Jockey Club counts its winnings after record turnover and profit

The Jockey Club, which owns 15 racecourses including Cheltenham, Epsom and Aintree, reported its eighth year in a row of turnover growth, to a new high of £191.5 million times photographer Marc AsplandCheltenham punters may have been counting their losses last month but the company that stages the jump festival has announced record annual results. The Jockey Club yesterday reported its eighth year in a row of turnover growth, to a new high of £191.5 million, up 4.5 per cent on 2015. This translated into record operating profits of £22.6 million, up 3.2 per cent, despite a decision to lift its contribution to prize money from £19.9 million to £20.8 million while investing in on-course facilities. The company, which owns 15 racecourses including Epsom Downs and Aintree, said that 1.92 million people attended its 333 race days, slightly fewer than the record 1.95 million in 2015. It held three fewer race days after losing eight days to…

April 25, 2017 23:03 UTC

Weddings grow into ‘arms race’ for the middle class

Perhaps it was the moment that one young man decided that the best way to mark the end of his bachelorhood was by hunting boar in Morocco with a dozen of his closest friends. Or maybe it was when a couple thought that the only way they could possibly have their wedding rings produced at the appropriate moment was by having them carried up the aisle by a pair of pugs. Whenever it was, it is now beyond any doubt: the British wedding has got completely out of hand. Gilbert the pug was ring-bearer at one couple’s wedding SWNSWeddings have become so lavish and elaborate (to say nothing of stag parties and hen nights, where a three-day trip abroad is now commonplace) that one of the country’s leading observers of the middle classes has…

April 25, 2017 23:03 UTC

Scientists clear up cloudy past of masterpiece

Rare and psychedelic clouds may have inspired Edvard Munch’s famous picture The Scream. As the tormented figure holds its face and screams, the background features a mystical sky of coloured wavy clouds that has long intrigued scientists. One theory was that Munch was inspired by spectacular sunsets after the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, several years before Munch created the picture. The pastel version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream APHowever, a volcanic sunset doesn’t explain the waviness of Munch’s clouds. These are especially unusual because they appear in the stratosphere, where it’s normally…

April 25, 2017 23:03 UTC

Ministers urge May to bury Boris Johnson during election campaign

Some of Vote Leave’s pledges during the EU referendum and his performance after the US missile strike make Boris Johnson a liability, senior ministers said DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/Getty ImagesCabinet ministers are urging Theresa May to sideline Boris Johnson and reduce the star of the Brexit referendum to little more than a cameo role in the election campaign. Mr Johnson has been largely absent since the prime minister called a snap vote but will return to the front line with a foreign policy speech today and broadcast appearances later this week. At least three senior ministers want Mrs May to sideline the foreign secretary, who was heavily criticised for his performance in the aftermath of US missile strikes on Syria. One suggested that Mr Johnson should be tied up in “lots of important meetings in various foreign capitals” between now and the election on June 8. Another said some of Vote Leave’s pledges made…

April 25, 2017 23:03 UTC

Sun hacker ‘now a fighter against cybercrime’

Darren Martyn redirected visitors to the newspaper’s website to a story saying that Rupert Murdoch was dead COLLINS COURTSA hacker who broke into The Sun’s website and redirected users to a fake story saying that Rupert Murdoch was dead is now a fighter against cybercrime, a court was told. Darren Martyn was 19 when he, along with others, hacked into the News International website six years ago, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told yesterday. Martyn, described in court as highly intelligent, told gardaí that he had broken into the site in retaliation for the UK media company’s involvement in the phone-hacking scandal. At the time he was a member of LulzSec, a part of the Anonymous hacking group. Martyn, 24, with an address in Cloonbeggin, Claregalway, Co Galway, pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage to data that was the property of…

April 25, 2017 23:03 UTC



No Islamic names for Uighur babies

Baby names such as Islam have been banned in China’s Xinjiang region, home to ten million Muslim Uighurs GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty ImagesFresh from banning beards and veils, the authorities in China’s northwest frontier province of Xinjiang have forbidden its Muslim residents from giving babies “overly religious” names such as Islam, Saddam and Mecca. If parents insist on such names, their babies will be denied the official registration necessary to access education, healthcare and social welfare and will face administrative hurdles throughout their lives. “You’re not allowed to give names with a strong religious flavour, such as Jihad or names like that,” a police official in Urumqi told Radio Free Asia, which reported that the barred names included Quran, Imam, Haj and Medina. “The most important thing here is the connotations of the name . [it mustn’t have] connotations of holy war or of separatism.”

April 25, 2017 23:03 UTC

Hospitals treat fewer injuries related to violence

One reason could be more focused policing of crime hot spots, a report suggested Joe Giddens/Press Association ArchiveSerious violence fell by 10 per cent in England and Wales last year, according to a report to be published today. An estimated 188,800 people attended hospital emergency departments for treatment after violent incidents, a drop of 21,400 on the previous year. The study’s authors said that the findings, based on a sample of emergency departments, minor injury units and walk-in centres, continued a trend of reductions since 2002. Jonathan Shepherd, director of the violence research group at Cardiff University, said: “Our study demonstrates a substantial decrease in violence-related injuries for both men and women in 2016 compared to 2015. Since 2010, we have identified a decline of 40 per cent in people needing treatment in emergency departments after violence.”Reasons for the fall were…

