Pacers and George Hill got it done.It is one thing to lose at home to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. It’s another thing to lose with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade failing in the waning moments.But that’s exactly what happened. And the Indiana Pacers were the benefactors with a 78-75 victory that tied the series at 1-1.James, who had 28 points, nine rebounds and five assists, missed two foul shots with 54.3 seconds left and Miami down by a point. He had missed another free throw earlier. And with 16 seconds to go and the Pacers in front by two, Wade missed a driving layup.And finally, down by three in the last seconds of the game, neither Wade nor James took the last shot. It was a contested bomb by Mario Chalmers that clanked off the rim that sealed Indiana’s triumph that secured it the home court advantage.Forward David West led the way with 16 points and 10 rebounds and guard George Hill added 15.Playing without injured forward Chris Bosh (abdominal strain), who is out for the series, the Heat received little help from anyone other than James and Wade. No other Miami player scored more than five points.The Heat have until Thursday’s Game 3 in Indianapolis to figure it out.
Ed Reed, the nine-time Pro Bowl safety with the champion Baltimore Ravens, reportedly turned down a free agent contract offer from the Houston Texans worth about $12 million, according to the Baltimore Sun.The 34-year-old Reed is seeking a similar salary to the $7.2 million he earned last year. One of the overwhelming issues why Reed may not command the $7 million salary, however, is his declining age.Reed, who is an 11-year veteran, missed 15 tackles last season, which tied is tied for seventh-most among safeties, according to ProFootballFous.com. But he did haul in four interceptions last season, as well as 15 pass deflections as the Ravens captured their second Super Bowl title.The Texans would ultimately wanted to land Reed because they ranked seventh in yards per pass attempt. Safety Glover Quin signed with the Detroit Lions in free agency, which led the Texans to pursue Reed.Houston went 12-4 last season, making it the Divisional Round of the playoffs before being defeated by the New England Patriots, 41-28. Tom Brady torched its secondary for 344 yards and three touchdowns in that game.Meanwhile, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said on NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” on Tuesday that he is confident that Reed will ultimately decide to stay with the organization. But Bisciotti quickly put into perspective how it may be tough to sign Reed to a new contract feasible for both sides, due to the approaching salary-cap restraints.“It will be tough, but we’ve got guys that will fill in,” Bisciotti said. “Ed is a special guy and I’m encouraged that Ozzie’s still talking with him.”The Ravens and Texans are continuing to talk to Reed while he continues to wait for a better offer, but he does not have the luxury to keep waiting if he wishes to play next season because they will clearly move on.
More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code FiveThirtyEight This week on Hot Takedown, we’re reacting to a series of upsets in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Los Angeles Clippers pulled off the biggest comeback in playoff history, but we don’t necessarily think the Warriors should be too worried for the rest of the series. Other upsets included the No. 7 seed Orlando Magic defeating the No. 2 Toronto Raptors; that Game 1 victory had Mike Tuck on “Open Mike” from Orlando’s 96.9 The Game positing that Orlando is underrated in the Eastern Conference. Our basketball guru, Chris Herring, makes a guest appearance to help us break down this claim.Someone who is openly shaking in his boots this week is golfing great Jack Nicklaus. Tiger Woods’s victory at the Masters gave him his 15th major, just three behind Nicklaus’s all-time record. Does Tiger have it in him to catch Jack? Or do we expect this to be his last big victory?Inspired by Tiger’s feat, our Rabbit Hole dives into other statistically improbable comebacks.Here’s what we’re looking at this week:Chris breaks down how the Warriors blew a 31-point lead.And he provides takeaways from the opening weekend of the NBA playoffs.As per usual, our eyes are glued to our NBA predictions.We can’t get enough of Tiger Woods’s comeback.The Washington Post digs into Tiger’s odds for the rest of the season and into 2020.ESPN analyzes great comeback stories across sports.From our Rabbit Hole, this excellent video about Lonnie Smith from SB Nation.
