Metcalf became an overnight internet sensation during February’s combine with his comic-book physique and blazing 4.33-second 40-yard dash — a ridiculous amount of speed for a 228-pound man. He then turned right around and disappointed athletic measurable aficionados by posting a sluggish 7.38 seconds in the three-cone drill. Brown was not slow, running a 4.49 in the 40 at 226 pounds, but he appears to have stabilized at a level well below his teammate, and it’s unclear why. According to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, Brown caught 1,320 receiving yards on 435 routes at Ole Miss in 2018, good for 3.03 yards per route run. Metcalf, hampered by injury, caught just 569 yards on 197 routes at 2.88 yards per route run, well under the efficiency set by Brown. Combine speed only weakly correlates to actual game speed, so it’s curious that a player like Metcalf would be selected over his more productive peer. Again, it might just be based on D.K.’s shirtless photo, suggesting this could be one the mock drafters get wrong. On Thursday, we’ll discover just how accurate these expert and amateur mock drafts are. If 2018 is any indication, mock drafters will probably correctly identify the majority of the players selected in the first round but completely whiff on the exact order and the actual team to select a player, which is probably for the best. Between last-minute trades and out-of-left-field picks, it’s more entertaining when we don’t know everything going in.From ABC News: Williams, a defensive tackle, finished eighth in the Heisman voting in 2018 and closed out the year at Alabama with 10 sacks and 55 pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. Williams also ranked first in the nation in run-stopping rate with 14.2 percent, showcasing his versatility. Meanwhile, Josh Allen (not to be confused with Bills QB Josh Allen, who can hit a goal post 50 yards away from his knees) creates pressure from the outside — pressure that Eric Eager and George Chahrouri of Pro Football Focus have shown to be more valuable in generating negative expected points for the opposing offense than interior pressure. Allen’s pass-rush productivity — the share of pass plays in which the defender applied pressure on the opposing QB — led the nation at 15.2 percent. The success of Rams interior lineman Aaron Donald seems to suggest that teams might hope for similar returns from Williams, but a sharp team will focus on creating as much outside pressure as possible by choosing Allen.The Iowa tight endsOne set of players moving up mock draft boards not only play the same position, but they were also college teammates. Tight ends Noah Fant and TJ Hockenson of Iowa are both mocked to go in the middle of the first round, and they’re also the only two TEs likely to be called in Round 1. But while Fant’s mock draft graph shows a flat overall trend, Hockenson’s draft stock has surged since the combine in February. On average, he’s now surpassed his Hawkeye cohort in projected draft position. The NFL draft is a spectacle. Last year, the draft averaged more viewers than the previous year’s Stanley Cup Final. Social media and fan interest have exploded with a thirst for draft information, and media outlets have sprung up to cater to those fans with a bevy of mock drafts conducted by analysts and armchair handicappers.There are even sites dedicated to tracking the predictions of mock drafters so that consumers of draft information can properly judge who is most reliable. Last year’s top forecaster, NFL analyst Evan Silva, identified 28 out of 32 players selected in the first round and also correctly predicted the team that would select 10 of those players. That 31 percent hit rate on pairing a drafted player with a team may not seem impressive, but it was good enough to place Silva at the top of the 2018 rankings and vault him to 16th over the past five years.