Muhammad Ali The Mission

In 2013, our old friends at Grantland released a 30-for-30 documentary on a little-remembered moment in the life of Muhammad Ali, who died on Friday at age 74. The film, made by Amani Martin and narrated by John Legend, recounts the story of Ali’s 1990 trip to Iraq before the Gulf War, during which he negotiated with Saddam Hussein for the release of American citizens taken hostage after the invasion of Kuwait. Ali risked his reputation, health and safety for the freedom of prisoners held by Hussein as “human shields” to deter U.S. military strikes. Only six weeks after Ali brought 15 hostages back home to their relieved families, Operation Desert Storm bombarded Iraq. read more

Sidney Rice Tears ACL A Blow to Struggling Seahawks

Photo by SBNationSidney Rice, a key member of the Seattle Seahawks’ offense,  will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL in Monday night’s 14-9 win over St. Louis.Pro Football Talk first reported the news that hurts an offense that is ranked 28th in the NFL, averaging 198.8 yards per games. Rice suffered the injury midway through the second quarter of Monday’s game on a first-and-goal play from the 9-yard line.Quarterback Russell Wilson tried to get the ball to Rice on the left side of the end zone, but overthrew him slightly. Both Rice and Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins dove for the ball, with Jenkins landing on top of Rice’s lower body. Rice noticeably limped after the play and did not re-enter the game.Rice has not been the player expected after signing a five-year, $41 million deal with the Seahawks prior to the 2011 season. After catching 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns with Minnesota, Rice has not caught more than 50 passes in his three seasons with Seattle. Injuries have been a major part of his minor production. read more

The Seattle Seahawks Youth Could Portend a Dynasty Yes Really

It wasn’t long after the Seattle Seahawks put the finishing touches on their 43-8 Super Bowl rout of the Denver Broncos that media people began throwing around the d-word, dynasty, as they peered into the franchise’s future.Of course, this happens with just about every Super Bowl winner; squint hard enough, and even the most obvious one-and-done champ looks like a perennial powerhouse. (In some ways, talk of that nature gets even more far-fetched with each passing season — we haven’t seen a repeat Super Bowl winner since the 2004 New England Patriots.) But in Seattle’s case, it might not be totally implausible to expect an elevated probability of a full-blown dynasty.Historically, teams that have won a title find themselves surprisingly well-positioned to win more of them. Since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, 55.9 percent of Super Bowl winners won at least one more championship within the following 10 seasons. Even within that club, though, Seattle is starting from a better spot than most. Its schedule-adjusted pythagorean winning percentage during the 2013 regular season ranked sixth among all Super Bowl champions since the merger, trailing only the 1985 Chicago Bears, 1991 Washington Redskins, 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996 Green Bay Packers and 1973 Miami Dolphins.More importantly, the Seattle’s core is incredibly young for an NFL champion. Weighted by the Approximate Value produced by each player on the roster, the Seahawks’ average age (26.0) was the second-youngest in the league a season ago and ranked third-youngest among Super Bowl winners since the merger. The two champs who had lower average ages? The 1974 Steelers and 1981 San Francisco 49ers, each of whom would go on to win three more Super Bowls apiece in their next decade of play. (Seattle also ranks as slightly younger than the 1992 Dallas Cowboys, who won two additional rings in a dynastic run.)Looking at all Super Bowl winners from 1970 to 2003 (for which we have a “next decade” worth of data), there’s a relationship between the team’s AV-weighted age in its championship season and its chances of winning additional titles.Among the aforementioned 55.9 percent of all Super Bowl champions who won another before a decade was up, a disproportionate number are clustered among the youngest teams on the list. Eleven of the 12 youngest champions in our 1970-2003 group went on to win at least one more Super Bowl in the following decade, while only four of the 12 oldest champs would go on to win another title.Usually, talk of dynasty potential among freshly christened champions isn’t very predictive. But because of their youth, these Seahawks are in a situation where the odds of winning another championship are particularly heightened. read more

