Video Serena Williams Cries During Dramatic Loss at French

Serena Williams lost a first-round Grand Slam match for the first time in her career on Tuesday, blowing a 5-1 lead in a second-set tiebreak, dissolving into tears and melting down early in a dramatic third set against lightly-regarded Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano. The 13-time major champion was an undefeated 17-0 on clay this year and entered Roland Garros as the prohibitive favorite.Following her second-set meltdown, Williams lost 22 of the next 24 points and the first five games of the third set. She put together a brief comeback and had multiple chances to get back on serve in a marathon 23-minute game. But in the 12th deuce, Williams finally hit a ball long on Razzano’s eighth match point and fell 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-3.Razzano was ranked No. 111 entering the tournament. Her win goes down as one of the biggest upsets in Grand Slam history.She stole a second-set tiebreak after a bizarre run of points that began when Williams stopped playing during play at 5-2. Williams thought the ball was long and held up instead of hitting an easy forehand. Chair umpire Eva Asderaki, who infamously clashed with Williams at the 2011 US Open, came down to the court and ruled the ball in. Williams wouldn’t win another point in the tiebreaker.During the changeover between sets, Williams broke down into tears, angrily talking to herself and blowing into a tissue. She came out uninspired in the third and dropped the first five games before battling back to make it 5-3.A 23-minute game ensued. Williams had five break point chances and Razzano failed to convert seven match points. The Frenchwoman was noticeably tight on each of her opportunities to win the match, sending double faults sputtering into the bottom of the net and sailing easy ground strokes two feet long. For as shaky as she was on match points, she was just as solid at deuce. When Serena finally hit an unforced error on the eighth match point — which appropriately had to be checked by Asderaki — Razzano finally prevailed.Last year, she played at her home tournament with a heavy heart. Eight days before the tournament, her fiancee and coach Stephane Vidal, died after a battle with cancer. He told her before he died that he wanted her to play Roland Garros in his honor. She lost in the first round.“I’m sure he’s very happy today,” Razzano said after the win.Source: Yahoo Sports read more

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49ers Ray McDonald Will Not Be Charged With Domestic

Ray McDonald, the San Francisco 49er whose career rested on whether he would be charged with domestic violence, will not be indicted, as officials in San Jose said Monday there is not sufficient evidence to pursue the matter.After the Ray Rice case, much attention was focused on McDonald and how his situation would play out. He was arrested on Aug. 31 on felony domestic violence charges after an incident that occurred at his San Jose home. A woman believed to be his fiancée was noted to have “visible injuries.”McDonald cooperated  with officers on the night of the incident and gave a follow-up interview later. Since then, the investigation has not wrought enough to charge him.“Conflicting versions of the event, a lack of verifiable eyewitnesses and a significant lack of cooperation from Jane Doe; we cannot prove a crime occurred,” said Lindsay Walsh, Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney in charge of the case. “In this particular case, there were particular pieces of information missing.”“Jane Doe” was McDonald’s unidentified fiancee.The 49ers said in a statement: “The issue of domestic violence is important to us, as it is throughout society. We have taken this allegation seriously, just as we have taken the principles of due process seriously. We have said from the beginning that we will consider the information available, allow the facts to lead to our decisions and respect the judicial process.“Based on the information available to us and the District Attorney’s decision not to file charges, there will be no change in Ray’s status with the team.”The DA’s office said Monday for the first time that McDonald’s fiancée made a 911 call from the house at 2:41 a.m., a few minutes after McDonald had called 911 saying that he needed to get “a female” out of his home, according to the DA’s office.According to Walsh, McDonald’s fiancée “never used the words ‘choking,’ ‘grabbing,’ ‘punching’”—”anything of that nature” during her interview with police. When police attempted to interview her two days later and take additional photographs, she refused.Walsh said that McDonald’s fiancée said McDonald struck her and was restraining her. However, the investigation revealed that McDonald’s fiancée hit him first. read more

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Braxton Miller and the Buckeye offense adjusting to Meyers system

