Surrounded by reporters the day after the NBA announced a blockbuster new television deal in October, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant contemplated the maximum-salary rule that governs his compensation and that of his superstar peers.“Look at it like this,” Durant said. “Kobe Bryant brings in a lot of money to Los Angeles, that downtown area. People go to watch the Lakers. Clippers are getting up there — Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and those guys are bringing in a lot of money as well. Look at Cleveland, look at Miami when LeBron [James] was there. These guys are worth more than what they are making because of the amount of money they bring to that area.”NBA players do not get paid what they’re actually worth. Really young? Really good? Sorry — for you, the market isn’t truly an open one. Analysts — and increasingly players such as Durant and Bryant — can tell you that the maximum-contract rule suppresses the salaries of superstars, that inexperienced players are paid less than their contributions warrant, and that as a result, the NBA’s middle class is paid far too much.In recent years, however, that popular notion appears to have been wrong. I built a model measuring how much NBA teams paid for their players’ wins above replacement (WAR), and it shows that the league has changed. During the 2014-15 season, the middle class was, in fact, paid far less for its production than max-contract players, accelerating a trend that began two seasons earlier. In other words, the role players were suddenly steals.But if this offseason is any indication, max players are the bargains once again. Forgive me for sounding like a bad Internet headline — but you are not going to believe how underpaid Kawhi Leonard is, despite his new max contract. The same salary cap spike that’s made this free-agency period so wacky is shifting what the league’s players are worth yet again.But before we dwell on the future, let’s rummage through the past.For most of the past decade, the hoary aphorisms about which players were relatively cheap (and which were relatively exorbitant) held true. From the 1999-2000 season through the 2010-11 one,1That’s the span between the league’s two season–shortening lockouts. players on rookie contracts (think Derrick Rose when he won the MVP award in 2010-11) generated 23 percent of the league’s WAR but were paid only 12 percent of the league’s money.2Beyond minimum salaries, that is. Throughout this article, I’m adjusting the money teams paid players to account for the fact that the monetary equivalent of “wins above replacement” is “salary above the minimum.” This is because a team should expect a minimum-salary player to produce, by definition, zero WAR. Players on maximum contracts (such as James and Bryant) were also shortchanged, generating 24 percent of the wins but making 22 percent of the money.And the rest of the league — the players I’m calling “middle-class” because they’re neither rookies nor max players (and therefore their earning power isn’t systematically capped) — gobbled up the surplus, making 65 percent of the money despite generating 52 percent of the wins.If the market were truly efficient, all the players would be paid the same for each win; there wouldn’t be a difference between any of the curves in the chart above — they’d just be one big, fat, overlapping line, ebbing and flowing in unison. Instead, the prices per win for players are clearly stratified by type of contract, particularly during the period before the league installed a new collective bargaining agreement for the 2011-12 season.Recently, though, a shift has taken place. Young players are still drastically underpaid, of course; the numbers in the chart aren’t adjusted for increases to the NBA’s salary cap, making the young players’ relatively flat line striking, given that the cap nearly doubled between 1999-2000 and 2014-15. But the price of a middle-class win took a downward turn sometime around the 2008-09 or 2009-10 seasons after years of shadowing the max-salary line.Since then, buying a win from a max-salary player has become more expensive than ever before. While the salary cap rose by 8.7 percent between 2011-12 and 2014-15, the cost of a max player’s wins rose by 39 percent. The per-win price of a middle-class player in that time fell by 15 percent. The middle-class players were the hidden gems.Max deals have always come with risk: Between the 1999 and 2005 offseasons, 57 percent of max contracts weren’t worth it, failing to deliver more value than the teams paid for. But during that era, enough max players succeeded — and tended to be home runs when they did — that on balance, they represented a better deal than middle-class players. After 2005, though, max players became more dangerous to invest in: Only 14 percent of all max deals3Of those that were signed in 2006 or later and have finished since then. since then have delivered a positive return. By the late 2000s, when those contracts were in full swing, max players were collectively providing less bang for the buck than the middle class — a first since the max salary was instituted in 1999.This was a significant development because it suggested a path to contention that didn’t involve superstars (a rarity in NBA history). Traditionally, the market for mid-level players has been a place for also-rans looking for scraps after the hyenas have had their way with the max-contract types. That dynamic reinforced the NBA’s competitive balance problem by effectively forcing smaller-market teams to spend more for their talent, on a per-win basis, than the league did overall. Any mechanism that made it cheaper for those types of teams to buy talent, though, stood to give the NBA a much-needed injection of parity.But an unprecedented rise in the salary cap might end all this. The early indications are that how much a million bucks can buy in each salary class will be upended once again. Just when the guidelines of a player’s worth were beginning to shift in an interesting (and more competitive) direction, the rising cap may bring the old wisdom all the way back around to being right again.To help model this and other matters of NBA interest, FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver and I have been skunkworking a little model around here that will (theoretically, hopefully, god-willing) begin to do for basketball what PECOTA did for baseball. Using a player’s advanced metrics4Namely, Real Plus-Minus, Box Plus/Minus, Win Shares and Player Efficiency Rating. and his statistical tendencies, it can project a player’s development into the future by comparing him to similar players from the past. We call it CARMELO.5 We spent a long time backronym-ing this in the office. What we came up with: “Career Arc Regression Model Estimator (with) Local Optimization.”Using the beta version of CARMELO to analyze this summer’s free-agent signings, I found that 10 of the 16 maximum-contract signees (as of July 12) project to bring a team a positive return on investment.6Assuming the value of a non-cost-controlled win scales upward with the cap in future seasons. As a group, it looks like they’ll be underpaid by an average of $5.6 million per year. (Leonard lords above them all: He’s projected to bring $26.9 million of extra value to the Spurs every year.7Whoa — how does that math work out? CARMELO thinks Leonard will generate 54.6 WAR over the life of his five-year deal, which would make his “fair salary” about $45 million per season (remember, the cap increases dramatically over that span). Since he’ll only make about $18 million a year, he projects to generate nearly $27 million in surplus value per season.) That’s quite a bit bigger than the average non-max signee of the summer, who thus far projects to bring his team just $850,000 of extra value per season.In other words, the max player is once again a far better deal than his middle-class peers.The cheapest way to build a great team in today’s NBA remains to concentrate on young players still on their rookie contracts. And it’s worth noting that the long-range implications of the league’s sudden salary cap explosion won’t be fully understood for years. But although basketball’s long-understood rules of value seemed on the verge of disruption in recent seasons, this summer offered an early peek into how teams and players will behave during the coming boom years, and it suggests that everything old is new again. See all the free-agent signings (through July 12), and whether the players will be underpaid or overpaid here:
Fresh off the distraction of Metta World Peace’s suspension, the Los Angeles Lakers are now dealing with forward Jordan Hill’s charge of third-degree felony assault for an alleged February altercation with his girlfriend in Houston.Jordan faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. He had a court date today in Texas, but did not have to appear and will be in uniform tonight when the Lakers take on the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of their first-round series.“I’d like to apologize to the Lakers organization and to all of their fans for the un-timeliness of these accusations,” Hill said in a release. “I promise to keep my focus and attention on the playoffs during this time and to helping my team win another championship.”It is alleged that Hill began shoving and choking 28-year-old Darlene Luna during an altercation at Hill’s apartment. Luna claims that Hill hit her in the legs and threw her against a wall and then put her in a chokehold.Hill’s role with the Lakers increased with strong play and the absence of World Peace, who is serving a seven-game suspension for elbowing James Harden, causing a concussion.
