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Javaris Crittenton Former Hoops Star Arrested in Atlanta Drug

Javaris Crittenton’s life that once was full of so much promise continues to fall apart in a spectacular and shocking fashion for those who know the former Atlanta high school and Georgia Tech basketball star. The latest development finds Crittenton arrested at his suburban Atlanta home Wednesday as part of a drug sting operation.A former first-round NBA draft selection of the Los Angeles Lakers, Crittenton and 13 others were named in the indictment that was initially the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency,  a source close to the investigation told ESPN.According to that source, Crittenton, 26,  conspired to deal cocaine and marijuana in the months before he was indicted last year for his alleged role in an August 2011 Atlanta shooting death of a young mother.Shortly after 6 a.m. Wednesday, DEA agents, federal marshals and local police descended on Crittenton’s home in Fayetteville, a suburb just south of Atlanta. Crittenton was led away in handcuffs and booked into the Fulton County Jail.That is the latest drama in Crittenton’s apparently crumbling life. He was banned for a year in the NBA when he brought a gun into the Washington Wizards locker room, an indiscretion that stunned friends and family. It also essentially ended his undistinguished NBA career. And it got worse.In April 2013, a Fulton County grand jury indicted Crittenton and his cousin, Douglas Gamble, for murder in the death of Julian Jones, 22, a mother of four children. That 12-count indictment also accused Crittenton and Gamble of participating in a criminal street gang and linked both to a second shooting in Atlanta that occurred five days before Jones’ death.According to court documents, both of the August 2011 shootings were in retaliation for a robbery committed against Crittenton and his cousin. On April 13, 2011, Crittenton and Gamble were held up at gunpoint by two men outside a southwest Atlanta barbershop and robbed of more than $55,000 worth of personal items and jewelry, according to a police report of the incident.In the drug case, according to the district attorney’s office, “Crittenton and the other suspects are accused of selling multi-kilo quantities of cocaine and several hundred pounds of marijuana” during a seven-month investigation dating to June 2012. He will have an initial court appearance Thursday morning on those charges; he had been on limited house arrest as he awaited trial for murder.At Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, Crittenton teamed with NBA star Dwight Howard to win the 2004 state championship. Crittenton led his team to a second state title in 2006 without Howard.Howard’s uncle, Paul Howard, the Fulton County district attorney, said he knew Crittenton to be upstanding.“This was a kid with a lot of promise,” Howard said. “As I look back, I’d have to say it was a lot of pain involved having to take some action because of those facts.” read more

