The Triple Crown Slump Is Even Slumpier Than You Think

On Saturday, California Chrome became the 34th horse to win the Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Derby, and thus the 34th horse with a chance to complete the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes, to be held June 7. Of the 33 previous horses that had such an opportunity, 11 succeeded — from Sir Barton in 1919 to Affirmed in 1978.The last 12 horses to win the Derby and the Preakness have failed to complete the Triple Crown, which has a historical success rate of 33 percent. The current slump is unlikely: The odds of it happening by chance are about 1 in 130 — nearly the same as the 2011 Atlanta Braves failing to make Major League Baseball’s playoffs with 18 games remaining and an 8.5-game lead for the wild card.Another way to assess the likelihood of the slump is to use the historical odds at the time each race occurred. For example, in 1979, when Spectacular Bid entered the Belmont with the Triple Crown at stake, about 52 percent (11/21) of such attempts had succeeded. The success rate for horses when Pleasant Colony entered the Belmont in 1981 was 50 percent (11/22). And before Alysheba’s attempt in 1987, it was 48 percent (11/23), and so on. (The results for this approach are below.)But the 12 races in question aren’t the only Triple Crown attempts to fall short: They’re the only ones we knew about at the time. What if time weren’t a constraint?In order, the Triple Crown races go, the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Let’s ignore order. Since 1979, there have been five horses that won the Preakness and Belmont but came up short in the Derby — let’s call these failed “reverse” attempts. There have been two horses that won the Derby and the Belmont but not the Preakness — let’s call these failed “gutshot” attempts. (All seven horses ran in all three events.) This brings our total failed Triple Crown attempts since 1979 to 19.Between 1919 and 1978, horses actually converted atemporal Triple Crown attempts at a higher rate than temporal ones, winning their “final” leg in 55 percent of opportunities (33/60) versus 52 percent in the Belmont alone.Here are year-by-year cumulative odds for the temporal and atemporal slumps:Note that I used a logarithmic scale on the y-axis, so each gridline represents the event being 10 times less likely than the gridline below. From this perspective, the atemporal Triple Crown slump looks spectacular.If you think those figures seem ridiculous, let’s look at the odds posted by the favorites at the Belmont each year.The odds of all 11 horses that raced in the Belmont losing at their race odds (by chance) are only 1 in 20,000 —  about the odds of a random pitcher throwing a perfect game on a given night (and that’s not counting I’ll Have Another, who in 2012 was 4:5 to win but scratched on race day).Although historically comparable pari-mutuel odds won’t be available until the Wednesday before the Belmont, various online/offshore futures markets list California Chrome at close to even money.This seems high relative to the overall Belmont conversion rate of 33 percent (much less the dismal rate in recent years), but there’s good news for California Chrome in our analysis as well. Factoring in atemporal Triple Crown attempts significantly increases the chances that the present slump has a legitimate cause, but it also mitigates the slump’s impact on the historical record. Including our 19 failed attempts since 1979, horses have converted 42 percent (33 of 79) of such opportunities. read more