Professional women’s tennis players make as much as the men do at all four Grand Slams. And the most successful American players are women: Serena Williams has 22 career major titles while her sister, Venus, has seven; no American man in this year’s U.S. Open draw has reached a major semifinal. At this year’s Open, like last year’s, by far the biggest story to watch is Serena Williams’s. Last year she was looking to tie the Open-era record for major titles and win all four in the same year; this year she’s looking to break the record.And yet the people who are telling the story of this tournament to the world are mostly men. Among the nearly 1,500 people who received media accreditation for the tournament, including broadcast staff, and who indicated whether they prefer to be referred to as “Mr.” or “Ms.,” 73 percent chose “Mr.,” according to Chris Widmaier, spokesman for the U.S. Tennis Association, which runs the tournament. And a count I did in the media work spaces and stadium seats on Thursday afternoon showed that about 78 percent of the people present were men. Freelance tennis writer Ana Mitric, who contributes to the Serbian media outlet B92 and has written about sexism in tennis, provided a second pair of eyes, reviewing video of nine player press conferences on Saturday and counting men and women among the media in attendance. At women players’ press conferences, 67 percent of media were men; the figure was 82 percent at men’s. 1Widmaier said he couldn’t say how many people didn’t indicate which honorific they prefer; media members aren’t obligated to choose one. His count includes people accredited as media, photographers and broadcast staff — but not people accredited as part of broadcasters who hold rights to the tournament, which includes ESPN, owner of FiveThirtyEight. I counted 231 people in the photographers’ pit, the photo facility, the two media work rooms, the media dining room, media-center patio and the main media seats during Venus Williams’s second-round match. The estimate is imprecise: I didn’t ask people for their gender identity, nor whether they were members of the media. I also may have counted some people who weren’t part of the tournament’s media coverage. I counted people who I knew worked in the tournament’s media operations but not other tournament staff.“Our goal is to make tennis look like America,” Widmaier said — including by gender and race. He put the onus on media to achieve that: “I hope media organizations are following recruitment protocols to ensure their people look like America.” It’s a point well taken. I’m a white man and the only reporter in Flushing for FiveThirtyEight; producer Jorge Estrada, a Latino man, is also accredited for FiveThirtyEight. 20131,10239226 Source: USTA 20161,01037227% 20141,14241827 20151,18345728 201299332525 Number of U.S. Open credentialed members of the media YEARMR.MS.SHARE MS. Women make up a larger share of the tennis media at the U.S. Open than they do of people covering some other sports — a 2014 report found that just 13 percent of sports staffers for U.S. newspapers and websites in the U.S. are women. And women fill an even smaller share of executive positions with major international sports bodies. Carole Bouchard, a French freelance writer who has covered 20 majors on site, said the gender gap has narrowed in her 12 years covering tennis, but that it “would be ridiculous to say that there aren’t consequences.”The ways in which having far more men than women in tennis media threatens the coherence of coverage are all around. Take, for instance, the continued attention paid to debates about equal prize money, or the casual discussion of women players’ looks. How the sport is covered by the people who tell its story affects how much of the total interest and revenue paid to tennis goes to women’s tennis, and when men so outnumber women in the telling of the sport’s story, it can put a thumb on the scale in the consuming.Women I spoke with who cover mixed-gender tennis tournaments said the share of men among the media at other tournaments they’ve covered is at least as big as at the U.S. Open — roughly 80 to 85 percent, they estimated.2My own observation of media rooms at Wimbledon and the French Open in recent years suggests that if anything the gender gap was bigger in those, though I never counted. “I am used to it,” said Bouchard.“This is a topic I hadn’t thought about much before you asked, and now I can’t help but look around and notice this,” said Bobby Chintapalli, a freelance writer who covers primarily women’s tennis for USA Today and other publications, over email. “Which is why when it comes to topics like this, I think awareness is key; it’s often a first step to improving a situation naturally.”Lindsay Gibbs, sports reporter at ThinkProgress and contributing tennis editor at Excelle Sports who has written about sexism in tennis, wrote in an email, “Sports culture is not the most welcoming for women, and that bleeds into the media, which has always been seen as a ‘boys’ club.’ It’s a global issue.”The gender gap also might make some men think the press room is an appropriate venue for sexism or harassment. “There can be a very ‘boys’ club’ vibe,” Mitric said, “including banter & other behavior that verges on, if not crosses over into, the inappropriate.”Bouchard also said media members who are parents might be put off by the travel demanded by covering a global sport — and because of cultural expectations of mothers, that might dissuade more moms than dads.“Another gendered split I’ve noticed — and one that is just as important — is that more men are in positions of power, whether that’s in terms of seniority or status,” said Mitric.Mitric doesn’t believe in quotas but echoes Widmaier’s call for outlets to step up recruitment of women, as well as the mentoring and promoting of them. She also said it’s up to men covering the sport to learn its history, which includes the rise of the WTA, the long fight for equal prize money and sexism in advertising and coverage of the sport; while she sees a rise in women’s voices around the sport, including on Twitter, she worries some men now see gender issues as covered and don’t bother with them themselves. “I think tennis media often fall short in connecting the sport to the larger world around it — and not only when it comes to gender,” Mitric said by email.ESPN, which owns FiveThirtyEight and which broadcasts the tournament in the U.S., has five women and nine men on air during the Open, according to ESPN spokesman Dave Nagle, plus a woman, Prim Siripipat, appearing in videos reporting on the tournament for ESPN.com. Nagle added that two match producers, managing producer, senior highlights producer, the lead producer on features and the production coordinator are women, as are many associate producers, graphic coordinators, social media producers and production assistants. (Of the 35 people accredited through ESPN.com — writers, editors and others not involved with the TV side, and not counting Estrada, Siripipat or me — 16 are women.) “ESPN has a long history of being a leader in providing opportunities to women both in front of or behind the camera,” Nagle said. (Widmaier declined to provide the number of journalists accredited from specific news organizations, but said that ESPN is the biggest “by far,” with The New York Times a distant second.)The frequent flaring of debate about whether women should continue to earn as much prize money as men might be less frequent with more women in the press room, Bouchard said. “Not a lot of men journalists have a huge love for women’s tennis,” she said.There are some notable exceptions, including several American men who write frequently about the WTA, the overseer of the women’s game worldwide. Also, women covering tennis often write about the men’s game. But even where there isn’t a firewall around gender, the old lines are often assumed to be in place. For instance, Bouchard says she’s had several conversations in which editors express interest in her contributing to their publications, but ask, “Oh, but also you are covering men’s tennis?” To which she replies, “I haven’t told you I am covering women’s tennis.”Men covering tennis may also discuss women athletes’ bodies differently, for instance talking about their looks. “I’m not sure women journalists would go at it the way men would,” Bouchard said. “Maybe I’m wrong.” To know, there would need to be more women tennis writers, she said.The media gender gap may help contribute to the growing gap in revenue between the men’s tour and the WTA. (For instance, broadcasters influence scheduling of tournaments, including which matches are featured on show courts, which skews male at some mixed-gender tournaments, notably Wimbledon.)“Men are still the ones making broadcasting decisions, writing the stories and controlling the narratives,” Gibbs said. “That leads to less coverage of women, which then leads to less people knowing about women’s tennis, which then directly impacts interest. Then, they cite less interest for the reason they don’t broadcast it more or write about it more. It’s a self-defeating cycle.”It’s a tough cycle to break, and far from the only one tennis is staring down. The vast majority of U.S. Open journalists are white, too. Trying to divine a person’s race at a glance is obviously fraught — as is divining their gender, it should be said — but it’s clear that the media rooms at the U.S. Open are a long way from looking like America. “You could count the number of black people here,” Bouchard said while looking around the workroom where we talked. She added, “The more diversity the better.”
