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Comment: Toast and potato research was misinterpreted P11 >>

gair rhydd

Societies: Let’s get to know our boobs with Coppafeel P30 >> gair rhydd | freeword Cardiff ’s student weekly Issue 1090 Monday 30th January 2017 Cardiff Innovation Campus work to create 135 jobs


Photographer: Maria Mellor

Senate agree to give added publicity to campaign officers Maria Mellor


number of significant motions were passed by student senate in a meeting last week, including an item which allows better treatment of part time officers in the SU. The item was submitted by exWelsh Language Officer, Steffan Bryn, who believed that the senate should vote to “make officers more prominent, raise their status within the union”. The students’ union will now be obligated to ensure that the efforts of the officers are more appreciated, and that standing as a campaign officer is a practical thing to do for a student. There will be added publicity for every role, and the Sabbatical officers will have a duty to consult officers more. It was pointed out in the senate

meeting that there is currently not enough communication between the full time and part time officers. The current Vice President Education, Mo Hanafy and Vice President Postgrad Alex Kuklenko were wary of the potential cost of the proposal. Mo said: “There are certain things we can’t promise we’ll do” The VP Education was adamant that he was not against the motion as a concept, but believed there were better ways to go about it. He added: “We want to work on this this year… but senate is not the place to do this.” International officer, Vaishnavi Sayal responded: “We need something that is set in stone for future officers.” Allegedly the part time officer team and the sabbatical officer team have only all met twice so far this academic year. Chiron Hooson, senator, said: “The problem of not having enough support for campaign officers has been a

problem for many years now.” This was confirmed on twitter by Cosimo Montagu, VP Societies 2010/11, who told Gair Rhydd: “Tell them from an ex-Sabb we were discussing this back in 2010... they need to decide how to achieve it practically, and do it!” Osian Wyn Morgan, Welsh Language Officer, was happy about the result. He said: “The increased publicity of Campaign Officers, by giving equal publicity to Sabbatical and Campaign officers on the Union’s website and within the union, will assure students are more aware of the roles and responsibilities of the Campaign Officers, and will make the Campaign Officers more approachable.” Osian added: “Overall I am confident that forthcoming changes to Campaign Officers roles within the Union will make it easier for us to fulfil our responsibilities as student representatives, and most impor-

tantly, will have a positive impact on the lives of the students that we represent.” Overall, of the 12 agenda items, eight were passed. The motion for the SU to start serving Welsh ales on tap was discussed at the meeting. Senator Matthew Jenkins said: “a recognisable aspect of Welsh culture is the brewing of Wales and Cardiff University should celebrate that,” However, the motion fell after worries about cost. Katey Beggan said: “I don’t see a need for it… This money would be better spent on non-alcoholic drinks.” There will continue to be bottled ales at The Taf despite protests from student Usman Mahmood Bukhari that “it tastes different.”

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ork is set to begin on Cardiff Innovation Campus, creating up to 135 jobs in construction over the next two years. Cardiff University is partnering Kier Group plc to develop the Innovation Campus, which will aim to support employment, training, apprenticeships and development opportunities for disadvantaged groups, NEETs, workless households and long-term unemployed. Cardiff University’s Professor Hyewl Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Engagement said: “We are delighted to be working with Kier as preferred bidder on Cardiff Innovation Campus. The two new buildings will unlock the economic potential of catalysis and Compound Semiconductors, and harness the application of social science to solve pressing global problems.”

LGBT+ Officer (Women’s) hands in resignation


GBT+ Women’s officer Ruth Lewis has resigned from her role in the Students’ Union. In a statement, a spokesperson for the Students’ Union said: “Ruth Lewis has taken the decision to step down as LGBT+ Women’s Place officer in order to focus on her degree. Cardiff University Students’ Union thanks Ruth for her hard work as a Campaign Officer and respects the decision to focus on her studies.” Ms Lewis, a second year mathematics student, had stated in her manifesto that her main aim was “to raise more awareness for the community, and in particular the trans* community.” She also aimed to “work towards the eventual goal of there being no difference whether you are meeting someone from the LGBT+ community or not.” The next LGBT+ Women’s officer for the 2017/18 academic year will be elected in February, along with the other sabbatical positions, in the annual student elections.

2 EDITORIAL Gair Rhydd Coordinator Elaine Morgan Editor Maria Mellor

the free word

Fight fake news with real journalism

Deputy Editors Toby Holloway Emily Giblett News Toby Holloway Gabriella Mansell Harry Webster Comment Helena Hanson Caragh Medlicott Sam Saunders Columnist Helena Hanson Advice George Watkins Anwen Williams Politics Adam George Ellise Nicholls Science Tanya Harrington Kat Pooprasert Societies Aletheia Nutt Tom Morris Taf-Od Osian Wyn Morgan Liam Ketcher Sport James Lloyd Mark Wyatt Rich Jones Gareth Axenderrie Digital Media Editor Emily Giblett Cartoonist Tom Morris

Get involved Editorial conferences are each Monday at 6:30pm. Proofreading takes place from 6pm on Thursdays in the media office. Write to the editor Tweet us @gairrhydd At Gair Rhydd we take seriously our responsibility to maintain the highest possible standards. Sometimes, because of deadline pressures, we may make some mistakes. If you believe we have fallen below the standards we seek to uphold, please email editor@gairrhydd. com. You can view our Ethical Policy Statement and Complaints Procedure at Opinions expressed in editorials are not reflective of Cardiff Student Media, who act as the publisher of Gair Rhydd in legal terms, and should not be considered official communications or the organisation’s stance. Gair Rhydd is a Post Office registered newspaper.

The rising problem should be addressed in 2017

Maria Mellor


e’re in that horrible hangover period from 2016, where everyone has to think for a second before writing the date and might still be clinging to the scraps of their new year resolutions. 2016 was a dramatic time for all of us, but now it’s over there’s one thing I’d like to get rid of from the world (but probably will be sticking around for the foreseeable future thanks to a certain new president!) ‘Post-truth’ was Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year. Emotional appeals make a bigger impact than objective fact on public opinion, shown in the US Presidential election after Donald J. Trump was elected despite on numerous occasions has made declarations that have been proved false. The thing is that there are levels of fake news. Thousands of commenters are quick to jump on the ‘fake news’ bandwagon on social media websites, but now that the public is aware it is a

thing, it may be harder to determine what is real and what is fake. Furthermore, how can you tell a real news website from a fake one? These really are trying times. It’s a worldwide game of chinese whispers as news stories get twisted and turned into propaganda. In December, the story of a man who opened fire in a pizza restaurant in North Carolina turned into a conspiracy theory about it being the headquarters of a child sex ring run by Hillary Clinton. Could we say that Trump won because of the hate-fire conjured by fake news? It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to claim that. Buzzfeed found that fake news websites got more shares, comments and likes in the last three months of the election than real stories from respected American news outlets. Not all of it is every purely politically motivated - creators of fake news websites have reportedly be making hundreds of thousand of dollars a month. I cry, I WEEP for the future of my

field. If certain groups in the general public will happily lap up fake news story after ridiculous fake news story, how will real journalism keep up. Obviously this pandemic isn’t going to ruin real news, but it is a disappointing progression after years of trying to maintain journalistic integrity. What even is journalistic integrity anymore? Should Gair Rhydd start publishing fake news? OBVIOUSLY NOT. We’ve always faced the problem of sensationalised news and this is just a step up from that. As a science editor last year, we were repeatedly publishing responses to news in popular media outlets who say ‘this will make you skinny!’ or ‘this is the best thing to have ever happened in genetics!’ Even this week in Comment you’ll see Lizzie Harrett’s rebuttal to recent claims that toast and roast potatoes will give you cancer. People have been eating bread and tatties for hundreds of years along with meat and using deodorant and whatever else is supposed to be affecting your health. Humanity sur-

vives, even with overstated claims like this. Contemporary journalism thrives when fearmongering is present. The shares and views that outlets strive for are so much easier to get when you make people worried that their favourite carbohydrate is carcinogenic. You’ll get even more shares for a ‘relatable’ listicle - it’ll get bumped up people’s timelines with the amount of people tagging their friends with ‘OMG saaaame’. Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe I’m being cynical. Gair Rhydd has it’s specific corner of news, and we’ll stick to that for now. Facebook and Google are taking measures to tackle fake news now, using systems that weed out the false and help the truthful. The most effective weapon against fake news is real journalism. While some people still struggle to define what that means, I like to think that real journalism just means doing our best to report ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.’


Campus in Brief

Toby Holloway

Health officials have called for a ban on sweet flavoured e-cigarettes. [in Wales]


top Welsh lawyer has urged Westminster to give Wales a say on Brexit plans, after the Supreme Court ruled that MPs should be given a vote on whether or not Article 50 should be triggered. Although the ruling gave power to Westminster over the decision, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish representatives have not been afforded the same rights. Wales’ counsel general Mick Antoniw asked Westminster to engage with the Welsh Government, stating that it is “politically and morally bound to ensure that it understands the concerns of all nations and regions in the UK and that those are all carefully considered”. A man has been hospitalised and another arrested as tempers flared following a fiery disagreement at an Indian restaurant in Rhondda. Diner Michelle Evans claimed that her husband Dan was assaulted by the head chef after they made complaints about the food, which they described as “tough and rubbery”. MIchelle told Wales Online that the restaurant’s head chef and owner, Kamrul Islam, threw chilli powder into the eyes of her husband after hearing their complaints. While Mr Evans was taken to hospital to be treated, Mr Islam was arrested on suspicion of common assault, however he maintained that he was acting in self defense, saying he was “frightened” after Evans followed him into the kitchen. Bad news for vapers all across Wales, as health officials have called for a ban on sweet flavoured e-cigarettes. Public Health Wales have advised that confectionary-like flavours, such as bubblegum and candyfloss, are too appealing to children, who could become addicted to nicotine as a result of using vapes. Ashley Gould from Public Health Wales (PHW) said: “You can buy bubblegum, candyfloss, jam doughnut flavour e-cigarettes and they are only aimed at one audience - and that’s about recruiting children.”

National It has emerged that a routine test of the UK’s nuclear defence programme Trident, carried out in June 2016, went wrong, resulting in an unarmed Trident II D5 missile being fired at the United States. The missile, which was meant to harmlessly drop into the sea off the coast of Africa, had to be detonated in mid air after going astray due to faulty “telemetric directional data”. The problem was revealed by Head of the Navy Lord West in an address to the House of Commons last Tuesday, in which he also referred to an incident from 1958 when another botched missile test resulted in a Seaslug rocket being fired into a Welsh hillside. A supermarket in Cornwall has had to be evacuated due to its invasion by an angry seagull. The incident, which occurred at around 8:30pm last Tuesday, resulted in the closure of a Tesco store in Truro, Cornwall’s capital. The shop was forced to close for 75 minutes while the bird was apprehended by staff, after it attacked customers and employees. One member of staff told SWNS: “I was unaware of its presence until it nearly flew into my head”. The seagull terrorized shoppers from atop a pack of IAMS cat food before finally being captured and released outside. Scotch whiskey contributes around £4bn to the UK economy, it has been revealed. In a piece of research commissioned by the whiskey industry, the Scottish Whiskey Association (SWA) has revealed that the industry supports 40,000 jobs, including 7,000 in rural areas, representing a positive net contribution to the economy. A statement by the SWA read: “Scotch is a significant contributor to rural employment, supporting often fragile local economies.” The statement also revealed that the Scotch Whiskey Industry is “expanding at historic levels” with 14 new distilleries having opened since 2013, and another 40 planned across Scotland.

International Sales figures have soared for the George Orwell novel 1984, following statements made by US President Donald Trump and his White House aides. Advisor to Mr Trump, Kellyanne Conway, coined the phrase “alternative facts” when referring to claims made by Trump and his staff that the crowd size at his inauguration was the “biggest in history - period”. Commentators compared the phrase to the way facts are distorted in Orwell’s dystopian classic. Meanwhile, Trump announced on Twitter on Wednesday that plans to build a wall on the Mexican/American border would go ahead: “Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!”. As this year’s Oscar nominations were announced, Australia’s film industry celebrated a record-breaking 13 nominations. Hacksaw Ridge, starring British actor Andrew Garfield, and Lion, which received six nominations, were both nominated for best film - the first time there has been two Australian movies in the ‘best film’ category in the same year. Meanwhile, Tanna, shot on the South Pacific island of Vanuatu, is Australia’s first ever best foreign language film nominee. The film is based on a true story and is enacted by Vanuatu’s Yakel tribe. An American student who was forced to urinate in a bucket after she was denied a toilet break during a lesson is set to receive $1.25m (£994,000) from her old school. The former student, now 19, received inappropriate texts from other students after the incident took place in 2012, when she was 14. She was also treated for depression and forced to move schools twice due to bullying, even attempting suicide due to post-traumatic stress originating from the incident. She will also receive $41,000 to cover medical expenses.

Pictured: Calls have been made to ban flavoured e-cigarettes (Source: Vaping360)

Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall! Donald Trump


news “

Editors: Toby Holloway Gabriella Mansell Harry Webster @GairRhyddNews

Cont’d: Motion passed to lobby University to ‘Stop Fuelling Hate’

It’s not about freedom of speech, it’s about choosing where our money goes. Josh Green, Student Senator


motion was passed to immediately start lobbying Cardiff University to ‘Stop Fuelling Hate’. With 10 abstentions the motion was by far the most controversial. It aims to get Cardiff University to stop advertising in news outlets such as the Daily Mail, the Sun and the Daily Express. Concerns were expressed that this would be in contradiction with the motion passed at this year’s AGM to prevent no-platforming. Senator Josh Green argued: “they’re against what we support as an anti-lad culture union. “It’s not about freedom of speech, it’s about choosing where our money goes.” Two motions were put to the senate in regards to the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) due to fears that it will lead to tuition fee rises. First the senate debated whether Cardiff should boycott the National Student Survey (NSS). The NUS have claimed that “the NSS will be the only place where students have any power and leverage left to force a rethink.” Mo Hanafy said: “Boycotting the

NSS is not the way to stop rising fees. “We are under no obligation to follow NUS policies.” The motion fell with only three people voting to approve it. The second motion, which was submitted by Mo himself, intends for the students’ union to mandate the NUS Wales to lobby the Welsh Government to promise no tuition fee rise for the next five years. It received 20 votes of approval, with no rejections and two abstentions. The vote for the University to provide a humanist chaplaincy was approved by the senate in hopes of providing “equality of experience.” The proposed chaplaincy would be there to provide spiritual support for students. The motion states: “non-religious persuasion are still as vulnerable as their religious student counterpart, but currently lack the secular spiritual counsel to assist them.” A pledge renewal for ‘Time To Change’ was widely approved with 21 votes for and one abstention. It is a public acknowledgement that an organisation wants to tackle the stigma behind mental health.

Chiron Hooson said to the senate: “Now that the motion has lapsed it’s not in the policy books anymore.” “In renewing this pledge it would allow the union to revise their action plan. “Obviously in four years things have changed.” The students’ union will renew the

Complaints, Disciplines and Appeals Passes Bye Laws Amendments Passes

signing of the ‘Time To Change’ pledge and will review the action plan formed back in 2013 and adapt the plan to the new support systems and developments today in the union as well as the university in tackling mental health. The student senate meet five times per academic year, next meeting in March.

Senate AGM Withdrawn

Time To Change Passes

Humanist Chaplain In Cardiff University Passes

Put Campaigns And Liberation At Centre Stage Passes

TEF Off Falls Tuition Fees should not rise within TEF Passes

Record Senate Meetings Passes

Stop Fuelling Hate Passes

This Is Wales, We Want Ales Falls

Student Senate Reform Postponed

Favourite tourist attraction set for imminent closure Matthew Jordan

Over its 5-year lifespan, the Doctor Who Experience has attracted millions in tourism to Cardiff and has become something of a holy site to fans around the world.


ew details have emerged regarding the upcoming closure of the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay. It was originally reported in November 2016, that the attraction would be closing in the Summer of 2017 following the end of its original sublease. The Doctor Who Experience began a planned 5-year run in Cardiff in July 2012, previously being based in Olympia, London. The land used is owned by the Welsh Government and development partner Igloo Regeneration but was leased to the City of Cardiff Council for use as a base for the temporary attraction. It is situated near Roath Lock Studios, where Doctor Who, its current spinoff ‘Class’ and many other shows in BBC Cymru Wales’s drama output are produced. The original announcement of the site’s closure said the following: “It has always been the intention for the site to be developed as part of the ongoing Porth Teigr regeneration project. The agreement was always intended to be for five years only, reflecting the nature of the attraction. The decision to close the Experience at the end of the lease next summer

has been mutually agreed by all parties involved, including the operators BBC Worldwide.” Last week, a City of Cardiff Council spokesperson made it clear that the Council had done “all that we can to relocate [the Doctor Who Experience]” and that they hope it will remain in some way, although it is “highly unlikely” that it would keep its current format. The attraction is home to many props, sets and costumes from the sci-fi series and has continued to be updated since its construction, even being fully renovated with a new interactive story in September 2014 as Peter Capaldi’s first series in the role of the Time Lord began. Over its 5-year lifespan, the Doctor Who Experience has attracted millions in tourism to Cardiff and has become something of a holy site to fans around the world, many of whom are hoping to visit before it is shut down. While the Experience is the main attraction for whovians visiting Cardiff, many other places in the city have been used for location-filming both in Doctor Who and in other popular BBC shows such as Sherlock and Torchwood. Perhaps the most

well-known of these is in Mermaid Quay, where a Torchwood filming site has been immortalised as a shrine to Ianto Jones, a lead character who died in the 2009 miniseries ‘Children of Earth’. Cardiff was previously home to ‘Doctor Who Exhibition Cardiff ’, a

similar museum, which lacked the interactive elements seen in the current Cardiff Bay attraction. While it is likely that something similar may be launched in a new location, the future of the Doctor Who Experience beyond its closure remains unknown for now.

Pictured: The TARDIS will be flying away from Cardiff (Photographer: Leonardo Rizzi)


Cardiff University handed recommendations for improvement following race row An independent report was conducted to examine complaints of racism, sexism, and a lack of diversity within the medical school

Pictured: The University Hospital of Wales at Cardiff Universities, Heath Park Campus (Photographer Anna Lewis).