The Blue Jays Are The Best — And Theres An 80 Percent

Houston Astros(Chance of winning the World Series: 4 percent)Don’t sleep on the ’Stros. Although the Astros are only the second wild card, they show some intriguing potential for October contention. After several much-derided moves to strengthen the bullpen in the offseason, Houston had the second-best relief corps in the major leagues (by wins above replacement). It doesn’t have the top-end relief aces of, say, the Yankees, but the Astros can count on a number of solid arms to bail them out in high-leverage situations.And don’t get put off by the Astros’ second-half swoon, because the team seems to have been unlucky this year. They sport the fourth-best Pythagorean record in the league (but the 10th-best record), and the team lost 17 runs on offense because of unfortunate clustering of their hits, another sign of poor fortune. Even these statistics may be underrating Houston, because a large portion of their production comes from young players who were called up mid-season, like shortstop Carlos Correa and starting pitcher Lance McCullers. The Astros team that the Yankees are facing in the play-in game will be significantly improved from the one that started the year.New York Yankees(Chance of winning the World Series: 5 percent)This Yankees team feels like the prototypical Bronx outfit of the past few years: a team filled with a gaggle of aging veterans on massively overpaid free-agent contracts. Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury is the current exemplar, and catcher Brian McCann was last year. Together, the Yankees boast the highest average age for position players of any team in baseball, when you weight the players by their WAR contribution. Age and the injuries that come with it make the current Yankees team less intimidating than the one that racked up 87 wins in the regular season. The Bronx Bombers lost their most productive hitter, first baseman Mark Teixeira, after an August injury, and other older players may feel the wear-and-tear more than most.What may make the Yankees unusually dangerous in the playoffs is their incredible late inning relief crew. Their setup man is the intimidating Dellin Betances, who just finished one of the 20 best reliever seasons of the past five years, and their closer is Andrew Miller, whose season ranked in the top 40 on the same list. Although the bottom of the bullpen is more questionable, Yankees manager Joe Girardi can conceal it behind two of the best relievers in baseball, which presents a tactical advantage in the playoffs.Texas Rangers(Chance of winning the World Series: 9 percent)After suffering by far the most injuries last season, the Rangers bounced back to take the division this year. But the Rangers’ playoff position belies the performances of their players. They are 12th in position-player WAR and 20th in pitching. The Rangers’ run differential is a perfectly adequate +18, which puts them more in the range of the Orioles (+20) and Diamondbacks (+7), two also-rans. Indeed, by Pythagorean record, the Rangers ought to have lost the second wild card to the Indians.So the numbers suggest that the Rangers aren’t long for the playoffs, but there are some minor reasons to believe that the Texas roster is stronger than it appears. The deadline trade for Cole Hamels gave them a potent and dependable frontline starter. Rougned Odor has been one of the best second basemen in the majors since being recalled after being demoted to the minors.Even so, it’s hard to buy into the Rangers as genuine contenders. They lack the outstanding bullpens of last year’s surprise teams and don’t match up especially well with the rest of the AL field. Although this season is an unexpected success for Texas, it’s hard to imagine it continuing too far into October.Kansas City Royals(Chance of winning the World Series: 13 percent)Now we get to the class of the league. The Royals are one of the most unexpectedly formidable teams of the past few years. Whether by luck, chemistry or a secret ingredient that the rest of the league has yet to discover, Kansas City has managed to baffle the majority of the preseason prognosticators this year, and I am no exception.It’s never a good idea to bet against the projections too confidently or too often. But the Royals have the production to back up their standing in the league, with a run differential that’s fifth-best in MLB and WAR totals to match.2The Royals come in with the sixth-most position player WAR in baseball and the 15th-most pitching WAR. Having boosted themselves at the trade deadline with the addition of a frontline ace in Johnny Cueto and a versatile hitter in Ben Zobrist, the Royals stand as good a chance as anyone but the Blue Jays at taking the crown, even if we still don’t understand why they are so good. Speaking of those Blue Jays …Toronto Blue Jays(Chance of winning the World Series: 19 percent)It’s difficult to overstate just how incredible the Blue Jays have been this year. Their run differential exceeds the next-best team (the Cardinals) by 99 runs, which itself would be the fifth-best run differential in the league. Since 1950, only 18 teams (out of 1,592; just about 1 percent) have had season run differentials better than the Blue Jays’ sum of +221.3These statistics are derived from Sean Lahman’s database. With their midseason trades for arguably the best position player (shortstop Troy Tulowitzki) and pitcher (starter David Price) available, the Blue Jays became something we almost never see in modern baseball: a steamroller, a world-beater, a superteam. Sure enough, since the All-Star break, the Jays have been even better, racking up a run differential of +139, which put them on pace for the best full-season run differential of any team since 1950.And yet, of those 18 teams with run differentials better than that of the 2015 Blue Jays, only six went on to win the World Series. Only 11 of the 18 even went to the World Series. There’s a reason baseball has gone away from the superteam model: No matter how strong the team, nobody can predict what will happen in a short postseason series.Read more: The Best 2015 MLB Teams, According To Our New Ratings It’s time for real, live playoff baseball. Or as sabermetricians like to call it: the season where weird stuff happens.The playoffs are entirely different from the regular season, with an emphasis on top-tier starting pitching and the savvy usage of strong late-inning relief. Sabermetrics researchers have struggled in vain for years to pinpoint a secret sauce that can guarantee postseason success. Because of the changing strategies and wild-card structures in MLB, trying to figure out who’s going to win the World Series creates problems that are similar to those faced by electoral prognosticators, only with much less data.1Instead of hundreds of polls, we have a few dozen individual games per year, which are noisy indicators even without considering all the potential confounding factors. The truth may be that there is no very accurate way to forecast who will survive the gantlet of the MLB playoffs.But that’s not going to stop us from trying! Elsewhere, Neil Paine has used Elo ratings (FiveThirtyEight’s pet power rating system) to project each wild-card game and divisional series. But before you go read that, stick with me so I can tell you a little bit about each of the AL teams that have found their way into the hunt. (I’ll cover the NL teams on Wednesday.)There are clearly two tiers of teams fighting for the pennant, with the Blue Jays and Royals towering above the Yankees, Astros and Rangers. read more

No spotlight needed Lighty does dirty work turns in career season

There’s no arguing who the go-to player is on the Ohio State men’s basketball team.Whenever the Buckeyes desperately need a basket they turn to junior guard Evan Turner.As Turner continually leads OSU in every offensive statistical category, he is the recipient of frequent accolades and praise for his contribution to the team.But as Turner gets all the attention, the team’s most experienced player, junior David Lighty, quietly goes about his business playing a vital role on the nation’s 21st-ranked team. After originally making a name for himself as the Buckeyes’ best defensive player, this year Lighty has shown a knack for filling in any and every role his team needs him to fill.Take last week for example.The Buckeyes were at Purdue and Boilermaker guard Robbie Hummel had just torched OSU for 29 points in the first half. With seemingly no answer for Hummel’s prolific shooting, coach Thad Matta turned to Lighty to stop the bleeding.“I told the guys at halftime we need to change up or he’s going to get about 100 points in this game,” Matta said. “I challenged Dave to guard him and he did a great job.”After Hummel’s impressive first half shooting display, Lighty held him to a mere six points over the course of the final 20 minutes.Although Lighty finished with just five of his team’s 70 points, he kept the Buckeyes in the game with his effort on the defensive end.Saturday’s game, however, required Lighty to make his mark on the other end of the floor.With Turner’s minutes limited due to early foul trouble, Lighty took the over as the Buckeyes’ go-to scorer and finished the game with a team-high 18 points.“The defense in the Purdue game to the scoring in the Wisconsin game,” Matta said. “Those are all things that this team needs.”Though Matta made it clear that he never underestimates Lighty’s contribution to the team, the coach acknowledged that some people may not completely comprehend just how important he is.“I said last year when he went down,” Matta said referencing a season-ending foot injury Lighty sustained last season. “I don’t think anybody completely understood the magnitude of that injury. He does so many things to help [our] team win.”For Lighty, the lack of attention is nothing new.He arrived on campus as perhaps the least talked about member of coach Matta’s 2006 recruiting class. He was a role player the following year on the Buckeyes’ NIT championship team and he missed most of the next season with the foot injury.And now, with the emergence of Turner as the face of the Ohio State program, Lighty yet again seems to have been designated to a background role.But whether or not he gets the respect he deserves from the general public, Matta is always quick to mention the importance of having Lighty on the floor.“I don’t know, with David, if there’s one thing that I can say that, ‘this is so important,’” Matta said. “There are so many things that he does that add up to help [our] team.” read more

