An associate of Aaron Hernandez said he was told that 23-year-old star athlete was the trigger man in the shooting death of friend Odin Lloyd, according to court documents filed in Florida. In addition, a car rented in Hernandez’s name was sought in connection to a double murder a year earlier, according to the records obtained by Associated Press.The records say Hernandez was argumentative when first questioned by homicide police, slamming the door on them and not even asking whose death was being investigated.The revelations provide the most significant evidence yet against the former New England Patriots tight end.Hernandez has been charged in the June killing Lloyd, a semi-pro football player. The records say Hernandez associate Carlos Ortiz told Massachusetts investigators that another man, Ernest Wallace, said Hernandez shot Lloyd in an industrial park near Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough.The gun used in the killing has not been found.The documents were filed in court by the Miramar, Fla., police department to justify a search of Wallace’s mother’s home in that city.The records also show that police, while investigating Lloyd’s killing, searched in Hernandez’s hometown of Bristol, Conn., and found a vehicle wanted in connection with a July 2012 double homicide near a Boston nightclub.Hernandez has pleaded not guilty in Lloyd’s killing. His legal team did not return emailed messages Tuesday. Wallace faces an accessory to murder charge in the case and has pleaded not guilty.Prosecutors say Hernandez, Wallace and Ortiz drove with Lloyd in a rented Nissan Altima to the industrial park where Lloyd was fatally shot.Ortiz told police that during the drive Hernandez told Lloyd that Lloyd had been ”chilling” with people Hernandez had problems with, the documents say.But Ortiz told police the two men shook hands and the problem seemed smoothed over. However, the Altima soon stopped, and everyone but Ortiz got out to urinate, according to Ortiz’s account.The witness told police he then heard gunshots before Hernandez and Wallace got back into the car without Lloyd and the car sped away.Ortiz said he couldn’t see who fired the shots because it was dark. Back at Hernandez’s home, Ortiz said, Wallace asked him to get a small gun out from under the driver’s seat. Ortiz said he did and gave it to Hernandez once they were inside.Ortiz said he then went to sleep. When he woke up in the afternoon, according to his account, the three men returned the Altima and rented a Chrysler 300 before returning to Hernandez’s home.Ortiz and Wallace then went to an apartment in the area that Hernandez and other football players used. Wallace let Ortiz in before leaving for a long time, the documents say. The two then drove to Bristol. Ortiz told police Wallace said Hernandez shot Lloyd.Hernandez, Wallace and Ortiz appear linked through Bristol. Wallace told Florida police he grew up with Hernandez’s father. Ortiz’s attorney, John Connors, said Tuesday his client, who’s athletic and around the age of Hernandez’s older brother, is from Bristol.Meanwhile, eight search warrants were unsealed in Massachusetts after news organizations sought access to them. The warrants reveal the breadth of the investigation, with authorities scouring through everything from Hernandez’s house to his phone to the contents of his team locker, which the Patriots emptied into a container after they released him.A rifle, ammunition and video surveillance equipment were among the items police seized from Hernandez’s home.Records show Hernandez, who played tight end, became ”argumentative” during his first encounter with police at his home about five hours after Lloyd’s body was found by a jogger.Hernandez told police he had last seen Lloyd in Boston the day before. He asked, ”What’s with all the questions?” and locked the door behind him.He then returned with his attorney’s business card but didn’t respond when police told him they were investigating a death, the records show.”Mr. Hernandez slammed the door and relocked it behind him,” the records read. ”Mr. Hernandez did not ask officers whose death was being investigated. Mr. Hernandez’s demeanor did not indicate any concern for the death of any person.”Hernandez came out later and agreed to be questioned at a police station.