Our message is clear: offensive stereotyping of any person, or group of persons, is not acceptable. Cardiiff University Spokesperson

Gabriella Mansell


n independent report was conducted at Cardiff University in order to examine complaints of racism, sexism and a lack of diversity within the medical school. Police were called to investigate allegations of racial hate following ‘Anaphylaxis’, a play performed by third year medical students, which saw a student ‘black up’ to impersonate one of their lecturers. The play led to several formal complaints from students of an African heritage. The complaints drew attention to the incident leading Cardiff University to launch its own internal investigation with a panel chaired by Prof Dinesh Bhugra of King’s College London. The report, which was published last week led to the suspension of 32 students from their clinical practice which is the part of their course that involves interaction with patients. The independent panel formed as part of the report, spoke to 33 members of staff and students whilst undertaking both online surveys and personal interviews. The panel outlined the main aim of the report:

“To highlight changes which may help avoid similar incidents in future but, more importantly, the doctors of the future, who may be practising in multi-cultural societies may require further attention to their curriculum in dealing with ethnicity and diversity”. Chairman of the panel, Bhugra announced that the report had compiled its evidence resulting in the creation of 13 recommendations to the university. These included the need for training in diversity of race, gender and sexual orientation. Speaking with regards to the report Prof Bhugra said: “Whilst the university and School of Medicine did their best to deal with this incident in accordance with its established procedures, our report does highlight a number of specific and overarching issues that the university needs to consider and address.” In response to the report Cardiff University and Cardiff Medical School have accepted all 13 of the recommendations outlined in the report, which encompass a wide range of policies and actions to implement. These include the following: > Increasing the diversity of Uni-

versity Staff > Actively discouraging the stereotyping of any person, or group > Clarifying the structures of The Equality and Diversity Initiatives within the University and The Medical School > Providing all university staff with regular training in diversity of race, gender and sexual orientation > Improving the Complaints procedures, ensuring there are clear guidelines for someone wishing to make complaints about racism. In the report it was noted that in addition to racist undertones, there were portrayals in the revue, which were seen, as homophobic and misogynistic. When questioned on how the University reacted to the report, Cardiff University Vice-Chancellor Prof Colin Riordan said: “As a University we accept the report’s recommendations and are already undertaking a number of proactive measures to address them. “It is important that we take the time to take stock and develop the

appropriate policies and procedures in response. We fully accept, however, that we must do more. “I welcome the fact that the report recognises that the University has many good policies and initiatives in the area of equality and diversity and their recommendations are an attempt to enhance and support the action already being taken. “I am also reassured that the report reinforces the point that students and staff feel sufficiently empowered to raise these issues.” In response to the report Cardiff University added: “Our message is clear: offensive stereotyping of any person, or group of persons, is not acceptable. Cardiff University takes issues relating to equality and diversity very seriously and is committed to supporting, developing and promoting equality and diversity in all of our activities.” In their statement, The Panel recognised: “that this was a complex situation that had caused a tremendous amount of stress all around, among students, staff and managers.” However, a South Wales Police spokesperson has confirmed that no action was taken against any student involved.

Our report does highlight a number of specific and overarching issues that the university needs to consider and address. Prof Bhugra


Calls made to modernise Welsh train services Pictured: Train services in Wales have been provided by Arriva since 2003 (Photographer: Micolo J, via Flickr)

Harry Webster


alls have been made to modernise train services in Wales, with the Welsh Affairs Committee reporting that members of the Welsh public had become tired of “old and cramped” trains provided by transport company Arriva. The report claims that many of the services problems are due to the shortcomings of the 15 yearold, zero-growth franchise contract awarded to Arriva in 2003, which did not allow for the increasing use of the service. Indeed passenger numbers on Welsh train services have increased dramatically - rising from approximately 18 million a year in 2003, to 30 million in 2016. However, under the terms of the current contract, Arriva cannot increase the number of trains granted to them in 2003. The need for new trains was

compounded by the fact that Arriva claim that some of the trains were “approaching 4.5 million miles on the clock.” Speaking of Arriva’s efforts to ease the pressure across their services, Lynne Milligan, the company’s customer services director stated: “We operate about 20% more than is contractual to us so we have really made a commitment to this business. “We have invested well over £30m in a whole series of customer enhancements and this year alone we’re going to invest further £2.5m despite the fact that in 18 months’ time we might be walking away from it.” The Welsh Government however argue that the company are making too much profit, and that they should spend more money on maintaining their services. Speaking upon the matter, Economy Minister Ken Skates

said: “It is galling that we spend £25m a year on additional services above and beyond the franchise agreement. “It stands to reason they should be investing more in the service and I constantly raise with Arriva Trains Wales the need to improve services.” Mr Skates was also critical of the original contract given to Arriva, saying: “Had it been a more robust agreement reached in 2003, based on an increase in passenger numbers, it would then have obligated the operator, in this case Arriva Trains Wales, to source more rolling stock.” Students have also expressed dismay at the state of Welsh trains, with one Cardiff student, third year Adam George, claiming the state of the service running between Cardiff Central and Cathays put him off using the connecting service altogeth-

er. Speaking to Gair Rhydd, Mr. George said, “After spending 6 hours on trains to get back to Cardiff from Penzance, and having to change trains twice, the thought of having to change again, and sit on the pretty dilapidated service was really unappealing. “I’d much rather walk, or spend money on a taxi - even after paying £52 for my ticket.” The current contract for the Wales and Border train franchise expires at the end of this year, with four companies - including Arriva - vying to take the contract from 2018 onwards. The decision on which company will be awarded the contract will be decided by Welsh ministers later this year, with new trains and service improvements not expected to be made until then.

Armed police raid Miskin Street property

George Watkins


n Thursday 19th January armed police raided a property on Miskin Street in Cathays in a drug related raid, arresting three men and a woman who at time of writing still remain in custody. The street was closed from 12:20 as the officers searched the premises. Ahmed Osman, aged 18 and from Birmingham, has appeared before Cardiff magistrates in connection with the incident. A spokesman from South Wales Police confirmed that he had been charged with owning an imitation firearm, possessing criminal property and possessing Class A drugs crack cocaine an heroin with intent to supply. Three others, Hassan Bahumaid , 31, Shamia Bahumaid, 27, both from Cardiff, and Yahya Hassan, 19, form Birmingham, were all charged with for possession with intent to supply, being

remanded in custody and are due to appear at court on the same date. The police spokesman added: “Armed officers were deployed to Miskin Street, which was closed off for a short period, from approximately 12.20pm. The police operation resulted from a stop and search which was carried out by a police officer who was on patrol through Cathays.” Many people in the nearby area were aware of the raid as police cordoned off various streets surrounding the house in question. Countless students commented on the police presence including the police helicopter, which one JOMEC Student Harry Webster said “it was circling Cathays for almost two hours, people were getting quite concerned”. Politics and Modern History Student, Rich Jones said : “I was trying to sleep off a

hangover and the police helicopter was keeping me up”. Another student, George Mercer commented on twitter about the noise:

I constantly raise with Arriva Trains Wales the need to improve services Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure

“A day before my last exam and my street is cordoned off with a police helicopter overhead and apparently riot police on the scene #Cathays”. Pictured: The busy Cathays street was cordorned off from around midday (Photographer: Ray Forster via Flickr)

We value your views and opinions about what we’re doing well and what we can do better. Rydym yn gwerthfawrogi eich barn a’ch sylwadau ynghylch beth ydym yn ei wneud yn dda, a beth allwn ei wneud yn well. INVESTMENT


We’re investing £260m in the teaching, learning and student experience as part of the biggest campus upgrade in a generation.

We’re transforming the way that we support your student life, from re-designed support services to providing a wide range of global opportunities to study, work and volunteer abroad.

BUDDSODDIAD Rydym yn buddsoddi £260m mewn dysgu, addysgu a phrofiad y myfyrwyr yn rhan o’r gwaith uwchraddio mwyaf ar y campws ers cenhedlaeth.

CEFNOGI BYWYD MYFYRWYR Rydym yn trawsnewid sut rydym yn cefnogi eich bywyd fel myfyrwyr gan gynnwys ail-lunio’r gwasanaethau cefnogi a chynnig amrywiaeth eang o gyfleoedd byd-eang i astudio, gweithio a gwirfoddoli dramor.



We’re re-shaping your teaching and learning environment, providing technology-rich lecture theatres and new social study spaces.

We’re working with staff to ensure assessment and feedback is fair and timely, and encouraging you to make the most of the feedback you receive.

DYSGU AC ADDYSGU Rydym yn ail-lunio eich amgylchedd dysgu ac addysgu drwy roi darlithfeydd sydd â’r dechnoleg ddiweddaraf a mannau astudio cymdeithasol newydd.

ADBORTH AC ASESU Rydym yn gweithio gyda staff i wneud yn siˆ wr bod adborth ac asesu yn deg ac yn brydlon, ac rydym yn eich annog i fanteisio i’r eithaf ar yr adborth a gewch.

Do you think you can help make student life at Cardiff University better?

if the answer is yes then you should nominate yourself - nominations close: 02.02.17 -


COMMENT 9 Editors: Helena Hanson Caragh Medlicott Sam Saunders @GairRhyddCom

Huge turnout for women’s march gives hope to many

Beth Griffiths

President Donald Trump is under the impression that he can treat women how he pleases, for he is undoubtedly rich and powerful.


ast weekend, following the inauguration of President Trump, thousands of people descended on Washington DC and the rest of the world to take part in the Women’s March, an honourable act of defiance against hatred, misogyny and inequality. However, this noble act of resistance has led many to question the necessity for such protests, many suggesting that women are now ‘equal’ to men. What is more, many have questioned why so many different groups across the globe have decided to hold protests, not being American citizens and directly impacted by President Trump and his policies. There are many things important to remember when considering these questions is. Firstly, the fact is, that women simply are not equal to men. Even in hollywood female actors are paid a considerable amount less than their male counterparts. Women are commonly denied top jobs due to ‘myths’ regarding their work ethic and rights to maternity leave. Women are presented as sex objects in the media, their perceived purpose being just to please men. And, President Donald Trump is under the impression that he can treat women how he pleases, for he is undoubtedly rich and powerful. And furthermore, it is also important to remember this march wasn’t just about the rights of women. It was about the rights of every

single person who will be affected for the worst under Trump’s presidency. The fact that Trump has been elected as President of the United States reveals that there is a deeply rooted network of misogynistic, homophobic and racist attitudes lurking across America. This cannot be disputed. Trump has always been open and honest about his attitudes towards ethnic minorities, women and the LGBTQ+ community (his own Vice President supports ‘Gay Conversion’ therapy – need I say more?). This network of, to be quite frank, hatred is alarming. And, to those questioning why thousands of people felt the need to protest, my answer is simple. Trump did not elect himself as the President of the United States, he was voted in. Trump himself stands as a beacon of hatred, and I believe that we should rise, not only as individual nations, but as universal members of the human race to educate those who, both consciously and unconsciously, spread such hatred. For example, as actor and comedian, Aziz Ansari, pointed out on the latest broadcast of Saturday Night Live, Trump supporters are now under the influence that, due to the election of Trump, it is perfectly acceptable to broadcast racist viewpoints. We need to work together in order to prove that racism has no place in a peaceful and ordered society, which is exactly what

protests like the Women’s March are trying to do. Many reports have suggested that more citizens turned out in Washington DC for the Women’s March than they did for the inauguration of Trump. This suggestion reveals a lot about the state American politics at present, and the refusal of the American people to bow down to a future painted with inequality. The citizens of a country should be able to support their government, or hold a considerable amount of trust in them at the least, yet the turnout at the March on Washington DC illustrates how little trust and hope the American people have, something that is deeply alarming. It is only through protest that their voices may be heard. Trump has now been elected one of the most powerful men in the world, and his presidency will actively ruin the lives of countless people. That is something that cannot and should not be allowed. His success illustrates our failure as a universal race to think compassionately. That is why it is important that the marches extended beyond Washington DC – even extending as far as Cardiff – for they represent a universal defiance against inequality and injustice. I was both shocked and heartened, moreover, at the number of celebrities present at the marches, including actress Scarlett Johansson who delivered

a powerful speech on Planned Parenthood, an organisation wildly critiqued amongst Trump supporters. It is in my opinion that the celebrities present at the marches stand as role models to many people, many of whom may not have felt brave enough to protest, and help to encourage others to take a stand against inequality. Moreover, as a society it is rather rare to witness mass amounts of high profile people taking part in protests such as these, thus I believe their presence helped to draw a little extra attention and publicity to the protests, and the messages behind them. Of course, despite the successes of the Women’s March, there is indeed more to be done. I feel that in order to take the marches to the next step we need to focus more on the diversity of lives that will be affected both under Trump’s presidency, and as a result of the global problem of patriarchy and inequality – evidenced by the election of Trump despite his oppressive viewpoints. For, under patriarchy it is true that it is all members of society, save for a privileged few, who suffer. I believe that without further activism things will not change. I believe that, without the determination of the people to defend their own rights and freedoms, police brutality, homophobia, racism, misogyny, xenophobia, transphobia, and hatred will not be defeated.

Pictured: People turned out in huge numbers to show their support for women in light of Trump’s presidency (Source: Tom Coates via flickr)

His success illustrates our failure as a universal race to think compassionately



New Year’s Honours: pros over proles T

Chris Jones

In total, the list included 1,197 people, so expecting everyone awarded an honour to be championed by the headlines is unrealistic

he 2016 Olympics in Rio was an undeniable victory for the UK. Despite being geographically tiny compared to the other frontrunners, Team GB placed second in the overall rankings table. It seems only fitting, then, that the most high-profile entries in the recent New Year’s Honours list are athletes that worked toward Britain’s Olympic success story. Headlines will naturally celebrate the inclusion of sporting stars Andy Murray, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill. They’re recognisable names, ones we’re accustomed to celebrating because of their success. Farah and Ennis-Hill are popular gold medal winners, while Murray is the world number one tennis player and current Wimbledon and Olympic champion. But consider, for a moment, that their place among the honoured list, while well-intentioned, detracts from the success of others on the list lacking a celebrity image. As the official government website phrases it, the honours list is meant to ‘recognise the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom.’ The honours are admittedly diverse, awarding remarkable achievements in less glamorous areas of work such as politics, education, and public service. But the inclusion of already fa-

mous celebrities overshadows these achievements, as people will focus their celebration on the people that they already attribute to success. In total, the list included 1,197 people, so expecting everyone awarded an honour to be championed by the headlines is unrealistic. Still, by pushing celebrity names to the fore of the list’s coverage, the media further undermines the actions of the ordinary citizens who fill out the list. Most of their accomplishments pertain only to local communities, so while a nation-wide appreciation of their achievements is unlikely, it isn’t unreasonable to expect those living in the area to know which locals are being awarded. And yet, you would be hard pressed to find someone from Cardiff aware of the fifteen locals considered worthy of making the honours list. That’s not to say I think people should be ashamed for not knowing this; I certainly didn’t before writing this article. Like most people, I was only aware of the athletes, actors, and other celebrities that have been lauded by the media coverage. This is hardly a new trend, either. Chris Hoy, Ben Ainslie, and Bradley Wiggins are only a few of the many athletes to have been awarded knighthoods for their work in sports. This is particularly the case follow-

Pictured: Sir Andy Murray was one athlete from Rio 2016 to be awarded in the New Year’s Honours List. (Credit: Andy Miah via Flickr)

ing an Olympic year. When the 2013 new year’s honours were announced, the list was headlined by the athletes who participated in the London 2012 Olympics. I’m not arguing that these athletes aren’t worthy of praise. They’re each at the top of their respective sport, so it’s easy to think their place on the list is warranted. But consider that each of them have already been awarded for their

skills. Gold medals, trophies and titles have already been awarded to them, so it’s fair to think that they’ve been adequately championed for their achievements. Their place in the list undermines the greatest message that the New Year’s honours sends to the nation: that ordinary people achieving extraordinary things should be celebrated. As it stands, they are undeservedly being overlooked.

These boots are made for working

Their place in the list undermines the greatest message that the New Year’s honours sends to the nation

Comments reignite debate over office dress codes Caragh Medlicott

Really this argument is quickly derailed by the points made by Thorpe herself: men in the office aren’t forced to wear heels, her role involved being on her feet all day


ebates around business dress codes have become heated in light of a story shared by Nicola Thorp, who was sent home unpaid from her receptionist job for not wearing heeled shoes. The story gained attention in the press last May and has come into the limelight once again after a debate between Thorp and Piers Morgan appeared on Good Morning Britain. Like most of the nation, I am at the point where I would far prefer it if an ear-shattering fog horn were to explode from Piers Morgan whenever he opened his mouth rather than whatever drivel he usually spouts. For this reason I shan’t waste too much time on him (or the many colourful nicknames I have created for him). I will, however, outline the argument put forward by Morgan as it aligns with that of many other people who are in favour of these kinds of restrictive dress codes. Morgan claimed that women wearing heels, or lipstick - as he further went onto suggest should be part of a receptionist’s uniform - is simply a matter of professionalism and looking smart rather than an issue of sexism. Really this argument is quickly derailed by the points made by Thorpe herself: men in the office aren’t forced to wear heels, her role involved being on her feet all day

and there is simply no reason why a woman can’t look just as professional in smart flat shoes. It’s not as if Thorpe turned up in £2 Primark pumps chewing gum, there is no reason why her lack of heels should negatively effect her ability to do her job. If anything, someone not used to wearing heeled shoes may find themselves stumbling when they are showing people around. Not to mention heels are well known for being uncomfortable; rubbing, causing blisters and of course there is the ache from having all your weight placed onto the balls of your feet. (There’s a reason you see women walking home carrying their shoes.) Does pain and a lack of balance really add up to constructive, good work? It is sad but true that such incidents are common in the workplace and can appear in all types of jobs. One article reports incidents of women being told to dye their hair blonde and dress revealingly for work. Another case speaks of a waitress being dismissed for refusing to wear a low-cut top. Such instances are demeaning, unfair and unacceptable. Not to mention that this kind of discrimination can intersect with other oppressions such as racism. It is alarmingly common that black wom-

Pictured: Women aren’t happy with the double standards in office dress codes (source:Text100 via flickr.)

en are told they must change their hair in order to get jobs. Such a case arose recently when a black woman applying for a job at high-end store Harrods was told she would have to chemically straighten her hair in order to be considered. Ultimately, these issues arise from troubling societal ideals which prize whiteness and femininity in women above all else. So long as we think of women as something to look at, something to be attractive and pleasing to men, these problems will remain. In this case some action has

been taken; Thorpe was so frustrated by the situation she found herself in she started a petition to prevent women being forced to wear heels in the workplace. The petition has since closed, but has also gained enough signatures to be debated in parliament, so we can only hope such double standards are banished from dress codes in the future. No ingrained ideologies of this kind can be completely expelled overnight, but at least it’s a comfyshoed step in the right direction.


Let them eat roasties!

