See more NBA predictions Oh, and don’t forgetOvechkin has the fastest stick in the league We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆 Join the squad. Subscribe NBA Things That Caught My EyeBad news, PhillyThe New England Patriots have participated in 37 playoff games since 2001, losing nine of them. That alone is absolutely insane. Here’s the stat that should give Philadelphia pause: The Patriots are 15-0 when they hadn’t played the competitor at some point over the course of the season, as is the case with the Eagles. [FiveThirtyEight]Waivered JagrJaromir Jagr, current NHL old guy and the second-highest point scorer of all time, has been placed on waivers by his latest team, the Calgary Flames, a move that may signal the end of the 45 year old’s NHL career. He is 34 games shy of Gordie Howe’s record for most games played. [ESPN]The reality behind “injury prone”A Football Outsiders analysis has put some serious numbers to the idea of being injury prone: looking at 8,585 player-seasons from 2009 to 2016, 40 percent of players who played in Week 1 went on to miss one or more games due to injury over the course of the season. However, that’s high compared to players who did not have any injuries in the previous two years, only 26 percent of which missed a game or more. [Football Outsiders]Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?Nobody’s undefeated in the OWLThe new Overwatch League, an esports attraction that just ended its third week, has shown the kind of parity that even the NFL can only dream of. Each of its 12 teams — even the powerhouses in London, Seoul and New York — have at least one win and only one team (Shanghai Dragons) are still at 0-6. Indeed, the most exciting story of the young league may be the Houston Outlaws swinging from league worst 0-2 to fourth-place 4-2 in just two weeks. [ESPN, ESPN, OWL]Golden Knights making the house loseThe Las Vegas Golden Knights are crushing it at home this season, and home just happens to be the only town in America where you can bet on the local team before walking to the arena. This means that not only are lots of people betting on Vegas — something like 10 to 15 times the typical NHL handle — but those gamblers are often winning. [ESPN]Big Number10 percentRoger Federer defeated Marin Cilic to win the Australian Open on Sunday, his 20th Grand Slam title. Here’s the cool part: Federer has now won 10 percent of all the men’s Grand Slam singles titles in the Open era since 1968. [ESPN]Predictions NFL All newsletters See more NFL predictions
1Patriots2017Titans77.2%Jaguars71.0%54.8%? The Patriots’ Super Bowl cakewalkThe teams with the easiest roads to the Super Bowl, based on how their opponents would have fared against a generic conference finalist 1990-2017 12Jaguars1999Dolphins74.1Titans58.343.2 14Bears2010Seahawks84.3Packers50.842.8 9Giants2000Eagles67.2Vikings66.044.3✓ 21Bills1990Dolphins64.4Raiders61.639.7✓ 2Eagles2004Vikings75.6Falcons72.254.6✓ 8Bills1993Raiders73.8Chiefs61.145.1✓ Generic Team’s Chances 18Seahawks2014Panthers70.5Packers57.540.5✓ 10Patriots2016Texans76.2Steelers56.943.4✓ 24Cowboys1995Eagles70.6Packers54.638.5✓ 4Patriots1996Steelers68.7Jaguars77.853.4✓ 15Saints2009Cardinals69.4Vikings60.942.3✓ 23Bills1991Chiefs62.4Broncos63.339.5✓ 6Packers2007Seahawks68.6Giants67.746.5 13Vikings1998Cardinals80.2Falcons53.743.1 20Patriots2012Texans64.7Ravens61.439.7 22Steelers2001Ravens61.9Patriots63.839.5 11Steelers1994Browns65.0Chargers66.643.3 Game No. 1Game No. 2 17Eagles2002Falcons70.9Buccaneers57.941.0 3Bears2006Seahawks74.6Saints72.754.2✓ On Sunday, the New England Patriots will make their 12th AFC Championship Game appearance under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, and the legendary coach/QB combo will be gunning for a record eighth Super Bowl appearance together against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Cut through all the drama, the speculation about Brady getting old and questions about the Pats’ defense, and it has been a pretty vintage championship-caliber season in Foxborough: another year, another seemingly effortless trip to the Super Bowl.They’ve had a little help, though. According to our Elo ratings, which estimate a team’s strength at any given moment, the Pats will have faced the easiest pair of opponents of any conference title-game participant with a first-round bye since 1990 (when the NFL established its current playoff structure). Given who they’ve played, it would have been much more surprising for New England to not make the Super Bowl than to return to it for a third time in four seasons.For one thing, the AFC was exceptionally weak this year. In inter-conference play during the regular season, NFC teams went 41-23 against their AFC counterparts, which was the second-best record for one conference against the other in a season since 1990. (Only the 2004 season, in which the AFC went 44-20 against the NFC, saw a wider split.) As a result, the AFC playoff field contained only two teams with more than 10 regular-season wins, as opposed to five in the NFC. That meant a path was already forming for the top-seeded Pats to sail through to another Super Bowl.Then a few key upsets boosted New England’s advantage. First, the Tennessee Titans toppled the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild-card game, setting up a huge divisional-round mismatch at Gillette Stadium. According to Elo, the Pats were favored by 12, since Tennessee rated at 1499 — below the league average rating of 1505 — even after knocking off K.C. That made it the third-most lopsided divisional matchup since 1990, trailing only the Pats vs. the Tim Tebow Broncos in the 2011 season and Minnesota vs. Arizona in 1998. The Titans hung with the Pats for about a quarter, but New England eventually dropped 35 unanswered points on Tennessee and rolled to victory.The next day, another upset further cleared the way for New England. The Jaguars went into Heinz Field and took a quick 28-7 lead over the stunned Pittsburgh Steelers, then hung on for a 45-42 win. Elo had only given the Jags a 24 percent chance of winning — even lower than Tennessee’s chances at Kansas City — and it still only ranks Jacksonville as the 12th-best team in football, below five teams that were knocked out of the playoffs and three that didn’t even make it to the playoffs.Just like that, the two AFC teams Elo thought had the best chance of beating the Pats going into the playoffs — the Chiefs and the Steelers — were gone, and in their place were a below-average team and another that doesn’t rate much higher. According to Elo, New England is a 10-point favorite to beat Jacksonville, with an 81 percent chance of winning the Lamar Hunt Trophy yet again.If we multiply together the Patriots’ pregame odds of beating the Titans (85 percent) with that of the Jaguars (81 percent), we could say they had a staggering 69 percent chance of making the Super Bowl before they ever played a game. (This is assuming we’d somehow know that both of their opponents would pull off the upsets they did.) That’s easily the best number for any conference title-game participant since 1990.Of course, some of that is also because the Patriots are a very good team; they went into the playoffs with the sixth-best Elo of any Pats season since the Brady Era began in 2001. We shouldn’t penalize them for being so darned good that they created some of their own easy path. There’s an easy fix for this, though. We can swap out the Patriots’ Elo ratings for a generic rating of 1646, which represents the average for all conference title-game teams since 1990, and then recalculate the odds of reaching the Super Bowl against the opponents a team faced.For our generic NFL “final four” team, that requires multiplying together a 77 percent chance against the Titans and a 71 percent chance against the Jaguars, which gives a 55 percent Super Bowl probability. In other words, that number represents the relative ease of any good team making it through the Pats’ specific path to the Super Bowl — and it’s the easiest of any championship-game entrant since 1990. 7Patriots2011Broncos81.4Ravens57.046.4✓ 5Steelers1995Bills74.2Colts69.951.9✓ 16Eagles2003Packers59.9Panthers69.841.8 25Dolphins1992Chargers62.6Bills61.338.4 Note that the Pats’ situation this year — with several upsets leading to easier-than-expected playoff matchups — is a pretty common thread across all of these smooth-sailing runs from the past. Being lucky enough to face a low-seeded opponent in one or both conference playoff games is a major advantage, and it’s no coincidence that eight of the nine teams below New England on the list above went on to represent their conference in the Super Bowl.In these topsy-turvy AFC playoffs, that’s not exactly guaranteed for the Pats, despite their seemingly straightforward path to Minneapolis. Jacksonville was one of the most inconsistent teams in football this season, so it’s difficult to predict which version of the Jags will show up Sunday. If it’s the one that torched the Steelers for 45 points last weekend, New England’s relatively unimpressive defense could be in real trouble.But the odds are that Brady, Belichick and company will punch that return ticket to the Super Bowl. And if they do, they can be thankful that one of the softest playoff red carpets ever was rolled out in front of them. 19Redskins1991Falcons67.7Lions59.640.4✓ The generic team has an Elo rating of 1646, which is used to generate probabilities against each opponent.Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com TeamSeasonOpponentWin %OpponentWin %Super Bowl %Made SB?