April 25, 2017 23:03 UTC

Sotherton says no to ‘dirty’ medal

Sotherton feels that the medal given to Chernova has been “tainted” Gareth Copley/PAKelly Sotherton says that she does not want the Olympic medal she is owed from a Russian drugs cheat because she feels it is “dirty”. Sotherton is due to receive Tatyana Chernova’s bronze medal from the heptathlon at the 2008 Beijing Games after the Russian was belatedly found to have used steroids, but wants the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to provide a “clean, fresh” one instead. Usually, athletes who are stripped of medals have to return them to the IOC, which then passes it on to the person who missed out. Sotherton, who has now been awarded two bronze medals retrospectively from Beijing to go with the one she won in Athens in 2004, told The Times: “If she has had the medal in her…

April 25, 2017 23:03 UTC

More BBC managers in top pay band

Senior managers, such as James Harding, director of BBC News, make up more than 1.6 per cent of the payroll Chris Harris/Times Newspapers LtdThe number of BBC managers earning more than £150,000 has continued to rise despite a pledge to cut it by 20 per cent, according to the public spending watchdog. A report from the National Audit Office, which took over auditing of the corporation this month, shows that overall spending on salaries dropped by 6 per cent between 2010-11 and 2015-16 to £862 million. Over the same period the BBC made 3,400 staff redundant and the overall number of staff dropped by 4 per cent to 18,920. Senior managers now make up more than 1.6 per cent of the payroll, with numbers rising from 89 to 98, rather than the 1 per cent target that the BBC had set itself. In 2011 the BBC had estimated…

April 25, 2017 23:03 UTC

First US double execution in 17 years

The governor of Arkansas has praised prison staff for the “flawless” killing of two death row inmates in one night as the state races to carry out a series of executions by the end of the month. Asa Hutchinson originally ordered the execution of eight prisoners in 11 days before the end of this month, when the state’s supply of a drug used for lethal injections expires. Four of the executions were blocked by state and federal courts amid a flurry of petitions from defence lawyers and an outcry by death penalty opponents. One was carried out last week and on Monday Jack Jones and Marcel Williams were put to death in America’s first double execution since the summer of 2000. The final killing, of…

April 25, 2017 23:03 UTC

Antonio Conte praises ‘psychological step’ in Chelsea’s title push

Antonio Conte believes Chelsea have passed a psychological test after bouncing back from a recent bout of indifferent form by reaching the FA Cup final and taking another significant step towards the Premier League title in the space of four days. Chelsea tighten title grip after Diego Costa scores twice against Southampton Read more“I think that we passed a big, big step,” Conte said. “A big psychological step after the defeat against United. Because, against United, we lost three points and then you had to prepare a semi-final against Tottenham. I think that, in that moment, we have had a really important psychological test, and our answer was very good.

April 25, 2017 23:03 UTC

We won’t leave EU talks without deal, say Labour

Sir Keir Starmer said that Jeremy Corbyn was better placed than Theresa May to conduct Brexit negotiations Will Oliver/EPALabour has come under fire from the Conservatives for declaring that there are no circumstances in which it would abandon talks with the EU, even if Britain was offered a bad deal. Sir Keir Starmer, shadow Brexit secretary, said that the party did not view walking away without a deal as a viable option in future negotiations. He insisted that Jeremy Corbyn was better placed than Theresa May to conduct the talks, prompting the Tories to remind Sir Keir that last year he had called for Mr Corbyn to resign because he did not provide “effective opposition.”The Labour leader met Sir Jeremy Heywood, the cabinet secretary, yesterday to discuss his plans for government should he win the general election on June 8. Separately Paul…

April 25, 2017 23:03 UTC

Borrowing falls to lowest level since Brown years

Gordon Brown increased the budget deficit and government borrowing when he was Labour chancellor TOBY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty ImagesGovernment borrowing has dropped to its lowest level since the eve of the 2008 financial crisis, official figures revealed yesterday. The annual shortfall in the public finances stands at £52 billion, down by £20 billion in the past year, according to the Office for National Statistics. At 2.6 per cent, the deficit is the smallest as a share of GDP for nine years. The reduction in borrowing was a result of big increases in income and corporation tax receipts due to the strengthening economy as well as a series of one-off changes including the timing of a £1.8 billion contribution to the European Union, which was pushed back to this year. The Office for Budget Responsibility, the government’s fiscal watchdog, has forecast that borrowing will…

April 25, 2017 23:03 UTC

Rough sleeping soars amid housing crisis

There were almost 5,000 homeless adults in Ireland at the end of March EAMONN FARRELL/ROLLINGNEWSThe level of homelessness continued to increase in March as the number of children in emergency accommodation rose to 2,563. The number of rough sleepers in Dublin has risen by 35 per cent in the past year. Simon Coveney, the housing minister, has introduced a number of measures to stabilise the market and pledged to take all homeless families out of hotels and B&Bs by July. The number of people in emergency accommodation has increased by a quarter in the past year to 7,472. There were 4,909 homeless adults and 1,256 homeless…

April 25, 2017 23:03 UTC

Labour forces Tories to reconsider pension lock

Stephen Crabb, the former welfare and pensions secretary, said that it should remain until at least 2020 Matt Dunham/Associated PressTheresa May is considering keeping the “triple lock” guarantee on state pension increases because it is likely to be a cost-free promise for the next parliament, according to senior ministers. Labour has promised to increase the state pension by a minimum of 2.5 per cent a year, despite warnings that it could cost taxpayers an additional 1 per cent of GDP by 2036. The lock is triggered only if inflation falls below that figure and the Office for Budget Responsibility is predicting that wages and prices will increase at a faster pace in the next few years. Cabinet ministers admit Mrs May fears handing Jeremy Corbyn a propaganda victory. “It’s a matter of pretty intense debate about whether to include it in the manifesto,” one…

April 25, 2017 23:03 UTC




Trending Today






Loading...