“You should be able to pick 26 of the 32 first-round picks rolling out of bed,” Silva said. “The hard part is matching teams to players. I’m continually surprised each year. Teams don’t act like I expect.”Despite that uncertainty, the mock drafters can give us a pretty good sense of the names Roger Goodell will call on Thursday night. Perhaps even more interesting, we can use this data to explore the player trends as the draft process has progressed. The actual draft may be one weekend in April, but draft prognosticating is a year-round affair. Mock drafts from last June hardly resemble the ones on the eve of the draft, as the stock prices of college players are constantly ticking up and down based on a host of reasons — performance, health, eligibility and results from the scouting combine.Using data from Benjamin Robinson, who has curated close to 2,000 mock drafts from expert, media and fan sources from April 2018 to present, here are some of the most interesting fluctuations over the past few months — along with some of our own analysis mixed in. After all, it’s the draft, so we are all experts.The pass rushersPass rusher may be the position most stocked with top-end talent in this year’s draft. If Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray isn’t the first overall selection, Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa will likely be called. But two other promising defensive standouts, Kentucky’s Josh Allen and Alabama’s Quinnen Williams, are expected to be off the board by the 10th pick. Both players wreaked havoc on the SEC in 2018, and the evolution of each player’s draft value has mirrored the other’s. While Bosa has been a fixture atop draft boards all year, Allen and Williams have each steadily climbed from a late first-round position. The mock drafters probably have the ordering right: Hockenson had 760 receiving yards — 25.8 percent of Iowa’s team total, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group — while Fant gained 519 yards for a 17.6 percent share. Hockenson is the better blocker of the two TEs and also ran 340 routes to Fant’s 242. But it wasn’t just volume that drove Hock’s numbers: He was also slightly more efficient on a per route basis, gaining 2.24 yards per route run vs. 2.14 for Fant. Hockensen was deployed further downfield than Fant as well, earning an average depth of target of 9.2 yards — nearly half a yard better than Fant. And despite the deeper routes, Hockenson still managed a higher catch rate.149 catches on 66 targets for Hockenson, 39 catches on 61 targets for Fant.The Ole Miss receiversOddly, another pair of teammates that play the same position are also vying for a first-round selection. The fortunes of Ole Miss wide receivers A.J Brown and D.K. Metcalf have flipped since the start of the draft process. Last July, A.J. Brown was considered a high first-round pick, but he has since seen his draft stack plummet to the bottom of the first round.
The rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan is about to get a little chillier. The OSU men’s hockey team will take on Michigan outdoors in the “Frozen Diamond Faceoff” at Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, on Jan. 15, 2012, at 5:05 p.m. This will be the first outdoor collegiate hockey game in the state of Ohio. OSU will be the home team in the neutral-site game and it will be played on a regulation-sized rink. Mark Shapiro, president of the Cleveland Indians, said in a Thursday press conference that he expects a full house for the game. Capacity at Progressive Field is 43,441. “We expect the place to be sold out,” he said. “I think recognizing how passionate the fan base is for Ohio State, recognizing that Michigan fans are extremely mobile and there also are a lot in the state of Ohio, and again the rivalry, we think (it) certainly sparks some interest.” Shapiro said the game will be a “unique” event, but they are staying “open and flexible” to hosting future hockey games, he said. This will be second time the OSU men’s hockey team has played outdoors. The Buckeyes previously faced off against Wisconsin in Lambeau Field, the home of the Green Bay Packers, on Feb. 11, 2006. OSU lost 4-2. Michigan has played in three outdoor games, including a game in 2010 at Michigan Stadium versus Michigan State. The game set a world record for attendance at a hockey game with 85,451 fans in attendance, according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Prior to Thursday’s announcement, the official OSU athletics website, ohiostatebuckeyes.com, changed the venue for the game against Michigan scheduled for Jan. 14, 2012, from Value City Arena to “TBA.” The game will be a part of “Indians Snow Days,” the second season-long event running from Nov. 25 through Jan. 16 at Progressive Field, in which fans can ice skate and snow tube at the stadium. A presale for tickets will be made available for students in the coming weeks at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.
