Ameryst Alston selected 24th overall in WNBA draft

OSU senior guard Ameryst Alston (14) dribbles the ball during a game against Nebraska on Feb. 18 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorMany dream, but only few get the opportunity to play the game they love for a living. After a successful four years stepping on the court for the Ohio State women’s basketball program, Ameryst Alston will now have the chance to do just that.Alston, a 5-foot-9 combo guard, was selected as the No. 24 overall pick in the second round of the 2016 WNBA draft Thursday evening by the New York Liberty. With the WNBA’s season beginning June 5, Alston will move out to New York City to begin the new chapter in her basketball career.As a Buckeye, Alston was an essential piece to the roster, immediately having an impact on the team’s success when she arrived to Columbus.Not only did Alston help lead the Scarlet and Gray to wins, but also solidified her name in the program’s record books.To start, Alston scored her 2,000th career point in her senior campaign, finishing as the No. 4 scorer in program history with 2,165 total points. She also ranks No. 7 in career assists with 455 and No. 3 in games played with 134.The Canton native was recognized throughout her collegiate career at the conference and national levels. Alston was selected to the All-Big Ten freshman team her first year with OSU, honored on the All-Big Ten first team three times and earned national player of the week for the week of Feb. 15.Alston is the first Buckeye to get drafted in the WNBA since Samantha Prahalis in 2012, who was selected as the sixth overall pick by the Phoenix Mercury. read more

Trojans fans are comfortable but will that be the case Saturday

As we all know, one of college football’s most anticipated games is upon us. The Buckeyes will face the Trojans in the ‘Shoe this weekend, to try and gain some revenge after their defeat in Southern California last year. We all know what Ohio State fans are talking about, revenge, home field advantage, freshman quarterback, new defense, etc. But what about those USC fans? What are they talking about? Roy Manukyan is a junior at the University of Southern California studying accounting. He has grown up in the Los Angeles area and has always been a USC fan. A year ago, Roy was predicting big things out of running back Joe McKnight, and predicting a close USC win over Ohio State. But after last year’s performance, what are students at USC thinking and feeling about this weekend’s big show? “USC students are confident and excited,” Manukyan said. “Because of the result of the last game, there seems to be a lower level of excitement than a year ago. There is no question, however, that this game is much more meaningful to the future of the USC Trojans.” However, Maukyan was a little more hesitant to admit personal belief in an easy USC victory. “We are expecting a victory, though my personal opinion is that it is going to be much more difficult than most students anticipate,” he said. Coach Jim Tressel is highly regarded around Ohio State, but lately, some have been questioning his decision-making. Tressel does not have a great record in non-conference games on the national stage. But, nonetheless, you can find t-shirts that read “In Tressel we Trust,” or posters boasting Tressel’s impressive record against Michigan. Coach Pete Carroll is arguably one of the most impressive and successful coaches in college football, and that idea is not lost on USC students. “The general mantra around campus is ‘In Carroll We Trust,’” Manukyan said. That is what Manukyan, along with other USC students and fans tell themselves when they consider that USC is playing their first true freshman at starting quarterback in 11 years since Carson Palmer took the reins in five starts in 1998.Matt Barkley, who played and started his first college football game in USC’s season opener against San Jose State, is the first true freshman to ever start in a USC season opener. Barkely was 15-of-19 for 233 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions in the Trojan’s 56-3 victory over San Jose State. “Most people were holding their breath when Barkley took the field against San Jose State, and after Barkley got over his first quarter jitters he really proved himself to the USC fans,” Manukyan said. “If he can maintain his solid first game performance and keep his veins icy I think he should do just fine.” But, despite his confidence in the young quarterback, Manukyan said that most fans are expecting Carroll to play conservatively against Ohio State, with a lot of runs, screen plays and short passes. “I don’t think Pete is going to let Barkley throw bombs downfield,” Manukyan said. “At least not early in the game.” As for the young and inexperienced Trojan defense, Manukyan said that USC fans believe the core is much more solid than the nation is giving them credit for. “USC has traditionally had problems with scrambling quarterbacks, and I think Jim is going to let Pryor be Pryor,” Manukyan said. “But, one thing that Jim is not going to do is let Pryor throw the ball anywhere within twenty feet of Taylor Mays.” It shouldn’t come as a surprise that USC fans are confident in their team and coach. But with a freshman quarterback and a defense that is missing eight of last season’s starters, everything is up in the air heading into this weekend’s battle. Luckily for the Buckeyes, the likes of Manukyan will be in the minority on Saturday as around 100,000 Buckeye fans will fill Ohio Stadium, ready to cheer their team to victory. read more

