October 23, 2019

How USCs Upset Of SMU Rattled The East Region

10Marquette0+1000 Unsurprisingly, the changes in odds are mostly concentrated in SMU’s sector of the bracket. Baylor’s path became far easier with SMU out of the way (our model considered that Round of 32 game a virtual toss-up), and even Duke saw a slight increase in its probability of advancing deep into the tournament.The way this largely upset-free tournament has been going so far, those changes count for some of the most movement we’ve seen, and they show just how much impact the loss of one dark horse (or is it one dark Mustang?) can have at this stage of the tourney.Check out our March Madness predictions. 11USC+18+4+100 Changes caused by SMU losing to Southern California on Mar. 17.Source: ESPN 4Florida000+10 SEEDTEAMSWEET 16ELITE 8FINAL 4CHAMP.WIN The NCAA tournament started with one of the chalkiest opening days in NCAA tournament history, and Friday wasn’t looking very different: better-seeded teams won the first five games of the day, bringing their record to 19-2 going into the late afternoon on the east coast. But what was shaping up to be one of the most boring opening rounds ever received some much-needed surprise when University of Southern California upset SMU on Friday afternoon, knocking out what the computer power ratings considered one of the tournament’s most tempting dark-horse picks.Despite being seeded sixth in the stacked East region, SMU was a trendy choice to go to the Sweet 16 — or beyond. After going 27-4 in the regular season and winning the American Athletic tournament, SMU was the 11th-best team in the country according to Ken Pomeroy’s ratings, and one of only 15 schools to rank among the top 30 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.But against Southern Cal, SMU’s shooting efficiency and rebounding cratered. Now, with one SMU out of the mix, the landscape of the East region — the most difficult quadrant of the tournament — has been altered. CHANGE IN ODDS OF REACHING… 5Virginia00+100 3Baylor+30+10+3+1+1 The ripple effects of SMU’s loss in the East region 2Duke0+4+1+10 1Villanova00+1+10 read more

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Petra Kvitova Is The Most Unpredictable Player In Womens Tennis

Venus Williams2667278.7%– Victoria Azarenka1244274.7%– Mary Pierce1425074.0%– Billie Jean King1272484.1%– Steffi Graf2783289.7%– Virginia Wade1224971.3%– Petra Kvitova, the tennis star from the Czech Republic, is 6-feet tall, left-handed and can crush her forehand and serve. She has won Wimbledon twice in her career, the only currently active woman to accomplish that feat besides Venus and Serena Williams, who each won their first two from 2000 to 2003. At the moment, Kvitova is ranked No. 6 in the world, and was once ranked No. 2. The week before this year’s Australian Open began, she won the Sydney International by thumping four players, including three-time Slam champion Angelique Kerber, and beating the relentless Ashleigh Barty in a three-set final.Oh, one more thing: There’s good reason to believe she won’t last long in this month’s Australian Open. Of all the women with at least two major titles since 1968, when the Open Era began, none have lost as often, on average, at Slams as Kvitova, the master of disaster.On Monday in Melbourne, Kvitova had an unusual performance: She easily won her first round match by beating Magdalena Rybarikova in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. Kvitova looked a bit shaky in the first set, when she lost her serve twice and landed just 45 percent of her first serves. But she was much cleaner in the second set, and now — maybe — she can relax and have a strong tournament. She also could improve her winning percentage at majors, which was 70.2 percent at the start of the tournament, the lowest figure among the two-or-better Slam winners in the women’s Open Era. Svetlana Kuznetsova1526171.4%– Chris Evert2993789.0%– Amelie Mauresmo1314375.3%– Justine Henin1412883.4%– Hana Mandlikova1424078.0%– Lindsay Davenport1985179.5%– Monica Seles1803185.3%– Evonne Goolagong Cawley1292782.7%– Jennifer Capriati1404077.8%– Kim Clijsters1323181.0%– Serena Williams3314588.0%– Martina Navratilova3064986.2%– Martina Hingis1533282.7%– Maria Sharapova1944979.8%– Margaret Court961090.6%– Kvitova’s Slam performances are the worst of her peersWinners of multiple Grand Slams by Grand Slam record, 1968-2018* Petra Kvitova923970.2%– *Excluding this year’s Australian OpenSource: WTA Garbine Muguruza602273.2%– Arantxa Sanchez Vicario2105479.5%– Angelique Kerber984170.5%– Tracy Austin611580.3%– Li Na903174.4%– PlayerWinsLosesWin% There are seven other active women who, like Kvitova, have won at least two major titles. All of them have won more of their matches at Slams (Kerber, who had 10 first-round major losses in her first five years on the tour, is still ahead of Kvitova with 70.5 percent). Since Kvitova’s second Slam victory, she has gone no further than the quarterfinals at a major. She has only done that twice, both times at the U.S. Open, in 2015 and 2017. In the rest of her majors she has not gotten past the fourth round. In her career, Kvitova has lost in the first round of a Slam nine times. Serena Williams, who has won 23 majors, is 331-45 at Slams (88 percent) and has lost in the first round only once.Two of Kvitova’s first-round losses occurred last year, in the Australian Open and Wimbledon, the best tournament for her game. (At Wimbledon, she lost to Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-0 in the third set of their match. Sasnovich had never gone past the third round of a Slam.)So how can a player with so much talent, and so much power, end up looking timid and uncertain? After a promising career start, Kvitova approaches the early rounds of Slams as calmly as when parachuting from an airplane. “When I was younger, I played better on the Grand Slams than the other tournaments,” she said after losing in the first round of Wimbledon last year. “Now is the time when I’m playing better on the other tournaments.” Asked more about the defeat, she said: “The nerves were there again.”Worries at the beginning of a Grand Slam tournament are not uncommon — even Roger Federer, who has won 20, has spoken about being nervous in the first round. But the best players in the world usually overcome that.Some of Kvitova’s more recent woes could be due to the time she was attacked at home by a man with a knife in December of 2016. She didn’t return to the game until the 2017 French Open, which she lost in the second round (she had the same result at Wimbledon). But later that year at the U.S. Open, she reached the quarterfinals, her best result since 2015.Kvitova still has time to cure her Grand Slam disease. She is 28 years old and a natural on the grass of Wimbledon, despite her first-round loss there last year. At the Australian Open, she has an excellent draw, facing unranked players until the fourth round. Her opponent in that round could be Aryna Sabalenka, an up-and-coming 20-year-old who was beaten in straight sets by Kvitova in the Sydney International. Sabalenka is seeded No. 11.Even if Kvitova never improves her Slam winning percentage and finishes her career in last place, well, someone has to be there. She could just call herself the most unpredictable multi-Slam winner in women’s tennis history — not ideal, but definitely unique. read more

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Clarett returns to Ohio State for classes

Former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett has enrolled in classes at the university for the second summer session, which began on Monday. “Maurice Clarett has been granted reentry into The Ohio State University, following a review by the College of Education and Human Ecology, where he was originally enrolled,” OSU director of media relations Jim Lynch said in a statement.Clarett was released from the Toledo Correctional Institution in April after serving on 3 ½ years of a 7 ½ year sentence for aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon.In negotiation with his early release, Clarett was ordered to spend four to six months at a dormitory step-down center on Alum Creek Drive. Inmates are permitted leave to work or attend classes.Clarett was quickly recognized on campus. “This is a surreal feeling to be back at Ohio State in such a supportive environment,” Clarett said in a statement. “I have looked forward to being back in school and I’m doing my best to fit in with other students. I don’t want to be a distraction or nuisance to the football team or to students on campus.”Clarett might be back in the classroom, but he won’t be making an appearance on the field. After the Buckeyes’ 2002 National Championship, Clarett signed with an agent, forfeiting any remaining eligibility. read more