Despite beating Syracuse 38-20 Saturday, the (formerly) No. 1 ranked Florida State Seminoles found themselves ranked second in the latest AP Poll, trailing Mississippi State after the Bulldogs beat previous No. 2 Auburn 38-23 at home in Starkville. It was the first time Florida State had not occupied the AP’s top slot since Nov. 24 of last season.Although Mississippi State’s victory over Auburn was impressive, the way the polls typically work is that No. 1 stays No. 1 as long as No. 1 keeps winning (or soundly beats an underdog opponent). Florida State was favored by 23 against Syracuse and won by 18 in a game that was essentially over midway through the third quarter. The Seminoles are also the defending national champions, and so far this season they’ve outscored opponents by more than 18 points per game (a number that becomes nearly 21 if we throw out their six-point win over Clemson in which they were missing 2013 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston). If Florida State is presumed to be the nation’s best team — as it was before the season — it’s hard to find a obvious misstep that proves otherwise. (If anything, a good Bayesian should probably be more suspicious of Mississippi State, which was unranked as recently as five weeks ago.)Then again, the Seminoles have also played just one team (Clemson) ranked among the AP’s Top 25 at the time of the game, and their overall strength of schedule ranks 64th in the FBS, according to Sports-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System. While my Elo variant still has them ranked first, it draws heavily from knowledge of how good they were last season. Computer-rating systems that don’t account for Florida State’s presumed strength as a prior, by contrast, tend to rank it among the country’s best teams — but generally not as No. 1. (That honor is more often bestowed upon either Mississippi State or Ole Miss, who very nearly bumped Florida State to No. 3 in the AP voting.) Combined with potential distaste over the sexual assault allegation against Winston, AP voters had several reasons to drop the Seminoles from their perch atop the rankings, despite the team’s 22-game winning streak and championship incumbency.How frequently do No. 1 ranked teams fall in the AP Poll despite winning their most recent game? According to Sports-Reference’s college football data, there have been 21 cases (since 1992) of the AP’s top team beating an FBS opponent but dropping in the next poll (ratings and expected margins shown below are based on the Elo rating variant I described in an earlier post):Compare the incumbents’ performances to those of the overtaking teams that claimed No. 1 in the subsequent AP poll:There are a few circumstances that can lead to No. 1 winning a game but losing its ranking, usually involving some combination of the incumbent disappointing and/or the upstart exceeding expectations. Florida State’s tumble was more an example of the latter than the former — the Seminoles underwhelmed by a bit, but the bigger factor was Mississippi State’s strong performance against Auburn.Most of the cases above involve a similar chain of events, although a few saw the incumbent disappoint by so great a margin that No. 2 slid up just by playing to expectations. On other occasions, the challenger moved up without even playing; in 1992, No. 2 Washington watched on the sidelines as No. 1 Miami struggled to an 8-7 win over unranked Arizona, then claimed the AP’s top spot three days later. (The Hurricanes and Huskies would flip-flop the No. 1 slot twice more — each time in spite of incumbent wins — before the season was over.) And sometimes the pollsters swapped teams at the top for relatively arbitrary reasons, such as when Penn State crushed No. 21 Ohio State 63-14 — yet dropped behind Nebraska, who’d beaten previous No. 2 Colorado 24-7. (Despite going undefeated the rest of the season, the Nittany Lions would never again stake their claim to No. 1 over Nebraska from that point on, and were unable to face the Huskers in the postseason because of the Rose Bowl’s conference tie-ins.)The good news for Florida State is that it still has the highest probabilities of winning out and winning its conference among the major-conference undefeateds, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index simulations. Barring the real possibility of a change to Winston’s availability — on top of the sexual assault allegations, news broke Monday night that Florida State was investigating whether the quarterback signed autographs for money — the numbers show the Seminoles as very likely to earn a berth into the inaugural College Football Playoff field, regardless of Sunday’s ranking loss.
