South Carolina defensive star Jadeveon Clowney likely will miss the Gamecocks’ spring game Saturday because of a neck injury that is not deemed to be serious.“His neck and back (are) stiff,” defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said. “Whether he goes another snap [this spring], I don’t care.”The All-American defensive end reportedly sprained his neck last week when he collided with defensive tackle J.T. Surratt in practice. Clowney was not cleared for practice Tuesday, but he seemed optimistic his absence the rest of the week will not hurt his preparation for 2013.“It’s not really about being out here,” Clowney told reporters. “It’s about learning the playbook. We put in some new stuff, so all I have to do is learn the play calls. The rest of it, I’ll catch up on.”As long as Clowney’s neck heals properly, there should be no fallout from this injury other than disappointment for fans watching the annual Garnett & Black Spring Game on Saturday. Clowney is expected to be a Heisman Trophy candidate after ranking second nationally in sacks (13) and tackles for loss (23½).While Clowney might not be in pads, he will be honored at halftime as the winner of the 2012 Ted Hendricks Award, presented to the nation’s top defensive end. Former college and NFL great Ted Hendricks will be on hand to present the trophy with Gamecocks’ coach Steve Spurrier.
Month: September 2019
Ivan Rodriguez.14997.8.235127.7+.086 PLAYERISOWRC+ISOWRC+ISO DIFF. THROUGH AGE 25AGE 26-29 Late-blooming power hittersLargest difference in isolated power (ISO) between appearances through age 25 and age 26-29, 1901-2017 George Sisler.096136.7.192160.0+.096 Rogers Hornsby.162162.6.300203.5+.138 Albert Belle.222118.0.323159.9+.100 Martinez isn’t the only recent player to go on an out-of-nowhere power spree — Jose Bautista, for instance, went from a light-hitting utility man early in his career to a fearsome, bat-flipping homer machine as he approached his 30s. Nor is Martinez the only exemplar of the fly-ball phenomenon sweeping across the game; from Daniel Murphy to Yonder Alonso, plenty of players have given their careers new life by way of an uppercut swing.But Martinez might be the best of the bunch.Because of his newfound affinity for fly balls, Martinez — who landed in Arizona via a midseason trade — has remade himself into one of the game’s most dangerous hitters. Over the past four seasons, Martinez ranks as the eighth-best batter in all of baseball according to Weighted Runs Created Plus, which measures how many runs a player generates per plate appearance.Early in his career, it would have been a pleasant surprise if Martinez had hit four home runs in a month. But after Martinez modified his approach, Monday’s accomplishment is just the latest signpost along his road to stardom. And with the red-hot Diamondbacks practically assured of making the playoffs, a national audience will have a chance to get acquainted with Martinez’s power stroke this fall.Check out our latest MLB predictions. Kirby Puckett.07186.0.182138.3+.111 Ken Griffey Jr..234141.9.321146.0+.087 Sammy Sosa.18396.7.273123.5+.090 In becoming the 18th major-league player to hit four homers in a game (and the second player this season), Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder J.D. Martinez did something rarer than a perfect game. But in accomplishing the feat, Martinez has also become the poster boy of one baseball’s biggest trends: the overnight fly ball-smashing sensation.Martinez began his career as a slap-hitting prospect for the Houston Astros — and to be charitable, he was not successful at it. Over his first three MLB seasons, Martinez had an adjusted on-base plus slugging that was 12 percent worse than average, accumulated negative 1.3 wins above replacement1Taking the average of Baseball-Reference.com’s and FanGraphs’s versions of WAR. and hit for very little power, belting just 24 home runs in 252 games. By 2014, Martinez was struggling so much that Houston released him.“I’m doing everything the coaches tell me,” Martinez told Travis Sawchik of FanGraphs in March about that period of his career. “I’m swinging down on the ball. In BP, I’m hitting low line drives everywhere. In games, it doesn’t play.”But the Detroit Tigers saw potential in Martinez, snapping him up a few days after his release. And Martinez repaid their faith by turning his career around, with the help of a new philosophy at the plate. He became one of baseball’s earliest fly-ball revolutionaries, reducing his ratio of ground balls to fly balls from 0.87 in his first three seasons to 0.64 in the seasons since. And the results were striking. Since 1901,2The first season of MLB’s modern two-league era. only Hall of Fame second baseman Rogers Hornsby increased his isolated power — which is slugging percentage minus batting average — more from his career average through age 25 to his average between the ages of 26 and 29 (Martinez was coming off his age-25 season when the Astros waived him): Jeff Bagwell.170138.4.284169.1+.115 Andy Pafko.114111.7.203132.2+.089 Tony Armas.12773.6.219105.1+.092 Damion Easley.09272.9.190105.5+.098 J.D. Martinez.13687.3.265145.8+.129 Gorman Thomas.16281.8.264129.5+.101 Todd Hundley.13667.0.251128.1+.115 David Ortiz.182101.5.288143.9+.106 Joe Adcock.15297.5.246138.5+.094 Gil Hodges.14796.4.244135.9+.098 For players with at least 750 plate appearances through age 25 and at least 1,500 from age 26 to 29.Sources: FanGraphs, Baseball-Reference.com Duke Snider.203124.0.306163.8+.103 George Foster.14898.0.258151.3+.110 Harry Heilmann.125118.3.216165.4+.092
2012BaylorBig 1234-0127.31Champion 1995ConnecticutBig East29-0135.11Champion Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions. 1993VermontAmerica East28-01818.081st round 1997ConnecticutBig East30-0127.21Elite 8 YEARTEAMCONFERENCERECORDAP RANKAVG PT DIFF.SEEDRESULT 2010ConnecticutBig East33-0134.81Champion Last year, the women’s college basketball season culminated with a final between two undefeated teams. This year, the tournament will have at least one undefeated team: Princeton, which finished its regular season 30-0 with a 55-42 win over Penn on Tuesday.Most of the prior 14 teams to enter the tournament undefeated had far better pedigrees. Ten were ranked No. 1 entering the tournament, and eight left the tournament as undefeated champions. The only reason last year’s Notre Dame team didn’t enter the tournament as No. 1 or exit it as undefeated champ was that it faced another undefeated team in the final: UConn.Unlike UConn and Notre Dame last season, which were the clear top-two teams entering the tournament, Princeton won’t even be favored to advance from its region. None of its wins came against teams now ranked in the Top 25. Its conference schedule was a breeze: Penn was the only other Ivy League team with a winning conference record, and just Cornell joined Princeton and Penn with a winning overall record.Princeton’s nonconference schedule wasn’t all that hard, either. After Tuesday’s regular-season finale, senior guard Blake Dietrick said she started thinking 30-0 was possible when the Tigers beat Michigan by 30 in Ann Arbor. Dietrick called the December game “a monumental win for us against a nonconference team.” But Michigan finished 16-14, with a losing record in the Big Ten. Princeton is ranked 13th in the country, behind five teams with five or more losses.Princeton is more