The offense’s quickened pace, however, is something that is here to stay. Both teams used a no-huddle offense and instead received signals from the sidelines to get the team up to the line of scrimmage and ready to go as quickly as possible. On the game’s first possession, Miller led the Scarlet team on an eight-play, 65-yard touchdown drive in just 2:17. But afterward, the players said their play was slow compared to what they’ve been doing in practice. “We didn’t even go that fast today,” said rising redshirt junior Kenny Guiton, who played quarterback for the Gray team. Miller agreed the play was “kind of slow,” but said the no-huddle offense is something that puts him in his element. “It’s just like high school back at (Wayne High School),” Miller said. “It’s all signals, get the ball in and just make the best plays you can.” A lot of those plays were made by Michael Thomas, an early enrollee freshman wide receiver. Thomas, who is cousins with former NFL receiver Keyshawn Johnson, hauled in half (12) of Miller’s completions and garnered 131 receiving yards. The reception total is just two catches shy of the season-high from last year. Meyer called Thomas OSU’s “most dedicated receiver right now,” and said he’s always on the jug-machine catching balls before and after practice. “He should still be getting ready for his high school prom and graduation and all that,” Meyer said. “Right now, him and (rising junior Philly Brown) are kind of separated. They’re kind of the top two (receivers).” Most people didn’t expect Thomas to have such an immediate impact, but Miller was hardly surprised. He said he’s been working closely with Thomas all spring. “We work all the time in weight room,” Miller said. “I pick him up. We go in there, workout, watch film and go catch some balls. He’s just kind of growing up.” Meyer said Miller has developed during the spring, and despite throwing an interception and getting sacked seven times Saturday, Miller has been impressive. After the game, Meyer graded his signal caller. He gave Miller’s release an ‘A,’ his arm strength a ‘B’ and his accuracy a ‘C’ to a ‘B.’ But he said he was “very critical” and graded his guys compared to some of his previous players that were taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. Miller said Saturday’s offense only showcased about 30 percent of the playbook because many players are still getting used to Meyer’s new system. They’ll have until Sept. 1 to master it when OSU opens its season against Miami (Ohio). But the Spring Game on Saturday was enough for Miller, who thanked all the fans for coming out to support the team. “It was fun,” Miller said. “It was competitive so it got the crowd into it.” From the moment Urban Meyer accepted the head-coaching job at Ohio State, people were buzzing about how the new coach and OSU’s incumbent quarterback, Braxton Miller, would be a perfect fit. It seemed only natural. Meyer was known for his spread offense that has the quarterback act as a playmaker first and a thrower second, and Miller was known for his playmaking ability. At OSU’s Spring Game Saturday, more than 81,000 fans got a first glimpse at the quarterback and coach in action together at Ohio Stadium. Miller, a rising sophomore, completed 24-31 passes for 258 yards as he led his Scarlet team to a 20-14 victory against the Gray. The pass-happy offense was a stark contrast to what Buckeye fans saw last season when Miller only completed more than 10 passes in a game once – 14 in OSU’s loss to Michigan – all of last season. Miller hit receivers on quick screens, crossing patterns and back-shoulder throws; all routes that were scarce in the 2011 passing game. The Scarlet team only ran the ball 23 times, but seven of those rushes were touch sacks on Miller, whom the defense wasn’t allowed to tackle. The heavy passing game is something Meyer said not to get accustomed to. “We’re going to be a very balanced offense. (Saturday’s offense) was very imbalanced. However that was done for a reason,” Meyer said. “What we don’t know, and unfortunately even after the Spring Game I still don’t know, is can we throw the ball? That was the objective today.” read more

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Fifth wrestler alleges Jim Jordan knew of sexual abuse

Richard Strauss, a former wrestling team physician and an assistant professor of medicine, is being investigated by Ohio State on allegations of sexual misconduct. Credit: Lantern file photoThree former Ohio State wrestlers  came forward to say that Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan knew of alleged sexual abuse by Dr. Richard J. Strauss while Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach from 1987 to 1995 at Ohio State in a report by NBC.Since the report by NBC, Jordan has denied the allegations, supporters have questioned the timing by the former wrestlers, the president has weighed in and a fifth wrestler has come forward.Jordan denies knowledge of abuseJordan has roundly denied allegations that he knew of any sexual abuse, first in statements by his office and then in an interview on Fox News Friday night.“I never saw, never heard of, never was told about any kind of abuse,” Jordan told Fox News host Bret Baier. “If I did, I would have dealt with it. A good coach puts the interests of his student-athletes first.”During the interview, Jordan questioned the motives of those connecting him to the abuse and pushed the theory popular among those supporting him: the timing of this story is a ploy to keep him from becoming the next Speaker of the House.“I think the timing is suspect when you think about how this whole story came together after the Rosenstein hearing and the speaker’s race,” he said.Jordan, a founding member of the Freedom Caucus and an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, has been pegged as a favorite by hard-line conservatives to take Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan’s position as speaker of the house when he retires following the midterm elections.Trump defends JordanTrump addressed the rumors about Jordan, defending the Republican member of the House aboard Air Force One while en route to a rally in Montana Thursday.“I don’t believe them at all,” he said, referencing allegations that Jordan was aware of sexual abuse while he was a coach. “I believe him. I believe him 100 percent. No question in my mind.”Trump continued that Jordan was one of the best people he has met in his time in Washington.Fifth wrestler comes forwardFormer Ohio State wrestler and UFC world champion Mark Coleman joined the other wrestlers who claimed Jordan knew of the alleged abuse this week saying in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that the only way Jordan doesn’t remember is if he has dementia.“There’s no way unless he’s got dementia or something that he’s got no recollection of what was going on at Ohio State,” Coleman said. “I have nothing but respect for this man, I love this man, but he knew as far as I’m concerned.” read more

