Kelvin Sampson Takes Over For Kevin McHale

Kelvin Sampson, the former coach of Indiana, has taken over as interim Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale, who took a leave of absence on Saturday to deal with a family matter.Sampson said McHale called him Saturday afternoon and asked him to coach the team.”Hopefully whatever the family matter is, it gets taken care of,” Sampson said. ”That’s the most important thing.”There is no timetable for the return of the second-year coach and Hall of Fame player.Rockets general manager Daryl Morey didn’t provide any further details on the specifics of the situation, but expressed his concern for McHale.”Kevin is a devoted family man who is needed back home in Minnesota at the moment,” Morey said. ”The Rockets organization will keep Kevin and his family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”Sampson said he addressed the players in a film session Saturday afternoon and that he hopes they can use this setback as a positive.”Oftentimes in life we have things happen to us, and we have to make decisions on how we’re going to react to them,” Sampson said. ”This is one of those times. We lost our leader. I think we can use this as a catalyst to bring us together and fight for him.”Sampson was thinking more about McHale than worrying about his task of coaching Houston against the Pistons before Saturday night’s game. He said the fact that there weren’t high expectations for the Rockets entering this season makes stepping in easier.”I don’t think it’s that challenging,” he said. ”We have a young team and we have a new team. I think it would be a lot more challenging if we were … the No. 1 ranked team in the league. That might be a little more challenging. We’re still growing.”Sampson is in his second season with the Rockets after spending three years as an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks. read more

The USWNT Is On To The Next Challenge — With An Eye

TeamThenNowDiff.ThenNowDiff.ThenNowDiff. Japan5638-183226-663-3 China3257+251017+7110 How the odds have changedOdds of advancing in the Women’s World Cup before the tournament started and after the group stage Norway3534-11313021-1 Italy14%43%+293%10%+70%0%0 France8077-35440-142019-1 Cameroon316+1314+3000 England6584+194150+9109-2 Spain3922-17147-6220 Germany7291+193552+171115+4 Nigeria129-332-1000 Australia6566+13133+275-2 Make QuartersMake SemifinalsWin World Cup Below the top three, it’s a bit of a crapshoot. England won all of its group-stage matches but is scoring less than xG suggests it should be. And it will have to contend with a Cameroon side that advanced to the knockout stages in dramatic fashion on Thursday thanks to a stoppage time goal from forward Ajara Nchout. The Netherlands won all of its group-stage matches and is the current European champion, but the Dutch are scoring more goals than xG suggest they should be and will have to beat a Japanese team that has underperformed so far.Australia’s World Cup has been a bit of a mixed bag, but the Matildas boast one of the best players in the world in Kerr. Canada has Christine Sinclair — who’s just two goals shy of tying Abby Wambach’s all-time international goal-scoring record — but it has to beat a very strong Sweden side next. All of this indicates that this tournament has already lived up to its billing as the most competitive in Women’s World Cup history, and we expect more of the same going forward.Still, the marquee potential matchup remains the U.S. vs. France next Friday. If both teams do what’s expected of them in the round of 16, the eventual World Cup champion might be decided by a quarterfinal at the Parc des Princes in Paris next week.Check out our latest Women’s World Cup predictions. USA7178+7464601824+6 Netherlands4762+152847+1979+2 Canada4359+152529+467+1 Brazil5323-29227-1642-2 Sweden5141-102217-443-1 The U.S. women’s national team faced its most difficult test at this World Cup so far in its match Thursday against Sweden, and it wasn’t much of a test at all. The 2-0 scoreline doesn’t reflect it, but the Americans dominated the Swedes from the first whistle to the last. They possessed the ball 61 percent of the match and created 13 scoring chances.1According to data from Opta Sports. Sweden, on the other hand, created just four chances and rarely looked threatening otherwise.Judging the U.S. women’s probability of winning the World Cup after their first two matches was tricky. They obliterated newcomers Thailand 13-0 and then handily swept Chile to the side 3-0, but neither opponent was expected to advance beyond the group stage, let alone make a run. The Americans were always favored to win those matches with ease. But Sweden entered the tournament with a chance — albeit a small one — of winning the whole thing, and the team has been a thorn in the USWNT’s side in the past.Blowouts in the first two matches didn’t say much about what the USWNT is capable of against top competition (although Norway, which won the World Cup in 1995, proved that blowout wins in the group stage can be a good omen). But the assertive performance against Sweden proved that the USWNT is ready for all comers.2Swedish coach Peter Gerhardsson rested some starters, notably defender Nilla Fischer.Having finished atop Group F, the Americans will play Group B second-place finishers Spain in the round of 16. The FiveThirtyEight model gives the Spanish a 22 percent chance of beating the Americans and advancing to the quarterfinals. Spain’s defense has been stingy — it has conceded just two goals in three group-stage matches — but the team has struggled to find the back of the net. The Spanish are scoring just one goal per 90 minutes — 1.2 goals fewer than their expected goals (xG) tally suggests they should be scoring.The upside for the Spanish: They are creating chances. The downside: They’ll be going up against an American side that hasn’t given up a goal and has conceded exactly zero big chances in their first three matches, according to data from Opta Sports. If Spain hopes to pull off the upset of the tournament, Jennifer Hermoso will have to capitalize on whatever chances she gets. The forward scored twice in the group stage, but her mark of 0.67 goals per 90 minutes is below what xG suggests she should have. If Hermoso can’t cash in, the Americans will probably advance to the quarterfinals.The USWNT’s likely opponent in the quarterfinals is host nation France. Les Bleues won all three of their group-stage matches — although one of those wins came as the result of a *cough* controversial VAR decision *cough* that gave star defender Wendie Renard two shots at scoring from the penalty spot against Nigeria — and the FiveThirtyEight model gives them a 77 percent chance of beating Brazil in the round of 16.But France might have preferred an opponent that didn’t include Marta. At 33, the Seleção legend is decidedly past her prime. But she’s the all-time leading goal scorer in the history of the World Cup — men’s or women’s — for a reason, and she’s still capable of inspiring awe. And Magic Marta isn’t alone: Brazil forward Cristiane Roziera has four goals at this World Cup, which places her one behind Australia’s Sam Kerr and the U.S.’s Alex Morgan in the race for the Golden Boot. If Cristiane draws level with — or overtakes — Kerr and Morgan, the quarterfinal match everyone is anticipating might not even happen. That said, Brazil has to be the least happy of any team with its draw. According to our model, its odds of making the quarters dropped by 29 percentage points, the most of any team remaining.The Americans and the French might be the two most likely teams to win the tournament, but that doesn’t mean anyone should sleep on Germany. The Germans won all of their group-stage matches with relative ease and, along with the Americans, conceded the third-fewest shots on goal per 90 minutes. Not coincidentally, the Germans, like the Americans, didn’t concede a goal in the group stage. Our model gives them a 91 percent chance of beating Nigeria to advance to the quarterfinals and the third-best chance of winning the tournament.Indeed, the group stage didn’t end up telling us a whole lot that we didn’t know entering the World Cup. The top of our model looks a lot like it did before the tournament began. On June 7, it gave France the best chances of winning, the U.S. the second-best and Germany the third-best. France and the U.S. have since flip-flopped — the U.S. chances to win jumped from 18 percent to 24 percent, while the French chances to win fell to 19 percent from 20 percent. Germany’s chances to win jumped from 11 percent to 15 percent, but its chances to advance to the quarterfinals jumped by an astounding 19 percentage points to 91 percent. read more