As we move closer to the opening of NBA training camps two weeks from now, there will be plenty of intrigue around the top tier of franchises. At least eight teams1The Rockets, Clippers, Lakers, Jazz, Warriors, Nuggets, Bucks and Sixers would be the teams on my initial list without much argument. have a real chance at an NBA title in what could be the most open race the league has seen in years.But somewhere in the next rung of teams — likely not title contenders, but competitive — is what may be the most-certain-to-be-interesting-no-matter-what team: the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pels enter a new era, looking nothing like before, with little to no sense of how good they, or No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson, will be.While it’s fair to expect that it will take time for the Pelicans to take stock of what they have, don’t be surprised if New Orleans figures things out relatively quickly. Based on recent history, it’s not a longshot that they could reach the postseason in their first season without Anthony Davis.Put aside the fact that FiveThirtyEight’s projection model has the Pelicans as the eighth-most likely playoff team out West, with a 52 percent probability of reaching the postseason. That’s based on player projections. There’s also the simple math of how not-so-horrible teams2By not horrible, I’m referring to clubs that finished above the bottom four of the standings. have fared the past two decades after winning the lottery and landing the No. 1 pick.Remember, the Pelicans got lucky in landing the top overall pick. As a result, they’re a relatively good team as far as lottery winners go. Of the eight previous clubs to defy the odds and win the No. 1 pick without being a total cellar dweller,3We aren’t counting the Clippers, whose pick technically won the lottery in 2011 after posting the league’s eighth-worst mark. They had traded the rights to their pick to Cleveland beforehand, so Los Angeles’s lottery win led to the Cavs celebrating that night, en route to them drafting Kyrie Irving the following month. six saw considerable improvement, winning at least eight more games than they did the previous season. That sort of jump would be meaningful for New Orleans, which, with 33 wins last year, would find themselves at .500 or better. It’s also worth noting that the Pelicans’ 33 victories also rank as tied for the most among those lottery winners over the past two decades, which suggests they’ll be starting from a more favorable position than most. Lottery winners that didn’t have to go from rags to richesBefore-and-after win totals for clubs that won NBA draft lottery without finishing in the bottom four of the standings, since the year 2000 2019PelicansZion Williamson33—— 2000NetsKenyon Martin3126-5.0 2002RocketsYao Ming2843+15.0 2014CavaliersAndrew Wiggins3353+20.0 2010WizardsJohn Wall2623-3.0 2005BucksAndrew Bogut3040+10.0 YearTeamNo. 1 Draft PickWins BeforeWins AfterChange 2007BlazersGreg Oden3241+9.0 The Clippers technically won the lottery in 2011 with the NBA’s eighth-worst mark. But they had previously traded the rights to their pick to Cleveland, who ended up taking Kyrie Irving with the top pick that year.Source: Basketball-Reference.com 2006RaptorsAndrea Bargnani2747+20.0 2008BullsDerrick Rose3341+8.0 Of course, even among just these eight teams, there’s a fairly wide range of outcomes and some unique circumstances. Some of these clubs that made seismic leaps were highly unusual. Take the 2014 Cavs, for example: Yes, Cleveland improved by 20 victories year-over-year after winning the lotto. But a guy named LeBron James deciding to sign there that summer was pretty integral to that leap. So was Kevin Love, whom the Cavs dealt for after drafting No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins. (On the other hand, Toronto getting 20 games better in 2006-07 after drafting Andrea Bargnani is one that can’t be explained anywhere near as easily.) Simply put, other roster moves are obviously a key factor in whether a team can make a significant jump after landing the top pick.But the No. 1 pick matters too. The Pelicans would gladly take the same sort of early returns from Zion as the 2008 Bulls or 2002 Rockets got from Derrick Rose and Yao Ming, respectively: Stars with bona fide skills, who made immediate impacts before struggling with injuries years later. The Bulls were eight games better after drafting their future MVP, while Houston won 15 more games after taking Ming. Both players ended up with clubs that had at least one other building block, much like Williamson will have in Jrue Holiday, one of the league’s steadiest — if not most underrated — players.Aside from Williamson and Holiday, New Orleans also has the trio of young players — Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart — that came over in the Davis trade. It remains to be seen if any of them will become stars (Ingram had a torrid end of the season before being forced out with a blood clot in his right arm). But even if they don’t,4The lack of a surefire star is part of why the Lakers had to throw in three first-round picks. they still look like solid rotation players: Ball has shown to be one of the NBA’s better defending guards when healthy, Ingram has length and has flashed an elite level of scoring ability, while Hart is quietly one of the most sure-handed transition players in the sport.As far as other roster changes, David Griffin also brought in sharpshooter JJ Redick, who gives the club added spacing, and ex-Jazz big Derrick Favors to help on the glass and to give the team a rim protector without Davis.5Favors led the league last season in FiveThirtyEight’s new DRAYMOND rating, which grades defenders on how well they limit opposing shooting by crowding their space and limiting their openness.While it’s probably a bit soon to know what sort of team the Pelicans will be in light of all these changes, it seems a safe bet that coach Alvin Gentry’s uptempo mentality will continue with this group, particularly as the hyperathletic Williamson finds his way within the offense and the league. New Orleans was poor defensively last season, but the potential is arguably there for the club to become a top-10 group in the coming years, with what should be four plus defenders (Holiday, Ball, Williamson and Favors) and a fifth in Ingram who has the ability to be amazingly disruptive at times despite his slender build.But the truth is, we don’t know how it will look just yet, because of all the new pieces. All we know — with 20 nationally televised games on ESPN, TNT and ABC — is that we’ll have a lot of chances to watch it all come together for the Pelicans, and that judging off how teams like the Pelicans often do shortly after landing the top pick, maybe New Orleans will actually be worth the Zion-level hype.Check out our latest NBA predictions.
