Green Bay defensive Tackle Tony Hargrove became the latest casualty of the “Bountygate” scandal that originated in New Orleans.The Packers cut him on Friday evening rather than wait for him to complete his NFL-mandated eight-game suspension for his role in the affair.Hargrove was among the several current and former Saints players and coaches whom Commissioner Roger Goodell cited this spring as having participated in the infamous bounty program that offered financial incentive to knock opposing players out of the game.The former Georgia Tech star has long maintained his innocence, accusing the NFL of lying about his involvement. The league has insisted that Hargrove was heard on tape saying “Give me money” after the team was told that Vikings quarterback Brett Favre had suffered a broken leg in the 2009 NFC Championship game.Hargrove has maintained that the voice heard was not his, but the league has remained unmoved.“It wasn’t me” he said in a statement released in June. “That’s right. The NFL got their evidence all wrong. In their rush to convict me, they made a very serious error. … Like I said, lean in closer, look closer, listen closer. It is not my voice, Anyone who knows me well knows that it’s not me. But the NFL does not know me well. They simply make assumptions. With … my … life.”The Packers signed Hargrove on March 30 as an unrestricted free agent, well before the NFL handed down its punishment for the “pay-to-play” scandal a few weeks later.The team knew some kind of punishment was headed Hargrove’s way, but apparently feel now that he isn’t worth the headache. Hargrove was among five players the team cut Friday as it works its roster down to the 53-man limit by 7 p.m. next Friday.Green Bay had the option of retaining Hargrove’s rights as he sat out the first eight weeks of the season without counting him against the 53-man roster. The team would have had a week or so to decide what to do with him when his suspension was complete.But it was obvious with the lack of playing time that Hargrove was receiving in the preseason that the Packers were having buyer’s remorse and had little interest in his services.Hargrove will be free to sign with any team in the league after his suspension is over.
You’re reading Significant Digits, a daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news.2 roundsRonda Rousey was knocked out for the first time in her UFC career, going down in the second round against underdog and the anti-Rousey Holly Holm. [Los Angeles Times]10 percentAccording to Pornhub, a website that provides the exact services you think it does, traffic plummeted by 10 percent when “Fallout 4,” a hotly anticipated video game, became available to the gaming public. [VentureBeat]10.4 percentThe Chicago Cubs will increase season ticket prices by an average 10.4 percent following a run at the World Series and forthcoming deals with free agents. [ESPN]19 percentFollowing a wild weekend of college football, Alabama is now the most likely team to win the national title, with a 19 percent chance according to FiveThirtyEight’s model. [FiveThirtyEight]20 bombsWith 129 reported dead from the terror attacks in Paris, France has taken an increased role in combating the Islamic State, coordinating a 20-bomb campaign in northern Syria. [Sky News]1,000 resignationsMore than 1,000 members reportedly resigned from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints following the announcement that the Mormon church would no longer baptize the children of same-sex couples. [The New York Times]1,900 spiesU.K. Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the government will hire an additional 1,900 spies for its intelligence agencies MI5, MI6 and GCHQ following the terror attacks in Paris. [The Telegraph]71,871Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has surpassed Brett Favre’s record for most career passing yards. Manning now has 71,871 yards, but was pulled from the field in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs in favor of backup QB Brock Osweiler. [Pro Football Reference]$10.3 billionAmount collected by public universities from student fees to support athletics programs over the past five years, according to a Chronicle of Higher Education and Huffington Post investigation. A lot of schools are beginning to question how much that investment is really worth. [Chronicle of Higher Education]If you haven’t already, you really need to sign up for the Significant Digits newsletter — be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news.