Parents urged to stop pretending Father Christmas is real

first_img#Santa is back home at the North Pole and ready for a nap! Thanks for Tracking Santa with #NORAD! See you next year!— NORAD Santa (@NoradSanta) 25 December 2015 “If adults have been lying about Santa, even though it has usually been well intentioned, what else is a lie? If Santa isn’t real, are fairies real? Is magic? Is God?”They conclude: “Many people may yearn for a time when imagination was accepted and encouraged, which may not be the case in adult life. Might it be the case that the harshness of real life requires the creation of something better, something to believe in, something to hope for in the future or to return to a long-lost childhood a long time ago in a galaxy far far away?” 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. Defending the claims, Prof Boyle, from the University of Exeter, said: “The morality of making children believe in such myths has to be questioned.”All children will eventually find out they’ve been consistently lied to for years, and this might make them wonder what other lies they’ve been told.”Whether it’s right to make children believe in Father Christmas is an interesting question, and it’s also interesting to ask whether lying in this way will affect children in ways that have not been considered.” Parents have been urged to stop pretending Father Christmas is real in case the “lie” damages relations with their children.Spinning stories about Santa risks undermining a child’s trust and is morally suspect, according to two experts.Psychologist Professor Christopher Boyle and social scientist Dr Kathy McKay also condemn the idea of a “terrifying” North Pole intelligence agency which judges children to be nice or naughty.Writing in the respected journal The Lancet Psychiatry, they argue: “If they (parents) are capable of lying about something so special and magical, can they be relied upon to continue as the guardians of wisdom and truth?”In addition they suggest parents may not be motivated by thoughts of their children but a selfish desire to re-live their own childhood. In an article entitled A Wonderful Lie the authors write: “Perhaps the biggest moral breach of the Christmas lie comes with the fact that one day, the truth comes out.”Children must all find out eventually that their parents have blatantly and consistently carried on a lie for a number of years. Children may find out from a third party, or through their parents getting bored of the make-believe and making a mistake; both might affect the trust that exists between child and parent. Dr McKay, from the University of New England in Australia, said there was clear evidence from the world of make-believe in movies and TV that adults looked for a chance to be children again.”The persistence of fandom in stories like Harry Potter, Star Wars and Doctor Who well into adulthood demonstrates this desire to briefly re-enter childhood,” she said.last_img read more