Can We Just Enjoy Nikola Jokic For A Minute

With just a few games remaining in the regular season, the Denver Nuggets are, for the moment, outside of the playoffs. For Denver, this is a familiar place. A season ago they finished ninth in the West, one game out of the postseason. But in a Western Conference playoff race in which the fourth-place and 10th-place teams are separated by only three games, this sort of squeeze can happen. Even if the Nuggets miss the postseason again, though, they can take heart in knowing that this is the season Gary Harris cemented himself as one of the most consistent players in the league. It’s the season Jamal Murray began to realize his potential. It’s the season they convinced someone to take Emmanuel Mudiay off their hands. But above anything else, it’s another year of startling development for Nikola Jokic, the team’s budding superstar.This season, Jokic added a more consistent 3-point shot to a game that was already blowing up box scores in cities across the country. He now takes just under four threes a game and hits 40 percent of them — up from about two attempts with a 32 percent hit rate a season ago. But because Jokic doesn’t amass buckets at a rate commensurate with his skill ceiling, and because his deficiencies on defense make it easy to write him off as a regular-season curiosity, he doesn’t share the stature of other rising-star big men, such as Karl-Anthony Towns, Joel Embiid or Kristaps Porzingis. Embiid may in fact be the complete package. But through three seasons, Jokic, the 41st overall pick in the same 2014 draft where Embiid went third, has looked every bit as capable.We’ve known since Jokic’s sophomore season that he is unique. He handles the ball at the top of the key, throws one-handed cross-court passes to shooters who aren’t yet open, lobs entry passes over fronting defenders, and posts up like he’s suiting up for Georgetown in the 1980s. He’s too multifaceted to be subjected to a trite Dirk Nowitzki comparison, and it would be too sacrilegious to compare him to truer points of reference. (Bird? Sabonis? KG?) If you refine the Basketball-Reference.com Play Index to show anything that remotely resembles what he does on the court, it has a tendency to spit out a list of one. There is no precedent for a player like Jokic, who can rebound, pass and shoot at the highest levels. There isn’t even a half-cocked historical precursor, like how when you look at Kevin Love from a certain angle he kind of looks like Troy Murphy. No. There’s only been one Jokic.But it isn’t just Jokic’s complete package that’s hard to replicate — his game is extraordinary even in pieces. If we remove his shooting from the equation and look only at players who have rebounded and passed at similar levels, the only players who have approached Jokic are Kevin Garnett, Joakim Noah and DeMarcus Cousins. If we look at players who have rebounded like Jokic and shot threes at a similar rate — never mind whether they made those threes — we’re left with Cousins, Charles Barkley, Love, and, yes, Murphy. And if we look at players who have passed and shot as well as Jokic has this season, the index spits out a list of point guards — along with Kevin Durant and LeBron James. The only players 6-foot-8 or taller are those two and Magic Johnson.Jokic is a little less special when we zoom out and look at his contributions as a whole, but only slightly. He’s in the top 30 all time for win shares in the first three seasons of a frontcourt player’s career, and that list is littered with Hall of Famers — Bill Russell and Hakeem Olajuwon just ahead of him, Dwight Howard and Arvydas Sabonis just behind.Despite the modern ways Jokic pops off of the stat sheet, his game also features at least one traditional element. He posts up much more than most stretch bigs, coming in fifth in overall posts this season according to data from Second Spectrum — ahead of Towns and Anthony Davis. He creates points out of his post-ups at one of the best rates in the league, in line with Embiid, LeBron and KD.Jokic has been aflame the past few games, as Denver claws its way toward the postseason. The Nuggets have the seventh-place Minnesota Timberwolves tonight in Denver, and play the 10th-place Clippers on Saturday in Los Angeles. They likely need wins in both games to stay alive, plus at least a split in their final two games, against the Portland Trail Blazers and Minnesota again.1Two wins over Minnesota would help tremendously, since for now Denver is down in the tiebreaking season series 0-2. Maybe Denver limps across the finish line, and maybe it has enough juice left over to thrill us with a competitive game or two against Houston or Golden State on the road to certain doom. Maybe it narrowly misses the postseason yet again and has to deal with those consequences. But in the very worst case, the Nuggets still have Jokic. They still have a true surplus-creating superstar, the most valuable asset a team can possess. And they still traded Mudiay. To the Knicks. So even if things go bad, it ain’t all that bad. read more