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Silent solution for emergency calls should be reviewed after murder victims 999

first_imgThe so-called “silent solution” protocol for calls to the emergency services should be reviewed following the murder of a primary school worker who wrongly believed officers would be dispatched if she called 999 but said nothing, the police watchdog has said.Kerry Power, 36, was killed by her violent ex-boyfriend David Wilder, 44, two weeks after complaining to Devon and Cornwall Police that he was stalking her.Wilder broke into her home in Plymouth on December 14, 2013 and strangled her as her 10-year-old son slept upstairs.He pleaded guilty to murdering the primary school assistant and was jailed for life in 2014. The IPCC said a PCSO and two police officers had a case to answer for misconduct. The force disagreed and proposed their actions be dealt with by way of performance procedures, which the IPCC accepted.Another police officer has since retired from the force and will face no further action.Sharon Taylor, Asst Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “This has been a tragic and long-running case for everyone involved. We are deeply sorry for their loss.”The force acknowledges the organisational learning points which are contained within the IPCC’s report. We are sorry for any failures on our part at that time.”As for the national ‘silent solution’ system, the force has a policy that gives staff clear guidance about how the system works and how to deal with a silent 999 call.”The force looks forward to understanding any future developments following the IPCC’s recommendations in this area.” An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission revealed that Miss Power may have been advised by a police officer that if she were to make an emergency call from her mobile phone, but did not speak, emergency assistance could still be dispatched.She dialled 999 when Wilder broke into her house, but she did not respond to the operator’s instructions and was transferred to the “silent solution” system.The system is supposed to help callers who are in danger but cannot speak to an operator, for example in domestic violence situations. Miss Power was killed by David Wilder Dept Chief Constable Alan Todd, the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead for national contact management, said: “Our steering group has reviewed the system and concluded that it is effective at enabling people who are unable to speak to contact the police while filtering out the huge volumes of accidental 999 calls made every day.”However, the system is only effective if people understand how it works. The IPCC investigation into the police handling of the murder of Kerry Power demonstrates the tragic consequences of people not knowing [how] the system works.”We are now considering how we can best educate the public and police officers about the system to ensure that those at risk of harm get the help they need.” The primary school administrative assistant’s mother, Stephanie Power, 67, said the police did not take her daughter seriously enough.She told Channel 4 News: “Although she said before she wasn’t afraid of him, she was really afraid, she was really afraid and that specific evening I think she was obviously petrified.”There’s no question about it, that she should have been a high risk person but she wasn’t.”Asked about the police claims that silent solution is effective, she said: “Why don’t they train people properly to explain it properly then?”It beggars belief as far as I’m concerned. I’ve just got no way of understanding it.”A South Devon assistant coroner has previously written to the chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, the Home Office, and the Met Police – which is responsible for hosting and monitoring the “silent solution” system. 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. Kerry Power was murdered by her ex partner David Wilder in Dec 2013. She made a silent 999 call when he broke in – but no police response. pic.twitter.com/RArLW8l8Hp— Andy Davies (@adavies4) November 22, 2016 It beggars belief as far as I’m concerned. I’ve just got no way of understanding itStephanie Power, Kerry’s mother If the caller says nothing, they are prompted to tap the handset or make a noise. Alternatively, a caller could press 55 on the phone’s keypad to indicate it is an emergency. But if no response at all is given, the call is ended.In Miss Power’s case, as there was no response to commands from the automated voice system, the call was not transferred to her local police force.The IPCC has now made national recommendations to ensure there is better accountability for the system and that its effectiveness is reviewed. David Wilderlast_img read more

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Tortured geniuses more likely to commit suicide study finds