similar historically to three undefeated teams in the 1990s that were seeded No. 8 or worse and lost in the first round: Vermont in 1992 and 1993, and 1998 Liberty, which was knocked out by fellow undefeated team Tennessee. But Princeton will probably do better than those three teams did — it likely will be ranked higher in the final pre-tournament AP poll, and it has a greater margin of victory.Finishing in first isn’t the highest-priority goal for Princeton, which mainly wants to become the first Ivy League team since Harvard to win a game in the tournament. “That is No. 1 on our list right now, second is finishing my thesis,” Dietrick said. “It’s the thing I want to do most in the world, most in my life.”Below is each undefeated women team’s record, ranking and seed entering the NCAA tournament, along with how it finished, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Info: 1998LibertyBig South28-0—18.3161st round 2014Notre DameACC32-0225.61Finalist 2015PrincetonIvy30-013*24.9—— 2009ConnecticutBig East33-0131.51Champion 1992VermontAmerica East29-02521.991st round 2002ConnecticutBig East33-0137.01Champion 1998TennesseeSEC33-0131.11Champion 1986TexasSouthwest29-0127.41Champion 2014ConnecticutAmerican Ath.34-0135.71Champion 1990Louisiana TechAmerican So.29-0135.21Final Four
Ohio State defeated Illinois Sunday 8-4 to snap a five-game losing streak and avoid being swept for the first time this season.Things were not looking good early for OSU as the Illini scored first, as they did in the first two games of the series.Illinois scored one run in the first and added three more in the second inning of starting pitcher Brett McKinney. Two consecutive Illini hitters reached base, one walked and one hit by a pitch, which allowed shortstop Josh Parr to bring both runners home on his second triple of the weekend. Parr scored on a single by center fielder Willie Argo.That is where the scoring stopped for Illinois.Ryan Dew, who is usually the designated hitter, made his first start in right field and connected on a solo home run to dead centerfield in the bottom of the second.Fueled by a great defensive play by right fielder Zach Hurley to save a run and end the top of the third, the Buckeyes added four more runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead.After only scoring five runs in the first two games of the series combined, the Buckeye offense responded with eight runs on 15 hits.Dew and his high school teammate, second baseman Cory Kovanda, led the way with four hits apiece. Dew also had five RBIs and was a triple away from hitting for the cycle. The small crowd that endured 50-degree, windy conditions greeted Dew with applause as he was replaced by a pinch runner in the eighth inning.“I needed that, I was slumping a little bit,” Dew said. “When you play loose, that’s when you can play the best.”The whole team seemed to play loose. Theron Minium, who replaced McKinney after the third inning, pitched three scoreless innings to pick up the win and move to 3-2 on the season.The defense followed suit, as multiple diving stops were made to protect the lead, including one by Dew.“Today they came and tried to just stay focused on playing the game of baseball,” coach Bob Todd said. “They played a little more relaxed but still with focus.”That focus translated to a key win to move the Buckeyes to 9-9 in the Big Ten.The team plays Ball State next at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday at Bill Davis Stadium.
Coach Thad Matta understands the complications of having such a young basketball team going through the rigors of the Big Ten season for the first time. But he says age is no excuse for poor play at this level. “They’ll tell you, I don’t hide behind the fact that freshmen do hit a wall,” Matta said Tuesday. “Just not here. That, to me, is a sign of weakness, a sign of softness. Those guys have to continue to bring it every day.” Freshmen standouts Jared Sullinger and Aaron Craft have played integral roles for the latest No. 1 team in the country, just more than halfway through their first season at Ohio State. Sullinger, the power forward who has started all 20 games and averaged a double-double with 17.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, credits his veteran teammates with preventing the team’s rookies from succumbing to the difficulties of Division I basketball. “It’s kind of hard to hit that wall when you have people like Jon Diebler, David Lighty, William Buford and Dallas Lauderdale always in your ear,” said the three-time Big Ten Player of the Week. “Their leadership and communication is always really big … because from day one they’ve been in our ear talking about how they need both (me and Craft) to play good basketball.” Matta and his veteran players have instilled maturity in the team’s freshmen during their first year as collegiate athletes. “We can’t be coming in as a freshman; we have to play like a sophomore or junior,” Sullinger said. “It really hits us. … We’re listening to them and focusing on what we have to do.” Through the first 10 weeks of the season, Sullinger won the Big Ten Freshman of the Week award eight times. Craft and Deshaun Thomas have won the award once. Seven games into the Big Ten schedule, OSU has faced what it expected: a slew of more talented, hungry and difficult opponents than what it saw early against non-conference foes. After cruising through their non-conference slate and winning their games by an average of 28.8 points, the Buckeyes have won their first seven conference games by 6.4 points per game. “I think a lot of it is keeping the foot on the pedal and constantly talking to them about getting better,” Matta said. Sullinger said his teammates have “no compassion at all” for the youngsters — an attitude conducive to mental toughness. “There (are) definitely times when they know they have to get after us. That’s just needed, and it’s understood as freshmen that they’re not doing it to pick on us; they’re not doing it to make fun of us or point us out,” Craft said. “But it’s definitely needed to get us on the right track. We couldn’t have stepped into a better group of leaders for us and all the freshmen on the team.” Although Craft’s 6.3 points and 4.9 assists per game don’t jump off the stat sheet, his strengths lie on the defensive end and controlling the tempo of the game as point guard. Craft recorded a career-high 19 points, along with seven assists, Jan. 15 in the team’s 69-66 win against Penn State. Being the nation’s top team comes with its own set of challenges, especially for a team that features as many freshmen as OSU does. Sullinger averages 30.5 minutes per game, Craft 27.9 and Thomas 16.0. But being a part of a top team is nothing new to Sullinger, who, alongside Craft, starred on one of the nation’s top AAU teams during his high school years. “We won three national championships in a row. After our first … we realized we had a target on our chest,” Sullinger said. “As freshmen, me and Craft are kind of used to it.” Although the team is doing everything it can to keep its younger players playing their best, Matta said there is no contingency plan for a drop in play from any of the team’s star freshmen. “You really can’t. You got to have a trust, got to have a belief in your players that they want to be good, want to be great and want to win,” Matta said. “If you see it, we just make practice harder.”