Is Deshaun Watson Better Than Lamar Jackson Depends On What Skills You

Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson stirred up some mild controversy last week when he declared that he — not Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, who won this year’s Heisman Trophy — was the best player in all of college football.“I’m the best player in the country,” Watson told reporters on Dec. 19. “That’s how I think. That’s how I feel. You know, people have their own way of voting.”Although Watson won his second straight Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s most outstanding QB this season, he ended up second behind Jackson in the Heisman voting. And the O’Brien-Heisman split — “best quarterback” vs. “best player” — is pretty much the heart of Watson’s rivalry with Jackson.In the traditional sense of the QB role, Watson was probably a better pure passer than Jackson this season. Watson threw for 524 more yards, had a higher passing efficiency rating (according to the NCAA’s formula) and contributed many more expected points added (EPA) in the air than Jackson did. More to the point, Watson had a vastly superior completion percentage (68 percent to 58 percent), threw fewer of his passes off-target (11 percent vs. 15 percent), and was notably better in the short-to-intermediate passing game. He beat Jackson in Total QBR (81.2 to 76.9) on passes that traveled 15 or fewer yards through the air — plays that accounted for about three-quarters of each QB’s total attempts — and a higher percentage of Watson’s passing yards also came after his receivers caught the ball, a healthy indicator in the type of quick-passing game Clemson employs.As a result of all that controlled passing, Clemson’s aerial attack was more efficient than Louisville’s this year. The Tigers ranked fifth among Power Five conference teams in passing EPA, piling up about 40 percent more expected points per game via the pass than the 12th-ranked Cardinals.Still, Jackson made up the difference as an all-around QB. He generated nearly 70 more yards of total offense per game than Watson, thanks in large part to his mobility — Jackson rushed for an incredible 1,538 yards, the most of any Heisman-winning quarterback ever (as well as the second-most by a 3,000-yard passer).1That is, since at least 2000, which is as far back as Sports-Reference.com’s Play Index can search — but also probably even earlier, since I couldn’t find a season in their earlier data that even came close to matching Jackson’s 2016 output. Watson’s no slouch as a runner — he gained 524 yards on the ground, which ranked 15th among qualified FBS QBs — but Jackson probably had the best dual-threat season in college history. When we factor in Jackson’s huge workload in the running game, he had a slightly better Total QBR than Watson on the season, and he generated about 31 percent more total EPA per game than Watson did.Jackson even had Watson beat in a couple of important passing categories. First, Jackson threw 24 percent fewer interceptions per attempt than Watson did. (Despite his accuracy, Watson has had a problem with picks all year — though his overall game is still so good that it’s hard to say even the picks are a real problem.) And although Watson had the superior overall passing numbers, Jackson had a better year throwing the ball deep. Not only did he do it more — 14 percent of Jackson’s throws traveled at least 25 yards in the air, versus 9 percent for Watson — but he also had a better QBR (77.8 to 71.1) on those long tosses. Watson was more surgical in his deep strikes, with a sterling 8-0 TD-INT ratio on throws of 25 or more yards (Jackson’s mark was a more pedestrian 9-6), but he also spent a significant amount of his time setting up bubble screens with passes at or behind the line of scrimmage. Twenty-seven percent of Watson’s passes were for zero or fewer air yards, compared with 17 percent for Jackson.All told, many of the differences between Jackson and Watson simply come down to the trade-offs a QB makes playing in different offenses. While both teams call their share of zone-read plays, Louisville’s offense asks Jackson to keep the ball and run with it more than Clemson’s does of Watson. (There’s also a school of thought that says this was by design, and that Watson will be unleashed as a runner in the College Football Playoff, so stay tuned.) The Cardinals are a more run-oriented team than the Tigers anyway, and that allows them to exploit defenses for more big plays down the field when Jackson does throw. Clemson, meanwhile, is more set up to control the field through short passing and the selective use of Watson’s running and deep-throwing skills.The big takeaway, then, is that although the two quarterbacks played pretty different styles this season, they both arrived at a similar place in terms of overall production. So the question of who is the nation’s true best player might just boil down to preference: Do you like running QBs who throw a bunch of deep bombs, or do you prefer more pocket-oriented accurate passers who can also run when necessary?If I were starting a team, I’d flip a coin. read more