Lizzie Harrett

Alongside eating welldone roast potatoes, the FSA have asked you to stop leaving your bread in the toaster for too long

Lucy Sullivan

Trends such as ‘Vegan January’ and influential popular ‘perfection’ culture can feed into the negative connotations attached to veganism


Can burnt starchy food really give you cancer?

ow do you like your toast? Slathered in jam, covered in thick butter like the wedges they hand out in Metros at 2am, or so burnt it tastes like an open fire smells? If it’s the former, then the Food Standards Agency (FSA) have got some sad news for you. Alongside eating well-done roast potatoes, the FSA have asked you to stop leaving your bread in the toaster for too long, as burnt starchy foods produce acrylamide which is a chemical associated with cancer. Their “Go for Gold” campaign urges you to aim for a golden or lighter colour when cooking starchy foods, to reduce the risk of consuming a carcinogen. However, you must not panic and surrender your crispy roasties, for this is a tragic case of improper science reporting and misinformation. What the FSA press release fails to mention is that acrylamide has not been proven to be cancer-causing in humans. A 2012 study found that rodents exposed to high levels of acrylamide develop cancer, but the risks with humans are totally unproven. “Even adults with the highest consumption of acrylamide would need to consume 160 times as much to reach a level that might cause increased tumours in mice,” said Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cancer Research. That’s a lot of potatoes.

Despite being totally scaremongering and based on science that hasn’t even been proven, this press release was picked up on by numerous publications including the BBC, WalesOnline and the Daily Mail. Fear and controversy unfortunately sells, with curious individuals including myself clicking on the article links and generating advertising revenue for the news sites. Of course, telling individuals that seemingly harmless things give you cancer is not a new phenomenon. The Daily Mail is infamous for this, with their past reporting claiming that broccoli, cats, Facebook and hairdryers cause cancer, amongst many other totally random objects. This is incredibly dangerous, because it not only results in panic but contributes to a mistrust of science and information, due to the constant bombardment of incorrect or tenuously linked research. It is perhaps unsurprisingly that sociologist Gordon Gauchat found that despite increasing education levels, the public’s trust in the scientific community has been decreasing. Sometimes scientific research can be misinterpreted by news sites, with a story once claiming that household chores increased the risk of a heart attack, when the actual research paper the news was based on claimed nothing of the sort. However, this was a

Pictured: Nobody wants to give up their beloved roasties (Source: Chris RubberDragon via flickr)

“ press release the FSA should never have sent out. The click bait news sites got drawn to it like a bee drawn to honey spread over a slightly overdone piece of toast. As a government agency, the FSA should know better and should at the very least state the facts about humans and acrylamide in their press releases, as they will of course get picked up by publications like the Daily Mail. While it hasn’t been proven in hu-

mans, it hasn’t been completely unproven. So while I’m not suggesting that you eat 10 pieces of blackened toast for breakfast every morning, this press release gives no cause for panic. If in future you see a controversial health news story, I recommend you head over to NHS Behind the Headlines webpage, who give fantastic unbiased and evidence of health stories that make the news.

Being vegan: can it really solve the world’s problems?


hile vegetarian and vegan meal options are on the rise, major high street chains accommodate minimally to non-meat eaters. Could this be a marketing “misteak?” Regarding the future economic margins of vegan produce, profitability is set to be high. The vegan council predicts the ‘Dairy Alternative Market to Reach $21.7 Billion, Globally, by 2022.’ Meanwhile, many vegans and vegetarians feel constrained. I spoke to to Eva Marie, a Cardiff Uni student who has been a practising vegan since April 2016 to get her take on the issue. She made the transition based on personal ethics. Eva is concerned about the health of humans, animals and the environment. Eva confirms that eating out often means she is ‘limited to a couple of choices.’ She also notes that ‘there is not much variety between restaurants’ and adds that she even feels ‘many restaurants do discriminate’ against the vegan lifestyle. “False advertising” can cause further strife for non-animal product consumers. Eva explains that she was once served a sandwich containing mayo even though it wasn’t specified on the menu. While the highstreet food market might not be the most vegan friendly, Eva does not feel otherwise stigmatized saying that most people are supportive of her choice. However, she does admit she doesn’t particularly enjoy tired old comments such as ‘if we don’t milk the cows, they’ll explode!’ There are conflicting and subjective opinions which determine people’s general attitudes towards veganism.

Many vegan advocates maintain that this LDL cholesterol reducing diet has health benefits as it limits our risk to cardiovascular disease and vulnerability to cancerous cells. Ethical reasons are also often mentioned; animal farming accounts for a third of the worlds water consumption, and as such the breeding of animals for meat actually contributes to water scarcity. It also generates mass amounts of methane; contributing to 9% of all Greenhouse gas emissions. Numerous vegans also express serious concern for the extremely poor conditions and treatment of livestock. Trends such as ‘Vegan January’ and influential popular ‘perfection’ culture can feed into the negative connotations attached to veganism. In specific cases, concerns have been raised about the real intentions behind veganism; some people seeing it as a diet undertaken by people with low body confidence as a way of losing weight. Everyone has the right to feel comfortable in their own skin and chose their personal diet however these decisions should not be to linked genuine vegan morals but have somehow become mixed up with them. Devastatingly, 1.6 million of the UK’s population struggle with an eating disorder and some people have held vegans accountable for such statistic, suggesting they promote this kind of disordered eating. It is important to address this issue as veganism is primarily a moral issue and not a weight-loss diet. Still, these kind of ideals are attached to and reflect badly on the vegan community. Vegan supporters constantly face

challenges. Consequently, action is being taken to implement a vegan variety. Patrick Brown, a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine and former paediatrician has recently invented the ‘Impossible Burger.’ The product has been designed to replicate the taste and texture of an authentic meat burger. Brown and his team of researchers have been investigating biological human cravings. They propose that our classically carnivorous tendencies can be attributed to the ‘heme’ compound contained in meat. This is Browns key ingredient; it is hence extracted and inserted into the mixture of vegetables that form the ‘Impossible Burger.’ Its production however, has been met with controversy. So far, the product is exclusive to America. There it is offered by just four highstreet restaurants. Moreover, these

chains are considered ‘high-end’ and not socio-economically practical for many vegans. Could it thus be argued that the high-street not only condemns the vegan diet but also the type of custom for which it caters? Perhaps it conjures the concept of the vegan elite. This stereotype may deter the enthusiasm of aspiring vegans and vegetarians. However, Brown told a BBC reporter that “By the end of the year we will be selling the product at a price where thousands of restaurants can sell it to their customers at the same price range as other stuff, and we will make money on every pound of [fake] meat that we sell.” Perhaps the vegan diet is socially sustainable after all. Yet, how would Less Economically Developed Countries afford such production? Can veganism offer a solution to the global food crisis?

So while I’m not suggesting that you eat 10 pieces of blackened toast for breakfast every morning, this press release gives no cause for panic

Pictured: Finding a variety of vegan food can be a challenge (Source: metropolico via flickr)



Should schools still have uniform? Exactly how important is school uniform for students today; does it still act as an equaliser which prevents bullying or does it only fuel conformity and suppress self expression?

FOR: Emma Videan

By ensuring that children wear a uniform, there is no way to tell who has more money.


earing a school uniform is a normal part of most children’s lives. At the time, I definitely was not a fan, however in retrospect I do think that they are necessary. My main reason for this is that young people can be very cruel and if uniforms didn’t exist then there would be additional fuel to pick on people, or make fun of what they are wearing. If all students are made to wear the same clothes, then it makes it that little bit more difficult to single somebody out as being different. Despite me complaining about wearing my uniform, a non-uniform day was definitely not an occasion that my friends and I looked forward to. The judgment that you would receive as you walked through the classroom door was a little bit too much pressure for me. The chosen outfit would take hours of planning and never really seemed worth it. In addition to this, it was always very clear who was ‘cool’ by what they chose to wear. The ‘cool’ people would be wearing designer clothes. By ensuring that children wear a uniform, there is no way to tell who

has more money, and I believe that this can save the embarrassment of some children who perhaps feel bad that they can’t afford expensive brands with those all important logos. Another good reason for uniforms is that it marks a difference between students and teachers. I think this is important as it shows who is in charge. Particularly with young teachers, it might be hard for them to gain the respect of their students, but because of uniforms there is a clear difference between the adults and adolescents and so may be easier to form a teacher-student relationship. In my opinion, we should keep school uniforms because not only does it show the difference between the teachers and the students, but also it can prevent some forms of bullying. By making sure everybody dresses the same; there is one less thing that young people can be bullied for. As long as uniforms are reasonable, and not designed to be ugly (perhaps just a normal skirt/trousers, white shirt with jumper) there is no reason why there should be any objections.


nce again, the argument over school uniform has surfaced and people are discussing its purpose in modern society. A popular opinion is that school uniform is an infringement on the basic human right to be able to be your own individual person and express this to the world through your clothing and style. This infringement comes at a time when young people are discovering who they are and how they want to show this to the world. Uniform encourages everyone to be the same, which is contradictory to everything we believe in; about being an individual, and expressing ourselves the way we want to. In addition, uniforms stifle another basic right of religious freedom. Often young people must choose between following the dress code of their school or the rules of their faith. In many schools today, young people risk being sent home if they breech the school’s dress code. It’s hard to understand how we are happy to let a student lose a full day of education solely because they are not seen to be “dressed to learn”.

There is the idea that a uniform decreases the risk of bullying and increases academic achievement, when the sad fact is that no matter what we wear we will be judged by someone! Uniforms can highlight socioeconomic disparities among peers because they are very expensive, and understandably, families will often use hand-me-downs. The beauty of not having a uniform is that students can buy cheaper clothes for school, that can be worn during weekends and holidays too. Many students are against uniform for simple reason that it is just not comfy or practical. Many schools do not like girls wearing trousers, when many girls would prefer to do so for practicality and comfort reasons. If in assemblies students are forced to sit on the floor, why should girls have to feel uncomfortable in there rigid skirts, when if they were no uniform, they could choose to wear trousers and feel better? Not only is uniform encouraging a generation of unique individuals to be the same, it is expensive, impractical and uncomfortable, and should be a thing of the past.

AGAINST: Phoebe Grinter

The sad fact is that no matter what we wear we will be judged by someone!

Pictured: Uniform in schools has been debated for a long time. (Source: Scottm32768 via flickr)

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Generation Meme

We’ve lost our youthfulness, and we desperately need to get it back. Helena Hanson

Millennials are drinking less, smoking less and taking fewer drugs. We have stopped committing crimes and and stopped getting pregnant.


ccording to Piers Morgan, we have become a generation of Starbucks, kale and selfies. Despite evidence of an anxiety epidemic amongst the British Youth, he says we are simply too entitled, and too angry. But we have absolutely every right to be. We are the glamorous youth. We are supposed to embody everything that is beautiful in the world, blissful optimism, boundless energy and absolute recklessness. We are in our twenties, we’re supposed to be doing nothing but boozing and partying and fucking each other. We were supposed to grow up and rebel. We were supposed to dye our hair black, and then blonde, and drink too much and reject everything we’d ever known. We were supposed to spend our early twenties discovering that we hated ham sandwiches and pop music, and spend our money on exotic adventures and terrible tattoos. We were supposed to stand up to our parents, our teachers, our peers, our political systems. We were supposed to stand up and wave our middle fingers at them and smile because we are young things, wild things, free things, and that’s what people who are in their twenties do. We would reject what’s right because we don’t know any better, because we’re young and because we can. We were going to shout it from the roof tops. Scream it from the bottom of our lungs. Dance on tables and throw the F bomb around

until it lost all meaning. But the wild and reckless twenties we imagined were for the generations that could afford them. Instead, we’re stood holding up signs in the pouring rain. Instead of screaming, we’re pleading, begging. Our ‘fuck you!’ became ‘please, no!’ What was once youthful rebellion has become downtrodden young people, desperate to retain our rights, to secure our futures. Fighting not against a political system that has vexed us, but one that has failed us. Forced to make sense of decisions that will impact the rest of our lives, but that we did not make. According to the Office for National Statistics more than a quarter of young people, and a third in London, are teetotal. Millennials are drinking less, smoking less and taking fewer drugs. We have stopped committing crimes and stopped getting pregnant, and even stopped catching STI’s. So what are we all doing? We are all so careful. We’re not taking any chances because we can’t afford to make mistakes. We can’t fund another try at university if we don’t excel the first time, we can’t afford to get drunk every day and we certainly can’t afford a baby. We’re not taking chances by smoking or doing drugs because we are not wholly certain that the NHS will be there to fix us if we start dying in ten years’ time. We don’t have the luxury of knowing the welfare state will be there to

pick up the pieces when it all inevitably comes tumbling down. We’re terrified, of course we are. We’re trying to be adults in a world that won’t cater for us. We’ve replace pints and takeaways with poached egg and avocado, and we’ve switched Friday night in the pub for an evening in the gym. And the baby boomers l augh at us! They make jokes about us! They tell us that we’re senseless, because we take selfies and play Pokémon Go. They call us ridiculous when they are the generation who bought enough ‘pet rocks’ to make a millionaire out of the creator. They call us ‘generation selfie’. How can we ever take them seriously if they can’t recognise that we would be generation meme. Matters are made worse by the feeling of conflict between the generations. It didn’t go unnoticed that older voters were responsible for Brexit, and the statistics from the US election were similar. Thanks for Brexit, Mom! And for ruining the economy for us! AND FOR POLLUTING THE GOD DAMN ENVIRONMENT. Not only have the baby boomers economically, politically and environmentally ruined our chances at happiness, according to the Financial Times economics editor, we will have to pay more and more in taxes to support them as they get older because THEY WON’T DIE. “Both by luck and by sheer weight of numbers, the baby-boomer generation is

the lucky one. It is set to receive at least 15 per cent more public spending over their lifetimes than they pay in tax…subsequent generations, particularly those born after the 1970s, will pick up the tab, paying in significantly more than they receive.” Brilliant. In November Piers Morgan told us we need to get a grip, grow up, called us a “faux-tormented bunch of absolutely deluded cretins” and concluded we are the “most pampered, privileged and selfish members of the human race in history”. We have every right to be mad, Piers. Our debts are massive, our education is extortionate, jobs are limited, house prices are unreachable, our votes fell short, our futures are uncertain and you laugh at us for being frustrated. B ut we must not listen to Piers Morgan. We mustn’t grow up. We must cling to our youthfulness for as long as we can. We are in our twenties. We have a lifetime to be worried and stressed and panicked. There will never be a better time than university to put off the burdens of real life and just enjoy the beauty of being young. So keep drinking those VK’s, dance on the stage in Live Lounge, eat pizzas, stay up late, don’t do your readings and enjoy the limited freedom we have left. Throw away that avocado and stay up all night, fuck who you like and drink to eternal youth and to a generation of “cretins” who are trying as hard as we can.

Pictured: Youth need to do more youth-y things. Like graffiti. (Photographer: Wallsdon’tlie via Flickr)

We are in our twenties. We have a lifetime ahead of us to be worried and stressed and panicked.



Editors: George Watkins Anwen Williams @GairRhyddAdv

Student elections are weeks away

Do you have what it takes to represent your fellow students? Pictured: To the polling station! (Source: justgrimes via Flickr)

George Watkins


ave you ever thought about making a difference on campus/? Do you have an idea that you think could improve things? Maybe you should think about running in the student elections. There’s a number of positions to go for, including full-time roles that will involve a position in the union for a year. These are paid, and will involve being engaged in student politics on a day-to-day basis, getting to understand the inner workings of the university as a whole, and give you the ability to change things. The roles range from the full SU President, to Vice-President roles for Postgraduate and Sports, to name a few. There are also part-time roles that you will be able to do alongside your

degree. These are much smaller in terms of time commitments, and range from Students with Disabilities Office to Women’s Officer. Much of this role is a figurehead position, with the chance for students with issues that full under your area to be able to talk to you, not to mention suggesting things on your manifesto to change within the university itself. Nominations close next week, and if you think it might be something you are interested in, I would suggest giving it a go. I ran myself last year and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience as a whole. The election week lasts a week and culminates in a ceremony at the end. Although I was unsuccessful, I would definitely recommend it to anyone. The next step is to decide what points you would put into your man-

ifesto. Have a think about what you would like to see changed, and think about how you would be able to rectify it in the position you want to run for. Even think about what sort of points would encourage students to vote for you and work around that. There will be a question time for candidates in the week before the election week, which will involve asking all the people running questions from an audience. It might sound scary, but it is fairly relaxed, and gives you the chance to express yourself and what you’re about. Then after that comes the week itself. Once you have your manifesto, think about something to make you stand out from everyone else. In past years people have made videos of them rapping and dressed up as giant chickens to name but a few.

A gimmick is entertaining, but not necessary. The week involves talking to students and persuading them to vote for you, which sometimes involves lots of work, sometimes little. It feels good to engage with other students and get your points across, particularly if they are well received. It’s tiring, but a lot of fun, particularly meeting all the other candidates. After all that comes the ceremony where the winners are announced. Even if you don’t win, the experience will have taught you valuable things about the university, not to mention maybe helping you make a few new friends. So, in short, if you are considering running, I would suggest giving it a go. What’s the worst that could happen?

New term check-list

Do you have an idea that you think could improve things?

Are you prepared?

When your mum isn’t around to tell you what you need to remember, it can be confusing starting a new term. Here’s some things to remember: 1. Have you got your timetable ready? 2. Do you know which seminars etc you will be in? 3. Do you have all your course books? Is it really worth buying expensive textbooks when you can get

one second hand? 4. Do you know when your exams/ assessments will be? 5. Is your housing situation good? Now is a good time to change if not. 6. Would it be worth looking for a job/ can you keep up with a job and your current workload? 7. Do you want to join a new society or sport? 8. Do you know where you’ll be living next year?

9. If you’re graduating, do you know what you want to do afterwards? 10. How are your finances? Do you need to budget? 11. Do you have all your stationery ready to go? Do you need a nother Pukka pad? 12. Is it worth thinking about getting some early nights in to help you get used to it?

Pictured: Tick them off. (Source: Mufidah Kassalias via Flickr)


Thinking of joining a society? Olivia Botting

Here’s why you should


o you look enviously in on society meetings? It’s not too late! As we emerge from the haze of cafeine and misery caused by the much-loved January exams (note the sarcasm). Students are realising that half of the academic year has already flown by - and that they spent most of last semester drunk, and that they haven’t spoken to anyone outside of their flatmates for about two months. Some students are fine with this, and that’s cool. Go do your drunken thing! But for those who are looking to become more involved with the University… Never fear, Re-freshers is here! I’ve recently been introduced to this new concept of ‘Re-freshers’ by a course mate who fits firmly into the former category mentioned above, and was more concerned with the Re-freshers nights out. Apparently they’re wild, so as a side note, they come highly recommended by my perpetually-hungover friend, if you’re looking for something to do of an

evening. But more importantly, Re-freshers is when societies run more ‘Give it a Go’ sessions! These are one-off taster events held by what appears to be every society under the sun, and aimed at beginners. There is no pressure to join the society after the session, and some people just go for the session never to be seen again. They only cost a couple of quid and there are loads of ‘Give it a Go’ events held throughout January and most of February, so if you’ve got your eye on something that interests you, go for it! On the other hand, you may have been meaning to join a society for four months and never really got round to it (potentially because, like me, you’re afraid of being a loner in a crowded society where everybody knows everybody and you’re the weird newbie) but I advise you to take the plunge! I have been meaning to join Gair Rhydd for most of last semester, and I finally did, with this

Pictured: Sailing. Source: Flavio Vetus Chettefrega via Flickr

article (I’m quite enjoying it, if you’re wondering. There’s a headline and everything). There are so many people who only figure out which societies to join after the Christmas break, so at least you’ll be in good company.