The Ohio State men’s soccer team overcame a late rally by rival Michigan for an emotional 3-2 win in overtime Sunday afternoon at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. “It was a great win, a very emotional win and nice to do it in front of our fans here at home and in front of the student section,” head coach John Bluem said after the game. “But we have to play better than we did today that’s for sure.” Junior midfielder Austin McAnena notched his second goal of the season in the 16th minute off of an assist by sophomore forward Omar Vallejo to put OSU up 1-0. Ohio State would hold the 1-0 lead until the 81st minute when sophomore midfielder Fabio Pereira of Michigan scored on an assist by junior midfielder Latif Alashe. Four minutes later, Michigan took a late lead with an unassisted goal by sophomore forward Ezekial Harris. With less than five minutes left to play, OSU senior midfielder Parnell Hegngi knocked a header into right side of the net on a long throw-in by freshman midfielder Adam Gorski to tie the game. “We realized it wasn’t the first time all year that we’d been down; we had risen up against teams all year,” said junior forward Chris Hegngi after the game. “We kinda collectively gathered together and realized that we had five minutes left…we rose up together and did it.” Bluem said there was no time to give the team a pep talk after Michigan had rallied to take the lead. “There wasn’t a lot we could do and say to them, we changed the lineup as best we could to push people forward and then we got the equalizer,” Bluem said. “Now the momentum was back on our side.” The Buckeyes would need just 34 seconds in overtime to send the Wolverines packing. Vallejo added his second assist on a pass to Chris Hegngi from the right side of the field and Chris Hegngi sent the ball into the right side of the net past goalkeeper Adam Grinwis as the redshirt freshman charged the ball. “I saw the keeper charge out a little bit and I thought I had a chance to hit it,” Chris Hegngi said. “It worked out I was very fortunate.” Chris Hegngi and his teammates celebrated the win with the student section. It was the first overtime victory for the Buckeyes since their 1-0 win over Valparaiso on Oct. 17, 2010. Bluem said the team has a lot to work on before its next contest. “Just about everything,” Bluem said. “Mostly defending. Akron is a very, very good team. We’re going to have to really be organized and all on the same page defensively when we go up there.” Michigan fell to 2-7-1 as OSU improved to 5-3-1. The Buckeyes travel to Akron (5-0-2) Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. match.
With just four games left in the regular season, the Ohio State women’s ice hockey team is fighting for position in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association standings. The team, tied for fourth place with the University of Minnesota-Duluth, is hoping to separate itself from UMD in order to gain home-ice advantage for the conference playoffs. Coach Nate Handrahan called the next few weeks a “hotly contested race” to get the last home ice advantage spot. Both teams have 38 points heading into this weekend’s conference matchups. Senior forward Natalie Spooner said OSU’s next four games are big, adding, “We’re striving right now for home-ice advantage.” It won’t be easy for the team to pick up points in the four upcoming games. They host Minnesota this weekend at the OSU Ice Rink then travel to Wisconsin the following weekend to take on the Badgers. The first time OSU and Minnesota met, OSU dropped both games, 4-1, on Dec. 10 and 11, 2011, respectively. “I know we want to get some wins this weekend against Minnesota,” senior forward Laura McIntosh said. Wisconsin and Minnesota occupy the No. 1 and 2 spots in the standings, respectively. “The rest of the season, like I said, we have Minnesota and then Wisconsin, two highly ranked teams,” McIntosh said. “I think we’re hoping to be consistent both days, both weekends, and pull out some big wins to get home ice.” In the WCHA playoffs, the top four teams receive home ice advantage. First place plays eighth place, second plays seventh, third plays sixth, and fourth plays fifth. Following the first round, the teams are again reseeded and advance to the WCHA Final Face-Off. OSU will most likely be playing in the four versus five matchup in the first round; it’s just a matter of whether they get the higher seed. “It’s up to the other games,” McIntosh said. “It looks like we’re going to play Duluth in playoffs, but it’s whether it’s home or away.” UMD will host this year’s WCHA Final Face-Off. Knocking UMD out of a tournament that they’re hosting is something McIntosh said she wouldn’t mind doing. “You know, Duluth, we’ve had a big rivalry with my whole time here, I think it’d be definitely nice,” she said about defeating them in the first round. Spooner and McIntosh said they are pleased with the season up to this point. “I think the season has gone well so far, you know, we’ve accomplished a lot of the goals we set at the beginning of the season,” McIntosh said. “We’re being more consistent and that was big for us, so we’re doing pretty good.” Those accomplishments include picking up big wins against rival programs like North Dakota and UMD, she said. “I think we’ve had our ups and downs, we’ve lost a few games that we’d like to have won, but I think that we’ve definitely learned from the mistakes we’ve made and it’s made us a stronger team,” Spooner added. Handrahan echoed the sentiments of his players and said he was pleased with a lot of the things the team has done. “I think we’ve grown a lot over the course of the season,” he said. “It’s a special season with a special group of girls.” Players and coach alike said they think the team’s best hockey is yet to be played. “If everyone does their part and plays how they can, I mean, we should be really successful,” Spooner said. The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. Friday and 4:07 p.m. Saturday when the team will take on the Golden Gophers.
Senior Kevin Metka prepares for a forehand hit during a match against South Florida on Feb. 8 in Columbus. OSU won, 4-0.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorAs his team gets set to defend its ITA Indoor National Indoor Championship title this weekend, Ohio State men’s tennis coach Ty Tucker said his players plan to show the other schools the discipline and mental toughness it takes to play like a Buckeye.“You’re at Ohio State, they expect to win matches,” Tucker said. “You’re at a major place … It’s a major athletic department. You want to win to be able to hold your head up high.”Going in as the defending champs might give the Buckeyes a slight advantage but they are dealing with a different lineup this time around,” redshirt-senior Kevin Metka said.“This year we have a little less experience in some positions … So everyone’s got to focus on all the courts to get the job done,” Metka said.Metka said he believes it will be just as hard, if not harder than last year for the Buckeyes to take home the tournament title. OSU is heading to Chicago as the No. 8 seed and is set to kick off the tournament Friday against No. 9 Texas. The winner will then play the winner a match between No. 1 University of Southern California and No. 16 Penn State on Saturday.Metka said the Buckeyes have to take the tournament one match at a time in order to earn a repeat of last season’s triumph.“I’d say mostly just getting through that first match and then hopefully getting a shot at USC,” he said. “That would be the next match but we’re trying not to look at it … We just want to take care of business in that first match.”One of the most important things for the Buckeyes is to get off to a fast start in these matches and capture the doubles point, Tucker said.“If we get the doubles point, we’re a tough team to beat,” he said.With doubles only being one set, Tucker said the Buckeyes won’t have a chance to have a bad game or be moody and get off to a slow start.Defending their first and only Indoor Championship isn’t something Tucker puts too much emphasis on, though, he said.“Tennis courts (are) the same size everywhere we go, whether we’re at the nationals, whether we’re at Iowa,” Tucker said.Although the court is the same size, Metka said it is not the same feel.“The courts, it may not look like it but there’s actually some big difference in where you play,” he said. “Ball bounces a little but it can really throw off your strokes.”For that reason, the Buckeyes left Columbus on Wednesday to get an extra day of practice on Thursday.OSU is coming off its 200th consecutive home win, a record Tucker is happy to leave in the rearview mirror.“It’s nice not having to answer questions about the streak … The guys can just concentrate on tennis,” Tucker said.