Ohio State wrestling makes history at Hawkeyes expense

The last time the Ohio State wrestling team beat Iowa in 1966, Woody Hayes was still the Buckeyes’ head football coach. Archie Griffin had yet to play a down for OSU, let alone win two Heisman Trophies. The United States was in the middle of the Vietnam War under President Lyndon B. Johnson. And everyone, including the coaching staff, involved with the OSU wrestling team had yet to live in a world that saw their school win against Iowa. That all changed Friday night though, after the No. 7 Buckeyes toppled No. 2 Iowa, 21-9, at St. John Arena. Besides being the team’s first win over the Hawkeyes in 46 seasons, the win was also a look into the future of Buckeye wrestling. With seven freshmen or redshirt freshmen starters, OSU is arguably one of the youngest teams in not only the Big Ten, but in Division I wrestling. Freshmen Johnni Dijulius, Hunter Stieber, Cam Tessari, Derek Garcia, Andrew Campolattano and redshirt freshmen Logan Stieber and Josh Demas won a combined 25 state championships in high school. Logan Stieber, Hunter Stieber, Tessari, Garcia and Campolattano are all four-time state champions. Out of those seven, six were able to defeat their Iowa counterpart, and those six victories accounted for all but one of the wins OSU scored against the Hawkeyes. Logan Stieber, Hunter Stieber and Garcia knocked off the No. 2-, No. 3- and No. 6-ranked wrestlers, respectively, in their weight classes by a combined score of 17-7. Just two weeks ago, some were questioning if the youth of the Buckeyes was catching up to them after dropping their first two matches of the season on the road to ranked competition against No. 8 Nebraska and No. 4 Minnesota. Most of those sentiments, though, were put to rest against an Iowa squad that had yet to lose a Big Ten duel this year. Besides being a memorable moment for the program as a whole, Garcia said he thinks finally beating the Hawkeyes proves the legitimacy of their team. “We went out and we didn’t wrestle our best against Nebraska and Minnesota and I think we kind of had a little downer there,” Garcia said. “But we showed everybody right now that we are real.” Hunter Stieber, who defeated a two-time All-American in Iowa’s Montell Marion, agreed that this was a big statement for a young Ohio State team with aspirations of winning it all. “It feels amazing. It’s awesome. Everyone wrestled extremely well … it was amazing, everyone came together, worked hard all week, worked hard all year,” Hunter Stieber said. “We had a few bad dual meets, but I mean, we’re still in the hunt. We can compete and make a run at the national title this year as a team.” OSU coach Tom Ryan said he knew what he was getting himself into when he left Hofstra to lead the Buckeyes. “We came here for this,” Ryan said. “We knew this was called the sleeping giant. It’s far from over. I know the men on the other side of the mat. Those guys were teammates, and I know how they react when they get punched in the nose. They do not fall down, they punch back.” OSU still has three duels left in the Big Ten, including a road trip to defending national champion Penn State next Sunday, Jan. 29, before the National Duals, Big Ten Championships and NCAA Championships begin. Ryan said the battle is on. “Ohio State is officially in a fist fight,” he said. “I’m very proud of this group of guys.” read more

Ohio State volleyball set to open Big Ten play against Michigan schools

Freshman right side hitter Taylor Sandbothe (10) blocks the ball during a match against Dabrowa Sept. 4 at St. John Arena. OSU won, 3-2.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThe No. 13 Ohio State women’s volleyball team is set to open Big Ten play this weekend against closely-ranked opponents.The undefeated Buckeyes (12-0) are scheduled to play No. 10 Michigan (10-1) at 8 p.m. Friday and No. 15 Michigan State (11-1) Sunday at 2 p.m..The Buckeyes’ performances in those first 12 matches pleased coach Geoff Carlston, but he said he’s looking for more as the squad heads into the Big Ten season.“It’s been fun,” he said. “We knew coming into the season that we’re going to have to be pretty patient because there’s going to be a pretty big learning curve.”OSU has received major contributions from three freshmen — right side hitter Taylor Sandbothe, outside hitter Kylie Randall and defensive specialist Valeria León.Carlston said he likes what the younger players have done, but said the veterans have stepped up as well.“We have talented freshmen, but we have great leadership above them,” Carlston said.Carlston added that some younger players like sophomore middle blocker Andrea Kacsits will have to play an even bigger role since junior middle blocker Anna Faul tore her ACL over the weekend.The team has been successful early in the season because of how it has come together, even more so than in previous years, junior outside hitter Erin Sekinger said.“The chemistry on the floor is like no other,” Sekinger said. “Everybody just clicks with one another.”Carlston said this year’s group has had no problem focusing on each match, even though the roster is young.“It sounds cliché, but we really have put a huge emphasis on one opponent at a time, one match at a time,” he said.Finishing the non-conference schedule unscathed is an accomplishment for any team, senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Leary said. However, the weekend ahead of the Buckeyes marks the beginning of “the next chapter.”“(In) the Big Ten, obviously every single game we play is a challenge, so we’re just preparing this week and working hard,” Leary said.As far as the matchup against Michigan is concerned, Sekinger said some players are going to be extra motivated once the whistle blows.“I’m an Ohio kid, so I go more crazy for Michigan just because it’s a big rivalry,” Sekinger said.The Wolverines have just one loss on the season, coming against then-No. 16 ranked Florida State, who the Buckeyes played and beat at the Seminole Invitational.Freshman setter Maggie Heim, who has been limited this season by a hamstring injury, said her team will give Michigan a fight as long as the players keep up their effort.“If we come out with the energy we did against Florida State and just play really solid, I think we’ll have a really good shot,” Heim said. “We’ll just have to come out with more energy than (Michigan).”Following this weekend, the Buckeyes are scheduled to travel to Indiana for matchups against Purdue Oct. 4 in West Lafayette and Indiana in Bloomington Oct. 5. read more