first_img“This is probably the best data we’ve ever had on this issue. “There are factors in that group that might put them at greater risk. The availability of alcohol and drugs are well-recognised risk factors. “Disruption to personal relationships is another factor. People have to spend time away from home and work antisocial hours,” he said.  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 Samaritans can be called free any time from any phone on 116 123.​ Google camera operative at work inside Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre. The myth of the tortured genius has endured for centuries. Artists as diverse as Van Gogh, Kurt Cobain and Sylvia Plath have become famous for their talent as well as for their struggles with mental health problems. But a conclusive link has never been made between mental health issues and creativity.For the first time reliable data has shown that the suicide rate among people working in creative roles is significantly higher than the national average. The first-ever study of suicide by profession from the ONS, which covered England in the years from 2011 to 2015, showed that people who work in arts-related jobs are up to four times more likely to commit suicide.  I urge all employers, large or small, public or private sector to treat mental health as seriously as physical health. Early action can stop any employees reaching a desperate stageDuncan Selbie, CEO, Public Health Englandcenter_img Ruth Sutherland, CEO of Samaritans, said: “Some of today’s findings echo what we know about increased risk in those working in low-skilled and low-paid professions. This is not right, it’s not fair, and it has to change.”Men working in the lowest-skilled occupations had a 44 per cent higher risk of suicide than the male average. To coincide with the data Public Health England released resources to help employers deal with suicide in the workplace. Duncan Selbie, chief executive, said: “I urge all employers, large or small, public or private sector to treat mental health as seriously as physical health. Early action can stop any employees reaching a desperate stage.”Between 2011 and 2015 a total of 18,998 deaths were recorded as suicide. Four in five of the cases analysed involved men.  A 2015 study found that creative people were 17 per cent more likely to suffer from mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. But Professor Appleby said he was “quite sceptical” about the link between creativity and poor mental health. “Maybe some people who have some emotional volatility might be drawn into the entertainment world, but to make a definite link would be quite speculative,” he said. Professor David Gunnell, of Bristol University, who co-authored the research with the ONS, said that more needed to be done to determine whether there was a link.He added that the link between poverty and poor mental health was better-established.”The priority should be to tackle the suicide rate among people in low-skilled work, which is a serious public health issue,” he said. Actors, entertainers and other creatives had a particularly high suicide rate Among men working in culture, media and sport-related jobs, the risk is 20 per cent higher, and among women it is 69 per cent higher. The risk is even more pronounced among individual professions. Male artists are more than twice as likely to commit suicide, and with female artists the risk quadruples.Rates are similarly high among actors, entertainers and presenters. There were 311 suicides among people working in culture, media and sport professions during the period. While the numbers are low, Louis Appleby, Professor of Psychiatry at Manchester University, said that they were statistically significant.last_img read more

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UK weather Britain enjoys heatwave on hottest March day for five years

first_imgMet Office forecaster Alex Burkill said: “There is a good chance temperatures will reach 22C in the South East of England, especially in Kent, Sussex and Essex.”These will be the hottest places in the UK. It is due to really warm air being dragged up from Iberia.”It will be dry and sunny but in the rest of the country there will be cloudy and it could be a bit breezy. Although it will still be warm and better than average for the time of year. London woke up to a glorious sunrise on what is set to be a mini heatwaveCredit:REUTERS/Russell Boyce Temperatures have continued to rise this afternoon with Gravesend now reaching 21.8 °C, making it the warmest #March day for 5 years 🌡️— Met Office (@metoffice) March 30, 2017 A man works on a narrowboat in Little Venice, London “In the North there will be highs of between 14C to 18C.”The temperatures are a good five to six degrees higher than average this year.” The highest mark for March was set in 1968, when 25.6C (78F) was recorded in Mepal, Cambridgeshire.Temperatures so far this month have peaked at 19.9C (67.8F), measured at Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands last Sunday, March 26. Although the warm temperatures are set to continue into the start of April there are fears Easter could still be a wash out.Mr Burkill added: “The start of April will be settled but it is set to become more unsettled in the middle, around Easter time. It is still too early for us to know precisely at the moment though.”It appeared Thursday’s weather was a one day wonder. A spokesperson for the Met Office told the Telegraph that Friday is still set to be warm – but it will rain in some parts of the UK.She said: “It will depend on where you are. Generally it’s going to be dry with some good sunny spells but there will be some showers in Northern Ireland and some parts of Scotland, and later on in the day we will see some showers in the South West as well.” The whole country was set to have higher than average temperatures for the time of year today.In the north temperatures were to reach up to 18C compared to a typical day of 9C.Thursday’s temperature was almost double the average April day, which on average are only around 11C.Even overnight temperatures were in double figures on Wednesday night. London woke up to a glorious sunrise on what is set to be a mini heatwavecenter_img A woman walks past a carpet of ‘Glory of the Snow’ at Kew Gardens in west LondonCredit:TOBY MELVILLE/REUTERS Little Venice, LondonCredit:Dominic Lipinski/PA That is already higher than the maximum temperature reported by the Met Office for March 2016 (18.7C/65.7F) and March 2015 (17.4C/63.3F). A woman walks past a carpet of 'Glory of the Snow' at Kew Gardens in west London Last year at the same time temperatures were 12C in the South and the north had single figures.”It is definitely quite a bit milder, ” Mr Burkill added.”Last time we reached 20.9 was in March 2014. The last time we saw figures this high at this time of year was in 2012 when they reached 23.6C.”There is a good chance it will be the warmest day of the year so far.” Britain had record-breaking hot weather on Thursday, making it the hottest March day for five years.The weather was warmer than Portugal, Spain and the south of France in some parts.The South of England and London reached temperatures of 21.8 degrees, which would represent the warmest March day the country has experienced in five years. 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

