Arsenal Stood Still While Its Rivals Got Better

What has changed is the rest of the Premier League. The average points taken by the other big clubs (Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham) this season through 35 games was 72.8. In previous seasons this average has not exceeded 70. Among the weakest four of the big six, the clubs Arsenal directly needs to beat in order to qualify for the Champions League, the average point total through 35 matches this year is 67.7. Only once previously (2013-14) has the average been close, and Arsenal was fortunate enough to be clear with 70 points through 35 matches that year.The strategy of Wenger’s Arsenal has been to build a team good enough to reach the top four, usually with 70-75 points and a goal difference between plus-20 and plus-30. The strategy has worked in part because the other clubs with the resources to match these results failed to achieve Arsenal’s consistency. This year they have improved and Arsenal has not.But that is not the whole story. Expected goals, a statistical measure of the quality of chances created and conceded, suggests that Arsenal in 2016-17 are running below the level of quality they have in the recent past. Arsenal’s expected goals difference is only plus-13, easily the club’s worst statistical performance in the last six years. This drop-off has been most pronounced in recent weeks. Since March 1, Arsenal has gone 5-1-4, but the Gunners have conceded as many goals as they have scored. Their expected goals difference is even worse, at minus-4.The most notable change in this time is that Wenger has, for the first time in years, switched to a formation with three center backs, utilizing winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as a wingback and deploying a varying set of forwards — including Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott — in a front three. Playing in the new formation has brought a good haul of points, but in those matches Arsenal has conceded more clear scoring chances to its opponents (9) than it has created (5). The streak is unlikely to continue unless the underlying performances pick up. The one constant in the English Premier League is that no matter what else happens, Arsenal will finish in the top four. Under manager Arsene Wenger, the club has never finished as low as fifth, a run dating to the 1996-97 season. After 21 years, Arsenal may finally drop outside the top four. The Gunners are currently in fifth place with only a 22 percent chance of fighting their way back into the top four.The implications for Arsenal go well beyond just the trivia. First, it would cost the North London club an annual influx of cash it has grown accustomed to. The top four clubs in the Premier League qualify for the Champions League, which provides a major revenue boost; last season Arsenal made about $58 million from the Champions League. If Arsenal finish outside the top four, the club will qualify for the Europa League, where Tottenham Hotspur earned almost $23 million last season for a similar performance.It may also cost them players. Playing in Europe’s premier club tournament offers prestige and glory that in turn helps attract better players on transfers. Arsenal should be particularly worried about maintaining their Champions League streak because star forward Alexis Sanchez has only one season remaining on his contract. If Sanchez does not sign a new contract this summer, he may have to be sold in order for Arsenal to recoup a transfer fee from his departure. The sharks are already circling, with Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Chelsea rumored to be considering bids.But the most significant casualty of Arsenal’s disappointing season may be Wenger himself. The long-tenured manager has not signed a contract for next season. If Arsenal cannot right the ship, he may be gone, ending an unprecedented run of consistency at the top. (Since he took the reins at Arsenal, 159 different coaches have held a job in the EPL, plus another 53 have held interim positions.)So with three Premier League games remaining for most of the teams at the top of the table, the stakes could hardly be higher. With yesterday’s victory at Southampton, Arsenal remained in the top four race with a 22 percent chance of Champions League qualification. To get there, Arsenal will need Liverpool or Manchester City to drop points, and the Gunners will probably need to win all of their remaining matches. Arsenal projects to a 61 percent chance of finishing in the top four if it wins out, with chances falling fast if any more points are dropped.So how has Arsenal found itself in this predicament? The streak is evidence that the team hasn’t had a really bad spell in decades. But that doesn’t mean the team has gotten any better — and that’s part of the problem. Wenger’s Arsenal for years has treaded water in the third- and fourth-place spots — last season was the first time Arsenal had finished above third since 2005. All it would take for the Gunners to fall would be for the other big clubs in the Premier League to play up to expectations. And this season that is exactly what has happened.Arsenal has taken 66 points through 35 matches with a plus-26 goal difference. These numbers are not particularly unusual for Arsenal in the last several seasons. Since 2010-11, Arsenal’s points through 35 games have ranged from 64 to 70. The goal-difference numbers are ranged similarly, from plus-21 to plus-32. The Gunners’ stats this season show up at the lower end of the team’s recent level, but they are not outliers. What is most notable about the changes in formation and personnel is that Arsenal usually isn’t tinkering this late in the season. Wenger is known for giving his attackers freedom to improvise on the pitch and to build off relationships and experience. It stands to reason that in such a system, stability in personnel and tactics would lead to higher levels of performance, as players develop understandings from playing together. Arsenal’s statistics over the last six years bear this out. During seasons in which Arsenal has maintained stability in its first 11 over the final weeks of the season, the club has finished hot. In the only two seasons when Wenger made major changes, Arsenal has averaged just 1.6 and 1.1 points per match, respectively, down the stretch.Regardless of whether Wenger continues to tweak tactics in these final three games, his team needs to win — and even that may be not be enough. With luck, perhaps these new tactics and new formation will click and the streak can be extended. But if it doesn’t pull off late-season heroics, Arsenal won’t be seen in the Champions League next fall, and the team that will be seen in England may look much different. read more

Womens soccer Buckeyes down rival Michigan off of Princes gamewinner

OSU junior forward Nichelle Prince (7) dribbles the ball during a game agaisnt Minnesota on Sept. 17 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU lost 1-2. Credit: Lantern File PhotoIn a rivalry game against Michigan Saturday night, the Ohio State women’s soccer team returned to Columbus with a much needed victory.  The Buckeyes edged the Michigan Wolverines 2-1, with a winning recipe that combined early scoring in both halves and strong defense and goalkeeping. OSU improved their record to 10-5-3 (4-3-3 Big Ten), while Michigan lost its third game over the last five matches, falling to 9-4-3 (5-3-2 Big Ten).  Junior forward Sammy Edwards propelled the Buckeyes to an early 1-0 lead in the fifth minute, corralling a loose ball inside the Michigan goalkeeper’s box, with a shot finding the back of the net.OSU sophomore goalkeeper Devon Kerr’s strong play received praise from coach Lori Walker, as Kerr was named the player of the match for the Buckeyes. Kerr registered five total saves, including a crucial one-on-one faceoff versus Michigan’s Ani Sarkisian, who broke through the defense, taking a shot which Kerr dove to save.Kerr’s only goal given up on the night was in the 32nd minute, where she deflected a shot and Michigan took advantage of the rebound, evening out the score at 1-1.The Buckeyes returned from halftime with aggressive play that paid off. Senior forward Nichelle Prince scored a goal from short distance in the 53rd minute, reclaiming the lead for OSU at 2-1.The game continued to be competitive on both sides late into the contest. The Michigan offensive attack proved a test for Kerr, but ultimately, her two crucial saves from short distance held strong for the Buckeyes. Likewise, Prince had one last late opportunity in a shot that bounced off the Michigan crossbar, nearly widening OSU’s lead to 2-1.  The Buckeyes finish the regular season at Penn State Wednesday night at 6 p.m. read more