To Beat The Warriors You Gotta Draft Like The Warriors Good Luck

SA2008-1115Kawhi Leonard17.027.4 DET1994-973Grant Hill18.126.3 Despite those odds, plenty of teams manage to look smart in the draft every year. The Warriors themselves had a terrific series of drafts between 2009 and 2012, when they picked up Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in rapid succession. That group generated about 25 more points of VORP than they should have based on where they were picked, giving Golden State one of the shrewdest four-year stretches of drafts in the lottery era: DET1985-8827Dennis Rodman12.828.6 NO2002-054Chris Paul24.728.4 CLE1985-887Kevin Johnson12.934.7 Early in the draft, the curve is steep. The average No. 2 pick is worth only about 80 percent as many VORP in his first five seasons as the average No. 1, and players only get less valuable from there. Each additional pick produces a lot less than the slot before, emphasizing how costly every random tumble in the lottery can be.But let’s say our theoretical team gets its hands on a collection of valuable draft picks. What are the odds that it will take the right player at each slot? According to my research, there’s about a 70 percent chance that a team won’t take the best player available with any given pick at or near the top of the draft. Of course, the haul is still usually decent even if a team doesn’t nail its pick perfectly — but at the same time, “decent” doesn’t really help build a Warriors-killer.VIDEO: Why the No. 1 pick is such a valuable crapshoot Only at the most extreme edge of young talent, where the sample of historical examples is limited, do we see the potential upside usually associated with a group of highly drafted prospects playing together. (Think of the 2009-10 Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the greatest collections of pure talent ever assembled, coalescing into an NBA finalist within a few seasons.) Short of that, it’s tough to improve more than normal reversion to the mean would predict by simply stocking up on a bunch of kids with raw draft pedigree. Future stardom is unpredictable (again, see teams’ lack of consistency in getting better-than-average return on picks), and young players in particular tend to amplify one another’s flaws when playing together.But if our hypothetical Warriors-killer does manage to survive the lottery, make the right picks in the draft, get those prospects on the court together and then max out their potential, the model predicts the upper bound for its eventual peak Elo would be 1762. That’s roughly where the Warriors will be starting from next season (after reverting their final 2016-17 rating to the mean), and it’s also roughly the same Elo carried at season’s end by the 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers — not coincidentally, the last team to unseat the Warriors in the playoffs.A lot has to go right to get to that point, and most teams who travel down that path will fall short. But the Warriors will also feel the tug of parity soon — however gently — and at the same time, some team will eventually clear all the hurdles and build the challenger to Golden State’s throne. There’s a decent chance that journey starts in Brooklyn tonight, at the draft. * Value Over Replacement Player. Based on draftees’ first five NBA seasons, versus the average expected VORP for the slot where each player was picked. Players who were traded at the draft are assigned to the team that acquired them.Source: Basketball-Reference.com LAL1993-9610Eddie Jones14.027.8 In the age of superteams and super-duper teams,1Whether today’s stars want to admit such things exist or not. the Golden State Warriors built the ultimate doomsday machine when they added Kevin Durant in free agency last summer. Winning a championship this year seemed — and ultimately was — inevitable. But before KD put pen to paper, Golden State had captured one title and set the all-time wins record. And it was done with a roster largely built through the draft. The Warriors were the poster children for how to build a team through savvy scouting and player development, not reckless spending.Likewise, we can make a pretty good guess that the team that one day unseats Golden State will not be a creaky monument to Russian oligarchy, but rather more organic. So on draft day, let’s imagine how a team might build through the draft, stockpiling young talent and maxing out their collective potential. Could such a team rise to the Warriors’ level? Maybe. But everything would have to go right for our team, from lucking out in the lottery to nailing its picks and then developing them into stars. In other words, to beat the Warriors, you have to do what the Warriors did.First things first: It isn’t easy to jam-pack a roster with a bunch of promising young players. Even an aggressive tanking effort like Sam Hinkie’s “Process” in Philadelphia can’t guarantee that the lottery balls will fall the way they’re expected to. Indeed, the Sixers under Hinkie suffered below-average lottery luck. Meanwhile, other teams can always swoop in and snag the top pick (think the Cavaliers). Although Philly still managed to draft some high picks over the years — including, finally, a No. 1 choice in Ben Simmons last year — it didn’t get as much out of the draft as its fans might have expected when the Process began.And because the value of a pick diminishes so rapidly from No. 1 down, any unfavorable bounce in the lottery could derail our imaginary rebuild before it begins. Here’s the expected value for each pick slot — as measured by players’ Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) over the course of their first five NBA seasons — since the lottery era began in 1985: BEST PICK TOR1997-009Tracy McGrady13.526.1 And this methodology probably underrates the drafting job done by former Warriors general manager Larry Riley — and his replacement, Bob Myers, who made the team’s best pick when he drafted Draymond Green 35th overall in 2012 — since it looks at only the first five seasons of a player’s career. Curry, for instance, didn’t reach his full game-breaking potential until his sixth season in the league.But just as studies have found in other sports (most notably the NFL), there isn’t much consistent skill to making better-than-average picks in the NBA draft. The correlation between a team’s per-pick return on investment2As measured by VORP over expectation for each draft slot. in one three-year period and the next is only 0.014 — a practically nonexistent relationship.3I used three years because that’s about half the reasonable lifespan of an NBA GM gig. Even the Warriors picked big-man bust Ekpe Udoh sixth overall in between the first rounds in which they snapped up Curry and Thompson.With all these factors stacked against teams built around touted draft picks, it’s no wonder they have a spotty record of converting potential to results. Using the same method of evaluating talent bases as my colleague Kyle Wagner and I created for this story about the Minnesota Timberwolves, I measured how many highly drafted young players each team4Going back to the start of the NBA’s modern expansion wave in 1988-89. had on its roster at the same time. I then built a model using that data to predict how a team might fare over the next five seasons based on its young talent. For most teams in recent history, it’s tough to see much of a relationship between young talent and how much the team’s Elo rating5Essentially, FiveThirtyEight’s way of measuring how well a team is playing. improved, above and beyond what we’d simply expect from ordinary reversion to the mean.To show this, let’s give our team a starting Elo of 1400, basically where the Warriors themselves were after the 2011-12 season. Here’s what that model would predict its peak Elo to be over the next five seasons, depending on how much young talent it currently has: CLE2002-051LeBron James27.429.5 TEAMDRAFTSPICKPLAYERVORP* OVER EXPECTEDTOTAL VORP OVER EXPECTED The best four-year draft runs, by Value Over Replacement Player, 1985-2016 SEA1986-8917Shawn Kemp11.825.9 GS2009-1235Draymond Green15.824.8 read more