Richard Shepherd, a barrister representing Pc Adams, said the officer was of “impeccable character” but he was doing his best while working at the Barton Street station.”You have the revolving door of sergeants and supervisors and then you have a probationary officer lobbed into this maelstrom, with dozens of cases to manage and no supervision,” Mr Shepherd said.”He is a hard-working, diligent officer who was doing the best he could with the inexperience he had.”Pc Adams did his best to manage the symptoms of his condition. He did so with his affinity to horses. Pc Adams says he found that going to the horse racing was a good coping mechanism and making him feel betterStephen Morley 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. “There is nothing dishonest about that. There may be failings but it’s not dishonest.”Mr Shepherd suggested that there are many different activities a police officer could undertake to relax, such as hill walking, sailing, going to the gym or the spa.”They might sit in front of the telly watching Judge Rinder,” he said. “There is a value judgment because he went horse racing.”He has a stress-related condition, aggravated by his workplace, and he tried to alleviate that by his affinity and closeness to horses.”The hearing continues. Quiet Reflection wins The Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in June 2016Credit:Julian Herbert/Getty “It was a tough environment and all the officers were under a lot of pressure,” he said.The panel heard that during this period, Pc Adams reported sick on four occasions and on three of those days he went horse racing.He said: “Should he have been going horse racing if he was suffering for diarrhoea, vomiting or a cold? He is a public servant and should be resting to make sure he should be returning to work as soon as practicable.”If he was worried about passing on germs, why has he gone horse racing? In relation to Royal Ascot, he tried to get the time off, but he wanted to go and he did go.” The hearing heard Pc Adams transferred to Gloucestershire Police in 2014 from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.After completing his training, he was posted to Barton Street police station in central Gloucester in July 2015 before moving to a different station the following summer.Mr Morley said there was no dispute with Pc Adams being dyslexic and that he found working at Barton Street police station “difficult”. “He was not as sick as he made out. It is not good enough to report in sick and go on a jolly. He is a public servant and he is like obligated to do what he could for the public.”Mr Morley added: “It is right to say this officer did not have a financial interest in Quiet Reflection. It is not our case that this officer has personally benefited financially from taking time off from work.”The hearing was told that during the nine-month period that the gross misconduct allegations span, the officer went to see his GP complaining of abdominal problems relating to stress.When Pc Adams was interviewed, he said he was ill on the days he went to the races.”He said that he found attending race meetings was genuinely therapeutic and helped him cope with stress and depression,” Mr Morley said. Pc Jonathan Adamsm, pictured at his passing out ceremony, faces allegations of gross miscounductCredit:Gloucestershire Live / SWNS The hearing heard that same month Pc Adams had asked for June 14 to 20 off as annual leave, but his request was rejected for operational reasons.Mr Morley said that on June 17, Pc Adams reported he was too ill to work because of irritable bowel syndrome. Instead he went to Royal Ascot where the horse Quiet Reflection, which is one of 50 horses owned by his syndicate, won the Commonwealth Cup.The panel watched a 10-second clip from Channel 4 Racing showing Pc Adams jumping around and celebrating Quiet Reflection’s win.”The clip suggests that the officer was well enough to come to work. He was well enough to be in the Royal Enclosure, jumping around, as you have seen,” Mr Morley said. He called in sick twice to watch a horse he part-owned with a racing syndicate and on a third occasion said he was ill – only to attend Royal Ascot, the misconduct hearing heard.Stephen Morley, presenting the case for the force, told the hearing: “In a nutshell, on three occasions he deliberately reported sick in order to go to the horse races.”There is no dispute that he reported sick and there is no dispute that he did go to the races. Pc Adams says he found that going to the horse racing was a good coping mechanism and making him feel better. “We do not accept he was sick at all. He was throwing a sickie to go horse racing.”Mr Morley told the three-person panel the first allegation was that on September 30 2015, Pc Adams reported he was suffering from vomiting or diarrhoea but instead went to Nottingham race course to watch Little Lady Katie, a horse he part-owned with the Ontoawinner syndicate.On April 6 2016, Pc Adams reported sick saying he had a migraine and again went to Nottingham race course to watch the same horse. Pc Jonathan Adams was caught on camera at the Royal Enclosure at AscotCredit:Alan Crowhurst/Getty A police officer was caught “throwing a sickie” to attend Royal Ascot after he appeared on television celebrating a win, a tribunal heard.Pc Jonathan Adams said he was too ill to go to work, only to attend the racecourse – and appear on Channel 4 Racing “jumping around” in the Royal Enclosure after Quiet Reflection, a horse he part owns, won the Commonwealth Cup.The probationary officer faces three allegations of gross misconduct under “honesty and integrity” and, if found proven, he could be dismissed from Gloucestershire Police.Pc Adams claimed in interview that he was ill on the days he went to the races, but found attending the meetings “genuinely therapeutic and helped him cope with stress and depression”.
Detritivore, such as woodlice and worms which provide a crucial leaf eating service which fertilises the oil, were 24 per cent higher on the native plots than the exotic and 36 per cent higher on native than on near-native plots.RHS principal entomologist Dr Andrew Salisbury said: “In order to help create a positive environment for these valuable invertebrates to thrive gardeners should plant plenty of plants from the UK and relax, refrain from spraying plants at the first sign of pest attack, and reduce trimming and allow some plant debris to accumulate in order to support the garden’s food chain.” There were more than three times as many insects like ladybirds in the native species plots The RHS suggested attractive native plants that gardeners can add to borders to boost wildlife include foxgloves, purple loosestrife, common honeysuckle and heather. In contrast avoiding thyme, dahlia and fushia could help native insects.Gardeners were also advised to turn a blind eye to the odd nibbled leaf or pest attack, rather than use pesticides. Pruning should also be used sparingly, the experts advise.“The presence of a wide range of invertebrates, such as ladybirds, springtails, spiders and even caterpillars are indicators of a diverse and well-functioning garden eco-system, and so should be encouraged and supported,” added Dr Salisbury.”While some of these animals, particularly herbivores, are traditionally regarded as pests by gardeners, they are vital to support healthy populations of natural predators which in turn help keep pest populations under control.”And they provide food for garden birds and mammals such as hedgehogs. In short, an abundance of bugs of all types equates to healthy garden ecology.”The study was published in the journal Biodiversity and Conservation. Planting honeysuckle can help attract insects Plant-dwelling invertebrates from caterpillars and butterflies to woodlice and weevils play a key role in a healthy garden, providing food for other wildlife such as birds, and include helpful predators such as ladybirds and spiders which keep down pests. Gardeners should switch from exotic plants back to British to help wildlife, the Royal Horticultural Society has advised, following a landmark four year experiment.In 2012, experts at the RHS filled 36 plots of land in Wisley, Surrey, with 14 different species from either Britain, the northern hemisphere or the southern hemisphere.The plots were then tended like a normal garden for 48 months to see which insects moved in. It is the first research project to test whether the geographical origin of garden plants affect the amount and different types of insects and spiders they support.The experiment showed that insects were more than three times as likely to choose plots with native British plants than exotic species. Out of the 22,000 bugs collected from the patches, 56 per cent of all invertebrates were found in the native ‘gardens’ compared to 26 per cent in the near-native plots, and just 19 per cent choosing the more exotic varieties. 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.