All in all, university is a really great opportunity to try new—and potentially weird—stuff in a controlled environment, and it’s pretty easy on the wallet, too.

Beating those January blues

Elinor Craven

Roll on February...


any students find January the most depressing month of the year. Our withdrawal from home comforts and our dangerously low bank balances are just a couple of the reasons why it can be a difficult time for us. January also brings the dreaded exam season, which makes it feel like a miserably long month. A lot of students feel the January blues so here’s a few tips to help you feel healthier and happier during the month. Instead of dwelling on looming exam results, or maybe to take your mind off bad results you’ve had already, you could plan a holiday or trip away

with friends or family. Planning a trip, even if it’s just to Cardiff Bay, will give you something to look forward to, and means that you’ll be spending time with friends. You may think January’s a month for staying indoors but it can also be a great time for getting involved in different sports teams and societies. If you feel a bit miserable, exercising and socialising will help lift your mood. If being outdoors in the cold weather doesn’t appeal to you, but you still want a way of beating the January blues, then you could rearrange or decorate your bedroom. Despite there being many restrictions on what you can and

cannot do in halls and student houses, a few posters and photos won’t hurt. Decorating your room will make you feel like you’ve achieved something without even leaving the house. However, sometimes, spending time with friends and family doesn’t help all that much. If you ever feel like you need more support, the university offers some great resources and advice. 50 Park Place holds wellbeing walk-ins every week day, so there’s no need to book in advance. Members of the wellbeing team can help you with all matters, whether it be anxiety, low motivation or an issue that you don’t feel comfortable talking

about with tutors. For a more in depth discussion with a counsellor, you can email to schedule an appointment. They also offer online appointments if you’d rather not attend in person. If you’re currently feeling the January blues then you’re not alone; it’s very common amongst students. Hopefully, with January coming to a close, you can start to look forward to the coming months. But remember, there are ways of dealing with feeling miserable and the university has great counsellors you can talk to.

A note on housing

If you can’t live with your housemates anymore

George Watkins


tuck with housemates that you aren’t too keen on thanks to their habit of playing house music at 4 in the morning? Feel like you need somewhere better? Thankfully, now is a good time to find a house to move into for the rest of the year. Plenty of spaces open up thanks to exchange students leaving, people dropping out of university and other people fancying a change. If you’re thinking of doing this, first of all make sure that you assess all options, and decide whether it’s really worth it. Then speak to your landlord and let them know that you want to move as soon as possible. Most will be fine as long as you’ve

paid for the rent for that month, but if not then you might have to negotiate. A good idea is to find someone else to take your space in the house so there is no increase in rent for the other housemates. Where to look? I would try Facebook first. People advertise all over groups that they have rooms up for grabs, and having a direct way of contacting them makes everyone’s lives so much easier. Don’t jump in with the first one you see. Look around. You have plenty of choice. It’s frustrating having to move, but if you feel it would be worth it, then now is the time to be doing it.

Pictured: A street nicer than Cathays. Source: alexmontjohn via Flickr.


Joining student media

Anwen Williams


Do you fancy being part of the team?

eing a part of the student media team is something you should definitely consider as a part of your time at university. Not only will you have fun and make loads of new friends, but you can pick up loads of skills and learn things you might not get a chance to do otherwise. There’s a load of stuff that you can get involved with that will make your CV look great. It looks good to be a part of something - and it’s fun too. Gair Rhydd. Writing is a great way to gain some extra curricular experience and improve your writing skills. Contributing articles to the paper each week is super flexible, and theres a whole load of stuff to choose from. Each section is different and if you have any ideas for a particular section, the editors would love to hear them. Being a contributor can show your motivation and dedication on your CV, along with managing your time wisely and being a part of a team. Each week you can show up to the editorial meetings to hear what’s going on this week, or pitch any new ideas if you feel like it (Monday 6:30pm in

the student media office). Proofreading also takes place at (at 6 on Thursdays) for something more chilled. Something that can be valuable along every course - not just journalism or English. If you don’t know already, theres a Facebook page called ‘Gair Rhydd contributors’ where you can join and see what articles are up for grab each week! Quench. Similarly, quench is a great way to do some extra writing, and is great if you want to express your creative side! There’s so many things you can write for Quench, from reviews to poems, about food, drink or video games. If writing’s not your thing then you can get involved with the design and illustrations in quench, if you’re keen with design. CUTV. If you’re not so in to writing or design, CUTV have loads of stuff to get involved with. You can film, interview, get involved with the dramas, edit, pitch ideas etc. Theres also a range of Facebook groups you can join to get involved with these! Getting involved with CUTV means

Pictured: Cardiff Student Media gives you plenty of opportunities to get creative! (Photographer: Anwen Williams)

getting involved with all the big events going on in the uni, like varsity and the AGM. Xpress Radio. Similarly, you can get involved with Xpress radio. You can pitch in with band interviews, commentating at events, or produce/ present your own show. Other things you can get involved with is learning

to DJ and putting on some events. Xpress schedule consists of speech, entertainment and specialist shows across a range of genres including politics, comedy and drama. Student media is great to get involved with, and there’s so much you can do! don’t miss out!

Are you missing home?

Sanya Arora


It doesn’t have to be so hard

omesickness - also known as the state of mind which every student experiences in January. From all the pampering to the yummy home cooked food, to not having to lift a finger and constantly being surrounded by people who love you - you don’t feel like coming back to hostel life. Just when you think that you are finally adjusting in university and enjoying living on your own, you go back home during the December break and return in January feeling awful. Whether you are missing your parents, best friend, dog or all three, it is never easy. However, it is not the end of the world - there are plenty of

ways to make you feel better. Video call! Whether it is Skype, Facebook or WhatsApp, video calling could not be easier. Fix a mutually convenient time with your family and friends and speak your heart out. It’s almost as good as meeting face to face. Make plans with your university friends to go out, or even better, go out alone and spend time with yourself. There’s nothing like ordering a coffee and enjoying the solitude. This is probably something that you would never do at home, so make the most of your time now. Develop a hobby. It could be writing, playing a sport, reading… the list

is endless. Doing something which you love is a great way to distract yourself. Go the library and study. While that may the last thing which you feel like doing, remember that the reason why you are living away from home is to get a degree. Take a break from social media. It’s hard enough to be away from your family and friends, but when you see pictures of last night’s party or a video of the crazy dance your sister did at a family function, it makes it even worse. Stay connected with them, but not through Facebook or Instagram. Try local food. While there is no food like home food, it’s nice to get

acquainted to a different type of cuisine. Exercise. It’s extremely important to stay fit. It also makes you a happier person. Make a routine. You probably follow one when you are back home, so there is no harm in making one at university too. According to research, those who feel that they are in control suffer from less homesick stress. Finally, remember that this too shall pass! It won’t be long till you are done with your degree and can head back home. Till then, make the most of your time.

Module changes

George Watkins


Not happy with your choices?

t doesn’t feel good sitting in lectures and realising that you hate the module you’re studying. Thankfully January is a good time to swap around if you find out that you aren’t actually too keen on that obscure dense Philosophy module you thought you’d enjoy. If you’re one of the many people who have this issue, maybe it is

time to change your choices. First of all, it varies by school how long you are allowed to have before they shut the door on any transfers. It will probably be until some time in February, but you have to make sure that specific ones haven’t shut early thanks to assessments or something else. Sims is the place where the module

magic happens. Log in and you’ll be able to see all the ones you currently are signed up to, and can adjust to ones you feel like (just make sure you check timetables to see that they don’t clash with seminars etc.). This will send a request to the school. If they say no, then maybe request a list of which modules are still avail-

able and pick from them. If you feel like having fewer exams because you’re better at essays, for example, maybe look at how different ones are assessed. So, to sum up, it varies by school, but you can change modules at the moment as long as they aren’t full and you don’t have a timetable clash.

Whether you are missing your parents, best friend, dog or all three, it is never easy.


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Editors: Adam George Ellise Nicholls @GairRhyddPol

Trump inaugurated as 45th president

President Donald Trump has painted a bleak picture of a broken country Conor Holahann

With the retention of more money within American borders, Trump will be giving the go-ahead to large-scale infrastructure plans based in inner city areas.


hile gangs of people overwhelmed with rage ran through the streets of Washington D.C. protesting – in some cases violently - a peaceful transfer of power in a democratic country, Donald Trump made his inaugural speech to Capitol Hill. Among the crown on the balcony of the Capitol Building were a number of ex-Presidents, and seeing Hillary catch Bill Clinton staring at Ivanka Trump was most certainly a nostalgia trip for some. Walking out onto the balcony, Steve Bannon, one of the most misrepresented figures in the Trump team looked villainous as the BBC coverage continued to perpetuate unsubstantiated accusations that Mr Bannon is anti-Semitic, homophobic and all the other buzzwords you can think of to demonise someone you disagree with. Looking much more heroic was the man Bannon plans to take down as soon as possible; Paul Ryan, House Speaker, who managed to maintain a false guise of love for the democratic outcome throughout the ceremony. On the balcony among the giants of American politics present and past, Donald Trump made clear that the American future was in the hands of the American people. Standing in front of ex-Presidents and others, Trump told Capitol Hill; ‘for too long a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.’ Since the speech we have seen that the American people will get what they voted for, as Trump has already made good on several of his campaign ambitions with executive orders. He has signed orders which will substantially weaken ObamaCare regulations. The controversial Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines will go ahead and will be built with American-made steel, also sending a signal that America would no longer be losing business to Chinese companies dumping cheap steel on the markets and undercutting American companies. America will also leave negotiations for their entrance into the Transpacific Trade Partnership, another of Obama’s legacies Trump is eager to untie and often attacked during his campaign, a deal he thinks is rotten for American companies. Additionally he signed an order that the Federal Government must stop hiring more employees in a move that shows the start of a rolling back of the size of government at the

benefit of the American economy and taxpayer. Speaking in the Oval Office since the inauguration, Trump announced that if companies left the US and left American workers unemployed, they would be subject to a ‘substantial border tax’ on their product if they were to then sell back into the US. This policy is unlike anything America saw from the Obama administration; the President is standing up to nationally mobile corporations in the interest of the people. That has to be a first for this century surely? On Capitol Hill Trump said that his administration would be putting America first. The ‘America First’ rhetoric did make many CNN reporters recoil initially due to its use in the 1930s to promote isolationism for America. However we know now from our man on the inside – right wing rock star, Nigel Farage – that Trump’s America will not be inward looking and economically aggressive just for the sake of it, because the Trump administration is planning on signing a free trade deal with post-Brexit Brit-

ain before anybody else. Theresa May will be the first world leader Donald Trump will meet with and he hopes to sign the trade deal within a hundred days – a very ambitious task considering the timetable for Brexit and the fact that a nation can’t sign a trade deal if it is still negotiating its way out of the European Union. The sentiment, however, is important. Trump’s vision is one that will highly benefit the friends of America, but he will be putting America first. The UK is not a country that Donald Trump sees as an economic threat, and Trump’s main objective is to bring jobs back to the US so that they can be given to the American worker, not just to shut out any nation with a strong economy. With the retention of more money within American borders, Trump will be giving the go-ahead to largescale infrastructure plans based in inner city areas with high minority populations in order to stimulate growth in those areas. If Donald Trump can bring jobs back to America and build infra-

structure, then he is benefitting America first and Americans first. And that is what we should want in a leader. Someone who is internationally pragmatic and understands the need to deal with different countries in different ways, someone who thinks about the citizens within their country before anything else, and puts them at the centre of the big decisions. Obama has left the white house and with him he will take all of his euro-liberal dreams that are not compatible with American politics. What’s more, the mainstream media monopoly of morality is finally under siege as Fox News dominated the inauguration coverage was among the most watched in America. It seems that people are sick of hearing that they’re full to the brim with prejudice when they want to see their country prosper, their economy thrive and their laws upheld. As Trump said in his speech; ‘Their victories have not been our victories. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.’

Pictured: Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (photographer: Gage Skidmore)

Donald Trump made clear that the American future was in the hands of the American people.


Harry Heath

The negotiations threatened to mark progress in the endeavour for a political solution.


Syria peace talks off to a rocky start

eace talks between officials of the Syrian regime and key members of rebel forces held in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana began in typically turbulent fashion, with President Assad’s leading diplomat condemning comments made by his opposite number as “provocative” in tone and lacking seriousness. The negotiations threatened to mark progress in the endeavour for a political solution after years of bloodshed in the region, although it wasn’t long before tempers flared between the rivalling parties and their conflicting outlooks came to the fore. Central to the dispute was Mohammed Alloush, the leader of rebel militia Jaysh al-Islam, who referred to President Assad’s regime as a “terrorist entity”. Bashar Jaafari, Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations described the former’s conduct as “removed from diplomacy” and evidence that the armed rebel groups are “unrealistic, impudent and amateurs”. Alloush implied his scepticism of a peaceful outcome. Despite favouring a political solution to the civil war that has left vast parts of Syria in ruin, he made it clear that the rebels do not regard a political compromise as the only means to ending the conflict. Alloush described his rebel comrades as “men of peace, knights of war”.

The climate in Syria has undoubtedly changed since the devastation of Aleppo in December. Despite facing a considerable defeat militarily, certain rebel factions are attempting to cling on to their remaining political credibility by meeting officials of the regime. President Assad previously failed to draw distinction between these same rebel forces and the so-called Islamic State. Prominent figures at the negotiation included representatives of Russia, Iran and Turkey who each have their own vested interests in the outcome of the conflict. Turkey’s President Erdogan maintains the necessity for Assad to fall, while Putin has been the Syrian leader’s paramount ally in asserting military dominance. However, an unexpected Russo-Turkish alliance between Putin and Erdogan has been influential in establishing the talks in Astana; once more demonstrating the power of the strongman in redrawing the geopolitical map of the Middle East. Absent from the talks was an envoy from Washington, casting doubt over the future of America’s reluctantly interventionist policy of backing the rebels in Syria as we enter the age of Trump. Rebel leaders now put their faith in Russia’s appeared change of strategy; since bilateral talks were conducted last month, Russian officials have pro-

moted a ‘moderate’ opposition that is capable of negotiation. More cynical rebels see the regime forces as merely seeking to get them onside in the fight against common enemies ISIL and alQaeda. Regardless of the widespread pessimism surrounding this new beginning of peace talks, it is perhaps surprising that this is taking place at all. In opening the dialogue, Kazakhstan’s President

Nazarbayez emphasised that the civil war has “brought nothing but misery and sorrow” to the region thus far; however the acrimonious nature of Monday’s talks may well represent an irreconcilable relationship between the state and the rebels. While we should cherish any discourse over further destruction, clashes such as this are a bulwark against progress and peace in Syria.

Pictured: The President of Syria, Assad (Photographer: Garry Knight)

Power-sharing breaksdown in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Secretary announces elections to take place in March Molly Ambler

This power sharing agreement was set up through the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.


fter more than a decade of joint rule between unionists and nationalists, the power sharing agreement has collapsed after Sinn Fein refused to return a Stormont executive. Sinn Fein leader, Martin McGuinness resigned as Deputy First Minster with the party being given until midday last Monday to nominate a replacement. He cited the reason for his departure as ill health as well as concerns surrounding the DUP’s “arrogance” at the way they handled allegations of financial scandal. This is in relation to the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme that was designed to encourage local businesses to use renewable heat but it appears to have been severely flawed in its implementation and has paid businesses to burn fuel. Snap elections have now been called to elect a new government. This power sharing agreement was set up through the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 after the years of trouble that had taken place in Northern Ireland. While the majority of the population of Northern Ireland initially agreed to the power sharing government, there has always been those that wish to govern independently. The situation in Northern Ireland has been delicate over the past few decades, yet since its conception the power sharing agreement seems to have addressed most of the issues.

The collapse of this agreement may, therefore result in some catastrophic consequences not just for Northern Ireland but for the rest of the UK as well. It’s immediate implication is that Theresa May might be unable to trigger article 50 as the Northern Ireland Assembly will be unable to vote to approve the plans. The leader of the anti-sectarian Alliance Party Naomi Long is reported to have said that Ms May could face a court challenge is she attempts to trigger Article 50 whilst the Northern Irish politicians are not in parliament to be able to vote on such plans. This raises more concerns in the wake of Brexit and it may be that Brexit is delayed by several months. However, the Supreme Court are currently considering whether Stormont is actually entitled to approve the plans to trigger article 50. This would be done through a mechanism put to the devolved assemblies known as a ‘legislative consent motion’, however, they are yet to make a decision. This decision is expected in the coming days. The reactions to the collapse of Stormont have been somewhat worrying with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland warning the challenges faced by Stormont “should not be underestimated”. If a new government returned to Stormont and decided not to engage in a power sharing agreement there is the prospect of direct rule from

Pictured: Stormont, the home of the Northern Ireland Assembly (Photographer: Robert Young via Flickr)

Westminster, however this in itself poses problems as the main nationalist opposition group, Social Democratic and Labour Party had stated that they would not except British rule as they feel Theresa May’s government no longer has any legitimacy after Brexit.

Whatever happens in Northern Ireland, the events will be closely watched not only by Westminster but by the rest of the UK. The Northerm Ireland Secretary, James Brokenshire has announced that elections will take place on 2 March.


Gambian president set to return Thursday Ellise Nicholls

Jammeh went into exile in Equatorial Guinea at the weekend under threat of a regional military intervention

Rhys Thomas

The protestors want “reproductive rights, equal pay, affordable health care, action on climate change”.

Pictured: A map of Gambia (Source: CIA)


dama Barrow, Gambia’s new president, says that he will be returning to the country on Thursday to assume power after his predecessor quit power under threat of military intervention. Mr Barrow, who had been staying in Senegal, won the election in December. A handover was stalled, however, when Gambia’s president of 22 years, Yahya Jammeh, refused to step aside. He left for exile after mediation at the weekend by regional leaders and threats of military intervention. Mr Barrow was sworn in as president at the Gambian embassy in neighbouring Senegal a week ago, but a public inauguration on home soil is planned soon, aides say.