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Ohio State athletics selfreports 9 minor NCAA violations so far in 2014

Redacted SportOutside Competition Expense Reported Feb. 3In the unnamed sport, a student-athlete who was competing unattached suffered a head injury and thus was unable to complete the competition. An OSU athletic trainer was present at the event, however, because OSU student-athletes were participating at the same competition. The trainer deemed it necessary for the injured student-athlete to receive medical attention and transportation home on the team bus so they could observe them and make sure their condition didn’t get worse. The head coach of the sport called OSU Compliance prior to the trip home, and the Compliance Office approved the trip and services for out of concern for the student-athlete’s personal welfare. FootballImpermissible Scouting Reported Jan. 9During a weekend in November 2013 — the exact date was redacted — a football graduate assistant coach took a trip to a school — one where he was formerly employed as a graduate assistant — to attend a game. The name of the graduate assistant coach was redacted in the report, in addition to where he traveled, who he was going to visit, what type of sport he was seeing and where his other friends were from. Impermissible Lodging Reported Feb. 19During an official campus visit from Dec. 13 to 15, a prospective student-athlete and his family were reserved three hotel rooms by the institution: one for the athlete himself, one for his father and brother and one for his mother, who is separated from his father. According to the report, the OSU football staff did not know the prospect’s mother had decided not to attend the visit, and because her room was going unused, the prospect’s brother asked the hotel clerk to allow him to use it instead. The clerk complied with this request because he was a family member. In addition to sending a letter to educate the football staff that emphasized the rules about lodging during official visits, the prospect has been declared ineligible by the institution until he repays the value of the room to a charity. Men’s VolleyballImpermissible Seating Reported Feb. 20Two prospective student-athletes were on campus for official visits Nov. 23, and attended the football team’s game against Indiana. Before a game begins, prospects who are on recruiting trips are permitted to be on the field until approximately 10 minutes before kickoff and are then asked to take their seats. On this occasion, a long line had formed to exit the field because of the cold temperatures that day, and the prospects instead chose to wait on the sidelines next to a heater. They did not leave the field until after kickoff. In addition to a letter of education sent to the coaching staff of the volleyball program, a member of the coaching staff will now accompany all visiting prospects on the sidelines before football games. Click to expand.Ohio State athletics has committed at least nine violations in less than three months.OSU has so far self-reported at least nine minor violations in 2014, six of which included prospective student-athletes. The sport for one self-reported violation was redacted from the request, along with the name of the student-athlete involved.Of the nine reported violations, the sport with the highest number of violations so far in 2014 is the football team, with two.The figure is a result of an open records request submitted Feb. 24 by The Lantern and released Wednesday by the OSU public records office.None of the violations are considered major. The reason the sport was redacted on a violation reported Feb. 3 was because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, paralegal and Public Records Office program manager Rebecca Dickson said in an email.“FERPA obligates us to redact information which could lead to the identification of the particular student,” Dickson said. “Redacting the sport allowed us to still help you to understand the gist of that particular violation, yet still protect the privacy of the particular student, as is required by federal law.”Much like the 24 violations that were self-reported by the athletic department in the latter half of 2013, the school proposed its own corrective action to either the Big Ten or NCAA in eight of the nine cases. The lone violation for which the institution, or OSU, deemed “no further action (was) necessary” was the case with the redacted information, as it involved a student-athlete’s immediate health at the time of the violation according to the report.The corrective actions included providing a letter to educate the sports’ respective staffs of the rules of OSU Compliance, as well as holding meetings with the office. The most recent violation report was Feb. 20. WrestlingPrivate Camp Advertising Reported Feb. 4After submitting a copy of a proposed camp advertisement to the Compliance Office and having it approved, a non-institutional camp director submitted it on an online message board to promote the camp. When the director submitted it to the office, it did not have the names or images of any OSU student-athletes, but when he or she put it online, the message board added the names and pictures of four OSU student-athletes to the advertisement. The advertisement was quickly removed by the non-institutional camp director after working with the Compliance Office, and OSU said it believed no further action was necessary. Men’s GymnasticsImpermissible Text Message Reported Jan. 22An impermissible text message was sent to a prospective student-athlete. In addition to the letter of education sent to the gymnastics coaching staff, the institution prohibited them from contacting all prospective student-athletes from Dec. 4 to 11. Women’s TennisPublicity of Prospect’s Visit Reported Feb. 3A pair of prospective student-athletes was on the field with the team as they were being recognized at halftime of the football team’s game against Buffalo Aug. 31. Women’s Field HockeyImpermissible Phone Calls Reported Jan. 9Assistant coach Kelly Terwilliger called two prospective student-athletes twice in one week. The compliance office issued a letter of education to the women’s field hockey coaching staff, and the institution never recruited either prospective student-athlete, who have since enrolled at an institution other than OSU. Women’s BasketballImpermissible Text Message Reported Feb. 3An assistant coach sent an email to a parent of a prospective student-athlete. After issuing the coaching staff a letter of education regarding the use of electronic correspondence in recruiting, the institution also forbade them from contacting the athlete until Sept. 15, 2015 — two weeks later than what would have been the first permissible date to begin contacting her. read more

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Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer stresses 4 to 6 A to

Coach Urban Meyer stands on the sidelines during a game against San Diego. OSU won, 42-7.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorAside from the shoulder pads and helmets popping against each other, coaches yelling out orders or the shrill of whistles, there’s been one phrase that has echoed throughout the Woody Hayes Athletic Center during Ohio State spring practice.“4 to 6, A to B.”The phrase has seemingly become second nature to the Buckeyes, as coach Urban Meyer works to give his program’s culture a facelift throughout the spring football season.“We have a mantra, we have a culture that I want to make sure we don’t lose,” Meyer said after his team’s first spring practice March 4. “What I’m looking for is simplicity, and 4 to 6 and A to B. If you can’t give us that, then we gotta move on and get another player that will.”The mantra of playing hard for four to six seconds, and rushing hard during a play from one direct point to another, is so important to OSU’s football coach that he mentioned it four times March 4, in what was his first press conference since the Buckeyes’ 40-35 loss to Clemson in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl Jan. 3.It’s been such a big part of the culture change for OSU so far in 2014 that the words continue to trickle down across the roster and coaching staff.“It’s going to be about 4 to 6, A to B. That’s what we’re going to be about,” assistant head coach and defensive line coach Larry Johnson said March 27 when asked about his unit specifically. “We’re going to work as hard as we can in 4 to 6 seconds, and go from point A to point B as fast as we can.”The coaching staff preaches the phrase in nearly every interview session during spring ball, establishing the assertion time and again.“I know you guys are getting tired of hearing ‘power of the unit’ and ‘4 to 6 seconds,’ but here’s reality: If that’s what is truly important, and it becomes important to our players that 11 guys show up at the ball and it doesn’t matter really which number gets there first … then it’s really, really important,” cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs said to reporters after practice April 3.Meyer said he knew he and his staff had work to do to shore some things up on the team — particularly at defending the pass, as the team gave up an average of 268 yards per game through the air, good for 112th in the country — to even have a chance at success in 2014. And fixing the mistakes that cost them begins with that one simple phrase.“I don’t want a team that’s scared to make mistakes. I don’t want a team that’s thinking,” Meyer said March 4. “I want a team that goes 4 to 6 seconds, and when they put their foot on the ground, it’s A to B, it’s fast and it’s as hard as you go.”Aside from the loss to the Tigers in the Orange Bowl, OSU also fell to Michigan State Dec. 7 in the Big Ten Championship Game, 34-24, crushing the chances it had of competing for the national title.The back-to-back losses are the first for Meyer in his tenure as OSU coach, after ripping off 24 straight wins since arriving in Columbus in 2012. With nearly eight months for that feeling to sit and ruminate in his and his team’s minds before the Buckeyes have another chance to line up against an opponent, it’s clear he wants things to change.“Urban has set the tone very clearly, nothing else matters,” Coombs said. “4 to 6 seconds, point A to point B, all of us doing the same thing, going as hard as we can and the kids have bought into that.“And they’re not allowed to not buy into it, to be perfectly honest with you. It’s not an option. It is the way it’s going to be.”With the annual Spring Game at Ohio Stadium as the last scheduled, organized practice before fall camp, Meyer stressed the importance of adhering to the play-hard culture.“I want to make sure that culture’s out there,” Meyer said. “There’s never been a team, in 27 years of coaching, that team that didn’t play the hardest, didn’t win the game. Lack of execution and lack of technique — you can overcome that with incredible effort. You can’t overcome lack of effort with great technique. It doesn’t happen. At some point you’ll fail … These kids have heard that nonstop from the coaching staff.”The spring game is set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Ohio Stadium.The season opener against Navy is scheduled for Aug. 30 at noon in Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium. read more

