Tiger Woods Getting Healthy Taking Full Swings

Tiger Woods, out since the spring following back surgery, has progressed enough in his recovery to extend his swing, his agent said Tuesday, creating optimism that he might be able to compete in next month’s British Open.Woods already has missed two majors this year while he recovers from a microdiscectomy on his back on March 31. He last played on March 9 at Doral, when he closed with a 78 despite the pain in his lower back. Woods has said he has no idea when he will be healthy enough to return to competition.A report on Golf Channel’s morning show said he was taking full swings at the Medalist Golf Club in South Florida.”Tiger is progressing like he expected,” Mark Steinberg of Excel Sports Management said in an email. ”Feeling good each day. As each day passes and he feels that way, he lengthens the swing a bit.”Woods is the tournament host next week for the Quicken Loans National at Congressional. It is not expected that he will play. The deadline to enter is Friday. This is the first year of title sponsorship for the Detroit-based company.The next major is the British Open on July 17-20 at Royal Liverpool, where Woods won in 2006.The last time Woods missed two majors in one year because of injuries was in 2011, when he sat out the U.S. Open and British Open to let his leg fully recover. That year, he returned at Bridgestone Invitational in early August, a World Golf Championship that has no cut.In a promotional day for Quicken Loans last month, Woods said he was chipping and putting in a way that did not require rotation in his back. That was four weeks ago.He said he did not know how much time it would take for him to be ready for a tournament once he could take full swings with no pain.”The more time you give me, I think the better I’ll be,” he said. ”The great thing about what I’ve done so far and all my other previous surgeries, is that I worked on my short game. Once I start expanding from there and start competing and playing, if I start spraying it all over the lot and not hitting it that great, at least my short game is solid. That’s one of the positives to it.”Woods has slipped from No. 1 to No. 4 in the world ranking, and he is likely to fall a couple of more spots in coming weeks. He is at No. 207 in the FedEx Cup standings – having finished 72 holes only once this year – and the top 125 get into the playoffs that start Aug. 21.The news comes one day after Martin Kaymer won the U.S. Open with the second-lowest score in history at 271. The overnight rating for NBC Sports was 3.3, down 46 percent from the previous year at Merion. read more