After running against championship-level competition at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on Oct. 14, the Ohio State men’s and women’s cross country teams will run for a championship this Sunday in Illinois. The Buckeyes will run at the Big Ten Championship meet on Oct. 30 at the University of Illinois. Both the men and the women are hoping to finish in the top three of a field that features ranked teams on both sides. The No. 2-ranked Wisconsin Badgers and No. 7 Indiana Hoosiers highlight the men’s field while No. 15 Michigan State is the highest-ranked women’s team appearing. “I think Wisconsin and Indiana are probably a step ahead of the rest of the conference,” said Robert Gary, OSU men’s cross country head coach. “It’s not that they can’t be beat but they’re pretty solid. I think after that, we’re really fighting for third place.” OSU women’s assistant cross country coach Chris Neal said he felt similarly. “It’s going to be a hard-fought battle,” Neal said. “I think you could be winning it or you could be seventh. While our goal is top three I think we know it is going to be a tough weekend for us.” The men will be without one of their top runners, Jake Edwards, a redshirt senior. Edwards injured his hamstring at the Notre Dame Invitational on Sep. 30 and has not been able to compete since. Gary said that with Edwards out, the key to his team performing well will be running together as a pack. He said if his team can have a 20- to 25-second spread from its first to fifth runner, a third-place finish is possible. “I mean, obviously it would be a lot easier if Jake was running but someone else is just going to have to step up. We have a number of fifth-year seniors and I’m hoping they’re up to the challenge,” he said. Getting out fast at the beginning of the race is an important factor for the women, Neal said. “If we can put ourselves in good position and be where we want to be at the start, we’ll be able to hold it together for the last part of the race,” he said. Runners on both teams are confident and said they are ready to have their best races of the season. “I think everything is kind of coming together,” said Jordan Jennewine, OSU women’s redshirt senior. “I think we’re ready to run as well as we can this weekend.” Donny Roys, OSU men’s junior, feels the men’s team is also set to finish strongly. “I think we’re right on track to get into the top three. We’re stronger then last year so we’re getting out. I think we’re right on pace right now,” Roys said. After the Big Ten Championship meet, the men and women will have one week off from competition before running at the Great Lakes Regional meet on Nov. 12.
Members of the OSU women’s volleyball team meet in a huddle during a match against Florida Gulf Coast on Sept. 5 at St. John Arena. OSU won, 3-1. Credit: Emily Yarcusko / For The LanternThe Ohio State women’s volleyball team swept the competition at the 9th Annual Sports Imports D.C. Koehl Classic and improved to 4-2 on the season.OSU first beat Auburn (3-3) and then Florida Gulf Coast (2-4) on Friday, before defeating Southern Illinois (2-5) on Sunday.In the third match of the tournament against Southern Illinois, the Buckeyes defeated the Salukis in four sets (22-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-19).Senior outside hitter Erin Sekinger led the Buckeyes in kills with 16, while freshman outside hitter Luisa Schirmer and sophomore middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe each had 11. Schirmer also led the team in digs with 15, followed by sophomore libero Valeria León with 11.OSU coach Geoff Carlston said he liked what he saw from the team’s defensive play after making changes following the University of Oregon Invitational the previous week.“We made a couple tweaks that made a big difference,” he said. “It simplified less movement so we could dig some balls.”Junior outside hitter Elizabeth Campbell said on Friday that the Buckeyes corrected problems were already showing in their first two matches.“Another key (to victory) was to communicate on the court,” Campbell said. “We had a lot of young (players) playing tonight and just talking to each other throughout helps (them) out.”In its second game on Friday against FGCU, OSU won in what was its closest game of the tournament in four sets (22-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-18).Sandbothe led the Buckeyes in total points with 16 kills, three digs, one block and one assist. León led the team in digs with 19 and Schirmer contributed 12 kills.FGCU senior setter Gigi Meyer, the daughter of OSU football coach Urban Meyer, had 131 assists and 27 digs throughout the tournament. Against the Buckeyes, she led the Eagles with 42 assists and had 9 digs.In its opening game of the tournament game, OSU defeated Auburn in three sets (25-14, 25-14, 25-20).In the first set, OSU went on a 10-0 run to gain a 15-5 advantage and from that point held all the momentum. The third set proved to be a closer fight, but the Buckeyes still managed to win by five — which was their largest lead of the period.Senior setter Taylor Sherwin had 17 assists and 2 digs. Schirmer had eight digs, six kills and four blocks. Sekinger led the Buckeyes in kills with 10 while León led the team with 13 digs.Campbell, Sandbothe and Schirmer all received all-tournament recognition, while Schirmer was named the most outstanding player.After receiving the all-tournament team selection in Columbus after doing the same in the Buckeyes’ season-opening tournament in Oregon, Sandbothe said she believes having home court advantage was helpful in fixing mistakes made in Oregon, and for the future.“Getting a home court advantage really helped us to lean on what we needed to do,” Sandbothe said. “We’re still a pretty young team so having leadership come from the younger players is a huge part of what makes us work.”The team is scheduled to be back in action Friday at the Millenium Hotel Invitational. The Buckeyes are scheduled to face Syracuse at 4 p.m., followed by Ohio on Saturday at 10 a.m. and Xavier later that evening at 7 p.m.