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Former Ohio State offensive lineman Jack Mewhort picked up by Indianapolis Colts

Redshirt-senior left tackle Jack Mewhort (74) prepares to block a defender during a game against Penn State Oct. 26 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 63-14.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorFormer Ohio State offensive lineman Jack Mewhort was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 59th overall pick in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.Mewhort was a three-year starter for the Buckeyes and a 2013 ESPN first-team All-American, as well as an Associated Press third-team All-American.Named as a team captain during his senior season, Mewhort led an offensive rushing attack that ranked fifth in the country with 308.6 yards per game. The Buckeye offense broke school records for points scored in a season with 637 and touchdowns with 87 behind Mewhort and the rest of the line.As a junior, Mewhort started all 12 games in an undefeated season for the Buckeyes. He missed just 10 offensive snaps from scrimmage in 2012, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors.Mewhort started all 13 games during his sophomore season and played in 10 games as a true freshman in 2010.He graduated from OSU with a degree in consumer and family resource financial services May 4.Mewhort was the first selection of the Colts in the 2014 draft and the fourth OSU player taken behind linebacker Ryan Shazier (Steelers), cornerback Bradley Roby (Broncos), and running back Carlos Hyde (49ers).The Colts are scheduled to begin their season against Roby and the Denver Broncos Sept. 7 at 8:30 p.m. read more

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Mens Volleyball Ohio State advances to MIVA semifinals after 30 beatdown of

Ohio State junior setter Sanil Thomas (3) sets the ball to redshirt junior middle blocker Blake Leeson (11) during the Buckeyes’ 3-1 win against Loyola on March 29. Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo EditorThe No. 7 Ohio State men’s volleyball team will advance to the MIVA tournament semifinals after sweeping Quincy in three straight sets Saturday. The Hawks came into the match thoroughly outmatched, having lost 3-0 the two times they played the Buckeyes during the regular season and posting a 12-18 regular-season overall record and 0-14 conference record compared to the top-seeded Buckeyes.The Hawks managed to stay a few only a few steps behind the Buckeyes in the first two sets, but were left in the dust in the third when Ohio State ended the set with more than double Quincy’s points.Though Quincy kept close on Ohio State’s heels in the first set, the majority of Quincy points were a result of Ohio State miscues. Quincy senior outside hitter Anthony Winters carried his team through the first set with seven of the team’s 12 kills, but his team still fell in the set 25-22. The Buckeyes ensured the second set was not nearly as close, picking up offensive momentum and pulling away with a 25-18 win. Winters was unable to maintain the offensive pressure he showcased in the first set due in part to Ohio State’s hitting percentage reaching a match-high .476.In the third set, the Hawks lost whatever hope they had of a comeback when the Buckeyes routed Quincy for the 25-12 set win to clinch the win. The Hawks fell apart, scoring half of their points and receiving the other half from Buckeye errors.The Hawks — the No. 8 seed in the MIVA — are eliminated from the conference tournament while Ohio State will compete against the No. 4-seeded Lewis Flyers at St. John Arena Wednesday in the semifinals. read more

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2018 Big Ten Preview Maryland Terrapins

Location: College Park, Maryland 2017 Record: 4-8 (2-7 Big Ten) Head Coach: Matt Canada2018 Record: 3-1 (1-0 Big Ten)Record vs. OSU: 0-4What has happened thus far in 2018:Matt Canada took over as acting head coach following D.J. Durkin being placed on administrative leave for alleged abuse to players, which allegedly contributed to the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair on May 29. Maryland started the season upsetting No. 18 Texas 34-29 by forcing three turnovers in the fourth quarter and scoring 10 points late to snatch the win away from the Longhorns. The following week, Maryland claimed an easy victory against Bowling Green 45-14, but then faltered the following week by getting blown out at home by unranked Temple 35-14. Last week, Maryland rebounded from its loss by opening up Big Ten conference play with an easy win over Minnesota 42-13. Impact Player:Senior running back Ty Johnson has been leading the way for the Maryland offense. In four games, Johnson has had 40 carries for 300 yards and two touchdowns. This gives Johnson an average of 7.5 yards per carry and two games of over 100 yards rushing against Bowling Green and Minnesota. Johnson is not the only threat in Maryland’s offense, but he is one of its most prominent players and should continue to have success as the season goes on. Strengths:Maryland’s strength has easily been its running game thus far in the season. Maryland has already had three rushers with over 100 yards rushing each. Freshman running back Anthony McFarland has emerged in the last couple of games as a forceful weapon for Maryland, already rushing for over 291 yards on only 27 carries. Against Minnesota, he rushed for 112 yards on six carries for two touchdowns, giving him an average of 18.7 yards per carry. Sophomore running back Tayon Fleet-Davis has also rushed for three touchdowns over the first four games of play. Weaknesses:Maryland has shown that it can be prone to bad losses, with a 35-14 home defeat to Temple. Though the Terrapins utilize the run game for most of the offense, they could use more from redshirt freshman quarterback Kasim Hill, who is throwing for 129 yards per game so far this season. For Maryland to be a major contender, it will have to bring more of a dual-threat offense to the table. read more

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Failing to take multivitamins during pregnancy could set child back a year