The Ohio State women’s golf team didn’t finish as well as it was hoping to in this year’s Lady Buckeye Invitational. The near-40 mph gusts of wind didn’t help it in the weekend tournament, but it might have been a blessing in disguise as the Buckeyes head to Chicago next week for the Big Ten Tournament. “We haven’t won a tournament yet this year. I was hoping to get this one under our belts,” coach Therese Hession said. “The wind is good to practice in because we’re going to be right off Lake Michigan next week.” The wind couldn’t stop Michigan State’s Caroline Powers, who shot a 226 in the three-round tournament. Powers had the best individual performance of the weekend and also led her teammates to a first-place finish in the event, with a total score of 918 — 17 strokes better than Kent State, which came in second with a final score of 935. Wisconsin’s Lindsay Danielson had the second-best individual performance, leading her team to a third-place finish in the tournament with a score of 939. OSU finished fourth with a final score of 941. Rachel Rohanna and Vicky Villanueva led the Buckeyes, both scoring 235 for the weekend, tying for 13th overall in the individual scores. Susana Benavides, who shot a 238 over the weekend, said she had never played in such severe conditions. “It was probably the hardest round I’ve ever played,” Benavides said. “You can’t really focus on what you want; you just have to play for the wind. Try to make pars and be happy with it.” In Hong Lim agreed. “It was real interesting to see all my balls going thirty yards left and right, but everyone was in the same situation,” said Lim, the team’s lone senior, who was playing in her final home tournament. Lim scored 245 for the weekend, a score she wasn’t satisfied with. But she’ll have a chance to finish her Big Ten career strong in next week’s tournament. “I think next week’s going to be windy again, so it was a good preview for us,” she said. “I was hoping to do a lot better than what I did. But oh well, next week.” Regardless of the conditions next weekend, Hession says starting strong is what the team needs to do for a chance to finish atop the leader board. “We just have to get out there and try to really get off to a really good start because that’s one thing we haven’t done so well,” she said. “I think that first day will be critical.” One thing Hession doesn’t need to worry about is her team’s confidence. “I would expect us all to give all of our effort to next weekend,” Rohanna said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we go out there and win by 10 shots.” Benavides was equally clear about her confidence in her team. “A win, that’s for sure,” she said. “No doubt about that.”
For an Ohio State first-year in physics, Tori Boggs knows a lot about jumping rope.Boggs is a nine-time world rope skipping champion and a two-time world record holder, the current captain of both Jump Company USA and the U.S. National Jump Rope team, and a member of the USA All-Star Ambassador Jump Rope team.“It’s one of those things where you absolutely have to see jump rope to believe it and you just get hooked at the first sight,” Boggs said.Jumping rope is nothing new to Boggs, a Parkersburg, W.Va., native. The 20-year-old has been involved in the sport since she was 5 when she walked into a jump roping event at the Junior Olympic tournament where her brother was participating in a Tae Kwon Do competition.“She went into a gym where they were jumping rope and saw it and didn’t want to leave,” said her mother and jump rope coach, Rochelle Boggs. The mother-daughter pair stumbled upon an advertisement in their local newspaper the following week for tryouts and have never looked back.“She’s my coach now, so we’ve grown in the sport together,” Tori Boggs said.But Tori Boggs is the only person to her knowledge on OSU’s campus who participates in competitive rope skipping, something that means she spends many weekends traveling to perform and compete with her various teams. OSU does not provide any resources for her jump roping, but she said she is “working on” getting jump roping to the point where it is associated with the university.Last year, Tori Boggs spent the summer as part of a circus. She said she might want to pursue performing as a career.“I did a holiday tour with “Cirque Dreams” so it was a national tour, so I toured for a few months and we went around and I jumped rope in the circus,” she said. “I’m (also) employed by Cirque de Soleil for special events.“Ultimately I want to be on a Cirque de Soleil tour.”Until that point, Tori Boggs said she has dreams of bettering the sport of rope skipping.“I’m going to switch to engineering so I can actually apply physics, but basically my motivation for (pursuing a degree) is that I love jump rope so much, my body knows exactly what I’m doing, my muscles know what they’re doing, but I don’t know how to explain it,” Boggs said. “So I want to look at the forces that jump rope places on our body. I want to be able to design a better handle for jumpers, I want to be able to design better shoes and understanding the surfaces that we jump on, like how does that affect our body?”She said currently she is involved with the biomechanics lab at the Wexner Medical Center where she does tricks and uses technology to show her where the forces on her joints are located.“I want to be able to develop better products and improve training methods, and then I’m pre-med, too, so maybe I can go to med school and use that. I don’t know, there’s a lot of options,” Tori Boggs said.With the inaugural 2013 Arnold Classic jump rope competition happening this weekend, she has been working overtime to recruit novice jumpers to register.“I’ve seen people just playing around with the ropes so I always give them Arnold papers and talk to them about jump rope,” she said.The competition is being co-chaired by Rochelle Boggs, and it will have three different competitive categories, encompassing all age groups and skill levels from those who have never jumped before to professionals like Tori Boggs. Other professional jump ropers are excited about the opportunities the weekend may bring.“Any sort of way that we can get the public to view the sport is really exciting,” said Jen Evans, a grand national champion and three-time world medalist who will be attending OSU next year to work on a doctorate of physical therapy. Evans is a Strongville, Ohio, native and currently attends Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio.“It’s really cool because I know that people from Columbus will be there and I’m hoping that it increases the awareness of jump rope,” Evans said. Rochelle Boggs said the new competition will fit in at the Arnold well.“The cool thing is it’s kind of like a natural progression to see jump rope get to the Arnold because Arnold is all about fitness and movement,” she said.The Arnold Jump Rope Fitness Competition will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
J.T. Barrett points up to a crowd of Buckeye fans prior to the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorOhio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett has one final collegiate game against USC in the Cotton Bowl on Friday, but he has already begun to consider his professional football career.Barrett accepted an invitation to showcase his talents in the East-West Shrine Game, the game announced Tuesday. The game, which features players looking to impress scouts ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft held in April, will take place Jan. 20 in St. Petersburg, Florida, and will be shown on NFL Network.The quarterback will be joined by Ohio State teammates, linebacker Chris Worley and left tackle Jamarco Jones in the Shrine Game.Barrett completed 229-of-354 passes (64.7 completion percentage) for 2,939 yards, including 35 passing touchdowns and nine interceptions in the 2017 season. He holds dozens of program and Big Ten records, including the school passing yard record, the program’s single-season passing touchdown record and the Big Ten career touchdown passes.