A Farewell To Adam Dunn Sabermetric Bellwether

One footnote in the wake of the Oakland Athletics’ agonizing wild card loss Tuesday night was the retirement of A’s designated hitter Adam Dunn.Dunn had never participated in the postseason before, and his first (and last) game as a member of a playoff team came without so much as an appearance on the diamond. He finished his 14-year Major League Baseball stint with a résumé that’s undeniably notable — he ranks 35th all-time in career home runs and 40th in career walks — but he will never be considered Hall of Fame-worthy.Dunn’s most prominent place in the fabric of the game, then, is symbolic. Spanning the “Moneyball” era almost perfectly, Dunn’s career served as a bellwether for the growth, acceptance and, ultimately, the maturity of sabermetrics.In some ways, that status was a fait accompli. After all, Dunn graced the cover of Baseball Prospectus back in 2002, following a rookie season that saw him place among the top 30 hitters in baseball by OPS despite a mediocre batting average and plenty of strikeouts.Because he provided value with walks and power instead of contact hitting, Dunn was initially highlighted by statheads as the type of player who would frequently fall through the cracks of traditional analysis. Before sabermetrics became mainstream, strikeout-prone players like Dunn were disparaged — just take a trip through Fire Joe Morgan‘s Adam Dunn-tagged posts for a taste of the aspersions cast in Dunn’s direction over his whiff-happy ways — while statheads kept countering with the mantra that (for batters, at least) strikeouts are essentially no worse than any other out.And over time, MLB seems to have finally agreed: Its leaguewide rate of strikeouts per out hit a new all-time high for eight years running, including 2014. This new normal has, of course, spawned plenty of lamentations about the state of the game, but the explosion of strikeouts apparently hasn’t yet reached levels that would cause the game’s decision-makers to change course and stigmatize them again.You’d think this growing acceptance of strikeouts would result in a newfound appreciation of Dunn’s career, free from the shame his many K‘s once carried. But the great irony is that as sabermetric principles became so mainstream that Dunn’s batting value was properly evaluated, the state of analysis also improved to the point that baserunning and defense could be appraised with far greater accuracy than ever before. This was bad news for Dunn, a very large, very slow man who was of little use when holding a glove instead of a bat.Whether you look at Baseball-Reference.com or FanGraphs, Dunn was worth something in the neighborhood of 20 runs below average on the basepaths, making him one of the 40 or so worst baserunners of his generation. And defensively, Dunn’s value takes a major hit. Despite frequently playing low-difficulty positions at the far left end of the defensive spectrum (leading to a negative positional adjustment), Dunn was comically below-average relative to his positional peers. To wit: In 2009, Dunn somehow posted -43 Defensive Runs Saved while splitting time between first base and the two outfield corners, giving him the worst defensive season relative to positional average in baseball history. And between the twin factors of position and performance relative to positional average, Dunn rates as MLB’s worst defensive player ever in the estimation of Baseball Reference.Sabermetrics giveth and Sabermetrics taketh away.In the end, Dunn’s career represents the maturation of statistical analysis in baseball. Originally, it was thought that a player’s defense was of little consequence as long as he was productive at the plate; in “Moneyball,” there’s a passage quoting former Oakland A’s consultant Eric Walker as saying fielding was “at most 5 percent of the game” — a statement that rings particularly ludicrous in today’s age of BABIP and rampant defensive shifts. If the first stage of sabermetric proselytization was convincing the public that Dunn-esque hitters who rarely put the ball in play had value, the second stage was persuading them to look at the value driven by factors beyond hitting. (Not coincidentally, large segments of the recent MVP wars between Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera were fought on this ground.)Dunn’s profile made him a polarizing contemporary case study at each stage of the sabermetric mainstreaming process, a legacy that should give him a special place in baseball history. read more

Special teams roller coaster keeps OSU Miami on their toes

Bucks avert kickoff returns after 88-yard break away Tressel did what he does best after giving up an early touchdown; he played conservatively. Tressel brought in Barclay for the kick off and had him drop it at the 25-yard line, which he did consistently for the rest of the first half. “A kicker has to be able to do anything, and certainly enough we had to be ready for the pooch plays,” Barclay said. “For the most part we did well on the pooches.” Barclay opened the second half with a kick to the 10-yard line, which Miami returned to the 20, but quickly returned to conservative play for the rest of the game. Special teams proved to be an important aspect for both teams in Saturday’s matchup between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 13 Miami (Fla.). With an 88-yard kickoff return and a 79-yard punt return, the Hurricanes put 14 points on the board and embarrassment on the faces of the OSU coverage unit. “Are we concerned? Of course,” said coach Jim Tressel of the special teams performance. In fact, in OSU’s records, which date back to 1936, Saturday’s game marked the first time the Buckeye’s had ever given up a kick off return and punt return for touchdown. But that wasn’t enough to spur Miami to victory; OSU came out on top 36-24. “You don’t give up two long returns like that and usually survive,” Tressel said. “Our guys stepped up and overcame that.” The Buckeyes’ special teams unit came through as well, with both Jordan Hall and Jaamal Berry having long returns. Hall had a 47-yard return, while Berry had two long runs of 42 and 45 yards. “When we were in the huddle we were like ‘Man, they just broke one, now we’ve got to break one,’” Berry said. “We just made it happen.” Nathan Williams returns to play with a bang Defensive end Nathan Williams missed the season-opener against Marshall last week due to a knee-injury, but after coming into the game halfway through the first quarter, he already had an interception to add to his rap sheet. “It felt great, I was just anxious to get out there again,” Williams said. “Sitting out for three weeks was brutal.” Williams, a junior, grabbed Jacory Harris’ pass and returned a few yards to the Miami seven-yard line, setting up a scoring drive that ended with a field goal by Devin Barclay. “I just wanted to execute the plays and do what the defensive game plan wanted me to do,” he said. Interceptions key in takedown of Miami The Buckeye defense snatched four interceptions against Miami’s Harris, all of which led to scoring drives. After Williams’ grab in the first quarter, cornerback Chimdi Chekwa got two of his own in the second quarter, setting up a touchdown and then a field goal for the last play of the first half, putting the score at 26-17 Buckeyes. “We knew coming into the game that we were going to have to affect (Harris) to win this game,” said senior captain Ross Homan. “I think we did a good job with the D-line … we forced them into some bad situations.” Quarterback Terrelle Pryor and his receiving corps allowed for no interceptions against the Buckeyes. “When you can create four takeaways you’re going to have a chance,” Tressel said. “And when you have zero giveaways, you’re going to have a real good chance.” Early in the third quarter, senior captain offensive lineman Cameron Heyward took his stab at the Hurricanes returning an interception 80 yards to the Miami 15, setting up for a Dan “Boom” Herron touchdown. “I thought I had a chance, but you never know,” Heyward said of his reaction to seeing an open field in front of him. “I had some great blocks. I was just happy that I was in the right spot at the right time.” Ground game goes unnoticed Few of OSU’s big gains came on the run against Miami. Senior Brandon Saine had a net gain of only seven yards, while Herron had 66 yards over 14 carries. Both were out-run by quarterback Terrelle Pryor who had a total of 113 rushing yards. “They were definitely keeping a lot of guys in the box,” Herron said. “So it was kind of hard for us to get our running game going at first.” Barclay ties school record with five field goals Failure to convert in the red zone gave Barclay plenty of opportunity to put points on the board, going 5-for-5 in field goals until early in the fourth quarter when he missed a 32-yard attempt. His five field goals tie an Ohio State record with Mike Nugent, Josh Huston and Bob Atha. “It’s certainly something to be proud of,” Barclay said. “But if we would have lost, (tying) a school record wouldn’t have meant anything to me.” Barclay’s longest field goal against Miami was 41 yards. read more

