11Seeds Are Dangerous This Year

There’s been plenty of confusion surrounding the decisions that the NCAA Tournament selection committee made for this year’s bracket. Accusations of underseeding and overseeding abound. But do the numbers bear it all out? In this video, Neil Paine and Reuben Fischer-Baum dig deep into FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions to uncover the most head-scratching seedings, including a batch of 11-seeds ready to wreak havoc on your bracket.

Hamstring Injury Sidelines 400M Champ LaShawn Merritt

LaShawn Merritt’s worst fear was realized. Injury.The reigning gold medalist in the 400 meter race, Merritt has been pulled from the London Olympics because of a bad left hamstring. It is a disheartening end to a four-year period that saw Merritt either injured or sidelined with a 21-month drug suspension.This was his opportunity to get beyond all that. But Merritt pulled up halfway through his 400-meter heat Saturday and will not be around to defend his title.“It’s very disappointing to be dealing with an issue and not be able to finish the race,” Merritt said. “I’ll regroup.”Regrouping has been a constant for Merritt since winning in Beijing.He failed three successive drug tests between October 2009 and January 2010 for a banned substance found in a male-enhancement product. The substance has been used as a masking agent, but Merritt convinced the those judging the case that he really did buy it at a convenience store for its intended purpose.His ban was reduced in time for him to compete at the world championships last year, then he won another case challenging an International Olympic Committee rule that would have kept him out of the London Games.At worlds last year, however, he finished second behind Kirani James of Grenada because he hadn’t been back long enough to get into strong competition shape.Now this. His first loss in 2012.It was a result of an injury he suffered last month during a tuneup race in Monaco. He has spent the time between then and now in rehabilitation, but earlier this week, coach Loren Seagrave conceded he wasn’t sure how Merritt would do once the Olympics arrived.At the 150-meter mark, Merritt started slowing down and by the time he reached the far turn, he was done, hands on his hips, for a slow walk out of the stadium.“I thought I could get through these rounds, not at 100 percent,” Merritt said. “I got out and got around the curve and started to feel it. I moved a little more and still felt it. I think I need more rest.”With Merritt’s exit, the 400 meters turns into a free-for-all, with James now the favorite and a bunch of interesting possibilities beyond that. Jonathan Borlee of Belgium set a national record in qualifying at 44.43 seconds. His brother, Kevin, also had a top-six time.“Yeah, it may be a little bit more fun to watch,” said Erison Hurtault of Dominica. “Now we’re going to see, I guess it’s someone else’s turn now.” read more

Why Its So Hard For NFL Players To Get Rid Of The

Embed Code FiveThirtyEight Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (July 12, 2016), we welcome ESPN The Magazine’s Mina Kimes as a guest host.We look at Von Miller’s battle with the Denver Broncos over his franchise tag, and Mina explains why the tag is a problem for players in the NFL. Then, we break down the numbers behind Daniel Murphy’s revenge run against the New York Mets and offer some insights into how the 2016 Major League Baseball season is shaping up at the All-Star break. Finally, this week features the deadest day in the sporting calendar, with all four major sports out of action. We wonder what the WNBA and MLS, which are still in action, could possibly do to capture the public’s attention. Plus, a significant digit on Tim Duncan, the NBA great who retired on Monday.Links to what we discuss are here:Von Miller says he won’t play under the franchise tag.Joel Corry at CBS breaks down what a new long-term contract for Von Miller would look like.Mina Kimes on Darrelle Revis’s savvy contract negotiations.Neil Paine says the Cleveland Indians are dominating Major League Baseball like its the ’90s again.Chelsea Janes in The Washington Post tells the story of Daniel Murphy’s super season.Rob Arthur and Ben Lindbergh try to work out why baseball teams are hitting so many home runs.In 2014, Neil Paine wrote about the deadest sports days of the year.Significant Digits: 17 and 10. That’s the number of points and rebounds Tim Duncan averaged every single year in his career except 2015-16. Duncan retired on Monday at the grand old age of 40. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed If you’re a fan of our podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave a rating/review. That helps spread the word to other listeners. And get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments. Tell us what you think, send us hot takes to discuss and tell us why we’re wrong. read more