Womens Volleyball The Buckeyes hit the road again to face No 6

Members of Ohio State women’s volleyball team celebrate a point scored against No. 2 Penn State on Oct. 6. The Buckeyes lost 3-2. Credit: Rebecca Farage | Lantern ReporterThe Ohio State women’s volleyball team (10-7, 3-3 Big Ten) will hope to find better success this weekend when it travels for a pair of games in Illinois against No. 6 Illinois Friday and Northwestern Saturday after dropping its last two matches to Penn State and Rutgers.Last season, the Buckeyes beat Northwestern both games in their home-and-home series. Ohio State defeated the Wildcats in a 3-0 sweep at St. John Arena and beat them again in a 3-1 match in Evanston, Illinois.The Buckeyes have won two of the last three contests between the two teams, but lost to the Illini 3-1 last season. Illinois leads the all-time series with a 41-38 record with games between both teams taking place since 1974.Ohio State has been more successful against Northwestern as it has defeated the Wildcats in the last fives matches.Ohio State associate head coach Susan Halverson-Maloney has been practicing with the Buckeyes, focusing on their serve-and-pass as they prepare to go up against two teams she knows play a strong defense and serving game.“Both teams are similar to us in that they’re battling in the Big Ten right now. [They have] a lot of matches going long, a lot of sets going long,” Halverson-Maloney said.  “For us it’s about staying in each point, refocusing after each point, winning the long rallies.”Halverson-Maloney believes that the key to having a successful weekend is to find consistency and maintain the same level of play with every game.“[We are] just looking to our leadership to keep us consistent on both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively, trying to find our edge and our push in tight moments,” Halverson-Maloney said.Last weekend was one of sophomore outside hitter Bia Franklin’s most impressive performances as she hit 10 kills and nine digs in Friday night’s game against No. 2 Penn State. Both numbers were career-highs for Franklin.“I just did what the team needed and they helped me,” Franklin said. “It was really nice and natural, I didn’t really think about it.”With some of the players facing continuous injuries, Halverson-Maloney said the Buckeyes have collectively tried to step up their performance. “They’ve been flexible, they’ve been competitive, willing to do anything for the team,” Halverson-Maloney said. “We’ve had great response from every position. They’re enjoying the newness of the lineup and trying to work out and problem-solve together.” read more

Football No 10 Ohio State takes on No 4 Michigan with sixgame

Every year, both Ohio State and Michigan have this game marked on their calendars.Every year, the Ohio State-Michigan matchup brings together one of the all-time biggest rivalries in college football. Michigan leads the series overall with a record of 58-49-6, but in recent years, Ohio State has taken control, winning the past six installments since Urban Meyer took over as head coach.But this year, for the first time in the Meyer era, No. 4 Michigan (10-1, 8-0 Big Ten) comes into “The Game” as the favorite against No. 10 Ohio State (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten), and it’s the first time since 2004 that the Wolverines are favorites in Ohio Stadium.“We don’t talk about those things,” Meyer said. “The most prepared team will win the game. It’s not who’s favored and who is not. I didn’t know that. And I don’t imagine our team really does.”Michigan enters as the favorite thanks to a 10-game winning streak after losing its opener on the road to now-No. 3 Notre Dame 24-17. Included in the streak are wins against then-No. 15 Wisconsin, then-No. 24 Michigan State and then-No. 14 Penn State. The victories against the Badgers and the Nittany Lions were by 25 points or more.“Whenever you face an elite team, elite defense, which they are, personnel stands out, front seven stands out,” Meyer said. “I think they’re No. 1 in the nation in pass defense. And just very good personnel, very well thought-out scheme and very good defense.”The Wolverines hold the No. 1 pass defense, as well as the No. 1 defense overall, allowing 234.8 yards per game, more than 15 yards fewer than any other team in the country.Michigan allows 13.5 points per game, tied for the fourth fewest in the NCAA.The country’s strongest defense is led by stars in the front seven. Junior linebackers Devin Bush and Josh Uche combine for 85 tackles, 17.5 of which are for a loss, including 12 sacks.Junior Rashan Gary and redshirt senior Chase Winovich have 7.5 sacks of their own on the defensive line on 94 combined tackles. But Winovich went down with an upper-body injury against Indiana on Saturday, and his status remains uncertain for the game, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said.But Michigan had one of the strongest defenses in the country in 2017 — ending the season with the third-fewest yards allowed per game — when it lost to Ohio State at home.The difference comes on the other side of the ball.After ending this past season with the 25th worst total offense in the NCAA, the Wolverines come into Ohio Stadium averaging 36.6 points per game, No. 24 in the country, scoring 40 or more points in six of their 11 games.Junior quarterback Shea Patterson is the difference maker, throwing for 2,177 yards, 18 touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 65.9 percent of his passes. He also averages 4.2 yards per rush for 252 yards and two scores on the ground.Patterson has a trio of players who receive the majority of the targets: sophomore wide receivers Donovan Peoples-Jones and Nico Collins, and senior tight end Zach Gentry.Peoples-Jones leads the team with 32 catches for 477 yards and seven touchdowns. Gentry, the 6-foot-8 tight end, is closely behind with 475 yards and a pair of scores. Collins has 29 catches for 461 yards and four touchdowns this season.Senior running back Karan Higdon leads the No. 14 rushing offense in the nation with 1,106 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns on 5.3 yards per carry.Higdon said Monday in a Michigan press conference he guarantees a Michigan victory against the Buckeyes.Instead of making promises, Meyer is going to let the Buckeyes’ play on Saturday do all the talking.  “How do you show respect for them and the game? You work, which we are. We’re working so damn hard for this,” Meyer said.Michigan comes in with the momentum, and hopes of ending its losing streak and finishing off the team’s “Revenge Tour” that has motivated the Wolverines all season.They have gone through three key stops on their tour: Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State.Now, No. 4 Michigan remains one win away from finishing it, facing off against No. 10 Ohio State in Ohio Stadium at noon on Saturday. It enters with the strongest team of the Harbaugh era, and one of the most vulnerable Ohio State teams since Meyer took over.Now, it comes down to one game to see if the Wolverines can finish what they started, or if the Buckeyes can go to the Big Ten Championship once more. Only this time, they will have to do it as the underdog.Wyatt Crosher: 34-24 MichiganColin Gay: 35-31 Ohio StateRachel Bules: 38-35 Ohio StateSydney Riddle: 24-21 Ohio StateAmanda Parrish: 35-30 Ohio StateZach Varda: 45-17 MichiganEdward Sutelan: 28-24 MichiganJake Rahe: 21-17 Ohio State read more