On Wednesday, Barrow’s aide, Mai Fatty, confirmed to AFP in Dakar on Wednesday that Gambia’s new president was preparing to head home from Senegal, where he has been since January 15 fearing for his safety. He claimed “Yes, tomorrow afternoon” to AFP. A source close to the Senegalese presidency and a displomatic source in the Gambia’s capital Banjul, had also confirmed the announcement made made on a Facebook page linked to the new president that Mr Barrow was due to arrive at 4:00pm (1600 GMT) on Thursday. “Any changes to the above schedule will be communicated.” the Facebook statement said. Barrow won the election in December,

but for weeks Jammeh refused to step down, setting off a crisis that saw Barrow take his oath last week. Jammeh went into exile in Equatorial Guinea at the weekend under threat of a regional military intervention, after more than two decades of presidency after taking power in a coup. Barrow put off his return to The Gambia until is safety was to be guaranteed by thousands of soliders from five African nations currently deployed in the tiny nation, but unease had been growing over his prolonged absence. The head of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Murcel Alain De Souza, told a briefing in Nigeria on Tuesday that the troops were working to secure Banjul

and the surrounding area for Barrow’s return. “Today or tomorrow, we will be able to indicate that President Adama Barrow, if he’s comfortable, can fly on.” De Souza had said. Barrow has assured Jammeh that he will have all the rights legally ensured to an ex-president, which under Gambian law includes immunity from prosecution, barring a two-thirds of the national assemply. The new government has confirmed that Jammah will be permitted to keep a fleet of luxury cars, while Fatty said Sunday that the former strongman leader had plundered state coffer’s before heading into exile, making off with $11mn dollars.

Women’s marches take place worldwide


arches were held around the world last week in a bid to build a new progressive movement and protect the rights of women. The events came the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America and were intended as a clear rebuke to the new man in the White House, with half a million people taking to the streets of US capital Washington D.C. alone. Is it just an anti-Trump movement? The simple answer is no. As a Washington Post editorial put it, the protestors want “reproductive rights, equal pay, affordable health care, action on climate change”. These are timeless, uniting issues for women (and indeed men) all around the globe. The election of Trump however has undoubtedly sharpened minds and put a real focus on protecting and enhancing women’s rights particularly in the United States, and especially with the manner in which he defeated Hillary Clinton - referring to her as a “nasty woman” and several other unedifying terms as well as boasting about sexual assault including the infamous “grab them by the pussy” tape. The marches spawned plentiful reaction across traditional and social media with the marches being yet another flashpoint in this era of anger and polarisation. Phone-hacking former editor of the Daily Mirror Piers Morgan was

particularly agitated by the marches, taking to Twitter and bombarding his followers with a series of tweets which included “I’m planning a ‘Men’s March’ to protest at the creeping global emasculation of my gender by rabid feminists. Who’s with me?”. The anti-march reaction continued with other people you’d cross the street to avoid - former MP Anne Widdecombe called it “pathetic” whilst Fox News host Bill O’Reilly oddly claimed that the protestors were “told to show up” and compared it to totalitarian regimes forcing people to go out onto the streets. One of the people who attended the march in Washington was student Greg Robson who went with his girlfriend, and took a wider view of the event “I went not to directly protest the election of Donald Trump, but to instead send a message to the new administration that some of the things that were said, particularly about women, immigrants and potentially disastrous environmental policy during the campaign are unacceptable”. This was mirrored by many of the protestors and there was a clear antiTrump mood infused along with the pro-womens rights messages - signs mocking the newly-elected President such as “We Shall Overcomb” and “Free Melania”. His comments throughout the campaign and his recent signing of a ban on federal money being given to groups around the world that per-

Barrow has assured Jammeh that he will have all the rights legally ensured to an expresident

Pictured: National Day of Action to Defend Women’s Rights: 15 July 2013 (Photographer: Steve Rainwater)

form or even provide information on abortions mean that he is a clear and present danger to the rights that the marchers are fighting for. There were also marches throughout the United Kingdom with London attracting over one-hundred

thousand people and the Cardiff march drawing several hundred. There is no doubt that it is a truly global movement, but what remains to be seen is if this flurry of activism will sustain itself into the hard months and years ahead.


Theresa May faces Trident cover up accusations Lydia Jackson

Much of the criticism the Prime Minister has faced has been related to the £40 billion renewal of Trident in July of last year.


heresa May has faced criticism over recent days, after it has been revealed that she refrained from revealing the failure of a Trident nuclear deterrent systems test which took place in June of last year under the office of David Cameron. The ballistic missile test, which involved Royal Navy nuclear submarine HMS Vengeance, was the first of its kind in four years, and took place off the coast of Florida. The £17 million missile was fired from the submerged submarine, which is the only remaining Vanguard-class submarine possessed by the Navy. It had undergone a refit at Devonport just prior to the event. Explicit details of the test are yet to be revealed, but US and Royal Navy officials have suggested that a misfire due to a technical fault led to the triggering of an auto self-destruct mechanism. The missile was diverted into the sea off the Floridian coast. Much of the criticism the Prime Minister has faced has been related to the £40 billion renewal of Trident in July of last year, after the postBrexit resignation of Mr Cameron led to the start of her time in office. This renewal will see the building of a new fleet of Dreadnought-class

submarines to be operational by 2028, and in service until the 2060s. This has caused some controversy due to the concealment of the failed test, which took place prior to the House of Commons voting in favour of renewal 472 votes to 117. MPs were unaware of the incident, whereas May reportedly was before taking office. There have been concerns that this was undemocratic. Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon, during his address to the house of Commons this week after Labour’s request of an urgent question, claimed that details could not be revealed due to the interests of national security. However, whilst making this claim a US defence official was leaking information to CNN which was reporting on the incident. It has also been noted that the other tests of the 21st century in 2005, 2009 and 2012 have been publicised and videos have been posted on YouTube. Theresa May, in an interview with Andrew Marr, also refused to answer questions regarding her knowledge of the event four times. She did, however, coin the test a “success”, and revealed that it led to the certification of the submarine and its crew. Many of the members of parliament which voted against Trident’s

Pictured: One of two Trident II D5 missiles tested June 2 by the U.S. Navy (source: U.S. Navy)

“ renewal are members of Labour and the Scottish National Party (SNP), who argue that the money invested in what is perceived as the backbone of strategic deterrence, would in fact be better spent in other areas, and have also expressed concerns over the potential damage which Trident could cause.

This story emerges amidst a tense time for the British Prime Minister and the Conservative party, as on Tuesday the Supreme Court ruled that Parliament were entitled to vote on whether or not to trigger Article 50, and begin the process of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

Wales publishes Brexit plan

The missile was diverted into the sea off the Floridian coast.

Carwyn Jones and Leanne Wood calls for full single market access Adam George

The Supreme Court ruled that the Welsh Assembly does not have a legal right to be consulted by UK ministers triggering Brexit.


he first Minister of Wales of Wales and the leader of Plaid Cymru have released a jointplan for Brexit. Labour and Plaid are the two largest countries in Wales and they have come together to challenge the Tory’s “hard-Brexit”. The white paper, outlining how a post-Brexit Wales may look, was launched by Leanne Wood and Carwyn Jones in London last week. The main demands of the paper are full single market access and migration to be linked to jobs. The main priority of this paper is for Wales to remain in the single market. Speaking to Gair Rhydd, Leanne Wood stated that “In engaging with this process,” “Plaid Cymru has prioritised the Welsh economy. We have done this because two thirds of all of our exports go to the European Single Market.” The 64-page document, which also contained input from the Welsh Liberal Democrats, lays out a plan for Brexit which is similar to Norway’s links to the EU, with tariff-free access to markets and some possible limits on free movement of people. The white paper suggests tariff-free access to the EU’s single market, possibly through membership of the European Free Trade Association. Another key suggestion put forward by Jones and Wood is the idea of a balanced approach to immigration linking migration to jobs, with “properly-enforced” employment

practices that protect all workers. Speaking to BBC Radio 4, the first minister said “We have offered a very commonsense approach to immigration where we say there is a freedom of movement - but to work.” These proposals are in sharp contrast with the plans set out last week by the Prime Minister who said that the UK would have to leave the single market to regain control over immigration. The proposals were met with strong criticism from the leader of Welsh UKIP, Neil Hamilton. He stated “It’s not so much a white paper as a white flag of surrender to the EU before negotiations have actually started.” The white paper was also dismissed by the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew Davies, who claims that the paper “shows blatant disregard for the wishes of the Welsh public”. Last week the Supreme Court ruled that the Welsh Assembly does not have a legal right to be consulted by UK ministers triggering Brexit. The judges said that Article 50 cannot be triggered without it being put to Parliament. However, they decided that assembly ministers have no right to veto the process to leave the European Union. The Welsh Government had argued that if MPs did not vote on Article 50, which was the UK government’s original intention, it would undermine the basis for devolution.

Pictured: Carwyn Jones, First Minister and Assembly Member for Bridgend (source: National A

Steffan Lewis AM, Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs, spoke to Gair Rhydd “Plaid Cymru will seek to table a Legislative Consent Motion in the National Assembly. It is a simple matter of democracy that the devolved legislatures should have a role in commencing the process of leaving the EU.”

An UKIP assembly group spokesman said it welcomed the judgement on Article 50 and Parliament, and that any attempt to block Brexit would trigger an immediate general election: “We say bring it on. It would be absurd for Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland to have a veto over triggering Article 50,” he said.


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Editors: Tanya Harrington Kat Pooprasert @GairRhyddSci

Cardiff University to play role in “Isambard” supercomputer Emmaline Rice

This will be largely helpful in areas that involve massive computations, like computational chemistry, computational engineering, etc.


s a member of the GW4, Cardiff University has entered into a project with two industry partners to complete a new high performance computer (HPC). The supercomputer will be named after the renowned UK scientist Isambard Kingdom Brunel of the Victorian era. The Isambard project has been funded a sum of 3 million pounds by the Met Office, who hope to stimulate postgraduate research and make the UK a hub for supercomputing through the investment and subsequent construction; the ways in which Isambard could give the UK an edge in the scientific world includes but is not limited to adapting climate modeling programs to run more efficiently on the Isambard processing units. The architecture of the computer– that is, how and of what material and design its processing units are structured and composed– is noted in recent university announcements to be of particular interest. The chosen manufacturer of Isambard who will work in conjunction with the universities, a company called Cray, is currently known for its usage of a Xeon central processing unit (CPU) in its other HPC. Current technologies that support lighter, more energy-efficient (and

thusly less costly and safer to operate because they use less electricity and generate less heat) processing are noted as the CPU architecture of ARM. (This is the architecture most often used in portable devices like smartphones and tablets.) Because Cray’s current supercomputer uses the Xeon technology, it will be an interesting step forward in supercomputing to observe how moving away from the Xeon CPU affects the programs run on the supercomputers, or even how the supercomputers themselves run more or less efficiently. In fact, Professor Simon McIntosh-Smith (from the University of Bristol) who leads the project notes the potential to expand the CPU architectures of supercomputing as one of the most exciting hallmarks of the project itself. Isambard will employ not just one ARM-based architecture, but instead, he notes, “Choosing the best architecture for an application can be a difficult task, so the new Isambard GW4 Tier 2 HPC service aims to provide access to a wide range of the most promising emerging architectures, all using the same software stack.” Using more than one type of CPU architecture should lend the supercomputer flexibility and dynamic ability to process data.

Pictured: San Junipero? (Photographer: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center).

So how will this new breed of supercomputer be useful? The academics currently involved have cited multiple areas of scientific research which the supercomputer can begin optimising coding for as well as generating algorithms to further the research. This will be largely helpful in areas that involve massive computations, like computational chemistry, computational engineering, etc. Other salient applications include

how the supercomputer will be used to understand how climate modeling for atmospheric physics and the like will need to be adapted in code for an HPC. This step forward in supercomputing observes Cardiff University’s continued involvement in the forefront of scientific inquiry and technologies, and will place South East Wales firmly on the map of global supercomputing with the sheer innovation of Isambard.

”Breakthrough in understanding of AIDS-related dementia

Paul Hilleard

The many scientist and researchers involved have broadened our understanding of the way AIDS - related dementia and other cognitive deficiencies are entwined.


esearchers from Cardiff University and the University of California (UCLA) have made a breakthrough in the understanding of AIDS-related dementia, discovering the role of a neuron protein which was also found to affect learning abilities in healthy subjects. Professor Kevin Fox who led the work at Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences said: “Our work represents a major change in the understanding of how AIDS-related dementia works...” “Armed with the new knowledge that the CCR5 protein in neurons affects learning and plays a major role in AIDS-related dementia, we can now look at ways to suppress it for treatment of the disease and investigate whether its reduction can also benefit other forms of dementia and even aid recovery for stroke victims.” Kevin Fox, Professor. The new research started out as a random behavioural screen of mice at UCLA, revealing some mutant mice had better memory than others. Further tests revealed the mice with better memory lacked CCR5 proteins in their neurons. Conversely, animals that over-expressed CCR5 protein were slower to learn, revealing the impact of CCR5 on neurons and their

ability to code memories. C-C chemokine receptor type 5, also known as CCR5 or CD195, is a protein on the surface of white blood cells is involved in the immune system as it acts as a receptor for chemokines. This is the process by which T cells are attracted to specific tissue and organ targets. Many forms of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, initially use CCR5 to enter and infect host cells. Having witnessed the link between CCR5 and learning in their behavioural screen of mice, the team reasoned that activation of the protein in neuron cells by HIV infection might decrease neuron function and learning. When they introduced to the brain the part of HIV that attaches to CCR5 they found that learning and memory was decreased in normal mice, implying that HIV is likely to produce AIDS-related dementia by increasing the natural levels of CCR5 activity and restraining the cells from their usual plasticity function, resulting in a failure to code memories properly. Professor Alcino Silva, David Geffen School of Medicine and Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior talked about how “amazed” he was by the new discovery, “It is re-

Pictured: The Brighton and Hove AIDS memorial. (Photographer: Domonic Alves).

ally exciting that drugs that inhibit CCR5, already on the market, could potentially be used to treat all sorts of memory deficits!” Approximately 30% of HIV-positive adults and 50% of HIV-positive infants suffer from cognitive deficits - a significant clinical problem associated with HIV infection. It was previously thought that AIDS-related dementia was caused by the effects of HIV on immune cells, affecting the brain indirectly

by attacking the immune system and creating inflammation. However, in light of this new discovery, the many scientist and researchers involved have broadened our understanding of the way AIDS - related dementia and other cognitive deficiencies are entwined. Miou Zhou, a UCLA scientist, claimed “Our findings signal a major turnaround on how we imagine treating cognitive problems associated with AIDS.”


Can brain stimulation be used to improve memory? Rachael Hutchings

This benefit lasted a full twenty-four hours after receiving stimulation and paralleled to the changes in the brain’s overall activity.


orthwestern Medicine scientists in Chicago have revealed, in a paper published in the Current Biology journal earlier this month, a cutting-edge procedure which can cause a notable improvement in precise memory. Unlike general memory, this type of memory is central to a person’s ability to function normally, and it is often the type that is lost in people who suffer with serious memory illnesses such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Parkinson’s Disease (which currently have no set cures, and many drug and non-drug treatments prove unsuccessful). An example to provide understanding of precise memory’s role to an individual is knowing details such as the specific colour, shape, size, name and location of a shop you are looking for, rather than purely knowing the part of town it can be found in. It is the first time that non-invasive brain stimulation has been used in the smaller fashion of a scalpel, rather than tackled with a larger (and less exact and meticulous) tool like a hammer, to attain more specific and localised enhancements and progressions in precise memory. Most studies up to this point of non-invasive brain stimulation have found only very general and short lived effects on abilities to think, rather than the more highly specific and long-

Pictured: The finding could potentially help people with Alzheimer’s Disease (Photographer: Neil Conway).

lasting effects on an ability such as precise memory. Joel Voss, the assistant professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and lead author of the research paper, states that “people with brain injuries have problems with precise memory as do individuals with dementia, and so our findings could be useful in developing new treatments for these conditions.” Voss also discusses how the research demonstrates that it is possible to accurately target the particular section of the brain responsible for precise memory, suggesting an expansion in treatment choices for those in need and a

more focussed attempt of finding cures for the aforementioned illnesses. The process is carried out by simply stimulating the exact network in the brain which is accountable for spatial memory with extremely powerful electro-magnets. The subjects of the research studied around 100 objects, each at detailed screen location, and then following that were tested for their capability to recall these places after a delay. By doing this, the Northwestern Medicine scientists improved the accuracy and precision of people’s recollection and identification of locations. This benefit lasted a full twenty-four hours after receiving

stimulation and paralleled to the changes in the brain’s overall activity. The scientists used MRI to identify memory-related brain networks before the non-invasive electromagnetic stimulation and memory tests which were used were heavily detailed in order to show that this actively improved spatial precision memory and could arguably have a positive effect on healthcare and memory illness treatment. Furthermore, EEG (an abbreviation in medical terms for electrogastrography) was used to show that these improvements in memory corresponded to the clear indicators of better-quality brain network action.

Resistance is futile

The Arms Race between antibiotics and bacteria has become more even Joshua Green

These type of drugs are considered the last line of defence so it is an understandable concern that this line is under threat.


s all of you clever clogs out there might already know antibiotics are medicines used to treat bacterial infections. Some of you probably also know that there is a huge worry surrounding antibiotics as bacteria is becoming much more resistant to effective treatment. According to the World Health Organisation the ‘growing list of infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, blood poisoning and gonorrhoea’ are becoming much harder to effectively medicate

against. The UN has also weighed in and stated that the issue is a ‘fundamental threat’. This, alongside the ‘Review On Antimicrobial Resistance’ released in 2014 that grimly concludes that 300 people will perish by the year 2050, surely goes without saying that this poses a real threat. Therefore, it’s not totally ludicrous to state that antibitoic resistance is perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing not only researchers but the world as a whole. Experts often claim that overconsumption of

antibiotics by humans and livestock animals has led to this crisis of resistance. It can be said that scientists are currently in a type of arms race against antibiotic resistance in which any advantage science can find is making sure humanity are one step ahead of the dangerously adaptive power of bacteria. Bacteria, unfortunately, have mechanisms to pass on their resistance to antibiotic drugs. One of the mechanisms for these bacteria to ‘pass on’ this resistance, when their numbers

increase, is via a gene. This gene is responsible for the production of an enzyme called NDM-1 (which stands for New Delhi Metallo-betalactamase-1). The reader might be tempted to wonder why you should worry about this enzyme. This particular enzyme is responsible for making harmful bacteria resistant to a group of drugs called carbapanems. These type of drugs are considered the last line of defence so it is an understandable concern that this line is under threat. Microbiology researchers from Oregon State University, lead by Professor Bruce Geller, have identified a molecule that can actually counteract the NDM-1 enzyme. This molecule type is called a PPMO (peptideconjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer) and what this molecule does is stop of expression of the gene responsible for the NDM-1 enzyme. The study, published in the Journal of Antimicrobal Chemotherapy, showed that the use of the PPMO molecule restored the effectiveness of an antibiotic called (meropenem). According to the study, the combination of the PPMO molecule and then using meropenem was experimented with on mice with a strain of the E.coli bacteria which has the gene for NDM-1 production. Following on from the promising research it is estimated that human trials will start within three years.