Commentary Wisconsin Badgers loss is Ohio State Buckeyes gain as Big Ten

When Michigan State football wide receiver Keith Nichol hauled in quarterback Kirk Cousins’ Hail Mary pass in East Lansing, Mich., on Saturday night, the Wisconsin Badgers’ Bowl Championship Series title hopes may have come to an end. Back in Columbus though, Ohio State football’s hopes of appearing in the inaugural Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis may have been revived. While it seems completely improbable, the truth is that the road to Big Ten title game looks like it once again leads through Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes currently stand at 1-2 in Big Ten play, which is merely good for fifth place out of six teams in the Leaders Division. Yet dates with three of the teams they trail — Wisconsin, Purdue and Penn State — still remain on OSU’s schedule. The other team ahead of them is Illinois, whom the Buckeyes upset on Oct. 15 and who now has two conference losses as well. The Badgers and Boilermakers each have one loss in conference play, meaning that if the Buckeyes can defeat both of them, they will each have two losses along with the Buckeyes, with OSU holding the tiebreaker. The wildcard is Penn State, who is undefeated in conference play, but is about to begin a brutal stretch after what was arguably a light start to its conference schedule. The Nittany Lions will host Illinois and Nebraska in the upcoming weeks, and then travel to the ‘Shoe on Nov. 19 and then to Camp Randall Stadium to play the Badgers on Nov. 26. Wisconsin hasn’t lost at Camp Randall since Oct. 17, 2009, and currently boasts a 14-game winning streak on its home field. If the Nittany Lions can survive that stretch and win 3-of-4 or even all of those games, they will be very deserving of a trip to Indianapolis in the first week of December for the conference championship game. For Penn State, a team that has been rotating quarterbacks all season, and lost to the only ranked team it faced — a 27-11 loss to Alabama on Sept. 10 — the Nits have their work cut out for them. After all of the turmoil that’s arisen this season for the Buckeyes, from the array of suspensions, to the quarterback controversy, to the blown lead at Nebraska, a little help from their other Big Ten teams and a clutch performance or two, OSU could have a chance to go to Indianapolis and compete for the Big Ten Title. Wisconsin senior quarterback Russell Wilson, junior running back Montee Ball and the rest of an angry Badgers team will have something to say about that, but with more than 100,000 fans behind them in the ‘Shoe next weekend, the Buckeyes will have an opportunity to shock the college football world. Kickoff for OSU’s Saturday game against Wisconsin is set for 8 p.m. read more

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz on Ohio State They pose a lot of