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Duke of Westminster locked in feud with Army reservists as notice served

first_imgThe new Duke of Westminster has entered into a fierce row with Army reservists over the decision to evict them from their headquarters amid plans to build a luxury hotel in its place.For more than 140 years, riflemen have been stationed in The Rifles Club, a plush headquarters in the heart of Mayfair, opened by the 1st Duke in 1890.But now reservists, affectionately nicknamed the “unofficial bodyguard” of the Duke’s late father, have been given their marching orders.Following Major General Gerald Grosvenor’s death in August last year, the Grosvenor group has entered into negotiations on behalf of his son and heir, Hugh Grosvenor, the 7th Duke of Westminster and a trustee, in order to take back the building with a view to developing a luxury hotel in the heart of Mayfair. “But now that relationship seems to be over, and the new Duke is slinging us out. As soon as the new Crossrail is finished that building will be prime real estate.“To add insult to injury we are not only losing our headquarters but our regiment too, because we are being forced to merge with the London Regiment.“The whole thing has caused outrage, and many in F Company are now looking to join other rifle companies in London. I imagine if the former Duke could see what was happening to us he would be turning in his grave.” Lavish: The Rifles Club It is understood that Grosvenor approached the Ministry of Defence (MoD) with a “£25 million sweetener” in order to buy-back the 80 years still left on the lease, although a spokesman for Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, the domestic arm of the group, refused to comment.After vacating the building, F Company will be merged with the London Regiment, meaning the reservists will lose their affiliation with their infantry regiment, The Rifles. The Rifles Club, Mayfair The Rifles Club, Mayfair A source close to the dispute warned that the decision will break the family’s long-standing association with the infantry regiments housed there, which began in 1889 when Hugh Lupus Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster, leased the Davies Street building to the Army at a generous peppercorn rent for 99 years, later extended to 200 years.They add that the late Duke, who served as Deputy Commander Land Forces in the Territorial Army from 2011-12, was a “great military man” with a close affinity to both their regiment and the building itself.It comes less than year after he donated £50 million to help complete the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre – a state of the art medical facility that will provide support to injured soldiers, at Stanford Hall, Nottinghamshire – just a short time before his death.The deal also coincides with the construction of the Crossrail line, which will see a new Bond Street West station constructed several hundred yards from The Rifles Club. Speaking to The Telegraph, a source within F Company, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Our lease on the building still had more than a century until it expired. The Rifles have a long-standing association with the Grosvenor family, and were considered the unofficial bodyguard to the last Duke. However, documents published on the Army’s official website show that the 2020 plan contained no plans for F Company to move headquarters, with the document stating there would be “no change” to its future location.Opened in 1890 by the Duchess of Westminster, The Rifles Club has remained close to the heart of the Grosvenor family, with five of the six preceding Dukes serving distinguished careers in the military.The current headquarters includes an armoury, gymnasium, mess and officers’ room, and a drill hall opened in the 1950s for Queen Victoria’s Rifle Corps. 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 late Duke of Westminster at a parade to dedicate a new regimental flag for the Rifles prior to his death last year An MoD spokesman said: “The MOD was approached by Grosvenor regarding the remaining lease for 52-56 Davies Street.”“F Company 7 Rifles are transferring to the London infantry Regiment, as part the Army 2020 Refine plan to optimise the Army Reserves. 7 Rifles are not being disbanded and their transfer is not linked to the on-going lease negotiation.” The Rifles Club The late Duke of Westminster at a parade to dedicate a new regimental flag for The Rifles prior to his death last year The Duke, who is godfather to Prince George and is Britain’s youngest billionaire, recently inherited the bulk of his father’s £8.3 billion fortune, including a property portfolio boasting 300 acres of land in Mayfair and Belgravia.But the decision to move out F Company, The 7th Battalion The Rifles, has provoked outrage among its serving members, who claimed the decision would have left the Duke’s father  “turning in his grave”.last_img read more

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Wildlife ranger killed trying to protect kidnapped Britons in DR Congo is