Players as short as Isaiah Thomas aren’t supposed to make it in the NBA, let alone be elite scorers. To find the last player who was 5-foot-10 or shorter and averaged 20 points per game in a single season, you have to go back 20 years.1To Damon Stoudamire, in 1996-97. It’s been almost 40 years since someone that short averaged 25.2Calvin Murphy, during the 1977-78 season. No one that size has ever averaged 30, which Thomas — who is currently scoring 29.5 points a night — is threatening to do.For someone who is much shorter than the best athletes in the world, an incredible amount of talent is necessary to succeed, especially at the all-star level that Thomas has. But there’s also a ton of skill involved, and the 5-foot-9 Celtics star has honed one tactic well over the past two seasons. Thomas, who is second in the league in points per game, has found a trick for avoiding the big men planted close to the basket: He’s become excellent at using the rim as a fence to stop defenders from blocking his close-range shots.These plays usually start with the lightning-quick Thomas (who leads the NBA in drives per game) getting a step on his man. He then leaps for the shot but glides out to other side of the basket where the defender can’t realistically do anything to bother the attempt, since he’s still stuck on the other side.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/thomashandswitch.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/itreverse.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The 28-year-old has gone to a reverse layup 29 times this season, for almost 8 percent of his layups — a rate similar to last season, but one that’s almost double what it was in 2014-15, according to NBA Savant, a site that tracks unusual statistics and the specific sorts of shots players take.The sleight of hand at least partially explains how Thomas has been able to get to the basket so much more often over the past two seasons. Since the start of the 2015-16 campaign, a whopping 33 percent of Thomas’s field-goal attempts have come from within 3 feet, up from just 22 percent over the four seasons before that. He’s converting those attempts nearly 60 percent of the time.This isn’t the only move that Thomas has pulled out of his bag to compensate for his size. He’s also been successful with a now-you-see-me, now-you-don’t sort of half-spin at the perimeter, where he essentially lulls his defender to sleep for just enough time to blow past him for a shot at the rim.No matter how pretty the reverse move looks at times, the display — and other ones that get him close-range looks — is more about survival at the basket. Think of Thomas as the star of one of those National Geographic films that shows a weaker animal trying to fend off much bigger predators. Thomas isn’t always able to scamper away from the bigger players who are hunting him while he’s en route to the basket: He still gets rejected more than any player in the league. But using the reverse has added an extra layer of sophistication to his finishes, likely stopping opponents from being able to block even more of his shots than they already do.Less than 10 percent of Thomas’s layups have been blocked this season, the lowest rate of his career. That number also represents a considerable drop from last season, when 13 percent of his close-range looks got swatted and the 2014-15 season, when 15 percent of his layups got stoned, according to NBA Savant.So in other words, yes: Thomas gets blocked more than anyone in the NBA. But that doesn’t mean other vertically challenged players shouldn’t look up to him and his ingenuity around the rim. It’s helped turn him into the scoring machine he is today.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
Last summer, when it was time for bookmakers to release the odds on the upcoming NHL season, the expansion Vegas Golden Knights were an afterthought. According to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, they had the worst chance to win the Stanley Cup of any team in hockey, at 200-1. How long are those odds? The Cleveland Browns, who are perennially terrible, currently have much better odds (100-1) to win the 2019 Super Bowl.Congratulations to you, then, if you put a few bucks on Vegas at the beginning of the season: All the Knights have done since is finish the regular season with the fifth most points in the NHL, then sprint through the Western Conference playoffs while losing just three games. That torrid run has landed them a spot in the Stanley Cup final — and opened up comparisons with other unlikely Cinderellas. For us, the one that immediately sprang to mind was Leicester City’s unlikely run to the English Premier League title in 2015-16, which also stunned pundits and bookmakers. But which was truly the more impressive feat?Let’s get one thing out of the way early on: The Golden Knights aren’t your average expansion team. In fact, we published a piece way back in October in praise of their expansion roster. We didn’t think they’d win the Stanley Cup — though we were cautious not to entirely discount the upstart desert dwellers — but we also didn’t think they’d be as bad as others in sports media figured they’d be. In terms of goals versus threshold (GVT) statistics,1GVT was developed by Tom Awad of Hockey Prospectus and is similar to baseball’s VORP, in that it seeks to determine a player’s value in goals above what a replacement player would contribute. the Golden Knights had the most talent of any expansion team that joined the NHL since 1991.The Golden Knights managed to nab some key pieces in the expansion draft — a former 40-goal scorer plus several former 25-goal scorers and a Stanley Cup-winning goalie who’d been drafted No. 1 overall and was once considered a cornerstone to one of the decade’s most successful franchises. Even then, instant success for Vegas looked unlikely: Since 1991, the average