Iowa running back Mark Weisman (45) rushes down the field during a game agianst Minnesota at TCF Bank Stadium Sept. 28. Iowa won, 23-7.Credit: Courtesy of MCTThrough its first six games, Iowa (4-2, 1-1) is the only member of the 125-team Football Bowl Subdivision who has not allowed a rushing touchdown yet this season. Ohio State’s 11th ranked rushing attack plans to put the Hawkeyes’ streak to the test.The chance to be the first team to reach the end zone on the ground against Iowa this season is “definitely an incentive” for the Buckeye offense, redshirt-senior center Corey Linsley said.“Coaches don’t need to say too much. They just put a piece a paper on our desk and say, ‘They haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown,’ and we kind of get it,” Linsley said.Iowa has one of the nation’s best defenses, ranking ninth nationally in total defense with an average of 290 yards allowed per game.“They’re in the top 10 in America and our kids know that,” OSU coach Urban Meyer said of the Iowa defense. “We’re working really hard. They’re good. They’re really sound.”Linsley said the matchup with Iowa’s defensive line will be the toughest opposition the OSU offensive line has faced all season.“They’re physical, they’re tough, they’re big,” Linsley said. “In terms of toughness, in terms of things that we preach and the values that we take, hold to, that’s what they’re about as well on the defensive line.”Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said he thinks the OSU offensive line will challenge the Hawkeye defense.“It’s going to be a tough matchup for us,” Ferentz said. “They look good. They’re big, tall, imposing guys. They look like an NFL line, and they (are) extremely well-coached.”Overall, Ferentz said OSU’s scoring offense, which ranks sixth in the FBS with an average of 46.8 points per game, is “extremely talented.”“Look at their offense, pick a position and try to find a weakness,” Ferentz said. “Good luck on that one.”The Hawkeyes are going to have to be prepared for numerous running threats from the OSU offense to keep their streak alive.Senior running back Carlos Hyde is expected to lead the Buckeyes’ rushing attack Saturday after rushing for 168 yards and three touchdowns against Northwestern Oct. 5.Additionally, senior running back Jordan Hall, who leads the Buckeyes with 69 rushing attempts, 427 rushing yards and eight touchdowns this season, is expected to be back on the field Saturday, Meyer said, after missing the game against Northwestern with a joint issue in his knee.“His first way of assisting the team will be on special teams and then he can certainly complement Carlos and be also involved in third downs,” Meyer said of Hall.As a passer, junior quarterback Braxton Miller has completed 49 of 75 passing attempts for 609 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions this season. His ability to make plays passing the ball will make it tougher for the Hawkeyes to defend the run, Ferentz said.“They pose a lot of problems in a lot of different areas,” Ferentz said. “They can throw it very effectively … (Miller is) a great running threat, as is (Hyde) … It makes it tough to play defense. You can’t really tilt your team one way or the other.”Ferentz said he would like the game to be low-scoring but realizes other teams have been unsuccessful in keeping games that way against OSU.“I’m not a great fan of getting in shootouts any time,” Ferentz said. “I mean if we had a lopsided lead, that’d be OK, I wouldn’t mind that, but not many teams have done that to Ohio State in recent history. Trying to contain their offense, that’s going to be quite a challenge.”Linsley said it will be important for the OSU offense, who has outscored its opponents 126 to 28 in the first quarter this season, to control the tempo of the game from the beginning.“We’ve got to score right off the bat, and then after that, we got to manage the clock by running the football,” Linsley said.While OSU is trying to end Iowa’s six-game streak of not allowing a rushing touchdown, the Hawkeyes will be trying to end a streak that dates back to the start of the 2012 season. The Buckeyes have won all 18 of its games with Meyer as coach, and hold the nation’s longest winning streak.“They’re approaching 20 straight wins and you don’t do that by accident,” Ferentz said. “It takes more than just having good players … they’ve been very, very consistent. If you look at the rate they’re scoring points and they’re moving the football, that doesn’t happen by accident either.”Part of the challenge in Iowa’s effort to end OSU’s win streak will be the Buckeye defense, which ranks 15th nationally with an average of 326.2 yards allowed per game and 24th in the FBS with 19.2 points allowed per game.“We look across, we see a team that’s very, very talented,” Ferentz said. “That includes their defense. They got phenomenally gifted athletes on the back end, I think they’re playing well and certainly that’s the case with the guys up front too … it’s hard to find a weak spot on their football team.”Iowa’s rushing attack is led by junior Mark Weisman, who has rushed for 624 yards and three touchdowns on 126 attempts this season, and ranks 32nd nationally in yards per game. Weisman said that going against the Buckeye defense is going to be tough.“They have a great defensive line, great linebackers, good secondary,” Weisman said. “They’ve pretty much stopped every rushing attack this year, so it’s going to be a real tough challenge for us.”Another challenge OSU could present to Iowa is the environment of Ohio Stadium, where Saturday’s game is scheduled to be played at 3:30 p.m.“The ‘Shoe is just by nature, it’s one of the tighter, louder places I think in our conference,” Ferentz said. “We’ve been on the road a couple times this year … but we haven’t been in an environment like the one we’re going to be in Saturday and against an opponent like this, so that’s going to be another degree of difficulty.”If the Buckeyes extend their win streak to 19 games Saturday, they would tie the 2002-03 Buckeyes for the second-longest winning streak in school history. read more

