The celebration around the Oklahoma City Thunder’s victory over the Los Angeles Lakers quickly turned to horror last night when a gunman opened fire into a crowd of women just blocks away from the arena. Police spokesman Dexter Nelson said a group of men were arguing with a group of females at 11:35 p.m. when the men began shooting into the crowd.According to News9, OKC police confirmed seven people were shot; one is in critical condition while all other gunshot wounds caused non-life threatening injuries.
NY Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz’s 18-yard TDThe Dallas Cowboys were able to defeat the New York Giants by forcing 6 turnovers—three of them within the first three possessions.Brandon Carr returned a 49-yard interception for the clinching touchdown, as the Cowboys snatched a big night from Giants quarterback Eli Manning—who threw three touchdown passes to Victor Cruz, four overall. This put New York in the position for a comeback, despite six costly mistakes.DeMarcus Ware intercepted Manning’s very first pass of the game. Church scored on the fourth New York turnover – the second fumble from new starting running back David Wilson, who lost control of the ball on a strip by Nick Hayden. Manning threw a short pass to running back De’Rel Scott, which bounced off his hand straight into Carr’s arms for a defensive touchdown for Dallas. Church returned a fumble for another touchdown in the third quarter.Needless to say, Giants coach Tom Coughlin wasn’t too happy with the team’s performance Sunday night.”You’re not going to win the game turning the ball over five times and muffing a punt,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. ”I’m totally, totally disappointed, embarrassed about that football. That’s sloppy, sloppy football.”The Cowboys finished with a 36-31 victory over the Giants Sunday night.
11MichiganBig Ten4-1173413Ohio State72 17TexasBig 124-118026Oklahoma51 10LSUSEC5-0194510Alabama112 13WisconsinBig Ten3-1181711Penn State61 TeamConf.RecordEloMake PlayoffWin Title 2Ohio StateBig Ten5-0198613Michigan5417 19Michigan St.Big Ten3-117597Penn State31 8Penn StateBig Ten4-1183310Michigan102 7WashingtonPac-124-118197Oregon184 1AlabamaSEC5-0205610LSU60%25 14KentuckySEC5-0187510Georgia61 *A team’s most dangerous opponent is the team on its remaining schedule with the highest probability of beating it, according to the FiveThirtyEight model. 9West VirginiaBig 124-0180213Oklahoma132 3GeorgiaSEC5-020097LSU4013 5OklahomaBig 125-0191513West Virginia317 12MiamiACC4-1175212Virginia Tech81 18N.C. StateACC4-017938Clemson51 6Notre DameInd.5-019426Virginia Tech336 15StanfordPac-124-1179110Washington61 Five weeks into the 2018 season, the College Football Playoff’s crystal ball is slowly coming into focus. Some would-be contenders — like Wisconsin and USC — have largely played themselves out of the playoff with quick losses. Others — such as LSU and Notre Dame — have bolstered their resumes with early wins. But there’s still plenty of football left to be played, plenty of time to see whether we’ll end up with more of the same or something new by season’s end.To help make sense of it all, FiveThirtyEight is relaunching its College Football Playoff prediction model this week. You can read about how it works in detail here, but the basic premise is that we simulate both the results of future games (using a mix of ESPN’s Football Power Index and the committee rankings) and the behavior of the playoff committee to arrive at each team’s chances of making college football’s version of the Final Four. And according to our model, four very familiar teams — Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia and Clemson — are the early leaders in the national title race, with Oklahoma and Notre Dame lurking not too far behind. 4ClemsonACC5-0191811Boston College4711 21FloridaSEC4-117489Georgia31 Surveying the 2018 College Football Playoff raceChance of making the College Football Playoff and winning the national championship for teams with at least a 1 percent title probability 20Oklahoma St.Big 124-1170511Oklahoma51 16AuburnSEC4-1182713Alabama31 Danger week*Chance to… For five of those teams, the path ahead is relatively straightforward: Win, and you’re probably in. Our model says Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma (sorry, Notre Dame) all have a greater than 99 percent chance of making the playoff if they win their remaining games. That will be easier for some than others — the Tide and Buckeyes