Serena Williams made a dedicated fan’s day when she signed a tennis ball and had her husband send it to her supporter.On May 29, Alexis Ohanian, the Reddit co-founder turned full-time venture capital firm partner, shared the story of a Kentucky resident named Jarod who hoped to help his mother’s best friend get a piece of her favorite tennis star.“She watches every single tennis match she possibly can, scheduling her limited vacation times around tournaments just to be able to watch every match,” Jarod said of Denise, a.k.a. Nee Nee in a letter sent shortly after Williams’ engagement went public in December. “She dropped out of high school almost 35 years ago to support her family and works 70+ hours a week, sacrificing her health and free time to support them… Just this month she lost her dad to a heart attack and her sister to pneumonia. I just got home from her sister’s funeral an hour ago. As you can guess it has been an awful Christmas season for her. Is there any way you could either send her a card or tennis ball to cheer her up?”After learning about Nee Nee’s story, Williams signed one of the practice balls she used ahead of the 2017 Australian Open — where she won her 23rd Grand Slam title during the early stages of her pregnancy with Alexis Jr. — and sent it to her fan.“I’m grateful for all the people around the world who adore my wife; the world,” Ohanian wrote. “This particular story moved all the people who upvoted it, but also us. … Jarod recorded a video of the surprise last year and said it was OK for me to share it today.”“There’s something in the box?” Nee Nee says in the clip before squealing in delight. “Oh my Gosh! … No, I’m not gon cry but I feel like it.”“Today, Serena is going back to work at her first Grand Slam since Junior was born and our family is thrilled & proud to cheer her on with all of you — most certainly you, ‘Nee Nee.’ 🎾 The Queen is back,” Ohanian concluded his post.In response to the gift, many fans — including Nee Nee’s niece — have responded.“Look at my auntie 😍😍. We had a rough year that year, we lost my mom (her sister) and my grandaddy (her dad),” wrote @temptationoftara. “I’m so happy that you and your beautiful wife were able to put a smile on her face that year because God knew she needed it. My mother and her were close; it was 6 of them and when my grandaddy and mom passed I knew it really hurt her that she’d lost both of her best friends. THANK YOU SO MUCH, YOU GUYS ROCK 💜.”“Omgg this is such a beautiful thing to do!! God bless you all.. especially NEE NEE ❤❤.”“This is wonderful! Made me tear up!! Just lovely!!”
This is an era of tanking and rebuilding in baseball. Teams like the Cubs and Astros drop into the cellar for a few years, stockpile talent, and then burst back into first place, stronger than ever. Never before have teams so consciously chosen between contention and reconstruction. The ebb and flow of teams through the competitive cycle has left the league less balanced than it has been since the steroid era.To get a sense of the level of parity in baseball, I calculated the standard deviation in run differential at this point in each season going back to 1988.1To make the standard deviation less noisy, I used a week’s (June 13-19) worth of games in each season. When the league is less even, the differences in run differential between teams tend to expand and the standard deviation gets larger. Over the last couple years, imbalance in the league has spiked. The last time parity was lower than it has been the last two seasons was in 2003, when Barry Bonds could still be counted on for at least 40 home runs a season. Six teams are on pace (by run differential) for 97-win seasons, while four threaten to lose 97 games.It’s obvious how uneven the league is now when you look at some of the most impressive teams of 2017. The Astros aren’t quite on the historic run that the Cubs managed last year. But they’re close — after 72 games, the Astros project to finish the season with a run differential of +254, slightly better than the impressive rate the defending champions managed last year.The Astros also have company at the top: The Yankees are just off Houston’s run-differential pace — riding unexpected performances to a strong bid for the division crown. In the senior circuit, the Dodgers are relying on league-best run prevention to power an equally impressive performance. Three of the top six teams in run differential (the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Rockies) play in the National League West, a surprisingly competitive division that also hosts two of the worst teams in the league.Speaking of the Padres, MLB’s worst teams have committed wholly to rebuilding, at the cost of any shred of competitiveness. While the Padres’ management doesn’t dare speak the word, executive chairman Ron Fowler said last year that they aimed “to get to .500 in hopefully” 2018. From trading established stars to turning single-A players loose on the field, the Padres have abandoned the idea of contention. That’s an amazing change of fortune for a team that went all-in two years ago, only to fall short. The Phillies are similarly terrible, having traded away their stars in an effort to tank.Many of these teams won’t finish the year with run differentials as woeful or as impressive as what they’ve posted so far (Rockies, I’m looking at you). The Astros are unlikely to keep up their historic pace, just as the Cubs ultimately fell off their record-challenging midseason pace last year. But the relentless churn of teams willfully plummeting to the bottom and then rising again with fresh talent ought to keep baseball a league of haves and have-nots for the foreseeable future.