UK weather New Year travel chaos as fog leads to more cancelled

first_imgNew Year travellers are being hit by another day of transport chaos as fog leads to the cancellation of more flights amid a warning of severe rail disruption caused by a new strike.A blanket of heavy fog covering the South East on Saturday morning again disrupted planes due to take off from Heathrow, Gatwick and City airports.Although the thick cloud was expected to largely lift ahead of New Year’s Eve fireworks displays, air passengers were warned to check for delays before they travelled.And Southern rail passengers have been warned that services will be “severely disrupted” over the next few days because of a fresh strike by guards and an ongoing overtime ban by drivers.Meanwhile, Public Health England (PHE) warned of an incoming cold snap with temperatures expected to plummet as low as minus 5C (23F) on New Year’s Day.A “yellow” weather warning was also issued in north-west Scotland, with heavy rain and gale-force winds expected to bring difficult driving conditions ahead of Hogmanay celebrations.The Met Office fog warning across the South of England was earlier extended until 10am on Saturday, with drivers being urged to take extra care.Met meteorologist Mark Wilson said visibility in the morning could be as low as 100 yards (metres) after the lingering, freezing fog spread further overnight.He said: “We think it will gradually improve throughout the morning, but it will be a slow process.”Some patches of fog could persist into the evening “but not so much, not as widespread or as dense”.Mr Wilson added that temperatures could drop to minus 5C (23F) in the evening on New Year’s Day but the “short-lived cold spell” should end after the Bank Holiday.He said: “It will turn colder though tonight and New Year’s Day and Bank Holiday Monday, but also there will be more sunshine to enjoy.”Dr Deborah Turbitt, from PHE London, urged people to look out for others, particularly the very young, old and ill, during the cold snap.She said: “Every winter thousands of people die because of their exposure to cold weather and doctors’ surgeries, hospitals and other parts of the NHS are kept busy as people fall ill – that’s why it’s really important that we all do everything we can to ensure everyone stays well this winter.”The blanket of fog covering the South East on Friday morning caused cancellations and delays at major airports, including Heathrow, where around 50 flights were cancelled.Friday’s weather disruption saw 70 departures and 70 arrivals cancelled at Gatwick Airport. There were seven arrivals and eight departures with delays of more than 60 minutes at the airport on Saturday, a spokeswoman said.Gatwick and London City Airport also experienced disruption because of the fog, and passengers were urged to check flight information in advance.A driver and 16 of his passengers were hurt when a coach veered off an M40 slip road and overturned in heavy fog near Milton Common in Oxfordshire at 2.45am on Friday. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. It happened 20 miles (32km) from the scene of a fatal pile-up on the A40 in similarly treacherous conditions on Wednesday morning.Meanwhile, members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union will walk out for three days from New Year’s Eve in a long-running row over the role of conductors, while Aslef is continuing with a ban on overtime in protest at driver-only trains.The action will cause more travel chaos for passengers who have suffered delays and cancellations for months because of the industrial action, shortage of staff, sickness and other issues such as signalling problems.Passengers are being advised to check before they travel over the New Year period.Southern said it will have a team of “contingency conductors” keeping key routes open, but services on some routes will be reduced and finish earlier, while other routes will have no services or a replacement bus service.Services on all routes will be subject to possible cancellation and severe disruption because of the on-going driver overtime ban.Alex Foulds, Southern’s deputy chief operating officer, said: “While we will do everything we can to get passengers where they want to go, we have to warn people that journeys may be disrupted and take longer than normal.”Our best advice is to check on the day you travel, particularly if you are heading out to New Year celebrations, as services on some routes finish early in the evening.”We are sorry that yet again passengers will have their plans disrupted by what is pointless industrial action. Our door remains open for meaningful talks and we urge the RMT to see sense and join us in delivering a better railway for everyone in 2017.”RMT leader Mick Cash said: “The solution to this continuing chaos is in the hands of Govia Thameslink Railway – which runs Southern – and the Government.”If the owners, the Go Ahead Group, spent a fraction of the millions they are stockpiling in profits and dividends on staffing and safety this dispute could be resolved overnight. RMT remains available for talks.”Will Southern trains be running on your route?On New Year’s Eve there will be no Southern train services on these routes: Clapham Junction – Milton Keynes; Chichester – Portsmouth/Southampton; Lewes – Seaford; Eastbourne – Ashford International; Oxted – Uckfield; Haywards Heath – Lewes; Redhill – Reigate.These routes will either have ticket acceptance with another operator or a replacement bus service.On Sunday 1 January there will be a Sunday service and on Monday 2 January there will be a Saturday service.On both 1 and 2 January there will be no Southern train services on these routes: Ashford – Hastings; Hurst Green – Uckfield; Havant – Portsmouth Harbour; Clapham Junction – Milton Keynes; Redhill – Reigate.These routes will either have ticket acceptance with another operator or a replacement bus service.On 2 January there will also be a significantly reduced service from Brighton for stations towards Hove, Littlehampton and Havant and Southampton. Services that would have run from London or Brighton to Portsmouth will run only to or from Chichester.last_img read more

Generous graduate murdered by Lance Corporal exboyfriend five days after she declined