first_imgMultivitamins seem to improve brain development leading to some children being a year ahead Credit:Alamy  Dr Anuraj Shankar, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, added: “With the new emphasis in public health going beyond saving lives toward fostering thriving children, these findings indicate the need to restructure front line health and development work to focus on family welfare and support for nurturing and stimulation, and helping future parents stay in school.”Last year the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, said there was “good evidence” for the use of folic acid to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida, and some evidence, although less certain, for the use of vitamin D, which is important for bone and tooth formation and the ability to absorb calcium. But it said other supplements were not necessary.The research was published in the journal The Lancet Global Health. This work has global implications as countries are currently planning how to achieve targets for improved childhood developmentDr Husni Muadz Many experts argue about whether multivitamins are necessary during pregnancy Credit:Getty  Multivitamins seem to improve brain development leading to some children being a year ahead  “Previous studies had hinted at the importance of social determinants, but it was the extent of our detailed cognitive assessments and the number of children tested, together with data from the pregnancy onward, that enabled us to clearly quantify the effects, and the results were surprising,” said lead author Dr. Elizabeth Prado, University of California, Davis. Women can also achieve many of the necessary vitamins and minerals through a healthy diet  Procedural memory is important for a child’s academic performance and daily life, and is tied to activities such as driving, typing, reading, arithmetic, reading, speaking and understanding language, and learning sequences, rules, and categories.   Many experts argue about whether multivitamins are necessary during pregnancy  The study was carried out on almost 3,000 children in Indonesia aged between nine and 12, whose mothers had participated in an earlier study into the effects of supplements in pregnancy.The multivitamins used contained iron, folic acid, retinol, vitamin d, vitamin e, ascorbic acid, vitamin b, niacin, zinc, copper selenium and iodine.The children of mothers who took the supplements had better procedural memory equivalent to an additional half year of schooling. For mothers who had been anemic, a common problem in pregnancy, the effect was equivalent to one extra year of schooling. The results were surprisingDr. Elizabeth Prado Failing to take multivitamins during pregnancy could set a child back by a year by the time they reach secondary school, a new study suggests.The issue of taking supplements is controversial for pregnant women, with research last year suggesting that it was a waste of money to take anything except folic acid and vitamin d.But a new study by an international team including Harvard University, the University of California and the University of Lancaster, found that multivitamins can add the equivalent of up to a full year of schooling to a child’s cognitive abilities between the ages of nine and 12.The finding, which was carried out in women in Indonesia, is likely to be most relevant for women who do not get sufficient vitamins and minerals from their diets.  “This work has global implications as countries are currently planning how to achieve targets for improved childhood development.” Biological factors such as low infant birth weight, premature birth, poor infant physical growth, poor nutrition, were found to have less of an impact on mental ability compared to home environment, maternal depression, parental education and socio-economic status.”No one on the team had anticipated the extent to which social and environmental factors would exceed biological factors as the determinants of cognitive function, two to three-fold, by some measurements,” said Dr Husni Muadz, University of Mataram, Indonesia. Women can also achieve many of the necessary vitamins and minerals through a healthy diet  The study also found that early life nurturing, happier mothers and educated parents all led to cleverer children. A nurturing environment was found to be more even more important than biological factors, such as good nutrition, for general intellectual ability, academic achievement and fine motor dexterity. 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

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Education Secretary Justine Greening says she was turned down for a banking

first_imgMs Greening indicated she will press ahead with controversial grammar school plans in the face of stiff opposition. A consultation on expanding selective education closed before Christmas and the responses are being analysed by officials.The policy has divided Conservatives and angered teaching unions. But Ms Greening insisted education reforms cannot be put “on one side because people feel that there are things we shouldn’t be looking at”.She also said she does not support a ban on unpaid internships, which was recommended this week by the all party parliamentary group on social mobility.Ms Greening said her social mobility programme will expand to target more areas where youngsters are failing to achieve their potential. Justine Greening is targeting students who do not fulfil their potentialCredit:Keith Morris /Alamy  Gap years are usually taken by wealthier studentsCredit:Getty  Exam hall .@JustineGreening announces new Opportunity Areas as she sets out role of education in tackling #SocialMobility  https://t.co/7GHj9Ms8xK pic.twitter.com/tx4ee6A33L— DfE (@educationgovuk) January 18, 2017 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.center_img Companies have been criticised for favouring job applicants who have taken gap years, since they are more common among affluent students. Ms Greening, who went to a comprehensive school in Rotherham before reading Economics at Southampton University, said she had never met a lawyer until she was an adult. She urged businesses to take on more “rough diamonds” like her and help to “polish them up”.“After my exams, I looked at going into the City. I remember a final interview with a long-established City bank,” Ms Greening said in a speech at PriceWaterhouseCooper’s London offices on Wednesday, at an event co-hosted with the Sutton Trust.“I was sat in a wood-panelled office, being quizzed by one of their most senior managers at the firm. He wasn’t very impressed with my extra year of research post-university, doing research that was funded by Ladbrokes, looking at gambling behaviour.“He looked me in the eye and said he felt I didn’t have enough of the ‘world experience’ that they wanted, and pointed out that I hadn’t had a gap year travelling. That was correct. At the time I was too embarrassed to admit that I simply couldn’t afford one.” Woman on hammock The Education Secretary Justine Greening has revealed she was once turned down for a job in banking because she had not taken a gap year.She spoke of an interview at Barings Bank, one of the world’s oldest merchant banks until it collapsed in 1995, where she was allegedly told that she was not suitable for the job as she had not travelled to enough exotic countries.Speaking at the launch of her new social mobility strategy, she recalled how at the time she was “too embarrassed to admit that I simply couldn’t afford one”.Taking a year out has become so common that it has prompted the mocking term “gap yah”, which arose from a comedy sketch about an upper class student boasting of his travels in far flung countries. Doncaster, Bradford, Fenland & East Cambridgeshire, Hastings, Ipswich, and Stoke will join the six existing “opportunity areas”, including Blackpool and Norwich, in the £72million scheme.The “opportunity areas” programme focuses on bolstering teacher support and improving schools as well as careers advice, mentoring and apprenticeship opportunities.A new fund, made up of £1.5million of Department for Education funding and £2million from the Education Endowment Foundation, will be used to create new “research schools” in each area that will share evidence about the best ways of boosting the performance of disadvantaged pupils.Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said it is “highly disingenuous” and “misleading in the extreme” for the Education Secretary to suggest that the funding is “new”.  “The £72million will not go far compared with the impacts of the worst funding crisis in decades for all schools and sixth form colleges,” he said.last_img read more

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Browned toast and crispy roast potatoes a potential cancer risk

first_imgEdwina Currie questioned why acrylamide was being “prioritised” over “tangible issues”.“If they think this is a big issue but there are gaps in their knowledge, they should fund more research into it as an urgent priority,” she said.A spokesperson for the potato product manufacturer McCain said the company was complying with the Food Drink Europe “acrylamide toolbox”.Steve Wearne, director of policy at the FSA, said: “We are not saying people should worry about the occasional meal … this is about managing risk over a lifetime.”Anything you can do to reduce your exposure will reduce your lifetime risk.”People might, for example, think ‘I like my roast potatoes crispy’, but they will just decide to have them less often.” The Government has been accused of “massively overreacting” by telling people not to eat crispy roast potatoes or browned toast despite there being no scientific proof of a link to cancer.Experts said the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) new campaign, which warns people against cooking starchy foods at high temperatures for long periods, risks undermining support for “real” public health priorities like tackling obesity.Launched on Monday, the official guidance aims to raise awareness of acrylamide, a chemical which forms in some foods when they are cooked in temperatures hotter than 120°C. 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. We are not saying people should worry about the occasional meal … this is about managing risk over a lifetimeSteve Wearne, director of policy at the FSA Sir David Spiegelhalter, professor of the public understanding of risk at Cambridge University, said the campaign was inappropriate.“I’m always ambivalent about public health campaigns that are not based on some pretty firm quantitative evidence,” he said.“Many things in life may increase risk, but it’s the size of the risk that makes it important.”Acrylamide forms due to a chemical reaction between certain sugars and an amino acid in the food when fried, roasted, baked, grilled or toasted, rather than boiling, steaming or microwaving.Chips and crisps are foods thought to contain the most amount of acrylamide because of their relatively greater surface area in proportion to weight.The FSA is also instructing people not to keep bread in the toaster beyond a golden colour, as this also increases acrylamide.Potatoes must also not be stored in the fridge as this too raises levels of the chemical when cooked. The row broke as it emerged major manufacturers of potato products including McCain have been quietly working with the FSA to change cooking instructions on packs in an attempt to reduce acrylamide levels.Chairman at the British Potato Trade Association, David Burks, said people’s acrylamide intake is influenced more by the variety of potato they eat than the way it is cooked.“Most supermarket bought potatoes are low in acrylamide anyway, so changing how they are cooked will make little difference.”He added that the Government campaign would be more effective at reducing acrylamide intake if it focused on cutting back on crisps. Chris Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said the FSA advice was an example of “mission creep” from the Government agency.“They should be dealing with real safety issues like the handful of restaurants who are putting out genuinely dangerous food,” he said.“This sort of thing undermines public faith in scientific advice and terrifies people.“People just don’t know what to eat anymore because they’re not being given clear advice.”Former Conservative health minister Edwina Currie told The Daily Telegraph: “I think people will be puzzled when they see this campaign, as the Government appears to have launched it before doing all the research.”center_img Browned toast This sort of thing undermines public faith in scientific advice and terrifies peopleChris Snowdon, Institute for Economic Affairs Browned toast also increases acrylamide, says the FSACredit:Nick Ansell It is also not known whether even a diet high in browned foods such as well-done roast potatoes could expose a person to enough of the chemical to risk triggering the cancer.According to the FSA, people should not longer “fluff” their potatoes before roasting them, as this increases the surface area and maximises the brown crispiness which for most people is the main point of eating them in this style.The new FSA guidance also states people should roast potatoes and vegetables in a preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes to avoid over browning.Using the slogan “go for gold”, it also warned that people should set a timer for 25 minutes to ensure they catch them before they overcook. It states that people can lower their risk of cancer by avoiding over-browning roast potatoes, chips, root vegetables as well as cereal-based foods.But the advice is based on experiments on mice, rather than any studies showing that acrylamide causes cancer in people.last_img read more