Womens soccer McVicker sees injury as stepping stone

Entering its game against Minnesota, the Ohio State women’s soccer team had high hopes for its season-opening run. Those high hopes were shattered on one serious play during the seventh minute, when redshirt senior goalkeeper Jillian McVicker tried to make a save.McVicker collided with a Minnesota player, and sustained fractured ribs, a punctured lung and a lacerated kidney. She was quickly removed from the field and taken to a Minnesota hospital,where she remained in intensive care for two days before being downgraded to standard care.“Ohio State senior goalkeeper Jillian McVicker is being held at a Minneapolis hospital through the end of the week for further treatment and testing after suffering an injury Sunday at Minnesota,” the athletic department said in a statement from an OSU spokesperson on Friday.McVicker has appeared in over 50 matches for the Buckeyes since joining the team in 2012. McVicker is a former assistant sports director for Lantern TV and also reported for The Lantern during the 2016 Spring Semester.After being released from the hospital on Saturday afternoon, she and her family drove back to Columbus, stopping in Chicago along the way before arriving back at OSU on Monday.Although not the first time the Metuchen, New Jersey, native has sustained an injury, this time, was different from the rest.OSU senior goaltender Jillian McVicker flexes as she recovers in her hospital bed in Minnesota. Credit: Courtesy of Jillian McVicker“I knew that it definitely wasn’t my muscle or anything. I just came out, I knew there was going to be a collision but I just had to get the ball,” McVicker said. “When I came out, I thought I had the wind knocked out of me at first, and then I couldn’t breathe for like a minute.”According to McVicker, her doctor said this type of injury is most common after being involved in a car crash, not with a sport like soccer.The injury has effectively ended the OSU career of McVicker, with a little over a month left in the regular season. Although her time as a Buckeye athlete has been cut short, she has still maintained a positive attitude and high spirits. “All the adversity I have faced, whether it be from injury or typical adversity that every athlete goes through, you just have to keep your head up and keep your mind on the process,” McVicker said. “Take it day-by-day and step-by-step. Which is actually very ironic because that’s exactly what I’m doing in my rehab right now.”As part of the healing process, McVicker can only lift things under 10 pounds, while limiting the amount of overall movement she has throughout the day.On social media, McVicker has received an outpouring of support from family, friends, teammates, players from other teams and, most notably, former United States Women’s National Team midfielder Julie Foudy. McVicker, a four-time OSU scholar-athlete and three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, has appeared in over 60 matches during her career with the Buckeyes. She is a double major in strategic communications and journalism, and will be graduating this December.After graduation and her injuries have fully healed, McVicker has intentions to continue her playing career outside of OSU.“I definitely want to graduate and want to look at playing overseas in Germany professionally or in America,” McVicker said. “I’m going to probably try to get an agent and figure that out once I graduate. It’s definitely not the last time I’m going to put on my keeper gloves and my jersey again.”Although she will no longer be lacing up her cleats for the Scarlet and Gray, McVicker said she will be embracing her new role of cheering her team on. Without the redshirt senior in the net, the Buckeyes will now be looking to the sideline when when she returns. From here on out, the focus of McVicker is to rally the troops to continue the team’s success. “Although this injury happened to me, my main thing for this season is for my team to be successful,” McVicker said. “Yes, this is horrible and I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone. But at the same time, all of my energy and everything when I get back is to prepare my the team the best I can in my new role.” read more

Ohio State mens volleyball coach Pete Hanson still aiming for championships after

Men’s volleyball coach Pete Hanson has more than 600 wins and one national title in his 30 years with the Buckeyes.Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsAs his players shook hands following a sweep of IPFW on Friday, Ohio State men’s volleyball coach Pete Hanson had claimed the 603rd win of his career.Hanson, who has coached the Buckeyes for 30 years, holds a career record of 603-324. Hanson and the No. 11 Buckeyes have passed several milestones this season, including the program’s 1,000th overall win and its 500th victory at St. John Arena. Hanson’s OSU career spans 18 20-plus win seasons, 10 national semifinal appearances, a runner-up finish and one national championship.Before beginning his illustrious coaching career, Hanson played volleyball at the collegiate level at Kellogg Community College in Michigan then spent his last two years at Ball State University, up until 1979. Upon graduation, Hanson took his first position as an assistant coach for Ball State men’s volleyball team.He then spent time as a women’s assistant and head coach with Wyoming before joining the Buckeyes’ men’s program in 1985.“I just felt like it would be a great way to give back and to help continue to grow men’s volleyball, and so it kind of led me here and I have been here for 30 years,” Hanson said.Hanson said he thinks the most passionate aspect of his job is watching young players succeed.“The thing that keeps me coming in every day and keeps me looking forward to next year is to bring in a young man and to convince him that Ohio State would be a great place for him to go to school, to get his education, to play volleyball, and then to help him through that journey,” Hanson said. “At the end of the day when they walk out of here with a degree in hand, and maybe they’ve already got a job lined up, that’s the really cool part. To think that myself, my two coaches and Ohio State had a part in that is a really, really neat feeling.”While the Buckeyes finished last season with a losing record for the first time since 1992, Hanson’s squad has started fresh in 2015 with an 11-3 overall record and a 5-1 mark in conference play.The ultimate goal he sets for his team is the same on the yearly basis: winning the national championship.“I think the long-term goal is to try to do the necessary things that are going to allow our team to compete for an elite championship and hopefully a national championship,” Hanson said. “Even though we’ve got this goal and 99.9 percent of the time we’re not going to reach it, it certainly is a goal worth having.”Hanson learned what it takes to make a championship run before he even joined the Division I volleyball ranks.“My senior year (at Ball State) we won the MIVA championship and qualified to go to the NCAA national championships,” Hanson said. “Just having successes along the way which is what we’re trying to do here with our guys, I was able to experience that and those are memories that I’ll have for a lifetime.”As he hunts for a second title as a coach, Hanson said he is grateful for his wife and two sons, ages 20 and 18, who have been supportive of his career.“There are times when you miss some of the kids’ activities and you’re not there at all the right times that you’d like to be,” Hanson said. “I think the big thing was that my wife and the two boys understood and they dealt with it as positively as they could.”Off of the court, Hanson enjoys playing golf in addition to spending time on the water.“Here in the past five to seven years, I’ve become really enamored with fly fishing,” Hanson said. “For the last six or seven summers, my wife and I go to Wyoming to visit one of her brothers, and he got me turned onto fly fishing in the backcountry. It is just the most relaxing and just a time that I can’t put a price on.”Hanson will have to put his next fishing trip on hold as the Buckeyes get set to take on Grand Canyon on Saturday and Sunday in Phoenix. read more

Student union bans Conservative society from speaking out because they challenged its

first_img“Just to reiterate the irony of this situation – their student union upon being criticised for being anti-free speech have silenced those complaining about a lack of free speech,” they added.A spokesman for Lincoln University said the Students’ Union had its own set of policies on free speech, adding that it respected its right to govern independently.Lincoln Students’ Union said that it was unable to comment on “live disciplinary matters”, but said it was “proud to protect the rights of all individuals to express their opinions, ideas and concerns”. “As well as the irony of banning a society for expressing their concern about free speech, the Students’ Union ‘snowflakes’ are so self-obsessed they forget Lincoln is the home to one of the original Magna Cartas, the foundation stone of freedom the world over.“This lack of self-awareness and willingness to stifle inconvenient truths is an unbecoming trait in anyone, but is particularly pernicious when demonstrated by a Students’ Union based at one of the traditional centres of our national democracy.“I am sure the authorities of the University itself will be embarrassed by this as it does not help the University’s reputation for tolerance, debate and learning. They should send a public message to say they disassociate themselves from their Students’ Union’s actions.” Drop this pathetic small-mindedness @lincolnSU pic.twitter.com/u3UPQOkxl6— Charlie Peters (@CDP1882) March 6, 2017 A student union has banned a university Conservative society from using its social media accounts – because they challenged its position on free speech.Lincoln University’s Conservative Society has been censored by its student union after it posted an image online showing that the university had been ranked “very intolerant” on free speech in a recent survey.In response, the Students’ Union swiftly suspended the society’s social media accounts, on the grounds that highlighting the university’s ranking had brought it into disrepute.However, the decision has been met with widespread derision from social media users and Lincoln MP Karl McCartney, who said that union officials should be “ashamed”.”This intolerant, illiberal and totalitarian response is akin to something out of the Soviet Union or North Korea rather than a place for learning and debate,” he said. James Cleverly, MP for Braintree, said the union’s actions had been “beyond parody”.Hull University Conservative Association also claimed that Lincoln Students’ Union had defended the decision on the grounds that, by highlighting that the university was deemed to “very intolerant” of free speech, the society had brought its reputation “into disrepute”.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. Mr McCartney added that he had spoken with the union’s chairman after the incident was made known to him by a neighbouring Conservative Society. Lincoln University Conservatives complained that their student union was weak on free speech. It responded by suspending their social media. https://t.co/e7WSrsVPB8— Daniel Hannan (@DanielJHannan) March 6, 2017last_img read more