Ohio State mens tennis looking to ace another season in 2014

Then-redshirt-sophomore Hunter Callahan bats a ball away during a match against Minnesota April 7 at the Varsity Tennis Center. OSU won, 7-0.Credit: Caitlin Essig / Managing editor for contentEven though classes were just canceled because of cold weather, things are starting to heat up at the Varsity Tennis Center as the Ohio State men’s tennis team looks to begin another championship season.Despite losing five players, including 2013 NCAA Singles Champion Blaz Rola, the Buckeyes find themselves ranked No. 5 to start the season in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll. There might be lofty expectations for a young team looking to continue a historic run of success, but coach Ty Tucker said fans shouldn’t be surprised if the talent overcomes the inexperience.“We have some work to do,” Tucker said. “We definitely have the chips, but we just have to figure out the best way to use them.”When asked who could fill the open spots from last year’s team, Tucker first pointed to true freshman Herkko Pollanen and redshirt-freshman Ralf Steinbach, along with redshirt-juniors Kevin Metka and Hunter Callahan. Pollanen, who came to Columbus by way of Helsinki, Finland, reached No. 16 in the junior rankings before making his way to campus.Perhaps Tucker’s most valuable chip, though, is senior Peter Kobelt.After flipping between No. 1 and No. 2 singles with Rola last year, Kobelt looks to have that spot all to himself in 2014. He has momentum heading into the season from helping the U.S. capture the gold medal at the Master’U BNP Paribas international collegiate team competition in Aix-en-Provence, France.“It was a great opportunity to play in a high quality tournament against the best all over the world.” Kobelt said. “We played high quality tennis for four days, represented the USA and won.”The team’s high ranking should be put to the test all season as there are seven teams ranked inside the top 30 on OSU’s schedule.“At Ohio State, we try our best to play the greatest and best in the country,” Tucker said.Even with a treacherous schedule and four of the starting six being first-time starters, the goal for the team remains the same.“The goal is to win the Big Ten title,” Tucker said.Considering the team has won seven titles in eight years, anything less could be viewed as a letdown, Kobelt said.“Our goal is to always win the Big Ten. The Big Ten is ours,” Kobelt said, “I don’t want to lose it in my last year.”The Buckeyes begin play Jan. 22 against Butler and Xavier in Columbus. read more