Ohio State redshirt senior guard Carly Santoro (10) goes up for a shot in the game against Penn State on Feb 6. Ohio State won 78-73. Credit: Cori Wade | Lantern PhotographerThe Ohio State women’s basketball team (11-12, 7-7 Big Ten) came away with a commanding victory on the road against No. 23 Rutgers (17-7, 9-4 Big Ten) by a score of 59-39 on Thursday.The 39 points are the least Ohio State has allowed to a ranked team in program history.After losing by more than 20 points at home to No. 14 Iowa, the Buckeyes came out with a vengeance and controlled the game from the get go. A 21-1 run in the latter half of the first quarter and the beginning of the second quarter gave Ohio State a 20-point lead that was never seriously threatened for the rest of the game. Redshirt senior forward Adreana Miller came off the bench led the way for the Buckeyes during the run, scoring nine of the 21 points. Miller ended up with 14 points on the night, was 3-of-5 from the 3-point line and tallied three rebounds. All of Ohio State’s scoring came from six players.Other contributors on the offensive side came in the form of redshirt senior guard Carly Santoro and freshman forward Dorkha Juhasz. Santoro scored 12 points with five rebounds and Juhasz was just one-point shy of a double double with nine points and 13 rebounds. Freshman guard Janai Crooms also added 10 points of her own with five assists and five rebounds, and redshirt senior guard Carmen Grande scored eight points, led the team in assists with eight and also had five rebounds. In total, Ohio State shot 46 percent from the field while the Buckeyes’ defense limited the Scarlet Knights as Rutgers was a lowly 16-61 on the night. Ohio State outrebounded the Scarlet Knights 44-35, and did that without the help of redshirt senior forward Makayla Waterman, the No. 2 rebounder on the team, who did not play in the game. Ohio State will attempt to build off this victory at home when it takes on Wisconsin at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
It hasn’t been a year for good news, and chocolate-lovers are in for even more of a blow. Brands have been quietly shrinking the size of bars and packets because the ingredients to make chocolate are getting more expensive.This has become known as ‘shrinkflation’, and even though chocolate bars may not be more expensive, brands are compensating for the rise in ingredient prices by shrinking the sweet treats.Here is a look at some recent examples of chocolate shrinkage.1. Terry’s Chocolate OrangeMany of us are used to tapping and unwrapping these at Christmas, ready to get our hands on the plump segments of orange-flavoured chocolate. However, consumers are now met with a sad sight — the segments have been “hollowed-out” and are but a shadow of what they used to be.The treat, first manufactured in York in 1932, has been reduced from 175g to 157g in weight — a cut of 10 per cent — prompting outrage among its fans.Mondelez took over production of Terry’s Chocolate Orange in 2012, moving its production to processing plants in Poland.It has not commented on the “shrinkage” of Terry’s Chocolate Orange.2. TobleroneIf you haven’t heard of the shocking new change to the Toblerone bar, you’ve probably been living under a rock.Mondelez International has increased the gap between the peaks as a UK-only cost-saving measure to reduce the weight of its bars. 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 new #Toblerone.Wrong on so many levels. It now looks like a bicycle stand.#WeWantOurTobleroneBack. pic.twitter.com/C71KeNUWF1— James Melville (@JamesMelville) November 8, 2016 The company, which also owns Cadbury, said the move was down to the rise in the cost of ingredients, and denied it was a result of Brexit.In a statement on the Toblerone Facebook page, the company said: “We had to make a decision between changing the shape of the bar, and raising the price.”We chose to change the shape to keep the product affordable for our customers, and it enables us to keep offering a great value product. it had to make a decision between changing the look of the bars or raising their price.”3. Maltesers Bags of the chocolates appear to be 15 per cent lighter, and sold for the same price. Thnx to the #Toblerone scandal- these new hollowed Terry’s Chocolate Orange segments have slipped under the radar. Is any chocolate safe? 😩 pic.twitter.com/BTjRzgvbhT— DylaN s© (@stew_sc) November 21, 2016 Credit:Cadbury Quality StreetCredit:whiteboxmedia limited / Alamy In a statement, Burton’s said that the new, smaller packs were rolled out last year “responding to consumer demand”, along with a larger, 171g “sharing pack”. The company said that the recommended price of the packs had been reduced from £1.99 to £1.79 – though it remains up to supermarkets if they adopt new pricing.“We firmly believe that the variety of pack sizes for different occasions offer consumers the best value for money for a great quality product. Whilst we can’t comment on retailer pricing, our data shows that the price has significantly fallen since the introduction of the new sizes”, a spokesperson said.6. Creme Eggs Mars told The Telegraph: “Like all chocolate manufacturers, we have seen the cost of raw materials rise and, while we try to absorb these pressures as much as possible, sometimes we have to make the difficult decision to reduce the size of some of our products so our consumers can continue to enjoy an affordable treat.”Our focus is always on offering consumers our great tasting, high quality chocolate brands at the best value for money.”4. Quality Street Nestlé cut the standard tin from 1kg to 820g, while keeping the price at £5, in 2012.Then, in 2014, consumers got just 780g (wrapped weight) for £5.Last year, in 2015, customers accused Quality Street of shrinking the tin yet again, a claim the company denied.A Nestlé spokesman said: “This image does not compare like for like.”As well as the 780g tub pictured, we also have a 1.3kg tin available which lovers of Quality Street might like to try this Christmas.”We want to give the best possible value for money and we believe that this product is still extremely competitive.”5. Cadbury FingersIn 2015, the size of packs of Cadbury Fingers shrank by 11g, which equates to around two fingers, to a new weight of 114g, the Daily Mail reported.Although labelled as a Cadbury product, Fingers are made under license by a Saint Albans-based company, Burton’s Biscuit Company. Over a billion of the biscuits, which were launched in 1951, are consumed in the UK every year. Forget #Marmitegate, it’s #maltesersgate as Mars are reducing pack sizes again(!) 