Stanford1161346%19%3% Penn State—2741<1%<1%<1% Oregon—2532<1%<1%<1% What to watch for this weekSECThe No. 4,1All the rankings I’m using in this article are the committee’s. one-loss Crimson Tide face No. 2, undefeated LSU in what is as close to a play-in game for the playoff as can be devised at this point in the season. Vegas has the Tide favored by about 6 points. That seems about right. After all, the game is in Tuscaloosa, and the FiveThirtyEight model gives home teams a 3.5-point advantage. But Alabama also has a slight edge over LSU according to FPI, despite its earlier loss to Ole Miss.The FiveThirtyEight model gives Alabama a 41 percent chance of making the playoff, largely because they’re favored in this game; LSU’s playoff odds are 30 percent. But let’s answer our first what-if question: How will those odds change after this game? My colleague Jay Boice ran additional simulations contingent on each team winning. In this thought experiment, if the Tide win, their odds would rise to 53 percent; but if the Tigers were to win, their odds would tick up to 45 percent. The Tigers’ odds are still lower, even if they beat Alabama, because their remaining schedule is so grueling. A road game against Ole Miss and a matchup with Texas A&M at home stand out on what is, going into this week, the toughest remaining schedule.(As a diehard fan who was born and raised in Baton Rouge, I’d like to be able to tell my fellow LSU faithful that these numbers favoring ’Bama are made up. But I can’t. What we Tiger fans do have going in our favor is Leonard Fournette, the Heisman Trophy favorite and, as Wright Thompson wrote, emerging legend.)Interestingly, though Alabama is favored to win and gets higher odds of making the postseason, because LSU is undefeated, the Tigers have higher odds (22 percent) of winning the conference, according to our model. (That’s because if LSU stumbles, Ole Miss is in position to win the SEC West with a tiebreaker over Alabama.) But beyond Alabama and LSU, Florida is waiting in the wings with an 18 percent chance of squeezing into the playoff. The Gators are looking like a good bet to win the SEC East, as they face only creampuffs for the remainder of their conference schedule; and if they emerge as a one-loss champion of the SEC, it will be hard for the committee not to include them.Big 12Baylor and TCU are putting up basketball scores each week. High-powered offenses drive the two highest-ranked teams according to FPI. Our model gives undefeated, No. 8 TCU the best chance of breaking into the playoff, even though Baylor is notionally better according to FPI. That’s because the Horned Frogs host the No. 6 Bears on Nov. 27 in what amounts to (assuming both teams are undefeated) a Big 12 championship game the conference never planned.The Big 12 is deep — very deep. Take this week’s biggest game: TCU faces No. 14 Oklahoma State. Although the Horned Frogs look strong according to our model — which gives them a 31 percent chance of making the playoff — the Cowboys can’t be ignored (they have a 6 percent chance themselves). The conference also includes a strong Oklahoma team, whom our model gives a 14 percent chance of making the postseason.Big TenThe FiveThirtyEight model gives No. 3 Ohio State the best odds of making the playoff: 61 percent. Furthermore, we give the Buckeyes a 16 percent chance of repeating as national champs. But look beyond them and you’ll see a strong conference, with the winner likely to be placed in the playoff.Ohio State has a difficult schedule ahead. Like the LSU vs. Alabama game this week, the Nov. 21 matchup against No. 7 Michigan State could be viewed as a de facto national quarterfinal game; Michigan State has a 22 percent chance of being in the final four. The winner likely will face currently undefeated Iowa in the Big Ten championship game.ACCAfter those three conferences, there’s a huge dropoff in quality. With the exception of Clemson, the ACC looks wobbly. That said, the undefeated Tigers are viewed favorably by the selection committee, which gave them their No. 1 ranking. Our model gives them a 51 percent chance of making the postseason (the best after Ohio State), but after them, Florida State is the next best ACC squad, with a 5 percent chance. That said, the Tigers face what is probably their toughest remaining challenge at home against the Seminoles on Saturday. If they survive, a what-if simulation we ran gives the Tigers a 61 percent chance of making the playoff. Furthermore, if they run the table in their remaining games, they’re likely to make the playoff (our model would put their chances at 99 percent), but if they don’t win out, the ACC champion won’t have a guaranteed spot. Why? Because if Clemson loses this week, our model would give both Clemson and FSU about a 15 percent chance.Pac-12What a total mess. Among Pac-12 teams, Stanford has the best chance of making the playoff, at 19 percent. Despite having just one loss, Utah does poorly in our