Senior forward Sam Thompson (right) keeps his eye on the ball during a game against Penn State on Feb. 11 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 75-55.Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Lantern photographerWith just four regular season games remaining before tournament play takes over the college basketball landscape, the Ohio State men’s basketball team is limping back to Columbus.Having played eight of its last 12 games on the road, the Buckeyes have lost three of their last five games including back-to-back losses to Michigan and Michigan State. The good news for OSU is that three of its last four games are set to be played at the Schottenstein Center, with the last road game coming against Penn State next Wednesday.OSU coach Thad Matta said he knew months ago that the current stretch of road games could make or break the Buckeyes’ season.“I knew in July when the Big Ten schedule came out, I said, ‘My God, coming out of Ann Arbor if our heads are above water, and we’ve got a decent mojo about us, we’ve got a shot,’” Matta said Wednesday. “The biggest thing that I’m at right now is, ‘Hey guys, look, we’re OK. We know what we’ve gotta do, we know how we’ve gotta do it, now let’s walk out on the court and get the job done.’”Doing just that will be key if the Buckeyes want to make their seventh straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.OSU, which has slipped to a No. 8 seed in ESPN’s most recent bracket projections, has not been seeded that low since the 2009 tournament when the Buckeyes fell to No. 9 seed Siena in double overtime.That team, which lost in Dayton, boasted just one senior (a walk-on) and had little NCAA Tournament experience.Despite that, Matta said he doesn’t believe he has to do anything extra to motivate or educate his current freshman-laden roster about the big dance.“Times have changed. I remember, I don’t know if it was ‘08, I had a team meeting one time and said, ‘How many of you freshmen know how to get in the NCAA tournament?’ They didn’t know,” Matta said. “Now, that’s been seven years ago and everybody knows. I like where they (the current freshmen) are in terms of how they’re playing and how they are getting better. I would hope the four seniors that have been here would be telling them those things. I am sure they know that, I don’t like to bring it up.”One of those seniors, forward Sam Thompson, has been as far as the Final Four in the tournament.Thompson, who played 12 minutes in a 64-62 loss to the Kansas Jayhawks in the 2012 semifinal as a freshman, said getting back to the NCAA Tournament remains in OSU’s sights.“Obviously the end goal is to make the NCAA Tournament. For the seniors that have been deep in the tournament, we know that there is no better feeling,” Thompson said. “For the young guys, they all came here for an opportunity to play in the tournament. We know that we have some work to do, as far as our résumé, but our goal is to get better, our goal is to play our best basketball. We know if we do that, everything else will work itself out.”The Buckeyes are getting set to try and right the ship Thursday against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who have dropped their last five games.Despite the Cornhuskers’ poor form, Thompson said he expects a motivated and fired-up squad coming in from Lincoln, Neb.The Cornhuskers might have extra motivation coming from the fact that coach Tim Miles revoked the team’s access to their locker room after a 74-46 loss at home to the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday.“I didn’t hear anything about it until coach Matta told us when he was sort of setting the stage,” Thompson said of Nebraska’s lockout. “We know they are going to come in and play hard. I guess their locker room is on the line now. We know they are going to come in and give us their best shot. We know that we have to be ready to play. Our mindset doesn’t really change.”The Buckeyes and Cornhuskers are set to tip off at the Schottenstein Center at 7 p.m.