Bruised bullied Badgered Buckeyes return home battered

Not only did Ohio State leave Madison, Wis., emotionally scarred, suffering its first loss of the season Saturday, but the Buckeyes also left physically scarred, with fewer healthy bodies than when they arrived. OSU’s already-limited defense has become further depleted because of injury. Leaving possibly the biggest void in the OSU defense is the loss of senior linebacker and leading tackler Ross Homan. Coach Jim Tressel said Homan will likely miss the next couple of weeks because of a foot injury suffered at Wisconsin. Already plagued with injuries this year, the defensive backfield has taken another hit with the loss of Tyler Moeller’s replacement, Christian Bryant, who will be out for at least this week’s contest against Purdue. “He had an infection last week, and we thought we had it under control, and he played a little bit in the game, and then he had a not-very-good reaction to it on the plane ride back,” Tressel said. “He’s been over at Ohio State Medical Center trying to get it under control, and I don’t know all the whys and the wherefores and whatnot, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be out of there until late this week.” As far as who will step in during Bryant’s absence, Tressel said he wasn’t sure yet but suggested a few possibilities. “Without having sat in the defensive room and talked about it with them, you have a couple different ways you can go,” he said. “Jermale Hines has played a lot of nickel, which would probably put (Aaron) Gant in the game. Nate Oliver was your No. 2 nickel all spring and all season until he got hurt, and he’s back healthy … or you can do what Iowa does. Iowa plays nickel with their base people.” Also on the defensive side, linebacker Dorian Bell remains out after suffering a concussion against Indiana. No matter who is in there, Tressel expects them to perform. “We’ve got to have someone ready. That’s why you get to practice Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and have walkthroughs on Friday,” he said. “If you want anyone to care that you’ve had three guys in your secondary hurt, you’re coaching the wrong sport at the wrong school because we’ve got to be ready.” Facing adversity Coming off its first loss in nearly a year, OSU is looking to pick up the pieces from its lackluster performance at Wisconsin last week, and Tressel said that loss will serve as a real test for his team. “We’ve always talked about leadership and maturity and that it’s not really tested until those adverse moments,” he said. “I think you’ll see a good demonstration of our level of maturity and leadership and so forth, and I have confidence we have the right kind of people.” With the loss behind them, the No. 10-ranked Buckeyes turn their sights to the conference-unbeaten Purdue Boilermakers. And although the Bucks once again find themselves attempting to bounce back from a difficult mid-season conference defeat, Tressel said that how his guys respond will say a lot about this team. “We told our guys countless times that there are 10 teams that want one thing for sure and that’s for Ohio State not to be the Big Ten champions, and that’s real,” Tressel said. “And now let’s see how you can handle it, and we’ll get a little glimpse of that at practice, but the real look at it will be Saturday and then the following Saturday and the following.” Continuing special teams woes After making strides in the right direction in recent weeks, OSU kick coverage took another step in the wrong direction at Wisconsin as the Badgers set the tone early, returning the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. “The bottom line is that when you’re covering kicks, there are no excuses,” Tressel said. “They don’t care if you get pushed in the back, grabbed, held, thought you should have gone around it, you thought the ball was going here or there. You have to fit. And just like when you’re playing defense, you have to fit. Kickoff, you have to fit from 70 yards away. Defense you have to fit from the line of scrimmage. We just didn’t fit.” Although the botched kickoff coverage is a point of concern for Tressel, he said it certainly did not cost his team the game. “Please don’t paint the picture that us having the kickoff taken back lost the game,” he said. “We still had 59 minutes and 48 seconds, so we had plenty of time to make up for that, but we’ve got to get better at that.” Defensive struggles The Badger ground game, at times, gave the Buckeyes fits. OSU allowed a 100-yard rushing performance for the first time in 29 games, as John Clay rushed for 104 yards. As questions continued to arise about OSU’s defensive performance, Tressel said the team’s depth at defensive line isn’t what it has been in recent years. “Are we as deep and can we rotate as much as when we had … (last year) you had Thaddeus (Gibson) and you had Lawrence Wilson, you had Doug Worthington, you had Todd Denlinger, you had Rob Rose?” Tressel said. “Those guys all were the rotators last year and they’re rotating elsewhere right now. But that’s where we are.” Despite lacking line depth, Tressel said the younger guys are continuing to come along, and his goal is for them to improve as the season progresses. Not the same Pryor OSU has become accustomed to Terrelle Pryor lighting up the score board, so the junior quarterback’s struggles Saturday seemed a bit uncharacteristic of his season thus far. And although there were passes Tressel said Pryor would probably like to have back, he was pleased with his signal caller’s effort. “I think he played extremely competitively,” Tressel said. “As far as competing and wanting to do anything he could do for the good of the team, he would have gone down to cover kickoffs if you let him, that’s just his nature. “I don’t know what else you can ask of a guy (except) to leave it on the field, and he left it on the field.” read more