model, registering a 6 percent chance — little better than unranked USC. FiveThirtyEight reckons that if Stanford does win out, it’s 90 percent likely to make the playoffs. In other words, the Pac-12 is not guaranteed a spot right now. To push the Cardinal’s odds up, Clemson would have to slip, and still a second team from the SEC or Big Ten might leapfrog the Pac-12 champ.Beyond The Power FiveThe best bet outside the five major conferences is No. 5 Notre Dame, with a 25 percent chance of making the playoff. Memphis and Houston, as impressive as they’ve been, stand only a 6 percent and 2 percent chance, respectively, of being included. In other words, the stellar mid-major teams should keep rooting for those in the major conferences to cannibalize each other. Good gosh o’mighty, what a college football season so far. It’s early November, and fans have already witnessed:a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown as time expired;an eight-lateral kickoff return that was returned for a touchdown as time expired;a blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown as time expired; andthe ongoing dominance of the next Herschel Walker.Amid all this excitement, in walks the selection committee to cut the ribbon on its first iteration of this season’s College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings. Unveiled over the next month, these CFP rankings will determine who plays in the second-ever four-team playoff. But reading the CFP tea leaves can be overwhelming.Confused by the CFP committee’s weird pronouncements? Fearful that Condoleezza Rice and her comrades will stab your team in the back? (Baylor and TCU fans, you know the feeling.) Trying to interpret the CFP rankings probably makes you feel like the Michigan guy who made his way around the Internet: Temple22324541%<1%<1% RankingProbability of … Mississippi St.201917<1%3%<1% Northwestern214257<1%<1%<1% Clemson17756%51%12% Oklahoma1516315%14%5% Michigan State731915%22%3% Mississippi18171020%8%2% Oklahoma St.14111415%6%1% Houston25233330%2%<1% Utah12152118%6%<1% Iowa9122925%7%<1% Michigan1722187%6%<1% FiveThirtyEight can’t stop the CFP from screwing your team, but we’re going to try to use numbers and our football knowledge to prevent you from being blindsided.Each week, we’ll break down the latest CFP rankings, preview the big upcoming games and explore what-if questions. As we did last year, we’ll take an iterative and probabilistic approach to project which four teams the CFP committee will select into the playoff on Dec. 6.We’ll cover the Power Five conferences and make a special effort not to ignore the mid-major darlings. Translation: we’ll show Memphis and Houston some love. And as a born-and-raised LSU fan, I’m obliged to exhibit a cocky and blatant SEC bias intended to solicit all your angry emails.Before we dive into the new rankings and preview games by conference, a few nitty-gritty details about the model are worth reiterating from what editor-in-chief Nate Silver has written in greater detail elsewhere on FiveThirtyEight:Game predictions are based on a tweaked version of ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) for each team.Based on game results, each team is given an Elo rating that reflects, primarily, its strength of schedule and, to a lesser extent, the margin of victory in its games.Each team is given a new projected ranking based on the previous week’s ranking, the outcome of the game it has just played and its Elo rating.Then the model iterates through the season’s remaining games and, using past coaches’ polls as a guide, tries to predict what the CFP committee will decide.Latest CFP RankingsJust like last year, the CFP committee angered Big 12 fans. Baylor and TCU were ranked sixth and eighth, respectively, while Ohio State is third. One-loss Alabama sneaked in at No. 4 and LSU at No. 2, a clear sign that the committee respects an SEC schedule. But the committee really has a penchant for Clemson, the squad at No. 1. That also helps Notre Dame, whose only loss is to Clemson. The committee puts the Fighting Irish just outside the party at No. 5. Florida State16131513%5%<1% TeamCFPEloFPIConf. TitlePlayoffNat. Title Arkansas—3926<1%<1%<1% Ohio State31447%61%16% TCU84237%31%11% LSU25822%30%8% Memphis13143621%6%<1% Texas A&M193016<1%<1%<1% Toledo24244328%<1%<1% Alabama42614%41%11% UCLA2321225%1%<1% North Carolina—262323%<1%<1% Florida1091241%18%4% Wisconsin—18245%<1%<1% USC—20530%4%1% Baylor610132%31%13% Notre Dame589—25%5%