Brexit surcharge ski firm demands extra cash from customers who have already

first_imgThe fall in the value of sterling has prompted several tour firms to introduce surcharges Thousands of skiers are being asked to pay twice for a holidayCredit:ROSS WOODHALL How much is a holiday surcharge?Tour operators must absorb the first two per cent of an increased cost, and the surcharge can be no more than 10 per cent. So, if you paid £400 for your holiday and the cost rose by £16 (four per cent), the operator has the right to charge you an additional £8 (two per cent). If the cost of the same holiday rose by £40 (10 per cent), it may charge you an extra £32 (eight per cent).How likely is it?Not very. Tour operators use the surcharge as a last resort as going to a customer after they have booked and asking for more money is no way to win loyal customers.What happens if a tour operator applies one?Your tour operator will contact you to explain how much the surcharge is and why it is applying it. Telegraph Travel’s consumer expert Nick Trend says customers should definitely challenge any surcharge. “If the operator is an Abta member, check that Abta has agreed the charge,” he said. “If not an Abta member, ask for a breakdown of how the costs have been calculated, how the two per cent has been absorbed, and if not happy, threaten to cancel for a full refund. That threat might focus the minds of some operators.”If the surcharge is above 10 per cent customers have the right to cancel and receive a full refund, whereas technically if it is between two and 10 per cent then the surcharge can be imposed on customers at the risk of them losing their deposit, though tour operators are likely to try to accommodate customers’ needs as best as possible. A spokesperson for Mark Warner, which offers ski trips to France, Austria and Italy, confirmed the introduction of a 10 per cent surcharge but declined to comment further. The slide of sterling since the Brexit result is the likely cause, with the pound now worth €1.19 compared to €1.31 in May.David Hopkins, the company’s managing director, wrote in a letter to customers: “It will be necessary and unavoidable for us, for the first time in many years, to invoke the surcharge clause contained within our contractual terms and conditions.”The company is just the latest in a growing list of operators to ask customers for more money since the referendum on EU membership. The fall in the value of sterling has prompted several tour firms to introduce surchargesCredit:AFP or licensors/ADRIAN DENNIS Mark Warner, one of Britain’s largest tour operators, has told holidaymakers they must pay more for their ski breaks this season, despite having already booked.The company has invoked the “surcharge clause” in its terms and conditions which allows travel firms to ask customers for an additional fee – as much as £50 per person – because the cost of their package has gone up, because of currency fluctuations, or due to rising fuel costs or taxes. Abta, the travel association, whose members must seek its permission before activating the clause, keeps a record of companies currently surcharging. Since the referendum, the list’s membership has risen from none to seven, four of which sell winter holidays, and all are linked to currency. Mark Warner does not appear on the list as it is not a member of Abta.Tour operators use the surcharge as a last resort as they are aware of how unpopular it is to ask for more money once a holiday has been paid for.Travel firms are governed by a set of rules that says how they are allowed to apply the fees. Tour operators must absorb the first two per cent of an increased cost, and the surcharge can be no more than 10 per cent. It is also not allowed to apply them within 30 days of the departure date. They must also state their right to do so in their terms and conditions.When Telegraph Travel reported on the issue in July, one tour operator said it could not remember a time when more than a couple had applied the rule.In 2011, Thomson and Thomas Cook added supplements due to the price of oil soaring to $114 a barrel.Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, some operators added security surcharges onto their prices, imposed by airports, but this practice was later outlawed.In July, a Tazanian safari operator was forced to impose a surcharge after the country’s government introduced an 18 per cent VAT tax on tourist services with just a week’s notice.What is a surcharge?A holiday firm may ask for more money – a surcharge – after you have paid. Surely this isn’t allowed?You wouldn’t get a phone call from M&S asking for a few quid more for your pyjamas because the cost of cotton has increased, but – as strange as it may sound – holiday firm are allowed to do so. They can do so because of rising fuel costs, increased taxes, or currency fluctuations, but they must explain the clause in their terms and conditions. They can only ask for more money more than 30 days before departure.  Thousands of skiers are being asked to pay twice for a holidaylast_img read more