In the first week of last year’s season, the Ohio State women’s lacross team lost their leading goal-scorer to a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Brittney Zerhusen was looking to improve upon a great sophomore season, but with a torn ACL those hopes ended. In her sophomore season she started all 18 games and recorded 36 goals.Zerhusen had her knee medically repaired and went through intensive rehab.The hardest thing for Zerhusen was getting back in shape. For three months she was unable to run or make any cuts.“It had been eight months [after the surgery] before I could play with the team,” Zerhusen said. She went on to say at first that she was very nervous when running full speed and making cuts.After playing with the team for a little bit, Zerhusen said she was able to play without thinking about her knee and if it would hold up.Women’s lacrosse trainer Kristen Bretz said Zerhusen was able to get back to being healthy because of her work ethic. Bretz said Zerhusen was a little ahead of schedule and now her knee is 100 percent healthy. “She did a great job rehabbing,” coach Sue Stimmel said.Zerhusen said it was bittersweet because she wasn’t able to play, but she was able to see the team do well. Although Zerhusen wasn’t able to play, she said she did benefit from her injury. “You’re always upset when someone gets hurt but it can be a great learning experience,” Stimmel said. She added that Zerhusen learned as much from watching as she would have learned from playing.Stimmel called Zerhusen’s injury “crushing” because they weren’t sure how they would do without their leading scorer. The Buckeyes went on without Zerhusen and had others step up and lead the team.Getting Zerhusen back will be an added weapon to the already loaded team. In the past two years the Buckeyes have had the American Lacrosse Conference Rookie of the Year.In the 2008-2009 campaign, Kelly Haggerty was a Tewaaraton Award semifinalist.Haggerty was fourth in points and seventh in overall scoring in the NCAA.“I think we will do outstanding with the depth that we have,” Zerhusen said.
Melissa Schaub is going to need to make some more room on her trophy shelf.The Ohio State women’s tennis coach was named the Wilson/Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Coach of the Year by the ITA on Tuesday.Schaub led her team to a 32-3 overall record in 2017, with the team’s season ending in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship in a 4-3 loss to No. 7 Stanford. Those 32 wins represent a program record for most wins in a season in a year that also set records for longest win streak (18), home wins (17) and shutouts (23).Her squad went undefeated (11-0) in the Big Ten, winning both the conference regular-season and tournament championship for the second straight season.This latest award comes after she was named ITA Midwest Region Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year. She had also been named the Big Ten Coach of the Year this season, marking the third straight season she has been honored with the title.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer gives his opening remarks at 2017 Big Ten Media Day. Credit: Jacob Myers | Managing EditorWhile Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer probably wished the conversation at the 2018 Big Ten Media Days could have stayed focused on just football, Meyer found himself answering questions pertaining to the firing of wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Smith.Smith was fired after his ex-wife filed a domestic violence civil protection order, sparking an investigation into his past that dug up previous allegations of domestic violence against his wife.Meyer said in his introductory press conference Tuesday he knew about Smith’s prior allegations. He said it came back to him that “what was reported wasn’t actually what happened,” in reference to the 2009 allegation that Smith threw a woman into a bathroom wall, according to a Gainesville, Florida, police report.“Whenever you get an accusation, contact your superior, you find out what happened and you let the people do their jobs, and then you let, I guess, the legal course run its course and find out,” Meyer said. “We met with them, there were no charges, everything was dropped. There was a very young couple, and I saw a very talented coach, and we moved forward.”Meyer also was asked about a 2015 incident where Smith was arrested for felonious assault and domestic violence in Powell, Ohio. Meyer previously said there was “nothing” to the validity of the incident, but clarified he wouldn’t know.“I can’t say it didn’t happen because I wasn’t there. I was never told about anything,” Meyer said. “The first I heard about that was last night.”Pro-style Haskins versus Martell’s intangiblesMeyer said earlier in the day that redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins is the quarterback in front, but that redshirt freshman Tate Martell has done well.At the podium, Meyer commended Martell for his willingness to win at all costs.“The greatest compliment and the most common denominator of every great player I’ve ever coached is competitive spirit … I see that in Tate Martell,” Meyer said. “I see a guy that refuses to lose, and that’s very appealing to a coaching staff.”On the other end, Meyer was asked about how to handle a pro-style quarterback, instead of the likes of dual-threat quarterbacks like J.T. Barrett and Tim Tebow, who Meyer coached at Florida.Meyer said the offense molds to the best quarterback on the team, and that he holds plenty of experience with a pro-style offense.“We take the best available player, we won three national titles, two have been with drop-back quarterbacks, pro-style quarterbacks, Chris Leak and Cardale Jones,” Meyer said. “We go after the best player that has the intangibles of competitives and toughness and leadership and we build it around what we can do.”More praise for Dre’Mont JonesAfter saying redshirt junior defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones had the best spring of anyone following the Spring Game, Meyer doubled down on his excitement for Jones, who was named to the 2018 Bronko Nagurski watch list for the best defensive players in college football on Tuesday.“He’s a grown man and I can’t wait,” Meyer said. “He’s one of our best players, if not, after spring ball, what I saw in spring practice, that’s hard to say he wasn’t one of the top one or two players on the team.”Jones was a third-team All Big Ten member in 2017 and is one of three defensive linemen who started all 12 games in his freshman season for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State head men’s volleyball coach Pete Hanson will be inducted into the USA Volleyball Hall of Fame in Columbus on May 22. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsAfter four years playing under Ohio State head men’s volleyball coach Pete Hanson, one memory sticks out in Sanil Thomas’ mind: the pregame speech before the 2016 National Championship. A freshman at the time, Thomas had spent most of his first season as a Buckeye backing up star junior setter Christy Blough, who had totalled 1,232 assists during the 2016 season and would finish his career with 4,280 assists, ranking him No. 5 in program history for the category. In the biggest match for the Buckeyes since the 2011 National Championship, it was unlikely Thomas would see the floor, except for the occasional substitution to serve. Nevertheless, Hanson’s pregame speech was special for Thomas. “Honestly, I don’t even remember the exact theme of the speech or whatever it was, but I just know I was ready to play,” Thomas said. “And I wasn’t even playing. I was on the bench, and I was just fired up.” Hanson is known for his passion for the game of volleyball. This summer, he’ll be recognized for that dedication in front of a hometown crowd. On May 22, Hanson will be inducted into the USA Volleyball Hall of Fame in Columbus, among a group of 25 other volleyball legends. He’ll be honored with the Donald S. Shondell All-Time Great Coach Award in the contemporary division. Hanson is already a two-time Hall of Fame inductee — the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017. He’s served as the head coach for the men’s volleyball team at Ohio State for 35 seasons starting in 1985, winning three national championships and accruing only five losing seasons during that span. His teams have won 702 of their 1,042 matches for a .674 winning percentage, including a 63-5 stretch over the 2016 and 2017 seasons, which featured the longest winning streak in Ohio State history for a head-to-head sport. Prior to his coaching career, which includes five years at the University of Wyoming and a year at Ball State, Hanson played at Kellogg Community College under head coach Mick Haley. Hanson said Haley was one of his earliest influences as both a player and a future coach. “[He] influenced me a lot about how to compete,” Hanson said. “You just needed to compete hard. You needed to get in there and grind for points and challenge the guys across the net … Mick was a very competitive individual, and I think I had that in me, but he kind of kept challenging us to bring that out.” In college, Haley was a setter under Ball State coach Donald Shondell, the legendary coach, who the award Hanson is being given is associated with. Hanson first got his start in volleyball after his father got him and a few other boys at their local church to start a middle-school league in his hometown of Flint, Michigan. “It just was a sport that resonated with me for some reason. I had played other sports,” Hanson said. “We formed a group of kids that stayed together, and it just grew from there, and three of us went to college together and just started playing, and so, lo and behold, here I am.” Tim Embaugh, who has been by Hanson’s side for the past 28 seasons as an assistant coach, said Hanson’s coaching influence extends beyond the collegiate level. Embaugh said Hanson has participated with multiple USA programs, including volunteering during the Atlanta Olympics, coaching the World University Games teams and participating with the youth and junior national teams.“He’s got a long history of not just college volleyball, but also USA Volleyball,” Embaugh said. Hanson has served as an assistant coach for various U.S. national team events from 1986-89 and 1994-95, including the National Sports Festival, the Olympic Sports Festival and the National Elite Junior Training Camp. He also served as head coach for the U.S. in the Olympic Sports Festival in 1989, the Junior Continental Championships in 2012 and the Men’s U-21 World Championship in 2013.Hanson said he puts a lot of value in learning from coaches and players around the world. “There’s good volleyball played around the world,” Hanson said. “Being exposed to other countries and other training methods and how they’re playing the game and the fact that they might train it differently, but they might train it very successfully, clearly expanded my vision and the way I looked at the game.” Hanson said this award, his third Hall of Fame induction, says more about the players and the teams he’s had at Ohio State than anything he’s accomplished himself. He praised the success of the program and what’s been achieved over the course of his tenure, but he avoids connecting himself to that success. Sanil Thomas does the opposite. “Being in the Hall of Fame once obviously is a feat in and of itself. To do it three times is something just surreal and something crazy,” Thomas said. “I think what you wouldn’t expect is the same — I would imagine, the same amount of passion he brought day one he brings that passion day — a lot; it’s a lot of days. That’s why he deserves this more than anyone.”
A wintry blast of snow, hail and gales is set to hit the UK in the run-up to the May bank holiday weekend, according to forecasters.Temperatures will plummet tomorrow and are expected to remain unseasonably low until the middle of next month.The Met Office is predicting “heavy and wintry” showers and widespread overnight frosts from Tuesday next week, with northern parts of the UK the worst hit. Eleanor Bell, from The Weather Channel, said an easterly-moving area of low pressure, which is currently over Iceland, “will result a strong cold northerly plunge into north-west Europe in between the high and low pressure and as a result will pull temperatures below normal for the time of year”.”Temperatures will be around 2 to 5 degrees below normal for the time of year over the UK and 4 to 7 degrees below normal for northern mainland Europe,” she said.“A cold northerly flow will affect all areas mid-week with a sharp frost in sheltered areas. Further snow showers will affect northern areas, as well as the east coast and exposed western coastal areas.” However, this brought about an early start to the birch pollen season, which may now be tempered by the drop in temperatures, bringing hope of a respite for hay fever sufferers.The driest and brightest weather is expected to be in the west next week “probably spreading to the rest of the country” by the weekend, according to the Met Office. The gloriously warm start to spring has come to an endCredit:EPA Snow showers will affect northern areas, as well as the east coast and exposed western coastal areasEleanor Bell, The Weather Channel The Met Office said the risk of frost will continue into May, but that the early part of the month is likely to be drier than usual.Once the cold temperatures ease, around the middle of the month, temperatures are then predicted to be higher than average. Low pressure will bring a windy end to Sunday in Scotland, then it gets much colder for all next week as arctic air arrives. #WinterReturns pic.twitter.com/ML20XrMLmA— Met Office (@metoffice) April 21, 2017 Conditions are expected to dry out for the three-day break, but temperatures will only rise very gradually.The cold spell follows a gloriously warm early start to the spring, which saw heights of 25C. 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 book which belonged to Alan TuringCredit:John Lawrence Mavis and Keith Batey met at Bletchley Park The main house at Bletchley Park as it is nowCredit: John Lawrence But these strict rules did not prevent lovers from different huts from developing relationships. On the contrary, Mr McKay said his research had found that the park’s directors fed blossoming romances in an effort to keep codebreakers happy and healthy. One famous couple who met there, Mavis Lever and Keith Batey, were even given a dedicated area of the canteen where they could canoodle. Ms Lever, who later became Mrs Batey when the couple married, was an accomplished linguist whose talent with the German language led her to work at Bletchley. At the age of just 19 she made a significant breakthrough, breaking into the Italian Naval Enigma system and uncovering a plan to attack a Royal Navy convoy. Mr McKay said: “I asked Keith and Mavis Batey, whose eyes met across the Enigma machine, whether the authorities were concerned about their romance, because they worked in different huts, were they worried there might be accidental crossover [of information]. “And Mrs Batey said actually no, the authorities did everything in their power to encourage the romance, to the extent of setting up special places in the canteen for them. “I think they felt that romance was a healthy thing, and it was fantastic to have that in such a pressurised environment. So while there was