Clippers win backandforth game against Louisville

The Columbus Clippers defeated the Louisville Bats, 4-3, in the second game of the four-game series Wednesday night at Huntington Park. Left fielder Jerad Head went 3-for-5, and hit the Clippers’ winning RBI. Head’s bat came on at the right time, having gone 1-for-4 in his the last game against Louisville. “That’s the type of player he is,” Manager Mike Sarbaugh said. “That’s why he has done so well here.” Alex White pitched for Columbus, going seven innings and allowing five hits, two runs, two errors. He struck out seven batter and walked none. Louisville used Dontrelle Willis, the two-time All-Star remembered for leading the Florida Marlins to the 2003 World Series title. Willis was on minor-league assignment after signing with the Cincinnati Reds before the 2011 season. The evening started out with a pitching duel for three scoreless innings. “You gotta give him credit,” Sarbaugh said. “He threw well.” Louisville was the first to erase its bagel on the board when designated hitter Yonder Alonso collided with Clippers catcher Luke Carlin at the plate after first baseman Daniel Dorn doubled, giving Louisville a 1-0 lead. Louisville extended its lead to 2-0 when third baseman Todd Frazier singled, brining in catcher Devin Mesoraco, who snuck under the tag at home. Willis laughed and joked with his teammates. He came into the game having pitched 12 scoreless innings on the year, and extended his streak to 17 before giving. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Chad Huffman, on his first pitch, blasted his first home run of the year. “It’s funny,” Sarbaugh said. “Luke Carlin said before we hit that home run, ‘Come on, we gotta give him at least one earned run for the season.’” Willis was then taken out of the game, having pitched five innings with six hits, one run, one error, two walks and four strikeouts. Columbus tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when Carlin’s center-field crack hit the yellow line on the wall. The Clippers took the lead in the bottom of the eighth when Carlin’s RBI double brought in designated hitter Luis Valbuena, making it a 3-2 Columbus lead. After pitcher Josh Judy went in for Columbus in the ninth, Dorn walked and then subbed out for infielder Michael Griffin to pinch run. Third baseman Todd Frazier singled, moving Griffin to third. Griffin then came home when second baseman Chris Valaika popped out, allowing Griffin to tag up and scoot home, tying the game, 3-3. Head’s moment came in the bottom of the ninth. With third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall on third with the bases loaded, Head crushed a ball over second base, giving Columbus the win. read more

Ohio State freshman tight end Marcus Baugh cited for underage consumption

Before ever stepping on the field for the Ohio State football team, freshman tight end Marcus Baugh has been reportedly cited for underage consumption for the second time since joining the Buckeyes.According to a report by Eleven Warriors’ Kyle Rowland, Baugh will be suspended indefinitely from the team because of the incident.An OSU spokesman was “not aware of any details,” Tuesday night and said he was “just now hearing about this via news reports.”This comes in the wake of Baugh being suspended for the 2013 season opener against Buffalo for a similar incident. In July, the tight end was arrested for underage possession/consumption of alcohol and displaying improper identification, according to Franklin County Municipal Court records.Coming out of high school, the Riverside, Calif., native was considered a four-star recruit by 247Sports and participated in the 2013 Under Armour All-American Game.Baugh was redshirted by OSU coach Urban Meyer during his freshman season after not playing for the Buckeyes all year.As of now, OSU is set to return its two starting tight ends from the 2013-14 season in junior Jeff Heuerman and redshirt-sophomore Nick Vannett.Baugh did not immediately respond to an email request from The Lantern for comment.OSU is set to start its season Aug. 30 at M&T Bank Stadium against Navy. read more