have about a 1-in-3 chance, the Tigers’ odds are more like 1 in 4,1If not lower, given their ongoing QB drama. and the Bulldogs2Who would theoretically face Alabama in an SEC title-game matchup. and Sooners are around 1 in 10 — but each does at least control its own destiny.The same goes for three other squads, who also have a greater than 99 percent chance of making the playoff if they win out: West Virginia, LSU and Kentucky. But before fans in Morgantown, Baton Rouge and Lexington get too excited, the odds of them doing that are pretty low. FPI is skeptical that the Wildcats are very good; LSU still has to face Florida, Georgia and Alabama over a brutal monthlong stretch starting this weekend; and the remaining Mountaineer slate is no walk in the park either. It’s possible that at least one will finish with a single loss or fewer (the traditional playoff recipe for major-conference schools), but the path will be difficult.Among the teams that need a little help, Notre Dame easily has the best playoff outlook. The Fighting Irish’s most difficult remaining opponent might come this very week — a Virginia Tech team that also lost to Old Dominion two weeks ago — so red-hot QB Ian Book could be in a good position to lead Notre Dame to its first playoff berth. The Irish may not quite be playoff locks if they win out; our model says they’re at 87 percent if they run the table, meaning they’d also need one of the big-name teams to slip up along the way.3According to our model, the four teams whose playoff candidacies are least compatible with Notre Dame’s are Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Washington. But the last time a Notre Dame team unexpectedly rattled off an undefeated regular season, it went to the Bowl Championship Series title game, and it’s hard to believe it wouldn’t get the same treatment from the committee this season.Poor Central Florida probably won’t get the same benefit of the doubt, though. Despite opening the season 4-0 to extend the program’s winning streak to 17 consecutive games, the Knights have just a 2 percent chance to make the playoff in our model — and they’re only an 11 percent shot even if they manage to go undefeated for a second straight season. Between bad luck (a potentially resume-boosting Power Five road game against North Carolina was canceled because of Hurricane Florence) and the committee’s apparent unwillingness to even consider undefeated non-power conference teams over major-conference schools with multiple losses, UCF could very well find itself settling for a self-declared national title yet again by season’s end.The rest of the potential contenders have losses on their resumes, and that means serious question marks for their playoff chances. Washington’s opening-week loss to Auburn, for instance, instantly put the Huskies behind the eight ball, though they still have time to play their way back into the playoff picture if they keep winning (and, say, Notre Dame loses). Penn State still has a 10 percent shot at the playoff, despite last Saturday’s crushing late-game defeat against Ohio State, but they — along with fellow Big Ten hopefuls Michigan and Wisconsin — have plenty of work cut out for them. At least the Wolverines and (maybe) the Badgers4If they make the Big Ten title game and are matched against Ohio State. still have their chances to knock off the Buckeyes. In that regard, Penn State already blew its shot at a big, playoff-worthy statement win. Miami, meanwhile, may have short-circuited its chances early on with a 33-17 loss to LSU in the first week; the Hurricanes’ playoff hopes now rest on running the table and potentially beating Clemson in an ACC title-game rematch. Although these teams can still make the playoff, their margins for error are razor-thin.But let’s be honest: The playoff chase still mainly revolves around the preseason favorites. There’s a 65 percent chance that the national champion is one of Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia, which leaves just 35 percent for everybody else in the entire country. Although not even this year’s ridiculously dominant Crimson Tide team is necessarily guaranteed to make its fifth straight College Football Playoff appearance, it would be a surprise if Bama and its top rivals didn’t find their way into the playoff by season’s end. In today’s college football reality more than ever, the powerhouse programs are seated at the dinner table, and everyone else is left to fight over the scraps.
