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Port Vale striker Tom Pope is handed a one-game suspension by the Football Association for Twitter abuse.
Olympic champion Adam Peaty says the International Swimming League is revolutionising the sport after 25 years of “doing it wrong”.The last leg of the fast-paced, franchise-based league takes place on 23 and 24 November, with four of the eight teams from Europe and the United States competing at a sold-out London Aquatics Centre to secure a place in the finals in Las Vegas in December.Fina, the sport’s governing body, initially indicated it could ban athletes who took part in the ISL, but backtracked on the threat in January this year following a furious reaction from Peaty and many of his fellow elite swimmers.
Peaty, who swims for London Roar, told BBC Sport the new privately-backed format was “exciting and dynamic” and just what swimming needed following its launch last month.”It’s no longer about how we keep the current fans happy, they will be happy whatever,” he said. “It’s about how we target ourselves to a new audience and how we grow the sport because swimming is one of the most watched sports at the Olympics.”We need to fill that gap between every four years and make it every winter and every season – whatever it takes.”Fina executive director Cornel Marculescu insisted, in a statement, that, despite the high-profile dispute when the ISL was mooted, it “welcomes any new partner interested in developing aquatics” and that the ISL “clearly demonstrates the great value and growing interest in our sport”.Marculescu said that the Fina Athletes Committee means swimmers are now involved in the decision-making process and the organisation has a “robust” development programme which is helping lead strategy from elite to grassroots level.He added that their own recently launched Champions Swim Series shows its “dedication to developing the sport in an exciting, rewarding but also sustainable way”, and was now working closely with swimmers through its Athletes Committee. Chasing rabbits not records as Tokyo 2020 loomsPeaty to lead London Roar in ISLPeaty said his previous, very vocal, criticism of Fina was purely driven by a desire to put things right.”Ideally you want the governing body to work with the athletes,” he added. “But when that doesn’t happen you leave us no option but to stand up and say ‘this is wrong’. “We have been doing it wrong for 25-30 years. You are not growing the sport, you are not targeting the new audience. The same format has been happening since before I was even born. The time is up for the governing bodies to change. The ISL will come in and sweep everything up.”It has taken the ISL to wake up Fina to prove that we need something else, a different stimulus a different format and not racing for yourself and racing for your country. It will take a few seasons to find the footing, see what the audience wants, see what TV wants and try to sell it.”
Billy McKinlay has been appointed as Stoke City’s new assistant manager.The former Watford boss, who has also had coaching spells with Fulham, West Ham and in Norway and Spain, links up again with new manager Michael O’Neill.The 50-year-old was O’Neill’s number two with Northern Ireland from 2012 to 2014 before leaving take charge of Watford for just eight days.
O’Neill and McKinlay’s relationship stretches back to their time as players with Dundee United in the 1990s.”I’ve seen Billy work at both club and international level and I know that he’s an excellent coach who I believe is a great fit for us,” said O’Neill, who will stand down as Northern Ireland manager following the conclusion of their Euro 2020 play-offs in March.
One in three young people has not registered to vote, according to the Electoral Commission.Youth worker Jerahl Hall, from Stoke-on-Trent, is trying to persuade young people in his home city to vote in the general election.The 27-year-old works at the city’s YMCA. He has spent the past few years trying to educate people about why they should take part in the democratic process. The deadline to register to vote is 26 November. A film by Catherine Mackie
A payout for residents who lost their retirement homes in a fire was delayed for two months due to a council error.About £58,000 was raised for 130 residents of the Beechmere complex, Crewe, which was devastated by fire.A motion to approve the distribution of the funds should have been made in September but was missed off an agenda, Crewe Town Council said.The meeting was finally held last night and residents will receive about £450 each, but it is not known when.Claire Bagnall, whose 86-year old mother Norma lived in a block destroyed by the blaze in August, called the procedural error “frustrating.””It was a bit careless that it wasn’t listed in the last meeting. It’s an exceptional circumstance, it should have been at the top of their agenda to look after these people,” she said.”I think if they could do it before Christmas, people would be really grateful.”Latest news from the West MidlandsFormer resident Marleene Williams, who lost “everything” in the fire, said she was pleased to hear the money would be split equally.”There’s some residents that still don’t have anything – no furniture, no clothes – so this will come in very useful to try and rebuild their lives. I’d like to thank everybody on behalf of all the residents,” she said.It is not yet known how soon the transfer, which is subject to a legal agreement with landlord Your Housing, will take place.The council, which is holding the funds, has been buying items for the residents in the interim. “On 24th September, council met and expressed a clear desire that monies be transferred. Regrettably this desire did not constitute a formal decision as the issue had not been listed… on the agenda,” a spokesman added.Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.