However, that secular purpose had now returned. “The revived use of churches for appropriate secular purposes is now recognised as both a service to the community and as an aid to the mission of the church,” he said. The Victorian Society said it was considering an appeal. James Hughes, its churches conservation adviser, said: “The nave pews are unique to the Abbey and are excellent examples of Scott’s work, with the carved pew ends modelled on surviving medieval examples in other 16th century Somerset churches. “The Victorian Society believes that their loss will significantly diminish the Abbey’s architectural and historical significance.”The pews are set to be replaced with stackable wooden chairs, which will be finished in a colour which matches existing wood in the Abbey’s interior. The Society also raised concerns about the chairs carrying enough space for hymn books and song sheets, but the Abbey argued that these were being phased out and replaced by screens. Representatives had argued that “in practice, the use of books and service sheets was progressively being superseded by portable display screens. My conclusion is that if any inconvenience was to arise from the lack of a shelf for books and papers, it would not be a long-term problem,” the Chancellor said. How the Abbey currently looks Credit:Victorian Society In his judgment Mr Briden argued that the Scott seating was a “product of its age” and was installed in part because “the medieval use of the nave for secular purposes had long been abandoned”. 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. Revd Edward Mason of Bath Abbey said: “We strongly believe in the benefits of removing the pews. It will enable us to open up the Abbey’s nave and side aisles to all and make it possible for people of different physical ability to sit where they choose. “Stackable chairs mean that the nave can be used for a wide variety of traditional and contemporary worship and restore the Abbey to the community use for which it was first designed.” The plan is part of a £19.3m renovation of the Abbey which will restore a collapsing floor, install an eco-friendly heating system and create new meeting rooms and facilities including a kitchen and cloakrooms. The Abbey was first founded in the 7th century and was substantially rebuilt and restored in the 16th century and again in the 19th century. Churches don’t need pews any more because they are increasingly used for bake sales and art exhibitions, a church court has said, as it ruled Bath Abbey can remove its Victorian pews. The Chancellor of the Diocese of Bath and Wells has ruled that the Abbey is allowed to remove the 19th century seating despite the opposition of conservation group the Victorian Society. In his ruling on the case he commented that while the pews had “moderate” architectural significant they were no longer appropriate because of the changing use of churches. Representatives for the Abbey argued that the nave of the church was used for “a wide variety of social and cultural purposes, including concerts, art exhibitions, university degree ceremonies and charity events such as the ‘Great Bath Bake Sale’.”They added that the pews were also uncomfortable, an argument which the Chancellor, Timothy Briden, said was “well-founded” after testing them himself. The comfort issue is “accentuated” at secular events such as concerts and ceremonies which involve “prolonged sitting”, the Abbey said. The Abbey’s current interior was designed by eminent Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert-Scott, who delegated the actual creation of the pews to colleagues and craftsmen, the Chancellor said.
Women who are hoping to conceive should go on a diet years before, new research suggests.Writing in The Lancet, medics said the vast majority of women of reproductive age were not nutritionally prepared for pregnancy – putting the long-term health of their children at risk.Those thinking about starting a family are often advised to make lifestyle changes, such as cutting out alcohol, and taking dietary supplements, around three months before attempting to conceive.But the experts said one of the most crucial factors was for women to be a healthy weight before conception – often meaning diet and lifestyle overhauls need to start years earlier.And they said school children should be taught about the importance of the right diet to prepare for parenthood.Researchers calculated the proportion of women of reproductive age in Britain who are nutritionally prepared for pregnancy, using data from 509 women of reproductive age in the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey.In total, 96 per cent were found to have iron and folate dietary intakes below the recommendation for pregnancy. Such shortfalls can be tackled in less than a month. Show more Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. But lead authors from University College London said more longer-term efforts were needed to tackle soaring levels of obesity among parents-to-be. Research suggests more than one quarter of pregnant women are overweight or obese.Excess weight in pregnancy increases the lifelong risk of cardiovascular, metabolic, immune and neurological diseases in subsequent children.Links have also been made between male obesity and poor sperm quality, which may also increase the risk to future children, though the evidence is less clear. Lead author Professor Judith Stephenson, of University College London, said: “The preconception period is a critical time when parental health – including weight, metabolism, and diet – can influence the risk of future chronic disease in children, and we must now re-examine public health policy to help reduce this risk.”While the current focus on risk factors, such as smoking and excess alcohol intake, is important, we also need new drives to prepare nutritionally for pregnancy for both parents.”Professor Janice Rymer, Vice President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said she was “extremely concerned” by the findings.“This highly significant research presents stark evidence of the importance of nutrition and lifestyle in the preconception period,” she said.
Bronze Age copper alloy ‘sun disc’, from Ireland Susan Greaney, from English Heritage, said: “From insular communities with what appears to be little outside communication, to mass migrations and the sharing of raw materials and finished artefacts, our ancestors have been making and breaking relationships with Continental Europe for thousands of years.”The exhibition will tell the story of an early Neolithic period, before Stonehenge was built, which saw the mass migration of the first farmers and the earliest metal workers.The success of cultural migration will be illustrated by a highly polished axe, made of jadeitite from the French-Italian Alps, and brought to Britain by some of the first farmers at the beginning of the Neolithic in around 4000 BC.By the late Neolithic era, when Stonehenge was being constructed, was in contrast a “period of relative isolation for the people living in the British Isles”, English Heritage said.“For about 700 years, although styles of pottery, types of monuments and ritual activities are shared all across Britain and Ireland, these objects and monuments are not found on the continent. 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 Bronze Age bronze, copper alloy and oak flesh-hook, known as the Dunaverny flesh-hook “A type of pottery called Grooved Ware pottery, for example, is found everywhere from Orkney to Southern England, but has never been found in Continental Europe.“This is the period when Stonehenge was constructed, as well as many other timber monuments, henge enclosures and stone circles – again, these monuments is not found in Europe.”The 1,000 years of isolation will be represented in the exhibition by the ‘Folkton drums’, three chalk cylinders decorated with spirals and stylised faces dating from the late Neolithic around 3,000 BC and found in a child’s burial site in North Yorkshire.Experts said the style of decoration on the drums is known from megalithic monuments, pottery and other items across Britain and Ireland but not further afield. Early Bronze Age gold neckpiece, known as the Blessington Lunula They once rubbed along as neighbours, sharing culture, trade and even fashion across the English Channel.But the late neolithic era saw its own version of an early Brexit as Britain was cut off from its continental cousins for nearly 1,000 years, a new exhibition by English Heritage is to show.The “ebb and flow” of Britain’s relationship with the continent will be explored at Stonehenge, in a major new collaboration with the British Museum which experts claim will show how the “rocky relationship between British Isles and Europe is nothing new”.Objects in the display include 6,500-year-old polished jade axe and an elaborate gold neck piece made around 4,000 years ago, both of which are believed to have been brought from or influenced by Europe.Through the artefacts, English Heritage’s Making Connections exhibition at Stonehenge will highlight “shifting relationship between the British Isles and Continental Europe”, historians said. By around 2,000BC, the exchange with Europe had begun again, illustrated by a gold lunula, a beaten-gold crescent neck piece found in Ireland with decorative motifs drawn from European cultures, a Bronze Age gold cup showing close connections between southern England and northern France, and a copper alloy “sun disc” dating from 1500 to 1300 BC.Recently “rediscovered” in the British Museum store, the sun disc is of a type otherwise only known from continental Europe and shows that Bronze Age beliefs about how the sun and moon travelled across the sky were shared by people living across the region.Neil Wilkin, British Museum curator, said: “To be able to bring all these objects together for the first time at Stonehenge, one of the most important symbols of ancient Britain, is an exciting prospect.”Making Connections: Stonehenge in its Prehistoric World opens to the public on 12 October at Stonehenge.Neolithic and Bronze Age objects from the British Museum collections are displayed alongside artefacts borrowed from other lenders, including a Langdale axe from Wiltshire Museum, two carved chalk plaques from Salisbury Museum, and a Grooved Ware pot from Down Farm Museum in Dorset.