Indianapolis3941347– CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS 1. Denver (8-4) vs. Tennessee (6-6) — 119 total ‘swing’ points Green Bay2220255– Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown Philadelphia has blown a promising season and now has just a 2 percent chance of making the playoffs. Washington is in danger of similar collapse, narrowly falling the last two weeks in winnable games against the Cowboys and Cardinals. They’d be out of the playoffs if the season ended today, and this week Philadelphia has the opportunity to play spoiler and knock another 18 percentage points or so off their rival’s chances. 3. New Orleans (5-7) vs. Tampa Bay (7-5) — 95 total ‘swing’ points Minnesota2825306– Tampa Bay is playing meaningful December football! The Buccaneers haven’t had a winning season since 2010, and they’ve come in last in the NFC South for five straight years. But a four-game win streak with upsets against the Chiefs and Seahawks has sent their Elo rating skyrocketing, and they’re now contenders for both the division title (25 percent chance of winning) and an NFC wild card (30 percent chance). AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF DEN WINSIF TEN WINSSWING Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown Buffalo1061710– Philadelphia2<144– Washington39%61%21%40– AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF HOU WINSIF IND WINSSWING Arizona8792– Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown Tampa Bay55%24%70%46– Atlanta8688853– Miami15122412– The NFL has its first playoff team! While the 11-1 Cowboys don’t quite have a lock on the NFC East title, they will at least make it as a wild card. They’ll now be playing for a bye and home-field advantage while the rest of the league fights for the remaining playoff spots.For the last couple weeks, we’ve been using the model behind our 2016 NFL predictions to calculate how much each team’s playoff chances “swing” depending on the outcome of each game. For example, we currently give the Pittsburgh Steelers a 67 percent chance of making the playoffs. If they beat Buffalo this week, we project those chances will increase to 84 percent (independent of other games). If they lose, their chances drop to 53 percent.1Our NFL predictions are based on 100,000 simulations of the rest of the season and are updated after every game ends. In the simulations in which Pittsburgh beats Buffalo, they make the playoffs 84 percent of the time. In simulations where they lose, they make the playoffs 53 percent of the time. But it’s unlikely that Pittsburgh’s playoff probabilities will be exactly 84 percent or exactly 53 percent at the end of Week 14, because the team’s chances depend on the outcome of several games (most notably Baltimore’s), not just their own. That’s a 31 percentage point swing! By doing this same math for every matchup and factoring in how each team’s resulting record will affect others’ playoff odds, we can find out which games are the most impactful.Here are the top five for Week 14: CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF NO WINSIF TB WINSSWING Baltimore39%66%32%35– Denver70%82%43%39– Indianapolis3945955– Minnesota2833258– 2. Houston (6-6) vs. Indianapolis (6-6) — 117 total ‘swing’ points CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS As straightforward as it gets. Whichever team wins takes control of the AFC South and gets a big playoff boost. The Titans have an outside chance at the division but don’t really care who wins here. Detroit9091893– Tampa Bay5551587– N.Y. Giants6562697– The Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos all won last week, and we now think it’s pretty likely that the West will take both AFC wild card slots. Tennessee has had a commendable bounceback season, but they’re in a tough playoff situation. The AFC West’s success means that even if the Titans run the table to end the season at 10-6, that might not be enough to make it as a wild card, and their 0-3 record against the Texans and Colts makes it unlikely that they’d win a division tiebreaker. We give them just an 11 percent chance of making the playoffs, much lower than the chances of Green Bay, Minnesota, Indianapolis and Houston, who all share the same 6-6 record. Denver7065716– AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF WSH WINSIF PHI WINSSWING 4. Washington (6-5-1) vs. Philadelphia (5-7) — 81 total ‘swing’ points Houston52554312– Houston52%87%32%55– Washington3943376– Pittsburgh67497223– Baltimore3937436– Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown Detroit9088913– Pittsburgh6766693– New Orleans512112– Green Bay2225213– 5. Baltimore (7-5) vs. New England (10-2) — 77 total ‘swing’ points CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS AFFECTED TEAMCURRENTIF BAL WINSIF NE WINSSWING N.Y. Giants6571638– Miami1517152– One of the NFL’s best rivalries is heating up again! The Ravens and Steelers both won last week to improve to 7-5. With the AFC West bogarting the wild cards, it’s looking like only one of the two will make the playoffs as AFC North champ. So why do we give the Ravens, who would make the playoffs if the season ended today, just a 39 percent chance of advancing? For one, we have them as nine-point underdogs in Foxborough this week. For another the Steelers still have a game to play against the lowly Browns, plus an opportunity to tie up the season series at home against the Ravens in Week 16.Check out our latest NFL predictions. Only teams with a playoff swing of at least 2 percentage points based on the game outcome shown Tennessee1142825– CHANCE OF MAKING PLAYOFFS Atlanta8684874–