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Isil fanatic emailed the PMs office threatening to wage jihad before getting job

first_imgThe jihadist sent the Prime Minister’s office an email titled “terrorist Israel” in July 2014. It read: “Something needs to be done to stop Israel or we Muslims will get our revenge. We will wage jihad and slaughter every Israeli and their allies.”The following month Ahmed began working as a security guard on London’s Crossrail project through a security firm.He sent further threatening emails to the Australian government, Ofsted and a Sun journalist, warning: “May the British child burning soldiers burn in hell… cowards piss on their graves.”In November 2014 the Islamist bought a £220 flight to Istanbul, but changed his mind and cancelled the trip.Mr Weekes said by this time he “was sending links to videos that appeared to be supportive of the Islamic State group to contacts in his WhatsApp group”.After Ahmed was arrested a probation officer told him that Islam was a “peaceful and respectful” religion, but he replied: “No. It is a religion of war.” Questions will be raised about why Ahmed wasn’t charged earlier after he ‘became increasingly radicalised in his Islamic faith’ as he grew up in east London.He bought an Islamic State flag and camouflage gear with his PayPal account between February and July 2014. An Islamic State fanatic emailed the Prime Minister’s office threatening to “wage jihad” before being given a job guarding the Crossrail project, a court heard today.Shamim Ahmed, 24, who once threatened to blow up a bookshop for selling the Charlie Hebdo magazine, wagged his finger at Judge John Bevan QC and warned him: “Give me 20 years, I will come out the enemy.”Ahmed had sent death threats to staff at The French Bookshop in South Kensington on January 17, 2015 with the subheading: “Protect your neck while you are still alive.”The former security guard accused the bookshop of selling the satirical magazine “against Muslims” just days after the massacre and said they would face ‘major retaliation’ if they continued to stock it.He then made two threatening phone calls to the shop on 22 January, telling the owner: “I’m going to come and stab you, I’m going to come right away and blow up the shop: I’m not afraid of the police, I’m a Muslim.” Shamim Ahmed was caught on the Syrian border and returned to the UK But just two months later in January last year, jobless Ahmed was caught on the Syrian border trying to cross into IS-controlled territory. He travelled to Turkey but was returned to the UK after officials detained him at the Syrian border, believing he was trying to cross into the war-torn country.Ahmed was arrested on January 16 and admitted engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.At his sentencing hearing on Wednesday he began wagging his finger and mumbling “kuffar'”as he was sentenced before telling a dock officer: “Move the f–k out of my face. I’m going to punch you in the face.”Ahmed was sent back to the cells after shouting: “Wage jihad wherever we are… Target the civilians, tourist sites, tourist sites, inshallah [God willing].”Judge John Bevan QC said: “The defendant originally refused to have anything to do with the court process.”This afternoon I would have hoped he would have been on his best behaviour, he wasn’t, and I have asked for him to be removed and will continue in his absence.”Ahmed, previously of Shadwell, east London, was later jailed for six years in absence.Opening the case against terrorist Shamim Ahmed, prosecutor Mark Weekes said: “The case against the defendant is that in early January 2016 he travelled out to Turkey from the UK, and it’s quite plain from the facts his ultimate destination from where he was turned back was Syria, with the intention of fighting for Islamic State.” Shamim Ahmed was caught on the Syrian border and returned to the UKCredit: Greg Wilford It followed the massacre of twelve people during a raid on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris on 7 January, 2015.Ahmed, who has previously stated that he only recognises Sharia law, admitted two charges of sending malicious communications in November 2015 and was given a 20-week suspended sentence. He was also ordered to perform 300 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £1680 in fines and costs. He said he wanted to go to Syria to meet girls from Match.com and live under sharia law.Jailing him, Judge Bevan said: “He doesn’t approve of democracy, he doesn’t approve of women, and he says democracy is evil and no good. So his radicalisation is long-term, if not particularly sophisticated. He lied his head off to the probation service and police.”His views show no sign of calming down, he’s a long-term follower of jihad.”Ahmed, previously of Shadwell, east London, was deemed an “offender of particular concern” and must serve one year on licence when he is released. He must also abide by a notification order for 15 years. 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

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Parents fret as World Book Day costumes wasted as schools closed and