Pictured: Will antibiotics become obsolete one day? (Photographer: Sheep purple).


Therapeutic humour: leading or laughable? Katie Siwek

Through laughter, it is apparent that our brain chemistry changes leading to supporting evidence, that humour improves quality of life.

Olivia Botting

The innovators of this new technology say that it could help doctors and medics analyse tissue samples without sending these samples off to a remote laboratory .


olistic alternatives are ‘all the rage’ in the twenty first century as more and more people try to find more natural ways to cure ailments and control stress. ‘Holistic’ essentially means to focus on the emotional, and mental effects that illness may have on a person. Instead of just alleviating the symptoms of disease. ‘Humour therapy’ – clinically known as therapeutic humour, is the use of laughter to increase mood and aid healing in the body. As well as elevating low mood, laughter triggers the release of endorphins- also known as ‘feel good chemicals’, promoting a pain-relieving effect on a person. Additions to this include the decline of blood pressure, the relaxation of muscles and the reduce of stress hormones. This implementation can be useful on both a preventative and treatment basis. Usually, it is mostly recommended in chronic cases of suffering. Examples include both asthma and heart disease, where the fluctuation of severity in symptom, together induces and introduces levels of stress. It comes as no surprise that humour not only benefits the patient, but also the caregivers, whether that be family members or

home help. Contrary to expectations, scientists have clinically proven results in the use of humour to aid patients to health. ‘Psychoneuroimmunology’, is the field of study involving the relation of the mind and body- especially with emphasis on healing. Through laughter, it is apparent that our brain chemistry changes leading to supporting evidence, that humour improves quality of life, whilst enabling someone who may feel very much alone in their struggles which come with illness, to feel like they are more in control of their situation. The immune system is boosted also through the promotion of laughter with the increase of infection fighting T-cells (lymphocytes) in the body, which inevitably contribute towards the wellbeing and healing of the body. One might assume that this type of therapy is only suitable for children and also, that it is only used as a palliative form of care. However, therapeutic humour is developed to accommodate a variety of problems in many ways including light reading materials, videos and one to one verbal communication often with nurses in a hospital environment if the primary treatment is ongoing. It is necessary to note that this

Pictured: Laughter is the best medcine. (Photographer: Dave Bergin)

treatment is complimentary and therefore not prescribed alone to fight illness. Laughter is said to bring positive emotions that can enhance, not replace conventional treatments. Which is exactly why humour can be used as a preventative method

against disease, in fighting against the stress hormones which exasperate the symptoms of illness’ -however slight or debilitating they may be. Would you consider humour therapy as an accompaniment to treatment you may receive in the future?

Drug resistance? There’s an app for that!


rug resistance? There’s an app for that! A legion of scientists have created a cheaper alternative to DNA-analysing lab kits. They have produced a smartphone attachment which they say could help treat tuberculosis, cancer and other illnesses more effectively than is currently possible in developing countries. The innovators of this new technology say that it could help doctors and medics analyse tissue samples without sending these samples off to a remote laboratory. The attachment uses information carried in our DNA to make diagnoses—a more efficient way of treating patients in remote locations. In some cancers, tumours contain mutations which grant resistance to some drugs. This resistance is shown in DNA in these tissue samples, which would then aid doctors in prescribing the most effective treatments. They also say that the technology can be used to identify the source of infections; if it is viral or bacterial, and if it is bacterial, if there are any antibiotic-resistant genes present. The portable pathology microscope was developed in co-operation by the University of California, Stockholm University and Uppsala University. They believe it could be widely produced for around £406 ($500) per 3-D printed unit, so much cheaper than the costs of a DNA lab testing kit. Professor Mats Nilsson, from Uppsala University in Sweden, was part of the team who developed this smartphone microscope. He suggested that the device could be in-

Pictured: Meet your future doctor. (Photographer: Kārlis Dambrāns).

troduced with immediate effect in rural India, in the treatment of tuberculosis. He said; “currently, it’s a trial and error thing—they start with the first-line drugs even if one knows that only fifty percent of the patients will respond, since resistance is so widespread.” The issue with this approach is that it can take up to three months to follow up, and in that time people can spread the disease. With this new technology, they can treat patients with the right antibiotics at the time of diagnosis, “And the only way to figure that out in the short-

term is an affordable and simple DNA test.” Says Professor Nilsson. The charity, Cancer Research UK, suggested that this new way of examining DNA has a place in the developed world as well. Dr Justine Arnold, the organisation’s Senior Science Information Officer said that treatments can be personalised to the patient more effectively once the doctors know the precise make-up of the cancer—informed by expensive and time-consuming DNA tests. However, she’s still skeptical; “this early study suggests mobile phone

technology could potentially speed up this process and reduce costs, but much more research is needed to find out if it’s reliable and accurate enough to make it’s way into the clinic.” The device already faces rivalry. Oxford Nanopore Technologies has already developed small handheld equipment in order to analyse strings of DNA, which it says provides richer information than looking for mutations at a single point. The company is now in the process of adapting this into something that can be plugged into smartphones.

Student staff needed for Regi s ter wi t h Jobshop Six Nations Step 1 Step 2

Fill out the online registration form at: Bring in your: • Student Card • Passport * Driving licences are NOT accepted * International students from outside the EEA will also need: • Visa or biometric residence permit • Proof of term/vacation dates (examples on website)

Your registration will not be valid until both of these steps have been completed. 4th Floor, Students’ Union

029 2078 1535/6



Editors: Aletheia Nutt Tom Morris @GairRhyddSoc

Milly’s 2017 plans

Milly Dyer


elcome back! I hope you all had a lovely break and are ready for the upcoming semester! The Guild of Societies is very busy at the moment. We are currently planning for Fringe Festival, Go Global and the Societies Ball! Most of our Societies are also currently hosting Give it a Go sessions so if there is a Society you have

been wanting to join, now is the time! For this term we have also halved the Guild of Societies fee & most Societies have also halved their own membership fees! Become a member of any of our Societies online! As always, if you have any questions about Societies feel free to ask.

New musical opportunity: Overture Society

Andrea Gaini

Bethan Jones

Uni Boob Team is on hand to help you check your boobs each month!


ver the past few decades, musical theatre has become ever more culturally relevant since it has the power to connect different genres of art and artists all into one. Cardiff University is no exception from this; we have many students that share the same passion and love for musical theatre. Luke Morgan and Nicola Morgan, two freshers at Cardiff University and both musical theatre lovers, thought that musicals weren’t emphasised enough in our societies, except for the occasional performance from the drama society. One


of the objectives of creating the Overture Society was the connection that musical theatre creates between people. We also believe in the importance of using it as a link between all the different cultures that compose our University. Luke Morgan, now the president of the Overture Society, sees one of its main features as being “the openness to any kind of expression and creativity” and says that he “thought that by creating an enthusiastic group it would result in the production and enjoyment of fantastic art”. The society is run with “democracy at

its heart” says Luke and it includes a very diverse group of people with different skills and cultural backgrounds, united by their love for musical theatre. Within the committee decisions are made through votes, even though everyone’s opinion is taken into consideration. As a musical appreciation society, Overture seeks to provide new members with many opportunities to engage with the musical theatre world and enjoy the social life of Cardiff. Luke explains that “In the same way that our member base and skill set is varied, we aim to make our ac-

tivities and socials just as varied.” These will include trips to the theatre to watch the latest musicals, movie and open mic nights, showcases and workshops. The Overture society is a new society starting this semester. With their enthusiasm they aspire to create a place where members can express their love for music and theatre, providing an area where they can be free to open their hearts and be appreciated for what they are.

A diverse group united by their love for musical theatre

Coppafeel: a mammary masterclass

oobs, just like women’s bodies, come in all shapes and sizes. Some of us may be blessed with enviable cleavages, some of us may have had to resort to a little help from the odd chicken fillet or two on many an occasion. They may not be of identical size and, despite the perfectionism portrayed in magazines, in the real world it’s quite normal for the left one to not look as same as the right. One breast may grow faster or larger than the other and our breasts may also feel and look different throughout our monthly cycle. Nowadays we are constantly surrounded by the influence of advertisement campaigns for lingerie and swimwear brands that use the typical runway model girl who’s had a breast enlargement to get that ‘perfect’ bust. After such exposure to edited photographs, it can be difficult to recognise what normal breasts are. Our breasts are unique to us, and are part of who we are, and just like every other part of our bodies, deserve to be cared for properly. During our lives, breasts change due to menstrual cycles, pregnancy and hormones released due to menopause. Everyone has a favourite that they have had for years but will always refuse to part with, one we spent way too much money on but was absolutely gorgeous and an insanely comfy one that we wear on a lazy Sunday whilst having brunch on the sofa watching back to back box sets. Time and time again we have been told by our mothers, friends and the lingerie staff at all of the leading department stores to get our bra fitted professionally. These ladies may just have

a point. The University of Portsmouth Breast Research centre claims that a whopping 70 per cent of women are reportedly wearing the wrong bra size. It is recommended that bras are fitted every six months or after weight loss, since boobs can change size as a result. It is always worth remembering that you can be different sizes in different shops: try before you buy! When you look at your bra, the middle bit (or ‘gore’) should be lying completely flat against your sternum, the band should not slide as you move your arms, the underwire should follow the natural crease of the breast and should not be lying on any tissue and you should not be bulging out of the cups. The perfect bra should make you look amazing, whilst also going unnoticed and should not distract you when you go about your daily morning coffee run, ASSL library sesh and Lidl food shop. Then when you think you’re all sorted with the whole bra situation, you remember Wednesday afternoons, aka sports central. Unbelievably, The University of Portsmouth Research Group in Breast Health has found that one in five women have been deterred from exercise by their breasts! Ladies avoided such activities due to the embarrassment of breast movement and subsequent pain on exercising – if you’ve been wearing the wrong bra you may be all too familiar with such struggles. They also found that breasts move an average of 10cm in 3 directions during running but by wearing a good sports bra you can reduce potentially painful breast movement and muscle tension in the

Pictured: Coppafeel know their boobs, and how to party!

upper body during running. It is really important to get to know what your boobs look and feel like normally, so that you can identify any changes that need discussing with your GP as soon as you find them. Breast cancer can affect men and women of any age, and most breast cancers are first diagnosed through self checking. There is no right or wrong way of checking your boobs, simply watch out for lumps, constant pain in your breast or armpit, thickening of the breast skin, nipple discharge, change in size or shape of the breast, nipple inversion and swelling. Cardiff CoppaFeel! Society are a branch of the national breast cancer awareness charity called CoppaFeel! The charity aims to stamp out late detection of breast cancer by educating about signs and symptoms of breast cancer, getting people to check their boobs every month and encouraging people to have the confidence seek medical advice if things don’t seem quite right. The earlier a diagnosis is made, the more effective treatment can be. Your Cardiff CoppaFeel Uni Boob Team is on hand to help you to remember

to check your boobs every month! We have already had a very busy first semester where we created a hugely popular naked calendar alongside our friends at Cardiff University Ladies Rugby team, took over the Students’ Union YOLO Wednesday club night, spread the boob love on Xpress Radio, tested our knowledge of all things Hogwarts with Cardiff Harry Potter Society, hosted two of our legendary boobie bake sales, plastered ourselves in glitter for ‘Breastival’, our live music fundraiser, and talked to students and healthcare professionals at our stand at the founding event of Cardiff Oncology Society. As a society, we are really excited to take on more fundraising challenges and to continue to spread the boob love on campus. Don’t forget to CoppaFeel! Remain on point with your boob checking by simply texting CARDIFF to 70500 to receive free monthly text reminders so that you never forget to check – ask your friends, families too and help us spread the boob love! For more boob-related banter head on over to our website:

One in five women have been deterred from exercise by their breasts


16 Nash Point Coastal Walk £



Photo: Stewart Black

Popular for those who love a good hike or ramble, see the lighthouse and enjoy the rare plants and abundant wildlife Nash Point has to offer. Formed by Jurassic mudstones, you may even find yourself some fossils!

tickets Go on sale february 1st

a massive privilege jack McGrath, Men’s 1st teaM captain.

welsh varsity 2017 wednesday 5 april at venues across cardiff.

cardiff university v swansea university



Golygyddion: Osian Wyn Morgan Liam Ketcher @Taf_od

Codi tâl i gerdded copa uchaf Cymru? Yn y llun: Cerddwyr yn cerdded i fyny’r Wyddfa (Tarddiad: Liam Ketcher)

Liam Ketcher

Mae swyddog Undeb Amaethwyr Cymru, Gwynedd Watkin, yn dweud y dylid ystyried codi tâl ar gerddwyr i fynd i fyny’r Wyddfa. Bydd yr arian a godir o hyn yn talu am fwy o waith cynnal a chadw’r llwybrau.


chydig dros wythnos yn ôl bu farw dyn ar ôl syrthio i lawr Y Grib Bigog yn Eryri. Yn ôl Tîm Achub Mynydd Dyffryn Ogwen fe gwympodd tua 3 o’r gloch y prynhawn ar Ddydd Sadwrn y 21ain o Ionawr. Fe gludwyd o’r mynydd mewn hofrennydd i Ysbyty Gwynedd, lle bu farw yn hwyrach yr un diwrnod. Yn sgil hyn, a digwyddiadau tebyg, codir y cwestiwn a yw mynyddoedd Cymru yn ddiogel bellach i ddringo, heb gymorth proffesiynol. Ac oes angen, felly, i wneud mwy i gadw cerddwyr y mynyddoedd yn ddiogel? Mae swyddog Undeb Amaethwyr Cymru, Gwynedd Watkin, yn dweud y dylid ystyried codi tâl ar gerddwyr i fynd i fyny’r Wyddfa. Bydd yr arian a godir o hyn yn talu am fwy o waith cynnal a chadw’r llwybrau. Yn fy mhrofiad personol i o gerdded yr Wyddfa a Pen-y-fan, credaf fod y llwybrau yn cael eu cadw mewn cyflwr da. Ar ôl siarad gyda nifer fawr o stiwardiai sydd ar waelod y myny-

ddoedd, un o’r problemau mwyaf yw, er bod y llwybrau mewn cyflwr da, mae nifer fawr o dwristiaid sydd yn cerdded y mynyddoedd yn penderfynu defnyddio llwybrau eu hunain er mwyn cyrraedd y copa. Yn amlwg nid yw’n bosib cadw rheolaeth ar bawb sydd yn dringo’r mynyddoedd, ond yn amlwg mae’n rhaid cael rheolau mwy llym er mwyn cadw pobl yn ddiogel. Mae dros 400,000 o bobl yn cerdded Yr Wyddfa bob blwyddyn, sydd yn amlwg yn nifer mawr o bobl, a olyga ei fod bron a bod yn amhosib rheoli. Dywedodd Mr Watkin bod pwysau mawr ar y llwybrau oherwydd y straen oddi wrth y cannoedd o filoedd o bobl sydd yn dringo mynydd uchaf Cymru yn flynyddol. Creda Mr Watkin, bydda £10 yn “bris teg” er mwyn gallu cerdded Yr Wyddfa. Yn ôl Mr Watkin mi fydd y taliad hwn yn ceisio sicrhau digon o incwm, i barhau ar waith cynnal a chadw, a hefyd i greu system adna-

bod er mwyn i gerddwyr gallu dangos rhyw fath o drwydded i stiwardiai pe bai angen. Credaf fod hyn yn swnio fel syniad call iawn er mwyn gallu sicrhau diogelwch wrth ddringo copa uchaf Cymru. Ond rydw i’n bersonol yn erbyn y syniad o godi tâl ar ddringo mynydd gan ei fod yn ffordd o gadw’n heini, a hefyd mae’r dringo yn dod â thwristiaid i Gymru sydd yn dod ag incwm i fusnesau lleol ac i fusnesau sydd wedi eu lleoli ar Yr Wyddfa, megis y caffi sydd wedi ei leoli ar y copa. Awdurdod Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri sy’n goflau am Yr Wyddfa ac maen nhw yn gweld “problemau ymarferol” gyda’r system trwydded. Mae’r awdurdod yn falch fod y mater yn cael ei thrafod, ond creda bod yna well ffordd o godi arian er mwyn cynnal a chadw’r llwybrau a’r bobl yn ddiogel. Un o’r ffyrdd gorau yn fy marn i o godi arian ydy’r cynllun Rhodd Eryri a sefydlwyd chwe mis yn ôl bellach, ac mae yna sôn i ehangu cynllun gwir-

foddol sy’n codi arian gan ymwelwyr i geisio diogelu Eryri. Fel rhan o’r cynllun mae bron i 30 busnes wedi bod yn gofyn i’w cwsmeriaid i wneud cyfraniad tua’r prosiect wrth iddyn nhw brynu neu archebu rhywbeth trwy’r cwmni. Erbyn hyn mae’r prosiect wedi gallu codi dros £3,000, mae hyn yn cael ei defnyddio er mwyn hyfforddi gwirfoddolwyr a’r nod nawr ydy codi rhagor o arian ar gyfer achosion eraill er enghraifft cynnal a chadw llwybrau efallai. Tua £250,000 sy’n cael ei wario ar y llwybrau yn flynyddol ar hyn o bryd, ond er mwyn gwneud y gwaith yn llwyddiannus mae angen miliynau. Dyma pam mae Rhodd Eryri yn credu bod y syniad o godi tâl £10 er mwyn cerdded Eryri yn syniad da, ond nid pawb sydd yn cytuno gyda’r syniad. Mae Rhodd Eryri yn parhau i chwilio am fudiadau i gymryd rhan yn yr achos er mwyn sicrhau bod y prosiect yn ffynnu wrth i’r tymor ymwelwyr agosáu.

Dysgu’r Gymraeg gyda’r Taf-Od Y Dafarn

Learn Welsh with the Taf-Od The Pub

Gai _ os gwelwch yn dda? = Can I have _ please? Guy _ Oss guail-loo-chun (‘ch as in ‘loch’) tha

Cwrw= Beer Coo-roo

Gwin Gwyn= White Wine Goo-een Goo-in

Gwin Coch= Red Wine Goo-een Corch (‘ch’ as in loch)

Tua £250,000 sy’n cael ei wario ar y llwybrau yn flynyddol ar hyn o bryd, ond er mwyn gwneud y gwaith yn llwyddiannus mae angen miliynau.