expansion team had only managed to collect 57 points in its inaugural NHL season. But Vegas ended up blowing away those expectations en route to the best expansion season in the history of North American pro sports.Like the Golden Knights, Leicester faced long odds at the beginning of its championship-winning campaign. Infamously, the sportsbook Ladbrokes offered 5,000-1 odds against Leicester winning the EPL title. That number, which was bandied about constantly in the wake of the Foxes’ surprise championship, was probably a sham, set to entice people to place any bets on Leicester at all. The notion of any team having such long odds in a 20-team league is a bit absurd, even by the parity-hating standards of European soccer. To put 5,000-1 in perspective, consider this: Texas Southern’s odds of winning the 2018 NCAA men’s basketball tournament — as a No. 16 seed that had to first get past a play-in game, then rattle off six straight wins over major schools — were only 1,000-1 this past March.The “real” odds of Leicester’s victory were staggering enough, though. Leicester had to play near-perfect soccer for the final two and a half months of the 2014-15 season just to avoid relegation.2The Foxes wound up finishing 14th. According to our Soccer Power Index (SPI), Leicester City was the 12th-best team in England entering the 2015-16 Premier League season. Preseason odds for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons indicate that the 12th-best team in the league would have roughly 465-1 odds to win the Premier League. That may not be 5,000-1 long, but it’s quite long by North American standards. (See Browns, Cleveland, above.)Though there was an argument that Leicester City’s odds should have been even longer, the greater consensus is that bookmakers grossly underestimated the Foxes. (And the bookmakers have admitted as much.) After their championship, at the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Leicester City found itself as the 13th highest valued team in the Premier League according to TransferMarkt, a website that assesses the talent value of each club-soccer player and team.3At the beginning of the 2015-16 season, Leicester was the 19th highest valued team in the Premier League via TransferMarkt, which probably dramatically underrated the team’s roster. But even the 19th-best team in the EPL has roughly 2,400-1 odds on average, according to the FiveThirtyEight model. So no matter how you slice it, those 5,000-1 odds were much too long. Leicester was never the best team in England, even when it won the Premier League crown, but it wasn’t the worst team in the EPL, either. Sure, the league title was improbable — but it probably wasn’t 5,000-1 improbable. That’s why the 465-1 number above seems about right in retrospect.(Here’s more evidence that Leicester City eventually settled into a tier befitting its true talent level: In the two seasons since winning the Premier League title, the Foxes have finished 12th and ninth, respectively. That might look disappointing when compared with their extraordinary 2015-16 season, but it also makes perfect sense when viewed through the lens of the team’s transfer-market value and other metrics.)In the case of Vegas, the Golden Knights’ long odds were certainly influenced by the fact that they were an expansion team — conventional wisdom assumed it was inconceivable that an expansion team stocked with hockey men who’d never played together could win the Stanley Cup. But Vegas’s odds also fall short in comparison with Leicester’s because an improbable championship run is slightly easier in the NHL than the EPL. Hockey has a salary cap to promote balance; soccer teams spend money like it’s going out of style. Hockey’s standings have a wacky loser point to introduce needless confusion; soccer’s table is cold and uncompromising. Hockey’s playoffs are a crapshoot; soccer doesn’t even bother to have playoffs.Of course, like Leicester, Vegas also might return to earth next season. There’s no question that forward William Karlsson has been a revelation,4Part of this must be because he’s played about 42 percent more minutes per game in Vegas than he did the previous season in Columbus, and also that he’s been tasked with more offensive zone responsibility. but his shooting percentage is bound to regress, which means he’s probably not going to be a back-to-back 40 goal scorer. Likewise, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is having by far the best postseason of his career, and one of the best postseasons in NHL history — a feat he’s unlikely to replicate next season. When Leicester City won the Premier League, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez each had the best seasons of their respective Premier League careers. And while each player has been very good since, neither has managed to produce the numbers he did during that magical championship run. The Knights have their share of players who fit the same description.But whether they’ll be good again next year doesn’t matter much to Vegas right now: They’ve already made history as the first NHL expansion team to make a championship series in 50 years. And though the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues did indeed make the Stanley Cup final in their first NHL season, they did so by winning a six-team conference stocked exclusively with other teams playing their first NHL season. The Golden Knights had to navigate a notoriously difficult Western Conference playoff stocked with established NHL franchises. Now, they are just four wins away from becoming the only NHL expansion team to win a Stanley Cup in their inaugural season.Maybe Karlsson only scores 27 goals next year. Maybe Fleury transforms back into the inconsistent goalie we saw in Pittsburgh. If they do so for the defending Stanley Cup champions, though, it’s a safe bet that no one in Las Vegas will care.