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. Together they have made the park the most dangerous in the world for rangers and conservationists to work in, with some 170 wildlife rangers killed there in the past 20 years, including five who were murdered along with their driver after an ambush last month.Although a number of Congolese nationals have been abducted in the park in recent years, it is the first time in nearly 20 years that an attempt has been made to seize Western tourists, officials said.The kidnapping took place just a few hundred yards from an Army base, where soldiers from the 802nd Regiment are stationed, prompting criticism of the slow response time by the troops. Park rangers at work in Virunga National Park Mr Mbiye, a father of five, told The Sunday Telegraph: “I was driving from Kibumba, heading to the volcano around 9am with a young British couple and a ranger when four heavily armed guys jumped on the road and started shooting in our direction.” Another added: “Her only thought would have been the safety and security of visitors to the park who were on the convoy.“Unfortunately armed robbers attacked as the convoy approached Rumangabo. Following the ecoguard’s death, two British citizens were taken away, along with their driver.”The driver, Guystave Mbiye, who was wounded during the attack, was last night recovering in hospital after being freed by the gang. Tributes have been paid to Ms Katumwa, described as a “devoted conservationist”Credit:Twitter A female park ranger was killed trying to protect two British tourists after gunmen ambushed their vehicle in Congo’s Virunga National Park.The woman, named locally as Rachel Katumwa, was gunned down as the two Britons were dragged away and marched through the forest by their attackers, who are now demanding a $200,000 ransom for their safe return,Ms Katumwa is understood to be the first female ranger to be killed in the park, which has been riven by violence in recent years.Tributes were paid to the 25-year-old ranger on Saturday as efforts by the Congolese Army continued to find the kidnapped Britons.Emmanuel de Merode, Virunga National Park director, said Ms Katumwa was one of the Park’s 26 female rangers. He added that she was “committed, showing true bravery in her work”.One of Ms Katumwa’s colleagues at Virunga National Park described her as “a devoted conservationist who died in the line of duty’”. The Virunga National Park is home to between a quarter and a third of the world’s highly endangered Mountain Gorilla, but it is also the hideout of a dozen militias and rebel outfits from three different countries, remnants of Congo’s bloody civil war, as well as bands of poachers and criminal gangs. Show more Park rangers at work in Virunga National ParkCredit:AFP After killing Ms Katumwa the gang forced the two Britons and Mr Mbiye to march through the dense forest for several hours until abandoning him, with a message for the authorities.“One of them said to me ‘I will leave you here, if the find you, tell them we need $200,000 and if they keep on chasing us, we will kill these two’.” said Mr Mbiye, 45.”It was very difficult for me to move as I had to much pain, but I forced myself back, until I was found by FARDC soldiers. It’s only by God’s grace that why I’m still  alive.”The authorities have not yet named the two Britons kidnapped, citing ‘operational reasons”.The gunmen opened fire on the convoy of vehicles shortly after it entered the national park, in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on Friday morning.The attack took place near Kibumba, a village within the park, eight miles from Goma, the capital city of eastern Congo’s troubled North Kivu province, one of the most volatile parts of the country. Tributes have been paid to Ms Katumwa, described as a "devoted conservationist" In a tweet in French and English, he said: “My very sincere condolences to the family of Rachel Makisa Baraka. Condolences also to the magnificient staff at Virunga National Park for all their bravery and determination in protecting local communities and wildlife. Thank you.” Zubaya Faustin, a local politician, said: “More should have been done to support the park guards.”A Foreign Office spokesman said: ‘We are in close contact with the authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo following an incident involving two British nationals and our staff are providing support to their families.’The Foreign Office warns against all travel to the area due to the rapidly deteriorating security situation and only a handful of British tourists travel there each year.John Murton, the British ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, offered his condolences to the family of Ms Katumwa in a tweet on Sunday, although he made no mention of the Britons kidnapped.  read more

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Twentyseven minutes and Grenfell Tower fire had taken hold so why werent