Before the national championship game tipped off on Sunday, things seemed to be going according to plan for Baylor and Notre Dame. Two No. 1 seeds — and two of the three teams to be ranked No. 1 during the regular season — would face off, with one seeking to cap a dominant, one-loss season, and the other aiming for its second title in as many years.Once the game began, though, practically nothing went according to plan for either team.Baylor raced out to a 15-5 lead and led by as many as 17 in the first half and 12 at halftime. The Bears dominated, getting contributions from inside (12 first-half points from center Kalani Brown) and out (5-5 shooting in the first quarter from point guard Chloe Jackson). It was the bad kind of déjà vu for Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw, whose Fighting Irish needed a 15-point comeback — the largest ever in an NCAA championship game — to take home the trophy last season.But in the second half, it was Mulkey’s team that had the bad kind of déjà vu. A year after then-senior Kristy Wallace tore her ACL in Baylor’s regular-season finale, the Bears lost Big 12 defensive player of the year Lauren Cox to a knee injury in the third quarter. Notre Dame promptly came all the way back to tie the game at 74 with 5:18 left in the fourth quarter and even briefly took a 77-76 lead with a little more than three minutes left.Baylor ultimately pulled out an 82-81 victory behind big contributions from the game’s most outstanding player in Jackson (26 points, five assists), Brown (20 points, 13 rebounds) and freshman reserve NaLyssa Smith (14 points, six rebounds). Notre Dame looked unstoppable at one point in the fourth quarter, with Marina Mabrey canning three 3-pointers in just over two minutes, but came undone at the free-throw line late, with two crucial misses in the final minute.In the end, when the confetti fell from the rafters to signal the end of the 2018-19 women’s college basketball season, everything was more or less as expected. The No. 1 overall seed hoisted the trophy, emerging out of a field that saw all of the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds advance to the Elite Eight and the two teams that had the best odds of winning a title at the outset make it to the championship game. Yet parity was rightfully the buzzword of this season: Teams like Oregon and NC State had historic years; mid-major Rice cracked the top-25 rankings for the first time, and Gonzaga hit its highest ranking in program history at No. 12; and mighty UConn was not a No. 1 seed for the first time since 2006. In the Final Four, the combined margin of victory (including the championship) was 11 points — the smallest such margin in women’s NCAA Tournament history, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group.Paradoxically, the 2019 national champions both rejected that parity and exemplified it.Baylor dominated its schedule from start to finish, posting a 37-1 record and finishing the season on a 29-game win streak.. The Bears claimed their ninth-straight regular-season conference title and won the Big 12 tournament for the ninth time in 11 years. The 6-foot-7 Brown and the 6-foot-4 Cox had All-America-caliber seasons, combining to average nearly 29 points and 17 rebounds per game. Behind their two interior leaders, Baylor led the country in blocks per game, assists per game, rebounding rate and opponent field-goal percentage.But as much as they dominated, Baylor also embodied the growth of the game, defeating UConn in the regular season and Notre Dame in the championship game. This is the first time that a team has beaten both the Huskies and the Fighting Irish, two of the sport’s premier programs over the past decade-plus, in the same season since Baylor did it in 2012-13. The program has now won three national championships and made four Final Fours since 2005 while reaching the Elite Eight in eight of the past 10 seasons. By anyone’s definition, Baylor should be considered in the upper echelon of programs, on par with UConn and Notre Dame.Mulkey has built her program into a powerhouse in part by recruiting well, but also by developing players and putting them in position to succeed. She