Wrestling Ohio State unveils 201718 wrestling schedule

Sun., Feb. 11vs. MichiganAnn Arbor, Michigan Fri., Jan. 5vs. Maryland College Park, Maryland Feb. 16 or 18vs. North Carolina State Raleigh, North Carolina Sun., Nov. 12vs. Arizona StateColumbus Tue., Nov. 21vs. Cleveland State (Thanksgiving Throwdown)vs. Kent State (Thanksgiving ThrowdownColumbus Then-sophomore Myles Martin checks the clock as he looks for back-points against Bo Nickal of Penn State on Feb. 3, 2017 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 32-12. Credit: Nicholas McWilliams | Former Sports EditorOhio State wrestling unveiled its 2017-18 schedule Thursday, which includes 14 dual meets and two tournaments.The reigning Big Ten champion Buckeyes will host six duals during the upcoming season. The competitions will be held in three different cities and four different venues. While St. John Arena is the conventional home for Ohio State wrestling, duals will be hosted at the Schottenstein Center, and at two in-state high schools. The season will kick off on Nov. 4 when the Buckeyes compete in the Princeton Open, a tournament hosted by Princeton in Princeton, New Jersey. Ohio State will then host three non-conference foes at St. John Arena, beginning with Arizona State on Nov. 12. Cleveland State and Kent State will visit Columbus to take part in the Thanksgiving Throwdown on Nov. 21. On Dec. 2-3, the Buckeyes travel west to compete in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.The Big Ten opener against Indiana on Dec. 10 will be hosted by the Buckeyes at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, the alma mater of Nathan Tomasello, the reigning Big Ten champion at 133 pounds. Ohio State will have three straight duals on the road before rounding out regular-season conference play with six weekend matches, including a match against Purdue on Jan. 28 at Graham High School in St. Paris, Ohio, which produced brothers Bo and Micah Jordan. Before beginning postseason play in the Big Ten tournament, Ohio State will travel to Raleigh, N.C. for a dual with North Carolina State on either Feb. 16 or 18, with the official date to be announced at a later time. The Buckeyes will have an opportunity to repeat as conference champions when the Big Ten tournament takes place on March 3-4 in East Lansing, Michigan.If all goes well for certain Ohio State wrestlers, their season will conclude in their home state as the NCAA championships will be held Mar. 15-17 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.The season schedule will see Ohio State face seven schools that finished in the top-20 at the 2017 NCAA championships. Ohio State will return a wealth of talent from its 2016-17 roster, including two-time defending national champion heavyweight Kyle Snyder. Returning along with Snyder will be the Jordan brothers, Tomasello, Kollin Moore and Myles Martin.Bo, the elder brother, is the defending Big Ten champion at 174 pounds. Micah, a redshirt junior, finished as a runner-up at 149 pounds in the Big Ten last season. Moore was the reigning champion at 197 pounds, while Martin won the NCAA championship as a freshman in 2016 at 174 pounds. Sat., Nov, 4Princeton OpenPrinceton, New Jersey Fri., Jan. 26vs. Michigan StateEast Lansing, Michigan Sun., Dec. 17vs. ChattanoogaAtlanta Feb. 2 or 4vs. Penn StateUniversity Park, Pennsylvania Fri., Jan. 12vs. Minnesota Columbus (Schottenstein Center) Dec. 2-3Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Las Vegas Mar. 3-4Big Ten Championships  East Lansing, Michigan Sun., Jan. 28vs. PurdueSt. Paris, Ohio Jan. 19 or 21vs. IowaColumbus Sun., Dec. 10vs. IndianaCuyahoga Falls, Ohio Sun., Jan. 7vs. RutgersPiscataway, New Jersey Schedule: Mar. 15-17NCAA ChampionshipsCleveland, Ohio read more