This time last year, I was sitting in front of my TV, wondering why Ohio State’s special teams play was terrible. Today, I’m sitting in the press box wondering the same thing. In the off-season, coach Luke Fickell assigned special teams coaching duties to coach Dick Tressel. Last year, the team was without a special teams coordinator. Last year, OSU kept teams in games because of special teams mistakes on several occasions.. This year seems to be no exception. In the first half of Saturday’s game against Toledo, OSU had a punt blocked that was returned inside the 1-yard-line. That folly led to an 8-7 Toledo lead. The woes didn’t end with the punting game. Sophomore kicker Drew Basil has now missed both of his field goal attempts on the season. Each kick was in the 40-50 yard range. OSU did have some special teams successes on the day, including one that ultimately kept it in the game. Wide receiver and third punt returner Chris Fields took a line drive punt from Toledo’s Vince Penza to the end zone to put OSU up, 21-15. In the third quarter, defensive back Vincent Petrella tackled Toledo’s holder for a loss after a bobbled snap on a 50-yard field goal attempt, giving the Buckeyes great field position. The ensuing drive led to a TD by running back sophomore Carlos Hyde. With wide receiver and special teams specialist Eric Page creating almost all of Toledo’s offense on the day, I’m more than a little surprised he did not return a kickoff for a touchdown. Page did, however, give the Rockets great field position with almost every kick return, either because of his effectiveness or the fear of kicking to him. Basil deliberately kicked short, line drives on kickoffs to the Rockets to keep the ball out of Page’s hands. Special teams needs to become a priority for the Buckeyes. The touchdown resulting from the blocked punt sparked the Toledo offense and gave them the passion they needed to keep the game interesting. The Rockets were one score away from handing Ohio State a big loss early in the season. Last year the kickoff coverage was the problem for the Buckeyes. This year it seems the entire special teams unit could use an overhaul.
Ohio State senior forward Jae’Sean Tate (1) speaks with head coach Chris Holtmann in the first half in the game against Michigan on Dec. 4. Ohio State won 71-62. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State men’s basketball (7-3, 2-0 Big Ten) returns from a four-day rest period at noon Saturday to host William and Mary (6-2). The Buckeyes had faced six teams over a 12-day stretch prior to the break, four of those games coming against opponents with winning records and one being against Wisconsin in Madison, that ended with a dramatic second-half, 71-62 victory against Michigan on Monday.Here is a rundown of what to expect in Ohio State’s matchup against William and Mary Saturday.Projected StartersWilliam and Mary:G — Matt Milon — Redshirt sophomore, 6-foot-5, 195 lbs., 15.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 0.8 apgG — Connor Burchfield — Senior, 6-foot-4, 180 lbs., 13.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.6 apgG — David Cohn — Redshirt senior, 6-foot-2, 168 lbs., 10.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 7.1 apgF/G — Justin Pierce — Sophomore, 6-foot-7, 168 lbs., 14.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 3.4 apgF — Nathan Knight — Sophomore, 6-foot-10, 235 lbs., 20.3 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.9 apgOhio State:G — C.J. Jackson — Junior, 6-foot-1, 175 lbs., 13.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.8 apgG — Musa Jallow — Freshman, 6-foot-5, 200 lbs., 4.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.3 apgF — Keita Bates-Diop — Redshirt junior, 6-foot-7, 235 lbs., 17.4 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.4 apgF — Jae’Sean Tate — Senior, 6-foot-4, 230 lbs., 13.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.0 apgC — Kaleb Wesson — Freshman, 6-foot-9, 270 lbs., 11.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 0.7 apgScouting William and MaryStatistically speaking, William and Mary is one of the better offenses Ohio State will face all season. The Tribe averages more than 86 points per game. It has done this by being extremely accurate shooting all season, ranking 19th in field-goal shooting percentage (50.8 percent) and second in 3-point shooting (47.3 percent).But what really has the Buckeyes nervous about the matchup has been the Tribe’s ability to shoot from 3-point range.Ohio State could barely keep up with Michigan in the first half of the game Monday, especially from beyond the arc. The Wolverine offense spread the Buckeye defense all over the court and opened up plenty of good looks from 3-point range. Michigan took advantage of those chances, shooting 7-for-16 in the first half. But Ohio State rallied in the second half to shut down Michigan’s ability to shoot the 3, holding them to just 1-for-12.Head coach Chris Holtmann said he hopes that second-half success against Michigan is able to carry over into a full game against William and Mary, but said he believes this is a better shooting team than the Wolverines.