first_imgParents who have toiled over intricate costumes for their children have spoken of their dismay as the snow meant World Book Day events were cancelled across the country.Some schools remained open, but called off the dressing-up event because they feared pupils would get too cold in their fancy dress.Others have closed altogether, and parents have worried the effort that has gone into the costumes was wasted.Hundreds of schools have been closed this week due to snow storms, with red weather warnings issued by the Met Office for some parts of the country.Many parents have let their children dress up in their costumes anyway during their “snow days” at home, and have set up fun activities in the home such as themed painting.  The weather has worsened throughout the week, with the Met Office issuing rare “danger to life” warnings in Scotland and the south west. School cancelled until Monday. Am I the only one doing a happy dance that we miss World Book Day? #badmum #WorldBookDay— The Old Fishwife (@Cla_BoHo) February 28, 2018 Libraries announced that schools and nurseries which had planned to visit had cancelled the celebrations, as pupils stayed at home because of the weather. Hurrah! Due to bad weather, the school have cancelled The Parent Hungergames aka World Book Day.— Katherine May (@_katherine_may_) February 28, 2018  There were reports on Twitter that children were crying after they were no longer able to wear their costumes, which some families had spent days making. However, luckily for some children, a few schools across the country promised to reschedule World Book Day. Skelton School will be closed today, Thursday March 1st. World Book Day event tonight also cancelled. Please keep safe and warm.— Skelton School (@skeltonsch) March 1, 2018 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. #WorldBookDay Thought this costume was weather appropriate. pic.twitter.com/NUlJCwXCFZ— Sarah Prescott 🐧 (@lovepenguins126) March 1, 2018 The Met Office said: “A spell of heavy snow and blizzard conditions is expected. The snow will be accompanied by very strong easterly winds, leading to severe drifting.”Some places could also see significant ice build up due to freezing rain from later on Thursday evening, most likely in the south of the area. Long delays and cancellations of public transport seem highly likely.”Some roads are likely to become blocked by deep snow, stranding vehicles and passengers. Long interruptions to power supplies and other utilities are very likely to occur, along with damage to trees and other structures due to heavy snow or ice.” The Highway Rat was a baddie, the Highway Rat was mean; they cancelled world book day because of the snow now his costume will never be seen! #WorldBookDayUK pic.twitter.com/WT2Uz3SEXx— Michael Peacock (@coqdepois) March 1, 2018center_img No school tomorrow doesn’t have to mean no #WorldBookDay costume. #secondwinteriscoming pic.twitter.com/PsGPvVZPxn— Kim 👩🏼‍💻👩🏼‍🎓👩🏼‍⚕️ (@TherapeutiKimbo) February 28, 2018 Some parents were happy that it was cancelled, as they said the event becomes competitive as people judge each other over who made the most intricate costumes for their children. I’d love to send pictures, unfortunately in the last 30 minutes of school Rivington and Blackrod High, Bolton told all the children they have cancelled world book day. My son was in tears after spending 4 evenings making his outfit. So disappointing.— Jen jen (@historyjenn) February 28, 2018 My son’s school is closed so he can frolic in the snow, but it’s #WorldBookDay so I’ve insisted that he still wears his costume. You should see little Mowgli out there, shivering.— T’Other Simon (@TOther_Simon) March 1, 2018 Poor Sophia missed #worldbookday at her school today, closed due to bad weather. But hay, that didn’t stop my “little lass” trying on her costume! ☠💣💎🗡 pic.twitter.com/DioHk6tZM9— Liv (@HeeromaLavinia) March 1, 2018 The schools which did remain open warned parents to make sure the costumes they dressed their children in were sufficiently warm. Our World Book Day events have been cancelled today, Thursday 1 March since the nurseries for whom we were opening specially have cancelled their visits. Stay safe everyone! The library will be open at 10am tomorrow as usual.— Newby/Scalby Library (@NewbyScalby) March 1, 2018 Our World Book Day is postponed until Friday 9th March! If we are in school tomorrow it will definitely not be costume and pyjama weather ⛄️Also, dance club and cookery club will be cancelled, we’ll let you know when we have confirmed a rearranged dance date.— Calder Primary (@CalderPrimary) February 28, 2018 Caed was so excited to be going to school until it was closed due to the snow. So he stayed in his World Book day costume and is painting his potatos! @Penninewayja #WorldBookDay2018 #WorldBookDay #painting #art #crafts pic.twitter.com/8ar4cHTViQ— Deb Brutal (@DebBrutal) March 1, 2018 #RHS is open today. Please take no risks with your safety and ensure that World Book Day costumes are sufficiently warm. Due to snow forecast today, after-school clubs are likely to be cancelled 🌨️— Rupert House School (@ruperthouse) March 1, 2018last_img read more

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NHS needs extra funds for a technological revolution in order to survive Jeremy

Writing for The Daily Telegraph, 
Jeremy Hunt warns that “the biggest risk” facing the country is if a future funding boost is spent without a “dramatic transformation of modern healthcare”. Mr Hunt says the NHS must build on its legacy of “leading the world in medical breakthroughs” by pioneering services such as patients being diagnosed using artificial intelligence and test results being delivered via smartphone. The NHS must use extra funds to lead a “technological revolution” in order to “weather the storm” of the biggest challenge to face the health service in 70 years, the Health Secretary has said. He hails “superhuman” efforts by healthcare workers to respond to increasing pressures… read more

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Secret lives of Britains spies revealed Bake Off competitions questions about your

The spies talked of the difficulties in leading secret lives, where only their closest family and friends could know the truth. John said he had worked for SIS for six months before he told his husband, which he described as “an interesting conversation”.But Jo acknowledged it was impossible to take all work frustrations home beyond saying ‘I’ve had a rubbish day’. “We’re not superhuman in that sense,” she admitted. Bond actor Roger Moore and film producer Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli between takes on the set of 'A view to Kill', August 17, 1984. An SIS Vetting Officer would have raised an eyebrow at some of the antics of Roger Moore's Bond. Where James Bond has previously used mink gloves to aid relaxation, modern British spies are instead running ‘Bake Off’ competitions, it has been revealed.Speaking for the first time collectively, six spies from MI5, SIS and GCHQ have offered a snapshot of what it is like to work in the UK’s three intelligence agencies.In a revealing interview to BBC Radio 5 Live, the spies eschewed the standard characterisations. Ameesha, an MI5 analyst, said that they were just “ordinary people doing extraordinary jobs”.Describing how the security vetting process prior to joining was “intrusive” and that revealing intimate details of sexual proclivity felt odd “the first time round”, Lilly, who has worked for seven years at GCHQ, Britain’s cyber spying agency, said: “you have to talk about your personal life in great detail, but [the vetting officers] really do put you at ease”.“It’s a regular check and now, when I do it, it’s not a big thing at all,” she said. “They’re not there to judge you”. John, an Officer in the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS)  – better known as MI6 – has worked for 15 years in countering the proliferation of nuclear weapons and hunting terrorists. “There are very few things we’re competitive about [between the agencies],” he said. Ameesha agreed: “Our work is our second family. We can’t take our work home so we vent to our second families.” The group described the internal support mechanisms available to balance the necessity for secrecy with the human reluctance to deceive loved ones.SIS, for example, believes it is important to have fun and laugh together, said John. He described how the annual MI6 pantomime builds resilience throughout the organisation. All agencies occasionally invite parents and children into the office, to help understand a bit more about what the employees do.But some children are just too young to understand.Jo, from MI5, said: “one of my little kids came home and said ‘we’ve got this thing on at school when you can take your parent to school if they do something really interesting and they went “but mummy that’s fine because you don’t do anything interesting so you don’t need to come in”. And I remember thinking ‘if only you knew”.“It’s a conversation for 10 or 15 years time. I’ll get my mummy brownie points then.” Bond actor Roger Moore and film producer Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli between takes on the set of ‘A view to Kill’, August 17, 1984. An SIS Vetting Officer would have raised an eyebrow at some of the antics of Roger Moore’s Bond.Credit:Chip HIRES/Gamma-Rapho “They’re things like ‘where do you figure in the Stonewall rankings’ or who had the best Bake Off.”The spies described how they needed to do a bit of myth-busting with new entrants. Jo, an MI5 Officer who started as a Linguist 15-years ago, agreed: “one new joiner asked ‘do I have to wear a disguise at work? Another asked ‘do I have to dump my girlfriend to work here? Because if I do, I will’ he said”.Describing the anger and frustration after a terrorist attack, the group agreed such events caused a “sinking feeling” and devastation to be felt throughout the intelligence community. Dia, a GCHQ Officer, said spies channeled their anger after such events, to “go after those who’ve done it”. “We know that we will not stop every attack from happening,” Jo said. “As much as we try, we know that the reality is that we cannot stop everything from happening.” Aerial view of the GCHQ building in Cheltenham. Employees of the cyber spy agency have described the ‘intrusive’ nature of the vetting process.  Credit:GCHQ/PA Aerial view of the GCHQ building in Cheltenham. Employees of the cyber spy agency have described the 'intrusive' nature of the vetting process.  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

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Prince Harry pays tribute to Prince Charles fight to save environment and