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 and Information Group 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. DEN4.14.1PIT18.104.22.168548 TB0.50.3SF0.00.00.41397 FiveThirtyEight vs. the readersBe sure to check out FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings using our NFL prediction interactive. It simulates the rest of the season 100,000 times, helping you see how likely each team is to make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. And if you want to prove you can pick better than Elo, you can also face off against the algorithm in our prediction game. In addition to bragging rights, you’ll be playing for the chance to climb up our giant leaderboard.Using data from the prediction game, here are the matchups in which Elo made its best — and worst — predictions against the reader picks last week: CHI87.09.5DET6.96.015.51519 Rashaan EvansTitans22nd55.4Average Source: Pro Football Focus Leighton Vander EschCowboys19th84.1Good Dallas already lost to Washington in Week 7 on the road, 20-17. And if they somehow lose to McCoy (career 7-18 as a starter including 1-3 for the Redskins when he last started in 2014), Dallas would be two games back and Washington would control the first tiebreaker with only five games remaining. In that improbable scenario, the Cowboys would find themselves suddenly all-but removed from playoff contention and hurtling instead to an offseason of probable tumult and coaching change.But according to our projections, Dallas has a 65 percent chance of winning on Thursday and avoiding all that. SEA45.0%+/-22.7CAR61.5%+/-21.644.31564 TEN55TEN51IND 38, TEN 10+1.9– ATL62ATL60DAL 22, ATL 19+0.7– 20172.626.93.5 BAL67BAL60BAL 24, CIN 21-6.9– Vander Esch has not only replaced Lee, he has arguably surpassed him. Last year, Dallas lost four of their five games without Lee, giving up 13 more points per game 1This stat includes opponents’ defensive points scored and 46 more rushing yards. But this year, with Vander Esch replacing him as starter for five games, Dallas is better — allowing 30 fewer rushing yards per game and 2.4 fewer points. Dallas is now 4-1 when Lee hasn’t played, and Vander Esch single-handedly changed the outcome of Sunday’s game.Vander Esch is the second Dallas blue-chip defender that general manager and owner’s son Stephen Jones has found relatively cheap in the draft. 2017 Pro Bowl defensive end and sack-master Demarcus Lawrence was grabbed in the second round in 2014.Lawrence’s ability to generate pressure allows the Cowboys to blitz infrequently, just 20.8 percent of the time, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group. This may limit big defensive plays — the Cowboys have just four interceptions this year — but it seems to prevent big plays by the opponents, too. They have one of the most efficient units in football as measured by yards opposing offenses must gain to score a point.Much of that stat is driven by red zone success, which is viewed by many as random. But Dallas combines efficiency in the red zone with an ability to stop teams from getting there at all. The Cowboys rank near the top of the league in opponents’ red zone possessions per game.Dallas’s defense has to be efficient because the offense lacks explosiveness. The offense has put up just 34 plays of 20 or more yards this season, tied for 25th in the league, according to Pro-Football-Reference. Even after the addition of wide receiver Amari Cooper, who cost Dallas a 2019 first-round pick, Dallas’s passing game is stuck mostly in neutral. Prior to Cooper joining the Cowboys in their eighth game, Dallas was 28th in yards per pass play. Since then they are improved slightly, but still rank 23rd.The most important change to the Cowboys passing offense hasn’t been Cooper but a player who was already on the roster — running back Ezekiel Elliott. WSH62%HOU51%HOU 23, WSH 21+11.9– Elliott is a bigger part of the passing gameEzekiel Elliott’s involvement in the Dallas Cowboys’ passing game, 2016-18 CIN24.59.0CLE0.30.59.41408 TEN36.220.2HOU84.113.033.21516 For a 5-5 team, things are looking better than average for the Dallas Cowboys. Their division is a train wreck. The Giants are lilliputian, the Eagles are grounded, and Washington is without its starting quarterback. The Cowboys, somehow, are the ones who seem to have the best shot of making the playoffs.We’ll know a lot more after Dallas and Washington play in a Thanksgiving