Members of the Cleveland Cavaliers huddle before a preseason game on Oct. 12 against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Schottenstein Center. Memphis won 91-81. Credit: Muyao Shen / Asst. Photo Editor The Cleveland Cavaliers made their return to the Schottenstein Center for the third straight year to play host to the Memphis Grizzlies in a preseason contest, which resulted in a 91-81 victory for Memphis.Small forward LeBron James led the way for the Cavs with 14 points, while Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph matched that number for Memphis.Here are five observations from The Lantern’s sports editors Ryan Cooper and Kevin Stankiewicz after Monday’s exhibition.Experimental lineup combosWith three usual starters in point guard Kyrie Irving, shooting guard J.R. Smith and power forward Kevin Love held out on Monday due to injuries, as well as backup point guard Mo Williams (rest) and power forward Tristan Thompson (contract holdout) absent, Cavs coach David Blatt had to insert some unfamiliar lineups.Joining James and center Timofey Mozgov in the starting five were point guard Matthew Dellavedova, shooting guard Richard Jefferson and power forward Anderson Varejao.Blatt said after the game that the big man pairing of Mozgov and Varejao didn’t show great results, but he finds it an intriguing concept in the future.“It wasn’t as effective tonight as I had hoped, but that doesn’t mean anything,” Blatt said. “They played against two really good players (in the Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol and Randolph) … it wasn’t easy for them, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t use (the combination) going forward.”Other interesting lineup combinations, such as Mozgov and fellow Russian big man Sasha Kaun in the game together, were on display throughout the contest.James said after the game that the preseason is as much about finding what works individually and collectively as mirroring actual game situations.“I think it’s both,” James said. “You want to try to work on you as an individual as well, but in a team aspect of things. If we continue to do that, then we’ll be fine.”Varejao’s impactVarejao started for the Wine and Gold on Monday night and logged a preseason-high 21 minutes, while collecting seven rebounds, six points and four assists.Varejao, who is the only remaining player on the Cavs roster to have been teammates with James during his first tenure in Cleveland, has battled injuries for the past five seasons but is finally back healthy.The energy that has made Varejao a fan favorite throughout his entire 11-year career in Cleveland was on display early on at the Schott.On the game’s first possession, the 33-year-old Brazilian stole an errant pass and embarked on a fast break. Varejao took it the length of the floor before drawing a foul from Memphis’ Marc Gasol. He then stepped to the line and hit both free throws for the game’s first points.With the cloudiness around Thompson’s contract and Love’s health, Varejao looks to see extended minutes early on in the season. His performance on Monday, as well as in the other two preseason games, are positive signs for the Cavalier frontcourt.Roster hopefulsThe preseason stands as an opportunity for several players — the majority of whom will end up on another team, in the D-League or playing overseas.That is no different for the seven training camp invites looking to find a stray spot or two on the bottom of the Cavs’ roster.Of the seven, only two — point guard Quinn Cook and combo guard Jared Cunningham — received minutes in the first three quarters of the game.With the rostered players resting in the fourth, forward Austin Daye got a chance to showcase his abilities and played well with seven points on 2-of-3 shooting in eight minutes.Daye said a player in his position has nothing to do but wait for his moment.“It’s not really frustrating,” he said. “I kind of knew the situation tonight because of lineups and stuff like that.“I’m just being patient, just trying to make an impact right when I get in the game, and I’ve been able to do that, so I just hope they can see that.”Cunningham, who turned heads after scoring 31 points in the Cavs’ previous preseason game, turned heads again on Monday by scoring 13 points and racking up four steals. He electrified the Schottenstein Center with two powerful dunks in the second half.“I think he’s been great,” James said. “He’s been doing everything that coaches have asked of him. He’s been very aggressive, not on the offensive end but more importantly defensively. It’s great to have him around so far.”Cook, the other non-rostered player to find minutes in the game, scored five points and added two assists and two rebounds in 18 minutes.LeBron fires up ColumbusFor the second straight year, James returned to Ohio State — a school he didn’t attend, as he jumped straight from high school to the professional ranks, but has publically supported throughout his career.The Akron native received a huge ovation from the crowd throughout the contest, in which he scored 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting. He also added three assists and three steals, but did not grab a rebound and had four turnovers in 26 minutes.After the game, James said he always enjoys taking his talents to other parts of the state that he has lived his entire life in sans four seasons in Miami from 2010-2014. Before Monday night’s game, the Cavs opened their preseason in Cincinnati.