signed three top-5 recruiting classes in the past four years, according to ESPN, including the nation’s No. 1 class in 2018. Yet she still found herself without an experienced option at point guard entering this season. She settled on an unorthodox solution, moving graduate transfer Jackson to point guard and teaching her the nuances of the position throughout the year. On Sunday night, Jackson proved that her coach made the right decision, committing just one turnover all game and scoring Baylor’s final 4 points.In the end, Baylor claimed the 2019 national title by the slimmest of margins,1It was the second 1-point championship in women’s NCAA Tournament history, matching North Carolina’s 1-point win over Louisiana Tech in 1994. simultaneously proving that parity is real in the women’s game and ensuring that the Bears will be regarded as one of this decade’s elite programs. They will rebuild again in the offseason, as they lose Brown and Jackson off of this year’s team. But don’t be surprised if Baylor produces the good kind of déjà vu in seasons to come, as Mulkey has built the Bears into a perennial contender and a team that can compete with anyone — UConn and Notre Dame included.Check out our latest March Madness predictions.
True freshman Jonathon Cooper was one of six Buckeyes to lose their black stripe on Saturday. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Lantern PhotographerThe black stripe on the helmet has become a mark of youth, a way to distinctively separate those deserving to play and those who need to develop under the regime of coach Urban Meyer. Having the stripe removed grants those players the right to play with the other, more experienced, players.On Saturday night, Meyer announced that six Buckeyes have completed their rite of passage into consideration for playing time.Cornerback Damon Arnette, quarterback Joe Burrow, defensive lineman Davon Hamilton and cornerback Joshua Norwood—all redshirt freshmen—gained the honor. Defensive lineman Jonathon Cooper and linebacker Tuf Borland join wide receiver Austin Mack and offensive lineman Michael Jordan as the only true freshmen to lose the black stripe.Borland and Cooper enrolled in the spring with Mack and Jordan.This announcement comes on the heels of the team’s first intrasquad scrimmage this fall which took place on Saturday morning at the Coffey Road Fields.The Buckeyes open up on Sept. 3 versus Bowling Green.
Junior outside hitter Michael Henchy (6) celebrates a point during a match against Ball State Feb. 26 at St. John Arena. OSU lost, 3-1.Credit: Kathleen Martini / Oller reporterThe men’s volleyball season is quickly winding down and Ohio State is looking to pick up as many wins as it can.With just three regular season contests left on the schedule, the Buckeyes are set to take on No. 14 Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Friday at St. John Arena.The Mastodons (17-6, 6-5) are scheduled to travel from Fort Wayne, Ind., to take on the Buckeyes (10-13, 6-6) on their home court this time around. The two teams faced off earlier in the season in Indiana, and the match ended in a 3-2 loss for the Buckeyes, March 5.“We lost a tight one in the last meeting, so we’re looking for some revenge in our gym,” junior outside hitter Michael Henchy said.Junior middle blocker Dustan Neary said the unranked Buckeyes are expecting yet another tough matchup against the Mastadons, but focusing on their opponent’s strengths should help tip the scales in OSU’s favor.“We expect them to be aggressive from the pins and from the end line, Neary said. “We need to key in on their go-to players and make sure we have a block in front of them.”Henchy said IPFW features a very strong offense, and OSU needs to do everything it can to make sure the Mastadons are forced to play back on their heels and on the defensive.“They have some really good hitters on their team that we’re looking to slow down,” Henchy said. “If we can prevent them from having a big game, then our chances of winning go up significantly. We want to serve them out of system and attack the balls they give up so they are playing more defense than offense.”Redshirt-junior opposite Andrew Lutz said the team’s preparations have been focused on IPFW’s offense, working to adjust the Buckeyes’ defensive approach to thwart its style of play.“We need to be good with our first contacts on defense. Once we do this, it’s going to be essential that we’re able to generate attacks to win some points,” Lutz said.Henchy said he expects the match to be intense because each game down the stretch plays big into seeding for the MIVA conference tournament.“I expect lots of energy from them because we are the Ohio State volleyball team and they are fighting for a better seed for the conference tournament,” Henchy said. “We will win if we play our style of game and outwork them on defense.”The match is set to start at 7 p.m. Friday.