security there was also a very real understanding of human psychology and human needs. Speaking at the Chalke Valley History Festival, Sinclair McKay said that his interviews with the codebreakers who worked there revealed that the Buckinghamshire base had been a “hotbed of romance”. Mr McKay said the British female codebreakers were captivated by the American cryptographers who came to help dismantle Nazi Germany’s famous enigma code. “The cliches really are true – British women, and Bletchley’s women were no exception, were bowled over by the influx of American men,” he said. Mr McKay explained how tight security protocols meant each individual codebreaker had little sense of the wider context of their work. Bletchley’s most famous resident was Cambridge scholar Alan Turing, who was played by Benedict Cumberbatch in 2014 film the Imitation Game, which charts his team’s successful efforts to crack the “unbreakable” German enigma code. Cumberbatch was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal, but it may not have been wholly accurate, claimed Mr McKay. Turing was prosecuted for his homosexuality and killed himself at the age of 42, leaving us with a “melancholic” impression, he said.”What Cumberbatch didn’t quite pick up on was that at Bletchley, and just after Bletchley, Alan Turing had actually been quite a cheery soul. He was mischevious, he was funny, he had a laugh that was so irritating that it could make people leave the room,” he added. Mavis Batey pictured in 2011Credit:Andrew Crowley Alan Turing while at Sherborne school, aged 16 in 1928Credit:AFP “The romances would make your head spin – the park was stuffed with them”.At its peak around 10,000 people worked at Bletchley Park, 75 per cent of whom were women. Each “hut” did not communicate with those in other groups for fear of spreading information that could allow an individual to become too well-informed. They worked long hours, often throughout the night, but were encouraged to have an active social life and many enjoyed dancing and socialising during their time off. Mr Sinclair said another codebreaker, Sheila MacKenzie, a 19-year-old linguist from Scotland, “devoted some of her off-duty hours to Highland dancing, where she met hut six codebreaker Oliver Lawn. What followed was decades of happy marriage.”Bletchley gave many young women a voice at a time when it was hard for many women to be heard professionally.”While the park was a more egalitarian workplace than was usual, with young women able to challenge their older male colleagues, one group was dismayed to learn that they had been nicknamed Dilly’s Fillies, after the leader of their unit Dillwyn Knox. Bletchley Park’s codebreakers were actively encouraged to fall in love with each other because authorities thought it would help the war effort, a historian has revealed. The Second World War base has become legendary for its success at dismantling German and Japanese codes, which is thought to have shortened the war by two years and saved thousands of lives. But it was also “stuffed” with blossoming romances – which, far from being frowned upon, were encouraged by the park’s directors, according to a leading historian. 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 red T-shirt by Topman has sparked a twitter storm by Liverpool fans over its design inadvertently referencing the Hillsborough Disaster.The red shirt has the words “Karma” down one sleeve and a large ’96’ on the back along with a rose and the words underneath: “What goes around comes back around.”The design is an apparent reference to a Bob Marley song dating from 1996, but since the £20 shirt went on sale online it has come to the attention of hundreds of Liverpool fans, incredulous at its design, who have taken to Twitter to express their disgust.The club’s supporters believe it links to the Hillsborough Disaster, which left 96 Liverpool fans dead after a crushing incident at the start of an FA Cup semi-final in April, 1989.Justice for the 96 @TheHoodedClaw66, tweeted: “So it’s a #BobMarley song and it’s managed to get through god knows how many people before it’s printed.”Just shows you how few people know about the biggest sporting disaster and cover up this country’s ever seen.” So it’s a #BobMarley song and it’s managed to get through god knows how many people before it’s printed. Just shows you how few people know about the biggest sporting disaster and cover up this country’s ever seen #Topman #Topshop pic.twitter.com/V3qPjRG1Il— Justice For The 96 (@TheHoodedClaw66) March 15, 2018 And Matt, @mattjs82, said on Twitter: “I don’t think it’s the @Topman design that’s the issue, Hillsborough wouldn’t have been in their thinking, it’s the brain dead people who will end up wearing it for the wrong reasons, and there will be people like that.” The red shirt has the words “Karma” down one sleeve and a large ’96’ on the back along with a rose and the words underneath: “What goes around comes back around.”Credit:www.topman.com Nick Murphy, @nickmurftweets, tweeted: “Please @Topman – take this off the shelf. An genuine mistake I’m sure but this is insulting and upsetting. £JFT96” 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. Topman have been approached for comment.
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. Prof John Snowden, director of blood and bone marrow transplantation at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital, told the BBC: “We are thrilled with the results – they are a game changer for patients with drug resistant and disabling multiple sclerosis.”The results were released at the annual meeting of the European Society for Bone and Marrow Transplantation in Lisbon.The process involves patients’ faulty immune systems being destroyed using chemotherapy, and then stem cells are taken from the patient’s blood and bone marrow before being re-infused. These are unaffected by MS and they rebuild the immune system.The transplant costs around £30,000, about the same as the annual price of some MS drugs. As for those who were given drug treatment, 39 of the 50 had a relapse within a year. Over the same three-year period, the treatment failed altogether for 30 of them – or 60 per cent.Additionally, those who had transplants experienced a reduction in their disability. Of 52 patients, only six suffered a relapse in three years with the new treatment In the trial, more than 100 patients from hospitals in Chicago, Sheffield, Stockholm and Sao Paolo, were treated with either haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) or conventional drugs. They all had a type of relapsing remitting MS – in which attacks are punctuated by periods of remission.After a year, just one relapse occurred among the 52 patients who had stem cell treatment and, after an average follow up of three years, the transplant treatment had failed for just three of them – about six per cent. Doctors on Sunday hailed what they say is a major breakthrough in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, halting progress of the disease and relieving symptoms in some patients.An international trial also found that the stem cell transplant treatment could reduce disability for people with MS, according to the BBC.The disease, which attacks nerves in the brain and spinal cord and affects people’s immune systems, leads to fatigue, muscle and mobility problems, as well as a range of other disabilities.But now a new stem cell treatment is being called a “game changer” as it involves wiping out a patient’s immune system using cancer drugs and then rebooting it with a stem cell transplant.Louise Willetts, 36, a patient from Rotherham, is free of symptoms for the first time since being diagnosed with the disease in 2010. She told the BBC: “It feels like a miracle.”