Mr Hinds was educated at St Ambrose College, a Roman Catholic grammar school in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, and went on to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University. He will explain that unless Britain drops the mind set that academia is the only path to success, it will never close the productivity gap with its European neighbours. Germany, France, and the US all produce over 25 per cent more per hour than the UK.“This gap matters. In terms of our public services – matching German productivity would allow government to spend tens of billions of pounds a year more,” Mr Hinds will say.Last year the Government announced that it would be launching the biggest overhaul of post-16 education in 70 years, as part of a multi-billion pound drive to improve technical training. “I want us to break down some of the false barriers we’ve erected between academic and technical routes. I don’t see any reason why higher technical training shouldn’t be open to certain A-level students as long as they have the prerequisite knowledge and practical skill. “Equally, I want T Level students, that want to, to be able to go to university to do relevant technical degrees.” Britain has become a nation of “snobs” who think university is the only way to get a good job, the Education Secretary will say on Thursday.Parents must understand that a degree is “not the only path to a great job” and school leavers who embark on apprenticeships deserve “as much praise” as their class mates who go on to university, according to Damian Hinds.Addressing around 100 business and education leaders at Battersea Power Station, he will say: “As a nation I’m afraid we’ve been technical education snobs.”We’ve revered the academic but treated vocational as second class – when we do it well, law, engineering, medicine – then we don’t even call it vocational.”–– ADVERTISEMENT ––He will say that this snobbery has long gone unchallenged because politicians and others in public life have viewed vocational courses as suitable only for “other people’s children”.Mr Hinds will use his speech to urge young people to consider alternatives to university when they leave school, rather than assuming that a degree is the only way to get a good job.“We want young people to acquire the higher qualifications that lead to high skilled, more rewarding jobs – whether through a degree, a higher apprenticeship or higher technical qualifications,” he will say. Philip Hammond unveiled his “radical” plans to put technical education on an equal footing with academic studies in his Budget last March.The current system, where students have to pick from 13,000 different qualifications, will be replaced with just 15 standalone courses.Teenagers who undertake the technical training, such as courses to become an engineer or builder, will spend 50 per cent longer learning than they do now, equalling 900 hours of teaching a year.The new qualifications, which will see the courses dubbed “T-levels” – the technical version of A-levels – are due to be piloted from 2020.Mr Hinds will say: “Young people not on the A-level route have two years of government-funded education when they turn 16… precious time, precious investment… And all too often it’s time and money used to train them to a low level in a skill the economy doesn’t need.”His comments echo the head of Ofsted who said last month that further education colleges are giving students “false hope” by offering courses in fields where they have no prospect of employment.Amanda Spielman suggested that colleges, which provide largely vocational courses for 16 to 18 year-olds, are putting the “financial imperative of headcount” ahead of the what is best for young people. Mr Hinds read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University 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.
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 F-35 Lightnings will form the backbone of the UK’s combat air fleet as the… Britain’s adversaries have been told “don’t mess with us” by the Defence Secretary as he unveils the country’s new fighter jet fleet. Speaking at RAF Marham in Norfolk, home to the RAF’s Tornado and F-35 jets, Gavin Williamson said Britain’s cutting edge air power makes the nation’s commitment to a role on the world stage “clear to both our allies and our enemies”. The Defence Secretary announced that nine F-35B Lightning jets are now ready to be deployed on combat operations having reached Initial Operating Capability (IOC). He also announced that the RAF’s Typhoon fleet has been upgraded with a new weapons system.
The Duchess of Cambridge has entered Chelsea Flower Show for the time time, as she creates a woodland wonderland for families based on her own childhood memories.The Duchess has worked on a show garden on behalf of the Royal Horticultural Society for the annual event in May, hoping to create “special moments” for generations to share.It was partly inspired by the Japanese idea of “forest bathing”, and a parenting book which aims to combat the idea of “nature deficit disorder” in children.The announcement was made ahead of the Duchess’ visit to King Henry’s Walk Garden in Islington, London, where she met young children learning to love the outdoors at a project run by community volunteers. Speaking about the benefits of learning to garden, the Duchess advocated outdoor life to tell children: “There’s so much to discover isn’t there? It’s really fun. If you haven’t tried it you don’t know how cool it is. ‘In return, she was interrogated by the children on all things royal, from whether the Queen likes pizza to where Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis were. Called the “RHS Back to Nature Garden”, the Duchess’s Chelsea entry has been designed in collaboration with award-winning landscape architects Andree Davies and Adam White, of Davies White Landscape Architects. “Do you all like learning outside?” she asked Year 4 pupils from St Jude’s and St Paul’s Primary School. “You can learn all the time.”There’s so much to discover isn’t there? It’s really fun. If you haven’t tried it you don’t know how cool it is.”As the engagement unfolded, however, it was not all about the serious message. The Duchess was also quizzed by the children about life in the royal family as she helped to make pizzas in an outdoor over. Although the garden will not be judged, instead showcasing the power of gardening in the RHS’s official contribution to the show, it will not doubt be carefully inspected by the Queen and other members of the Royal Family during their annual trip to Chelsea. Year 4 children present gifts to the Duchess of CambridgeCredit:Reuters Activities included pizza making in an outdoor ovenCredit:WPA pool “So, to have the Duchess advocating this with us, and to be continuing our partnership with NHS England will, we’re sure, further highlight the powerful benefit that access to gardens, nature and growing plants can have for all our health and happiness.”The Duchess will also co-design two further RHS Gardens with the same team, maintaining many of elements from the garden at Chelsea, for the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival in July and the RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey in the autumn. “The duchess was very keen to use natural materials, has a clear idea of the colour palate she wants and her desire to incorporate the natural elements.” The Duchess of Cambridge convinces children that gardening is “cool”Credit:AFP “Wild planting and natural materials will be used to recreate a woodland wilderness where children and adults alike can feel closer to the great outdoors.”RHS director general Sue Biggs said: “For over 200 years the RHS has been championing the power of gardening and growing plants for the environment, for health and wellbeing and to help people of all ages, from all backgrounds, to learn and grow. The Duchess of Cambridge helps make bird boxes as she visits the Islington community garden in north LondonCredit:AFP pool Primary school children make bird feedersCredit:WPA pool Mr White revealed that the Duchess had brought with her the Japanese idea of ‘forest bathing’ whereby even office workers go out in their lunch break into the woods to relax, suggesting incorporating it into the garden design. He said during their discussions it emerged that all three of them had read the same book, Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods, which raises the idea of a ‘nature deficit disorder’.”This will be a garden where people can remember their childhood and maybe re-create it for their own,” he added. “Go out and play in