Ross Richardson tips Ohio State mens track and field as conference national

The Ohio State men’s track and field program completed its new coaching staff with the hiring of Ross Richardson as an assistant coach. Richardson will specialize in working with the team’s throwers.Richardson, whose hiring was announced Wednesday, will join a coaching staff led by Ed Beathea, who was hired in June as coach of men’s track and field, and Brice Allen, who Beathea chose to be his associate head coach and recruiting coordinator in July.An OSU athletic spokesman did not respond to a request for salary information.The 2012-2013 track and field season will be Richardson’s fourth straight season with a different university. After five seasons from 2005-2010 with one of OSU’s Big Ten rivals, Purdue, Richardson had a one-year stint with Miami (Ohio) University, then worked last season with Virginia. Over the course of his career, Richardson has coached 11 All-Americans and 21 NCAA championship qualifiers.Richardson said he considers OSU to be “one of the most prestigious athletic departments in the country,” which drew him to accept the position with the Buckeyes.“I’m excited to be here,” Richardson said. “There’s a lot of people here (at OSU) who win championships, and I think the track program has that kind of potential to be a continuous conference contender and have a national prominence.”Beathea explained that Richardson stood out among the potential candidates for this coaching position.“When I called around and spoke to other respected throws coaches across the country when we were starting the search, considering candidates, his name came up amongst all of them,” Beathea said. “I interviewed three, and Ross was, for what I was looking for, the strongest candidate.”Richardson replaces Kevin Mannon, who served as OSU’s throws coach from 2004-2012. According to Beathea, Mannon resigned from the position this summer, which led to the search for a new coach.Richardson expressed that his goal is to keep OSU’s throwing program moving in the right direction.“I think anytime you go anywhere new, you’re just hoping to build on what was done there before,” Richardson said. “They’ve had a great tradition of throws, and a great tradition in the track and field program altogether, and my hope is that we can just continue to build on that tradition.”Beathea, Allen and Richardson will be the only paid coaches for men’s track and field, but additional coaches will work as volunteers.Beathea said Brian Brillon will return to coach horizontal jumpers, while Richard Warren will continue working with high jumpers. Beathea said the program is also searching for another volunteer coach to work with pole vaulters and decathletes.Beathea said that there are two common points of emphasis shared among his coaching staff.“We all agree in the importance of the championship season,” Beathea said. “Above and beyond anything else, we also all agree in the importance of recruiting.” read more

Football Ohio State promotes Ryan Day to offensive coordinator

Ohio State announced the promotion of Ryan Day to offensive coordinator from co-offensive coordinator on Jan. 23, 2018. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorAfter being rumored as a potential candidate to join former Ohio State player and assistant coach Mike Vrabel’s staff with the Tennessee Titans, Ryan Day will stay on staff with the Buckeyes with his promotion from co-offensive coordinator to offensive coordinator.“Ryan is clearly a very talented coach who has been an outstanding addition to our program,” head coach Urban Meyer said in a press release. “He has been approached by other schools numerous times this off-season for coordinator and head coach opportunities, and by the National Football League for a coordinator opportunity. I am pleased that he has elected to continue to work on this staff and to lead, mentor and coach the terrific young men we have in this program.”Day served as the team’s co-offensive coordinator with Kevin Wilson last season in his first year on Meyer’s staff.The university release said Day will remain the team’s quarterbacks coach and “work with Kevin Wilson to lead the Ohio State offense with additional adjustments to his responsibilities forthcoming.”Day was an integral part of an Ohio State offense that finished sixth in scoring per game and seventh in total offense.Meyer said in December that Day turned down an offer to become the head coach in the Southeastern Conference, but that was never confirmed.Day was scheduled to make $800,000 in his second year before the promotion. read more

Conservatives at war over Theresa Mays leather trousers

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. My barometer is always, ‘How am I going to explain this in Loughborough market’.Nicky Morgan MP It wasn’t so much the cut of Mrs May’s leather strides that upset her former Cabinet colleague. Or the material or even the shimmering khaki finish. It was what the Amanda Wakeley designed trousers symbolised.And at £995 a pair what they symbolise for Mrs Morgan is a PM who is out of touch and, frankly, sending the wrong signals to a country that has spent the past eight years struggling through austerity.The trousers, says the MP – who lost her ministerial position after falling out with Mrs May over the question of schools being required to report on the migration status of pupils – would not go down well with her voters.“My barometer is always, ‘How am I going to explain this in Loughborough market,” said Mrs Morgan, adding that the trousers had “been noticed and discussed” in party circles.She boasts that she doesn’t have a similar item in her wardrobe, never mind spending as much as Mrs May did on them.“I don’t have leather trousers. I don’t think I’ve ever spent that much on anything apart from my wedding dress,” she said.Those of a less charitable disposition may point out that Mrs Morgan’s reputation is not built on her choice of tailoring.Her appearance in Downing Street for last year’s Cabinet reshuffle was characterized by the rather shapeless black trouser suit she wore. Nicky Morgan arriving at No 10 for the Cabinet reshuffle in May 2015 Nicky Morgan arriving at No 10 for the Cabinet reshuffle in May 2015Credit:Julian Simmonds/The Telegraph Now these are problems only female politicians have to contend with. After all, who comments on the fact that the male half of the Cabinet wear the same dull suits, day after day?But in truth Mrs May can be said to have invited comment on her wardrobe choices.After all, she has never hidden the fact she enjoys dressing up and being photographed in her latest outfits.When she appeared on Desert Island Discs in November 2014, the then home secretary was happy to confess that she “enjoys” clothes and she even chose a lifetime’s subscription to Vogue as her luxury item to take to the desert island.She told Radio 4 listeners she manages without a personal shopper, but said her favourite shop rings her up when “there’s something really nice” for her in stock.During the recent photo shoot, for which she also wore a £495 coffee-coloured cashmere jumper by Wakeley – one of Kate Middleton’s favourite designers – along with a pair of £295 Burberry trainers, Mrs May talked about her fashion sense and revealed that she often takes her husband Philip along when clothes shopping.She said that he has a good eye for accessories adding: “(He’s) particularly good at choosing handbags and bracelets for presents and good at flowers”.Mrs May admitted that although her focus is of course on the job at hand she does take her appearance seriously.She said: “At night I’ll think through my outfit for the next day and I go into certain shops where they know me.”Mrs Morgan appears to be suggesting the Prime Minister ought to start visiting shops where they don’t know her and where the price tags are a little more within reach of ordinary voters.It can, she said, be hard for a senior politician to keep a “connection with the outside world” and perhaps a more simple pair of trousers might be a good place to start. The bitter splits at the heart of the Conservative Party were laid bare yesterday, when the former education secretary Nicky Morgan launched an outspoken attack on the Prime Minister.Was it over Brexit, migration or schools – just three of the deep seated issues currently dividing the party?Yes, Mrs Morgan has plenty to say on those topics. But less predictably she has also taken issue with the expensive leather designer trousers worn by Theresa May for a Downing Street photo shoot last week.last_img read more