Mens Soccer Maisonneuve looks back on difficult first season

Ohio State men’s soccer head coach Brian Maisonneuve watches the Buckeyes play in the first half of the game against the University of South Florida on Sept. 7, 2018. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorIn the days following the Ohio State men’s soccer team’s season-ending loss to Northwestern in the Big Ten tournament, head coach Brian Maisonneuve took time to reflect on his first season on the job and how he plans to lead the program going forward.Maisonneuve was hired this past spring after serving as an assistant coach from 2010-17 at Indiana, his alma mater. What made the decision to leave easier, as well as the transition to Columbus, was the fact that Maisonneuve spent nine seasons playing for the Columbus Crew during his professional career. “Ohio State was the only program I would have left IU for. I was fortunate to have eight great years there, as a coach and obviously as a player as well,” Maisonneuve said. “It was an honor to come back to Columbus, to work for this athletic department and to be a part of this program. It’s exciting and it was just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”The 2018 Ohio State men’s soccer team (1-15-2, 0-7-1 Big Ten) failed to find consistency in key areas of the game, including a dormant offense that failed to find any footing in the attacking half until the final stages of the season.“Early on we had some issues. Towards the end I thought we were getting the ball in good spots. I thought we were creating opportunities,” Maisonneuve said. “We just weren’t finishing,” Maisonneuve said getting reps in and around the goal during practice was often a key emphasis for the Buckeyes, yet the schedule at times prevented them from getting into a rhythm.“The hardest part in that part of the season was actually finding training days to work with the guys, because when you play two games in five days or two games in six days, by the time you finish the game the next day is recovery,” Maisonneuve said. “You have one day to hit on a couple of things and then it’s the day before, which is pretty light and then you play again.”Maisonneuve said the Buckeyes were lacking in the technical facet at times, whether it was team members getting clean strikes on their shot attempts or making effective contact with their heads. Yet in other practices, Maisonneuve said, the Buckeyes proved effective in finding the back of the net. By the end of the year, Maisonneuve said he believed his team executed the correct passes and created the necessary chances to win games, but lacked the finishing touch that would get them on the scoreboard. He specifically cited various close calls in the team’s regular season finale at Wisconsin and Ohio State’s season-ending loss to Northwestern in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament. For Maisonneuve, inconsistencies on the defensive side of the ball came when the Buckeyes trotted out an entirely new four-man back line with the exception of sophomore defender Will Hirschmann. This unfamiliarity with one another led to occasional issues in terms of moving together as a unit and developing and maintaining quality spacing between defenders, Maisonneuve said.“Our toughest part of the schedule was definitely at the end. I said it couple of times, I do think if our schedule was flipped we might have beat some of those teams early on if we were playing like we were at the end of the season,” Maisonneuve said. “However, I don’t know if we are able to get to where we were at the end of the season if the schedule was flipped.” Maisonneuve said he gives the Buckeyes a ton of credit because what was asked of them was tough.“It was one of those years where we couldn’t catch a break,” Maisonneuve said. “On the flip side I know you create your own breaks and you create your own luck, but between getting scored on with nine seconds left, with 19 seconds left, with 73 seconds left, a couple unfortunate red cards, a couple goals called back … it just seemed one of those years.” Maisonneuve said the fact that the Buckeyes played their best soccer and had their most productive training sessions at the end of a one-win season says a lot about the character of the players in the locker room.“We had our dips. We had a lot of conversations about the process, the culture, or teammates and having each other’s back and we continued to build that side of it because I’m a true believer if you don’t get the culture right, your X’s and O’s don’t matter,” Maisonneuve said. When it came to the coaching staff, Maisonneuve said his three biggest targets were Sergio Gonzalez, Matt Foldesy and Chad Barson. He said not only do they have great soccer minds, but they were great people for the team to be around, as they understand what it is like to be part of a family.“They’re guys I knew from the past that I’ve worked with, coached before or coached alongside, so I needed a staff that I knew could come in, in good times, bad times, through a season like this or the good seasons that are coming ahead of us, that were going to be able to stick together and that was huge,” Maisonneuve said. As for returning players, he cited plenty of starting players who impressed him with their potential to make a difference on next year’s squad. Maisonneuve named junior defenders Osman Fofanah and CC Uche and redshirt junior goalkeeper Parker Siegfried as big-time contributors on the defensive side of the ball.Meanwhile, he praised two freshmen, midfielder Xavier Green and forward Devyn Etling, who he said “were called upon to pull the strings,” along with a trio of midfielders in sophomore Joshua Jackson-Ketchup and juniors Jake Scheper and Jack Holland. Looking forward, Maisonneuve said the sky’s the limit for the Ohio State men’s soccer program. He said he believes this season’s struggles are something returning players can learn and gain confidence from, so they can understand what it will take to be a successful team moving forward. “Some people say, ‘Well Mais, now you get to start over.’ Well, I don’t want to start over because I think we made some strides. We laid the foundation. It didn’t show up in the wins and losses, but this group coming back knows what it’s going to take to make that jump,” he said. read more