the woods or make dams in the stream. There is a really serious message to connect families and communities with nature.”Speaking to children at the Islington project, the Duchess emphasised her personal belief in the power of the natural world, as she joined in activities to make pizza and bird boxes. Prince Harry has previously contributed to the show, with his charity Sentebale entering a design based on the flowers of Lesotho that won the silver gilt and People’s Choice awards in 2015. The Duchess’ garden will be a woodland setting for families and communities, and aims to encourage all generations, from all backgrounds, to connect with nature and enjoy growing plants for their health and wellbeing.The RHS said the Duchess’s garden “has been inspired by childhood memories that are triggered by the natural world, as well as special moments that will be created and treasured by families now and in the future”.A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “The garden seeks to recapture for adults the sense of wonder and magic that they enjoyed as children, in addition to kindling excitement and a passion for nature in future generations. Nadirah, eight, asked her: “Has the Queen ever eaten pizza?””That’s such a good question, I don’t know,” smiled the Duchess. “Maybe next time I see her shall I ask?”Emboldened, Patrick, eight, said; “Here’s my ideal question. Can I see your children?” The Duchess Of Cambridge meets a baby during an Islington Community Garden garden tourCredit:WPA pool Appearing at the King Henry’s Walk Garden this morning, she was accompanied by landscape Andrée Davies, 55, and Adam White, 45, who revealed afterwards that they had been secretly working with the Duchess on the Chelsea garden for three months, emailing and speaking almost every day. They said the project to create the woodland-themed garden was a “passion” for Kate, who had been “incredibly hands-on” in terms on inspiration and practical ideas for the garden. “We all spoke about our childhood memories, being outdoors and exploring nature. She was very open and has been hugely collaborative,” Mr White said. Miss Davies added: “She is very hands on, model making, emailing images, coming up with all the ideas that we want to capture. She would often bring a folder of cuttings with her full of ideas. Disclosing Prince George had been learning about space at Thomas’ school, she replied: “They would love to come and do this with you. They will be very sad that I’ve been out here making pizzas with all of you and they haven’t been here. They are in school.””Why would you ever put bacon next to tomato sauce?” Patrick wondered, later.”Don’t you think that sounds good?” said Kate. “I quite like that. It’s like having pepperoni but not so spicy.”The Duchess was visiting the King Henry’s Walk Garden, which has 67 plots for locals, to see how it brings members of the local community together through gardening and growing food. The garden has been run for more than a decade by community volunteers with support from Islington Council. It contains allotments and a ‘from plot to plate’ area for children, which enables them to grow ingredients to put on their own pizzas. It has also been praised for improving community cohesion and reducing problems such as anti-social behaviour and vandalism, winning London in Bloom’s Best Community Garden three times and receiving a RHS National Certificate of Distinction.
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 school claimed they had to be taken off because she was representing the school, but I think she’s been discriminated against. How does this stop her doing a job, especially one to do with beauty? It is pathetic, and she was devastated.”Ms Fish, 46, said that she has pulled her daughter out of the school in protest. “I lost my temper and said she’s not going back in September,” she said. “These were not some big Jerry Springer-style nails you used to see on some of the lasses on there, they were dead natural-looking. And what 15-year-old doesn’t have gel coloured nails?” A school has banned fake nails because they are ruining girls’ handwriting.Burnside College, a co-educational school in Wallsend, North Tyneside, wrote to parents earlier this year to warn about acrylic nail extensions.”We are currently in the process of revising our whole school uniform policy due to the increased number of students attending school wearing acrylic nail extensions,” the school told parents.Some students are unable to fully access the curriculum and in extreme cases are unable to use a pen, having a detrimental effect on their learning.” The school has now banned acrylic nails and nail extensions, explaining that nails should be a “sensible length that will not affect participation in PE or practical subjects”. Students were warned they faced “appropriate sanctions” if they failed to comply with the new rules. But the move has prompted a backlash from angry parents who complained it was “bonkers”. Gracie Fish, 15, who is a pupil at the school, was ordered to remove her green gel nails on health and safety grounds before a week-long placement at a college in Newcastle. When she refused, she was ordered to spend the week in isolation. Her mother, said: “I just don’t see what part of this is health and safety, especially as she’s doing health and beauty.
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 proportion of women who are married has dropped below 50 per cent, while the “Prue Leith effect” has seen an increase in over 70s walking down the aisle. Over the past decade there has been a decline in the number of women getting married, with 49.5 per cent married in 2018 down from 50.8 per cent in 2008, new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show. But bucking the nation’s declining marriage trend are those aged 70 and above, with the proportion of them who are married increasing from 50.3 per cent in 2008 to 55.8 per cent in 2018.In 2016, Great British Bake Off presenter Prue Leith married at the age of 76 after being widowed eight years earlier. “I am giddy with the joy of it,” she told the Daily Mail. “And why shouldn’t we oldies be happy, fall in love, feel that rush of unadulterated happiness again? There’s nothing in the world like it — and it’s the same at 70 as it was at 17. Same anxiety, same longing, feeling sick, excitement, same everything.” Living alone has also become less common for those older than 70, a trend which reflects the rise in the number of them who are married, the ONS said. The past decade has seen a decline in the number of women getting married, with 49.5 per cent married in 2018 down from 50.8 per cent in 2008Credit: fourseasons/Getty Images Contributor Edward Morgan, a senior research officer in the ONS’s Demographic Analysis Unit, said: “There are a number of reasons for the increase in the proportion of married people over 70 years old. This could be due to people marrying later in life than in the past, people living longer or more remarriages at older ages.“What we are also seeing in the UK is a rise in the mean age of first time marriage. A lot of people in past generations who would get married at quite young ages, say in their 20s, have been postponing it later and later in life.”The proportion of men who are married is also declining, with the numbers falling from 53.3 per cent to 51.5 per cent over the past decade. The number of women getting married first dropped below 50 per cent in 2011, at 49.7 per cent, and the lowest recording was 48.9 per cent in 2016.