Ohio State freshman goalie Andrea Braendli (30) prepares for a shot in a game on Oct. 11 against Minnesota State. Ohio State won 4-0. Credit: Wyatt Crosher | Assistant Sports EditorThe Ohio State women’s hockey team faces its first major road test as the team travels to Minnesota for a battle between two top dogs of the Women’s Hockey Collegiate Association Conference. The No. 4 Buckeyes (5-1-0, 2-0-0-0 WCHA) will face off against the No. 3 Gophers (5-0-1, 3-0-1-0 WCHA) in an early matchup in conference play with two games this weekend. Coming off two victories the previous weekend against Minnesota State, Ohio State will try and build off that momentum in the hopes that it will negate the home field advantage that the Gophers will have. Head coach Nadine Muzerall said facing Minnesota on the road is nothing new to this team, and last season’s trip to Ridder Arena saw the Buckeyes win both games, one of which in a shootout. “It’s nothing different. Every year Minnesota is ranked in the Top 8, and often times ranked even higher,” Muzerall said. “They’re three, we’re four right now. It’s going to be a couple of great games. They have the home crowd advantage playing in Ridder Arena, but it’s nothing this team hasn’t seen over the past two years.”Senior forward Nicole Schammel leads the Golden Gophers with nine points on the season, tied for No. 3 in the NCAA. Minnesota also has three other players in the Top 20 in scoring: sophomore forward Grace Zumwinkle, junior defenseman Patti Marshall and senior forward Kelly Pannek.The Minnesota offense is tied for No. 4 in the nation with 4.33 goals per game, and is tied for No. 6 with 1.50 goals allowed.The Buckeyes will have plenty of key weapons to look to as they try to come away with wins this weekend, most notably freshman goaltender Andrea Braendli, who was named WCHA Player of the Week for her performance against Minnesota State the past week. In only the second game of her Buckeye career, Braendli notched a shutout, stopping all 22 shots against her throughout Friday’s 4-0 win. On Saturday, she allowed one goal, but saved 33 shots and kept the Buckeyes in the game through overtime. In total, she ended the series with a .982 save percentage. “The goal that was scored off of her was tipped off a skate,” Muzerall said. “So, when she is able to see the puck, she tracks the puck well. She’s very well positioned, and is relaxed, calm and poised.”Another player that highlights for Ohio State is sophomore forward Emma Maltais. Maltais led the team last season in points scored and is starting this season doing the same thing. In just six games played, Maltais already has 10 points, tied for the lead in the NCAA.“You need dynamic players like Emma in this league,” Muzerall said. “Teams like Wisconsin and Minnesota are filled with them. She’s a phenomenal athlete both on and off the ice and it shows leading the league in points last year. Her commitment to excellence is very impressive.” The Buckeyes travel to Minnesota to play games at Ridder Arena at 8 p.m on Friday and 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Ohio State senior guard C.J. Jackson take a free throw in the second half of the Buckeyes’ game against Purdue-Fort Wayne. Ohio State won the game 107-61. Credit: Amal Saeed | Assistant Photo EditorThere have been talks about senior guard C.J. Jackson all throughout the summer.Jackson, who was No. 2 on Ohio State in points per game a season ago, has been seen as a leader for a team attempting to move on from the likes of Keita Bates-Diop and Jae’Sean Tate.On Sunday, Jackson proved his potential to be that guy.In the 107-61 victory against Purdue-Fort Wayne, Jackson had team highs with 25 points and five assists, while also finishing second on the team with six rebounds.The 25 points was also Jackson’s career high.Jackson said it was his teammates around him that allowed him to have the breakout performance.“My teammates just found me in the right spots tonight, and credit to them, just finding me and looking for me as I kind of got rolling a little bit,” Jackson said. “Once you see it finally go in, the confidence level goes up.”Though the Buckeyes ended up winning by 45, they only led by seven after the first half.The lead remained seven two minutes into the second half. That’s when Jackson took over.Already leading the team with 12 first-half points, the senior guard hit three three pointers within 66 seconds, all in succession for Ohio State, putting the team up 52-38 on his self-created 9-2 run.The Buckeyes outscored Purdue-Fort Wayne 55-23 from that point forward.Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann said Jackson just took what the defense was giving him.“C.J. can get more happy with the three probably at times than I want him to, but they were going under a lot of ball screens today, and he’s worked on that part of his game,” Holtmann said.Jackson shot 72.2 percent on the day and made 4-of-7 from behind the arc. In the 2017-18 season, Jackson hit on 41.6 percent of his shots, and 37.9 percent of his three pointers.