Wrestling Myles Martin will try and set leadership expectation in final season

Ohio State senior wrestler Myles Martin sits at the Steelwood Training Facility. Credit: Nolan Harmon | Lantern ReporterOhio State senior 184-pound captain Myles Martin won a national championship with the Buckeyes as a freshman in 2015-16 in a lower weight class, and is also a three-time All American and Big Ten finalist. But he will still try and add to his legacy in his final year as a Buckeye. After suffering a loss in 2017 in the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships to Kent State’s Bo Nickal —a match in which Martin led 4-0 at one point— Martin said he’s more motivated to get back to the top of the mountain. “I spent a month trying to get that taste out of my mouth,” Martin said. “It’s always in the back of my head. It’s one of those things that will motivate me to keep going. Wrestling full seven or full six, freestyle or scholastic. It’s always on my mind. It’s on my mind right now. It’s on my mind when I train. It was a good and a bad thing.” Martin was listed as one of the captains by coach Tom Ryan, who notices some of the younger members of the team looking at Martin more closely and trying to follow his lead. Martin said this is something he can see in his interactions with the younger members of the team. “I definitely know that they’re watching me and that they’re watching down to the small details that I don’t even look at because I do it naturally,” Martin said. “I’m always helping out, especially after practice and with working on the small stuff.” Martin was the 15th true freshman in NCAA history — and the first ever at Ohio State — to win a national championship, an honor that has earned him plaques and his own picture inside the Steelwood Training Facility, where the Buckeyes host their practices. He said those accolades mean a lot to him, but he doesn’t think of them much. “It doesn’t change my personality,” Martin said. “It doesn’t change anything that I do, or my moral or any social values that I have. It’s not going to affect anything about me, just because I have a strong belief system. Tom [Ryan] always encourages us to have strong moral core values.” And Ryan views that in Martin, a leadership that others can emulate on the team, even from the moment he began his career at Ohio State. “He came out of redshirt as a freshman midway through the year,” Ryan said. “That takes a strong belief in himself and our program. He was born a leader. He feels like this is his team and he’s been a great example.”Despite all of the accolades Martin has stacked up in his time with Ohio State, he said he has something other than a national championship that he’s most proud of. “One thing I’m really proud of that I don’t think about as much as I should, is just being a leader here for the team,” Martin said. “Just being one of the main guys that they rely on and just being able to hold up my end of the bargain. It’s just me doing what I love and helping out some of these guys get better.” After 33-6, 32-9 and 31-3 records in his first three seasons with the Buckeyes, Martin will attempt to top himself yet again with a bigger target on his back, as the number one wrestler in his weight class with even higher expectations. But the expectations surpass the wrestling mat. In his final season at Ohio State, those expectations revolve around his leadership. read more

Cancer diagnosis drive has pushed NHS testing services to the brink

first_img“The number of cancer cases diagnosed each year is set to rise and the already stretched pathology services won’t cope unless we ensure more people are trained and employed in pathology.”The study shows thousands of patients are waiting more than three months for tests which could determine whether they have cancer.In total, more than 3,500 patients waited at least this long for pathology, imaging and endoscopies between October and December last year, the report says.A growing and ageing UK population is also fuelling demand, the charity said. One in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime. Breast test  One in two people will be diagnosed with cancerCredit:PA  ‘The UK’s cancer survival is lagging behind other European countries and improving early diagnosis through diagnostic services is one of the ways to address this’Emma Greenwood, Cancer Research UK’s director of policy ‘The number of cancer cases diagnosed each year is set to rise and the already stretched pathology services won’t cope unless we ensure more people are trained and employed in pathology’Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez, Cancer Research UK mammogram GPs have been encouraged to refer more patients for tests if there is a possibility of cancerCredit:Alamycenter_img A Government drive to diagnose cancer earlier is pushing services towards the brink of collapse, amid a 60 per cent rise in referrals, a major report warns.The study by Cancer Research UK says attempts to improve Britain’s poor diagnosis rates have not been matched by increases in the staff needed to carry out tests.Warning that the situation has reached “a tipping point” it highlights a 17 per cent rise in patients waiting at least six weeks for checks. But the study says a 60 per cent rise in referrals since 2009/10 has not been matched by any significant increase in staff, with numbers of pathologists rising by less than three per cent a year.Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez, a Cancer Research UK pathology expert, said: “We need to act now before this situation gets worse. It’s vital that patients are diagnosed at an early stage when treatment is more likely to be successful and pathology plays a crucial role in this. Britain has the highest rates of late cancer diagnosis in the western world.In recent years GPs have been encouraged to refer more patients for checks, in order to tackle the problem and save more lives. Emma Greenwood, Cancer Research UK’s director of policy, said: “Diagnostic services, including pathology, urgently need support and investment to ensure that diagnoses aren’t delayed and patients benefit from the latest treatment.“The UK’s cancer survival is lagging behind other European countries and improving early diagnosis through diagnostic services is one of the ways to address this. The diagnostic bottleneck will only get worse without action now and this involves addressing staff shortages in imaging, endoscopy and pathology.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Give art world legal muscle to stop paintings selling abroad experts argue