“It was fun. These fans are always great to us,” James said.A belated homecomingOSU’s Homecoming weekend wrapped up on Sunday, but there was one more to be had on Monday.Former OSU star and now Memphis point guard Mike Conley Jr. made his return to Columbus, exactly eight years, seven months and 17 days since his last game at the Schott.In that game, on Feb. 25, 2007, Conley lifted the then-top ranked Buckeyes to a 49-48 victory over Wisconsin when he hit a game-winning runner inside the paint. He finished the game with 11 points, four assists and six boards.Conley, alongside fellow then-freshman Greg Oden, guided OSU to a national title game appearance before falling to the Florida Gators in 2007.On Monday, the former fourth-overall selection tallied just four points, but dished out nine assists and corralled four boards in 26 minutes.Conley said it was a nice feeling to be back in a city he called home for one year, adding that he enjoyed hearing the Cavalier-centered crowd’s cheer when his name was called during the starting lineups.“It felt good just to see the crowd, and when you look down at the court and look at something familiar,” he said. “It was cool to see the response that the crowd gave me during the starting lineup. So, it was just a fun environment.”Memphis was only in Ohio’s capital city for one day, but Conley said he tried to visit old places and faces.“Over the 24 hours I’ve been everywhere and driven around,” he said. “It’s hard to focus but it was a fun experience for me to have my family and my friend and some old teammates.”
OSU sophomore guard Asia Doss (20) shoots a free throw during the second half a game against Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament on March 5 in Indianapolis. OSU lost, 82-63. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Oller ReporterThe Ohio State women’s basketball team has returned to central Ohio after its first road trip of the season. Following two wins and a loss in the Gulf Coast Showcase this past weekend in Estero, Florida, the No. 9 Buckeyes’ tough non-conference schedule will continue with a contest against the No. 18 Miami Hurricanes.The Hurricanes will come to Columbus with a 5-1 record on the year. After falling in its season opener to then-No. 19 Kentucky, Miami has rebounded to win its last five. The Hurricanes have an average margin of victory of 23.2 in that span, although all five victories have come against unranked opponents.Miami features four players who are scoring more than 10 points per game. Senior guard Jessica Thomas leads the way with 13 points per game with senior guard Adrienne Motley, sophomore guard Laura Comelius and junior forward/center Erykah Davenport also in double digits. As a team, Miami is shooting 44.8 percent from the field and averaging 74.7 points per game.OSU also has four scorers above 10 points per game, but the Buckeyes’ leader, junior guard Kelsey Mitchell, is seventh in the nation with 23.3 points per game. Redshirt sophomore guard Sierra Calhoun (13.4), redshirt junior forward Stephanie Mavugna (12.0) and senior forward Shayla Cooper (11.4) follow Mitchell. OSU is averaging 86 points per game, shooting 45.1 percent from the field.OSU may have a slight advantage when it comes to offensive abilities, but the Hurricanes may pose some challenges defensively. OSU’s defensive issues have been well documented this season, and it has shown in the form of 73.7 points per game from opponents. Miami has allowed just 58 points per game this season, but it should be noted that OSU has faced three ranked opponents compared to the Hurricanes’ one.The difference in this game might come down to interior play. One of OSU’s biggest advantages this season has been rebounding and the ability to get high-percentage shots. Mavunga is averaging a double-double at 12 points and 10.7 rebounds per game, and Cooper has found success inside as well. Freshman forward Tori McCoy is starting to find her way after early season struggles.But it’s not just the forwards that have seen action around the basket for the Buckeyes. Mitchell and freshman guard Kiara Lewis have a knack for driving to the hoop and converting difficult, well-covered shots.Miami has allowed opponents to grab 34.7 rebounds per game, and the Buckeyes are pulling down 46.6 per game. If the Hurricanes are able to limit OSU’s second-chance opportunities, Miami will have a great chance to leave Columbus with a victory. But if OSU continues to have its way inside, it could be a long night for the Hurricanes.Tipoff between the Buckeyes and Hurricanes is set for 7 p.m. on Dec. 1 at Schottenstein Center.