Pet owners should stop giving their cats and dogs cruel manicures rescue

first_imgIt can leave animals in excruciating pain because they are no longer able to retract or extend their claws, the experts warnedCredit: Motofish Images The centre, based in London, issued their plea to pet owners after a five-year-old tabby called Christina was brought into with red claw covers.Staff were unsure how long the cat had endured the nails, which were firmly fixed to each individual claw. Vets were forced to place her under general anaesthetic whilst they carried out the operation.Lindsey Quinlan, Head of Catteries at Battersea, said it was the first time they had a cat brought in with claw covers but said they were “concerned” the craze is becoming “increasingly popular with pet owners”.”It’s extremely cruel to inflict this sort of thing on your cat as it stops them from displaying their natural behaviour,” she said. “It’s worrying that claw covers for both cats and dogs can be so easily sought from the internet.”Pets are not fashion items. We want to spread the message that claw covers are unnatural for both cats and dogs.” But staff at the centre insisted they should instead use a scratching post.  “Scratching is a natural behaviour for a cat as it helps maintain their claws so they can effectively groom themselves by using their nails as a comb,” Ms Quinlan said. “There are alternative ways to keep your cat from scratching your household furniture, for example, providing a suitable scratching post which should be tall enough to allow your cat to fully stretch.”After her claw covers were successfully removed, Christina eventually went on to find a home with her new family. Pet owners should stop giving their cats and dogs “cruel” manicures, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has pleaded after the trend gained popularity on social media. The craze, which can involve gluing fake nail-style “claw covers” to pets, can leave animals in excruciating pain because the animals are no longer able to retract or extend their claws, experts warned.  It can leave animals in excruciating pain because the animals are no longer able to retract or extend their claws, the experts warnedcenter_img Most cats have five claws on each of their front paws and four or five claws on their rear paws. They are used for scratching, hunting, self-defence, climbing, and grooming. One suggestion is that pet owners are using the covers to prevent their pet scratching their furniture. It’s extremely cruel to inflict this sort of thing on your catLindsey Quinlan, Head of Catteries at Battersea 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

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge awarded gold Blue Peter badges for work

first_img“It was lovely to show them how much we value our audience getting involved with the show through letters, Fan Club comments on the website and the fantastic artwork they send to us every week.”His Royal Highness was particularly impressed with a drawing of his grandmother wearing a tiara that one of the children had sent in.”Viewers can see William and Kate being presented with their badges in Thursday’s live Blue Peter Christmas special at 5.30pm on CBBC. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have followed in the footsteps of the Queen by being awarded a Gold Blue Peter badge.They received their badges at the Blue Peter studios in Salford for their campaign work around mental health and mental health issues affecting children.The Queen was awarded a Gold badge – the programme’s highest award – during her Golden Jubilee year in 2002.Sir David Attenborough, JK Rowling, Steven Spielberg, Mary Berry and David Beckham are among the small number of people to have been presented with the accolade, for role models who show great expertise in their field and inspire children across generations.Receiving his badge, William said: “That’s very touching. Thank you very, very much.”Wow, that’s amazing … We have won a badge!” He said of the couple’s work on mental health: “We’ve still got a long way to go yet but we are getting there. A shift is happening and we will hopefully crack a problem that should have been cracked a long time ago.”Joking about his grandmother also having a badge, he added: “We’ll compare!”Kate told the BBC show’s presenters: “It’s hugely special. Mental health has been a learning process for us too … We want to get everyone talking about it so it hasn’t got that stigma it’s had.” Blue Peter editor Ewan Vinnicombe said: “It was a real honour to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the Blue Peter studios in our 60th year. The couple received their badges at the Blue Peter studios in Salford for their campaign work around mental health and mental health issues affecting childrenCredit: BBC/Dan Vernon The couple received their badges at the Blue Peter studios in Salford for their campaign work around mental health and mental health issues affecting children 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

Prince George wants to join the police his father suggests

first_imgPrince William and Prince Harry, met Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick at the reception He and Prince Harry praised the “impressive” and “inspiring” police officers, staff and volunteers who won awards for their work.William and Harry also met Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood who won an outstanding contribution award for his efforts in rushing to help Pc Keith Palmer during the Westminster terror attack.Mr Ellwood, a former soldier, told William about how “instinct kicked in” as the attack unfolded last March. Prince Harry jokes with Metropolitan Police officers  DC Stewart arranged for a specialist neurologist to act as an intermediary between her and the victim.She arranged for a private company to install specialist technology that would let the victim give evidence by blinking.On the day of the verdict, the victim died, not knowing that the defendant had been convicted.William congratulated her on her award and described her work as “very impressive”.The royals also met police officer of the year, Pc Philip Stone, who co-ordinates the work of the Met’s Disaster Victim Identification Cadre, which organises the national and international recovery and identification of human remains for the coroner to repatriate them to their families.Pc Stone discussed Grenfell Tower with William and afterwards the officer described his team’s work there as “very, very difficult”.He said he had already met the Duke at Grenfell in the aftermath of the tragedy. Prince William and Prince Harry, met Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick at the receptionCredit:AFP / Adrian Dennis As they left, William described the group as “really inspiring”, while Harry said: “Well done guys.”Met Commissioner Cressida Dick said the force is “really grateful” to William and Harry for finding time for them.”It’s wonderful for our guys and girls to be here and to enjoy such a treat.”They’re really excited and have had a lovely time.”They all spoke very openly and clearly and frankly about what they do, and what they do is … you know they take it for granted, but it is extraordinary for many of them,” she said.The Commissioner said William and Harry are “very knowledgeable”, adding: “We’re very grateful because they’ve been supporting us in a variety of different ways over the last several years.”She said they are “interested in policing” and in how the force keeps the public safe.The Commissioner said the pair have taken a great interest in crime that affects young people, such as knife crime.The seventh annual awards ceremony, held on Friday, celebrated the work of police officers in London.Pc Palmer was posthumously honoured at the ceremony for his heroic response during the Westminster attack.The officer, who was stabbed to death when he confronted attacker Khalid Masood outside the Houses of Parliament, was named the winner of the outstanding bravery of the year prize.center_img Prince Harry jokes with Metropolitan Police officers Credit:ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP Prince George could be interested in joining the police, his father has suggested.Speaking as he met winners of the Metropolitan Police Excellence Awards at a reception in Kensington Palace, the Duke of Cambridge revealed that his four-year-old son has shown an interest in the police force.The Duke met cadet of the year Nabil Laasid, who has completed almost 1,000 hours of volunteering in the last year, and was one of the first cadets to volunteer after the Grenfell Tower fire. He was nominated by Jayne Richardson who joked with William that his children could join the cadets.After the event, she said: “We’re only based just down the road in Kensington and I said to him ‘Perhaps Prince George and Princess Charlotte could join the police cadets’.”And he said ‘Well he does like the police at the moment’.” 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 Duke said: “Everyone did all they could I’m sure.”William met Investigation of the Year award winner DC Hannah Stewart, who led a time sensitive and logistically challenging investigation into a child sexual abuse offence.The victim had motor neurone disease, with a life expectancy of less than six months, and was no longer able to speak.last_img read more