Prince Harry, center left, and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, center right, arrive at the Australian Geographic Society Awards, in Sydney The Duke of Sussex has paid loving public tribute to his father, in a speech in which he credits him for fighting to save the environment even when it fell on “deaf ears”. The duke, speaking at the Australian Geographic Awards in Sydney, shared a series of prescient words from a “well-known conservationist” dating back to 1970, before revealing to the audience that they had been spoken by the Prince of Wales. Saying the world must now act “urgently” to “stop the clock on the destruction of our planet”, he signalled the cross-generational campaign now at the centre of the Royal family’s work. “My father and others have been speaking about the environment for decades – not basing it on fallacy or new-age hypothesis, but rooted in science and facts, and the sobering awareness of our environmental vulnerability,” the duke said.”And while those speeches would sometimes fall on deaf ears, he and others were unrelenting in their commitment to preserve the most valuable resource we have – our planet.”But let that be a cautionary tale. We are all here tonight because we care deeply about using the world’s resources wisely and safeguarding them for future generations.”The duke, who is expecting his first child in the spring, added: “I am certain we are more aware of the need for this balance now, than ever before. “The idea that these are the next generation’s problems is not a view we can accept.” Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, arrive at the Australian Geographic Society Awards in Sydney. Chrissie Goldrick, editor in chief of Australian Geographic, is seen on the right in the light dressCredit:Joel Carrett/AFP She described him as “a passionately committed conservationist” and said that while in Australia he had made “the most of your popularity, your influence and your undoubted charisma to draw attention to a range of issues close to your own heart”.She added: “When people like Your Royal Highnesses, held in such affection by so many, when you speak, people listen… You can change hearts and minds.”The duke and duchess, who arrived late at the ceremony because of the delayed flight from Tonga, were there to present two awards. Prince Harry, center left, and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, center right, arrive at the Australian Geographic Society Awards, in SydneyCredit:Joel Carrett/AAP After its launch, she said, “the Queen quickly lent her enthusiasm and her support to this initiative. It is an ambitious initiative. It seeks to offer greater protection to the world’s native forests, and seeks to regenerate those that have degraded or pulled down. So far 42 countries of the 53 that comprise the modern Commonwealth have added over 90 projects to the canopy in a very short time. It is an idea that has really taken off.”She also described how Harry was a member of the South Pole club. “That is usually quite an exclusive club, except when you are at an Australian Geographic Society event. There are lots of people who have been to the South Pole!” Presenting awards to the scientists, academics and innovators already working to protect the environment, he concluded: “I am confident that positive and permanent change is on the horizon.”Young people now innately understand far better than previous generations that we simply cannot continue to destroy our natural world, without facing major, irreversible consequences.”And they understand that many of the solutions we need to tackle these issues can be found by working together and empowering communities to come up with long-lasting, sustainable solutions.”It is going to take every single one of us to stop the clock on the destruction of our planet, and time is not on our side.”The standard we walk past, is the standard we accept.  It’s time to take personal responsibility and realise what a privilege it is for us to live alongside nature.”Editor in Chief of Australian Geographic, Chrissie Goldrick, said: “‘This [the environment] runs in the family. “Not only we have got Prince Harry out here, speaking on behalf of the environment in a powerful way, he’s not pulling any punches on his messages, but we also have Prince Charles, a long term environmentalist from back in the 1970s and now we have the Queen who is behind the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project in a major way.  “You have got the three generations of that family stepping up for the environment. “They really do  have a power to help people focus. I can’t believe we are still arguing about climate change. “So when you get people like that ho are not politicians or states people or scientists out there giving that message then people step up and take notice.”As they left the ballroom , where the awards were taking place, to meet the winners, the Duchess was clutching a toy wombat that she had been given for her unborn baby.She was also given a ‘numbat’, a small long-trailed marsupial native to Western Australia. There are fewer numbats in the world than Great Pandas.Queen honoured for ‘outstanding contribution’ to conservationThe Queen was honoured last night with a special award for conservation for her initiative to highlight the plight of the world’s forests.The award, for her “outstanding contribution” to global conservation was accepted on her behalf by the Duke of Sussex at an awards ceremony in Sydney.The award, by the Australian Geographic Society, recognises the impact of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, an initiative launched in 2015.Chrissie Goldrick, editor in chief of Australian Geographic, said that the Queen had offered “vital leadership” to a project that “aims to tackle deforestation on a global scale”. The duke presented the award for Young Adventurer of the Year to Jade Hameister. Now 17, she skied to the North Pole aged 14, became the youngest woman to cross Greenland a year later, and this year completed a 37-day journey to the South Pole. She is the youngest person to complete the polar hat-trick.The duchess presented the award for Young Conservationist of the Year to Sophia Skarparis. Aged 15, she started a petition this year to ban plastic bags in New South Wales, which led to a meeting with the state premier and her petition being debated in the NSW Parliament this week.Sign up for Your Royal Appointment – for everything you need to know about the Royal Family, direct to your inbox each week. Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, arrive at the Australian Geographic Society Awards in Sydney. Chrissie Goldrick, editor in chief of Australian Geographic, is seen on the right in the light dress read more

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Fiona Onasanyas threemonth prison sentence to be reviewed after complaint it was

Disgraced MP Fiona Onasanya is to have her three-month prison sentence reviewed after a complaint that it is unduly lenient.The Peterborough MP was convicted at the Old Bailey of perverting the course of justice after lying to police to avoid a speeding charge. She was jailed this week but is continuing in her role despite calls for her to stand down.Amid a public outcry over the former Labour whip’s refusal to resign, The Telegraph was told on Wednesday it was “almost inevitable” her sentence would be challenged due to the high-profile nature of the case.A senior Whitehall source added they expected a formal request for review to be submitted to Geoffrey Cox QC, the Government’s chief legal adviser, when the Peterborough MP’s appeal process ends in several weeks time.But just two days after the sentencing, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office confirmed the sentence would now be reviewed, and said: “We have received a request for the case of Fiona Onasanya to be considered under the unduly lenient sentence scheme.”The Law Officers have 28 days from sentencing to consider the case.”If the sentence is found to be unduly lenient, the case will be referred to the Court of Appeal which will decide whether or not to increase it. Her brother received 10 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to three counts of perverting the course of justice over speeding, including over the July 24 incident. Onasanya was jailed for three months on Tuesday after she was found to have lied to police officers to avoid a speeding fine, becoming the first sitting MP in 28 years to be sent to prison.  However, she has refused to resign as an MP, with her lawyer telling the Old Bailey that she had clung onto her seat because her £77,000 salary was her “only source of income”.Under existing laws MPs can only be ousted from Parliament if they are jailed for 12 months or more, meaning the authorities are powerless to prevent Onasanya from returning once she is released.Her constituents must also wait for her appeal process to end before they can attempt to unseat her and force a by-election, by which time the 35-year-old may already have returned to the Commons.Onasanya, an Independent after being expelled by the Labour Party, is appealing against her conviction.Jurors at the Old Bailey heard that Onasanya colluded with her brother Festus after her car was clocked doing 41mph in a 30mph zone in the village of Thorney, near Peterborough, in July 2017.The court was told that she was sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) to fill out, but it was sent back naming the guilty driver as Aleks Antipow, an acquaintance of her brother, who was away visiting his parents in Russia. 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

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MPI introduces modern data collection technology