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedRohee: President’s justification of Durban Park scandal a cover-up of horrendous proportionsNovember 28, 2016In “latest news”PPP claims corruption rapidly escalating under Coalition GovtOctober 1, 2016In “latest news”LGE 2018: Despite challenges PPP/C says it won 52 of the 80 Local Authority AreasNovember 14, 2018In “latest news” …calls for Procurement Commission to assume its role and function The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) in a strongly worded missive has outlined that while the David Granger lead Administration has remained ambiguous in providing the exact amount that was expended in establishing the now ‘scandalous’ Durban Park project- With conservative estimates form independent professionals placing it in the realm of over $1 billion- it was observed that more works are being conducted on the facility.See the party’s full statement below:The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) wishes to note that the Durban Park fiasco seemed to be a never-ending scandal. To date, the Government has persistently refused to disclose the real cost of this project. Despite all the scandals and suspicions which permeated this project from the inception, the Government has failed to hold any form of inquiry or investigation in relation to it.The PPP is aware that there are dozens of contractors who have not been paid for works done and for materials supplied to that project. The Party is also aware that the names of contractors which were read out by Minister David Patterson in the National Assembly as creditors of this project were false and misleading.It was drawn to our attention that the names of several persons, who are actually owed money, were never called by Minister Patterson and persons whose names were mentioned by him are not owed.The nation is unaware of the current status of the private company which Minister of Education, Dr Rupert Roopnarine, and other cohorts of APNU incorporated, own and operated at the project site. We were subsequently told that this company spent hundreds of millions of State funds and attracted hundreds of millions of liabilities which tax-payers’ monies were used to pay off. Indeed millions are still owed by this company.President David Granger himself admitted that he was aware of this misuse and abuse of public funds.The PPP has observed that they are works currently ongoing at the site. Again, no public tendering was done. The nation remains unaware as to who is executing this work, what is the value of the work being done and from where the finances have been sourced.The PPP reiterates what it stated before; the level of unaccountability that has overwhelmed this project is criminal.The PPP also wishes to express its deep disappointment at the omission of the Public Procurement Commission to assume its constitutional mandate and discharge its statutory functions although its members have been appointed several months now. The Party is aware that Cabinet continues to preside over and unlawfully interfere with the award of contracts.The Procurement Act provides that once the PPC is established, Cabinet’s no-objection role in the award of contract ceases. The Party is aware that the said Act allows Cabinet to conclude the consideration of contracts that were pending before the PPC was appointed. That period has long expired.The PPC is therefore obliged to assert itself and assume its role and functions. The PPP calls upon the Commission to do so immediately.
The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association [GGDMA] has asserted that since its establishment in 1983 it has shared cordial and respectful relationships with the different President’s dating all the way back to President LFS Burnham up to most recently President Donald Ramotar.However, the Miners Association said the incumbent President, David Granger, and his Administration has ushered in a new dispensation or cordiality, the hallmark of which is premised on neglect.According to the GGDMA, “it has been two years now that the APNU led collation is in Government and the Executives of the GGDMA has NOT been able to have a meeting with President Granger despite numerous requests to address current burning issues that are affecting the gold and diamond mining industry in Guyana.”See GGDMA’s full statement below:The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association [GGDMA] is disappointed in the manner it has been treated by the hierarchy of the APNU led administration.The GGDMA was founded over thirty years ago in 1983. Since its establishment, it has been recognized by industry actors, successive Government administrations, and other stakeholders as the body representing the gold and diamond mining industry in Guyana, particularly small and medium miners.The Association has an impressive record of achievements and has worked collaboratively with Governments at all levels dealing with mining and related hinterland issues.The GGDMA wishes to place on record that since its establishment the Association has enjoyed excellent relations with the late President LFS Burnham. So much so that Mr. Burnham had then Prime Minister, Ptolemy Reid portfolio expanded to be responsible for mining. Mr. Reid himself later became a Patron of the Association. This continued under the Presidency of the late Huge Desmond Hoyte, where President Hoyte saw it fit for the first time to have a miner serve in Parliament. Even when the administration changed in 1992 the GGDMA continued to enjoy excellent and cordial relations with Presidents’ Jagan, Jagdeo and Ramotar.Sad to say, it has been two years now that the APNU led collation is in Government and the Executives of the GGDMA has NOT been able to have a meeting with President Granger despite numerous requests to address current burning issues that are affecting the gold and diamond mining industry in Guyana.The previous leaders saw the immense contribution the Gold and Diamond Mining Sector was making to the nation’s economy. This continues to be so with the Gold and Diamond Mining Sector being the backbone of Guyana’s economy over the past ten  years with a failing agriculture sector.With Oil on the horizon, this administration seems to have forgotten all about the Gold and Diamond Mining Sector. How unfortunate, when it was the gold and diamond mining sector that was the backbone of Guyana’s economy over the past 10 years. Is it a case where the Government is:Forsaking tried and true [Mining and Agriculture] for the shiny and new [Oil and Gas]Looking at all Miners as Tax EvadersBranding all Miners as Criminals.The GGDMA is frustrated over the new tax regulations that are being pushed to miners. As a result of Budget 2017, the GGDMA have the following concerns on these new tax regulations, which has been communicated to the authorities but to no avail. These being: –Keeping of acceptable records; all of these operations are done in the interior locations where receipts and bills are often not obtained, especially by service providers.Application of Threshold to Tributors; the association is requesting that tributors be able to benefit from this threshold provision at the time that they are paid, where a provision can be made by the operation owner to deduct the 20% Tributors tax after the person has earned in excess of the $60,000 on a monthly basis. This would allow the Tributors to immediately start to benefit from this provision.Tax Rate; the association is requesting that there be a reduction of the 40% rate on the chargeable income for miners. With regards to the off-the-top payment of 5% Royalty to the GGMC along with the 2% upfront withholding Tax, the GGDMA feels that a provision can be made for payments at a lower tax rate for miners and/or alternatively a sliding scale against the US Dollar off-the-top.Filing of Returns; the GGDMA is suggesting that the deadline for filing of returns be extended from April 30 to a convenient later date given that many miners would need to make adjustments so as to comply with the new requirements.The GGDMA continues to be frustrated in the manner in which the GGMC is conducting its business. The GGMC needs to be modernized as soon as possible. Simple information requested from this agency seems to be an uphill task. One would expect that with all the royalty that is being collected, that a modern information management system would be in place at this agency, this is far from the case. Simple information requested which in this technology era should take minutes, sometimes takes days.The GGDMA would have submitted a list of fifteen  miners to the GGMC for a no objection for the allocation of duty free fuel, which was already vetted by the GRA. It has been one month now these documents are with the GGMC with no response. The GGDMA finds this behavior by the GGMC unacceptable and anti-business since the list of fifteen was already cleared by the GRA. In addition, miners would have had to purchase their fuel outside of this concession for April operations since the month is almost finish. The GGDMA also wishes to bring to the Government’s attention that miners would have lost the fuel concession available during a period last year due to the inefficiencies of Government Agencies.The GGDMA is open to meet with President Granger to address these and many other issues that are affecting its membership and the sector as a whole.In light of the above mentioned, the GGDMA asks the question, “Is this the better life that was promised to our Miners, who makes tremendous sacrifices and contribute so much to Guyana’s economy?” The GGDMA remains steadfast to promote and protect the rights, interest and welfare of all miners. 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