showcase on Thursday. Washington is 6-4, but has a far lower Elo than Dallas (1504 vs. 1542), and Washington’s quarterback is now perma-journeyman Colt McCoy after Alex Smith gruesomely broke his leg in his last game. The Cowboys are still only 46 percent likely to make the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight’s projections, but a win against Washington would go a long way. That the playoffs are even within sight is a stunning reversal of fortune from earlier this month, when a home loss to the Titans dropped Dallas to 3-5 and had observers calling for head coach Jason Garrett’s head. Making matters worse, star linebacker Sean Lee injured his hamstring again in the Titans loss. The last time that happened, Dallas’s defense went down with him.Dallas tried to guard against another Lee injury by fortifying their linebacker corps in the 2018 draft. Their first-round pick, Leighton Vander Esch, was expected to be too inexperienced to adapt quickly to the NFL game, but has turned into easily the best linebacker at the top of his draft. DAL46.322.4WSH54.720.142.51522 NO74NO76NO 48, PHI 7-1.0– This season, Dallas has figured out that Elliott can be featured as a receiver, too. His role in the passing game2Measured by targets per game. has more than doubled since his rookie season and is up dramatically from 2017, too. This has been especially the case the past two weeks when Elliott’s running and passing has accounted for 388 of Dallas’s 733 scrimmage yards (53 percent)Of course, the Cowboys are just one ill-timed stinker away from wrecking their season, too. Using our ELO projections, only one game in Week 12 holds more importance for the playoffs than Washington-Dallas: NE96.92.9NYJ0.20.23.11480 SeasonReceptionsReceiving YdsTargets Rookie LinebackersTeamDraft PositionPro Football Focus Grade MIA12.79.8IND22.39.719.51460 NYG52TB51NYG 38, TB 35-4.4– MIN52.317.3GB16.413.731.01522 BAL37.48.4OAK0.00.08.41436 Playoff %Playoff % LAC80LAC78DEN 23, LAC 22+1.3– SEA67SEA56SEA 27, GB 24-11.2– Dallas’s rookie linebacker was a stealRookie linebackers drafted in the first round by Pro Football Focus’s grade Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group Elo’s dumbest (and smartest) picks of Week 11Average difference between points won by readers and by Elo in Week 11 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction game PHI20.35.3NYG0.30.55.81467 PIT68PIT70PIT 20, JAX 16-0.5– OUR PREDICTION (ELO)READERS’ PREDICTION PICKWIN PROB.PICKWIN PROB.ResultREADERS’ NET PTS CAR57CAR64DET 20, CAR 19-9.9– ARI68ARI65OAK 23, ARI 21+2.4– Team ACurrentAvg. Chg*Team BCurrentAvg. Chg*Total ChangeGame Quality LAC83.15.7ARI0.00.05.71476 ATL9.06.0NO22.214.171.124615 The best matchups of Week 12Week 12 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 CHI54CHI52CHI 25, MIN 20-3.9– Roquan SmithBears8th62.6Average Tremaine EdmundsBills16th49.6Below average 20126.96.36.199 Elo beat the field again in Week 11, picking up 23.3 points on the average reader to give the algorithm its 10th win of the season. The readers were right to think Deshaun Watson and the Texans would beat Washington, but they were dealt blows by the Lions (who beat the Panthers) and Seahawks (who beat the Packers). Readers have now lost 37.7 points on average by picking the Panthers this season, which is the second-most of any team behind the Patriots.3Who helped Elo take readers to the cleaners with losses to the Lions and Titans.Congrats, however, are in order to Voris Struck, who led all identified users in Week 11 with 93.4 points, and to the wonderfully named Greg Chili Van Hollebeke, who took the season-long lead with 778.4 points. Thanks to all 12,421 of our players — and if you haven’t played yet, you can make picks now and still try your luck against Elo this week.Additional reporting by Neil Paine.Check out our latest NFL predictions. 20188.8.131.52 LAR54LAR53LAR 54, KC 51-3.7– JAX0.91.0BUF0.90.71.61432 PER GAME