Dr Lane concluded the cladding system that was wrapped around the original concrete structure did not comply with building regulations, was not appropriate for such a tall building and created “multiple catastrophic fire-spread routes”.She said the cladding was “non-compliant with the functional requirement of the building regulations”.She had found “no evidence that any member of the design team or the construction ascertained the fire performance of the rainscreen cladding system materials”. But Dr Lane noted: “From 00.55 to 01.30 the stairs appear to have been free of smoke and therefore tenable for escape.”She went on: “The ‘stay-put’ strategy had substantially failed by 01.26.“At present, I am unclear about the basis for delaying the formal end of the strategy between 1.40am and 2.47am. I am particularly concerned by the delay from 2.06am, when a major incident was declared, to 2.47am.” 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. “Additional combustible construction materials were located in the room on the ceiling beside the window.“Therefore, in the event of any fire starting near a window, there was a disproportionately high probability of fire spread into the rainscreen cladding system.”Fire doorsEntrance doors to the flats, which should have resisted fire for 60 minutes, only lasted as little as 20 minutes, the inquiry report found. In some cases the closers did not work. Fire doors on the stairs also failed to do their job properly. A report by Dr Barbara Lane, a leading fire engineer, questioned LFB’s continuation of the “stay put” advice when it should have been clear that the blaze, which broke out in flat 16 on the fourth floor, had not been contained and was spreading rapidly up and across the block. The failure did not affect the initial attempt to put out the fourth floor blaze because there was no smoke in the stairwells and lobby areas at the timeHowever, Dr Lane added: “The coupling of a fire lift with an operational smoke ventilation system could possibly have had an impact on the ability to execute rescue.”Failure of the water supplyGrenfell used a “dry fire main” – meaning the fire service needed to pump water into the tower to extinguish flames internally. In the alternative – “wet riser” – the system is already connected to the outside mains and there is no need for the fire service to connect the internal pipe to fire engine water pumps. The lack of fire insulation around the window had “increased the likelihood of that fire breaking into the large cavities contained within the cladding system” and provided “no means to control the spread of fire and smoke”. The fire, once out the window, spread vertically up existing columns clad in the aluminium panels but also vertically both above and below windows, and also “through the infill panels between windows”. Dr Lane wrote: “Both routes aided by the insulation materials surrounding the new window openings.”The gap beyond the window was supposed to have fire-stops at intervals which would halt the advance of flames, but these were found to have been installed incorrectly.The report added: “The windows were not provided with fire resisting cavity barriers. These unprotected openings themselves were surrounded by combustible material. By 1.18am, 34 residents had escaped, whether by ignoring the advice or being rescued by firefighters. Between 1.19am and 1.38am, a further 110 had fled. But evacuation rates then slowed, with 20 people escaping in the next 19 minutes to 1.58am. In the next two hours, a further 48 people got out.Firefighters got no higher than the 20th floor, and Dr Lane said in her report: “I am not aware that those people [at level 22 and level 23] were provided with any assistance from LFB during the fire.” She concluded: “There was therefore an early need for a total evacuation of Grenfell Tower … I do not wish to imply this was an easy decision to make during the unfolding and complex events that occurred.”Richard Millett QC, the lead counsel to the inquiry, said in his opening statement: “It may well be that the withdrawal of the formal ‘stay-put’ guidance at that stage was just that – mere formality in light of the number of occupants that had escaped safely before that time. On the other hand, it may be that the formal maintenance of that advice until 2.47am made all the difference between life and death.” Grenfell Tower victims had more than half an hour to escape the high-rise block before the stairs filled with toxic smoke, but were told to stay put by the fire service, the official inquiry was told on Monday.The failure to evacuate the building immediately by the London Fire Brigade (LFB) may have “made all the difference between life and death”.An official report revealed that the controversial “stay put” strategy had “substantially failed” by 1.26am when flames could be seen to have reached the top of the 23-storey tower block.It said the building remained “tenable for escape” while the stairwells stayed smoke-free, which was until at least 1.30am. But it would take the fire service until 2.47am – 41 minutes after it had declared the disaster a “major incident” – to abandon the advice and instead encourage residents to evacuate.The inferno on June 14 last year claimed the lives of 72 people in the single-greatest loss of life to a fire in a residential building in Britain since the war. No one who lived below the 11th floor died. Fire service notes suggest the “manual override” switch failed, which meant the lift could not be controlled by the emergency services.As a result, firefighters were forced to climb stairs with heavy equipment such as breathing apparatus, slowing down rescue efforts.It meant that survivors who reached the fourth floor bridgehead then had to be escorted down the staircase rather than placed in the lift, which would have saved time and manpower. But on the night of the fire that system failed to work as intended. Dr Lane said: “The system as designed and installed was non-compliant with the statutory guidance.” She uncovered serious safety breaches relating to the £10 million refurbishment of the building that included the installation of flammable cladding and more than 100 “non-compliant” fire doors.Dr Lane said there was “an early need for a total evacuation of Grenfell Tower”. Instead, the fire service, which first arrived at the scene at 12.59am, only withdrew the “stay put” policy almost two hours after the first emergency call.She suggested the “culture of non-compliance” on basic fire safety coupled with “stay put” guidance that exposed Grenfell victims to thick toxic smoke in the stairwell had led to “a disproportionately high loss of life”.The inquiry was played a voice recording of a panicked call made by Bahailu Kebede, one of the occupants of flat 16, who told the 999 operator in a call at 12.54am: “Quick, quick, quick. It’s burning.” Her report said that building control had not been informed of its use and anyway did not understand how “the assembly would perform in a fire”. Neither the Tenant Management Organisation (TMO), which ran the building on behalf of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, nor the London Fire Brigade, had carried out a risk assessment of its fire performance.A further report commissioned by the public inquiry disclosed that no full-scale fire tests of cladding systems using the aluminium composite material panels were carried out before the fire.Colin Todd, a fire engineer, said no BS 8414 tests were carried out using the material before the blaze. More than 300 high rise residential blocks have had similar cladding installed.WindowsNew windows