Bowl game could grant Pryor chance to follow in footsteps of fellow

Twenty seconds remained in the 2006 Rose Bowl. A fourth-and-5 was all that stood between Texas and a national championship; between Vince Young and college football immortality.A few seconds later, Keith Jackson said, “He’s going for the corner, he’s got it.”Vince Young disappeared into an assembly of media and photographers with the same confidence he possessed when he showed up on the Rose Bowl stage 368 days earlier.  Longhorn fans relished a national title celebration. Young relished the knowledge that he would go down as one of the biggest heroes in Rose Bowl history.Two-time defending national champion USC scrambled to win its third title, but Vince Young’s 9-yard touchdown run and almost unheard-of individual performance had already shattered that dream. On Saturday, when the oldest member of the Buckeyes, Devin Barclay, kicked OSU into the “Granddaddy of Them All,” it was only a matter of time before someone pointed out this fact: Vince Young played in the Rose Bowl his sophomore season, too.Quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who has often been compared to Vince Young since the Longhorn’s dominating performances in the Rose Bowl in ‘05 and ‘06, will be a sophomore, as well.The comparisons have come from everywhere, including Pryor’s former high school coach Ray Reitz and Young’s college coach Mack Brown.“Before he leaves Ohio State, he’ll lead them to a national championship,” Brown said earlier this season of Pryor. “He’s that kind of player.”Brown saw Young up close for four seasons at Texas. After redshirting his first year, Young split time as a redshirt freshman before starting as a sophomore and junior.His blend of size, speed and athleticism had never been seen at the quarterback position. And for the most part, it hasn’t been seen since — until Pryor.Although both Young and Pryor managed to lead their teams to a Rose Bowl in their sophomore seasons, struggles didn’t go unnoticed.Against Purdue several weeks ago, Pryor committed a career-high four turnovers in the Buckeyes’ shocking loss. His lackluster effort against USC earlier in the season also gave doubters reason to grumble.Young faced similar hardships in his sophomore season. Against rival Oklahoma, the quarterback was eight of 23 for 86 yards, and his Longhorns were shut out for the first time since 1980.  Young’s critics were in full force after a 12-0 loss.His season stats, like Pryor’s, weren’t gaudy. Young threw one less interception than touchdowns on the season and also did his fair share of scoring with his legs.The shutout loss, however, would be the last of Young’s college career, and he would still manage to get his one-loss Texas team into the Rose Bowl against Big Ten champion Michigan.His first of two Rose Bowl appearances would mark the beginning of the end of one of the most brilliant college football careers in recent history.On the grandest stage of all, Young did not disappoint. The Wolverines had a star-studded defense, but nothing stopped Young when the bright lights of California shined their brightest.Young brought his Longhorns back from a 10-point deficit in the second half. He had touchdown runs of 20, 60, 10 and 23 yards and ran for a total of 192 yards total on the day. Young was equally efficient at passing, throwing a touchdown, and completing 16 of 28 for yards.When the Longhorns won on a last-second field goal, Vince Young had officially broken onto the national scene, making his name known as one of the best quarterbacks in college football.The following season would be even better for the junior quarterback. Leading his team to an undefeated season and a berth in the Rose Bowl for the national championship, Young’s stats sent him to New York, where he finished runner-up to Reggie Bush for the Heisman Trophy.In the national championship game against USC and its two Heisman winners, Bush and Matt Leinart, Young again put on a display of how to will his team to victory.With the world watching, Young ran all over the Rose Bowl, leaving USC defenders with nothing to tackle but air. Running for three touchdowns and 200 yards, Young led Texas back from a 12-point deficit to a 41-38 win.Young’s arm was also on display, going 30 of 40 for 267 yards. His combined 467 yards of offense is a Rose Bowl performance that might never be matched.But Pryor will get his chance to live up to the Rose Bowl legend of Vince Young; at least, his legend as a sophomore, when he led his team to a Rose Bowl victory. As for the legend of Young’s junior season, when he led his team to a national title, Pryor will have to wait to claim it next year. read more