“The coaches stayed on me all summer, and that’s kind of where it started, right after the season ended we got straight to work,” Jackson said. “Once you get to this moment, it’s kind of like you’ve already been through it, so you just perform what you did all summer and all preseason.”Through two games, Ohio State has proven nothing about its style of play.The Buckeyes smothered Cincinnati defensively, holding them to less than 30 percent shooting and earning the low-scoring victory. On Saturday, they put up more than 100 points in the rout of the Mastodons. But in both games, it was Jackson who came up big when the team needed it.Though he only shot 3-for-10 against the Bearcats, one of those three baskets was a layup with 29 seconds remaining to put Ohio State up six. He then hit the last two free throws to officially seal the win.Against Purdue-Fort Wayne, Jackson played a complete game, looking like the best player on the court and finishing with the No. 2 plus-minus on the team.Holtmann said he liked what Jackson did on the defensive side as well, but that his team still has places to improve.Jackson said his performance only matters if it comes in an Ohio State victory.“As far as the win, that’s pretty much the only thing,” Jackson said. “We know we have to win to be successful, especially with the tough schedule that we have, so that’s kind of the only thing that I’m concerned with at this point.”
Alex Foulds, Southern passenger services’ director, said the two-day strike would “achieve nothing”.”Passengers will be rightly dismayed that the RMT has chosen to disrupt services yet again,” he said. “After many months of trying to reach agreement with the RMT, we are now moving forward with our plans for the benefit of customers and we urge the RMT to join us in putting passengers first.”We have guaranteed all our on-board staff a job until the end of the franchise, with no reduction in salary. Our plans are safe, and will mean fewer cancelled trains. We are sorry that our passengers will once again suffer because of RMT intransigence, and we urge the union to work with us to find a sensible way forward.” The industrial action centres on the role of guards on Southern trainsCredit:Carl Court /Getty Campaigners from Disabled People Against Cuts said they believe Southern risks “taking a significant retrograde step” if it starts a driver-only operation.A spokesman said: “We believe that if a train runs driver-only operation to an unstaffed station with a passenger who is unable to exit the train unassisted, then an offence will be committed under the Equality Act 2010.”After 30 years of commitment, effort and public expenditure to ensure that disabled people can travel by train, as by other modes, with confidence, we risk taking a significant retrograde step that will effectively deny people those hard-won rights. That is simply unacceptable.” A Southern Rail employee hands out flyers as she takes part in a strike against company working practicesCredit:Carl Court/Getty A Southern Rail employee erects a banner opposite Victoria station in central London as she takes part in a strikeCredit:Carl Court/Getty Please please please don’t leave me stuck in London today train strikes!!!! 🙏🏽😫 @SouthernRailUK— Louisa Bettine (@LouisaBettine) September 7, 2016 Come on then Southern… Let’s see how long it’ll take me to get to work today then! So pleased I’m off tomorrow #Southernstrike— Graham Lamb (@GrahamLamb82) September 7, 2016 Clapham Junction station in London during rush hour in August amid previous strike actionCredit:Nick Edwards He added: “RMT remains available for serious talks but GTR clearly have no interest in resolving the dispute and it is also clear that the Government are propping them up financially and politically.”Just a fraction of the £100 million the GTR parent company is hoarding in profits would be enough to keep a guard on the Southern trains, keep the trains safe and accessible and resolve the dispute.”It is absolutely right to call for the Government to intervene and to hold those responsible for this continuing shambles to account.”Mr Cash added: “Reports from all locations this morning confirm that the strike action is rock-solid and determined again across the Southern Rail network as we fight to put rail safety and access before the profits of the failed Govia Thameslink operation.” Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said the union supported points raised by the campaigners as they put disabled people “at a substantial disadvantage”. “GTR, hoarding £100 million in profits and soaking up public funds, have ignored these points right from the off,” he said. “That attitude is disgraceful.” Southern said it had put 119 trains back into its temporary weekday timetable, restoring the entire inner London metro service so that almost all London Bridge peak trains are now running, and tripling the number of trains operating on the West London Line.The temporary timetable was introduced with 341 fewer trains on July 11 following “unprecedented” sickness levels among train crew. @SouthernRailUK there goes my train that arrived at the ecr so overcrowded that people were getting pushed out pic.twitter.com/61ZbvUpYa0— Mark Payne (@markstephenpay1) September 7, 2016 Hundreds of commuters are facing travel chaos including delays and cancellations as workers at Southern Railway launched a fresh strike in a long-running row over changes to the role of conductors. Disability campaigners joined a picket line outside London Victoria station as members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) walked out for 48 hours.More than two out of five trains will be cancelled, while there will be no service on some routes. Many trains will start late and finish early, although Southern plans to run up to 60 per cent of its services during the industrial action.Commuters took to social media on Wednesday morning to complain about the service. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