“They shoot it better than Michigan across the board,” Holtmann said. “They’ve got more prolific 3-point shooters than those [Michigan] guys. But they do have some similarities in how they play and certainly their ability to spread you out.”Four of the Tribe’s five starters have made at least 47.6 percent of 3-point shots this season, with the only exception being forward Nathan Knight. But Knight will provide his own challenges for the Buckeyes. The second-largest player on William and Mary’s roster in terms of both height and weight, Knight has been the catalyst for the Tribe’s offense this season. He is tied for 79th-most rebounds per game in the country with 8.6, and is tied at 43rd in points per game at 20.3. On the other end of the court, Knight has continued to be an oft-overwhelming force for he sits at No. 12 in the nation in blocked shots per game with 3.13.Joining Knight at the forward position is sophomore Justin Pierce. The power forward has also proven to be a prolific scorer with 14.4 points on the season, while shooting an effective 10-for-21 from beyond the arc. Pierce leads the team with 9.5 rebounds.Holtmann said that while his center Kaleb Wesson and forward Keita Bates-Diop will be charged with being the two primary defenders, the other three players on the court will also have to step up to provide coverage of the two Tribe forwards given William and Mary’s ability to spread the defense.“We’ve talked not just those two guys, but all of our guys about how we want to defend those,” Holtmann said. “[Knight’s] a really good athlete who can score in the low-post and score in the long-post as well. Then [Pierce] is what you’d expect with the kind of a spread-you-out four, type of a team . . . He’s a good athlete. He’s bouncy. He can make 3s that are really high clip.”The starting point guard for Ohio StateJunior guard C.J. Jackson began the season as Ohio State’s only true point guard, but did not start in either of the past two games for the Buckeyes against Wisconsin or Michigan. When asked after the game if Holtmann was trying to send a message, he stated emphatically that he was, and that turnovers were a big part of the reason he did not play. He is averaging 3.1 turnovers per game. Redshirt senior guard Kam Williams has started in his place in the lineup while senior forward Jae’Sean Tate has run the offense through the point.On Friday, Jackson and Holtmann talked about how beyond just the turnovers, Jackson needed to improve his communication and on-court leadership. However, coming off back-to-back games where Jackson came off the bench and racked up double-digit point totals, Holtmann said he “may start him” against William and Mary.“I think he knows that his minutes will be pretty consistent as long as he can continue to try to do what we’re asking him to do in terms of limiting his turnovers,” Holtmann said.
Some imagined what the letter might say… The official photo of @NicolaSturgeon signing the section 30 request for an independence referendum is absolute patter. 💯👏💯 pic.twitter.com/l1rQhNVNvH— The Cherry Wave (@TheCherryWave) March 30, 2017 Just got sent the section 30 letter pic.twitter.com/xsxD4aML3n— Liam O’Hare (@Liam_O_Hare) March 30, 2017 Theresa May puts the final touches art 50 letter @NicolaSturgeon puts final touches to section 30 letter. #ScotRef #ScotlandinEurope pic.twitter.com/yJLTD1Sz20— Susanne Campbell SNP (@susannecc) March 30, 2017 Well, you know what they say about imitation and flattery…. pic.twitter.com/R7SltrrWjW— Ruth Davidson (@RuthDavidsonMSP) March 30, 2017 Nicola Sturgeon’s pose as she signed her letter asking for a second independence referendum couldn’t have been more different from Theresa May’s as she signed the Article 50 letter.Curled on the sofa like a satisfied cat, with her feet up and a beverage resting on the table next to her, she smiled as she signed the letter which could cause a huge headache for the UK Government. 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. Many on social media have imagined what the contents of the letter say, and wondered if she purposefully posed so casually to irritate the Prime Minister.Pleased Scots referred to the letter and pose as “absolute patter”, while others derided her casual approach. “Dear Slim, I wrote but you still ain’t called.” #indyref2 #scotref pic.twitter.com/5uLk3Axx8N— Scott Reid (@scottreid1980) March 30, 2017 Theresa May puts the final touches art 50 letter @NicolaSturgeon puts final touches to section 30 letter. #ScotRef #ScotlandinEurope pic.twitter.com/yJLTD1Sz20— Susanne Campbell SNP (@susannecc) March 30, 2017 Theresa May’s reply to Nicola Sturgeon’s Section 30 letter is pretty blunt pic.twitter.com/cjziFRb2Zv— Charlie (@chralie) March 30, 2017 Here’s the FM writing the section 30 letter to the PM – a more casual look than the A50 letter & no flag. #indyref2 pic.twitter.com/PTmpCrtUFG— Mark Diffley (@markdiffley1) March 30, 2017 And Ruth Davidson made a comparison Nicola Sturgeon may not enjoy And what Mrs May’s response may be