Ring of steel plan to protect Londons skyscrapers from terror attack

first_imgSuch checkpoints were phased out after the IRA announced a ceasefire in 1994 and The Gherkin building now stands on the site of the Baltic Exchange.The latest move comes in the wake of the Berlin Christmas market terror attack on Monday in which Tunisian Anis Amri, drove a lorry at shoppers, killing 12 and injuring 49 people.A Corporation report said they “had identified that the area was highly sensitive to… a hostile vehicle-borne security threat”.The new protective ring will border Liverpool Street, the Bank of England and Fenchurch Street – an area which is home to some of the capital’s newest and most recognisable skyscrapers.”This eastern section of the City of London is especially of importance in as much as there are going to be a number of major landmarks developed around the area that could be of interest,” the report said.The new plan would be subject to a consultation but could be fully implemented by 2022.Will Geddes, founder of International Corporate Protection, said: “Although we’ve seen of late ‘lo-fi type’ attacks, like the Berlin Christmas market where a lorry that was hijacked and driven into a crowded area, we cannot discount the type of attack that will… include a large truck packed with explosives” A view of the London skyline 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 view of the London skylineCredit:PA A £5 million “ring of steel” has been proposed to protect the heart of London’s financial district and its skyscrapers from terrorist attack.Following advice from MI5 and counter-terrorism police, the Corporation of London plans to install manned checkpoints, rising street bollards and crash-proof barricades.It would be the first time since the late 1990s that manned checkpoints were used following the IRA’s bombing of the Baltic Exchange in Bishopsgate in 1992.last_img read more

Anarchist squatters turfed out of £15m Belgravia mansion

first_imgThe property was bought by Russian oligarch Andrey GoncharenkoCredit:Mark Kerrison / Alamy Live News The property was squatted by the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians Anarchist squatters have been evicted from a £15 million Grade II-listed mansion owned by a Russian billionaire in a “heavy handed” raid on Wednesday morning.Around 40 activists and homeless people were evicted from one of Britain’s most desirable addresses by a team of 10 bailiffs who smashed in the front and basement doors at 8.10am.The bailiffs spent around half an hour banging on doors and removing the squatters from the building in Eaton Square, Belgravia. Jessica Ellis, a member of the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians, who opened the squat a week ago was dragged out by bailiffs.The 23-year-old said: “One of them grabbed me for no reason and I was manhandled and I said I have asthma but they didn’t listen.”I had a bottle of squash and I threw it at one of them, they shoved me against a fence and I went to head butt another because they were pushing me down the stairs.”Then I was shoved to the floor and eventually they took me round the corner and let me go.”Police say they counted 42 squatters leaving the five-storey mansion which is owned by Russian oligarch billionaire Andrey Goncharenko. A police officer, who was offering for the squatters to go to Westminster police station to keep warm and make phone calls, said: “They’re all out now. I counted 42 in total, it was quite peaceful there wasn’t a lot of protest.”The eviction comes after a judge ordered the activists to leave on Tuesday.A 19-year-old who did not want to be named said: “There were more than ten bailiffs, they kicked us out at about 8.10 this morning, I was sleeping but some people were awake.”It’s always like this, they kick us out and we find somewhere new, it will never change.”The bailiffs were grabbing people and chucking them out, we were quite peaceful but the bailiffs were aggressive.”The house was bought by billionaire Russian banker Andrey Goncharenko in 2014, one of four properties he purchased during the year, including London’s most expensive house for which he paid £120 million.The Eaton Square property, built in 1829, has had planning permission since September, but despite that work hadn’t started before it was occupied.Plans include a mega-basement complete with swimming pool, sauna, steam room, gym, hot-tub and massage room.The rest of the 15,000 square foot home will include two huge reception rooms, a playroom and six bedrooms – with the sprawling master suite across the second floor including his and hers living rooms, dressing rooms and bathrooms.Previously the building was used as a Spanish cultural centre, with a library occupying the whole of the first and classrooms on the second.The squat is now being boarded up and bailiffs stand guard at the entrance. 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 property was squatted by the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist LibertariansCredit:David Mirzoeff/PA Wire The property was bought by Russian oligarch Andrey Goncharenko We were housing homeless people and the other day we went around Victoria and picked up lots of people on the streetJohn Daniels The Grade II listed £15m building on Belgrave Place, London The squatters gathered on the pavement outside, littering the street with belongings and rubbish before eventually drifting off.It is believed they may have moved upmarket to take over a £25m property just yards from Buckingham Palace.The new property two minutes away is the former of home renowned ethnologist and archeologist Augustus Pitt-Rivers.One squatter, John Daniels, 28, said the bailiffs were intimidating and dragged one girl out of the building because she resisted.Mr Daniels said: “They smashed the doors down at about ten past eight this morning, it was very heavy handed. They were quite intimidating and frightening, there were about 40 people here.”We were housing homeless people and the other day we went around Victoria and picked up lots of people on the street. “They smashed the front door and the door downstairs at the same time, they went round the squat and banged on the doors to get us all out.”Some people were dragged out the doors, it was very over the top. Some people were in a stand-off with the bailiffs and resisted but others left peacefully.”Nico Phillips, 36, who has cerebral palsy, was one of several who locked themselves in a room to try to keep the bailiffs out.He said: “We knew that it was better to stay out of the way of any violence and to stay away from what was happening.”Some people were trying to kick things off, we were on the ground floor. We were just trying to stay safe.” The Grade II listed £15m building on Belgrave Place, LondonCredit:David Mirzoeff/PA Wirelast_img read more