first_imgStephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, greets the Duchess of Cambridge at its Museum of the Year awards Picasso's Child with a Dove, which left the UK after selling for £50m Picasso’s Child with a Dove, which left the UK after selling for £50m If successful, convention states the works should be turned over to the national collection, often after a coordinated campaign led by the Art Fund.But, experts say, new owners are currently at liberty to refuse the offer, keeping their painting privately as long as it is on British shores.If fundraising is unsuccessful, an export licence can be granted and the works taken to a new home by their foreign owners.Dr Deuchar said: “Applying for an export licence you have to promise if a museum raises a matching sum you will sell it to them. A View of the Rialto Bridge from the Fondamenta del Carbon by Francesco Guardi, one of the almost £300 million artworks to have left the UK since 2011 Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, greets the Duchess of Cambridge at its Museum of the Year awards Among the exodus of treasures was a £50 million Picasso – Child With A Dove – now thought to be in Qatar.Artworks are classed as “national treasures” if their departure from Britain would be considered a loss on one or more of three criteria: historical importance, appearance and scholarship.Not all agree with Dr Deuchar’s view, with some arguing there is no reason why works by foreign artists should not return to their home countries even if they have been in British collections for years.Bendor Grosvenor, art historian and dealer, argued Britain’s export system is “probably the best in the world”, balancing the rights of the public and private collectors.He said: “Something about art brings out the socialist in everyone. We sometimes think it must belong to the people. A View of the Rialto Bridge from the Fondamenta del Carbon by Francesco Guardi, one of the almost £300 million artworks to have left the UK since 2011 Although the money has been raised with the help of grants and government tax breaks, the owner has not yet officially accepted the gallery’s offer to match the price he paid for the work. Statistics published today show that nearly £300 million-worth of art from British collections has been sold overseas in the last five years.In each instance, it is understood, export licences were granted and works taken abroad legally because the funds were not matched by UK institutions.In total, 41 national treasures with a total value of £278 million were given export licences from 2011-2016.  Self Portrait by Sir Anthony van Dyck, one of the 32 'national treasures' saved for the nation in the last 5 years “We [the Art Fund] want to see some proper legal muscle to a system currently based on gentlemen’s agreements … the civil servants running it need to listen to people who have new ideas for change.”He has previously argued: “We believe the UK export system should serve our public collections more effectively by requiring licence applicants to give a binding commitment that they will not thwart museums that want to match the price.”The highest-profile export case currently ongoing is the National Gallery’s attempt to buy Jacopo Pontormo’s Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Cap (1530).It was secured at auction by a New York-based buyer, with an export ban placed to it to allow the National Gallery to raise more than £30m. The British art world should be supported by “proper legal muscle” to help it hold on to precious paintings, the director of the Art Fund has said, as it emerges £300 million of art has been sold abroad in the last five years.Stephen Deuchar has argued more should be done to help institutions acquire works of art for the nation, in a process of export licensing he claims offers “avoidable loopholes” for those who do not choose to play along.Those running the system, he said, should listen to “new ideas” to compel overseas buyers to give newly-acquired works up to the nation if funds can be raised to compensate them.The current system of export licensing allows the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to put a bar on works going overseas immediately, offering public institutions a chance to match the amount paid for it. A gold and turquoise ring once owned by Jane Austen, prevented from leaving the country by an export ban “There’s the downstream fact that 80 per cent of art in public collections is never on display but in storage.”In fact, there’s a sensible argument to say a work in private hands is more likely to be loaned and seen by people.”The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: “The UK’s cultural export controls helps to keep national treasures, such as TE Lawrence’s dagger and Jane Austen’s ring, in the country.”While it’s not possible to save every object, the system is designed to strike the right balance between protecting our national cultural heritage and individual property rights.”The “national treasure” status is decided by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA).  Self Portrait by Sir Anthony van Dyck, one of the 32 ‘national treasures’ saved for the nation in the last 5 years A gold and turquoise ring once owned by Jane Austen, prevented from leaving the country by an export ban Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Woman arrested in theatre after mass brawl at Lord Of The Dance

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A brawl broke out at a theatre during a performance of Michael Flatley’s Lord Of The Dance.Police scrambled to reports of eight people fighting in the orchestra stalls at the Palace Theatre in Manchester during the high-kicking Irish dance extravaganza. The show is directed by Michael FlatleyCredit:HAYLEY MADDEN/REX/Shutterstock Officers attended and a 36-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly.There were no reports of injuries.The trouble began shortly after 9pm on the opening night of Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games, directed and choreographed by Irish dance superstar Flatley.The show is described as a high-energy, two-hour fusion of dance styles, from traditional Irish dance to tap, modern and Broadway involving a story of good versus evil, with a Hunger Games flavour.No-one from the theatre was available for comment. The show is directed by Michael Flatleylast_img read more

Passerby saves Royal Docks cat Felix from River Thames after it was

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A passer-by rescues the Royal Docks’ cat Felix after he plunged into the Thames amid a bitter battle with a rival.last_img

Hope for deaf people after scientists disable mutant mouse gene which affects

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Scientists have genetically changed mice so that they do not become deaf – potentially paving the way for a similar procedure on humans.By injecting a gene “editor” directly into the ear cells of newborn rodents with deafness-causing DNA, scientists “disabled” the mutant gene that would have robbed them of hearing over time. At the age of four weeks, untreated mice were unable to hear sound at 80 decibels – about the level of city traffic.Treated mice, however, reacted to sound at a much lower 65 decibels – the level of normal human conversation – a team of scientists in the United States and China wrote in the science journal Nature.Some of the lab ­rodents, dubbed “Beethoven” mice after the German composer who became deaf mid-career, had one ear treated and the other not. In the injected ears, the researchers noticed much healthier “hair cells”. These are the cells responsible for sensing sound in humans and mice, but are killed off by a mutated version of the TMC1 gene.“We were really excited when we observed hearing preservation in the injected ears but not the uninjected ears, of individual mice,” study co-­author David Liu of Harvard University said. By eight weeks, untreated mice did not respond at all to sudden, loud sounds, while treated ones were ­startled. Almost half of cases of hearing loss in humans have an underlying genetic cause, according to the team. Humans with the TMC1 mutation generally start losing their hearing between the ages of five and 30, and most are deaf by the age of 50-60, said Liu.Simon Waddington, a gene transfer expert at University College London, commented: “Hitherto incurable and often even untreatable diseases are now within the scope of gene therapy.”last_img read more