Earl of Cardigans lawyer quits in latest storm to hit troubled country

first_imgPete Doherty at Sturmy House, during his stay on Lord Cardigan’s Savernake EstateCredit:Planet Photos Mr Cotton has now also stepped down as a trustee of the estate but, according to Mr Weil retains, some involvement in the Earl’s affairs.“We both stepped down as Trustees of the estate but he remains a trustee of a remaining settlement,” said Mr Weil.Lord Cardigan had also sued Mr Cotton over the £376,768 fees he charged, calling them excessive.Relations between the two men became so strained that in 2011 Lord Cardigan was accused of sabotaging a commercial pheasant shoot on his estate by destroying stands and “running a dog through the cover so as to disperse the birds”.This led to the shooting syndicate, which had paid £52,000 a year in fees, to turn its back on Savernake, robbing the estate of valuable revenue.The refurbishment of Sturmy House overran by 18 months and the delay in renting the house cost the estate an estimated £50,000 in potential revenue.The Earl – described as “abrasive” in court papers – had earlier succeeded in having Mr Moore, his former close friend, removed as a trustee after legal action in 2014.A trial judge at the time said: “Mr Moore has had to put up with a great deal of unpleasantness despite the amount of time he has devoted to the estate.”The judge thought Mr Moore should be removed due to the breakdown in relations between him and Lord Cardigan.He wrote: “The lion’s share of responsibility for that breakdown ought, I think, to be laid at Lord Cardigan’s door (and that of Mr Bloom) [Lord Cardigan’s legal adviser.]”  The Earl, whose title dates back to 1611, has repeatedly experienced financial problems.He has run up legal costs of more than £600,000 in legal actions and paid his first wife more than £900,000 in a divorce settlement.By 2013 the Savernake estate had run up debts of £1.8 million, with interest charges of £18,000 a month.He has also fallen out with other family members, most spectacularly his daughter, Lady Catherine Brudenell-Bruce.The Earl was accused of sending her abusive emails. She obtained a restraining order banning him from attending his first wife’s funeral in 2012.Mr Weil is a senior partner with the London solicitors Bircham Dyson Bell.  He specialises in charities, philanthropy, trusts and ‘the resolution of potentially contentious issues arising out of wills, trusts and co-ownership of property’.  Among his ‘career highlights’ mentioned on the firm’s website is “resolving a bitter family dispute arising out of the estate of a millionairess.” 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. His resignation marks another chapter in the frequently turbulent affairs of the Earl, whose ancestors include the general who led the ill-fated charge of the Light Brigade.At the same time as Mr Weil standing down, another trustee, Wilson Cotton, has also resigned from his role at the Savernake Estate.Mr Weil remained circumspect last night over his resignation, saying only: “I do not want to say any more thank you very much. My resignation was part of an agreed settlement with Lord Cardigan. It was part of an agreed court order.”However, it is understood that his resignation is linked to a bitter legal dispute between Mr Weil and Mr Cotton and Lord Cardigan over a property in his grounds rented by the pop star Pete Doherty.Lord Cardigan last year sued Mr Cotton for thousands of pounds in lost rent on Sturmy House following repairs needed when Doherty left the £1 million property “uninhabitable”.Damage caused by the Babyshambles and Libertines singer – whose drug problems and riotous lifestyle made him a cult figure on the British pop scene – included broken windows, graffiti on walls, cats running wild among its nine bedrooms and mounds of rotting rubbish around the property.Further damage was caused when a burst pipe led to flooding after Doherty, who paid £2,950 a month in rent for Sturmy House, moved out in 2010 without informing the agent.The damage cost Lord Cardigan’s insurers £65,000 to repair and almost as much in lost rent after it lay empty following Doherty’s departure. Simon Weill, of Bircham Dyson Bell, who has resigned as trustee of the Savernake Estatecenter_img Simon Weill, of Bircham Dyson Bell, who has resigned as trustee of the Savernake EstateCredit:Bircham Dyson Bell As the scion of one of the country’s oldest aristocratic families the Earl of Cardigan has an impeccable pedigree.But his stewardship of his family’s extensive Wiltshire estate has for several years been fraught with feuds and difficulties.It has now emerged that a senior lawyer appointed by the Earl, David Brudenell-Bruce,  to oversee his affairs at Savernake Estate has resigned following a dispute over the way it was being run.Simon Weil quit as a trustee as part of an agreed settlement with the Earl, three years after he was appointed to replace another of his trustees, John Moore, who left in acrimonious circumstances. Pete Doherty at Sturmy House, during his stay on Lord Cardigan's Savernake Estatelast_img read more

Anger as rail firm removes platform information before trains leave  to stop

first_imgThameslink has defended its controversial move, with its spokesman telling the Mail: “Despite warnings and posters asking passengers not to run, this still happens. Passengers will run to try and catch a train that is shown as departing within a minute. There have been accidents as a result of this.” But the information blackout, just as people are hurrying for their train, has caused confusion and frustration among commuters. Clive Page posted on a Thameslink Passenger Panel website: “This seems exceedingly stupid. It means that accurate information on departures can only be obtained by using one’s smartphone.”Is it really safer to have passengers passing up and down staircases and escalators looking at their screens than to have the information made properly public so that they can take it all in before they leave the concourse?” Passengers have reacted angrily at a rail company’s decision to remove platform and departure time details from information screens before a train is due to leave – to stop people running to catch it.Govia Thameslink Railway, whose franchises include Thameslink and Southern, says it clears details of a train’s departure time and its platform two minutes before it is due to leave. They said it is to stop passengers running to catch their train. The information has sometimes been removed before a train has even arrived at the station. This ‘health and safety’ policy is also used by Network Rail and other train operators, and it is reportedly to stop people running dangerously through train stations and along platforms. Samantha Leighton wrote: “Information is hidden when there is more than enough time to make the train safely.” CEO of Govia Thameslink Railway Charles Horton and Rail Minister Claire Perry at Blackfriars Station  CEO of Govia Thameslink Railway Charles Horton and Rail Minister Claire Perry at Blackfriars Station Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA 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