Sir Bradley Wiggins takes on retirement challenge Channel 4s riskiest show The

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. Confirmed to take part in the series are Emma Parker-Bowles, the niece of the Duchess of Cornwall, rugby players Gareth Thomas and Jason Robinson, footballer Robbie Fowler, former Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews, comedian Mark Dolan and Olympic medal-winning gymnast Louis Smith.They will be joined by Olympic Taekwondo champion Jade Jones, Paralympic medallist Kadeena Cox, model Vogue Williams, star of The Only Way Is Essex Lydia Bright, reality TV star Josie Gibson, and Caprice Bourret, the model. Sir Bradley, 36, said he is taking on the show as his next “sporting challenge”, insisting: “Just don’t call me a celebrity.”The last series of the show saw Beth Tweddle, the Olympic gymnast, require surgery after damaging two vertabrae, swimming Rebecca Adlington dislocate her shoulder mid ski jump, reality television star Mark Francis fracture an ankle, actress Tina Hobley dislocate her elbow and fracture her arm twice, and Heather Mills retire from competition with an injured leg and hand.Sarah Harding pulled a ligament in her knee, Ben Cohen needed 20 stitches in his face, Louisa Lytton and Tom Parker tore ligaments in their hands, and Linford Christie pulled his hamstring. “Major retiring Olympians such as Sir Steve Redgrave have also trod this path, I see this as a sporting challenge and want to go out there and win it.“Just don’t call me a celebrity.”The Jump will return to Channel 4 in early 2017, presented by Davina McCall. Sir Bradley aims to be crowned winner of The Jump Beth Tweddle had surgery for a broken neck after an accident during The Jump Previous series have seen Ola Jordan, the dancer, pull out before the show aired after injuring her hips in training, Sally Bercow fracture two ribs, Melinda Messenger suffer concussion and Marcus Brigstocke snap his cruciate ligament.A spokesman for Channel 4 said: “The show was recommissioned following a thorough review of safety procedures and as in previous years the courses are designed and adapted to the ability of the competitors.”This year, Sir Bradley will join 13 other contestants on location in Austria for training, before six weeks of live shows begin in earnest. Sir Bradley aims to be crowned winner of The Jump Just last week, he announced he was retiring from professional cycling with 16 years, eight Olympic medals and a Tour de France win under his belt.Sir Bradley Wiggins, it seems, has one more challenge left to conquer: death-defying television show The Jump.Sir Bradley is to take his life – or at least his leg bones – into his hands as takes part in the Channel 4 show, which has left previous celebrity contestants hospitalised after taking on its extreme winter sports challenges.It has become a favourite for retired sportsmen and women, who are unable to take part in such extreme physical activity during their careers. Last year's The Jump contestants, more than half of whom were injured during the series Gareth Thomas will take part this year Louis Smith is among the 2017 competitors Sir Bradley said: “Skiing is a big passion of mine, it was a mix of that and the other committed names this year that made me want to sign up.“From Jason Robinson and Robbie Fowler to Olympians Louis Smith and Jade Jones, these guys have excelled in the sporting arena and I have a lot of respect for them, they will be so competitive. Last year’s The Jump contestants, more than half of whom were injured during the seriesCredit:Channel 4 Gareth Thomas will take part this year Beth Tweddle had surgery for a broken neck after an accident during The Jump Louis Smith is among the 2017 competitorslast_img read more