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Police at the scene were Alice Ruggles was discovered dead in October Having failed to win Ms Ruggles’ forgiveness, Dhillon’s behaviour became more erratic and disturbing – with the heavily built soldier threatening to create a fake dating profile in order to smear and destroy her reputation. A young graduate’s kindness and generosity lead to her being brutally murdered by her ex-boyfriend, a Lance Corporal, five days after she turned down the option to press charges against him, a court heard yesterday.Trimaan Dhillon, an army signaller who planned to join the SAS, subjected Alice Ruggles to months of harassment and “emotional blackmail” before creeping into her home to carry out a brutal attack whilst she stood in the shower.Using “technical knowledge” and skills acquired during his time in 2nd Scots, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, Dhillon embarked on a campaign of subterfuge and hacking in a sinister bid to win back Ms Ruggles, a 24-year-old university graduate.A jury heard how Dhillon became infatuated with the 24-year-old after they were introduced online, but later became violent and threatening when Ms Ruggles discovered his infidelity and called off the relationship. “He spoke of cutting off his own arms to show how much he loved her and of writing a letter in his own blood.”Alice might once have loved him but he was utterly obsessed with her – not in a compassionate and loving way. He viewed her as a possession.”Dhillon denies murder and the case, expected to last three weeks, continues. Knowing Ruggles and James were due to meet the following weekend, the court heard how Dhillon returned to his victim’s apartment on October 12, scaling a wall and a window in order to lie in wait for her to return home from work. Concerned by his behaviour, Ms Ruggles contacted the police on October 7 last year, but was given the option to press charges by investigating officers – a choice that the prosecution claimed she declined because she was too kind hearted.Refusing to accept the relationship was over, the court heard how Dhillon began paying late-night visits to her home in Gateshead, Tyne on Wear, from his barracks in Edinburgh, leaving Ferrero Rocher chocolates and flowers for her to discover in the morning.He also threatened to publish sexually explicit images of Ms Ruggles if she refused to rekindle their relationship – but his efforts only caused his victim to put more distance between them. Forensics officers at the home of Alice Ruggles Police at the scene were Alice Ruggles was discovered dead in OctoberCredit:Iain Buist/NCJ Media Standing trial at Newcastle Crown Court, jurors heard how the 26-year-old also began spying on Ms Ruggles when he suspected she was meeting other men, hacking into social media accounts owned by her and an army officer she had met in Germany.It was at this point that Ms Ruggles reported the matter to Northumbria Police, concerned that events were now spiralling out of control.Richard Wright QC, prosecuting, told the court how officers had placed the decision on “Alice’s shoulders” in a move, he said, that ended with fatal consequences.”Sadly the dilemma this young girl was left in is obvious. She was scared and worried by his behaviour but she had cared for and even loved him at one time,” he added. “Generously she decided not to have him arrested and she paid for that decision with her life five days later.”Despite being warned by his regimental captain to steer clear of Ms Ruggles, Dhillon continued to monitor her emails, as her fledgling relationship with new man Mike James, a serving British Officer, began to develop. Even as he lay waiting, the prosecution described how the soldier spent the moments pending the attack attempting to arrange a “casual hook-up” in Durham with a girl he was messaging on the dating app Tinder.When Ms Ruggles finally returned, Dhillon set upon her in her bedroom, before a violent struggle ensued, ending with the former slitting his victim’s throat in a shower situated in the adjacent bathroom.Leaving her to die, Dhillon returned to his barracks with her phone, where he discarded the blade used in the attack.Played a recording of a 999 call made by Ms Ruggles’ flatmate, Maxine McGill, on returning to find her lying in a pool of blood, the jury heard how McGill called out “Alice, Alice,” before telling the operator: “There is so much blood, she is blue, I think she is dead.”In the call she also told the operator she thought Dhillon was responsible for the killing, saying: “She rang 101 and made a statement about her ex boyfriend. He was threatening to do bad things to her and stuff.”Following his arrest, Dhillon told a probation officer in Durham prison that he had argued with the victim and that she had attacked him before turning the blade on herself.”This is an explanation constructed to meet the evidence and is not rooted in reality,” Mr Wright told jurors.”From an early stage the defendant was abusive, controlling and manipulative. Those who knew Alice knew a lively fun-loving girl whose personality had changed in the months before her death as a consequence of her relationship. Alice Ruggles Forensics officers at the home of Alice RugglesCredit:Iain Buist/NCJ Medialast_img read more