Cryfhad yn safonau iaith y prifysgolion Yn y llun: Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru (Tarddiad: Ismail Mia drwy Flickr)

Osian Wyn Morgan


r y 15fed o Ragfyr, cyhoeddwyd ail ddrafft o Reoliadau Safonau’r Gymraeg a fydd yn gosod safonau ieithyddol ar sefydliadau Addysg Bellach ac Addysg Uwch Cymru. Roedd rhaid i’r llywodraeth greu ail ddrafft o’r safonau o ganlyniad i’r ffaith y gwrthodwyd y rheoliadau cyntaf fis Mawrth diwethaf, pan bleidleisiodd yr wrth bleidiau yn erbyn y rheoliadau a grëwyd gan y llywodraeth Lafur. Ar ôl ymgynghori gyda chynrychiolwyr myfyrwyr Cymraeg o Undeb Cenedlaethol Myfyrwyr Cymru, penderfynodd yr wrth bleidiau nad oedd y safonau yn ddigonol, ac y dylid eu gwrthod er mwyn sicrhau bod mwy o amser i graffu ar y safonau, ac er mwyn sicrhau fod y llywodraeth lafur yn ymgynghori gyda myfyrwyr Cymraeg.

Tra’n ail lunio’r safonau, ymgynghorodd y llywodraeth gydag amryw o gyrff, gan gynnwys UCM Cymru. Gwnaethpwyd llawer o newidiadau i’r rheoliadau wrth eu hail-lunio. Ychwanegwyd cymal yn rhoi hawl i fyfyrwyr fynegi dewis am lety penodedig Cymraeg, a sicrhau fod y sefydliadau yn hyrwyddo’r hawl hynny i’w darpar fyfyrwyr. Ychwanegwyd cymal yn golygu bod y safonau am gael eu gosod ar ganolfannau celfyddydau’r prifysgolion, megis Canolfan Pontio ym Mangor. Yn ogystal, mae’r rheoliadau diweddaraf yn rhoi hawl i fyfyrwyr gael mynediad i fewnrwyd Cymraeg, a derbyn tiwtor personol Cymraeg ei iaith. Croesawyd y newidiadau gan Bwyllgor Iaith Gymraeg UCM Cymru, a ddywedodd: “Credwn fod y rheoliadau yn rhai

cryf a digonol, a chredwn, fel corff sy’n cynrychioli myfyrwyr Cymraeg eu hiaith a dysgwyr, fod y rheoliadau bellach yn ddigon derbyniol i’w rhoi ger bron y Cynulliad. “Fel corff sy’n ymdrechu’n ddiflino i gynrychioli myfyrwyr Cymru i gorau ein gallu, ymfalchïwn yn y rôl y chwaraeasom er mwyn sicrhau fod y rheoliadau a fydd yn cael eu gosod ar sefydliadau AB ac AU Cymru yn rai digonol a theg. “Yn sgil rôl UCM Cymru yn y broses o lunio safonau, mae newidiadau cadarnhaol wedi eu gwneud wrth aillunio’r safonau, a fydd yn rhoi mwy o gyfleodd i fyfyrwyr Cymraeg eu hiaith a dysgwyr ddefnyddio’u Cymraeg o fewn y sector Addysg Uwch, ac ymfalchïwn yn hynny.” Fodd bynnag, cyhoeddwyd y safonau ychydig o wythnosau ar ôl i Alun Davies AC, y gweinidog dros y Gym-

raeg ac Addysg Gydol Oes, gyhoeddi ei fod yn bwriadu adolygu’r broses o lunio a gosod safonau, fel rhan o adolygiad ehangach ar bolisi iaith Gymraeg. Mae’r penderfyniad hyn wedi derbyn ymatebion amrywiol gan y Cymry Cymraeg. Dywedodd cynrychiolydd o UCM Cymru: “Er ein bod yn ffyddiog y bydd y safonau hyn am gael effaith cadarnhaol ar fywydau myfyrwyr Cymraeg eu hiaith a dysgwyr yn sefydliadau AB ac AU Cymru, rydym yn croesawu’r ffaith fod y llywodraeth yn ystyried ffyrdd gwahanol i hyrwyddo’r Gymraeg, a hwyluso’r defnydd ohoni. “Rydym yn agored i unrhyw bolisi a fydd yn fuddiol i’r myfyrwyr Cymraeg yr ydym yn eu cynrychioli, cyn belled nad ydynt yn gwanhau’r effaith cadarnhaol fydd y rheoliadau hyn yn cael ar fyfyrwyr Cymru”

Ymfalchïwn yn y rôl y chwaraeasom er mwyn sicrhau fod y rheoliadau a fydd yn cael eu gosod ar sefydliadau AB ac AU Cymru yn rai digonol a theg. UCM Cymru

Y ddarlith feddygol Gymraeg gyntaf erioed

Osian Wyn Morgan

“Roedd yn brofiad a wnaeth i mi ymfalchïo mewn bod yn Gymraes. Roedd yn wych gallu dangos fy mamiaith i fy ffrindiau o dramor. Nia Williams


r ddydd Llun, y 16eg o Ionawr, cafwyd digwyddiad hanesyddol ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd, pan gyflwynwyd darlith feddygol cyfrwng Cymraeg am y tro cyntaf erioed. Dr Awen Iorwerth, Darlithydd Clinigol dan nawdd y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd a thraddododd y ddarlith am iechyd esgyrn yn Gymraeg o flaen darlithfa lawn o dros 200 o fyfyrwyr. Mae Dr. Iorwerth, a raddiodd o Goleg Meddygol Cymru Caerdydd (bellach Ysgol Meddygaeth Prifysgol Caerdydd) yn credu’n gryf yn y defnydd o’r Gymraeg mewn meddygaeth. Mae Dr. Iorwerth yn brofiadol iawn ym myd meddygaeth, ac wedi dal amryw o swyddi gwahanol yn ystod ei gyrfa. Gweithiodd mewn nifer o ardaloedd gwahanol yng Nghymru, yn ogystal â threulio cyfnod yn Ysbyty Meddygaeth Prifysgol Massachussets, ac yng Nghape Town, De Affrica. Tra’n gweithio yn Ne Affrica, agorwyd llygaid Dr. Iorwerth i amlieithrwydd ym myd iechyd. Yn Nghape Town, roedd tair iaith yn cael ei ddefnyddio gan y staff – Afrikaans, Xhosa a Saesneg, ac roedd cleifion yn gallu defnyddio’r iaith sydd orau ganddynt yn hawdd. Ymddangosodd Dr. Iorwerth ar raglen ddogfen S4C ‘Doctoriaid Yfory’

y Llynedd. Roedd y rhaglen yn cysgodi myfyrwyr meddygaeth Cymraeg Caerdydd drwy eu bywydau yn astudio ac yn gweithio, gan edrych ar sut mae Prifysgol Caerdydd yn paratoi cenhedlaeth newydd o feddygon ar gyfer y dyfodol. Roedd Greenbay Media yn ffilmio yn ystod y ddarlith, a bydd y digwyddiad hanesyddol yn cael ei ddangos yn ail gyfres y rhaglen ddogfen. Croesawyd y ddarlith Gymraeg gan fyfyrwyr Cymraeg a di-gymraeg ynghyd. Dywedodd Nia Williams, myfyrwraig meddygaeth Cymraeg ei hiaith a fynychodd y ddarlith, “Roedd yn brofiad a wnaeth i mi ymfalchïo mewn bod yn Gymraes. Roedd yn wych gallu dangos fy mamiaith i fy ffrindiau o dramor.” Ychwanegodd myfyrwraig arall, Alexandra Cawrtha “Rwy’n credu ei fod yn gam mawr ymlaen i’r Gymraeg ac ro’n i’n falch o gael profiad ohono er mwyn i mi allu paratoi ar gyfer digwyddiadau eraill yn y dyfodol lle defnyddir dwy iaith” Dywedodd Alexandra “Ro’n i’n gwybod bod llawer o bobl yn chwilfrydig ynghylch sut oedd yn mynd i weithio.”. Fodd bynnag, gan ddefnyddio offer cyfieithu ar y pryd fe weithiwyd y ddarlith heb unrhyw drafferthion, a chroesawyd y Gymraeg gan fyfyrwyr di-gymraeg.

Dywedodd Sara Whittam, Rheolwr Datblygu Darpariaeth Gymraeg yn Ysgol Meddygaeth Prifysgol Caerdydd, bod yr adborth wedi bod yn hynod gadarnhaol, cyn ychwanegu “Mae llawer o’n myfyrwyr eisiau dysgu Cymraeg, ac maen nhw’n fodlon mynychu dosbarthiadau Cymraeg i Bawb cyn mynd ar leoliadau clinigol.” Yn ôl Sara Whittam, cynllun peilot

oedd y ddarlith hon, ond fod bwriad i ehangu ar ddarpariaeth Gymraeg yr ysgol feddygaeth yn y dyfodol. Dywedodd “Yn rhan o’r ddarpariaeth Gymraeg yr ydym yn ei datblygu’n barhaus yn yr Ysgol Meddygaeth, roedd y ddarlith yn ffordd wych o godi ymwybyddiaeth ein holl fyfyrwyr o sut gellir defnyddio’r Gymraeg a phwysigrwydd dwyieithrwydd mewn Meddygaeth.”

Yn y llun: Y ddarlith feddygol Gymraeg gyntaf erioed (Tarddiad: Prifysgol Caerdydd)

Meddwl y gallwch chi helpu gwella bywyd myfyrwyr ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd?

os mai ie yw’r ateb yna dylech enwebu eich hunan - enwebiadau’n cau: 02.02.17 -



A balance must be struck between being more freeflowing whilst maintaining elements of their successful resolute style.


our years since Rob Howley last stepped in for Warren Gatland and guided Wales to a Six Nations Championship, this year an atmosphere of pessimism cloaks the Wales camp. Wales won three of their four autumn internationals in November, but three average victories felt a little hollow in the absence of creativity and free flowing rugby. With England and Ireland taking the international game by storm over the past twelve months, many feel Wales have been left behind, at times looking void of confidence. With Gatland now on his Lions sabbatical, it falls to Howley once again to attempt to reignite the Dragon’s roar. The admission of English based stars Thomas Young and Owen Williams in the squad is, to many



Anything other than another wooden spoon campaign would be viewed as an unexpected success for the Azzurri.

taly are preparing for another basement battle entering the 2017 RBS Six Nations. They will once again enter the tournament as underdogs – although with new head coach Conor O’Shea at the helm they certainly have the potential to make an impact. Former Ireland full-back O’Shea is preparing for his first Six Nations in charge after taking over the job from Jacques Brunel after last year’s dismal tournament. He led them to an historic 20-18 win over struggling South Africa in the autumn, but a shock defeat to Tonga just a week later showed there is still a lot of work to do in terms of consistency before they can become a real threat in the Six

England now enter this tournament as defending Grand Slam champions, on the back of 14 successive wins.

hat a difference a year makes. Going into the 2016 Six Nations, despite the appointment of a new head coach and captain, England were not expected to win the tournament, let alone the Grand Slam. However, following a disastrous exit from the group stage of their home World Cup in 2015, England now enter this tournament as defending Grand Slam champions, on the back of 14 successive wins, equalling the English record of the legendary team that went on to win the 2003 World Cup in Australia. The Autumn internationals gave England another chance to shine after the 2016 Six Nations and their 3-0 series whitewash of Australia last summer, and they didn’t disappoint. A first win against South


by Gareth Axenderrie observers, overdue. The inclusion of youngsters like Olly Cracknell, Steff Evans and Ashton Hewitt add to a sense of optimism and excitement. The squad seems to have a greater balance of old and new, and the dropping of Sam Warburton as captain implies a vision focussed on the future. So, what of Wales’ chances? A quick look at recent history suggests they perform well in cycles when they play France, Italy and Scotland away from home. Right now they’ll be grateful to play Ireland and England on their own patch as opposed to away from home. However, bookies have Wales as third favourites, and their lack of recent creativity may haunt them as the Championship adopts bonus points for the first time in its history.

This year, there’s a feel the squad doesn’t choose itself for a change. There are quandaries about who should join Alun Wyn Jones in the second row. How the back row should look, and who plays in the centre and back three. Howley must now take his ambitious squad selection and pick players in the match day squad on form. A balance must be struck between being more freeflowing whilst maintaining elements of their successful resolute style. Will Howley pick Scott Williams in the centre of a midfield void of expansive substance? Will Tipuric finally make the seven shirt his own? Will Sam Davies be given an opportunity to prove his creative worth at fly half? Howley may or may not know these answers, but one thing is more certain: a Six Nations title this

year would surpass any of Wales’ previous successes. To do so, they must be brave in squad selection.

Rome February 5th


Cardiff February 11th

Editors’ Predictions: Rich: 5th James: 4th Mark: 4th


Edinburgh February 25th


Cardiff March 10th


Paris March 18th

Fixtures Wales

by Rich Jones nations. There is certainly plenty of leadership within the camp; O’Shea has quickly stamped his authority on the side, in-demand defensive coach Brendan Venter has committed his future to the Azzurri whilst the on-field achievements of Mike Catt mean he can command respect early in his coaching career. In skipper Sergio Parisse, Italy have one of the most iconic figures in the history of the game and a true superstar capable of grabbing a game by the scruff of the neck. One thing Italy are always guaranteed to bring to the table is physicality. Experienced front row pair Leonardo Ghiraldini and Lorenzo Cittadini should give them a solid base at the scrum, and new call-up




Federico Ruzza will aim to make his presence felt in the second row. Scrum half Edoardo Gori, Exeter centre Michele Campagnaro and Newcastle winger Giovanbattista Vendetti have the potential to cause problems with ball in hand. But they are ultimately likely to be outclassed by the majority of their opponents, particularly given Scotland’s encouraging form heading into the tournament. The bulk of their side are plying their trade for Pro12 outfits Zebre and Benetton Treviso, both of whom are languishing at the bottom of the standings with only three wins between them this season. Italy’s best opportunity perhaps comes in their first game against a struggling Wales side in Rome.

If they can come out firing against their Welsh counterparts and grind them down they could potentially earn a shock victory early on. But anything other than another wooden spoon campaign would be viewed as an unexpected success for the Azzurri, who remain a significant distance behind the other sides in the competition.

Editors’ Predictions: Rich: 6th James: 6th Mark: 6th

Rome February 5th


Rome February 11th


London February 26th


Rome March 11th

Scotland Edinburgh March 18th

Fixtures France

by Sam Saunders

Africa for 10 years followed by convincing victories over Argentina and Fiji were only surpassed by one of the most impressive second-half performances in their final match against Australia. England frankly looked worse than sub-par during the first half of that game, going in 16-13 down at half time. But a presumably stern team talk by Jones prompted the team to push on and they eventually won the match by 37 points to 21. This victory only serves to highlight the huge improvements that have been made under Eddie Jones, with England’s team now built around the 10-12 partnership of George Ford and Owen Farrell and superb performances by Ben Youngs in the number 9 role. Injury is one of the major areas of concern

for the England team in this Six Nations, as they are without Robshaw and both Billy and Mako Vunipola, with Jack Clifford and James Haskell (who only recently returned from a toe injury that saw him sit out the Autumn Internationals) injury concerns for the first match against France on the 4th of February. The returning faces of Kruis, Nowell and Itoje from injury should boost confidence, as England have already proved their strength in depth during the Autumn Internationals and Jones should feel positive that his team can still perform. And why should they not? Only Ireland look strong enough to truly stand in the way of England, but it’s always difficult to rule out Wales and Scotland against England, and the same can be said of France.

England expects, and Jones will be all too aware that his mission to turn England into a side that can challenge for the 2019 World Cup in Japan depends upon continued success here.

Editors’ Predictions: Rich: 2nd James: 1st Mark: 1st

London February 4th


Cardiff February 11th


London February 26th

Scotland London March 11th


Dublin March 18th




Nobody ever really knows which France will turn up at the Six Nations.

rance will be hoping to carry their confident performances from the Autumn Internationals into the 2017 RBS 6 Nations and I can’t see why they can’t do well if they start with a good result, but their injuries are their biggest problem at the moment. Nobody ever really knows which France will turn up at the Six Nations, they could turn up and pull out some good results or they could follow another mid-table path of uncertainty. The 2017 tournament will test France from the off as they travel to London in round one to face England who, under Eddie Jones, will be hoping to secure back to back Grand Slams. France won’t be a walkover for England however, they’re physically powerful and have improved a


Realistically, Ireland will believe second place is the minimum requirement going into this Six Nations.

” “

Cotter’s men are inches away from banishing the demons of being known as the nearly men.


ou get the feeling something special is happening way up on the brisk hills of Scotland. A heroic World Cup in 2015 had many people daring to the dream, but the meteoric rise was brought to an abrupt and rather humbling halt after a lacklustre Six Nations campaign last year. Scotland are the team on everybody’s lips. Peering out of Murrayfield, this Six Nations campaign could well define the Vern Cotter era and will undoutedly go a long way in shaping Warren Gatland’s Lions side. But there is no point getting ahead of ourselves. Scotland still have a spring campaign to get through and will be targeting beating last year’s effort of fourth place as an absolute minimum. An opening fixture against the inform Irish, who toppled the mighty All

failed to do in their close defeats to the All Blacks and the Wallabies in November. The French front row is arguably their best asset and this is where I expect the match against England to boil down to, with Dylan Hartley and Guilhem Guirado coming face to face as opposing captains at hooker. Having Louis Picamoles in the side will be a huge boost against an England side who have an injury-hit back row and the game could be won here if Noves chooses to start him alongside Damien Chouly. Unfortunately for France the fixture list isn’t on their side, after facing England they host Scotland before visiting Ireland. This means their hopes of a first title since 2010 could vanish before they even begin. I wouldn’t write them off just yet

but don’t hold out for the French, it could be a bumpy campaign.

London February 4th


Editors’ Predictions: Rich: 3rd James: 5th Mark: 5th

Paris February 12th


Dublin February 25th


Rome March 11th


Paris March 18th

Fixtures Scotland

by Philip Marsh

one’s attention will turn back to Dublin for the final week. The final game sees Joe Schmidt’s All-Black-conquerors take on Eddie Jones’s England, who won every single game in 2016 and are favourites to win the Six Nations. Many believe the winner of this year’s Six Nation will be decided by this final game. The Irish team will most likely have started preparations are for their meeting with England on March 18th. Realistically, Ireland will believe second place is the minimum requirement going into this Six Nations. Wales are out-of-sorts, France and Italy are rebuilding and whilst Scotland are undoubtedly improving, the Irish possess more quality and experience in their squad. Ireland will be anxiously observing Johnny Sexton’s recovery process.



by Mark Wyatt

lot over the past two years. France will be without Wesley Fofana through injury which is a big loss for them and his replacement Henry Chavancy has pulled out through injury too, with Toulon’s hard hitting Mathieu Bastareaud taking his place. The injuries seem to have piled up for the squad over the past week as it was announced hooker Camille Chat and back row Raphael Lakafia will both be absent from the tie in London. Toulouse hooker Christopher Tolofua will come in for Chat, while Lakafia will not be replaced in the squad. The list of injured players is worrying for the French and Guy Noves will have to reply on his players making a big impact to see off games and finish off opponents, something they


reland go into the 2017 Six Nations off the back of a successful Autumn Series. Victories against the mighty All Blacks and Australia will give the Irish team real confidence boost approaching the Six Nations. Ireland’s victory against New Zealand back in November was their first against the All Blacks in 111 years. Although the Kiwi’s avenged their defeat a few weeks later, winning 21-9, the encouragement gained from their monumental 40-29 victory will help carry them through this Six Nations. Ireland’s fixtures get harder as the Six Nations progresses. Scotland and Italy are their first opponents, followed by a home game against France before a trip to Cardiff and the Principality Stadium to face Wales. Should the Irish win all four games, every-


The fly-half was substituted with a calf injury last Friday against Leinster but has been selected for the Ireland squad nonetheless. The Irish coaching staff are confident their talisman will be fit for their opener against Scotland, but the recent injury no doubt concern Joe Schmidt who knows how important Sexton is to the team. Two surprise inclusions in the Ireland squad were brothers Niall and Rory Scannell. The pair play their club rugby at Munster and have been two of the few players at the club to impress despite the club’s poor form. Although neither is guaranteed a start during the Six Nations, Rory Scannell is perhaps the most likely to get some game time. The centre was in the squad for Ireland’s 27-24 victory against the Wallabies in November.