Former Olympian daubed lewd messages in pigs blood at home of Tory

Purbrick pictured in 1983 David Prior's Vauxhall flat. An Olympic showjumper daubed peer's flat in blood when affair ended Blood that has been spilt along a doorstepl. Lizzie Purbrick, 63, used pig's blood to daub lewd messages inside Tory peer David Prior's A former Olympic showjumper, who used pig’s blood to daub lewd messages inside a Tory Peer’s home after discovering he was cheating on her with the wife of another Lord, has avoided a prison sentence.Lizzie Purbrick, 63, who was part of Great Britain’s equestrian team in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, took revenge on her lover, Lord Prior of Brampton, after catching him in the arms of another woman.After obtaining eight litres of pig’s blood from a friend who was a butcher, she let herself into his south London flat and used a garden sprayer to paint the words “whore”, “lady slut” and “big d*** lord” on the walls.She also drew a penis on the floor before emptying the remainder of the pig’s blood everywhere and then leaving a cheque for £1,000.Purbrick had been in a relationship with the 63-year-old married former Tory MP for around eight years and said she had “passionately” loved him.But she was devastated in May when she discovered that he was having an affair behind her back with another Peer’s wife, who was only identified as Mags. Lord Prior of Brampton is a former Tory MPCredit:Andrew Antonio As well as the community service, Purbrick was ordered to pay costs of £85 plus a victim surcharge £85.The court also issued a restraining order against her preventing her from making any contact with the Tory peer or visiting any of his three homes. Appearing at Camberwell Magistrates Court in south London, Purbrick, from King’s Lynn, Norfolk, admitted one charge of criminal damage to Lord Prior’s flat in Kennington, south London and was sentenced to 120 hours community service. Mr Nicholls also said Purbrick’s brother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer at the time and had sadly ended his own life just three days ago.Sentencing her, District Judge Susan Green, said: “The police found a very large amount of blood in the flat at various locations.“In one of the bedrooms clothes on the floor had blood all over then and the bed was covered.“She wrote highly abusive slogans on the walls and on the floor. They are in my view quite appalling along with the amount of blood out on the pavement and the front mat. Purbrick pictured in 1983Credit:REX/Shutterstock Purbrick won the coveted Armada Dish at 1984’s Badminton Horse Trials and competed at the World Championships in 1978 at Lexington, Kentucky.After jumping in the 1980 Olympics in the then-Soviet Union, she was a member of the gold medal-winning team at the European Championships the following year. “I do not accept for a moment this was spontaneous. This was clearly planned and premeditated and can not be interpreted in any other way.”The court heard that the use of pig’s blood had been deliberate because Lord Prior bred the the animals and would find it particularly upsetting.Lord Prior, the son of the former cabinet minister Jim Prior, is a prominent Remainer, who has voted against the Government over Brexit. Ms Purbrick obtained eight litres of blood from a butcher friend for her revenge missionCredit:Crown Prosecution Service/ PA Defending, Simon Nicholls said: “This whole case has the feel of something lifted straight out of the pages of a Jilly Cooper novel.”Mr Nicholls said the pair, both estranged from their respective married partners, had been in a relationship for several years.But he said: “To put this delicately, this comes to an end when she discovers him in the arms of another woman who is married to another member of the House of Lords.“The whole incident she describes as cathartic and she’s now moved on. This was a one-off offence caused by the breakdown of a relationship.” Lord Prior of Brampton Speaking outside court, Ms Purbrick, said: “I am relieved not to go to prison. She was a very nice judge.”She added: “Everything started in Norfolk. We were together for eight years. I was all set up to be Lady Prior.”Purbrick said Lord Prior had billed her £15,000 for the redecoration of the flat but she had not paid it.She said: “It seems a lot for pig’s blood but he says the whole house needed doing. I haven’t paid it.”Asked who the woman referred to as Mags was, Purbrick simply said she had a “delicious” husband who had been “woefully wronged”. Ms Purbrick used pig’s blood to write insults on the walls of David Prior’s south London flatCredit:Mehmood Yasser Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Transgender lawyer launches UKs first deadnaming case against Father Ted writer Graham Linehan

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. Stephanie Hayden Commenting on the case, Ms Hayden told the Daily Telegraph: “It was a gross violation of my privacy and who gets to know this information about me.“Anyone can now type my name into Google and it will tell them who I used to be. I can never recover from the publication of that knowledge and it would be absurd to try.“This is about sending a very strong signal. I am quite prepared to resort to the law if people cross the line.”Mr Lineham, who is a regularly vocal critic of transgenderism, has been given a verbal harassment warning by West Yorkshire police following the incident and has since locked his Twitter account due to “abuse and harassment”.The writer, who has nearly 700,000 followers on Twitter, was accused of “abusing his high profile”  by Ms Hayden, who said she had been “mocked and ridiculed” online. Stephanie Hayden, who medically transitioned to a woman in 2007, is suing Mr Linehan for defamation, harassment and invasion of privacyCredit: Stephanie Hayden/PA She is also accusing him of sharing defamatory remarks against her reputation, including a tweet Mr Linehan is alleged to have directed at Ms Hayden from 26 September, in which he wrote: “I don’t respect the pronouns of misogynists, stalkers of harassers”.According to the court papers, another tweet by Mr Linehan from a similar date is alleged to have said: “Yes we must always be nice to con men, sexual predators and misogynists hijacking a noble movement for their own ends.”The documents also cited an interview Mr Linehan gave to The Times newspaper at the end of September where Ms Hayden says he called her “a dangerous troll.” A TRANSGENDER lawyer has launched Britain’s first “deadnaming” case in the High Court against Father Ted’s screenplay writer after he referred to her using her birth name.Stephanie Hayden is suing Graham Linehan, the co-writer of the popular comedy TV series, for defamation and harassment after he allegedly published a series of tweets “deliberately misgendering” her by using her previous male name, otherwise known as “deadnaming”.Ms Hayden, who is legally female, said Mr Linehan “caused her distress” and that his actions constitute harassment, a misuse of private information, and were a “gross affront to her dignity as a woman”.Ms Hayden, a lawyer and current affairs commentator, was born Anthony Halliday and began her medical transition to a woman in 2007. She was awarded her Gender Recognition Certificate in May 2018.In the court papers, filed on Monday last week, Ms Hayden alleged that Mr Linehan retweeted material from another account that included photographs of her former male self, her family and friends, as well as suggestions that she was a criminal. David Banks, a media and defamation law expert, said the case “could set an interesting precedent” if successful in court.He said: “It is an interesting case because it’s the first for this sort of comment made about someone that could potentially make it to court.“If you are saying something like your name is private information that’s an interesting approach going down the road.“If the court decides that personal information that was once public now becomes private information, then that sets an interesting precedent.“Deadnaming someone will be something that is actionable if the case succeeds in court.”Mr Linehan was approached by The Telegraph for comment. read more

