there was a fire.”It turns out my concerns were warranted; my father would have been able to escape the blaze if we had lived on a lower floor.”Talking of the initial stages of the fire, he said he first noticed a smell of smoke before 1am but thought the blaze was outside the tower as he could not hear any fire alarms.He later opened his front door and saw thick dark smoke in the corridor, and he could see flames reflected in the panels on a school building when he looked out of a window in his 16th floor flat.This, combined with the noise of “shouting and panicking” from elsewhere in the building, prompted him to tell his father they had to leave.He said: “I shouted at my dad to forget his shoes and to leave with me, but he was disorientated and frozen in a daze.”I grabbed him to try and pull him out with me.”I told him that we had to go now; I was shaking him and pulling him but because he used to be a bodybuilder he was still strong. In his written statement to the public inquiry, Mr Daniels said his father had poor mental and physical health at the time of the fire, and had been diagnosed with dementia in 2015.He was not registered as disabled but had “limited” physical abilities, rarely left his flat and never used the stairs.Mr Daniels, who was a full-time carer for his father at the time of the fire, said: “I had a lot of concerns about my father’s health and safety in the flat. After establishing they were on the 11th floor, the fire crew ascended for a second time.Mr Daniels said: “By this time I felt sure that my father was either unconscious or dead already. Shortly after, they came running down looking totally petrified.”It was as if they were literally running for their lives. I asked the last one about my father. He said that they could not do anything.”He told me no one could go up there and I had to leave. I turned to the fireman I had been waiting with and he just said to me to get out.”I ran with the firemen, and it felt like I was running away from my father.” 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. “I realised that if I became unconscious we would both be dead,” Mr Daniels said. “I covered my face with my hood and went out of the door into the corridor. I left the door open in case my father came behind me.”Mr Daniels ran down the stairs and met a fireman on what he said was the 11th floor, who radioed for a crew to come and help.Within five minutes, four firemen arrived and went up the stairs, but returned within minutes reporting they could not tell what number floors they were on due to no signs. A Grenfell Tower survivor has told how he had to leave his dementia-suffering father behind as the fire engulfed the tower block. Former bodybuilder Joseph Daniels lived on the 16th floor at Grenfell and his son Samuel had voiced concerns about his vulnerable father’s safety. As the blaze ripped through the flats, Mr Daniels tried desperately to drag his father out of their home, but the 69-year-old had frozen in a dazed state. Mr Daniels, who was his father’s full-time carer, had broken the middle finger on his dominant left hand which meant it was in a cast. Having shaken him, shouted and tried to pull him through the door, he told the inquiry of the tragedy where he had to leave his father to avoid them both dying.
A cyclist who terrorised lone women by slapping their bottoms as he rode his bicycle was spared jail by a judge today after a court heard he was “cripplingly shy” and unable to cope in prison.Constantin Barbutu, 22, would don a hoodie and ride up behind women who were walking, running or cycling alone in Brighton before smacking or groping them, leaving them angry and living in fear.The Romanian dish washer escaped a prison sentence when he appeared in Hove Crown Court because a judge felt he was so “severely intellectually impaired” he would not cope behind bars.Initially denying 21 charges of sexual assault, Barbutu pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial to crimes against 11 women.Handing him a 12-month suspended sentence and ordering him to complete 40 days of rehabilitation with probation, Judge David Rennie said: “Were it not for the fact that two experts agree that you do have severely impaired intellectual functioning you would be going straight to prison today. However you do have these very real problems. Judge Rennie said Kelly’s “exceptional circumstances” and his guilty plea contributed to his decision to give him a suspended sentence. Another woman felt “angry and confused” and on discovering she had been targeted by a stranger added: “I was livid.”A third said: “His behaviour was menacing and I was alone in a dark, isolated place where no-one would hear a scream.”Due to “severe intellectual impairment” and difficulties with language, Barbutu has struggled to learn English after arriving in the UK with his girlfriend three years ago, the court heard.Richard Elliott, defending, described Barbutu as “cripplingly shy” and frightened about coming to court, adding: “He is sorry for what he has done.”Punishment will not help him. It will vindicate the public for what he has done but would not assist him in any way.”The remaining 10 counts against him were left to lie on file.In 2008, Judge Rennie was criticised by an anti-gun campaigner after he spared a then 20-year-old man of a jail sentence for hiding illegal weapons in his grandmother’s home. James Kelly faced up to five years in prison after he admitted firearms and ammunition without a licence but was given a 12-month suspended sentence, 200 hours’ community service.Paula Ogungboro, of Mothers Against Guns, accused Judge Rennie of being a “soft-touch”. “What you chose to do to these 11 women who are complete strangers to you – you caused great fear, ongoing anguish. They were simply going about their business and they were fully entitled to be left alone.” Barbutu first struck in September 2016 before carrying out a spate of attacks between the end of December that year and February last yearCredit:Gareth Fuller/PA Dressed in a green and white varsity bomber-style jacket and grey tracksuit trousers, the 22-year-old did not react as he listened to an interpreter relay the proceedings.Barbutu first struck in September 2016 before carrying out a spate of attacks between the end of December that year and February 2017 while he was working in a shopping centre restaurant and living with his girlfriend in Hove.Police launched an investigation after receiving more than 24 reports from women describing similar incidents across the Sussex city.He was arrested when a security guard spotted him targeting two women and, recalling press reports for appeals to track down the culprit, reported him to 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. Piers Reed, prosecuting, described his behaviour as a “campaign of sexual assault”, adding: “The defendant appears to have identified sole, individual females and approaches them on his bike. “He is always on a bike, always wearing a hoodie up. The usual pattern is he strikes them on the bottom and rides off.”His victims said in statements read to the court they felt unsafe in the city in the wake of the attacks.One said she was “horrified” when Barbutu squeezed her on the bottom and then returned to do so a second time while she watched him circling her and “smirking”. Judge David Rennie felt Barbutu was so “severely intellectually impaired” he would not cope behind barsCredit:UPPA