Natalie Portman I have 100 stories of abuse in Hollywood

first_img‘But that was super not OK, you know? That was really unacceptable and manipulative. I was scared.’  Credit:Cass Bird, courtesy of PORTER magazine Natalie Portman for Net a Porter  She said she had come to realise that experiences she “took for granted as like, this is part of the process”, were actually instances of harassment and sexism.  “I went from thinking, ‘I don’t have a story’ to ‘Oh, wait, I have 100 stories.’ And I think a lot of people are having these reckonings with themselves,” she said. Ms Portman, an experienced actress whose first film role was as at the age of 12 in Luc Bresson’s thriller Léon: The Professional, also paid tribute to those who had come forward to disclose their experiences of sexual abuse. “First of all, I think it’s really important to recognize all the people who have come forward,” she said. “They have created this cultural shift. A lot of people have been speaking out for a long time and not been heard, particularly women of color, so it’s very important the industry listens.”She has previously spoken about her experiences of “sexual terrorism” following her debut role, revealing at the Women’s March in Los Angeles last month that her first fan mail, received when she was 13, had been a rape fantasy written by a man. The Black Swan Oscar winner, who is married to French dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, and has a son and a daughter, also challenged the perception that women’s careers were damaged because they chose to have children.  ‘What’s interesting about this harassment conversation is, maybe it has nothing to do with being a mother.’Credit:Cass Bird, courtesy of PORTER magazine Her comments came as fellow Hollywood star Jessica Chastain made her own comments about sexual harassment. The actress, who co-starred with Portman in upcoming film The Death and Life Of John F. Donovan, commented on Uma Thurman’s allegation that she had been sexually assaulted by Weinstein. “I keep imagining Tarantino spitting in Uma’s face and strangling her with a chain for Kill Bill. How many images of women in media do we celebrate that showcase abuse? When did this become normalized ‘entertainment’?” she said, adding “When violence against women is used as a plot device to make the characters stronger then we have a problem. It is not empowering to be beaten and raped, yet so many films make it their ‘phoenix’ moment for women.”In an interview with the New York Times last week Ms Thurman claimed Weinstein had attacked her in a hotel room at the Savoy in London. In a statement given to the newspaper Weinstein’s spokesman said he admitted “making an awkward pass 25 years ago at Ms Thurman in England after misreading her signals” and added “her claims about being physically assaulted are untrue”. To see the full interview, buy the latest issue of PORTeR, on sale globally on Friday 9 February, 2018. Also available as a digital edition. Natalie Portman has “100 stories” of sexual harassment in Hollywood, she has said. The 36-year-old Oscar winner told PORTeR magazine that she had experienced manipulative studio executives intimidating and harassing her during her career. In one case, she said, a producer invited her onto his private plane.She said: “It was just the two of us, and only one bed was made up. Nothing happened, I was not assaulted. “I did make a point of saying, ‘This does not make me feel comfortable,’ and that was respected.”But that was super not OK, you know? That was really unacceptable and manipulative. I was scared.”Ms Portman played her part in the growing outrage over sexism in Hollywood when she took to the stage in January for the Golden Globes. Announcing the category for Best Director, she said: “And here are the all-male nominees”.  “But what’s interesting about this harassment conversation is, maybe it has nothing to do with being a mother,” she said.”Maybe women are dropping out of the workplace because it’s a hostile environment for them and they are choosing not to be a part of that. It’s been proven that once you change the power differential and reach a 50/50 ratio of men and women, you see fewer issues.”Her commitment to the sexual harassment campaign also compelled her to join Instagram, persuaded by the Hollywood-driven Time’s Up campaign, launched earlier this year in response to allegations of sexual harassment against Miramax founder Harvey Weinstein.  Natalie Portman for Net a Porter ‘They have created this cultural shift. A lot of people have been speaking out for a long time and not been heard, particularly women of color, so it’s very important the industry listens.’ Credit: Cass Bird, courtesy of PORTER magazine Natalie Portman for Net a Porter 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

Duchess of Cambridge reveals studying psychology at university inspired her charity work

She was particularly keen to discuss how the research could be translated into practical help for families and the wider community.“It’s trying to translate the amazing research you are doing here into something that parents can understand,” she remarked. “What do you feel is going to make the difference in this field? Is it increased funding? Is it awareness about the importance of early years intervention?” She added: ‘You hear a lot from people who have addiction in the family: have they any chance at all in being able to change the outcome? When you have got addiction stretching across three generations, can you change what will happen?” Prof McCrory said afterwards: “The Duchess is fantastic. Her level of interest is extraordinary and she has a genuine interest and hunger to understand the science and really think about how the science can help us re-frame our approach to early years and help parents and families, and society to understand the critical importance of the first few years of life.” She added, laughing: “It was a bit full on, but it was really interesting.” At most Scottish universities students will take three subjects in first and second years before specialising in their final subject.The Duchess said her experience in the MRI suite had been “fascinating”. The Duchess of Cambridge has revealed she studied psychology at university, as she discussed the importance of early intervention with vulnerable young children.The Duchess, 36, visited the developmental risk and resilience unit in the Psychology and Language Sciences Division at University College London (UCL) to learn more about their work.As well as talking to researchers, led by Prof Eamon McCrory, co-director of the unit, she was shown its MRI scanning facility and was told about the university’s ground-breaking research on how early experiences can shape brain function and development, both socially and emotionally.She asked: “Is the idea as well that you follow the child you are looking at into adulthood? It would be really fascinating. The research in general, have they [the children and their families] got much understanding of the bigger picture?”–– ADVERTISEMENT ––Earlier this year, the Duchess set up a steering group of practitioners and academics, including neuroscientists, mental health workers, nurses, perinatal care staff and teachers, to research and develop an action plan to make a positive difference to the lives of children by focusing on their early years.The Duchess said yesterday: “I started off doing psychology at St Andrews, with History of Art.” read more

Pubs are closing down at a rate of one every 12 hours

“Protecting pubs in the English planning system was a necessity and a welcome move from the Government. However, it has taken nearly two years for the trickle-down effects of the planning changes to show.”As the UK prepares to exit the European Union, the Government will have the freedom to reduce Beer Duty specifically in pubs – levelling the playing field between the price of beer sold in social, community settings and cheap supermarket alcohol consumed at home. Pubs are closing down at a rate of one every 12 hours, new figures show.The Campaign for Real Ale say that 378 pubs shut down permanently between July and December last year in England, Scotland and Wales, representing more than 14 closures a week.Since the start of last year, some 854 have shut across Great Britain, but the decline has slowed since 980 closures in 2017.There are now 40,683 pubs in England, 2,901 in Wales and 3,612 in Scotland, according to the figures.Jackie Parker, CAMRA’s National Chairman said: “Pubs are a very important part of our national culture and are valuable community assets which help to combat loneliness and social isolation. It’s great we have seen a drop in the number of pubs closing and shows that our campaign to get planning protection for pubs was worth it. 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

Girls schools could admit trans boys under proposals being considered by equalities