121g down to 103g. pic.twitter.com/TtQoHzrtl0— Steve Dresser (@dresserman) November 17, 2016 Freddo chocolate bars, the little frog-shaped treat, are set to rise in price to 30p.Food conglomerate Mondelēz is due to hike the price by 20% as a “last resort” to “keep favourite brands on the shelf”.This comes after they controversially changed the shape of some Toblerone bars so they contain less chocolate for the same price. A spokeswoman said: “Increasing prices is always a last resort, but to ensure we can keep people’s favourite brands on shelf and look after the 4,500 people we employ in the UK, we are having to make some selective price increases across our range.” Not only were Creme Egg fans dismayed when Kraft Foods stopped using Cadbury’s Dairy Milk for the shell, and instead started using a “standard cocoa mix chocolate”, in 2015 they also reduced the number of Creme Eggs in a pack.The size went down from 6 to 5.A spokesman for Mondelez, Kraft’s confectionery division, told The Sun: “It’s no longer Dairy Milk. It’s similar, but not exactly Dairy Milk. We tested the new one with consumers. It was found to be the best one for the Creme Egg, which is why we’ve used it this year.”The Creme Egg has never been called the Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Creme Egg. We have never played on the fact that Dairy Milk chocolate was used.”7. TwixIn 2012, Mars, Inc. (who make Twix) announced a 250 calorie cap on all single-serve confectionary by the end of 2013. The result is that many of their products have now been downsized to meet these requirements. Twix have been cut down from 58g to 50g, marking a 14 per cent reduction.8. SnickersAnother of Mars, Inc’s products, Snickers bars were cut down by 17 per cent, from 58g to 48g. Prices remained the same at roughly 51p, until they were raised to roughly 60p (except for Asda, who sell them for 45p).9. Dairy Milk Mondelēz restyled Cadbury Dairy Milk, and got rid of the block design in favour of ovals.This reduced the weight of each bar from 49g to 45g.10. Freddos
Kate sits in a light aircraft at RAF Wittering that cadets use each year for air experienceCredit:Joe Giddens/PA The Duchess, Honorary Air Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets, enters the aircraftCredit:Joe Giddens/PA Cadet Sergeant Jordan Bertolaso, a qualified aerospace instructor, talked the Duchess though the controls of the Grob tutor, a light aircraft which cadets use each year for air experience.Wearing a burgundy blazer, by Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, and a black ensemble of polo neck jumper, jeans and boots, the Duchess seemed to acknowledge February 14 as the most romantic day of the year by wearing a pair of heart-shaped earrings. Credit:Joe Giddens/PA The Duchess of Cambridge has shown off her flying skills during a visit to an RAF base where she sat in a plane similar to the one her husband flew while training.Sat at the controls of a flight simulator, Kate revealed she has what it takes to become a military pilot and was dubbed “a natural” by her instructor.The Duchess had come to meet air cadets taking part in a half-term skills development camp at RAF Wittering, near Peterborough, in her role as royal patron and Honorary Air Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets.With William an experienced flyer, both with the RAF and now as an air ambulance helicopter pilot, it should be no surprise the Duchess had the right touch to become a pilot.At first she appeared a little apprehensive when she sat in front of the flight simulator’s three screens and put her feet on some pedals and took hold of the joystick.But under the guidance of Flight Lieutenant Michael Salter, she was soon tuned into the delicate movements needed to pilot the mock motor glider.Flt Lt Salter said: “She was extremely good – she was a natural. She was very gentle on the controls, very often people are too rough. If you feel it, it’s extremely sensitive.”She said she hasn’t flown before and wanted to understand what the feeling was like in the air.” Kate took up her role with the RAF Air Cadets in December 2015, taking on the post from the Duke of Edinburgh who had been involved with the organisation for more than 60 years.The Duchess now represents 42,000 air cadets aged from 12 to 19, and 15,000 adult volunteers at more than 1,200 units across the UK and abroad. The RAF Air Cadets comprises both the Air Training Corps (ATC) and the Combined Cadet Force (RAF).Group Captain Richard Pratley, RAF Wittering Station Commander, said: “It has been an honour to welcome Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge to RAF Wittering to see some of the facilities we offer to cadets to help inspire the next generation.” Earlier, Kate sat in a light aircraft similar to the type used by her husband when he learnt to fly with the RAF.In 2008, the Duke of Cambridge was pictured in a training plane at RAF Cranwell, near Sleaford, Lincolnshire.The Duchess was given privileged access to the tutor aircraft in which generations of RAF Air Cadets have had their first experience of flying. The Duchess of Cambridge participates in a personal development training session with cadets at RAF Wittering Credit:Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock 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.