The efficiency of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure will soon be significantly improved by the acquisition of a new computerised system that can quickly and accurately collect pavement and asset data.The Ministry recently introduced this computerised system in a bid to improve its data collection capabilities. The new system, ROMDAS (Road Measurement Data Acquisition System) is the most up-to-date technology used to collect data on roadways, and its introduction to Guyana will see significant improvements in the micro planning of road projects.The Ministry of Public Infrastructure recently introduced ROMDAS, a modern computerised software aimed at improving data collection. Photo shows the ROMDAS data collection technology outfitted on a Ministry of Public Infrastructure vehicleThis is according to Mr. Patrick Thompson, the Ministry’s Chief Transport Planning Officer, who said that the system has “tremendous potential” to improve the planning and decision making of road maintenance and rehabilitation works.According to a GINA report, he explained that the decision to introduce the system at the Ministry came in light of issues encountered over the years with the sustainability of data collection procedures. He said, following the identification of this problem, the decision was made to look into available technologies and decide which would be best suited for Guyana’s needs.The ROMDAS technology is used in approximately 60 countries around the world, with four countries in Latin America currently utilizing this New Zealand developed technology.“One of our fundamental problems in the Ministry is the absence of accessible data. The absence of reliable data often results in poor planning and decision making; data is essentially the reality of the situation in numbers,” Mr. Thompson explained. He continued, “Too many times we have found ourselves estimating or guessing in the absence of reliable data; now, we can make firm, irrefutable future decisions in the road sector if this technology is optimally utilised.”He noted that the system utilizes a number of laser sensors, a bumper integrator, GPS and a right of way camera to carry out automatic crack and defect measurements, pavement roughness measurements, mobile mapping of the road corridor and  travel time and congestion surveys.Among other things, the Ministry hopes to use the ROMDAS equipment to create a geo-referenced database of Guyana’s primary and secondary road network within the next 12 months.The technology’s video logging feature will improve the Ministry’s asset management capabilities and allow for more effective road safety interventions in the future.In a bid to maximise the technology’s use, 12 persons from the Ministry and one final year student from the University of Guyana undertook a 10-day training conducted by Mr. Krishna Jammalamadaka, the Director of Research and Development of ROMDAS, New Zealand.  The training included both the theoretical, practical and safety instructions required to optimize the use of the technology. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedNew landing equipment for CJIA in 2020July 23, 2019In “latest news”Cabinet grants no objection for new $235M EPA building, othersJanuary 3, 2017In “latest news”73 new streetlights installed along Diamond access roadJune 6, 2016In “latest news” read more

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5 charged for New Amsterdam gas station robbery

-2 teens remanded while others receive bail Two teenagers were on Tuesday remanded to prison by Senior Magistrate Alex Moore after they admitted that along with others, they used a firearm and cutlass to rob a gas station in New Amsterdam, Berbice.The teenagers, along with three others, including a fifteen-year-old, appeared before Magistrate Moore in the New Amsterdam Court on an armed robbery charge.A 16-year-old (name withheld) of Ogleton Dam, Angoys Avenue; and Ivan Sinclair, 18, of New Amsterdam pleaded guilty to the charge which stated that on Saturday August 19, at Main and King Streets, while being armed with a dangerous weapon, which is to say a firearm and an offensive weapon, they robbed Prakash Seenarine of $140,000, property of Feroz Ally.Police Officers escorting the five accused to court on TuesdayThe two, along with three others – a 15-year-old old (name withheld) of Savanna Park, New Amsterdam; Raymond Samaroo, 22, of Ogleton Dam, Angoys Avenue and Delon Johnson of King Street – are jointly charged with the offence and pleaded not guilty.The 15-year-old, Samaroo and Johnson were granted bail in the sum of $75,000 each, while Sinclair and the 16-year-old who pleaded guilty have been remanded.They will all have to return to court on October 2 when the Police are expected to make a disclosure.Police Prosecutor, Inspector Godfrey Playter told the court that on the day in question, at about 20:15h, three men approached Seenarine who was one of two attendants at M Ally Gas Station situated at Main and King Streets. One of the men held a gun to Seenarine while another took away the money which he had in his hand and made good their escape.However, surveillance footage of the robbery was provided to the Police and the suspects were arrested. (Andrew Carmichael) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAccomplice in botched ECD robbery remandedSeptember 5, 2017In “Court”Trio charged for armed robbery in New AmsterdamNovember 21, 2015In “Crime”Man who allegedly stabbed wife fifteen times remanded on murder chargeJanuary 4, 2017In “Man who allegedly stabbed wife fifteen times remanded on murder charge” read more

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Nurses state final exams records 97 overall pass rate Lawrence

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedOutsourcing the grading of nursing students, clearer Council guidelines likely- LawrenceFebruary 21, 2017In “latest news”150 nurses will be required to re-write leaked examination papers- LawrenceFebruary 6, 2017In “Health”February 21 confirmed for nursing exams resit- MOPHFebruary 14, 2017In “latest news” More than 200 hundred students are celebrating having successfully completed the state final examinations of the local Nursing programme.Minister of Public Health Volda LawrenceMinister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence though emotional was delighted to make the announcement of the overall pass rate of 97 percent at the last sitting of the examination.The students who attended the Charles Rosa, New Amsterdam, Georgetown and the St. Joseph’s Hospital Schools of Nursing gathered at the East Street Parking lot opposite the Georgetown School of Nursing, eagerly awaiting the declaration of their overall performances.Minister Lawrence briefly noted some of the challenges encountered by students, tutors and other public health officials on the road to this achievement. Nevertheless, she said, “I would just like to take this opportunity to thank god and thank all of you for giving to Guyana and to the medical profession an overall pass rate of 97 percent…”The nurses, now referred to as Registered Nurses, continued to celebrate as each principal tutor from the various schools announced their respective institution’s performance results. The St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing recorded 100 percent pass; Texila American University 75 percent pass (two out of three students were successful); New Amsterdam School of Nursing 100 percent pass; Charles Rosa School of Nursing 98 percent pass and the Georgetown School of Nursing 99.3 percent pass.Minister Lawrence remarked that the increased pass rate can be credited to the review and the revamping of the nursing programme and examination scheme. “I believe that what is happening today is a delayed process, it could have been done before.”One of the nurses makes a phone call to share the good newsAfter reviewing examination result trends from 2014 to 2016, it was found that the outcomes produced were undesirable for such a major profession.State final examinations for nurses are usually written twice per year, in March and August, while overall performances are recorded after the October sitting. The examinations are broken down into segments, namely Clinical I and II, Functional I and II and Practical.Overall pass rates for the years 2014-2016 as presented by Chief Nurse of the Ministry of Public Health were March 2014 – 27.3 percent, October 2014 – 37.5 percent, March 2015 – 67 percent, October 2015 – 66 percent, March 2016 – 51 percent, October – 9.5 percent.This triggered the Ministry of Public Health network with the Ministry of Education and other support agencies such as PAHO/WHO to conduct a re-examination of the curriculum and a re-evaluation of nurses in Guyana.“We want to also look at ‘semesterising’ the nursing programme because we believe that this will allow for evaluation and monitoring of students in a more progressive way instead of waiting until the end and then ask you to regurgitate all the things that you would have learnt,” Minister Lawrence explained.In revamping nursing education in Guyana, the ministry along with the nursing council has focused on improving the classroom environment, building the capacity of tutors, addressing the deficiency of the working conditions of tutors, regularising tutor-student ratio within required standards and implementing up-to-date teaching materials and equipment. Minister Lawrence said this requires a continuous investment by the Government of Guyana.Moreover, she added that in introducing upgrades and updating the nursing programmes, the influence of the modernised world must be taken into consideration. “We cannot expect them (nursing tutors) to provide a 21st-century education in a 16th-century environment.”Additionally, in reviewing the nursing programme, Minister Lawrence said that the requirements for entrance into nursing schools will be reviews. This will now afford interested persons in all ten administrative regions, an equal opportunity to access nursing education and to give back to their respective communities. read more

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