Ohio State defense will look to slow down Melvin Gordon Badgers run

Wisconsin redshirt-junior running back Melvin Gordon (25) carries the ball during a game against South Florida at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., on Sept. 27. Wisconsin won, 27-10.Credit: Courtesy of TNSWhile the Ohio State football team has lost a Heisman Trophy candidate to injury, it must prepare to take on another candidate in the biggest game of the year.Redshirt-junior Wisconsin running back and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Melvin Gordon is on many people’s shortlist for the Heisman, as he leads the country in rushing yards with 2,260 to go along with 26 rushing scores.OSU coach Urban Meyer said that while he doesn’t know much about Gordon, he has heard nothing but good things about the Badger running back on and off the field.“Obviously we understand there is another Heisman guy going to be on the field, Gordon, who (Wisconsin coach) Gary (Andersen) tells me the best thing about him is he’s a wonderful young man, too,” Meyer said Monday. “So that’s good for college football.”OSU co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell said gearing up to stop Gordon will not be an easy task.“This is as good a running back they have had, and they have had some great ones,” Fickell said Monday. “Montee Ball, James White and heck, go all the way back to Ron Dayne. I don’t know that they’ve had one as electric as Gordon. Most importantly, you can’t let him get going. We have seen, you get some of those guys going, it’s hard to get them down.”Those guys Fickell talked about include junior Indiana running back Tevin Coleman and senior Minnesota running back David Cobb who combined to rush for 373 yards and six touchdowns against the Buckeyes this season.In one game this season, Gordon managed to rush for 408 yards in a win over Nebraska, which at the time broke the NCAA record for rushing yards in a single game.Despite all his success, Gordon said there is something he has yet to accomplish in his time at Wisconsin that he is hoping to achieve on Saturday.“Since I have been at Wisconsin, I haven’t had a chance to beat Ohio State yet,” Gordon said during the Big Ten players teleconference Monday. “It’s a tough team to go up against and it would be good to have my first win over Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship.”Gordon, who first played for the Badgers as a redshirt-freshman in 2011, exploded onto the national scene during the 2012 Big Ten title game when he rushed for a game-high 216 yards on just nine carries, outrushing both Ball and White.While he was successful in that game, Gordon said his eyes are on the task at hand.“We can’t think about that game because it’s not Nebraska, it’s Ohio State,” Gordon said. “It’s a different team, different players, different coaching staff, we got to think about this game because it’s completely different.”Gordon added that he has watched the Buckeyes on multiple occasions, and complimented the OSU defense’s style of play.“I follow Ohio State … they are one of the best teams in the nation. They love to play physical, they don’t shy away from contact,” Gordon said. “The linebackers, they speak for themselves. They always have great linebackers there.”The man who coaches the OSU linebackers, Fickell, said the Buckeyes must not only focus on Gordon, but other aspects of the Badger offense.“The thing that they still do is they are not just one-dimensional. You still got to know that the most important thing, they are going to rely on him,” Fickell said. “They are going to run the football. He can be one of those guys that beats you. They are good enough up front to be able to give him the opportunity to do those things. It poses a lot of problems.”In last year’s matchup in Columbus, Gordon was bottled up for just 74 yards rushing on 15 carries and was held without a touchdown.The Buckeyes did, however, give up 295 yards passing to now-redshirt-junior Joel Stave, who has yet to throw for more that 220 yards this season.The Buckeyes and Badgers are set to square off at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis at 8:17 p.m. on Saturday. read more

Urban Meyer Ohio State quarterbacks always talking in practice

Redshirt-sophomore quarterback J.T. Barrett (left), redshirt-junior quarterback Cardale Jones and redshirt-senior quarterback Braxton Miller share a laugh during OSU’s national championship celebration on Jan. 24 at Ohio Stadium.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorWhen two recent Heisman Trophy candidates and the reigning National Championship starter play quarterback for the same team, things could get ugly.But at Ohio State, “it’s all positive” between redshirt-senior Braxton Miller, redshirt-sophomore J.T. Barrett and redshirt-junior Cardale Jones, coach Urban Meyer said Tuesday.“If you watch the three of them, they’re always talking,” Meyer said.Miller — who has been in the top-10 in Heisman voting twice — was the undisputed starter heading into fall camp in 2014, but he tore the labrum in his throwing shoulder less than two weeks before the season started. That paved the way for Barrett to take the reigns of the OSU offense. After losing to Virginia Tech in his second start, the Wichita Falls, Texas, native led the Buckeyes to 10 straight wins.But Barrett ended up fracturing his ankle in the regular-season finale against Michigan, forcing him to miss the Buckeyes’ postseason run. Injury and all, he ended up in fifth place in Heisman voting.Jones replaced Barrett for the Big Ten Championship and the College Football Playoff, and picked up a 3-0 record as he led OSU to a national title.Now just three practices into spring camp, the trio is locked in an open competition for the starting job next season.Even though they’re competing every day, Meyer said the players have been supporting each other in practice.“I just happened to turn around and Braxton and J.T. are talking about football,” Meyer said. “And I saw Braxton walk up and hit Cardale, you know, tap him, ‘Nice job.’ And I just see that, that’s not common.”While the players are technically all in the race for playing time, only Jones is fully fit. Miller is still recovering from his shoulder surgery while Barrett’s ankle isn’t yet completely healed.Meyer said OSU’s medical staff has pulled back on Miller, but stressed that was for precautionary reasons. He added that Barrett has been ahead of schedule so far this spring.“J.T. is doing good, he’s doing more,” Meyer said. “I thought he would be much more limited but he’s getting every mini field and 7-on-7 rep.”As Barrett and Miller continue the rehabilitation process and Jones continues to grind, Meyer said, in general, everything is positive when it comes to his options at quarterback.“Talent, quality people, value to the program, investment in the program,” Meyer said. “Check, check, check, check.”But with all the positivity, there’s just one problem: Only one quarterback takes the field at a time.“It’s not like receiver where you can put three of them out there,” Meyer said. “That’s the only thing that’s starting to eat away at me a little bit.”Regardless of who ends up winning the battle, the Buckeyes are set to take the field against Virginia Tech on Sept. 7 in Blacksburg, Va., to kick off the 2015 season. read more