The North-South Classic is an opportunity for Ohio’s finest seniors to put their high school helmets on one last time and compete at Ohio Stadium. Most players are just months away from moving to their new collegiate destinations, but Saturday, five future Buckeyes felt right at home in ‘Shoe. The group got plenty of action on the field, but wide receiver Devin Smith of Massillon Washington High School stood out with three big receptions, including a 26-yard touchdown reception on a deep slant. The touchdown was the lone score for the North squad, which fell, 25-7, to the South. Smith’s big day prompted future teammate Chase Farris, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound defensive end from Elyria High School, to reveal the nickname given to Smith by his teammates. “We call him the undiscovered truth,” Farris said with a big smile. “He wasn’t ranked all that high (by recruiting services), but he can play.” Farris played end for the South team, opposite Steve Miller of Canton McKinley High School. Miller said he enjoyed the experience and getting to spend time with Farris over the week. “It was fun. We had a lot of bonding time this week,” Miller said. “He’s a great kid.” After the game, Smith laughed when his nickname was mentioned, but he did affirm the importance of having a big day in the ‘Shoe. “It means a lot,” Smith said. “A lot of guys underrate me and think that I’m not that great of a football player compared to other guys that are top-ranked. My main focus was to come in here, have fun and show everyone I can play the game of football.” Smith said he is well-aware of the opportunity at the receiver position — with the graduation of Dane Sanzenbacher and DeVier Posey suspended for five games — and that he is working hard to come in and compete. Tight end Nick Vannett from Westerville Central High School, also a future Buckeye, got on the scoreboard in the second half when he twisted backward to snag a two-point conversion catch in the front of the end zone. Vannett later went up for a pass against cornerback and fellow Buckeye signee Doran Grant of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. Grant batted the ball away, drawing some jawing that Vannett said was in good nature. “He is one of the best cornerbacks in the nation, so it was a real challenge going up against him,” Vannett said. “He probably won the battle but it was great getting to go against one of my future teammates like that.” Vannett, along with the other four future Buckeyes, said he plans on continuing to work hard in the weight room and getting ready for the next chapter at OSU. Vannett said he needs to get stronger so he can improve his blocking. With summer practices only months away, Smith said the week of further familiarization with his future teammates was uniting. “Doran is my cousin, so I’ve known him well,” he said. “But being here this week really got us together. We had a great time, clowned a lot and it was just a great experience.”
One of Manchester’s biggest mosques has refused to bury the body of the Manchester terrorist who killed 22 last week.It is thought his body remains unburied and councils, funeral directors and now the city’s mosques, refuse to deal with it.According to the Daily Mail, the bomber’s body has been kept in a morgue outside Manchester.The Manchester Evening News has reported that the city’s authorities are reportedly doing “everything in their power” to stop him being cremated, buried, or laid to rest in any way in the Greater Manchester area. Salman AbediCredit:Twitter A source told the Manchester Evening News: “Just like Ian Brady, every effort is going in to making sure that there is not a chance Abedi can be buried or cremated in Greater Manchester.”Inquest proceedings will soon be heard, and the disposal of his body will be decided by the coroner.A source told the MEN that his body has never been kept in the same place as his victims.Now, at least one mosque is taking the same course of action as the council. 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. Manchester Central Mosque, one of Manchester’s largest Muslim funeral providers, has said it will have nothing to do with the body.A spokesman from the place of worship told the Evening Standard that its executive committee had met and agreed not to inter the remains of Abedi if his family made a request.