Meanwhile trans rights and childrens charities say it is paramount that transgender children can “ live their life freely” and that all schools take steps to create “inclusive environments” for vulnerable students. “A pupil who has transitioned, or wants to, must be allowed to continue to attend the school; to remove them would amount to direct gender reassignment discrimination.”The document also says: “An admission policy of only admitting pupils in accordance with their sex recorded at birth would particularly disadvantage trans pupils, and would be indirectly discriminatory against trans pupils, unless it could be demonstrated to be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.”The guidance also urges schools to install gender-neutral toilets, changing and shower rooms wherever possible, a contentious area among feminists who say female-only spaces should be protected. The document says if not, “trans boys and trans girls can use the single-sex facilities that align with their gender identity if they wish to do so.”On the controversial area of sex categories in sports, the leaked EHRC document encourages schools to “consider ways of enabling all pupils to participate in sports, including competitive events that align with their gender identity.”The leaked document has prompted controversy among the feminist academic and women’s rights campaigners, with critics claiming that it will have controversial implications for single-sex schools and “shows what a mess we create when we conflate sex and gender”. Girls schools would have to admit transgender pupils under proposals being considered by the equalities watchdog.The confidential Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) draft guidance, leaked to The Telegraph, reveals that schools could be set to consider admissions of trans students to single-sex schools on a “case-by-case approach”.Schools were supposed to be issued with the first official national guidelines on transgender children in March 2018. The change to guidelines were set to tackle issues such as what pronouns teachers should use for trans pupils, as well as guidance on changing rooms, uniforms and bullying.However, following repeated delays, it has never been published. The EHRC claims to have sought views from teachers, education experts, women’s groups and trans groups and it is understood that this is the cause of the delay.It is unclear at what stage this guidance was drafted. However The Telegraph can now reveal details of the draft guidance  – entitled Trans pupils: guidance for schools in Scotland on the Equality Act 2010 – Confidential DRAFT – which has never before been made public. “Moreover it’s a feeling that we know most will grow out of. Assuming that there are good reasons to retain single sex provision in certain schools, it’s incomprehensible that these reasons should be overidden in favour of a usually transitory feeling.”However, Mermaids, the charity which supports transgender youth in the UK, said it was important that transgender children’s rights “to live their life freely” is respected and supported.A spokesman for the charity said: “We haven’t played any part in forming the Scottish Guidance, so we’re unable to comment on the contents of this document. We’re sorry to see it’s been leaked because organisations have been working on this guidance for several years and we would be disappointed to see any further delay to its publishing. “As ever, we believe in every transgender child’s right to live their life freely and with support and understanding.” It says that: “A refusal to admit a trans pupil to a single-sex school which is the same as the trans pupil’s sex recorded at birth would be direct sex discrimination. Admitting such a pupil will not affect the school’s single-sex status.  The EHRC, which acts as the nation’s human rights watchdog, said that the leaked guidance was only a draft and that finalised guidance to help schools understand their obligations under the Equalities Act 2010 would be shared with schools across England, Scotland and Wales “in due course”.Kiri Tunks, co-founder of Woman’s Place UK, a women’s campaign group, said: “This guidance shows what a mess we create when we conflate sex and gender. The EHRC seems very confused about the difference and this advice will just muddy the waters further. “The EHRC is right that publicly funded schools are obliged by the Public Sector Equality Duty to foster good relations between protected characteristics but they also have a responsibility to assess the impact of any changes they make which could affect other protected groups. We are losing confidence in the EHRC’s ability to issue robust, practical advice on this question.”Kathleen Stock, professor of philosophy at the University of Sussex, said that educational guidance should not be based on a “usually transitory feeling”. She said: “We have to remember that literally the only criterion of telling who is a trans child and who isn’t is that they say so. It’s based on a feeling.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A spokeswoman for the charity said: “Trans young people need supportive environments now more than ever, as we know from our research that nearly two-thirds of trans pupils (64 per cent) have experienced bullying. It’s vital all schools take active steps to create inclusive environments for trans pupils, or those who may be questioning their gender.”An EHRC spokeswoman said: “This document is a draft. We have been speaking to teachers and education experts, women’s groups and trans groups for their views. This will be an important document for schools to help them support all children and meet their legal duties under the equality act.” According to the latest research by Stonewall, the LGBT charity, almost half of all LGBT pupils still face bullying at school, and more than two in five trans young people have tried to take their own lifeTheir report, entitled School report 2017, surveyed more than 3,700 LGBT pupils in British schools and was carried out in conjunction with the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Family Research. read more

CCJ Environmental tax case Govt ordered to refund Trinidadbased beverage company

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has ruled that Guyana refund Trinidad-based beverage company, SM Jaleel (SMJ) and its subsidiary Guyana Beverages Inc (GBI), over the Environmental Tax imposed, in breach of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, between 2011 and 2015 which can amount to millions of dollars.CCJ President, Sir Dennis Byron on Tuesday, ruled that the taxes levied during this period are in violation of the Caribbean Community’s (Caricom) Single Market and Economy rules.CCJ is Headquartered in TrinidadIn handing down the ruling, Sir Byron stated that Guyana has been clearly unjustly “enriched” at the expense of SMJ and GBI, having collected an unlawful tax directly from them in clear breach of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. While CCJ did not specify the amount to be paid, it was outlined that Guyana will have to pay an aggregate sum of the amount paid by the company to the Government in Environmental Tax from March 7, 2011 to August 7, 2015 together with interest at four per cent per annum from the date of judgement.According to Sir Byron, the Environmental Tax did not promote cross-border trade but tended to frustrate free movement of goods, distorted competition and discriminated against the companies which should have been protected as belonging to the Community.Moreover, Guyana will have to pay 70 per cent of the cost of the court proceedings.The company had sought to have a refund calculated from January 1, 2006 but a five-year limitation period for settlement of cases was pointed out in the ruling.“The court holds that a five-year limitation period is appropriate and will protect States from stale claims in respect of which there would be inherent difficulties in trying to produce documentary or oral evidence.It will, above all, encourage claimants to file suit in a timely fashion,” Sir Byron said in handing down the ruling.Guyana’s legal team was headed by incumbent Attorney General Basil Williams, SC, while SM Jaleel was represented by Attorney Hans Lim-A-Po of Suriname.This action comes in light of the CCJ ruling in a similar lawsuit filed by Surinamese company Rudisa Beverages, which was awarded US $6 million in compensation by the Court in 2015.Former President Donald Ramotar under whose governance the tax was imposed, had said that the Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) is to be blamed for the recent lawsuit against Government for environmental taxes.Referencing the Rudisa Beverage claim, Ramotar had said that prior to taking Guyana to Court an agreement was reached between Rudisa and all the parties, including local companies, to cut the tax by half and apply it to all the companies operating in Guyana and a Bill to that effect was placed in the National Assembly that was at the time controlled by the then Opposition APNU/AFC which held a 1 seat majority. “We thought that the Opposition would find no difficulty in supporting this, that the Opposition would realise the cost to Guyana’s taxpayers and support the amendment to the law. Unfortunately, the Opposition saw this as another tool to damage the PPP/C Government,” he stated, adding that despite forceful and convincing arguments by his Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Legal Affairs, the then APNU and AFC Opposition parties used their combined majority to vote against the relevant bill.This, Ramotar outlined, resulted in the case going before the CCJ, which ultimately ruled in favour of the beverage company incurring a billion-dollar bill for the Guyana Government to honour the award.The former President had said further that “the PPP/C had also warned that this would not be the end of the matter. It was pointed out then that some companies from Trinidad and Tobago could also take us to court because the case with Rudisa was the same. APNU and AFC seemed delighted to hear this, seeing that it would hurt the PPP/C Government. That seemed to spur them even more to vote against the amendment. As things turned out, it is those parties that are in Government now and had to pay the US $6 Million which they so delighted in imposing on the Guyanese taxpayers,” he remarked.The former President had posited that this situation was totally unnecessary and completely avoidable; however, APNU and the AFC had displayed a strong unpatriotic stance.“These are the parties that now wield power in our country. The level of vindictiveness and hatred is unprecedented. The cost of such an attitude is great. The bill is climbing,” Ramotar had commented. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGov’t blames Opposition for CCJ Ruling on beverage company refund –May 16, 2014In “Politics”Nandlall disputes AG’s claims of debts owed to TCL, Rudisa BeveragesJune 28, 2015In “Politics”Gov’t to negotiate smaller payments to Rudisa, TCLJuly 1, 2015In “Business” read more