Libby Squire Man 24 arrested on suspicion of abduction in connection with

A 24-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of abduction in connection with the disappearance of Hull student Libby Squire, Humberside Police said.As the search for Ms Squire continues into a seventh day, there is still no trace of the 21-year-old, but the arrest represents the police operation’s biggest development thus far. The arrest was made at a house on Raglan Street, which is less than half a mile from the University of Hull campus, and houses on the street are regularly advertised as student accommodation. It is also less than a mile from where Miss Squire was last seen, and is a 15-minute walk from her home in Wellesley Avenue.A silver Vauxhall Astra was towed away overnight on Raglan Street. Ms Squire’s parents, Lisa and Russ, travelled to the East Yorkshire city on Tuesday and last night released further information about their daughter.They described a “sociable” and happy young woman who enjoys reading, travelling and music concerts.Their statement added: “Libby decided to come Hull University when she fell in love with the city. She accepted an offer at the university before even visiting as she was so sure she would be happy here.” Show more This prospect has caused anxiety on campus, with some students reported to be walking home in pairs.Yesterday, the university acknowledged students may be “feeling worried” about last week’s developments and advised them that support staff were available if needed.Chief Superintendent Phil Ward said on Wednesday: “While the investigation has been treated as a missing person inquiry, we continue to keep an open mind as to the circumstances surrounding Libby’s disappearance.“We have had specialist officers, detectives and specialist teams carrying out numerous actions and enquiries, searches and following up leads since the report of Libby’s disappearance in the early hours of Friday, February 1.“While her location is not yet known, this does not automatically mean she has come to any harm, but we must carry out a thorough investigation and explore all possibilities.” 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. Detectives are said to be keeping an “open mind” about the circumstances of her disappearance, but the possibility it could have sinister undertones will now likely be hanging over them. Police search the frozen Oak Road Pond in Hull near to the home of missing 21-year-old student Libby SquireCredit:Christopher Furlong/Getty The 21-year-old’s sudden disappearance following a night out with friends in Hull one week ago has chilled the student neighbourhood where she lived and fuelled fears about safety.Humberside Police are still treating the case as a missing person investigation, but speculation in the community about her possible fate has darkened as the days of unsuccessful searches progress. Ms Squire, who is a philosophy student at the University of Hull, had been put in a taxi by friends at The Welly music venue last Thursday and was dropped off at home at around 11.30pm.She is not thought to have entered her property on Wellesley Avenue, instead going to sit on a bench on nearby Beverley Road, where she refused a passing motorist’s help.What happened to her beyond 12.09am on Friday – the last known sighting – is still a mystery, despite scores of officers spending a week investigating the surrounding area.It is known that Ms Squire had been drinking that night and was refused entry to the Welly, making it unlikely that she would have been able to travel too far from the area.However, a specialist marine unit has combed the icy depths of a large pond in the neighbouring Oak Road playing fields, while the Beverley and Barmston drain which runs behind her house also yielded no clues. In a statement, Humberside Police said: “A 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of Hull student Libby Squire.”Officers made the arrest at an address in Raglan Street, Hull, last night. The man remains in our custody, assisting us with our enquiries.”We have not yet found Libby and doing so remains our top priority.”Libby’s parents have been informed of the man’s arrest and we’re continuing to support them at this difficult time.”Fears were growing last night that Libby Squire may have been harmed or abducted after six days of police searches failed to find any trace. Police search the frozen Oak Road Pond in Hull near to the home of missing 21-year-old student Libby Squire Silver Vauxhall Astra being towed from Raglan Street Silver Vauxhall Astra being towed from Raglan StreetCredit:MEN Media/Hull Daily Mail read more

Fat show ponies to lose points in war on obesity

Show horses are typically obese and are at risk of life-threatening diseases, veterinarians have said, as judges warn animals will be marked down for being “plump”. An immaculately plaited mane, polished leather saddlery and glossy hooves will secure you points in the show ring, but owners are being warned if their horse is overweight it could cost them the winning rosette. There is concern for British show ponies and horses as owners have a “misconception” that they should look “round” in order to win, vets have said.  David Rendle, an equine vet, who is on the council of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA), said around 50 percent of horses in the UK are very overweight or obese… read more

Concerns raised for safety of dumpsite pickers

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related50,000 lbs of excess garbage dumped at Haags BoschDecember 30, 2013In “Local News”Gov’t to challenge BK’s claim for payment for Haags Bosch dump siteJuly 3, 2015In “Business”Smoke, fumes and stench continue to plague residents near Haags Bosch dumpsiteJune 29, 2016In “latest news” …who scavenge through garbage for a livingMinister within the Communities Ministry, Dawn Hastings-Williams, has expressed concern for the safety of workers engaged in activities at the Haags Bosch Landfill site aback Eccles, East Bank Demerara after a visit to the facility on Friday.About 40 ‘pickers’ per day scavenge through the dumpsite on a daily basis, searching for reusable materials and valuables among the piles of what have been discarded at the Haags Bosch facility, and what they earn for their activities is dependent on their findings among the garbage. The pickers are generally on the lookout for both plastic and glass bottles which can be resold for recycling or reusing. However, on a lucky day, pickers may come across valuables such as cash or jewelry which was mistakenly taken out in the trash.Pickers scavenging through the garbage offloaded by the disposal trucksThese pickers ply their trade in a high-risk zone, made even more dangerous by the presence of heavy duty machinery. And they are also susceptible to a number of health threats, given the filthy environment in which they work.While speaking to media operatives at the Eccles facilities on Friday, Minister Hastings-Williams highlighted her concerns after realising that such operations pose both health and safety hazards.“My greatest concern is the health of the pickers. I think we need to have a proper system in place whereby we can monitor their health,” the minister expressed. “These are human beings just like us, and they find it a pleasure because they are working for survival.”Minister Hastings-Williams even took the opportunity to speak with some of the pickers, and relayed what she was told by one of the workers. “He said he enjoys doing the work because it brings in dollars for him,” she reported.The minister noted that the pickers provide a necessary service in the waste management system, and proper facilities should be in place to ensure the integrity of their health and safety, especially with the dangers existing at the dumpsite.Accordingly, she posited, “We need to ensure that their social welfare, their health, is properly addressed, because they are doing work for us. We are putting out all the waste, and when it comes here, they do the separation.”Commenting on the facilities provided for the pickers at the Haags Bosch landfill, Site Supervisor Lloyd Stanton outlined the precautions taken to ensure the safety of the workers.“The pickers are not supposed to be working in close proximity (to) the machinery. We have two contractors that are supposed to be in place during the working hours of the site to ensure the safety of the pickers,” Stanton noted.“Because most of them have come over here from the Mandela dumpsite, they would’ve already been aware of the risks and hazards of getting too close to the machinery. So you will find they of themselves don’t get too close, and we encourage them not to get too close,” he explained.Stanton did indicate that accidents do occur. Therefore, in an effort to limit disastrous outcomes, medical facilities available to the workers include trained first aid practitioners present on site. He even pointed out that monthly health evaluations were conducted for everyone engaged at the landfill.However, even with the provisions in place to prevent accidents at the landfill, two deaths have been recorded at the Haags Bosch dumpsite. It is with that in mind that administration of the Eccles facility continues to embark on efforts to limit, if not prevent, accidents at the disposal site. These include collaboration with medical institutions for the provision of health care, as well as workers’ education, which is set to continue in October. read more