The number of compensation claims from West Midlands Trains passengers is currently 10 times higher than average, the BBC has learnt.Figures show 32,000 Delay Repay claims were made in the last month, with about 50% covering half-term week.It follows several weeks of delays, cancellations and strike action.The company, which received about 3,000 claims before a new timetable in May, apologised to passengers, particularly for problems during half term.West Midlands Trains operates London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railways, running services from London Euston to Birmingham and around the Midlands.The figures seen by the BBC relate only to its operations on West Midlands Railways.Passenger Jo Martyr travels to Birmingham from Worcester and said fewer carriages has meant more overcrowding which makes journeys “anxiety inducing”.Season ticket holder Melissa Blewitt said she was claiming over delays to her journeys to the city from Malvern in Worcestershire, but said refunds have sometimes just been pennies. She said: “32p to suffer and not getting home until 10pm at night. It’s fairly appalling really.”It doesn’t justify the conditions we have to suffer and on a daily basis.”Latest updates in the West MidlandsFrancis Thomas, from the operator, apologised for passengers “having to claim at all”.He added: “I would say not enough people do make claims. We would like to see more people claim the compensation they are entitled to.”Mr Thomas said 99% of the claims are paid within 10 days and that annual season ticket holders get a discounted fare and so compensation for delays of between 15 to 29 minutes will be a low figure.Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.
A dog owner who stabbed his pet then drowned it in a canal was convicted after the RSPCA’s first bone marrow test was used in a prosecution. Chester Magistrate’s Court heard Brendan Murphy, who lives on a barge at Nantwich, anchored his dog Tara with a chain before throwing it in the water.Mr Murphy, 52, has been banned from keeping animals for ten years and given a 10-week suspended sentence.”It is upsetting to think about what she must have endured,” said the RSPCA.The charity was alerted after the decomposed body of the Japanese Akita, was found floating in the Shropshire Union at Nantwich on 6 October 2018, with a chain attached to her abdomen.A post-mortem revealed the animal had been stabbed twice before entering the water alive, where it remained for around three weeks after it perished, the RSPCA said.The vet also found Tara was suffering from a lung disease at the time of her death, which was left untreated.Latest news from the West MidlandsThe dog’s microchip identified Mr Murphy as the owner.At first he claimed he had been unable to afford veterinary treatment and had buried his pet in woodland near Nantwich after she died on the barge, returning later to find the body disappeared, said the RSPCA.But after the charity sent samples from the animal for forensic testing, canal algae present in the dog’s bone marrow confirmed Tara died from drowning, the court heard.The RSPCA said it used this technique, commonly employed by police, because the dog’s body was so badly decomposed. At the hearing on 11 November Mr Murphy was found guilty of three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to his dog by failing to provide veterinary treatment, as well as stabbing and drowning it.Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.
An additional 186 Sunday train services have been announced by Transport for Wales. The train operating company said Sunday services would be “transformed” from December by a 40% increase. It said it was a “significant step towards the creation of a truly seven-day railway”.Economy and Transport Minister Ken Skates described it as a “dramatic increase” in services that would “increase connectivity”. Transport for Wales (TfW) said the new services would provide a boost to tourism and provide “essential links between cities, towns and villages”. The announcement includes: Four services in each direction between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog, making it a year-round service
The single service between Machynlleth and Pwllheli increased to five in each direction
A Cardiff Central to Maesteg service for the first time
More than doubling the number of services between Cardiff Central and Swansea from 14 to to 29
Services from Cardiff to Gloucester starting two hours earlier than during the December 2018 timetable
Faster direct journey times between Shrewsbury and Crewe with most Marches services stops removed, and stopping services increasing from nine to 16
Services between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury increasing from 16 to 21
The Chester to Crewe summer service becoming year-round
Thirty-two new services between Llandudno and Llandudno Junction
Seven extra services between Rhymney and Cardiff
Services to or from Caerphilly increasing from 16 to 45
Hourly service between Treherbert and Cardiff, increasing from 15 to 28
Enhanced Barry Island service, making it similar to the current summer timetable all year
The Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Bay shuttle will increase from 100 services to 130 and will run until 22:00 – previously services finished at 19:00
The summer timetable along the north Wales coast will run all year
Mr Skates said: “Transport is fundamental to the success of our economy in Wales and this dramatic increase in the number of Sunday services will increase connectivity between our cities, towns and villages.”These services will improve access for social, recreational and educational opportunities, as well as employment opportunities. Later services will also increase options for people attending late night events across the country.”James Price, chief executive for Transport for Wales, said: “This significant increase in Sunday services is an important commitment that we made when we launched our new rail service over a year ago, and follows the successful launch of our May 2019 timetable, where we introduced direct services between Liverpool and Wrexham for the first time in decades.”We hope that our customers and potential customers will welcome these services as an important step in building a transport network that the people of Wales can be truly proud of.”
Ten people have been arrested in raids across England in an international human trafficking investigation.A total of eight women aged 18 to 30 were rescued during the operation led by South Yorkshire Police, which was supported by officers from Romania.The women were taken to a “place of safety” and the suspects, eight men and two women, remain in custody.Addresses were raided in Staffordshire, Norfolk, London and the Northumbria force area.The suspects, who are aged between 19 and 38, were held on suspicion of human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and money laundering.Similar activity took place in Romania while the UK warrants were being executed, resulting in the arrest of a 37-year-old man.