Most Important Buckeyes for 2014 — No 2 Taylor Decker

Then-sophomore right tackle Taylor Decker (68) gets set to block a defender during a game against Iowa Oct. 19 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 34-24.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorWith less than two weeks until Ohio State kicks off against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, The Lantern countdown of the most important Buckeyes enters its final stages.No. 2: Taylor Decker, junior offensive linemanOn an offensive line littered with competition and unknowns, one bastion of the block stands tall.When he first arrived on campus in 2012, the 6-foot 7-inch, 315-pound behemoth was described by coach Urban Meyer as glossy-eyed and unsure of his place in the OSU football program.Now, Meyer uses words like “captain” and “leader” in reference to No. 68.In what will be his first season as the premier pass-blocker on the offensive line at left tackle for the Buckeyes, Taylor Decker is going to need to live up to his coach’s hype if the Buckeyes are to succeed in 2014.Two days ago, I might have typed that last phrase with a grain of salt, but today, following the news of Braxton Miller’s season-ending injury, it might be understated.With Miller’s incredible ability to be an improvisational playmaker on the field, Decker might have gotten away with “decent” performances game in and game out.But instead, redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett, a much more pocket-friendly passer, will line up for the Buckeyes behind center, and the moment he does, Decker’s play will be increasingly magnified.That magnification follows the initial change that comes with Decker’s move from right to left tackle.Those who know the “x’s and o’s” of right tackle surely understand that right tackles, while definitely important to any football team, are certainly not in the same league as left tackles.Left tackles are most often the strongest offensive linemen in terms of their size, their footwork and their technique because they’re employed to protect the quarterback and — if he’s a right-handed passer — his “blindside.”When there comes a failure of a left tackle to protect a quarterback’s blindside, a domino-effect of issues gets set in motion.Unaware of the pressure coming from a defensive end as the result of a bad effort from the left tackle, the quarterback will often get sacked, starting that domino-effect. When a quarterback gets sacked too often, more bad things start to happen. He might fumble the ball, or he might get antsy and start making bad throws or interceptions — all as the result of failure from the left tackle.So, the pressure of the left tackle position is squarely on the shoulders of Decker. That pressure might have been alleviated a bit by a quarterback like Miller — who made a living off of avoiding pressure with uncanny speed and awareness — but instead, will be amplified by a quarterback like Barrett, who likes to stick in the pocket.Now, to add even more pressure onto the massive shoulders of Decker, the rest of the offensive line is unsettled, so he has the responsibility of leading the younger, more unexperienced players that will eventually make up the protective unit up front.If all of this doesn’t convince you that Decker could arguably be the absolute most important Buckeye heading into the 2014 season, I don’t know what will.Luckily for OSU fans, the once-mystified Decker seems to now be ready to shoulder the massive responsibility and pressure that surrounds him. read more

Ohio State field hockey aims to turn around 02 start

Then-redshirt-junior Logan Jones holds his follow-through after a tee shot at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate on April 12 in Columbus. OSU placed 6th on the first day of play and 5th after the second round.Credit: Lantern file photoThe Ohio State field hockey team could not pull out a victory over its opening weekend, but some players said they are still full of confidence heading into Friday’s scheduled face-off with Miami (Ohio).“I think we’re all determined to come out hard after this (last) weekend,” junior forward Peanut Johnson said. “I have a sour taste in my mouth after this weekend so I’m definitely going to come out hard.”The Buckeyes (0-2) are looking to bounce back after being shutout, 4-0, by the Albany Great Danes on Monday afternoon.Much of the team’s woes may have come from a lack of posession. In all, the Buckeyes were outshot 58-14 in their first two matchups against Syracuse and Albany.“We’re able to complete a couple passes,” coach Anne Wilkinson said. “But then we’re having a rough time stringing longer passes together.”The Buckeyes may have to improve their offensive efficiency to help keep pressure off freshman goalkeeper Liz Tamburro. The Phoenixville, Pa., native made 25 saves in her first two collegiate starts.Tamburro’s 14 saves Monday against Albany were the most in a single game by a Buckeye since 2003.OSU has been focused on sustaining a constant attack in recent practices, Wilkinson said.“When we get it up there we’re very good at executing and finishing,” she said.The Redhawks (0-2) are also set to come into Columbus Friday in search of their first win after falling to Syracuse, 5-1, in the Buckeye Classic to open the season, and then losing to Northwestern at home by the same score.Miami’s senior back Ali Froede scored her 15th career goal in the loss to Northwestern on Tuesday.The Redhawks return 14 letter winners, including Froede and junior midfielder Bea Dechant. Both players earned First Team All Mid-American Conference honors last season.Defending set plays will be the key to slowing down the Redhawks’ attack, Tamburro said.“We need to start with defensive corners,” she said. “Focusing more and trying to get the ball out (of the corner).”OSU has defeated Miami in three of the last five meetings dating back to 2009, but the Redhawks have won the last two. Wilkinson said Miami’s ability to play together as a unit is what makes it so tough.“They’re a very systematic team,” Wilkinson said. “We need to be able to break them down one at a time.”Ultimately the game will come down to which team is able to possess the ball and capitalize off those possessions, Wilkinson said.“They (the Buckeyes) have really been working hard as far as finishing what they start,” she said. “Finish their passes. Finish their tackles.”OSU and the Redhawks are set to face-off at 5 p.m. read more