WPA calls for setting up of Renewable Energy Ministry …says was

Final squad to represent Guyana at Americas Rugby challenge to be announced Executive Members of the WPAThe Working People’s Alliance (WPA) has lashed out at the APNU/AFC coalition Government for not extending its hand for any consultations with the party on critical matters relating to the State’s impending oil and gas sector.During a press conference at WPA Party Headquarters in Queenstown, Georgetown on Thursday, the WPA called on the ruling Administration to establish a Renewable Energy Ministry.The call for this establishment comes despite the Ministry of the Presidency’s assuming responsibility of the petroleum sector from Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman in January, 2018.The WPA, which forms part of the APNU, said Government should establish the Renewable Energy Ministry to frame the sector’s policy and implement actions to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs, and advance non-carbon energy technologies.That party’s calls for openness and transparency are seemingly coming from the wilderness, as described by WPA executive and political analyst Dr. David Hinds, who however is adamant that the party will continue to fight for its voice in the coalition, as it has always believed in power sharing since its 1974 inception.“The WPA is not a ‘yes’ partner in the coalition; we are not yes men. Along with the PNC, we worked very hard to bring the APNU into being, and the Coalition (Government) into being. We believe in coalition politics, but we are not prepared to be part of a coalition where we just go along,” Dr Hinds asserted.When the party was further probed, another executive, Tacuma Ogunseye pointed out that the APNU does not have an adequate forum within which its partners can meet for pre-consultations.Ogunseye said that while the major decisions are made by Cabinet, the parties that constitute the APNU do not have a say beforehand. He said that while this situation has been ongoing for the last two years, nothing has been done to resolve it. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedDr Roopnaraine’s ‘reshuffle’: President to hold high level meeting with WPA – HarmonJune 16, 2017In “latest news”‘We’re being sidelined’, says WPA on removal of Dr Roopnaraine from Education MinistryJune 19, 2017In “latest news”‘I didn’t request it’ says Dr Roopnaraine on removal from Education MinistryJune 15, 2017In “latest news” read more

NY governor grants Caribbean nationals clemency

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedNY governor reaffirms commitment to protecting Caribbean immigrants’ rightsJuly 7, 2017In “latest news”Letter: Community shocked at immigration raids in ‘Little Guyana’, NYCFebruary 21, 2017In “Letters”Bomb explodes in New York – officials say it was a terrorist actSeptember 18, 2016In “World” NY Governor Andrew CuomoNEW YORK, United States (CMC) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has granted pardons to several Caribbean nationals, including five Jamaicans, convicted of minor drug and other offenses and saving them from possible deportation under the Donald Trump administration’s tough policy on immigrants.Cuomo said he was granting clemency to 29 immigrants “who have demonstrated substantial evidence of rehabilitation and a commitment to community crime reduction.“While President Trump shuts down the federal government over his obsession with keeping immigrants out, New York stands strong in our support for immigrant communities,” said Cuomo, adding “these actions will help keep immigrant families together and take a critical step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York.”Five Jamaicans, a Trinidadian, one Haitian and six nationals from the Dominican Republic were among those granted pardons.The governor said the pardons are in recognition of the immigrants’ “rehabilitative efforts and to remove the barriers that their criminal records present to their immigration status.“Some are facing deportation, while others wish to be able to participate in their communities as citizens of the country they call home. In each case, a pardon will make immigration-related relief possible, if not automatic,” he said.Cuomo said Jamaican Olive Ferguson, 75, was convicted of attempted criminal sale of a controlled substance in 1991 and that “she has been crime-free ever since”.He said Ferguson is “an active member of her church. She has remained crime-free for 27 years. A pardon will minimise her risk of deportation.”Jamaican Rohan Hylton, 47, was convicted of a similar offence in 1992 as well as criminal possession of marijuana in 2001 and 2003.Cuomo said Hylton came to the United States over 30 years ago with his family “to escape political persecution.“As a father and dedicated family man, he now lives and works in Queens. A pardon will allow him to apply for discretionary relief from his deportation order. He has not been convicted of any misdemeanours or felonies for 12 years.”Cuomo said another Jamaican, Kerrone Kay-Marie Parks, 33, was convicted in 2013 on drug related charges.“She is a domestic violence survivor, a mother of three children on the honour roll, and currently volunteers full-time at a nursing home. She has remained crime-free for five years.”Jamaican Jeremy Grant, 58, was also convicted of drug related charges in 2005 “when an individual in a group he was a member of sold drugs to an undercover cop and the entire group was convicted in Manhattan,” the New York governor said.He said Grant “has been in prolonged removal proceedings since 2006,” and “has remained crime-free for 13 years.“A pardon would remove the barriers to apply for a green card renewal, and prevent him from being deported and losing his access to necessary medical treatment,” Cuomo said.He said Grant’s compatriot, Trevor Elliot, 67, was convicted of drugs in the early 1990s and has worked at a non-profit that provides social services for the youth and as an elder care provider.“A pardon would allow Mr Elliot to apply for citizenship. He has maintained a crime-free lifestyle for 10 years.”Trinidadian Anthony Khan, 66, was convicted of a drug offence in 1980 when he accompanied an acquaintance to sell a controlled substance and was arrested as part of a sting operation in the Bronx.Cuomo said Khan, who migrated to the United States in 1971, is “an active church goer and a husband and father, who has worked with the Taxi and Limousine Commission for 35 years.”He has remained crime-free for 37 years, the governor said. Haitian Reginald Castel, 45, was convicted of assault in 1999 and Cuomo said Castel, who came to the United States at the age of eight, is married with four children and was deported without notice in September 2017.“A pardon will allow Mr Castel to apply for re-entry to the United States and re-unite with his family. He has remained crime free for 19 years.”Alisa Wellek, executive director of New York’s Immigrant Defence Project, said that in pardoning immigrant New Yorkers who face deportation, despite years of contributing to the community, Cuomo “has used a powerful tool to restore dignity to people for whom punishment will otherwise never end, simply because they were not born here.“We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor’s office and our Immigrant Clemency Project to provide immigrant New Yorkers with a fighting chance to remain with their families in the face of Trump’s hateful agenda,” she said.Cuomo had last year announced a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s policy of forced family separation on the US southern border.To protect Caribbean and other immigrants from overly aggressive deportation tactics increasingly utilised by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, the governor also issued executive orders to prohibit ICE arrests in New York state facilities without a warrant. read more