Pippa Middletons wedding reception details revealed Meghan Markle sat apart from Harry

first_imgBut despite her hotly anticipated arrival at the event, held in a 140ft glass marquee in the Middleton family’s back ­garden, all eyes were on the bride, who had changed into her second dress of the day, an elegant, white floor-length gown with v-neck and sparkle details.The new Mrs Matthews, 33, wore her hair down in a relaxed style, much as her sister, the Duchess of Cambridge, had done at her own wedding in 2011, prompting guests to remark that she looked “absolutely beautiful”. Outside, under a canopy that protected them from ominously grey skies, the guests duly watched for up to 15 minutes before the heavens opened. One suggested the rain had come as a welcome respite, as the display had perhaps lasted a few minutes too long. Duchess of Cambridge, stands with her daughter Princess Charlotte Weddings For a bride who arranged her day with military precision, it is perhaps unsurprising that Pippa Middleton wanted to ensure that even the waiting staff were as svelte and glamorous as her high society guests.The staff serving food and drink at Saturday’s wedding were all understood to be models.Miss Middleton’s careful choreography ­extended to the table plan, which decreed that couples should not sit together. There were no exceptions, not even for royalty, meaning that Meghan Markle was unable to sit next to Prince Harry, despite flying more than 3,000 miles to attend.The Telegraph can reveal that Miss Markle, 35, who missed the morning’s church ceremony and champagne reception on the private Englefield estate, arrived at the evening festivities on the arm of her beau, dressed in a stunning maroon backless gown. Meghan Markle attends the Roland Mouret private dinner in Toronto in 2016Credit:George Pimentel The Duchess of Cambridge, who did a sterling job of marshalling all eight young page boys and bridesmaids down the aisle and keeping them in check, read a prayer. The no-expense-spared party was held amid such tight security that guests had to send in photographs and produce a password before gaining entry. On arrival, ­attendees – who as requested had eschewed fascinators and suit tails for the more glamorous black tie – were asked to step outside for a flypast by a single Spitfire as the glass marquee was considered too hazardous should anything go wrong. The Duchess of Cambridge kept the young guests in order Credit:Justin Tallis /AFP The Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte Even the staff at the wedding were suitably glamorousCredit:Justin Tallis/AFPcenter_img Her fears that her own two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, might play up, went unfounded, ­although Prince George was deemed “excitable” inside the church, while his two-year-old sister had to be comforted by the nanny after bursting into tears and wailing “where’s mummy?”After enjoying a champagne ­reception at Englefield House, part of a private estate owned by Richard ­Benyon MP, guests reassembled at Bucklebury village hall for security checks before being ushered to the Middleton family home for the evening festivities. Accompanied by the choir of Winchester Cathedral, they sang hymns including Be Thou My Vision; Tell Out, My Soul and I Vow To Thee, My Country. Spencer Matthews read a passage from the Paulo Coelho novel, The ­Alchemist, while Miss Middleton’s brother James read Love Is An ­Adventure by Pierre Tielhard du Chardin, and a family friend read the Song of Solomon. Duchess of Cambridge, stands with her daughter Princess CharlotteCredit:REUTERS Back inside, the well-heeled guests, among them tennis star Roger Federer, television presenters including Ben Fogle and Tom Bradby, and Princess Eugenie, were guided to servers holding aloft table names, ­chosen to represent notable places the newlyweds had visited.The staff were hired from one of a handful of ­specialist companies that pride themselves on providing impeccably trained models and/or actors to serve food and drinks. The dazzling marquee was ­decorated with an “enchanted forest” theme, ­featuring a plethora of trees decked with purple fibre optic lights.Attendees had earlier witnessed Miss Middleton marry Mr Matthews in a one-hour service at St Mark’s Church, Englefield, which brimmed with ­flowers and scented candles. Pippa Middleton and her new husband James Matthews smile following their wedding ceremony at St Mark’s Church in EnglefieldCredit:REUTERS An extra 150 joined the party for dinner, with a menu said to have included trout and Scottish lamb, before the bride’s father Michael Middleton gave another speech. TV star Spencer Matthews, the groom’s brother, is said to have had everyone in stitches.Guests then crowded around to watch the newlyweds enjoy their first dance together accompanied by a saxophonist and a DJ, before dancing the night away while enjoying a single malt whisky bar, photo booths and an astonishing light show that saw footage of the bride and groom beamed onto the back of ­Bucklebury Manor. But despite happily posing for pictures outside the church earlier, Miss Middleton and her new husband James Matthews, 41, were keen to ensure that no pictures of the evening reception emerged. Pippa Middleton and her new husband James Matthews smile following their wedding ceremony at St Mark's Church in Englefield Meghan Markle attends the Roland Mouret private dinner in Toronto in 2016 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