OSU junior H-back Curtis Samuel (4) celebrates as he scores a rushing touchdown in second overtime to win the game for the Buckeyes on Nov. 26 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes won 30-27. Credit: Mason Swires | Former Assistant Photo EditorFormer Ohio State football players were in action in Week 2 of the NFL season. Of league rookies, sophomores and veterans, here are a few of the latest performances from former Buckeyes.New Orleans Saints WR Ted Ginn Jr.The New Orleans Saints traveled to face the Carolina Panthers Sunday as wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. returned to his former team’s stadium for the first time since signing a contract with the Saints in free agency. Ginn displayed his speed on a 40-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter, increasing the Saints’ lead to 24-6 in what ended up being a 34-13 blowout. He finished the game with 44 receiving yards and 15 rushing yards.__________________________________New Orleans Saints WR Michael ThomasWith wideout Brandin Cooks being traded to the New England Patriots in the offseason, the expectation was that Michael Thomas would become the Saints’ top receiver this season. So far, Thomas has met expectations, racking up more than 221 yards in the first three weeks of the year. Thomas had another strong outing Sunday, catching seven passes for 87 yards.__________________________________Indianapolis Colts S Malik HookerMalik Hooker followed up an impressive Week 2 with a solid performance in Week 3 against the Cleveland Browns. Hooker had three tackles, one pass defended and picked off Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer on the last play of the fourth quarter, putting an end to the Browns’ comeback attempt and sealing the Colts’ victory. __________________________________Carolina Panthers WR Curtis SamuelCarolina Panthers rookie wide receiver Curtis Samuel had a slow start to the season and didn’t record a reception in the first two weeks. In Week 3, as the Panthers faced off against the New Orleans Saints, the Panthers needed some extra firepower with their star wideout Kelvin Benjamin going down with an injury. Samuel was inserted into the lineup and had an immediate impact, catching a flick from quarterback Cam Newton behind the line of scrimmage and taking it 31 yards downfield. Samuel, when healthy, could be counted on by the Panthers to be an explosive playmaker.__________________________________San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos HydeSan Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde had a solid game against the Los Angeles Rams in a Thursday night matchup, with the 49ers eventually losing 41-39 after mounting a comeback late in the game. He carried the ball 25 times for 84 yards, and could have gone for more had he not exited the game early due to injury. He returned to the game late, but the 49ers were down by more than two touchdowns, placing a heavier reliance on the passing game.__________________________________Other notable players:Los Angeles Chargers DE Joey Bosa: 6 tackles (3 AST), 0.5 sacks against the Kansas City ChiefsPhiladelphia Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins: 7 tackles (2 AST), 1 stuff against the New York GiantsWashington Redskins WR Terrelle Pryor: 2 receptions for 19 yards against the Oakland RaidersNew Orleans Saints CB Marshon Lattimore: DNP (concussion) against the Carolina PanthersPittsburgh Steelers OLB Ryan Shazier: 11 tackles, 2 forced fumbles against the Chicago Bears
Sale of sugary drinks could be banned across NHS hospitals Credit:Alamy A coffee or hot chocolate could contain more sugar than a fizzy drink Credit:Luis Ascui/Getty The plans go much further than a tax on sugary drinks planned by Government, which is due to be introduced in 2018.While fruit juice and dairy based drinks are exempt from the Government plans, the NHS scheme will see all drinks which contain any added sugar – including sweetened milk – either banned or subject to taxes, depending which is chosen. John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said the plans were a regressive move and a “token gesture.”