Charlotte Heath-Kelly, associate professor of politics and international studies at the University of Warwick, said medical staff were often confused by their training.“It tries to impart this idea that you have a duty to report anything you find dangerous or suspect, but it doesn’t tell you how you know something is dangerous or suspect.“There are vague statements about social exclusion and changes in behaviour, but that could be all teenagers ever.”Other doctors argue that the strategy unfairly targets Muslims.Manchester general practitioner Siema Iqbal said: “The strategy is Islamaphobic. It targets specific communities.“Here, the patient is not the priority, it’s the state. I work in an inner city area where there is a high ethnic diversity and many asylum seekers. I worry that my patients are not disclosing to me everything that they should. A GP’s room should be a safe space, and patients should be able to talk about anything.”Doctors often feel bound by confidentiality when patients disclose worrying tendencies, even though the General Medical Council recently changed guidance to e make it clear that in certain circumstances such as assisting in the prevention, detection or prosecution of serious crime, doctors are “justified in disclosing information about patients in the public interest.”Medical staff have also criticised Prevent for its lack of transparency about patients who have been referred.The Royal College of Psychiatristshas also questioned the ‘variable quality of the evidence’ underpinning the Prevent strategy and has called for it to be published in full.“The problem at the moment is that we simply don’t know a lot about what happens to people who get referred,” added Adrian James of the RCOP.Ass Com Rowley admitted there needs to be more transparency and promised that the police would give better feedback to medical staff on the outcomes of their referrals.”This is new and dynamic and we are going to have to learn together,” he added.“We are still learning the best way to deal with it. With such a new and changing field it is not surprising that we haven’t got 20 years of peer reviews and published research, because the IRA and Al Qaeda didn’t work like this.” NHS staff are now asked to share details with the police if they suspect patients are at risk of being radicalised Credit:PA Doctors and health workers are not doing enough to help police prevent terror attacks by mentally ill people who are targeted by extremist recruiters, the Met’s counterterrorism chief has warned.Since the 2011 Prevent Review all NHS bodies must train staff to spot the signs of radicalisation and report people they fear are at risk of becoming terrorists to the security services. However an investigation by the BMJ found that between 2015 and 2016, there were just 75 referrals by 59 acute trusts in England. Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, the national lead for counter terrorism, said that out of 13 major attacks foiled by Scotland Yard since 2013, ‘a disproportionate number’ of those involved people with mental health issues.Yet he claims a lack of trust between the NHS and the police is stopping crucial information from being shared.“The risk is not simply about the mental health condition but is about somebody else revving them up and trying to exploit it,” he said. “However good the mental health professional is, the mental health team on its own is probably insufficient.“We have to work together, and it requires a bit more trust and collaboration between us.“If we don’t intervene soon enough, that victim becomes a very serious perpetrator, and if they are about to go and kill people we then have to intervene with a different hat on and prosecute people.“If we are willing to share information and work together then we can keep this as a preventive response, which is what we all believe in. Waiting for people to try to commit serious offences then putting them in prison for ever is not as elegant a solution.” Ass Com Rowley said their had been a shift in the nature of terrorist attacks. While past atrocities were carried out by networks of terror cells affiliated to Al Qaeda or the IRA, now lone attacks are perpetrated by the vulnerable or mentally ill.“We have wrestled with terrorism in the UK for at least 50 years, but for most of that time—whether it was the IRA or Al Qaeda—there were secret networks planning attacks, and the sort of people they recruited had to be highly trustworthy and reliable,” he added.“Radicalising and inciting someone who is vulnerable to go and carry out some ghastly attack seems to be part of their tactics, and that has brought in a whole load of vulnerability issues, including mental health, that we now have to wrestle with.2The BMJ investigation found that mental health trusts were better at referring patients of concern, with 245 people reported to the security services between 2015 and 2016.But the data also showed that many NHS staff have been left ill-prepared to deal with the Prevent programme.At the worst end of the scale, just 4.5 per cent of staff at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, south west London, had been trained to spot radicalised patients, compared to 94 per cent at Barts Health NHS Trust, east London. Doctors say the Prevent strategy is anti-Muslim and risks alienating patients Credit:Anthony Devlin PA Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Claire Foy spoke out about her payCredit:James GOurley /REX/Shutterstock Jane Lush, the chairwoman of Bafta, has said that Netflix’s inclusion in the nominations was a recognition that times have changed. “How people are watching television is changing,” she said. “I think the awards are reflecting the way people are watching television now.”The Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards, hosted for the second year running by Sue Perkins, did include significant wins for the BBC, including the awards for Three Girls and for Ambulance the channel’s fly-on-the-wall documentary, won the best factual series award.John Motson, the BBC’s veteran football commentator, was honoured with Bafta’s special award. He dedicated it to colleagues at the sports department where he worked for half a century until his retirement this year. Declan Donnelly, pictured with wife Ali Astall, attended the ceremony without Ant McPartlinCredit:Ian West/PA Jodie Whittaker wore a Time’s Up badgeCredit:Ian West/PA The Crown lost out on the award for best drama series, which went instead to the BBC’s Peaky Blinders. The 30-year-old actress originally auditioned to play another character in The Crown, but went back to the casting director when she heard that the role of Princess Margaret had not been filled.She had a sudden feeling that she was destined to play the Queen’s troubled sister, and duly won the part. The second series covered her tempestuous relationship with Lord Snowdon. She has now left the show, and Helena Bonham Carter will take on the role in series three. Netflix has finally been accepted into the British television establishment by winning its first major Bafta, for Vanessa Kirby’s performance as Princess Margaret in The Crown.It was a landmark moment for the US streaming service, which has poured a reported £100 million into The Crown in an attempt to move in on the BBC’s territory.Last year the sumptuous royal drama had five nominations but won nothing, leading to accusations of a Bafta snub.This time around, Kirby was named best supporting actress, dedicating her award to the woman she played. “I just felt like the luckiest person in the world to play someone so colourful and vivid and brave and strong. So this is for Margaret, wherever she is,” she said.She also thanked her on-screen sibling, Claire Foy, praising her as “the best sister” she could have, before hastily checking herself and adding: “Apart from my real one!” Foy was beaten to the best actress prize by Molly Windsor, the 20-year-old who starred in the BBC’s Three Girls, a harrowing account of the Rochdale sex abuse scandal. Three Girls also won best mini-series.Sean Bean won the best actor prize for his performance as a troubled priest in Jimmy McGovern’s Broken.Netflix’s success in the world of television comes as it is shut out of the Cannes Film Festival, where organisers controversially ruled that only films released in cinemas could be entered for the prestigious Palme d’Or award. The presenter, Sir David Attenborough, said the programme set out to show the beauty of the oceans “but also the truth about what we are doing to them. The fact that this one particular moment rang a bell in the minds and the conscience of people throughout this country is something that pleases all of us more than I can say.” Credit:IAn West/PA Foy was asked about the revelation that she was paid less than Matt Smith, the actor who played the Duke of Edinburgh in The Crown.She said: “I’ve spoken to people whose pay has gone up as a direct result of what I earn being put everywhere, and that made me think it doesn’t really matter what I think of it.”My embarrassment about it or my kind of shame or embarrassment of people talking about my worth and how much I earn, is nothing compared to the fact that then if people are now aware, people are not going to be able to make those mistakes again or make those decisions again and if that’s what’s good and comes out of it then I am very proud of it.” Dozens of celebrities on the red carpet wore Time’s Up badges to show their solidarity with women who have suffered sexual harassment or abuse in the workplace. 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. Best supporting actor went to Brian F O’Byrne for his performance as the father of Rhys Evans, the murdered 11-year-old, in ITV’s Little Boy Blue. The biggest surprise of the night was Blue Planet II losing out in the specialist factual category to a BBC Two documentary about Jean-Michel Basquiat. But the scene in which a pilot whale grieved for its dead calf, a scene which prompted much debate about pollution in the oceans, was voted by the public as the Virgin TV Must-See Moment.