A spokesman for the National Trust said the changes were based on government legislation under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967.They said some long leasehold tenants had not been aware of the way the law around so-called “Modern Ground Rents” work and the trust is “working with them to find a fair solution”, with a reduction of 50 per cent in “the relevant cases”.The statement added: “We know that some leaseholders feel they have been misled as to the impact of modern ground rent and we take those concerns very seriously. If we are satisfied that that has happened then we will consider foregoing modern ground rent altogether, which we have already done in one case.” 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 National Trust has told hundreds of tenants in leasehold properties that they face ground rent hikes of up to 10,000 per cent.One 87-year-old man was reportedly told his payments will go up from £148 to £15,000 per year, prompting the Tenants Association of the National Trust to demand an inquiry.The association says the National Trust is trying to make a “quick buck”.The organisation has 5,000 homes on its land, which house more than 10,000 people, most of which are rented out at a monthly rate, but some were bought upfront by tenants as leaseholds, normally of 49 years with a nominal ground rent.But when they have come to extend the lease by another 50 years, they have been told they can either accept an increased charge or pay tens of thousands of pounds to buy up the higher ground rent, the Times reported. For the 87-year-old, that would have meant stumping up £78,000. Around 300 people are affected by the changes. It comes after ministers pledged separately to ban “feudal” leases with quickly escalating ground rents, which are increasingly being used on new build homes. The measures are designed to restrict the payments on new leases on new build properties to “peppercorn” rates.
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. MPs have been urged to launch an inquiry into the placement of foster children after a white Christian girl was reportedly put into the care of a non-English speaking Muslim family.The child, aged five, who speaks English as her first language, has been looked after by two different Muslim households in the past six months.The girl was reportedly told to remove her Christian crucifix necklace and was not allowed to eat carbonara because it contained bacon.She was allegedly encouraged to learn Arabic in one household and was begging not to go back there because “they don’t speak English”, according to a confidential report from the local authority seen by the Times newspaper.She is also said to have told her mother since the placement in Tower Hamlets, London, that “Christmas is stupid”.Neil Carmichael, the former Tory chairman of the Education Select Committee, was leading an inquiry into fostering but the work was cut short by the general election.Mr Carmichael, who lost his seat on June 8, said the committee should restart the work and examine how children are placed with foster carers because of the issues raised by the case. He said: “That is not the sort of thing that we want to be seeing happening I would have thought. A Department for Education spokesman said a child’s background should be an “important consideration” for authorities. “I think it is really important that young children are made to feel at home, made to feel comfortable, made to feel a fully fledged member of the family that they are in.“They must be the key tests.”Mr Carmichael added: “I don’t think we are looking at wholesale reform but I do think that we need to be sure that across the whole country foster carers are given sufficient support and the allocation of children is given proper due care and attention.”In one of the homes, the mother wore a niqab, while the in the other the mother wore a burka, both of which fully cover the face.The child and her carers have not been identified.Local authorities are supposed to consider religious, racial, cultural and linguistic background when making fostering decisions.Tower Hamlets council have not said why the fostering decision was made.A spokesman for the council said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases or those that are subject to court proceedings.“Tower Hamlets Council’s fostering service provides a loving and stable home for hundreds of children every year, and in every case, we give absolute consideration to our children’s background and to their cultural identity.”