“Raising public awareness about the benefits of a healthy diet is one thing, but punishing doctors on long shifts or families visiting ill relatives is surely not the way to go about it,” he said.Gavin Partington, director general of the British Soft Drinks Association, said: “It’s hard to see how a ban on soft drinks can be justified given that the sector has led the way in reducing consumers’ sugar intake – down by over 17 per cent since 2012.”He said it was “odd” for the NHS to introduce measures which he said would duplicate the Government taxes.Levels of obesity in England have soared from 14.9 per cent in 1993 to 25.6 per cent in 2014.Child obesity levels have reached a record high, while two thirds of adults are either overweight or obese.Forecasts suggest that by 2050 nearly 60 per cent of men and 50 per cent of women will be obese.Soft drinks other than fruit juice are one of the largest sources of sugar in adults, and the largest single source of sugar for children aged 11 to 18 years, providing 29 per cent of their daily sugar intake. A year ago the NHS introduced new financial incentives for healthcare providers which improve staff health.Nurses and doctors have been given gym discounts, and access to health trainers and dieticians and discounts on slimming classes.At West Midlands Ambulance Service a scheme in partnership with Slimming World has seen almost 400 men lose 239 stone between them – the equivalent of 18 adult men. Former Paralympian Baroness Tanni-Grey Thompson will tell today’s conference that Britain’s couch potato lifestyles have become a “national embarrassment” which is costing the state more than £20bn a year. The chairman of UK Active, a not-for-profit health body, will today call for radical changes to tackle sedentary lifestyles which she says could bankrupt the NHS.The organisation is calling for a £1bn scheme to replace 1970s leisure centres with modern facilities, in a bid to persuade more people into sports and activities.The former Paralympian will say the habits of the average Briton are a sorry contrast with the feats achieved in the Olympics this summer.”Much to the delight of us all, Britain smashed all expectations across the two Games, which were a fantastic advert for our country’s ability to produce world-beating athletes and be a sporting superpower,” she will tell a London health summit tomorrow. “But we mustn’t allow a strong showing in the medal table to mask the fact that when it comes to mobilising the general public, Britain finds itself seriously stuck in the blocks. The feats of our elite athletes are a rightful source of national pride, but our levels of inactivity should be a source of national embarrassment.Official data shows walking levels have fallen by more than a third in three decades, with the average Briton now walking for less than 10 minutes a day.Earlier this year a study published in The Lancet found that workers need to do an hour’s exercise – such as brisk walking – to counter the deadly impact of eight hours sitting in an office.A sedentary day at a desk without any extra physical activity could increase the risk of premature mortality by up to 60 per cent, the research found.”To be blunt, physical inactivity is a shame on our great nation,” Baroness Grey-Thompson will tell the summit on activity.”This shame costs Britain £20bn each year. This shame is the fourth biggest cause of premature mortality, making it as deadly as smoking. The biggest shame is that every day, parents, grandparents, wives and husbands are dying because they live in a society that doesn’t place enough emphasis on the importance of physical activity. “The health body is calling for a £1bn regeneration scheme to turn the UK’s ageing fleet of leisure centres into modern “one stop” health centres combining gyms, pools and GP centres.Baroness Grey-Thompson will say that putting physical activity at the heart of integrated community infrastructure is “the only long-term solution to save the NHS from bankruptcy.”Such centres would help GPs to prescribe exercise plans for their patients, and reduce the burden on hospitals, she will say.The body is also calling for primary schools to carry out regular fitness checks on children, in the same way that English and Maths are tested. Schools should make direct interventions to parents when children’s health was being compromised by low levels of activity, their report says.Estimates suggest health problems caused by physical inactivity costs the UK £20bn a year.Lack of exercise significantly increases risk of up to 20 conditions including heart disease, type-2 diabetes, cancers and mental health problems. With treatment of long-term conditions consuming around 70 per cent of the NHS’s annual budget, Baroness Grey-Thompson will say that a concerted shift towards a “prevention over cure” model is the only realistic option for the health service to succeed. Simon Stevens lost three stone while working in the United States, when his employer had tax breaks for employees who met healthy living targets, including weightloss Credit:PA Britain’s obesity are the second highest in Europe, second only to Hungary ‘Confronted by rising obesity, type 2 diabetes and child dental decay, it’s time for the NHS to practice what we preach. We’re now calling time on hospitals as marketing outlets for junk food and fizzy drinks’Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS More than 1.3 million staff are employed by the health service, of whom nearly 700,000 are overweight or obese. Health officials said rising rates of obesity among NHS staff are not only bad for their personal health, but are undermining the ability of services to give patients credible advice about weight loss.Mr Stevens will tell a London conference today: “Confronted by rising obesity, type 2 diabetes and child dental decay, it’s time for the NHS to practice what we preach.