Ohio State picked up the eighth commitment of its 2019 recruiting class on Sunday when outside linebacker Cade Stover announced his intention to join the Buckeyes via Twitter. A four-star recruit from Lexington, Ohio, Stover is the No. 8 outside linebacker in the nation and the fourth-best recruit from the state of Ohio, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Stover is one of three defensive players in Ohio State’s 2019 class, joining defensive end Noah Potter and safety Bryson Shaw, who flipped his commitment from Wisconsin on Jan. 27. Stover is also one of three Ohio natives in the 2019 class with both Potter and three-star offensive tackle Ryan Jacoby hailing from Mentor, Ohio. Stover is the second player in his class to commit to the Buckeyes in as many days. Shaw committed Saturday. Ohio State has a chance to land its third commitment of the weekend when five-star wide receiver Garrett Wilson chooses between Texas and Ohio State. The Buckeyes have landed five of their eight commitments in April.
However on Tuesday, the day of the US election, MPs were told the definition was to change and reservists would be ready for deployment after only the first phase. The change means that close to 2,000 reservists will effectively have completed training between six months and a year earlier than expected, according to experts.Critics claimed the change was made because the Government was due to miss out on its target, which was adopted alongside major cuts to the full-time Army.Nia Griffith, Labour’s shadow defence secretary, told The Daily Telegraph that ministers were “fiddling the figures” and questioned whether it could have an impact on the “frontline”. “We need to see a clear plan to address concerns about future gaps in the Armed Forces’ capability, rather than simply shifting the goalposts by changing the training requirements,” she said. “With so little clarity from the Government about reserve recruitment, how can we have full confidence in the capability that lies behind them?”However government sources insisted the change had been made so that more reservists were available to help combat flooding in Britain. Tory ministers have been accused of “fiddling the figures” to hit an ambitious recruitment target for Army reservists after they quietly changed the definition for completing training. For years there have been concerns over whether the Government can hit its promise of building an Army Reserve of 30,000 by 2020, though there has been improvement recently.Previously a reservist would be ready for UK deployment after they completed two “phases” of training, one general and one specialist. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The row threatens to re-toxify an issue that blighted David Cameron’s premiership after he oversaw cuts to defence in the wake of the financial crisis. In 2013, Mr Cameron announced that the Army would be cut from 102,000 to 82,000, but also said that the Army Reserve would double from 15,000 to 30,000. Since that decision ministers have been told they are set to miss that target by a watchdog and admitted they have struggled to recruit and retain reservists. In the last 18 months improvements were made with the total Army Reserve exceeding yearly targets, but the rate of growth has been too slow. On current trends, the 2020 target will be missed according to expert analysis. Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, announced in Parliament this week that reservists will be deemed to have reached “trained strength” after completing just one of two training phases. That means they can be deployed in the UK to help with floods, manage crowds and other tasks that can benefit from military organisation – though not frontline roles like counter-terrorism. It also means reservists will complete their training more quickly – a speeding up of the system that will help the Government hit its 30,000 reservists by 2020 target. Peter Quentin, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, said: The announcement has convenient twin benefits, immediately improving the highly politicised headline recruiting statistic, while also freeing-up significant manpower to help fulfil those homeland resilience roles for which reservists are well-placed and sufficiently trained. It is worth noting that the recruiting targets are currently being exceeded, but they were always due to ramp-up later in the decade. So regardless of this subtle reclassification, the Army’s efforts to recruit, train and retain its reservists must be continually improved because the ultimate target is not that six-figure number on a spreadsheet, but a force that is disciplined, trained and ready to serve the nation at home as much as overseas.An Army spokesperson said: “To meet the increased utility and productivity requirement, the Army broadened the definition of trained strength to include Regular and Reserve Army Phase One trained personnel in July.” “This has increased the pool of manpower available for a national emergency. Any deployment of Phase One trained personnel would be subject to appropriate supervisory ratios and duty of care regimes.” To meet the increased utility and productivity requirement, the Army broadened the definition of trained strengthArmy spokesman We need to see a clear plan… rather than simply shifting the goalposts by changing the training requirementsNia Griffith, Labour’s shadow defence secretary In 2013, Mr Cameron announced that the Army would be cut from 102,000 to 82,000 (file picture) Credit:OMAR SOBHANI/REUTERS