Green clash over new Hunter Valley coal mine

first_imgOn May 9, Greens MP and self-styled mining spokesperson Lee Rhiannon today called on Premier Morris Iemma of New South Wales, Australia to reject the proposed Anvil Hill coal mine. “The mine would be a water and climate disaster. The Greens will be introducing our own Climate Futures Bill to stop it and we will be heavily supporting the protests at Anvil Hill,” Ms Rhiannon said. “The threat of zero water allocations in the Upper Hunter must be awake up call for the NSW government’s approach to coal mining. Each year this mine would use a massive 400 megalitres of Hunter River water at the expense of agriculture and the local economy.”Centennial refutes the statements and says “the proposed Anvil Hill coal mine has adequate water licences available for planned future consumption, having already obtained sufficient water allocation licences to satisfy the project’s needs, estimated at no more than 400 mega litres per annum. To put the mine’s water needs into context, it is estimated that the mine requires approximately the same amount of water as an average vineyard or horse stud.“Water usage has been a feature of Centennial’s planning process for the project, which will use sophisticated water capture and recycling systems as part of the mine’s design. Water issues were addressed by the Independent Hearing Assessment Panel, with the only relevant matter raised being a requirement that the mine hold appropriate water licences. The mine has already met this requirement, holding more than sufficient licences to meet its long-term water requirements. The proposed Anvil Hill mine has been subject to arguably the most rigorous environmental assessment process and has cleared every scientific, environmental and technical hurdle (including water management and usage).”Ms Rhiannon described Centennial Coal’s attitude as “arrogant, characteristic of the mining industry which exploits the weak NSW planning and environment laws to ignore the dangers of climate change and water shortages. The Anvil Hill coal mine would damage the ground water and impact on surface run-off in the lower catchment to Wybong Creek, which flows into the Hunter River.She further claimed that “the annual 10.5 Mt of coal that Anvil Hill would produce is a bad news story.  The mine would add more than  529 Mt of carbon dioxide to the earth’s atmosphere over the next 21 years. We are already facing increasingly frequent and severe droughts as a result of global warming. Increasing the risk of runaway climate change will be more bad news for water users in the Hunter and the environment.“The needs of the local community and the environment suffer because of the close relationship mining companies have established with the NSW government,” Ms Rhiannon said.last_img read more

Engineered solutions powered by GIW Industries and Hagler Systems

first_imgGIW has announced a new working partnership with Hagler Systems. Hagler Systems develops custom-engineered designs for dredging and mining equipment and technical services for the industry. The company is especially known for its booster designs, cleanouts, and automated control systems. Hagler Systems also represents GIW pumps, among other dredge and slurry products. GIW’s partnership with Hagler Systems combines Hagler Systems’ engineering expertise with GIW’s pumping skill to develop custom-engineered products to meet the needs of GIW customers. The initial project will be a pump house for the oil sands market.A solution that marries the expertise of the two companies is a natural fit. Nikki Rebernak, GIW Product Manager, explains the goal behind this new relationship. “Hagler Systems has already developed some fabulous products that are companions to GIW pumps: special spool pieces for the suction ends and special drive, skid, and maintenance equipment — things that make it easier to use or package the equipment. So the goal of our relationship is to address whatever our customers need — to provide new solutions to real-world applications.”Hagler Systems brings its engineering resources, a proven track record of engineered equipment, and existing knowledge of GIW equipment to the partnership. GIW brings market penetration, customer knowledge, and top-tier pumps. The resulting solutions might be something as complicated as the current pump-house project or as simple as a pump on a movable metal skid.“No one has focused on providing this type of engineered product before,” Rebernak says. “Until now, solutions would be cobbled together; accessories around the pumps were not standard and were often developed by people who didn’t understand the pumps. The equipment either inhibited how the pump works or was just ‘good enough.’”Hagler Systems, of course, understands GIW systems and pumps. The companies will begin with custom-engineered products and solutions but plan to eventually develop some standard catalog items.The motto of the new relationship, says Rebernak, is simple: “We’re the Engineers. Tell us what you need.”last_img read more

A viable alternative to cyanide in gold recovery

first_imgZhichang Liu a postdoctoral fellow at Illinois’ Northwestern University, and colleagues, have discovered of a new gold recovery process that’s based on a non-toxic component of corn starch. This could mean an end to the need to use cyanide in many gold recovery operations. More details will be published in the magazine’s July issue report on mineral processing advances. The paper Selective isolation of gold facilitated by second-sphere coordination with α-cyclodextrin has just been published – abstract notes: “Gold recovery using environmentally benign chemistry is imperative from an environmental perspective. Here we report the spontaneous assembly of a one-dimensional supramolecular complex with an extended {[K(OH2)6][AuBr4] (α-cyclodextrin)2}n chain superstructure formed during the rapid co-precipitation of α-cyclodextrin and KAuBr4 in water. This phase change is selective for this gold salt, even in the presence of other square-planar palladium and platinum complexes. From single-crystal X-ray analyses of six inclusion complexes between α-, β- and γ-cyclodextrins with KAuBr4 and KAuCl4, we hypothesise that a perfect match in molecular recognition between α-cyclodextrin and [AuBr4]− leads to a near-axial orientation of the ion with respect to the α-cyclodextrin channel, which facilitates a highly specific second-sphere coordination involving [AuBr4]− and [K(OH2)6]+ and drives the co-precipitation of the 1:2 adduct. This discovery heralds a green host–guest procedure for gold recovery from gold-bearing raw materials making use of α-cyclodextrin—an inexpensive and environmentally benign carbohydrate.last_img read more

Bradken looks to acquire Austin Engineering

first_imgAustralia-headquartered mining castings and heavy engineering group, Bradken Ltd, has made “a non-binding and indicative proposal” to the Board of Austin Engineering Board to acquire all of the ordinary shares in Austin that it does not currently own – 78.5%. Bradken said it has noted the initial view of the Austin board “that it is willing to engage in discussions with Bradken in relation to its proposal. Austin is an important global player in the mining wear parts, buckets, tyre handlers, attachments and truck body markets – with key assets including Westech Engineering in Wyoming. Bradken said that the approach was made prior to Austin’s recently announced capital raising and on the basis of a number of assumptions including full year earnings for Austin being in line with consensus forecasts. Bradken has noted the revised profit outlook for Austin provided as part of the capital raising, which is below previous market consensus at the lower end. Bradken also notes Austin’s expectation that 80% of full year earnings will be achieved in the second half of 2014. Bradken’s Proposal is subject to a number of conditions including satisfactory completion of due diligence, regulatory approvals, and unanimous recommendation of the Proposal by the Board of Austin.last_img read more