Military comes to the aid of the NHS The military has provided assistance to the NHS and stranded motorists. Twenty RAF airman and ten 4×4 RAF vehicles came to the aid of health staff to get them to work in Lincolnshire.The army has also transported NHS staff to hospitals in Scotland, Shropshire, Salisbury and Swindon, while in Devon and Cornwall the Royal Marines have been on hand to help keep the NHS running. Meanwhile, some health boards are continuing to prioritise emergency and urgent procedures, with routine cases postponed.The Scottish Government called on people to work together to clear up local roads and pavements and check on vulnerable people. The RAC said driving conditions were still treacherous across vast swathes of the UK, urging caution, as some main routes previously rendered impassable were reopened. Sergeant Davey Rourke said: “The house is in a dip so was slowly being buried in snow drifts up to 12ft in height. Met Office forecaster Becky Mitchell said: “Through the rest of tomorrow afternoon we’ve got spells of rain across the South, perhaps turning to sleet at times, but we really are losing that risk of snow across much of southern England and Wales through Sunday as temperatures return towards normal for a lot of places.”There is quite a lot of snow in some places across the South…so it’s going to be some time before all that snow melts away but temperature-wise over the next few days it’s definitely going to help things.”The main point is it’s gradually turning milder so we are seeing an end to widespread cold conditions from this weekend onwards.” We’ve talked about #FreezingRain in the last 24 hours… this is what it did to a front door in Exmouth this morning! Thanks to @Petagna for the picture pic.twitter.com/zJ1jsMqWnD— Met Office (@metoffice) March 2, 2018 Southeastern rail turned off power in the area for safety reasons and called for police support as it dealt with the “serious trespass incident”.An independent investigation has been announced into the incident, with Southeastern saying they are “determined to learn lessons”. A BTP spokesman said: “Self-evacuating from trains is never a good idea as it places you and others at significant risk. You are risking your life trespassing on live tracks.”Further delays are also inevitable if people self-evacuate as power has to be turned off for safety reasons.” Record-breaking coldThe Met Office announced the UK had officially broken its record for the lowest maximum temperature for March in a 24 hour period. Tredegar in Wales didn’t get above -4.7 °C all day. It also urged to check services were running before heading to the stations as some lines remained closed.London Waterloo, the UK’s busiest train station, shut down shortly before 10pm on Friday, with South Western Railway services winding down early. After rail services were thrown into turmoil on Friday by the severe conditions, Southeastern Railway, which operates in Kent, East Sussex and London, ran an amended timetable on Saturday, with services starting later and finishing earlier than usual. Deputy head teacher Laura Swan said: “There has been a good community spirit shown online and people were keen to come down and help. Kinnaird is a proud and passionate place.”We’ve got at least about 100 people with local councillors, parents, children and staff helping out and other members of the community, so everyone is pulling together.” Saturday was another cold day for many, with further #uksnow in places. However, it was a little less cold in the far southwest, giving onset to a #thaw here pic.twitter.com/QNL8d9hj2G— Met Office (@metoffice) March 3, 2018 Passengers let themselves out onto the tracksCredit:@KeimaPayton/Twitter A couple were dug out of their home in ScotlandCredit:Police Scotland /PA Couple rescued after snow traps them in their houseAn elderly couple and their two dogs have been dug out of their house in southern Scotland after becoming trapped by 12ft (3.6m) snow drifts around the property.Two police officers and a mountain rescue team manged to dig them out of the secluded farm house near West Linton after they called for help on Friday afternoon.The couple, aged 70 and 71, had run out of firewood for heating and were cut off from their coal shed by the time they were freed. They were found to be in good health and were taken to stay with a friend, along with the two dogs. There are still #weather warnings in force for #snow and #ice tomorrow morning. Here’s the forecast pic.twitter.com/5J7CHqV53N— Met Office (@metoffice) March 3, 2018 Warning to train passengers: don’t jump onto the tracksFrustrated travellers tempted to self-evacuate from trains stranded by the severe weather conditions have been warned to stay put by the British Transport Police (BTP).Officers posted a warning on Twitter urging passengers to stay on board where they were “far safer” after a number of occasions where people left