After the UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016 questions began to arise about what Britain’s break with the EU would look like.No state has left the European Union before, and the rules for exit – contained in Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon – are brief.And despite Ms May claiming that “Brexit means Brexit”, little is known about what Brexit will look like. So what is the difference between the two, and what impact will each have on the UK’s future relationship with the EU?Watch the video to find out. 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. Brexiteers like Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis support a “Hard Brexit”.Remainers on the other hand are in favour of a softer approach.
A mother-of-two who died just hours after having a caesarian told her husband: “I love you – if anything happens just make sure you look after the boys”, an inquest heard.Primary schoolteacher Frances Cappuccini, 30, died just eight hours after the birth of her second son Giacomo – having lost several litres of blood.An inquest into her death resumed on Tuesday after it was halted in 2014. She was one of the greatest people I am ever likely to meet in my life. She was very bubbly, kind, caring and loving personTom Cappuccini Frances Cappuccini died after giving birth by caesarean sectionCredit:PA Dr Errol Cornish, the consultant anaesthetist who treated Mrs Cappuccini, was also told he had no case to answerCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley “The risk was no greater in the morning of the 9th than the evening of the 8th because when that surgery was performed the surgeon had the same good view of the stomach open. In fact the same staff were in duty.”Making an emotional tribute to his wife, Tom Cappuccini said: “She was one of the greatest people I am ever likely to meet in my life.””She was very bubbly, kind, caring and loving person. She had lots of friends and lots of time for her friends.”She was a great mother, a fantastic wife and she loved looking after Luca.”As a teacher her education background enabled her to give him a good start to his young life.”The inquest was originally halted in 2014 when it became apparent that criminal charges could be brought following the tragedy.Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust made legal history by becoming the first NHS trust to face corporate manslaughter charges.But the case was dismissed by a judge at the Inner London Crown Court in February 2016.Dr Errol Cornish, the consultant anaesthetist who treated Mrs Cappuccini, was also told he had no case to answer with regards to gross negligence manslaughter charges against him.Another doctor, Nadeem Azeez, also had charges against him dropped.The inquest, which is due to last 10 days, continues. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Frances Cappuccini and her husband TomCredit: Appearing emotional in court, Mr Cappuccini said: “I was told that I could see her when she was stable in the ICU but I never got the chance.”At 4pm a group of doctors came to see me and said her blood pressure had dropped and her heart had stopped. They had tried to revive her but they were unable to do so.”Neil Sheldon, a lawyer representing the family, told coroner Roger Hatch the fact Mrs Cappuccini underwent 12 hours of gruelling labour rather than be sent for an immediate elective caesarian was of “paramount concern” to her family.He said: “As you will be immensely aware this inquest represents the only chance for Mrs Cappuccini’s family to have investigated the circumstances surrounding her death and to have answers to the questions they still have as to why she died. Giving evidence at the hearing in Gravesend, Kent, on Tuesday, her husband said: “Frankie was terrified. She