Shale gas fracking to get going in the UK this weekend

Shale gas fracking will go ahead in Britain for the first time since 2011 after a judge dismissed safety concerns.Cuadrilla, the fracking firm, defeated activists in an eleventh hour High Court battle and said it may begin fracking at its Lancashire site as soon as Saturday.It cleared the final hurdle facing its shale gas plans since earthquake fears brought the burgeoning industry to a halt seven years ago.The temporary injunction against Cuadrilla’s fracking plans will fall away after the High Court rejected a bid by an anti-fracking campaigner to block the work, saying there is “no evidence” that the fracking poses more than a “medium risk”.Within hours of the verdict anti-fracking groups took to social media to call for shale opponents to gather at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site.Frack Free Lancashire warned its members to arrive at the site as soon as Friday evening or early on Saturday morning to “show them why we are opposed to this here or anywhere”.The UK is thought to hold vast untapped reserves shale gas within layers of underground rock formations. However, political support for the contentious plans to exploit this natural resource has ebbed and flowed with each successive government, against a backdrop of fierce local opposition and sliding public opinion. Critics of fracking fear that onshore oil and gas extraction could trigger earthquakes, or contaminate drinking water by polluting underground water aquifers. Others object to developing fresh sources of gas as the UK shifts towards low-carbon energy.Francis Egan, boss of Cuadrilla, said that if the fracking campaign unlocks commercially recoverable gas reserves these will be able to “displace costly imported gas, with lower emissions, significant economic benefit and better security of energy supply for the UK.”The hydraulic fracturing process, known as ‘fracking’, involves blasting huge volumes of water and sand into layers of shale beneath the earth’s surface.The high pressure forces tiny naturally occuring fissures in the rock formation to open and release natural gas which is trapped.Cuadrilla’s first attempts to frack in Lancashire were brought to an immediate halt in April 2011 after triggering a minor earthquake in the area and raising fears over the safety of the extraction method.In recent years the Conservative Government has warmed to the sector, and could relax fracking rules around earthquakes to encourage more drilling.Mr Egan said the process is expected to take around three months to complete before it can test the flow of natural gas from wells and deliver its results in the New Year. 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. read more

Cant wait to meet him How world reacted to birth of Harry

“Her Royal Highness and her child are both doing well.”The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the baby’s uncle and aunt, are said to be “overjoyed and looking forward to meeting the latest addition to the family”.Thomas Markle, the Duchess’ father who has been estranged after a very public series of interviews, also shared his good wishes, telling a tabloid newspaper: “God bless the child and I wish him health and happiness, and my congratulations to my lovely daughter Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry, and God save the Queen.”BritainTheresa May, the Prime Minister, shared her congratulations.”Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the arrival of their baby boy. Wishing you all the best at this happy time,” she said.Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, also tweeted his congratulations.”Congratulations to Meghan and Harry on the birth of their baby. I hope they’re all doing well.”The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, sent his congratulations, adding: “May God bless the new family with love, health and happiness.”The royal couple’s news featured on most of the front pages of the country’s press. Huge congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, on the birth of their baby boy today. Becoming a parent is one of the greatest joys of life! #RoyalBaby pic.twitter.com/Cj2I8lzRSN— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) May 6, 2019 An easel in forecourt of Buckingham Palace announces birth of baby boy in London “Learned first hand 7 months ago how transformational becoming a parent is and couldn’t be happier for Meghan and Harry as they begin this adventure. £playdatesoon.” Ms Obama, the wife of former US president Barack Obama, was among those to send her congratulations.She tweeted: “Congratulations, Meghan and Harry! Barack and I are so thrilled for both of you and can’t wait to meet him. £RoyalBaby.”President Obama retweeted the message.Hillary Clinton sent their to the couple.  Congratulations to the Prince & Duchess with their new baby boy! God Bless. pic.twitter.com/Rb5pqdEtHZ— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) May 6, 2019 “An Australian republic will mean that each child born today can grow up aspiring to the top job – regardless of their family, social status or wealth.”In New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the country would be donating to charities and planting trees to celebrate the occasion. “In line with their request we have not sent a gift, but the government is marking the birth with donations to two New Zealand child-centred charities,” Ms Ardern announced on Tuesday.”We are also donating 10 trees to Trees for Kiwi Babies, for native tree planting events during Matariki 2019. These donations will celebrate all New Zealand babies, as well as the new Royal baby,” Ms Ardern said.Ms Ardern said she wished the royal family all the best and hoped to see them in New Zealand at some point. United StatesMichelle Obama was among those to send their congratulations after the Duke and Duchess Of Sussex welcomed a baby boy. The front page of tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph ‘This little thing is absolutely to die for – I’m just over the moon’ #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/uVQaDBQXsM— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) May 6, 2019 An easel in forecourt of Buckingham Palace announces birth of baby boy in LondonCredit:Reuters Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said parenting was the best job there is.”The truth is there’s no better job than being a parent. Jill and I wish you the best of luck on your next chapter,” he said.Bishop Michael Curry, who gave a sermon about love at Harry and Meghan’s wedding, tweeted: “The Jewish tradition reminds us that the birth of every child is a reminder that God is not finished with us yet. There is hope. Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and prayers of blessing for them and their baby.”CelebritiesPatrick J Adams, who starred alongside Meghan in the US legal drama Suits, suggested his seven-month-old daughter could be a friend of the royal baby.He wrote on Twitter: “Just heard that the world just got heavier by 7 pounds and 3 ounces. Much love to him and his incredible parents. US chat show host Ellen DeGeneres also sent her congratulations via Twitter.She said: “The £royalbaby is here! Congratulations, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. The baby is 7th in line for the throne, which is crazy, because right now I’m 7th in line for the key-making kiosk at my grocery store. @RoyalFamily”Wendell Pierce, also of The Wire, sent his blessings on Twitter. Scott Morrison told Radio Triple M he also was excited when the couple broke the news in October that the Duchess of Sussex was pregnant. Just heard that the world just got heavier by 7 pounds and 3 ounces. Much love to him and his incredible parents. Learned first hand 7 months ago how transformational becoming a parent is and couldn’t be happier for Meghan and Harry as they begin this adventure. #playdatesoon— Patrick J Adams (@halfadams) May 6, 2019 EXPRESS: It’s a boy! #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/6lqJ07hqis— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) May 6, 2019 “The Duchess’s mother, Doria Ragland, who is overjoyed by the arrival of her first grandchild, is with Their Royal Highnesses at Frogmore Cottage.  The Australian Republic Movement was a little less excited. It said it “warmly congratulates Harry and Meghan on the birth of their son”, but added that their sentiment extended to “all Australians who welcomed a child into the world today”.”We look forward to when our head of state is chosen by Australians, and on merit, instead of birth right,” the movement said in a statement. The entire #Suits family sends their congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on the birth of their baby boy! 💙 https://t.co/tayfmGEm8Y— Suits (@Suits_USA) May 6, 2019 Bill and I send our warmest congratulations to Meghan, Harry, and the entire @RoyalFamily for the new addition! What a blessing.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 6, 2019 It was not just stars from the US who sent their congratulations.Former One Direction star Liam Payne said: “Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of your baby boy. So happy for the both of you.”Australia and New ZealandAs the place where the couple’s pregnancy was first announced, royal baby fever has been building for months Down Under.Australia’s prime minister welcomed the birth of Prince Harry and Meghan’s son, recalling the British royals’ excitement when they announced the pregnancy during a visit to Sydney. DAILY MAIL ROYAL SOUVENIR EDITION: ‘This little thing is absolutely to die for’ #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/N573GxgF8x— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) May 6, 2019 Chloe and I are delighted for Harry and Meghan on the arrival of their baby boy. They are a lovely couple and will make wonderful parents. pic.twitter.com/zeKZe6uTyV— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) May 6, 2019 Morrison said: “It’s great that the wonderful day has come and everybody is well.”He added: “It’s wonderful. I mean every time a baby is born it’s fantastic, doesn’t matter it’s a royal baby or anyone else’s baby, it’s always a great moment for the family,” the prime minister said.”Jenny I got to meet the both of them when they were out here last year and we spent a bit of time with them. They’d just announced the fact that they were going to have a baby and they were really excited and my girls were really excited too and so it’s great that the wonderful days come and everybody is well.”Bill Shorten, the Labor leader, also sent his congratulations via Twitter. Actor Sarah Rafferty also tweeted that “hearts are leaping for a beautiful, wondrous and healthy baby boy!””Sending much love and wishes for every blessing across the pond today and everyday,” she said.The Suits official Twitter account replied to Royal Family’s tweet announcing the birth and wrote: “The entire £Suits family sends their congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on the birth of their baby boy!” The birth of the Duke and Duchess’ son has drawn congratulations from around the world, with celebrity friends and political figures reacting to the royal couple’s news. Harry announced to the world on Monday his wife had given birth to a boy and could not hide his happiness at becoming a father for the first time, to a baby he said was “absolutely to-die-for”.The seventh in line to the throne baby boy – an eighth great-grandchild for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh – arrived at 5.26am on Monday, weighing 7lb 3oz.The as-yet-unnamed infant was believed to have been born in the sanctuary of Frogmore Cottage – the Sussexes’ home on the Windsor Estate. But the Daily Mail reported that Meghan had her son at a London hospital, possibly The Portland.Following the news, here’s a round-up of how the world reacted.Royal family and relativesThe siblings of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, were included in the formal announcement from Buckingham Palace, in a moving gesture.“The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Earl Spencer have been informed and are delighted with the news,” it said. MIRROR: I’m so incredibly proud of my wife #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/ovPpv3mQh6— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) May 6, 2019 read more