trains that had ground to a halt in the icy conditions.On Friday evening passengers stuck on a train near Lewisham station, south London, jumped onto the tracks, further disrupting Southeastern rail services. Commuters wait on the concourse of London Waterloo Station during rush hour, as heavy snow falls affected rail services across the country The milder weather spells the end of frozen rain – the rare weather phenomenon seen recently which occurs when snow, ice, sleet or hail passes through warm air before cooling closer to the ground and freezing on impact.But there are still hazards even as the forecast improves.Northern Powergrid restored power to 12,000 households in Humberside and north Lincolnshire after freezing rain and high winds overnight, with around 3,500 still without power through Saturday.Outages across the North West and north Wales were also fixed for tens of thousands of homes. “Droplets of rain which come into contact with the ground and other surfaces freeze instantly. This creates a huge hazard as roads may look clear and safe, despite actually being potentially icy death traps.”Where freezing rain is forecast, put simply drivers should avoid using their vehicles in affected areas.” 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. Traffic spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Freezing rain perhaps represents one of the greatest challenges any driver could face. Dave Wright, from Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue, said: “They were perfectly alright when we got them out the house, they were a little bit surprised by how the situation escalated so quickly and I don’t think they had experienced anything like that before, but this type of weather hasn’t been seen for quite some time.”We’re obviously used to working in the mountains and hills, but we haven’t seen conditions like this at ground level for a long time, it trumps 2010 and 2001 for the level of snow depth and how the drifts have been piling up.”Black ice warning for drivers While the roads were slowly cleared of snow, motorists were warned to be wary of black ice.A number of cars were caught up in a pile-up in Devon on Friday, with five to 10 vehicles involved in a collision on the A38 westbound between the A380 and the B3344. The RAC had warned frozen rain – which occurs when snow, ice, sleet or hail passes through a layer of warm air before cooling again closer to the ground, freezing immediately on impact – could pose a deadly road risk. This could become more persistent in parts of Scotland, with a further warning in place for all of Sunday and Monday. The Met Office added on Twitter that black ice was a threat that could be caused by freezing rain, as it “may not be visible, but it will be there”.Communities come together to clear access to schoolsParents and teachers have grouped together to clear snow from schools in an effort to ensure children can return to classes on Monday.Kinnaird Primary School in Larbert called on volunteers to help clear the school grounds on Saturday, with about 100 people turning up.Armed with shovels and spades, parents, children and teachers worked to ensure the school is safe to reopen on Monday after three days of weather-enforced closure last week. The snow reached 12ft at the house near West LintonCredit:Police Scotland /PA Most schools hope to reopen on Monday with announcements expected on Sunday.Airports were expected to gradually return to normal on Saturday after more than 1,250 flights were cancelled across the UK and Ireland on Friday.Passengers were urged to check the status of their flights before heading to the airport as some delays were still expected. In Derbyshire, a man shovels snow that closed a roadCredit: Rod Kirkpatrick/F Stop Press Half a metre of snow was measured in two areas – Drumalbin, Lanarkshire, and St Athan in Glamorgan, South Wales – while strengthening winds caused blizzards and drifting snow in some parts of the country.Meanwhile, some health boards are continuing to prioritise emergency and urgent procedures, with routine cases postponed.How well prepared was Britain for the snow? Join the debate by leaving a comment below. Snow to give way to floods as Storm Emma hits UKMotorists warned of black iceRail passengers could face more delaysMutiny on the trains as passengers press emergency buttonsMotorists stranded, rail passengers describe hellish nightTravellers are being warned to expect more snow and ice on Sunday despite rising temperatures for parts of the country.An end to widespread freezing conditions is in sight as a gradual thaw takes hold of the South, while the fall-out from Storm Emma continues to disrupt parts of the UK.Temperatures in most places are due to gradually return to normal by the beginning of the week, with highs of 9C expected in parts of the South West on Sunday.However, most of northern England and Scotland is still struggling to get above freezing, while high winds and freezing rain left thousands of homes without power.A Met Office warning is in place for further snow throughout Saturday and into the evening for parts of northern England and Scotland, with overnight lows of minus 3 to minus 4C in rural areas. This beats the previous record, set in 2001 when Cassley in Sunderland was -4.6 degrees celsius all day. “We dug down to one of the doors where there was just 5ft of snow and thankfully got them out.” An 11 year-old horse, ‘Lady’ was rescued by emergency services after spending all day trapped underneath a fallen treeCredit:Greg Blatchford/Alamy Live News A man sleeps on a luggage rack as some were stuck for up to 15 hours