FarRight and neoNazi terror arrests double

first_imgHe said: “The threat from extreme Right-wing terrorism in the UK is currently fragmented but the massacre perpetrated by Anders Breivik in Norway is a warning against underestimating the threat.“Both the Government and the courts treat the threat with the seriousness it deserves. Extreme Right-wing ideology can be just as murderous as its Islamist equivalent. A sophisticated network is not a prerequisite for mass slaughter.”A 17-year-old member of National Action was last month given a three-year youth rehabilitation order after building a homemade pipe bomb.The teenager from Bradford, who cannot be named, had also praised Mair online.The total tally of terror arrests, 260, was down by eight per cent on 2015. International terrorism, such as suspects linked to Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (Isil), accounted for 203 of the arrests.Earlier this week it was revealed that UK security services had foiled 13 potential attacks in less than four years, while counter-terror units were running more than 500 investigations at any time.The official threat level for international terrorism has stood at severe, meaning an attack is “highly likely”, for more than two years. Thomas Mair was sentenced to life for murdering Jo Cox MP in a Right-wing extremist attackCredit: HANDOUT Thomas Mair who has been convicted and sentenced to a full life sentence for murdering Member of Parliament Jo Cox outside her constituency office a week before Britain's referendum on membership of the EU, in Birstall near Leeds Terror arrests of suspected Right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis more than doubled last year amid fears of a growing threat of political violence from far-Right groups, new Home Office figures show.A total of 35 people were arrested on suspicion of “domestic” terrorism in 2016, which security sources said was dominated by threats from the far-Right.The arrests followed only 15 for domestic terrorism the previous year and come after a warning from the Government’s terrorism watchdog that far-Right extremists now account for one-in-four of those reported to counter-radicalisation schemes. A report from counter extremism campaign group Hope Not Hate, last month concluded there was “a growing risk of violence and even terrorism from ever smaller but more extreme far-Right groups”.In February, David Anderson QC, then the Government’s independent terror law watchdog, said far-Right terrorism could be as dangerous as Islamist violence.Extremists were also increasingly seeking to “feed off the tension” caused by Islamist terror to plan violence of their own, he warned. Figures also showed that one-in-three terrorism arrest suspects is now white, up from a quarter in 2015. The increase in domestic terrorism came as arrests for international terrorism including threats like Islamic State and al Qaeda fell slightly and arrests for Northern Ireland-related terrorism remained largely unchanged.A neo-Nazi group called National Action in December became the first extreme Right-wing group to be banned as a terrorist organisation.The anti-Semitic and white supremacist group had celebrated the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox by Right-wing extremist Thomas Mair. 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.last_img read more