Smithfield makes move on market for pighuman transplants

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedHuman organs grown in pigs may help transplant patients, scientists sayJune 9, 2016In “Health”Legislation outlawing commercial human organ trafficking in the works- MOPHFebruary 2, 2017In “Health”Woman lives six days without lungsJanuary 26, 2017In “World” By Julie Steenhuysen and Michael Hirtzer | CHICAGOPigs are seen at a Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, farm in the United States in this image released on April 11, 2017. Courtesy Smithfield Foods/Handout via REUTERS(Reuters) Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, has established a separate bioscience unit to expand its role in supplying pig parts for medical uses, with the ultimate goal of selling pig organs for transplantation into humans.Routine pig-human organ transplants are years away, but recent scientific advances are breaking down barriers that frustrated prior attempts to use pigs as a ready supply of replacement parts for sick or injured people, making it an attractive new market.“Our bread and butter has always been the bacon, sausage, fresh pork – very much a food-focused operation,” Courtney Stanton, vice president of Smithfield’s new bioscience unit, told Reuters in an exclusive interview.“We want to signal to the medical device and science communities that this is an area we’re focused on – that we’re not strictly packers,” she said.Smithfield, the $14 billion subsidiary of China’s WH Group (0288.HK), in its first move has joined a public-private tissue engineering consortium funded by an $80 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. Smithfield is the only pork producer, joining health-care companies including Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N), Medtronic (MDT.N) and United Therapeutics Corp (UTHR.O).Transplants are used for people diagnosed with organ failure and who have no other treatment options. Transplants from animals could help close a critical gap to help those in need. The United Network for Organ Sharing estimates that, on average, 22 people die each day while waiting for a transplant.Smithfield already harvests materials for medical use from the 16 million hogs it slaughters each year. The company owns more than 51 percent of its farms and hopes to sell directly to researchers and health-care companies, which now typically buy from third parties.Stanton said the U.S. market for pork byproducts used for medical, pet food and non-food purposes stands at more than $100 billion, and that excludes any potential market for animal-to-human transplants, known as xenotransplants.Smithfield has deals in the works to supply pig organs to two entities, though Stanton would not disclose the names.“It’s just a huge potential space, and to be at the leading edge and focused on building those relationships is critical,” she said.HOG HEARTSPigs have long been a tantalizing source of transplants because their organs are so similar to humans. A hog heart at the time of slaughter, for example, is about the size of an adult human heart.Other organs from pigs being researched for transplantation into humans include kidney, liver and lungs.Prior efforts at pig-to-human transplants have failed because of genetic differences that caused organ rejection or viruses that posed an infection risk. Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG (NOVN.S) folded its $1 billion xenotransplantation effort in 2001 because of safety concerns about pig viruses that could be passed to humans.George Church, a Harvard Medical School genetics professor and researcher, tackled that problem two years ago, using a new gene-editing tool known as CRISPR to trim away potentially harmful virus genes that have impeded the use of pig organs for transplants in humans.Church has since formed a company named eGenesis Bio to develop humanized pigs that do not provoke a rejection response or transfer viruses to people. The company last month raised $38 million in venture funding.Eventually, Church said, the process could enable researchers to harvest a dozen different organs and tissues from a single pig.Church estimates the first transplants involving humanized pig organs could occur in a clinical trial later this year, but these would only be used on people too sick to receive human organs.Genome pioneer Craig J. Venter’s Synthetic Genomics Inc has been working for two years with United Therapeutics on editing the pig genome and mixing in human cells to overcome the complex issues involved in immune rejection. “It’s not like changing a couple genes and you’ve got it solved,” Venter said.Stanton would not rule out breeding genetically modified animals, but said Smithfield’s first ventures will likely involve whole pig organs that go through decellularization – a process in which existing cells are washed away and replaced with human cells.Miromatrix Medical Inc, of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, for example, is using whole pig livers to make a surgical mesh used in hernia repair and breast reconstruction, and it is working toward developing replacement livers, hearts and kidneys.Church welcomes the involvement of a big pork producer. “Even though we’ve got companies like eGenesis that would make the first pigs, you still need someone who will breed them and do it to scale,” he said.(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen and Michael Hirtzer; Editing by Leslie Adler) read more

GDF Librarian shot during robbery in Plaisance

Police are hunting two bandits who on Sunday evening shot a 44-year-old woman in an attempt to steal her motor car. Jewel Gibson, of Plaisance, East Coast Demerara, is presently nursing a gunshot wound at the Georgetown Public Hospital. Based on information received, Gibson, a Librarian attached to the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) was returning home from an outing with a friend when she was allegedly trailed by bandits driving a white car. As she turned into the driveway at her residence around 22:00hrs, the men- one of whom was armed- reportedly ambushed her.The suspects, holding Gibson at gunpoint, demanded that she turn over her cellular phone, house keys and the Toyota Premio she was driving. After she complied with their orders, the armed bandit reportedly fired one gun shot to the woman’s stomach. A tenant who resided at the same residence as the victim recalled hearing a “popping sound” followed by Gibson’s screams of agony. The eyewitness told police that upon inspecting, she saw a man leaning on to Gibson’s motor vehicle and immediately informed her husband. Two concerned residents reportedly ran to Gibson’s assistance, prompting the perpetrators to flea the scene without stealing her vehicle. The took however, the keys to her building, car and her cellphone.Gibson was rushed to the GPHC and underwent surgery. Investigations are ongoing. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedEnterprise Supermarket attacked by armed banditsMarch 9, 2016In “Crime”Relatives claim dead bandit was “no thief”January 29, 2017In “Crime”Chinese businesswoman shot dead in foiled robbery  – at Number 57 Village, BerbiceFebruary 8, 2016In “Crime” read more