“We have 92 per cent approval ratings [for ratings decisions] and the reason for that is that we consult the public,”… A five-yearly study by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has found the public believed the current 15 ratings for films containing sexual violence were inappropriate and should be raised to 18. David Austin, BBFC’s chief executive, told the NSPCC’s conference on children’s safety online that the BBFC would introduce the higher ratings if the findings were confirmed in follow-up research. Film censors are set to impose 18 ratings on films with sexual violence after a public backlash over “liberal” classifications following the #MeToo movement against sex assaults.
The parents of a four-year-old girl killed by a speeding car thief, had their victim impact statement edited in court to prevent upsetting the defendant when he was being sentenced, it has emerged.Glenn and Rebecca Youens’ daughter, Violet-Grace, died after Aidan McAteer, who had been travelling at 83mph in a 30pmh zone, ploughed into her in a stolen car.But when he appeared in court his lawyers successfully objected to her parents’ impact statement being read out in full in open court.McAteer’s barrister persuaded the judge that his client would find the experience “too upsetting”, if the statement was read out in full.As a result part of their comments about their devastation at their daughter’s loss were redacted.Marie Rimmer, who is the MP for Mr and Mrs Youens, is now calling for a change in the law to prevent a similar situation occurring in the future. 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. Speaking during a debate in Westminster Hall, Ms Rimmer told MPs that McAteer’s barrister had applied for the statement to be edited ahead of sentencing. She explained: “The judge accepted this and the CPS barrister gave the parents a copy of their impact statement with parts they could not read out in open court highlighted.” Marie Rimmer has raised the issue with other MPsCredit:PA She said the law had to be improved for victims and survivors and said it was unacceptable that the needs of the defendant were being put first.She said: “The whole purpose of the victim impact statement is the impact on the victims and the survivors, not the defendant. Guidance should be given to the judiciary that the overriding consideration is for the victim and their family, not whether the impact statement may upset the defendant.”Violet-Grace was killed in March 2017 and McAteer, who was 23 at the time was jailed two months later for nine years and four months after admitting causing death by dangerous driving.Her father Glenn told the Guardian: “We were told that we wouldn’t be able to read the full statement because it was upsetting. We were quite shocked at this but mostly angry that we had to protect our daughter’s killer from becoming distressed.“We were the ones that had lost our daughter yet we were made to feel like we had to put her killer first … it made us lose faith in the justice system.”Her parents have launched a petition calling for tougher sentences for dangerous drivers.Ms Rimmer, who is the Labour MP for St Helens South and Whiston said she knew of at least two other hearings in which impact statements had been edited after pleas by defence lawyers.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedRihanna’s Crop Over costume slays social mediaAugust 8, 2017In “Entertainment”Barbados names pop star Rihanna as AmbassadorSeptember 21, 2018In “Entertainment”Rihanna’s earnings fall 50 per cent in 2015January 4, 2016In “Entertainment” Barbados’ pop princess Rihanna has yet another jewel to add to her crown in the form of securing a place on Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential People on the Internet in 2017.For its third annual roundup of everyone from bestselling authors to political activists, the magazine sized up contenders by looking at their global impact on social media and their overall ability to drive news.Here’s what Time’s Cady Lang had to say about Rihanna on this year’s unranked list:“The 29-year-old singer approaches social media with the same aplomb and fearlessness that has become her trademark across music, fashion and culture.“In the past year alone, she has made headlines for Snapchatting herself feeding birds on the streets of New York while clad in a bright red, heart-shaped jacket, hitting back at body shamers with a Gucci Mane meme and personally jumping into her own Instagram comments to shout out fans and shut down haters (a phenomenon known as RIHplies).“How fitting, then, that she’s set to star in a movie that is wholly inspired by a meme of herself.”Also landing a spot on Time’s latest list were supermodel, bestselling cookbook author, TV host and Mrs John Legend, Chrissy Teigan; Drudge Report creator Matt Drudge, and Harry Potter author JK Rowling.Carter Wilkerson, the Nevada teen who earned a year’s supply of free chicken nuggets; Chinese actress and activist Yao Chen; NPR host and S-Town creator Brian Reed; Korean boy band BTS, and Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny also made the cut.Also listed were Twitter-happy US President Donald Trump; Pepe the Frog creator Matt Furie; Steven Pruitt (aka Ser Amantio di Nicolao); seven-year-old Syrian civil war victim Bana Alabed; Canadian trans woman model Gigi Gorgeous; empowering meme creator Jonathan Sun; and singer Katy Perry, who just became the first person to pass 100 million followers on Twitter.Reality TV star and Mrs Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, was a given for the list, as were Branden Miller (aka Joanne the Scammer); Ezra Levin, Leah Greenberg, Angel Padilla, Sarah Dohl and Matt Traldi (founders of The Indivisible Guide), and Chance the Rapper.Ariel Martin, (aka Baby Ariel) of Musical.ly fame, also found favour with Time, as did fitness queen Cassey Ho; beauty blogger Huda Kattan; gamer Mark Fischbach (aka Markiplier); and Skimm founders Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin. (Caribbean360.com)
A large crowd at one of the Amazon Warriors games in GuyanaThe Caribbean Premier League—the sporting franchise that has evolved into the Regional signature sporting bonanza annually—in addition to the growing interest in Guyana’s emerging Oil and Gas sector has seen arrivals into the country skyrocket.Arrivals at Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) for August 2017 set an unprecedented record of 34,796 passengers, surpassing the 2012 figure of 33,367.Additionally, arrivals for the first 8 months rose to seven per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2016.According to Cheddi Jagan International Airport Inc (CJIA), “The increase can be positively attributed to the Guyana leg of the Caribbean Premier League [CPL] tournament and… additional business travel due the expansion in the oil and gas and mining sectors.”Substantive Minister David Patterson, commenting on the increase said “overall, 2017 is another strong year for us with business and tourist traveling demand levels steadily increasing.”According to Patterson, Government is pursuing several carriers to assist with the additional influx of passengers.“High on the list of priorities is a carrier to ply the South American/Georgetown market and both Legacy and Low Cost Carriers for the North American Market,” the Minister further stated.While New York remains the largest key market, there has been an upsurge in other destinations such as Cuba and Panama.Meanwhile, upon completion of the new Arrivals Terminal Building, with the inclusion of several facilities and amenities, CJIA’s capacity will be greatly augmented and strengthened, significantly impacting passengers’ experience.An artist’s impression of the completed project.The US$150 million project was scheduled to be completed within 32 months of its commencement in 2013; however, that the deadline was extended to December 1, 2017 since the project would have experienced several delays.In 2012, Guyana, under the leadership of former President Donald Ramotar, had secured a US$138 million loan from the China Exim (Export-Import) Bank to fund the expansion and modernisation project, for which the Guyanese Government has injected some US$12 million.When the coalition Government came into power in May 2015, the project was put on hold but following discussions between Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, and the contracting company, China Harbour Engineering Corporation (CHEC), it was announced that the project will be continued.On completion the US$150M expansion projected is expected to yield two air passenger boarding bridges for passenger’s arrival and departures; a 450 seating departure area, escalators and elevators in addition to its extending runway catering for larger categories of aircraft. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedDestination Guyana gaining impetusAugust 4, 2013In “Business”CJIA increases security fees, introduces service charge for passengersApril 16, 2019In “Business”GUYOIL opens $700M fuel facility at CJIADecember 8, 2014In “Business”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedWest Bank businessman slapped with causing death chargeAugust 4, 2016In “Crime”Minibus driver granted bail for causing road deathAugust 29, 2013In “Crime”Driver charged with death of Andrew ‘Six Heads’ LewisMay 6, 2015In “Crime” Four months after a 64-year-old pedestrian was struck down on the Herstelling Public Road, East Bank Demerara, a Mocha, East Bank Demerara resident was charged and granted $1M bail when he appeared at the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.Cleveland Softlieigh, a businessman, pleaded not guilty when he was read the charge before Magistrate Judy Latchman.The court heard that on July 29, 2017, at around 20:20hrs, the accused allegedly drove his motor car, PKK 3251 in a dangerous manner to the public, causing the death of 64-year-old Ingrid James who was attempting to cross the road.James’ body was flung several feet away and she sustained severe head and internal injuries before succumbing at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre.The defendant’s lawyer sought to apply for bail for his applicant, informing the court that the businessman is a father to four.Bail was granted and the matter was transferred to the Chief Magistrate, Ann McLennan.The businessman is expected to return to court on December 5, 2017.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related Crews took an hour to free the man (West Midlands Fire Service)(BBC) An internet “prankster” had to be freed by firefighters after cementing his head inside a microwave oven.West Midlands Fire Service said it took an hour to free the man after they were called to a house in Fordhouses, Wolverhampton.Friends had managed to feed an air tube into the 22-year-old’s mouth to help him breathe, the service said.Watch Commander Shaun Dakin said the man “could quite easily have suffocated or have been seriously injured”.The fire service said the mixture had been poured around the man’s head, which was protected by a plastic bag ((West Midlands Fire Service)Mr Dakin said: “He and a group of friends had mixed seven bags of Polyfilla which they then poured around his head, which was protected by a plastic bag inside the microwave.“The oven was being used as a mould and wasn’t plugged in. The mixture quickly set hard and, by the time we were called, they’d already been trying to free him for an hour and a half.”Crews from the technical rescue team helped with taking the microwave apart, he added.“It took us nearly an hour to free him,” added Mr Dakin.“All of the group involved were very apologetic, but this was clearly a call-out which might have prevented us from helping someone else in genuine, accidental need.”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPolice destroy more marijuana camps at Millie’s HideoutFebruary 26, 2019In “Crime”8,500 ganja plants destroyed during Police swoop down in Upper Demerara RiverJanuary 13, 2019In “Crime”25,000 ganja plants destroyedJuly 11, 2019In “Crime” One of the motorcycles found hidden along the trailPolice in ‘F’ Division (Interior Locations) have destroyed a marijuana farm they found at Eight Miles, Ituni Road, Upper Demerara River.According to reports, acting on intelligence gathered, ranks went to the location at about 15:30h on Tuesday, where they found a five-acre plot of marijuana cultivation with about 5000 cannabis plants, measuring from three inches to five feet in height, with an estimated weight about 400 kilograms.A quantity of dried cannabis estimated about 50 kilograms was also found.The ganja farm with the makeshift camp in the backgroundIn addition, there were two makeshift camps with four hammocks, kitchen utensil, clothing, groceries and farming tools.The plants, dried cannabis and camps were photographed and destroyed by fire and the grid location was marked for further investigation.Meanwhile, the ranks also discovered two motorcycles on the trail leading to the ganja farm.No one was arrested at the farm.
Al Frese, Solutions and Product Support Manager of Caterpillar’s Global Mining Division notes that the company is “seeing encouraging signs that a recovery may be underway” and at the same time continues to stress sustainability. He says Global Mining is “seeing benefits from things Caterpillar put in place” since the credit crunch hit the world. He went on to say that “though there’s still a great deal of economic uncertainty in the world, mined materials will remain essential to support a growing global population.” Cat is very focused on being ready for the upturn. “We have realigned our entire company, creating a simpler, more efficient, more customer-focused and more market-driven structure. We’re getting our processes ready for the up-cycle too, starting in our factories, where we’re continuing to deploy the Caterpillar Production System (CPS).“To make sure we’re ready for the upturn, we’ve teamed up with a group of mining companies and dealers to fine-tune our forecasting processes and systems.” Some of the information coming from those mining companies has given insights into future parts requirements. The company has also been working with its suppliers to cut manufacturing costs. CPS has also delivered tremendous safety benefits in Cat’s plants.As an example of CPS achievements, the Track Type Tractor manufacturing facility has achieved a $20 million reduction in inventory, a 90% improvement in delivery times, a 75% reduction in work on process inventory and a 24% improvement in early operating hours (new machines) reliability. Mark Twain, who did not work for Global Mining, may have said “there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics,” but these are significant statistics by anybody’s standards.Frese explained that “Global Mining has a dedicated team that works with miners and dealers on a variety of continuous improvement projects. We’ve continued to fund this vital work through the downturn.” He went on to elaborate that the focus in 2009 has been on efficiency at the mines, rather than the all out demand for productivity that it had been up to the crash of the boom late last year.Technology and machine development has not suffered during the downturn. “We’re continuing to fund research and development at a very aggressive level. In fact, 2009 will go down in history as the 2nd largest year ever for R&D investment.” That investment is for all Cat products but the mining component was very significant and included the largest investment seen in the truck fleet. “We’re actively working with our customers to design and integrate significant safety enhancements across our entire mining product line,” Frese continued.In the latter regard, Frese noted Cat’s work with the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT), which was formed in 2006 to establish a process of engagement between mining customers and OEMs. The process is designed to accelerate the development and adoption of leading practice designs of earth moving equipment to minimise health and safety risks. (http://www.mishc.uq.edu.au/index.html?page=58384).Looking forward, Frese says the key drivers to 2012 are:Commodity demand growth to resume in 2010Commodity price outlook favourable for investmentUnder investment in mine capacity in 2009 and 2010Average fleet age remains high.On the latter point, he also notes that the equipment replacement cycle was not completed during the last upturn. IM has already put forward the opinion that the next upturn (boom) will most likely see even worse equipment and skill shortages than were seen in 2007/2008. But it seems Caterpillar at least is focused for the future.