Among them are the Right Rev Sarah Mullally, elected as Bishop of London, the third-most senior role in the Church, earlier this year.Bishop Mullally has expressed hope that her appointment would form part of a continuing process of women taking more leadership roles in the church, including archbishops.“The challenge is that people often think that, once you’ve appointed a woman, you’ve dealt with the issue. You haven’t,” she told the Observer earlier this year. A Church of England spokesman said it was anticipated that the position would be filled in time for the Lambeth Conference in October 2020. Emma Percy, chair of campaign group Women and the Church, said it was unlikely that a woman would be appointed.”Female bishops are relatively new,” she said. “The expectation is that it is normally someone who has been a diocesan bishop of a while. That said, it is a possibility – never say never.”In a statement, Dr Sentamu said he had decided to announce his retirement now to allow the widest possible timeframe to find a successor.”I am full of joy and expectation to see all that God is doing and will be doing in this diocese and in the Northern Province over the coming months,” he said.The Archbishop, who fled his native Uganda in the 1970s before studying at Cambridge University, has been an outspoken and prominent public figure.In 2007, he cut up his clerical collar live on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show in a protest about Robert Mugabe’s brutal regime. He vowed not to replace it until the Zimbabwean president was gone and just last year, he replaced it on the show, days after Mugabe was forced out.The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, said Dr Sentamu’s service was something to “rejoice in with great gratitude”. The Archbishop of York has announced his retirement, paving the way for a woman to take the role for the first time.Dr John Sentamu will step down on June 7, 2020, three days before his 71st birthday.The Ugandan-born clergyman was enthroned as Archbishop of York in 2005 and was granted special dispensation from the Queen to extend his duties beyond the church’s compulsory retirement age of 70.He was the first black archbishop in the Church’s history and the ceremony broke with tradition, featuring drums and dancers.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––Many are hoping that his retirement will allow the church to take another leap forward by appointing a woman to its second most senior clerical role behind the Archbishop of Canterbury.A Church of England spokesman acknowledged that the prospect was “entirely possible”.Dr Sentamu’s announcement, made on Monday morning, will trigger a lengthy and confidential recruitment process led by the Crown Nominations Commission, which will choose from the pool of existing bishops, drawing up a shortlist for interview.That pool now includes 17 women, all of whom have been appointed since the law was changed in 2014 when the Church’s General Synod voted to allow the consecration of women after 40 years of debate and campaigning. 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 Rt Revd Jackie Searle, Bishop of Crediton, paid tribute to Dr Sentamu, who presided over her consecration just last week.“There will be a great deal of thought, prayer and wide consultation before the next Archbishop of York is appointed… and no doubt a great deal of speculation,” she said.“The joy is that for the first time in Church history both women and men will be able to be considered for the role – alleluia!”Rev Dr Elizabeth Macfarlane, chaplain at St John’s College Oxford and a campaigner for women’s rights in the Church of England, also welcomed the fact that women were now eligible for the post.“There are senior women who are well able to be really considerable candidates for that role, and I would hope that they would be taken seriously,” she said.
Private schools have been told to open up their swimming pools to local primaries as part of a new Government plan to boost swimming lessons.It comes amid concern about levels of child obesity, with more than 22,000 dangerously obese children leaving primary school this year.Almost half of pupils are unable to swim the required 25 metres by the time they leave primary school, even though swimming lessons are a compulsory part of the national curriculum. The Education Secretary, in partnership with the Independent Schools Council (ISC), is urging private schools to help children from neighbouring state primaries learn to swim by allowing them to use their sports facilities.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––Headteachers should also encourage a “culture of healthy competition”, Damian Hinds said, after a Government survey from earlier this year showed that almost half of all state primaries offer no competitive sports events such as a school sports day.72 per cent of primary schools use public facilities for their swimming, while a quarter use their own pool or another school’s pool.Just over half of private schools already share their facilities with other schools, as well as some offering coaches to local primary schools. Mr Hinds said: “As a parent I want my children to enjoy swimming as part of an active lifestyle, and as Education Secretary I want to make sure our children grow up safe and water confident.“Many independent schools are already doing this but others can and must do more to help every child in their community.“And as these partnerships develop, I hope to see some healthy competition between and within schools so that children can not only have the health benefit of swimming, but the team spirit and personal development that comes from competitive sport.”The number of 10 and 11-year-olds classed as severely obese, the most overweight scale, in the final year of primary school is also nearly double that of those in reception. More than 22,000 out of 556,000 of children in Year 6 are classed as severely obese, a significant increase on the 15,000 four and five-year-olds in the category.The Local Government Association (LGA), which obtained the figures earlier this year, said this showed children were gaining weight at a drastic rate as they went through school. Headteachers should also encourage a “culture of healthy competition”, Damian Hinds said 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 watchdog’s comments come as the Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has launched an investigation into the Metropolitan Police’s use of facial recognition technology in London.Ms Dehnam said her office was “deeply concerned” about the growing use of the software, which the force was deploying at King’s Cross and St Pancras International stations as well as around restaurants and shops.Earlier this month, the civil liberties group Big Brother Watch also warned it had uncovered an “epidemic” of facial recognition technology being used around shopping centres, museums and conference venues in the UK.The pressure group said it had found that millions of people were now having their facial features unknowingly scanned and stored in data bases.Mr Porter conceded that such technologies could become an important tool for law enforcement.However, he added: “It’s important to protect a free and open society and at the moment we are at risk of ceding that to the impact of technology.“It’s the 70th year since George Orwell released 1984 and it’s relevant to say we’ve got to listen to those warnings and say we don’t want that society and what do we do about it.” People will be left “cupping their hands over their mouths” in the street if new lip-reading CCTV is not reined in, the Government’s surveillance watchdog has warned.Tony Porter, the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, said in future people would have to guard their conversations from prying cameras in the same manner as football managers on live TV, unless ministers act to regulate emerging intrusive technologies.The commissioner, who has been in place since 2014, also warned that doing nothing could see Britain become a Big Brother-style state that went beyond anything envisioned by George Orwell in his dystopian novel 1984. Among the new technologies Mr Porter expressed concern about were lip-syncing programs that can decipher what people are saying at distance as well as gait-analysis software, which can identify an individual just by the manner of their walk.“The capability to run lip-sync technology to determine what people are saying would have a very suppressive effect. It would change the nature of our society,” Mr Porter told the Evening Standard. “People wouldn’t feel they could have a conversation outside. We increasingly see the football manager cupping his hand over his mouth to give instructions for fear of being exposed. “Just extrapolate that by millions and what it would mean if people knew there was a capability of walking down the town and your lips moving could be picked up and extrapolated into a conversation.” 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.