Scarlett Keeling s mother fears her daughters Goa murderers will evade justice

first_imgScarlett Keeling in GoaCredit:Reuters The Scarlett case shone a light on rampant police and local government corruption in Goa. If the judgment goes against Ms MacKeown on Friday, she will attempt to take the case to the Bombay High Court. She said she is determined that something positive can come out of Scarlett’s death, and plans to set up a support group for the dozens of people she said have contacted her about violent crimes in Goa that have gone unpunished by authorities. Scarlett's mother, Fiona MacKeown Although Scarlett rejoined he family along the coast a few days later, she was allowed to return on her own to Anjuna for the beach party.But in an emotional response to those who have long taunted her with accusations of neglect and abandonment Ms MacKeown said: “I did not murder her.”On Monday Ms Mackeown will return to the Indian state to face D’Souza and Carvalho in the hope of seeing them found guilty and punished.During the beach party Scarlett was plied with a cocktail of drink and drugs before being assaulted and killed. She was pushed face first into the shallow water’s edge and had suffered numerous injuries to her face and body.D’Souza and Carvalho both deny culpable homicide and grievous sexual assault.  She added: “The fact that he left her there in the hands of these guys, the least he could do is to follow it up and do the right thing. We would have had a watertight case with his statement. “He says he saw them giving her alcohol. He said he saw one of them taking a pill and giving a pill ‘to the girl’. He saw him lining up lines of cocaine. If she had been five would that have been okay?”Scarlett was buried in a quiet corner of the family’s farm near Bradworthy, North Devon, “surrounded by trees and flowers”, four years ago after her organs – removed in India – were finally returned to the family following another protracted fight.At the time of Scarlett’s death Ms MacKeown, accompanied by her nine children, had been dividing her time between the family’s scruffy rural smallholding in Devon and the beach hangouts of western India, popular with ageing hippies and young European travellers.During an emotional interview Ms MacKeown told the Telegraph: “My last memory of Scarlett was her nagging me silly to go to the big party on the beach. I gave in at the last minute and my last memory was her squealing, jumping up and down, hugging me and saying ‘thanks mum I love you’. Her lawyer, Vikram Varma, paid tribute to Ms MacKeown for “exposing the rot in the system and the existence of an unbreachable nexus between some officers of the police, some politicians and the drug mafia in Goa”.”However the larger issue of the rot remains and she at best may get partial justice for Scarlett after eight years of forced patience,” he said.Mr Varma, who has worked on the case pro bono, argued that the extreme delays in trial have made it an unfair process and possible grounds to take the case to the High Court.”To lose a child at the hands of criminals and murderers is a grief that lies only in the mother’s heart and it is that heart which grieves for justice. To me as friend and counsel, this huge grief is clearly visible in the eyes of Fiona, I can connect to it,” he said. “Often the huge delay in the trial turns that grief into helplessness for the aggrieved. But Fiona has shown extraordinary strength and tenacity and it is visible that she will not let her daughter down.” “I have got to live with that, but I did not murder her. It’s not my fault. I did not murder her. Of course I left her. Of course I will regret that as long as I live. The fact is I let her stay behind.”When Ms MacKeown was in court last month to hear the final arguments in the case she looked D’Souza and Carvalho square in the eyes.”I was so close to both of them I could touch them,” she said. “One of them, Carvalho, at least had the decency to look away from me and down at the floor.“The other, D’Souza, just stared straight at me with a coldness – almost an arrogance. It was awful. Hopefully that won’t have done him any favours in front of the judge.”When asked what she would say to the two men she believes raped and murdered her daughter, she said: “I would ask them: ‘why did you have to kill her, couldn’t you have just let her live? Why did you take her away from me?'” Scarlett Keeling's body arrives at Mumbai domestic airport on the first leg of her journey home. Ms Mackeown, 52, says she will have to live with the regret of agreeing to her demands for the rest of her life.She left her teenage daughter living with a family friend on Goa,  25-year-old tour guide Julio Lobo,  while she explored the local coast with her other children, drawing accusations she had “dumped” the teenager.center_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. Scarlett Keeling in Goa Now the prosecution has warned Ms MacKeown that their case against the two men has been weakened because Mannion, 44 – who had been staying with D’Sousa and saw his host on the night Scarlett was killed – has not given evidence.Ms MacKeown said: “I have seen Michael’s statements. But they are not admissible because they were not taken in front of the court. “He was going to go and was all set. He sounded hopeful and he sounded really positive but he did not turn up. He claims to have PTSD – I think I did as well and she was my daughter, but it didn’t stop me.” The mother of a British teenager killed on a Goa beach says she now fears her daughter will not get justice after a key witness refused to give evidence.Michael Mannion had previously stated that he saw one of the two men accused of the rape and murder of 15-year-old Scarlett Keeling on Anjuna beach on the night of her death, in February 2008.But the Briton, who had been staying with the man at the time, did not return to Goa for the trial this summer, potentially weakening the prosecution case.Even if a guilty verdict is handed down against Samson D’Souza, 30, and his fellow accused Placido Carvalho, 42, next Friday Scarlett’s mother Fiona MacKeown says her own feeling of guilt will never go away.For more than eight years she has been haunted by the memory of her daughter begging to attend the Valentine’s Day beach party alone.In the end she succumbed and allowed the teenager to go. A few hours later Scarlett was dead. I let her stay behind. But I did not murder her.Scarlett’s mother, Fiona MacKeown Scarlett Keeling’s body arrives at Mumbai domestic airport on the first leg of her journey home.Credit:Sameer Joshi It is no coincidence that in the years since the murder of the teenager, botched police investigation and seemingly futile fight for justice, the number of British tourists flying to the island has fallen by as much as 40 per cent.But Ms MacKeown also accuses the British government of being ‘completely gutless’ over her daughter’s death, for fear of upsetting trade relations with India.Contemplating her return to Goa she says it is a shame that such a beautiful part of India has become so riddled with crime and corrupt officials.But still she refuses to give up hope that one day she’ll see the verdict her daughter deserves.”I’m going to take it all the way,” she said. “What else can a mum do, losing a child at that age? I will get justice for Scarlett.” Scarlett’s mother, Fiona MacKeownCredit:Roy Rileylast_img read more