Football Ohio States Tyquan Lewis selected by Indianapolis Colts in second round

Ohio State defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis is honored on the field for Senior Day. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorFormer Ohio State defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis was selected as the No. 64 overall pick in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.A three-year starter for the Buckeyes, Lewis played in 55 games, playing in as many games as any Ohio State player in history. Lewis combined to rack up double-digit tackles for loss in both his final two season and accumulated 23.5 sacks during his college career. In 2016, Lewis was named the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year and was a first-team All-Big Ten honoree, recording 10.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Lewis continued that success into his final season in Columbus, this time as a captain. He repeated as a first-team All-Big Ten lineman, recording 9.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. Lewis recorded 122 inches on his broad jump and had a 35.5-inch vertical. Lewis did not participate in the 40-yard dash or bench press at the NFL combine due to the flu, but he worked out at Ohio State’s pro day.The Colts ended last season with 25 sacks, the second-fewest in the NFL. On the ground, they gave up 120.4 rushing yards per game, the seventh most in the league.Lewis and the Colts will open up the 2018 season on Sept. 9 with a matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. read more

Stoke bus driver brings the magic of the silver screen to his

first_imgWhen he was a young boy his usherette grandmother gave him a lifelong love of the movies and ever since Anderson Jones has dreamt of owning his own cinema.That dream came true when Mr Jones built a 34-seat cinema, in his own garden.The 38-year-old bus driver has spent the past four and a half years, and £70,000 of his life savings, erecting the brick building at his Stoke-on-Trent home.Replete with a 17ft by 7ft screen, red curtains and red seats Mr Jones’s home movie theatre is a homage to the ABC chain of cinemas of his youth. 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. Mr Jones with son Ethan and wife JaneCredit:Phil Yeoman/BNPS All the fittings, from the door handles to the exit sign, have been reclaimed from redundant cinemas, including the seats, which came from the ABC in Hanley in Stoke which shut down in 2000.Mr Jones even managed to obtain some original ABC carpet, but didn’t have enough to cover the floor of his cinema.He approached a specialist firm who, using samples of the original carpet, managed to make an exact copy.ABC Cinemas was founded in 1927 and in their post-Second World War heyday there were more than 400 of them throughout Britain. But the advent of large multiplexes meant that by the early 1990s the firm was on the verge of bankruptcy, eventually being taken over by Sir Richard Branson for his chain of Virgin Cinemas.Mr Jones says he just needs to get hold of a set of neon lights and tidy up his garden before he can host his own premier next summer. A light fitting at Mr Jones’s tribute to the ABC chain of cinemas, built in the garden of his homeCredit:Phil Yeomans/BNPS A light fitting at Mr Jones's tribute to the ABC chain of cinemas Mr Jones with son Ethan and wife Jane The concessions stand offering popcorn and sweets at Mr Jones' back garden cinema Mr Jones mans the kiosk at his home built cinema The cinema, sited just 15 metres from the back door of his house, has its own projection room and even a foyer with a concessions stand offering popcorn and sweets. “My grandmother was an usherette and ever since I was a small boy I’ve loved films. I’ve always been collecting things from old cinemas, especially movie posters,” he said. “In 2010 we moved into a house with a quarter of an acre of land and not long after I won planning permission to build my cinema.”I used to be a kitchen fitter so I can do plastering and brick laying and built the cinema myself. All my life savings have gone into it.”My wife Jayne loves films and my children, Hannon who is 21 and Ethan who is 16, love the cinema too. I’ve even got their X-Box rigged up to the big screen!”Anderson, a member of the Cinema Theatre Association, said the first screening will either be Back to the Future or Dirty Dancing, with any donations from the audience going to charity. It is adorned with a 40ft long, 22ft wide and 20ft high an ABC sign and takes up half of the garden of his three bed semi-detached house.Mr Jones’s cinema will only be open to family, friends and members of the Cinema Theatre Association, who will not be charged. He has even bought wife Jayne, 47, an old ABC uniform so she can join in the trip down cinematic memory lane.He said: “I’ve been a cinema fan since as long as I can remember and since I was at school I’ve always wanted to build a cinema.“I used to say to friends ‘I’m going to build a cinema in my garden.’ “They didn’t believe me.” The concessions stand offering popcorn and sweets at Mr Jones’ back garden cinemaCredit:Phil Yeomans/BNPS Mr Jones mans the kiosk at his home built cinemaCredit:Phil Yeomans/BNPSlast_img read more