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMixed reactions over Dr Roopnarine’s appointmentMay 21, 2015In “Politics”Several youths set to unveil innovative projects soonApril 3, 2018In “latest news”Spotlight to be on youths tomorrow – as Guyana observes International Youth dayAugust 11, 2016In “latest news” Ministry of Education (MOE), Department of Culture, Youth and Sport is requesting that more youths become involved in the $50M Youth Innovation Project (YIPoG) entrepreneurial opportunity as the entry closing date of submission draws near. The Ministry has set the YIPoG closing date of submission for June 30.The programme, launched last month during the Youth Week under the theme, “Aspire, Inspire, to Reach”, provides youths the opportunity to solve problems within their communities by designing, developing and producing innovative ideas. This will be facilitated using Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, Anthropology, Archeology, Arts, Architecture, Mathematics and Spirituality (STEAMS).Acting Minister of Education Nicolette Henry said that, “Youth are important to the development of every country and the Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Education, Department of Culture, Youth and Sport will spare no pain in ensuring that our youth are educated and trained, and are provided with economic opportunities for their own development, that of their communities, and by extension that of the country”.YIPoG Manager Grace Roberts- Simon explained that “We (Ministry of Education) have already received twenty-six entries, and based on initial perusing, Guyanese youth have a lot of commendable, innovative ideas about themselves and their community development while creating employment opportunities for their peers.”She noted that those who have not yet applied, need to take advantage of the opportunity provided so that their ideas can be supported and guided under the Ministry’s supervision.The YIPoG Manager said that the project’s goals are to maintain a high level of competition for the best ideas presented while providing a healthy structure in which this project functions.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCash-starved Local Government Commission shuts downFebruary 16, 2019In “latest news”Local Government Commission employees yet to be paid for January- CommissionerFebruary 2, 2019In “latest news”Having PNC Executive as Chair of LGC a conflict of interest- Fmr MinisterAugust 28, 2018In “latest news” By Rupa SeenarainePPP Parliamentarian, Ganga Persaud. Former Local Government Minister, Ganga Persaud has placed the blame for the chaos at the Local Government Commission (LGC) squarely at the feet of Communities Minister, Ronald Bulkan, which, he noted, has been stymied due to the withholding of funds for its operations.Persaud noted that prior to the budget hearings, the Communities Minister was supposed to submit pertinent documentation, which would recognise the agency as a constitutional body. However, this was never executed and the organisation remained under the Ministry.“The Local Government Commission is a constitutional agency. However, there was need for the necessary documentation to be presented by the Ministry of Communities so that it could be recognised as independent of the Ministry. That didn’t happen. The budget was presented and the Minister of Finance in his wisdom reduced the allocation to that agency but the agency received an allocation which was approved by Parliament,” he said.Communities Minister Ronald BulkanHe added that there were high hopes on the part of the coalition Government that the Commission would have functioned as it was designed to, but this is not the reality. Questioning where the fault lies, he pointed towards the leadership of the Minister since Parliament is a legislature which cannot make such missteps.“The Local Government Commission promised a lot according to the Government and expectations were extremely high. Unfortunately, all those expectations have resulted in zero benefit and the only thing that came out of that process is frustration and uncertainty. The performance of that agency is seemingly stymied by the Ministry and one has to hold the Minister accountable. Where does the fault lie? Certainly, it cannot be the Parliament. It has to be the Administration, the de facto Government and more specifically, at the feet of the Minister,” the former Minister stated.Now that a reduced budgetary allocation was presented to the Commission, instead of the budget they requested, their work is being stymied due to lack of finances and moreover, staffers have been unpaid for their months of service.According to Persaud, this move is aimed at leaving the Commission with no other option but to relinquish its responsibilities to the Ministry; another way for Government to take control of local democratic organs.Persaud said to rectify this issue, the budgetary allocations must first be released to the Commission by the Secretary of the Commission, Emile McGarrell, since these monies were allocated during the budget. Adding to that, the Commission must be duly established to function as any other constitutional body.According to Chairman of the LGC, Mortimer Mingo, McGarrell said that the 2019 budget of the Commission for salaries was not in agreement with that of public service workers, hence he would not sign off on payments. Persaud related that this was not an excuse since employees of other commissions are not being paid in accordance to a public service scheme.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedFly Jamaica pilot did not declare emergency – Preliminary reportNovember 20, 2018In “latest news”Jamaica boots 405September 12, 2016In “latest news”CPL 2017: Tallawahs new owner confident team will ‘repeat as champions in 2017’July 25, 2017In “latest news” (Jamaica Observer) Four policemen have been detained in connection with a robbery in Hellshire, St Catherine, last week when thieves made off with $17 million worth of jewellery, US$5,500 in cash, and other items.The Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency confirmed yesterday that the officers had been taken into custody, but their identities have not yet been released.Victims of the robbery — two senior citizens who returned to Jamaica three years ago after living in the United States for more than 40 years — had been visiting relatives in Florida, United States, when a neighbour who went to water their plants noticed things amiss and informed them of the break-in at their house last Monday.The couple, who requested anonymity, had planned to travel from Florida to New York, but cancelled that trip and returned to Jamaica on Tuesday evening.They reported the matter at the Hellshire Police Station on Wednesday but things only got worse.The elderly woman told the Jamaica Observer on Thursday that when she was summoned to her door by men dressed in police uniform, Wednesday night, she thought they had come to take additional statements.“About little after 8:00 I heard my name called three times, and I called my husband and said there is someone calling. My husband opened the door [and] there were three men — two very tall — dressed like police officers in full blue. I got up and went to the door because they didn’t identify themselves. They didn’t say where they are from and I had already spoken to a detective about the break-in. They ignored me, [but] I insisted on asking where they’re from and they said Portmore,” the woman related.“I said this is Hellshire, and Hellshire cops came, crime unit came Monday, and I spoke to the detective. In fact, he left here at five o’clock, so I don’t understand.“At that point I got uncomfortable and I backed in. As soon as I backed in the three men rushed my husband. He was right before me and they pushed him up to me, then pushed us into the bedroom.”She said the men ordered them to lie face down and not to make eye contact. “I heard footsteps running in, ‘bap, bap, bap’. They had big guns and they put a cushion over my husband’s head and put the gun at the back of his head. I started praying aloud. They told me, ‘Shut up, shut up’,” she related last week.Insisting that she felt she was being targeted, the woman said she was terrified.According to the woman, the $17 million worth of jewellery, receipts for some of the jewellery, US$5,500, bank statements, among other things, were stolen between Sunday and Wednesday night.She said: “Seven million dollars worth of jewellery was taken Sunday night. They emptied a draw and [took] everything — watches, rings, jewellery sets. Then they came back (Wednesday) for the other bag that I had secured with [another $10 million worth of jewellery],” she told the Observer.The US$5,500, said the elderly woman, would have been taken the Wednesday night when men dressed like police assaulted her and her husband and searched the house.“They have cleaned me out; only God knows what’s next. They even took toiletries, my wigs, make-up, and alcohol,” she said.The St Catherine South police are investigating.