British troops to be investigated over killings during the Troubles in Northern

first_imgAll British troops involved in fatal incidents during the Troubles in Northern Ireland are to face a fresh criminal investigation, it has been reported.As many as 1,000 former servicemen, many in their 60s and 70s, will be investigated and could be treated as murder or manslaughter suspects as part of a multi-million pound review.The Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Legacy Investigation Branch will look at all 238 fatal incidents in which 302 people, many of them terrorists, died. Johnny Mercer has criticised the investigation Credit:Paul Grover for the Telegraph  A spokesman for Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire said: “Police investigations are always a matter for the PSNI, who act totally independently of Government.”But he added: “While this Government firmly believes in upholding the rule of law, we are concerned that investigations into Northern Ireland’s past focus almost entirely on former police officers and soldiers.“This is wrong, and does not reflect the fact that the overwhelming majority of those who served did so with great bravery and distinction.” Because the majority of the deaths involved shootings where more than one soldier opened fire, the probe is expected to include up to 1,000 former troops.According to The Sun, the investigation is expected to last for many years and will cost tens of millions of pounds.The decision to plough on with the investigation was met with fury last night especially given the fact that many terrorists involved in murders in the province were granted pardons under the Good Friday Agreement. Johnny Mercer Conservative James Brokenshire has said the majority of soldiers served with bravery and distinctionCredit:James Gourley /Rex / Shutterstock He told the newspaper: “If we could demonstrate in Government just some of the courage our Armed Forces have displayed over the years in Northern Ireland, the entire historical allegations money machine would end.” The decision to re-investigate all fatalities involving members of the Armed Forces follows a report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary which said soldiers should have no additional protection from manslaughter or murder prosecutions just because they were on duty at the time. center_img Others were handed “letters of comfort” by Tony Blair promising they would never be prosecuted. Tory MP Johnny Mercer, a former Army officer who has campaigned against the hounding of troops by the legal system, described the review as a “brand new witch hunt”. James Brokenshire We are concerned that investigations into Northern Ireland’s past focus almost entirely on former police officers and soldiersJames Brokenshire spokesman Show more 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.last_img read more