Man arrested for having pipe bomb in his hand luggage at Manchester

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A man has appeared in court accused of having a pipe bomb in his hand luggage at he turned up to catch a flight from Manchester Airport.Nadeem Muhammed, 43, was arrested on January 30, after officials at the airport allegedly discovered a suspicious device as he went through security prior to boarding a Ryanair flight to Bergamo, Italy.The Pakistani national, who lives in Bury, Greater Manchester, was questioned by officers at the time but was later released on bail and was allowed to travel several days later.He was arrested when he returned to the UK on Feburary 11 and charged with possessing an improvised explosive device under the Explosive Substances Act of 1883.The court heard the device was viable and that it appeared to consist of batteries wrapped in brown tape with wires sticking out.It was described as consisting of a “small pipe, like large marker pen” and was filled with a “smokeless propellant often found in ammunition”.Mr Muhammed, wearing a checked shirt, spoke to confirm his name, date of birth and address with the help of an interpreter in a hearing at Westminster magistrates’ court in London.Katie McCreath, defending, indicated that he would be pleading not guilty to the charge at a future hearing.Chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said: “It is a rather unusual story where an explosive device was found in carry-on luggage at Manchester Airport.”He was remanded in custody and is due to appear at Southwark crown court on March 13, but the court heard the case is likely to be transferred to Manchester.Jessica Hart, prosecuting, said the case would not be proceeding under the terrorism protocol.last_img read more

Grenfell crowdfunding campaign raises £2m for victims of London fire

first_img.@StandardNews have launched the ES Dispossession Fund with @london_cf to help the residents of #GrenfellTower. https://t.co/u54LmAbXgo pic.twitter.com/e6ywq5oZKW— JustGiving (@JustGiving) June 14, 2017 Here’s how you can support those affected by the fire in West London: https://t.co/vcXUvic1aR pic.twitter.com/3zcYKjl7mz— JustGiving (@JustGiving) June 14, 2017 Community centres also have been left “overwhelmed” by donations of food and clothing from members of the public.Meanwhile, Simon Cowell has pledged to help the victims by releasing a charity single.Anger is mounting over a litany of failings that led to the Grenfell Tower disaster, as fears grow that the death toll could rise to more than 100.Here’s how you can help the Grenfell Tower victims. Several charity and fundraising campaigns were set up following the blaze at the 24-storey block in north Kensington, west London.Haley Yearwood, a teacher at a school in the borough, started a JustGiving page which alone has helped raise more than £1m.Another campaign back by the Evening Standard newspaper on behalf of Grenfell Tower residents has also surpassed £1m.Ms Yearwood said she was “humbled” by the “absolutely amazing response” from members of the public who have donated.“Wow! We’ve got a million pounds,” she said. “I’ve raised the target again and no doubt it may have to be raised again. Thank you all so much.“I thought a target of £10,000 might have been a bit cheeky. The love and charity everyone has shown is so fantastic. This is going to help the families so much.“I know that many of our students and their families will be affected by this awful fire.” Donations to help those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy have surpassed £2million in just two days.center_img A spokesperson for JustGiving said: “JustGiving has once again seen a swell in generosity following the dreadful fire at the Grenfell Tower in west London in the early hours of this morning. 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. “As with all emergency situations, we will be holding funds while we work with page owners to ensure that all money makes it to those in need.”last_img read more