That being said, hooker Niall Scannell will be competing with James Tracy from Leinster to prove he is the best substitute for veteran Rory Best when substitutions are needed.

Editors’ Predictions: Rich: 1st James: 2nd Mark: 2nd

Edinburgh February 4th


Rome February 11th


Dublin February 25th


Cardiff March 10th

England Dublin March 18th

Fixtures Ireland

by James Lloyd

Blacks in the autumn, makes things slightly tougher, but a trip to France a week later might prove to be a change in wind. For the second time in just over a year, Scotland ran Australia close in November, before edging Argentina a week after in the autumn series. Cotter’s men are inches away from banishing the demons of being known as the nearly men. They nearly reached a World Cup semi-final, they nearly had a perfect autumn series last year, they nearly shocked Wales in Cardiff – can this year be known as the year Scotland were released from the shackles of being so close, yet so far? Cotter seems to have depth, experience and form in his squad selection. Stuart Hogg is dicing to be one of the best full-backs in the world, with Finn Russell emerging as a reliable stand-off

from the trusty boot of Greig Laidlaw at half-back. Jonny Gray is reportedly being watched by French giants Toulon, whilst centre Huw Jones is being lined up for a starting Lions role. On paper it is ferocious, but they will need the cogs to click if they are to find success. Scotland, though, have a reignited dream, a point to prove and they ceratinly have no fear. And if domestic club form is anything to go by, it could well be their year. Glasgow Warriors boast a large core of the national side and they are amongst the teams to beat in Europe this season following the 43-0 dismantling of two time European champions Leicester Tigers on January 21. There are hints that this could well be a successful Six Nations for the Thistle of Scotland. If it wasn’t for a

trip to Dublin in the opening round, then many would pencil them in as an outside shot for glory. But for now all Laidlaw and Co. have to do is show patience, take risks and above all, believe.

Editors’ Predictions: Rich: 4th James: 3rd Mark: 3rd

Edinburgh February 4th


Paris February 12th


Edinburgh February 25th

England London March 11th


Edinburgh March 18th


Warnock heaps praise on youngster Healey

Rich Jones

He’s a confident lad and the goal will have given him a massive lift. Neil Warnock


ardiff City boss Neil Warnock heaped praise on young gun Rhys Healey after his late heroics against Burton Albion earlier this month. Healey, 22, scored an injury time winner as the Bluebirds secured three straight Championship wins for the first time since 2015 with a 1-0 victory at the Cardiff City Stadium on January 21. The striker has spent time on loan with Newport County this season, but after working his way into Warnock’s plans he grasped his opportunity with both hands. And the experienced manager was delighted for Healey following a moment he knows will live with him forever. “He’s a confident lad and the goal will have given him a massive lift. That’s come through the academy, and nothing fazes him. “I told him with ten minutes to go just to enjoy it really, and that’s what he did. The players gave him a round of applause in the dressing room which was nice. He’s got the shirt and ball signed and he’ll remember it forever, won’t he? “I think he’s done well in training,

has Rhys. He’s made himself a nuisance. When we put Rickie (Lambert) on, we obviously haven’t got the legs in behind like Ken (Zohore) gives us. “We told him to make runs in behind Rickie, and also help out by just dropping on their anchor midfield lad when we were under the cosh. “He did both jobs. He was a threat and a nuisance and to get his first goal was fabulous for him. “He’s really worked hard this season. He’s played a lot of games at Newport and I was tempted not to use him because by using him he can’t go out on loan now. “I didn’t want to spoil it, but I was a bit selfish and I have no regrets about it. It gave us probably the best result since I’ve been at the club. “I’ve got to say, there’s not many youngsters who are knocking on my door when I’m looking at the team. “But Rhys, I’ve watched him a few times myself and there are things about him. Believe it or not his finishing probably let him down a bit at Newport, but his honesty will make him a good living. “We don’t know yet what level that’ll be at, but I had no qualms at all about

Pictured: Rhys Healey in action for Cardiff City U23s. (Photography: Jon Candy)

putting him on. It’s not about feeling pressure to play them, it’s about whether they are good enough and he was good enough to be on the bench and come on against Burton. “The choice was Rhys or Whits (Peter Whittingham) at the end, and we went with Rhys for that little but more getting in the channels and putting

their centre halves under pressure. “He was a nuisance, and at the end he got his reward. We haven’t got anyone like him other than Ken (Zohore), he’s as close as we’ve got. “He’s what I call a little rash. As a defender you’d hate him because he never gives you a minute, and it’s not a bad thing to have that.”

Liam Williams set for Liam Smith showdown as Frampton eyes up Selby

Rich Jones

24-year-old Williams was named the Boxing Writers’ Young Boxer of the Year for 2016 and is undefeated in 17 professional bouts.

” Gareth Axenderrie Cardiff Blues Columnist


elsh boxing prospect Liam Williams is gearing up for the biggest fight of his career so far as he faces off with Liam Smith in Manchester on Saturday, April 8. The unbeaten Clydach Vale fighter will face off with long-time rival Liam Smith in an eagerly-anticipated bout as he looks to step up to world level. Former WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Smith lost his title to superstar Saul Alvaraz in September but came away with plenty of credit. 24-year-old Williams was named the Boxing Writers’ Young Boxer of the Year for 2016 and is undefeated in 17 professional bouts. He retained his British and Commonwealth Super Welterweight titles with an 11th round stoppage over Gary Corcoran in Cardiff on July 16. Yet he was left frustrated when a huge domestic showdown with Ahmet Patterson didn’t materialise in November following an injury to Patterson just days before the fight.


t’s been a trying festive period for the capital region as poor league form has replaced early season optimism. The pursuit of a play-off place has diminished to a distant dream as the Pro 12’s big guns have continued to prove the void between themselves and the rest. Injuries through the busy period haven’t helped the Blues’ cause, and now that they lie six points off Champions Cup qualification, an upturn in fortune is needed to avoid another season ending below par. That said, qualification from Pool 4 in the Challenge Cup is an achievement that should provide a boost to dwindling

Williams nonetheless stopped late replacement Gabor Gorbics with a fierce body shot in the eighth-round to capture the vacant WBO European Super-Welterweight belt. He will now aim to cause an upset against Smith in a fight which could yet be for a world title if Alvarez vacates the belt and moves up a weight to fight Julio Cesar Chavez. They will be part of a historic occasion as Frank Warren begins an exciting new era of boxing on the BT Sport platform. The card will be headlined by hometown hero Terry Flanagan making the fifth defence of his WBO World Lightweight Championship against Russian Petr Petrov. But many are already backing Williams v Smith to be the fight of the night as both men aim to take a big step forwards with their career. Meanwhile, Carl Frampton is setting his sights on a huge unification bout with Welsh ace Lee Selby. Northern Irish ace Frampton was due

confidence. A group with Bristol and Bath, as well as a tricky away trip to Pau, provided a tough challenge for Danny Wilson’s men. Unlike many pools in the competition, the Blues’ was full of testing games that went some way to proving the squad’s quality. The Blues have gained more from their pool than the Ospreys have from theirs, the former gaining maximum points, and averaging over fifty points a game in a group that provided no competition whatsoever. Improvements in the performances of Matthew Morgan and Alex Cuthbert are timely, whilst Steven Shingler’s quality in the

Pictured: Carl Frampton (left) has called out Welshman Lee Selby. (via Flickr)

to defend his WBA featherweight world title against Leo Santa Cruz in Las Vegas on Saturday with IBF title holder Selby taking on Jonathan Barros on the undercard. absence of Gareth Anscombe has only provided confirmation that he is a more than able deputy. A tasty trip up the A48 to play Gloucester at Kingsholm in the knockout stages is the reward for the region’s hard European graft. Despite appetites being wetted for a Welsh quarter final derby against the Ospreys, an away trip to the Liberty Stadium almost never reaps a positive result.The task of turning over serial underachievers Gloucester on the road may be more achievable. The Six Nations distraction now gives the Blues management an opportunity to collect their thoughts on the season,

The pair have already talked up the chances of an all-British dust up in the future with both the Principality Stadium in Cardiff and Windsor Park in Belfast being touted as potential venues. and assess ambitions both domestically and in Europe. A top six finish is looking less likely, but should still be the driving aim. Connacht, Treviso and Edinburgh are next up, and realistically, victories against three sides currently sat below them should be the ambition. Wilson may talk “one game at a time”, but a top six finish from here will require beating teams below them. It’s an upward struggle that will require sides above them to slip, but a run of games is needed to reinvigorate league ambitions. As for Europe… it’s knockout rugby. Cue the cliché, but anything really can happen.


European Round-Up: Cardiff Blues and Ospreys reach Knock-Out stages as Scarlets and Dragons bow out James Lloyd

But it was the record breaking Ospreys who stole the show in the Challenge Cup after they made history with six bonus-point wins from six

” James Lloyd

Philip Marsh Cardiff City Columnist


spreys and Cardiff Blues are through to the knock-out stages of the European Rugby Challenge Cup after both sides made it out of the Pool Stages. Newport Gwent Dragons, though, narrowly missed out after their final round loss to Brive, whilst Scarlets were sent crashing out of the Champions Cup at the penultimate round following a 23-23 draw with reigning champions Saracens. But it was the record breaking Ospreys who stole the show in the Challenge Cup after they made history with six bonus-point wins from six – the first time that feat has been achieved on the European stage. Steve Tandy’s men were in rampant form through the Pool stages, after they dismantled Newcastle Falcons, Lyon and Grenoble. The Swansea based side racked up 279 points and conceded just 51 – making them the most feared team in the Challenge Cup. Sergio Parisse’s Stade Francais will

travel to the Liberty Stadium on the weekend of March 31 after they scraped their way through from Pool 5. Should Ospreys win, they could meet regional rivals Cardiff in Europe if they can overcome Gloucester at Kingsholm. Danny Wilson’s side finished runnersup to Bath in Pool 4 after a strong campaign that saw them thump Todd Blackadder’s team 29-3 in December. Gloucester, the 2015 Challenge Cup champions, could prove a tricky test for the Blues. The Cherry and Whites stormed to Pool 1 glory after overcoming La Rochelle at the top end. Kingsley Jones’ Dragons gave themselves a mountain to climb following losses to Enisei-STM and Worcester Warriors in rounds two and three. They overturned those disappointments with two home wins at Rodney Parade but needed a bonus-point victory away in Brive in the final round of Pool matches to have any hope – eventually losing 36-19. A valiant effort from Scarlets came

without reward after they were sent tumbling out of the Champions Cup. A tricky Pool group which had Saracens, the current European champions, Toulon winners in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and Sale Sharks. Wayne Pivac’s side ran Toulon close at the Stade Felix Meyol before over-

turning that result at Parc y Scarlets. Leigh Halfpenny had skewed a number of chances at goal for the visitors which gifted the hosts a 22-21victory. And the West-Walians were all set to take things to a final round decider, but Chris Ashton’s 83rd minute try in the penultimate round sent them out.

Pictured: Left: Cardiff Blues in action versus Glasgow Warriors in 2014. Below: Evans in action. (via Flickr)

Evans secures sixth place at Monte Carlo rally as reigning champion Ogier starts the season with a bang


elsh rally driver Elfyn Evans finished in sixth place of the Monte Carlo rally – the opening round of the World Rally Championship (WRC). Evans was the best placed British driver in the top class of world rallying after Kris Meeke was forced to retire following an off the course accident. Alongside co-driver Daniel Barritt, Evans scooped three stages wins on day two, but finished six minutes behind reigning world champion and teammate, Sebastian Ogier. Irish driver Craig Breen also enjoyed a successful weekend after he put his Citroen Total Abu Dhabi car in fifth place after a stunning effort across the three-day event. But Evans, driving an M-Sport Ford Fiesta, was left delighted with his performance and hopes to build on that going into the next round in Sweden. He said: “It’s a fantastic start to the


anuary’s flying start hit an obstacle on the South coast as Neil Warnock’s Cardiff City conceded late on to Brighton who claimed back top-spot. Earlier in January the Bluebirds started to look like a stereotypical Neil Warnock side. Cardiff were not playing the prettiest football ever seen but they were slowly becoming a team which were very difficult to beat. Defeat at the Amex Arena against Brighton was Cardiff’s first league game without victory in 2017. Despite falling to a 1-0 defeat the Bluebirds had the best chances of the game, but Brighton’s shot-stopper

season for us. We didn’t have a great day on Friday but Saturday’s performance more than made up for that and really raised some eyebrows. “I was very happy with my driving and the feeling with the car and tyres was really positive. It was easy to work with Daniel again, everything gelled together right from the start.” Evans is the son of former WRC driver Gwyndaf and made his debut on the world stage in 2007. His best finish at a world rally event was a second place in France 2015 – finishing the year 7th in the standings. But the Dollgelau based driver spent last year in the WRC-2, the second tier of world championship rallying. The prestigious Monte Carlo rally was marred this year by the death of a spectator on the opening day of racing. New Zealander Hayden Paddon, who drives for Hyundai, slipped on

black ice and collided with a fan. Despite the best efforts of medical staff at the scene and at a nearby hospital, the spectator passed away and Paddon withdrew his entry for the weekend.

David Stockdale was on hand once again this season to keep the home side in the game. Previously, two 1-0 home victories, first against Aston Villa and more recently against Burton Albion, as well as a derby-day victory against Bristol City gave the Bluebirds the nine points needed to break away from the relegation zone for the meanwhile. Another strong defensive performance against the Seagulls was not enough for Cardiff last Tuesday, but to only concede one goal away to the league leaders would have been some consolation to Warnock. Things will not get easiest any time soon for

the Bluebirds. Five or Cardiff’s next six fixtures are against teams in playoffs contention including the likes of Norwich, Leeds and Derby. Although the fixtures look difficult on the surface, Warnock will know if Cardiff continue to defend how they have in 2017, especially at home, they will pick up points in these fixtures. The biggest concern at the moment for Bluebirds fans is the lack of firepower up front. Kenneth Zohore has improved dramatically in recent weeks but has failed to find the back of the net on many occasions. Similarly, Anthony Pilkington has not contributed enough

Thierry Neuville looked set to win the rally after easing into a 50-second lead, but suspension problems left Ogier clear to claim his fourth consecutive Monte Carlo win.

It’s a fantastic start to the season for us. We didn’t have a great day on Friday but Saturday’s performance more than made up for that Elfyn Evans

goals from his position this season, although his brace in the Severnside derby will live long in the memories of Cardiff fans. To add to Cardiff’s troubles, Warnock has said since the Brighton game Cardiff are unlikely to sign any strikers before the January transfer window closes and they will have to wait until the summer to do so. On the bright side, relegation seems less and less likely for the Bluebirds as they begin to climb the table and aim for the top half. Who knows, with a late surge a play-off challenge could be possible, but it would take something really special.


Editors: James Lloyd Mark Wyatt Rich Jones Gareth Axenderrie @GairRhyddSport

Also this week

Rugby Union: We preview the Six Nations: Team by Team P36>>

Cardiff to host Welsh Varsity 2017

Football: Warnock backing whizzkid Healey after City winner P38>>

Women’s Rugby will make history when they run out on the Principality Stadium pitch. The BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park and The SSE SWALEC also agree to hold matches on April 5. James Lloyd


ardiff will host the 2017 Welsh Varsity after plans for the showpiece student event were finally announced. After a two-year absence, the Welsh capital will welcome Swansea University on April 5 for a day of student sporting action. Rowing will kick things into life with the Boat Race on April 1 with the blue riband event, the men’s rugby, capping off the sporting festival late on the 5th. And Cardiff AU President Elin Harding has confirmed that the women’s rugby will also play at the Principality Stadium, marking a serious landmark in university women’s sport. A delighted Harding said: “We have the Principality Stadium for both the men’s and women’s rugby. It’s really exciting because not even

the Wales women play at the Principality Stadium so it is a step in the right direction for women’s sport, it is all coming together nicely for our female athletes. “We have the Arms Park and the SWALEC Stadium too which are big, national stadiums which is exciting, so hopefully it will be the best and biggest Varsity yet. “It is really exciting to have Varsity in Cardiff this year. We have not had it for two years, so it is good to have it back and hopefully it will be a good showcase of sporting talent. “Believe it or not, we have been planning it since my first day in July, it has been going on for a number of months now, I am really excited.” Harding also believes Cardiff will have no problems in retaining the Varsity shield after a 15-year stranglehold on the prize. “Of course Cardiff can retain the Shield,” she said. “There’s a lot of pressure this year as we have never

lost it but I have faith that we can do it. Our clubs have got plans to step up their training in the run up to Varsity, so if we are all there supporting we will definitely retain the shield.” Alun Wyn-Davies’ men’s rugby side will be seeking revenge after losing last year’s game 16-10 at the Liberty Stadium. Louie Tonkin was in charge that day, and the team will have extra incentive after losing to Swansea in a BUCS game in November. Harding, Vice President of Sports, who also plays Netball, says she wants to see an open roof at the prestigious Principality Stadium. She said: “Fingers crossed it is a nice day, I don’t want to jinx it but it would be nice to have the roof open. “The information of schedules will be announced soon. It has been hard work trying to nail down the stadiums but hopefully that will make the platform bigger for our students as Varsity is an amazing experience for both the players and spectators.”

Pictured: The Principality Stadium will host the men’s and womne’s rugby games. (Photographer VisitBritain Images).

Rugby: Ospreys and Blues through to European Last Eight P39>>

Rallying: Three WRC stage wins for Welshman Evans P39>>

Gair Rhydd - 1090 - 30th January 2017  
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