Parody of 1980s Accrington Stanley advert banned for encouraging excessive drinking

first_imgBlack Cow pure milk vodka, in a parody of the well-known 1989 Accrington Stanley milk advertCredit:PA Among them was a parody of the Milk Marketing Board’s infamous 1989 milk advert featuring Carl Rice as a young boy. In the original, two Liverpudlian boys who have been playing football come into a kitchen for a drink.One boy tells the other football legend Ian Rush had warned that people who did not drink milk would be “only good enough to play for Accrington Stanley”. The commercial popularised the catchphrase: “Accrington Stanley? Who are they?… Exactly!”Rice, now aged 36, features in the parody skit this time gulping down milk vodka, invented by Dorset dairy farmer Jason Barber. But the ASA ruled the advert implied and encouraged “excessive drinking”.  An advert for Black Cow pure milk vodka, in a parody of the well-known 1989 Accrington Stanley milk advertCredit:PA The ASA said that the adverts’ catchline, “So smooth you can drink it until the cows come home”, implied consumers could drink more of it. Black Cow said its vodka was “super premium” and not intended to be consumed in excess.Beaminster dairy farmer Jason Barber, who invented the drink, added: “We don’t want to milk the point, but we were rather surprised to be chased by these complaints.” A parody advert of the famous “Accrington Stanley” milk advert from the 1980s which features the original actor has been banned for encouraging excessive drinking.The adverts for a UK farm’s pure milk vodka were pulled by watchdogs for being socially irresponsible and linking the spirit to sexual activity. 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. Adverts for Black Cow pure milk vodka banned Black Cow pure milk vodka, in a parody of the well-known 1989 Accrington Stanley milk advert The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said they received two complaints about the adverts for Black Cow vodka and three adverts have now been banned. Adverts for Black Cow pure milk vodka have been bannedCredit:PA The ASA said that while they recognised it was “a literal recreation of the original advert and that some viewers would recognise the element of satire”, they believed it should be banned on the grounds of the huge amount of vodka depicted.Another advert to fall foul of the censors showed a man and woman walking through a meadow and glancing at each other, and then a depression in long grass with “Black Cow Pure Milk Vodka” superimposed over it. The watchdog argued it linked alcohol to sexual activity. Black Cow pure milk vodka, in a parody of the well-known 1989 Accrington Stanley milk advertlast_img read more

Shocking video shows moment Muslim student is told she cannot enter McDonalds

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. After she is heard getting upset, a member of the public intervenes and is told by the guard that it is “none of [his] business.”Finally, a member of staff tells her to stop filming, and when she refuses offers to serve her.The student told the Guardian: “I thought: ‘It’s finally happening to me,’ like it has to so many hijabis. It didn’t feel real because I had seen so many videos like this and it was finally happening to me in real life. I was in so much disbelief.”The friend I was with was shocked and scared, and said it was a risky situation. When it was over, I finally realised how these situations can become dangerous. This is not a one-off thing.”She said she will never go to McDonald’s again.A spokesperson for the chain said in a statement: “McDonald’s does not have a policy in place which restricts or prevents anyone wearing a hijab, or any other religious dress, from entering the restaurant.”We welcome customers of all faiths and would like to apologise to the customer as this situation should not have taken place. We are taking this matter extremely seriously and are addressing this with the individuals involved.” A woman was turned away from McDonald’s in London because she was wearing a hijab, as is shown in a shocking video.The 19-year-old student, who does not want to be named, said she lives down the road from the store, on Seven Sisters road in Holloway, and that she had never faced that sort of discrimination before.She said she was stopped from entering the building unless she took off her hijab, and then began filming the security guard as he appeared to continue to bar her from coming in.He is seen  in a video posted to Twitter indicating to her to take her headscarf off.The fast-food restaurant chain admitted the event took place – but said it was not company policy and shouldn’t have happened.The British Muslim of Middle Eastern descent asks the security guard in the video why she can’t enter McDonald’s, and he is seen replying: “It’s just a matter of taking it off.”She replied: “It’s not just a matter of taking it off. I wear this for religious reasons and I’m not ashamed of it, and I will stand in line and I will get the food I want, because this isn’t OK.”last_img read more