Ryanair axes 20 routes and its base at Glasgow Airport

first_imgEdinburgh Airport will benefit from the move Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said he was torn between the pleasure of the new routes and relief that the cuts were not hitting Edinburgh, but added that the move was a “wake up call for the government”.Derek Mackay, the Finance Minister, said the decision was disappointing and claimed the continued uncertainty around Brexit was having a negative impact on route development. The budget airline Ryanair has claimed hundreds of jobs are under threat as it blamed the Scottish Government for its decision to close its base at Glasgow Airport.The number of routes operated from the airport will be cut from 23 to three, with five being transferred to Edinburgh.The airline opened a new base at Glasgow Airport in 2014, but will only fly to Dublin, Krakow and Wroclaw from Glasgow in its winter 2018 schedule. It plans to operate 45 routes from Edinburgh, including 11 new flights.Ryanair said it had run out of patience waiting for the Scottish Government to reduce Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax after ministers promised it would be halved.Glasgow Airport said it was “bitterly disappointed” and there was “no doubt” the failure to replace APD with a cheaper air departure tax (ADT) in Scotland was behind the moveDavid O’Brien, Ryanair’s chief commercial officer, said 300 indirect jobs could be lost at Glasgow with a potential fall in around 500,000 passengers. He said the government was still committed to reducing passenger duty by 50 per cent by the end of this Parliament and wanted to “get on and deliver it”.He claimed it had been deferred while issues were resolved over plans to continue to exempt journeys from airports in the Highlands and Islands, which requires EU approval under state aid rules.In October, he claimed the “mess” was the UK Government’s fault while the Treasury said it was the responsibility of the SNP administration to make sure any new tax complied with the rules.Christine Jardine, the Liberal Democrat MP and Scottish affairs spokesman, said the Scottish Government’s “shambolic” handling of the policy had undermined its credibility with business.She added: “Opposition parties and the Scottish public were unconvinced by their pledge to cut airport taxes.”The whole policy fell through when a close reading revealed that the whole thing had been impossible all along.” “There are other markets in the UK and Europe which offer a more compelling proposition.”Mr O’Brien said the “flip side” was a possible 700 jobs being created in Edinburgh. Ryanair also said Brexit was a background factor threatening Scottish tourism and the airline industry.A spokesman for Glasgow Airport said that despite repeated warnings from both airports and airlines about the potential impact of the policy not being implemented, it was now faced with the “stark scenario that includes the loss of 20 services and a significant number of jobs”.”This is the second example in as many months of an airline cutting capacity in Scotland because of the lack of movement on ADT,” he added. “The reality is this capacity will be reallocated elsewhere in Europe to countries with more favourable aviation taxation policies to Scotland’s detriment.”center_img Please see below our reaction to the news Ryanair is to cut 20 routes at Glasgow Airport from November 2018. The airline will continue to operate its three-times daily route to Dublin and twice-weekly services to Krakow and Wroclaw as normal. pic.twitter.com/uAM2WeaVwE— Glasgow Airport (@GLA_Airport) February 27, 2018 He added: “Sadly the weaker Scottish market is even weaker still in Glasgow which simply can’t bare the burden of APD at £13.”This should not come as a surprise to the government, we did say that our growth in Glasgow was based on their promise to abolish APD, which morphed into a promise to half APD, which suddenly has disappeared into the ether and quite frankly we don’t have any more patience. edinburgh airportlast_img read more