McMafia was my idea claims film director who is accusing the BBC

first_imgMr Marston, of the leading agency Curtis Brown, part-owned by BBC Worldwide, is one of the executive producers of McMafia, as is Mr Amini, who also co-wrote the script.The drama was based on Misha Glenny’s 2008 McMafia, which was non-fiction and had no central character resembling Norton’s AlexMr Amini has previously said: “Alex doesn’t exist in the book. Literally none of the characters are real.’ The BBC says: ‘McMafia is an original series created by Hossein Amini and James Watkins and inspired by Misha Glenny’s 2008 book of the same name.’The BBC, Mr Marston and Mr Amini deny breach of confidence and copyright infringement. But declined to comment on Mr Varvill’s allegations. Set against a backdrop stretching from London to Moscow and its central character a Cambridge-educated banker and son of a Russian mobster, it had all the makings of a glossy TV drama.Indeed its writer Wilf Varvill alleges there was something all too familiar about the BBC’s drama McMafia.So much so he is claiming it was based to a large extent on his short 2007 film Londongrad.But Mr Varvill says he received no credit for his idea and now accuses the BBC of breach of copyright and confidentiality.In a writ lodged with the High Court in London last week, Mr Varvill, 35, from Putney, claims two independent producers working with the BBC took his short film and turned it into the acclaimed drama McMafia, starring James Norton. Mr Varvill alleges his idea for Londongrad was “shared on a confidential basis in 2009, 2012 and 2013 with agent Nick Marston, and his client Hossein Amini, together with the BBC, in 2011, 2012 and 2014.”In 2014, the project was shelved because another series covering “similar territory” called McMafia was commissioned by the BBC.But Mr Varvill says he became concerned when he realised the same producers who had previously taken “an active interest in Londongrad” turned out to be producers of McMafia. He says he based Alex and his wife on his own family, saying: “I first moved to this country in 1979 after the Iranian revolution. My family had been exiled and I was sent to an English private school while my parents adjusted to their new lives as refugees. This became the basis for the Godman family in McMafia.”However, Mr Varvill, who has Russian family and as a teenager met oligarchs’ sons, maintains the Alex character in McMafia was based on his own Alex in Londongrad.He said: “The BBC say McMafia is based on Glenny’s book, even though the story of Alex does not figure in it. The BBC knew it had already seen a project with an identical premise. That’s why I’m going to the High Court.”Mr Varvill told The Sunday Telegraph: “I’m finding it very difficult to put into words how I feel about all this. It’s very difficult. I’ve had to try to come to terms with what’s happened.”center_img The glitzy but corrupt world of McMafia; Dimitri Godman (ALEXEY SEREBRYAKOV), Oksana Godman (MARIA SHUKSHINA), Alex Godman (JAMES NORTON), Katya (FAYE MARSAY)Credit:Nick Wall/BBC The glitzy but corrupt world of McMafia; Dimitri Godman (ALEXEY SEREBRYAKOV), Oksana Godman (MARIA SHUKSHINA), Alex Godman (JAMES NORTON), Katya (FAYE MARSAY) 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