Backlash as Fire Brigades Union votes in favour of gender selfidentification

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. Prominent female union members from across the country have sent a letter to the executive committee expressing major concerns about the proposals, which they warned “may compromise the privacy and security of women in the workplace, and risk unpicking advances that were fought for over many years.”They include Sian Griffiths, one of the first women to join the force, and who founded the FBU Women’s Committee.Yannick Dubois, chair of the FBU’s LGBT group, claimed there had been a lot of “scaremongering” about the GRA based on misunderstanding.She said: “Self declaration means going through a long and complex process. People don’t go through it just so they can use the women’s toilets.” “But these rights should not be in expense of women’s rights. We need an open and frank discussion but in doing so, we need to consult women.” Over 30 women firefighters have signed a letter calling on the FBU to oppose proposals on gender self-declaration. The proposals “may compromise the privacy and security of women in the workplace, and risk unpicking advances that were fought for over many years.”They are right.— Paul Embery (@PaulEmbery) September 18, 2018 The Fire Brigade Union has recommended that male firefighters be allowed to identify as female, prompting a backlash from some female members.The all-male national executive voted on Thursday night in favour of allowing gender self declaration by eight votes to three, the Telegraph understands. The vote will now  go out to each region to consult on.Female members say they were not consulted and warned it will have huge implications for women, who make up just seven per cent of the force, regarding changing facilities and single sex dormitories.They claimed the chair of the national women’s committee had proffered her support ahead of the vote without consulting the FBU’s 2,000 female members.And they expressed fears that women-only facilities, for which they had “fought tooth and nail” could be abused or used as a means of bullying or intimidating women.Lucy Masoud,  a London regional official and London’s LGBT secretary, said: “We absolutely understand that the Gender Recognition Act is in need of reform and transgender individuals should have rights and be protected and understood. read more

Champion ballroom dancer stalked expartner and secretly filmed her reaction court hears

Catherine Tonge, pictured leaving court, was said to have been left ‘very scared and threatened’ by her ex-partner’s behaviourCredit:Marios K. Forsos /Cavendish Press Catherine Tonge  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 champion ballroom dancer accused of stalking his ex-partner left out old Valentine’s cards and secretly filmed her reaction, a court heard.Lee Donnelly is accused of harassing 21-year-old Catherine Tonge with numerous messages on WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram begging her to stay with him after she moved out following an argument on their way home from an awards ceremony.Over six weeks, the  36-year-old left pictures of the couple together around their shared rented home and put up old Valentine’s cards to “remind them” of their relationship so she would see them during subsequent visits.He also left a CD containing images of them being intimate with each other, changed the code on the house alarm so it would trigger when she entered and set up a web cam so he could film her reaction, magistrates were told.Donnelly would also park his car near Miss Tonge’s grandparents’ home and turn up unannounced at the Oldham Coliseum Theatre, in Greater Manchester, where she was a front-of-house manager. Lee Donnelly, who denies a charge of stalking, leaves Tameside magistrates’ courtCredit:Marios K. Forsos /Cavendish Press  Lee Donnelly, who denies a charge of stalking, leaves Tameside magistrates' court A court heard the pair had met at a dance school in Oldham in 2016 and began their romance six months later after being paired up for dancing events. There was said to have been “jealousy” due to Donnelly having other female dance partners.Miss Tonge, a university graduate, told Tameside magistrates: “I was wary of what he was taking on and the more partners he took on the less time he would have for himself and us. He would agree to partner up with people and then he would moan to me.”He was not always kind and respectful. People at the dance school admire him for his talent, but knew what he could be like. He has drunken incidents and violence, he can be quite volatile and aggressive.” Donnelly, of Rochdale, denied wrongdoing and told the court: “Catherine and I formed a very good bond between us.”We had some tit-for-tats at the dance school which caused small problems at home. Some dance partners had my full attention but it would take its toll on me and there was a little bit of jealousy.”The case was adjourned until October when magistrates are expected to return a verdict. Miss Tonge, who had been crowned Nationwide Under 21 Lady/Man Latin Champion with Donnelly in 2017, was said to have been left “very scared and threatened” by her former partner’s behaviour and called police. Donnelly denies a charge of stalking without distress. read more