installed as part of the tower’s renovation contributed to the “disproportionately high probability of fire spread”, Dr Lane concluded. Flat no16: The burn-out remains of the kictchen where the fire started Grenfell Tower In 2011, the TMO replaced 106 flat entrance fire doors out of a total of 120 flats. The other 14 were not replaced because the leasehold had been bought from the council.However, none of the doors were compliant, including the 14 which were not replaced in the refurbishment.The fire doors had allowed smoke and flames to spread between the gap between doors and door frames, while multiple untested components in the doors themselves allowed fire to cross them and an unknown number of self-closers failed.Some fire doors were also held open by the firemen’s hoses rising up the building. In one case, a dead body prevented a fire door from shutting, allowing the flames and smoke to spread. The cladding system on Grenfell Tower could not resist the spread of fire throughout the building, a report has concluded Mr Millett said: “The inquiry has been made aware of an ongoing IOPC [police watchdog] investigation into the use of police helicopters on the night of the fire, including whether that might have encouraged some residents to remain in place or to move to the top of the tower and whether the operation of the police helicopters could have worsened the fire.” The pipe system to get water to the top of the building to be used by firefighters also failed, as did a bespoke smoke removal system that did not conform to building regulations.“The number of non-compliances signify a culture of non-compliance at Grenfell Tower,” Dr Lane said in her report.“I am particularly concerned about the maintenance regime of the active and passive fire protection measures.“I note that multiple automatic systems, such as the control of the fire lift and the smoke ventilation system, appear not to have operated as required.” The London Fire Brigade had put in place a “stay put” policy that was not removed until 2.47am, almost two hours after the emergency services were first called to a fire on the fourth floor in flat 16. But the advice for high-rise residential buildings is reliant on a fire remaining contained in the flat where it broke out.These are the failings identified by Dr Lane, which will be examined at the public inquiry that began taking evidence on Monday.CladdingDr Lane’s report was highly critical of not only the material used in the aluminium “rainscreen” cladding system – designed to protect the building against the elements and to provide insulation – but also of the way in which it was installed. Grenfell Tower, which is 220ft tall, was refurbished at a cost of £10 million, with the work completed in 2016. Dr Lane concluded that the dry riser system was “non-compliant with the design guidance in force at the time of the original construction and is also non-compliant with current standards”.This stopped firefighters getting water to the upper floors as effectively as a wet main, which provides more pressure.A wet fire main “could have enabled a faster initial response time” to the flat 16 fire, “which might have increased the chances of extinguishing the fire before it spread externally”. Flat no16: The burn-out remains of the kictchen where the fire started Sir Martin Moore-Bick, the retired judge and inquiry chairman, described video clips played to the inquiry showing the rapid spread of the fire as “truly shocking”. On one recording, a man can be heard shouting: “I told you, I told you, get out.”As reported last week by The Daily Telegraph, survivors and grieving relatives have complained at the failure of the LFB to evacuate the building immediately. Some expressed concern that fire chiefs had received commendations before the inquiry had even begun hearing evidence.The inquiry also raised concerns on Monday about the use of police helicopters on the night of the fire. Their deployment made some residents think they could be rescued from upper floors to which they fled to escape the smoke. The uPVC windows were installed without fire resistant cavity barriers and were surrounded by combustible material.The fire broke out in a kitchen in flat 16 on the fourth floor – in all probability in a fridge freezer – but spread through the kitchen window to the outside of the building. The fire rapidly spread up the east side of the building, reaching the top floor – the 23rd storey – by 1.30am, some 35 minutes after the fire brigade was first called. Mr Millett said there had been a “catastrophic failure” of the external cladding, which had spread the fire.Two other reports suggested there was “insufficient evidence” to say with total certainty that the fire started in a fridge-freezer.Safety failings left residents in death trapResidents had repeatedly warned that Grenfell Tower was a “death trap” and the damning report proved they were right.The official study found a “culture of non-compliance” in fire safety was to blame for the rapid spread of the blaze.Dr Lane’s report highlighted a litany of failings that included the use of combustible cladding; fire doors that did not work as they should; and an out-of-order fire lift that forced firefighters to use the stairs for moving heavy equipment. Dr Lane wrote in her report that this failure “would have materially affected the ability or willingness of occupants to escape independently through this space to the stair”.It would have also hindered the ability of firefighters to rescue many people on the tower’s upper floors. Another failure of an “unknown number of doors” to self-close after an occupant escaped would have allowed “immediate” spread of fire and smoke.The lobbies could therefore not be used as a “safe air environment” by the fire service, which could not establish a rescue base – a bridgehead – at any storey above the fourth floor until 7.30am.Dr Lane said: “This greatly reduced the time available using breathing apparatus, and so the time available for rescue on the upper floors, and particularly above Level 15.”Elizabeth Campbell, leader of Kensington and Chelsea council, said last night: “The footage we saw today is truly shocking, and the expert findings are extremely concerning.“We are already replacing fire doors across the borough, and I have asked our senior officers to urgently review today’s reports further to see if there is more we need to do.”Lift failureA so-called fireman’s switch to allow the fire service to automatically ground a lift and take control of it was in place but not working, the report found.The lifts in the building failed to perform effectively in the fire. That prevented firefighters using them to move heavy equipment up the building while also creating an “unnecessary risk” to residents who could not use them to escape. Poorly performing fire doors “contributed significantly to the spread of smoke and fire to the lobbies”, concluded Dr Lane. The fire expert found that all of the fire doors between the fourth and 23rd floor were “not compliant with fire test evidence relied upon at the time of installation”. It took just 27 minutes for the fire to spread up the tower Just two people who made their own way down from the 23rd floor survived.Dany Cotton, the London Fire Brigade Commissioner, who reached the scene at 2.29am, 18 minutes before the “stay- put” advice was withdrawn, said in a statement read out: “I have never seen a building where the whole of it was on fire. Nobody has ever seen that. It was incredible. It was alien to anything I had ever seen.” Grenfell read more

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