TT Education Minister wants school ban on phones with cameras enforced

Asked about why the student was screaming when the act was being performed on him, Augustine said one must understand the context in which the incident occurred.“People don’t know. The screaming was part of the play and children do scream and carry on. He may not have liked it…what I’m saying is he was not assaulted, he was not hospitalised, he was not traumatised,” he said.He added: “People are not willing to step back and think. Everybody is rushing to say…rape…abuse….not everything is that, particularly when the clip is so short. They need to ask appropriate questions and find out and you cannot hide anything today.”He assured there were no cover-ups on the part of the school, saying, “Everything is out there.”He also said he himself had nothing to hide.Augustine said the families of both boys were satisfied the matter was appropriately handled, adding that boys were “back to school and normal.” (Trinidad Guardian) Education Minister Anthony Garcia has once again made the call to principals to enforce the ban on cell phones with cameras in all schools. The only cell phones which will be allowed into schools will be those without cameras.Education Minister Anthony GarciaGarcia made the call in the wake of an incident involving two Form Two students at Fatima College, Port-of-Spain, who were recorded in an act being described as a children’s prank.The video, which was subsequently posted on social media, incensed many, with some expressing the concern one of the boys had been sexually assaulted by the other.Yesterday, Garcia said the latest incident had driven home why the cell phone ban should be enforced. He said the videotaping of incidents in schools could have dire consequences, adding that the two students “could be labelled for life.”“They were engaging in child’s play…a normal thing for boys that age to engage in that kind of play,” Garcia said.He said the parents of the students had also agreed it was child’s play and were satisfied no harm was done.Garcia said the ban on cell phones with cameras in schools had been the ministry’s policy for the past ten years but it was up to the principals to ensure this was done. He said it was also the responsibility of school supervisors to liaise with principals to ensure the policy was carried out.Pressed on why principals had not been enforcing the policy, Garcia said it was not for him to answer but rather the various school administrators, as this was part of the operational aspect.Meanwhile, the principal at the centre of the latest incident which sparked Garcia’s latest edict, Fatima College Fr Gregory Augustine, said it was unfortunate because someone in the class filmed the incident, which was against school regulations as cell phones with cameras were not permitted.In speaking about the incident, Augustine said, “I am really amazed in the kind of interest that people have in a two-second video and that people can come to a judgment from two seconds.“This is a boy playing the fool. He was spoken to and that’s it. He acted foolishly, imprudently and he was spoken to with his mother.”He said it was unfortunate the “foolish play” was being termed as “rape” by some who saw it on social media.“I really don’t understand…how people could form an opinion from two seconds…and for people to come up with a thesis. I really find it odd and we need to be much more discerning,” Augustine said. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedT&T PM offers to wave immigration regulation for DominicansSeptember 22, 2017In “Regional”Indigenous wear matter being investigated, says subject MinisterMay 30, 2018In “Business”T&T shakes up tuition aid programmeAugust 4, 2016In “latest news” read more

West Indies bowlers strike after DowrichHolder stand

File photo: Jason Holder (on the right with the bat in his hand)BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe (AFP) — Shane Dowrich and Jason Holder both scored centuries before the West Indies bowlers struck four times to strengthen their grip on the second Test against Zimbabwe on Wednesday.After Dowrich and Holder shared a record 212-run stand for the eighth wicket to carry the West Indies to a first-innings total of 448 all out on the fourth morning, fast bowler Kemar Roach picked up two wickets before lunch.Pacer Shannon Gabriel and legspinner Devendra Bishoo followed up with a wicket apiece in the second session before Peter Moor and Sikandar Raza steadied the innings to take Zimbabwe to tea on 66 for four, still trailing the West Indies by 56 runs.Zimbabwe’s chances of ending an 11-match losing streak in Tests had looked good when Raza’s maiden five-wicket haul reduced West Indies to 230 for seven on the third afternoon at Queens Sports Club.But Dowrich and Holder constructed the West Indies’ highest eighth-wicket partnership in history, guiding the visitors to stumps on 374 for seven before continuing their assault on Wednesday morning.Holder enjoyed some fortune on 78 when he was dropped by wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva off the bowling of Graeme Cremer, and made the most of it as he went on to score 110.Dowrich brought up his maiden Test hundred with a towering six off Cremer, but the partnership was finally ended in the following over when the wicketkeeper-batsman was trapped lbw for 103 by Tendai Chisoro.Having gained his maiden Test wicket, Chisoro went on to bowl Holder in his next over before wrapping up the innings when he trapped Roach lbw.The left-arm spinner thus finished with figures of 3 for 113, while Raza ended with 5 for 99.Needing to bat big in their second innings if they wanted to win the match and earn a share of the two-match series, Zimbabwe made a horrific start when Roach dismissed the two openers in consecutive overs.Craig Ervine and Brendan Taylor attempted to resurrect the innings after lunch with a patient stand, but Taylor was trapped lbw by Gabriel before Ervine was bowled by Bishoo for 22. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedWI v Zimbabwe: Hope, Chase, Brathwaite tune up with fiftiesOctober 16, 2017In “Sports”WI v Zimbabwe: Cremer, Chakabva keep hopes of draw aliveNovember 2, 2017In “Sports”Update: Kemar Roach claims five wickets as West Indies pace attack devastates EnglandJanuary 24, 2019In “latest news” read more

Subryanville hotel shooting Proprietor still in custody as police seeking legal

Dead: Jason De FlorimonteThe hotelier who reportedly gunned down a 30-year-old driver on Saturday last following an altercation in Subryanville, Kitty, Georgetown is still in police custody and the file has been sent for legal advice.This is according to the Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent Jairam Ramlakhan on Monday.INews had reported that on the day in question, Jason De Florimonte of Fifth Avenue Subryanville, Kitty, Georgetown was killed following a series of events that reportedly started with an altercation between him and his girlfriend.Based on information received, the deceased, who is a driver, was parked in front of the Tourist Villa Hotel and Bar located at Lot 95 Fifth Avenue Subryanville at about 01:45h, where he had the misunderstanding with his 24-year-old girlfriend.This online publication understands that at this point a handyman attached to the hotel confronted the couple, which eventually led to a verbal altercation between him and De Florimonte.The handyman reportedly attempted to leave the scene, but the driver gave chase and ran into the hotel owned by the suspect.At this point, the perpetrator, who was said to be a licenced firearm holder, opened fire on the driver, reportedly shooting him four times to his right side chest, resulting in his subsequent death.The police were summoned and the hotelier was arrested and placed into custody, while the body of De Florimonte was taken to the Georgetown Hospital.A postmortem examination conducted earlier today determined that he died as a result of multiple gunshot injuries.Investigations are currently ongoing. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedSubryanville hotelier guns down driverAugust 4, 2018In “Crime”Subryanville hotel killing: Magistrate recuses self from presiding over caseSeptember 15, 2018In “Court”Hotel owner placed on $1.5M bail over shooting death of Kitty manAugust 8, 2018In “Court” read more

Laser scanning systems for mining

first_img3D Laser Mapping is launching its inaugural user conference for the mining community. Aimed at both existing and prospective users of laser scanning systems, within  the mining community, the event will provide hands-on training, end user presentations and of course the chance to network with industry peers and the 3D Laser Mapping team. The two-day conference will be co-hosted by Anglo Platinum, the world’s largest primary producer of platinum, at the Potgietersrust platinum mine in South Africa where delegates can experience laser-scanning systems in operation. Organised in conjunction with  Reutech Radar Systems, the South African Distributor of 3D Laser Mapping’s laser scanning and slope monitoring systems for South Africa and SADC region, the conference will take place February 19-20 2008.“This event is designed to have something for everyone,” said Dr Graham Hunter, Managing Director of 3D Laser Mapping. “New or inexperienced users can see the systems in operation and learn from their peers, we will also offer plenty of opportunities for advice and one to one practical support. For the more experienced user we will be demonstrating the latest developments in technology and exploring the future of laser scanning for the mining operation.”The conference will include end user presentations from some of the leading mining operators in South Africa, including a site visit to the Potgietersrust mine in Mokopane where delegates will have the chance to see 3D Laser Mapping’s SiteMonitor software in operation with Anglo Platinum’s laser scanners, also supplied by 3D Laser Mapping. The onsite visit will also include a demonstration of the new laser scanner from Riegl, which delivers a 6 km operating range.Members  of the 3D Laser Mapping Team and representatives from RRS will also be on hand  to provide delegates with an update on developments in software, hardware and  support and also explore the future of laser scanning within the mining  operation. Delegates will also be able to obtain practical advice and one to one  support and participate in discussion groups and feedback sessions guiding the  future development of 3D Laser Mapping’s products and services.3D Laser Mapping is a UK based specialist in laser scanning solutions, the Riegl  Premier Distributor for the UK, Ireland and sub-Saharan Africa and the leading  distributor of TerraScan software. 3D Laser Mapping integrates laser scanner hardware systems with its own software and peripherals to create robust solutions for mining. www.3dlasermapping.comlast_img read more