“Nurses, visitors and patients all tell us they increasingly want healthy, tasty and affordable food and drink options,” he said. “We’re now calling time on hospitals as marketing outlets for junk food and fizzy drinks.”Individual health facilities overseas have introduced such measures, but the wholesale move will make England the first country in the world to take action across its health service.Mr Stevens will tell the UK Active national summit, in London that the proposals are a “genuine win/win opportunity to both improve health and cut future illness cost burdens for the NHS.” Mr Stevens said the health service should put itself at the “leading edge” of efforts to tackle obesity, in order to reach 1 million patients a day, and set an example to society.Health officials will today launch a consultation on proposals which will either see all drinks containing sugar banned from sales in hospitals, or subject to heavy taxes. 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. Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson will tell the UK Active summit that Britain’s exercise levels are a ‘national embarassment’Credit:Rex NHS surveys have found that obesity is the most significant self-reported health problem amongst healthcare staff.The public consultation says the NHS should either introduce an outright ban on the sale of sugary drinks, or introduce taxes. Taxes would mean vendors paying a 25 pence levy on each drink, or fees equivalent to 20 per cent of all sales, with money spent on patient charities and staff health.But it suggests an outright ban could be simpler and cheaper to run.This approach has been taken by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation trust, while a two month trial at the Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust found that a ban on sugary drinks had no impact on sales or revenue, with patients, staff and visitors simply switching to healthier alternatives.Health campaigners welcomed the plans.Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said the measures were a “brilliant move” which NHS staff would welcome.“They know full well the ravages caused by sugary drinks on a patient’s health,” he said. The NHS is considering banning sale of all sugary drinks – including lattes, smoothies and fruit juices – as part of efforts to combat obesity and make healthcare workers “practice what they preach”.Simon Stevens, the head of the health service, said he was “calling time on hospitals as marketing outlets for junk food and fizzy drinks” as he unveiled plans which will come into force next year.
The man later ran off in the direction of Stockport Road from Chapel Street.He is described as wearing dark clothing, a woollen balaclava and was 6ft plus in height.Police patrols have been stepped up in the area with door-to-door inquiries being conducted.Chief Inspector John-Paul Ruffle, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “The girl is understandably very distressed and we continue to offer her our help and support.”She was extremely brave reporting this to police and we will do everything in our power to find the man responsible for this attack.”Detectives are currently gathering as much information as possible, while a team of officers have been speaking to residents in the local area to see if they heard or saw anything that night.”Incidents of this nature will understandably concern the community and I want to assure you that this investigation is a priority of ours and we have a team working round the clock.”If you think you might have seen something suspicious in the area at the time of the offence, or have any information, I would urge you to contact us.” A 12-year-old girl has been raped after she was dragged off a street into an alleyway.The victim was attacked by a balaclava-clad offender as she walked in Levenshulme, Manchester.Police said the girl disclosed last week that the incident took place on Tuesday, November 22 last year.She said she was in Chapel Street near to the Horseshoe pub between 4pm and 4.30pm when she was grabbed from behind and dragged into an alleyway which runs behind Cardus Street. 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.