Caffeinated wine Buckfast TonicCredit:SWNS.com The BBC’s Antiques Roadshow has been accused of promoting a drink linked to anti-social and criminal behaviour.Leading SNP politician Alex Neil, an MSP and former Scottish health minister, has raised concerns over the corporation “inadvertently” advertising the fortified drink Buckfast – and urged the cancellation of the broadcast at Buckfast Abbey in Devon this September.Since 2014 the drink has been linked to more than 6,500 reports of antisocial behaviour in Scotland. In 2015, the Scottish Prison Service also reported that more than 43 per cent of inmates had consumed Buckfast before their last offence.The makers of Buckfast insist there is no evidence to suggest that their brand causes any issues.However, Mr Neil said: “My concern is that this programme could be used, even inadvertently, to advertise Buckfast.”Viewers might get the impression that the BBC is endorsing Buckfast as a product. “Clearly this would not be good given the concerns about the effect of Buckfast on the people who drink it”The important thing is that they make it clear they are not promoting or endorsing Buckfast.”I think a change of venue would be the best way to achieve this. I am going to write to them about it.”A spokesman for the Antiques Roadshow said the abbey was chosen because of its historical importance and the fact it was celebrating one thousand years of worship. It was also set in a “beautiful landscape in an area of the country that the Roadshow has not visited in some time”. 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. Stewart Wilson, a spokesman for J Chandler and Co – the manufacturers of Buckfast – said he was surprised by the remarks of the former health secretary.He said: “We are somewhat surprised my Mr Neil’s comments. We wrote to Mr Neil when he was the health secretary.”We received a reply back clearly indicating that the Scottish Government has no evidence to suggest that our brand causes any issues.”
The Queen is to throw a birthday party for the Prince of Wales in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, celebrating his 70th year with friends from more than 400 charities.The Prince, who turns 70 in November, will begin his birthday celebrations with a party to honour the work closest to his heart.The May 22nd event will see representatives of each of the charities he is patron of, as well as the military regiments he is affiliated with, visit the palace grounds for entertainment and speeches, as well as the customary garden party tea.Invitations have already been sent to some guests, with key charities tasked with selecting their lucky chosen few to attend.It is understood to have been the first choice of the Prince who wanted to use the garden reception to thank his charities and patronages for their work over the years. Among them is the Britannia Association, the alumni association for Britannia Royal Naval College, which has contacted members about a ticket ballot for the “extremely attractive” invitation.”To coincide with the 70th Birthday of The Prince of Wales and with the gracious permission of The Queen, a reception is to be held in the gardens of Buckingham Palace to celebrate the work of His Royal Highness’s Patronages, Charities and Military affiliations and others involved in public service,” it told members.When the Duchess of Cornwall celebrated her 70th birthday last year, she too commemorated her key charities with a garden party at Clarence House.The Prince threw her a glamorous private party at Highgrove, she took on a new patronage to help combat loneliness in older people, and sat for an official photograph by Mario Testino. A palace insider said: “He wasn’t comfortable with a big event that was just about him. He felt like this would be a much better option.”It is the start of birthday celebrations which is likely to involve a private party for family and friends around the actual date of November 14, and a new official portrait.The Prince is patron or president of more than 400 organisations, focusing on topics ranging from the environment to youth opportunity, food sustainability, architecture and faith. 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.