Their official entourage will include 12 people, their adviser Sir David Manning, private secretaries Miguel Head and Rebecca Priestley, a four-strong communications team, an equerry, tour secretary, two logistics officers and a personal assistant.The Cambridges’ Spanish-born nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, who trained at the prestigious Norland College, and a hairdresser, will also join them but will be paid for privately. In Germany, they will meet privately with Angela Merkel, tour the Holocaust Museum, and indulge their famously competitive sides with a head-to-head boat race which will see the Duke take on the Duchess in rival boats representing the twinned towns of Cambridge and Heidelberg.With Prince George starting school in south London this September, attending the mixed-sex Thomas’s Battersea school, and his sister likely to be enrolled in a nursery, this is the last time the royal couple will be able to take their children with them without school commitments making it problematic. The children will be seen arriving in Poland and Germany, as they were in Canada last year Their parents will undertake a range of engagements including a visit to the Warsaw Rising Museum, the Stutthoff concentration camp and Gdansk Shakespeare Theatre in Poland.They will also visit the site of Gdansk’s shipyards, the birthplace of Poland’s Solidarity movement that helped topple Communist rule.Here they will meet with founding members of the organisation but it is not known if Lech Walesa, Poland’s former president and leader of its peaceful pro-democracy struggle, will be present. The Cambridges are making the trip at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It is likely to be seen as another Brexit diplomacy tour, helping to maintain and strengthen the UK’s relations with Europe as it leaves the EU. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Paris Prince George and Princess Charlotte will join their parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, on their tour of Germany and Poland, Kensington Palace has said.The Duke and Duchess will travel with their young son and daughter during their five-day trip, which begins on July 17 in Poland’s capital Warsaw and ends in the German city of Hamburg on July 21.The tour has been described as a Brexit charm offensive, and follows the Duke and Duchess’ trip to Paris and the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visiting Romania, Italy and Austria earlier this year.A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “The Duke and Duchess are very much looking forward to this tour and are delighted with the exciting and varied programme that has been put together for it. The family in Canada Show more 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 Duke and Duchess have taken their children, George, who is nearly four, and two-year-old Charlotte, on an official tour before, travelling to Canada with them last year where they enjoyed an open-air party for youngsters. And in 2014 their toddler prince flew with them to New Zealand and Australia for their extensive trip.This time, the children are likely to be seen only during arrivals and departures at the two countries. “They have decided that their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, will travel with them and we expect the children to be seen on at least a couple of occasions over the course of the week.”They look forward to a busy and impactful tour, and are grateful that they will have the opportunity to meet the Polish and German people – such important friends of the United Kingdom – as a family. Prince George and Princess Charlotte await Trooping the Colour The royal couple will fly to and from the countries in a private charter plane which they will use for some of the internal legs of the visit.
Genie, a cancer-nursing cat, has been named Cat of The Year.The rescue animal helped her owner through bone cancer treatment.She was given the honour for helping her young owner, Evie Henderson, 11, from Lincoln, through six rounds of chemotherapy.The child, who was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2016, said that Genie helped her deal with long spells in hospital and several painful operations.Ms Henderson said the cat deserved the prize from the Cats Protection League. “I think she’s great. She deserves it. She’s always been there for me,” said Evie.”She would come round my leg with the plaster and she would sit by my feet. She would smell my plaster and she’d come up on to the sofa and do pitter-patter on my knee.”When I’ve been too ill to have friends round or go outside and I’ve been stuck in the house, she’d come round me and that made me a lot happier and gave me great comfort.”She also said Genie’s moulting helped her deal with the trauma of losing her hair.She said: “It was very upsetting for me because I had long brown hair. But at the same time as it was spring, Genie was moulting as well so it was sort of like I’m losing my hair and Genie’s losing her hair as well so that eased the shock of it all.” 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. Evie said her cat supported her when she was losing her hair