Banks closing doors on project financing to the end of the year

first_imgAustralian miners and explorers have been told to expect a “bank closed” sign for at least the rest of the year unless they have exceptionally robust projects needing financing. Addressing the first day of the 2008 Paydirt Asia Downunder Conference in Perth, European boutique bank, West LB Capital Markets said the global credit crisis had dried up mining’s traditional access to non-bank project funding packages. “This will force a return to the banking sector as the source of project funding, with some expectation now for banks to pool their resources to put financing packages together as club deals,” WestLB’s Head of Metals and Mining, APAC, Rod Hill, said.“Appetite for banks to underwrite deals and sell down is currently dead,” Hill said. “The sector faces however, the fact banks in the short-term will be focusing internally, looking only at their current portfolios. They will be very selective in chasing new financings for at least the rest of the calendar year,” he said. “This is not surprising as new internal bank guidelines are being issued daily and the banks are insisting on tighter security for project financing.“Those miners or project developers able to attract bank interest can, however, expect highly fluid funding rates as the fallout from the credit crisis feeds through into new loan financing for miners.”Junior minerals explorers in Australia facing pressures in raising fresh capital as the global credit crunch bites, have been warned to prepare themselves for potential takeover by predatory Asian investors. At the same conference, DJ Carmichael’s Head of Research, Paul Adams, said unlike previous cyclical downturns, there was now “nowhere to run” for small explorers if they could not access capital growth through equity markets.Where once they could convert to a dot com and then back again when cycles improved, in the current global crisis, there is just no opportunity to morph into something else,” Adams said. “The warning signs are already there. Recent rights issues by these juniors have been poorly taken up, there is growing risk aversion to any explorer in an area of geopolitical uncertainty, and funding activities for project development are being delayed if not curtailed altogether.“There is an emerging disconnect between project value and share price and this makes it a very dangerous time for small Australian explorers with reasonable assets but thin balance sheet.”Adams said these companies were becoming easy takeover targets and the most likely predators would be Asian sovereign wealth funds and aggressive funds.“Australian explorers facing this scenario need to think about their defence strategies if a takeover is launched against them,” Adams said. He also warned equities markets not to expect any quick resolution to the worsening US problems overnight – saying that since 1980, the average recovery duration of a true bear cycle was 137 weeks.last_img read more

Western Areas options acquisition of Bioheap leaching technology for Forrestania

first_imgWestern Areas has executed a Heads of Agreement to acquire the BioHeap sulphide leaching technology from Pacific Ore. The agreement provides Western Areas with an option period of up to six months to conduct due diligence on the BioHeap process, assess the global patents and licences and conduct test work on a range of low grade sulphide ores from the Forrestania nickel project in Western Australia. BioHeap is a bacterial heap leaching technology developed to leach low grade sulphide ores to produce intermediate products which can be sold directly to nickel refineries. A large amount of test work has been carried out on a range of nickel and copper deposits around the world and the technology has been successfully applied at the Radio Hill nickel mine.Western Areas will pay Pacific Ore A$100,000 per month during the option period and can elect to acquire the asset at any time after three months by committing to pay a 2% net refinery royalty on any future commercial application of the technology. Western Areas can buy back the royalty interest from Pacific Ore at any time in the future on payment of A$5 million. The agreement is subject to approval by Pacific Ore shareholders.In addition to high grade ores planned to be mined at Forrestania and treated through the Cosmic Boy nickel concentrator, there are about 128,600 t of nickel in low grade mineral resources. These are located above Flying Fox, Lounge Lizard, Diggers South, and New Morning deposits and at Purple Haze and Beautiful Sunday. There are also wide zones up to 1% Ni at shallow depth at Liquid Acrobat prospect.Western Areas Managing Director, Julian Hanna said, “BioHeap offers potential to unlock significant value from the large volume of lower grade mineralisation already outlined adjacent to our existing and planned mines at Forrestania, at relatively low cost. BioHeap also provides an opportunity to increase production above currently announced targets of between 20,000 t nickel in calendar year 2010 and 35,000 t nickel in 2012. These targets are based only on ore which is planned to be treated through the Cosmic Boy nickel concentrator.”“If we proceed with the acquisition, we will be bringing to the company a valuable asset which has been developed over many years to the stage of potential commercial production,” Hanna added. “The intention is to use the existing, highly skilled BioHeap staff to conduct the test work so this does not detract in any way from our current operations at Forrestania.” www.westernareas.com.aulast_img read more

Bucyrus offers a complete range of services for dragline moves and upgrades

first_imgBucyrus International, a leading manufacturer of ultra-class draglines, offers turnkey solutions for dragline relocations and refurbishments. It states that its “ability to offer a vertically integrated OEM solution of dragline parts, service, and global facilities, coupled with the company’s legacy of engineering expertise, give Bucyrus an edge in the dragline relocation and overhaul space.” A recent example was the successful relocation and refurbishment of two draglines for Luminant, in the state of Texas, USA. Despite the dragline’s unmatched ability to remove overburden at extremely low cost per tonne, the initial capital outlay and time it takes to produce a new dragline can lead mine owners to explore other alternatives. Luminant found itself in such a scenario during the planning phase of the Kosse mine, wanting to use draglines for the overburden removal needs, but looking for less capital intensive alternatives that could also reduce the required manufacturing time to acquire a new dragline. The agreed-upon solution became the purchase of two pre-owned draglines, a Bucyrus 8200 model and a Bucyrus 1570W model, requiring substantial refurbishment and the relocation of both machines to Kosse in Texas. Wanting to ensure that both machines would again operate as reliably and productively as they did upon their original commissioning in the 1970s, Luminant solicited the expertise of the draglines’ original equipment manufacturer, Bucyrus, to manage the complex project.The complexity of the legacy dragline relocations and refurbishments for Luminant required Bucyrus Field Services to co-ordinate a cross-regional effort, entailing experienced project leadership by the Bucyrus team, as well as open lines of communication between the Bucyrus regional groups. Addressing these unique challenges helped to facilitate the completion of this extensive project, and serve to substantiate the project management aptitude of Bucyrus as it pertains to major dragline relocations and refurbishments. Jimmy Derry, the Bucyrus Construction Superintendent leading the project from the Bucyrus side affirmed, “Our experienced team of Bucyrus Tradesmen and Supervisors, working in-step with Henry Postell, Luminant’s Heavy Equipment Project Manager, and his team, were able to accomplish these dragline moves and upgrades in a safe, timely, and cost efficient manner; a feat everyone involved can be proud of.”“The benefit of using the OEM is that it is one-stop shopping for the customer,” says Jason Scott, a Bucyrus Project Manager. “Bucyrus has a knowledgeable and experienced service group to plan and execute a relocation, a dedicated sales team to ensure the customer has all necessary replacement parts and materials, and first-hand engineering support to offer not only solutions to existing concerns, but also to offer upgrades to enhance the performance and longevity of the machines.”While Bucyrus has established a strong legacy as a high-quality manufacturer of ultra-class draglines, rope shovels, and rotary blasthole drills, performing top-notch overhaul and relocation services for mining equipment, as exemplified by the work performed on the dragline moves for Luminant, are fundamental pieces of the Bucyrus portfolio. In fact, the ability to offer a vertically integrated solution of dragline parts, service, and local facility, coupled with the company’s legacy of engineering expertise, were important factors in Luminant’s decision to partner with Bucyrus on the 8200 and 1570W dragline projects. “Bucyrus not only provided us a cost-effective mining solution, they saw it through from beginning to end,” said George Boudreau, Director of Maintenance Support Services with Luminant. “We’re pleased with the end result and look forward to many years of productive mining at our Kosse mine.”“OEM expertise does not only apply to the manufacturing of new machines, but it can provide value in every facet of the services and support Bucyrus provides to its customers,” states Mike Lisowski, General Manager of Projects at Bucyrus. “Bucyrus has the resources and the contacts to offer and coordinate projects of the complexity and scope of dragline moves and overhauls, and the company looks to continue providing these top-notch services to our customers for the foreseeable future.”last_img read more