Over 300000 children are being taught by unqualified nursery staff charity warns

Children with a poor vocabulary aged five are more than twice as likely to be unemployed at age 34 as children with good vocabulary, research shows Over 300,000 children are being taught by unqualified nursery staff, a charity has warned, amid concerns that children are starting school unable to read or write.There are over 10,000 nurseries, playgroups and children’s centres across the country where staff do not have suitable qualifications, according to figures obtained by Save the Children.An analysis of data obtained through Freedom of Information requests by the charity reveals that there is a shortage of around 11,000 early years teachers in England.  The warning comes after Education Secretary Damian Hinds said it is a “persistent scandal” that youngsters are starting school unable to talk in full sentence or read simple words.–– ADVERTISEMENT –– He pledged to halve the numbers of youngsters beginning their schooling without the early speaking and reading skills they need at that age.  Steven McIntosh, Save The Children director of UK poverty, urged ministers to invest in high quality childcare, arguing that this would ensure children have the relevant skills to start school aged four.  “High-quality childcare, led by graduate early years teachers, can ensure children are ready for school,” he said. “Many early years teachers are leaving the profession or are close to retirement and the numbers starting training are plummeting.”   Official figures show that investment in promoting early years teacher training is less than one per cent of what is spent on school teachers, he added.  Relevant qualifications for nursery teachers include qualified teacher status (QTS) – which is typically held by school teachers – early years teacher status (EYTS) or early years professional status (EYPS), which are broadly equivalent and focus specifically on early years education.Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Headteachers, said that early years is the most crucial phase of education, adding that: “If children fall behind at this stage it can prove difficult, often impossible, for them to catch up later, even with additional help”.He said: “It is therefore obvious that the most cost effective way to improve educational outcomes for all children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, is by investing in early years education.”Children with a poor vocabulary aged five are more than twice as likely to be unemployed at age 34 as children with good vocabulary, research  published last month by the Department for Education shows.  Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, warned that improving nursery education is a complex task, and should not be reduced to staff qualification.He added: “Parents, and providers who do not employ degree-level staff, know quality is about more than staff’s academic achievements – and that degree is not the sole marker of the experience, passion and in-depth knowledge high quality practitioners need.” Children with a poor vocabulary aged five are more than twice as likely to be unemployed at age 34 as children with good vocabulary, research shows 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. read more

Man charged with stabbing murder of Jodie Chesney

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 man has been charged with the murder of 17-year-old Jodie Chesney, who was stabbed in a park in east London.Manuel Petrovic, 20, of Highfield Road, Romford, was arrested in Leicester on Tuesday in connection with the incident.He is due to appear at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.Another man who was arrested on suspicion of murder in London on Friday remains in custody, Scotland Yard said.Jodie was in the park in Harold Hill when she was knifed from behind in a seemingly motiveless attack on March 1.She was pronounced dead just over an hour after officers were called at about 9.25pm.A post-mortem examination gave the cause of the Girl Scout’s death as trauma and haemorrhage.Her death has added to the urgency for action to be taken to tackle knife crime across the UK. read more

Mother of Libby Squire tells of her loss for the most precious

The mother of Libby Squire, whose body has been pulled from the Humber estuary, has said she has lost “one of the most precious things” in her life.Lisa Squire has written a harrowing account of her grief following the discovery of the 21-year-old student’s body last Wednesday. She had been missing for seven weeks after failing to return home after a night out in Hull.Writing on Facebook, Mrs Squire said she was “so sorry she could not keep her safe” on the night she vanished.”My baby girl is gone. Gone forever. No more birthdays with us. No more Christmas Days with us. No more family time, all together,” she wrote. “No family should have to endure that.”The mother, from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, said she felt “broken” when considering all those who knew and loved the philosophy and religion student. She said no sister, brother or father should have to endure the agony of such loss. “I love you my beautiful girl with all my being and I always will.”She added that the “worst point” was having to tell her daughter’s boyfriend, Connor, of Miss Squire’s death.”I am so sorry the girl you love the most in the world has gone… He made her happy. She made him happy. That made me happy.” Referring to her daughter by the nickname ‘Pie’, she said: “I cannot thank you enough my darling Pie for making me a mummy. For choosing me to be your mummy. It’s an honour, a privilege and a joy..”I kept you safe for as long as I could and I am so sorry I could not keep you safe on that night. I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry. The discovery of Miss Squire’s body led detectives from Humberside Police to say they were now treating her death as a “homicide”.They refused to release details for “operational reasons” of what was thought to have caused her death. At 23:30 January 31, the student got into a taxi from a city nightclub to travel to her home in Wellesley Avenue.She was spotted 10 minutes later on CCTV near a bench close to her home, where it is thought a motorist stopped to offer her help.Her body was recovered at around 15:30 GMT on Wednesday close to Spurn Point, near Grimsby Docks.Pawel, Relowicz, a 24-year-old butcher from Hull, was arrested on suspicion of her abduction and remains under investigation. Miss Squire’s body was found in the Humber estuary on WednesdayCredit:TIM STEWART NEWS LIMITED Miss Squire's body was found in the Humber estuary on Wednesday 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. read more