Initiative for a carbondioxidefree Swedish steel industry

first_imgSSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall are launching an initiative to solve the carbon dioxide problem in the Swedish steel industry. Together, the companies involved will initiate work to develop a steel production process that emits water rather than carbon dioxide.The world is facing major challenges in the quest for a more sustainable society. SSAB’s existing production system is already one of the world’s most efficient in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. Nevertheless, existing steelmaking technology using coke plants and blast furnaces means SSAB is Sweden’s largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions.SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall together are prepared to assume major responsibility to find a long-term solution to the carbon dioxide problem in the steel industry. Consequently, the companies concerned have announced that they are launching a joint industrial development project to create steel production that emits water instead of carbon dioxide.With its specialised, innovative steel industry, access to fossil-free electricity and the highest-quality iron ore in Europe, Sweden is uniquely placed for such a project.“The environment and sustainability have been a part of SSAB’s long-term strategy for many years. But we want to do even more. Under this initiative, we will take responsibility to solve long-term the problem of carbon dioxide in the steel industry,” states Martin Lindqvist, President and CEO at SSAB.“LKAB makes iron ore products using processes that require less energy and result in fewer emissions than the majority of our competitors. Our focus lies on also optimising our customers’ processes. This drive for carbon-dioxide-free ironmaking will be a significant contribution to sustainability,” says Jan Moström, President and Group CEO at LKAB.“It is very pleasing to take part in an initiative to secure the future of one of Sweden’s important branches of industry by using carbon-dioxide-free electricity to replace fossil fuel in steel production. This is the start of a highly interesting, climate-friendly development project that benefits our partners, Vattenfall and not least the climate,” says Magnus Hall, President and CEO at Vattenfall.The project will also mean a major contribution to a fossil-free Sweden. Implementation of the project will also require national contributions from the state, research institutions and universities over the next 20-25 years.”Sweden has the chance to take the lead in this matter. No other country in Europe has the same opportunity thanks to the competence of our three companies and country’s unique natural resources. Nevertheless, success requires strong political involvement and commitment. Our three companies have a clear future vision: together we can create a more sustainable future, where one of the goals is steel without coal,” Lindqvist concludes.last_img read more

120 years of excellence in service to mining

first_imgCelebrating 120 years of service to the mining industry, the Wits School of Mining Engineering is the seed from which the University of the Witwatersrand grew, and is now the largest mining school in the English-speaking world.“The School of Mining Engineering is one of the leading schools in the world. Our academics and students, supported by industry, are working together to shape the future of mining on the continent and beyond,” said Professor Adam Habib, Wits Vice-Chancellor and Principal. “We are researching cutting-edge deep-level mining techniques, developing new methods and systems to ensure the safety and wellbeing of miners, researching new technologies in mechanised mining systems and working to ensure the sustainability and future of the mining industry so that it is beneficial for all. We extend our congratulations to the School as it celebrates this momentous milestone.”According to Head of School Professor Cuthbert Musingwini, the growth of the School has taken place alongside a strong commitment to excellence – placing it as number one in Africa and at 22nd position in the recent QS World University ranking of the world’s Top 50 minerals and mining schools.Graduates enter the world of work with qualifications that are internationally recognised in terms of the Washington Accord agreement, he said.In line with Wits University’s Vision 2022 strategy, which focuses on making Wits a research-intensive University, the School has boosted its postgraduate numbers to create a growing pool of mining engineering researchers tackling both fundamental and applied research. The School graduated seven doctoral students in 2015 and another five last year.“While most of the research conducted by students up to doctoral level tends to be fundamental research, we have built considerable capacity for applied research through our Centres of Excellence: the Centre for Mechanised Mining Systems, and the Centre for Sustainability in Mining and Industry,” said Professor Musingwini. “Leveraging our close links with the private sector – among both mining companies and service providers – we equip these Centres to tackle pressing issues facing the future of mining.”Much of the School’s research has already been highly acclaimed in the ways that it has advanced the sector. One of the most memorable intellectual breakthroughs was Wits alumnus Danie Krige’s pioneering work applying insights in statistics to the valuation of new gold mines, using a limited number of boreholes. The technique, which became known as ‘kriging’ after its originator, helped improve ore evaluation techniques and reduced the financial risk of investing in mining projects.Other contributions include: former senior lecturer Dr Gys Landman’s research at Wits which advanced stone-dusting technologies for the coal mining sector; past Head of School Professor Fred Cawood’s research into mining tax which helped refine government’s mine taxation and royalty formula; Professor Musingwini’s research which led to the platinum sector’s adoption of the short cross-cut mining method; Professor Halil Yilmaz’s research on developing standard testing of thin spray-on liners for supporting mine excavations; and Professor Gordon Smith’s research on a strategic planning framework which is being used in some of the platinum mining companies.To continue this proud research tradition, the School’s staff – which is today fully staffed – can boast three full professorships, three associate professorships and four National Research Foundation (NRF) rated researchers. Nine staff members are also currently registered for their doctoral degrees.“Our competent and committed academic staff have ensured that we maintain firm relationships with the mining sector,” said Professor Musingwini. “With the support of the Mining Qualifications Authority and the Minerals Education Trust Fund, we have been able appoint and retain academics of the highest standard.”The emphasis on research output has meant that output rates have improved markedly in recent years, to reach almost 35 research output units in 2016 – making the School a leading research entity in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at Wits.Professor Ian Jandrell, Dean of the Faculty, points out that the School has always been seen as a leader in all of its endeavours.“The School has effectively evolved from a training academy focusing on the very practical needs of an emerging industry, to serving a transforming industry, and to continually engaging in world-leading research,” said Professor Jandrell. “It is not surprising that one of the 21st Century Institutes hosted by the Faculty is the Wits Mining Institute – a platform built on the acknowledgement of the need for trans- and multi-disciplinary research into mining as we re-imagine this industry and its role in society.”Jandrell emphasised that the on-going and strong industry support for the School is clear testament to its relevance to our city, our industry and our economy. The School of Mining Engineering is home to some of the highest-tech and cross-cutting research, making it a tantalising home for budding researchers from across the world.“We are deeply proud of the number of international researchers who choose this School, and who add value through their international experience and expertise,” he added. “Nevertheless, the School has never lost sight of its embeddedness in the South African landscape. This is a very special School, and one that we hold dear in all our endeavours.”The School’s contribution to industry is also reflected in the numerous leadership roles that staff play in professional and industry bodies. Professor Musingwini is currently the President of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, an august organisation once headed by the School’s Emeritus Professor Dick Stacey, the School’s Visiting Professor Nielen van der Merwe, and the School’s Honourary Adjunct Professor John Cruise. Professor Cawood is a past President of the Institute of Mine Surveyors of South Africa, and Visiting Professor Christina Dohm chairs the Geostatistical Association of Southern Africa.last_img read more