had been terrified for months in the run-up to giving birth because of the previous experience and what happened.”She was very certain she wanted me to make sure she had C-section on arrival.”The couple had booked an elected caesarian for the following Monday – just two days later – but had arrived at 8.30pm after she went into labour.He said midwives and doctors at the hospital advised them “not to make a decision based on pain and fear” and told them there was no reason she could not give birth naturally.Following their advice, she endured 12 hours of gruelling labour before being rushed for a caesarian at 8.30am the following morning – where surgeons made the fatal error of leaving a large piece of placenta in the uterine cavity. Dr Nadeem Azeez had charges against him droppedCredit: Tom Cappuccini attends the inquest at Gravesend Town HallCredit:Steve Finn Photography It heard how the mother, from Offham, Kent, was absolutely “terrified” about having her second child after experiencing a traumatic birth with first son Luca, then aged four.Her husband Tom Cappuccini said she entered Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury, Kent, on Oct 8, 2012 “certain” she wanted an elective caesarian procedure following advice from a consultant obstetrician at nearby Maidstone Hospital.But on arrival Mr Cappuccini said midwives had “almost a smirk across their face almost laughing” when he told them she needed a caesarian and had been advised against having an epidural by their doctor. Asked if he felt free to make the choice about the birth, Mr Cappuccini added: “I put my trust and Frankie’s trust in the people that were there. They disregarded previous medical advice and we were made to feel small and insignificant.”In hindsight I wish I had never agreed.”The mother was feeding her newborn son for the first time when she felt blood “flowing between her legs” and midwives found a pool of blood under her sheet.When bleeding did not stop she was rushed to surgery to allow doctors to investigate and stem the bleed.Following the surgery Mr Cappuccini was told a piece of placenta which was described as “raggedy” was found in her uterine cavity.But she was rushed to an Intensive Care Unit when she failed to come around from the general anaesthetic. “There was an early admission of liability by the trust and there has been no civil trial and the criminal trial collapsed – for which the family watched as frustrated and to some extent bemused spectators.”They have waited four and half years for long this opportunity with no little restraint and great patience.”He claimed if a caesarian had been undertaken at the earlier opportunity her death may have been avoided – something the NHS trust denies.He added: “If the c-section had been undertaken in an elected basis promptly on arrival at hospital, possibly by a different surgeon, then that basic error may not have been made.”Representing the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, Mike Atkins said the risk of placenta being left behind remained the same regardless of when the surgery took place.
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. Rowland White, a publishing director with Penguin, which produces Ladybird books, told the Sunday Times that Clarence House approached the publisher with the idea.”It was a coincidence where we were thinking about a new series for adults after the huge success of the spoof books, but this time wanted some factual books by experts on science, history and arts subjects,” he said. Mr Juniper told the Mail on Sunday: “His Royal Highness, Emily and I had to work very hard to make sure that each word did its job, while at the same time working with the pictures to deliver the points we needed to make.”I hope we’ve managed to paint a vivid picture, and like those iconic titles from the 60s and 70s, created a title that will stand the test of time.”Ladybird books traditionally targeted children, but have recently found success with a range of humorous titles for adults. The Prince of Wales has penned a Ladybird book on climate change, a co-author has revealed.Charles, a vocal critic of man-made climate change, has taken on the challenges and possible solutions in the book aimed at adults, according to reports.He wrote the book with Tony Juniper, a former Friends of the Earth director, and Emily Shuckburgh, a Cambridge University climate scientist. Ladybird books for adults