Mantle Mining has executed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Exergen for the development of its 100% owned Bacchus Marsh Brown Coal Project in Victoria, Australia. Mantle has recently been granted priority over an application for Exploration Licence EL 5294 at Bacchus Marsh in Victoria. Mantle is of the view that EL 5294 could contain an Exploration Target1, 2 of between 1,000 and 2,000 Mt of brown coal. Exergen has developed a breakthrough clean coal technology that, teamed with modern coal-fired power station technology, will deliver up to 40% emissions reductions. The technology is known as Continuous Hydrothermal Dewatering (CHTD). Exergen’s cornerstone investors include TATA Power, India’s largest private power utility, as major coal off-taker; Thiess (Leighton), one of the world’s largest supplier of outsourced mining services; Itochu, Japan’s third largest trading house with extensive coal trading experience and Sedgman, a global specialist provider of mineral engineering solutions.Mantle and Exergen are to formalise agreements leading to a 50/50 Joint Venture for exploration and subsequent mine development. Exergen will construct a 50 t/h demonstration drying facility and will develop an export project on its 50% of the coal deposit. Mantle is being licenced to use CHTD on its 50% of the coal deposit.Mantle and Exergen are to execute binding “Substantive Agreements”An exploration Joint Venture Agreement (JVA), within 1 yearA CHTD Technology Licence Agreement (TLA), within 1 yearMine Development Heads of Agreement (HOA), within 1 yearFinalising the Mine Development Agreement (MDA), within 2 years.Proposed major developments over subsequent years to include:Commencing the drying demonstrator constructionFull demonstration and taking an investment decisionCommencing construction of Exergen’s Export Project.Ian Kraemer, Mantle’s MD: “The signing of this MOU with Exergen is an extremely exciting step for Mantle. It underscores the company’s capability to generate shareholder value by focussing on projects containing known deposits in key commodity sectors. The company is continuing to explore development options for its other core gold and coal/CBM tenements, with a number of business development activities under consideration. Exergen has developed and proven a breakthrough clean-coal technology that promises to contribute to global energy security by reducing emissions from upgraded brown coal fired power generation. CHTD is a significant step towards overcoming the social and economic challenges posed by many nations’ continued reliance on subbituminous coals for energy production.“The relationship with Exergen is seen as a first step by Mantle in implementing its exploration and development strategy for coal. The strategy involves harnessing upside from commercialisation of leading edge, socioeconomically acceptable, energy resource development. Mantle recognises that coal and other hydrocarbon energy resources will continue to be utilised in the future due to their availability and to the rapid growth in energy demand from (especially) China and India. However, their use will move more towards extraction of the pure Hydrogen energy component, with a parallel reduction in the impact of the extraction process. This is where Mantle sees positioning itself to best capture the commercial benefits, and reduce the political risks, from developments in the coal sector going forward.”“As shareholders are aware, prior to assuming the role of MD of Mantle I held the position of Project Manager responsible for development of Exergen, seconded from Thiess and reporting to the Chairman of Thiess and the Board of Exergen. During that time I developed a knowledge and belief in the technical and commercial robustness the Exergen CHTD technology, and having reviewed this opportunity for its applicability and suitability for this project with Mantle I am excited at the potential for both companies.”Mantle’s Bacchus Marsh brown coal project is located in the northern extremity of Victoria’s Otway basin, specifically the northwest tip of the Parwan sub-basin at Bacchus Marsh. The project is 120 km west of Melbourne and benefits from excellent levels of pre-existing infrastructure with roads, rail, power and a gas pipeline all running through the tenement. The area contains a large, historically mined deposit of brown coal of a quality apparently similar to, or better than, the coals found in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. The region has been the subject of small scale, historic, coal mining since World War 2 when both surface and underground mining methods were used. A small amount of shallow, sub-crop, coal is currently mined at the Maddingley open cut. Increased energy demand over recent years has meant a rebound in coal pricing. The advent of more efficient mining methods and coal upgrade technologies (as being introduced in the Latrobe Valley) mean that previously uneconomic strip ratios and moisture contents are becoming a less limiting commercial factor. Based on review of historic holes, including some drilled by CRA in the mid 1980s, Mantle is of the view that EL 5294 could contain an exploration target of between 1,000 and 2,000 Mt of brown coal. Drill logs show that coal quality compares favourably with other coals in Victoria, including the Latrobe Valley, and Western Australia as relates moisture, ash and strip ratio.
Outotec has acquired all the shares of Australian-based Backfill Specialists, complementing Outotec’s expertise in paste plants and enabling it to offer more comprehensive tailings treatment solutions to mining worldwide. Backfill Specialists is a technical consulting and engineering company specialised in mine backfilling solutions mostly in Australia. Its annual sales have been roughly EUR18 million. Outotec plans to grow this business considerably by integration into its process solution offerings and using Outotec’s global sales network, proprietary equipment and project implementation capabilities.“The mining industry faces globally growing challenges how to use water sparingly, how to recover and recirculate water and how to reduce the areas needed for tailings storage. We see that the market for new sustainable solutions for tailings treatment is growing. With this acquisition we are further strengthening our capabilities to provide water-efficient solutions to our customers for tailings treatment globally”, says Pertti Korhonen, CEO of Outotec.
Power and automation technology group, ABB. has launched Minerals Library Release 5.1/4, a new version of the proven System 800xA process control system library to reduce operating costs and increase productivity of cement and mineral processing plants. ABB’s System 800xA Minerals Library is a suite of object-oriented software control modules, which make it possible to design process control and power applications in an efficient and fully-parameterised manner. Successfully operating at more than 300 cement and minerals sites worldwide, the technology increases standardisation, functionality and quality of process control software over the complete life cycle of a production facility. This minimises downtime caused by abnormal situations and allows the facility’s production process and assets to be efficiently operated and maintained.ABB states that Minerals Library 5.1/4 comes with the following new features: control diagrams for better process-oriented visualization of the application software; integration into Engineering Base, AUCOTEC’s plant engineering tool, which is successfully implemented in ABB’s cement and mining projects; advanced drive and equipment group modules for today’s demanding material handling, grinding and mineral processing applications; extended parameterized solutions, which further reduce implementation costs and increase functionality; and support of ABB’s System 800xA 5.1 Feature Pack 4.“The current Minerals Library enables system engineers to develop new applications faster and at highest quality”, said Martin Knabenhans, Product Manager for Minerals Libraries at ABB. “Maintenance teams and operators further benefit from easy fault-finding procedures including access to plant documentation. In addition, our customers can benefit from our long-lasting experience. More than 300 sites in the cement and minerals industries are already yielding positive results by using the library every day.”