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Is Brown really a big bad bully? Politics takes a look >> Page 16

ISSUE 917 MARCH 01 2010

University professor awarded royal prize

Student tells of taxi driver harrassment Professor Jonathan Shepherd receiving the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education from HRH Prince Charles and HRH the Queen

Ben Price Reporter

Alice Collins Reporter A second year Cardiff University student claims that a taxi driver made sexually inappropriate comments towards her during a journey home after a night out.

that he recalls picking up his first accuser at the University of Glamorgan after dropping off five other students from a night out in Cardiff. He stated that she was a nice girl and that he had obtained the girl’s mobile number because she had asked him if he would give her and her friends a lift when they were next in Cardiff. The student said: “He started by asking me about my course, then said ‘Have you been with a black man before?’ He also asked me if any of my friends had had a black man and did I want to be with a black man. He put his hand on my leg and when I moved it away, grabbed my wrist and took my hand over to him.

“He was making my hand rub against him then he put his hand right between my legs.” The prosecution also claim that Rahman attempted to assault another student a few days later whilst taking a pair of girls home from a party in Canton. He dropped the first girl in Cathays before travelling over the Gabalfa flyover, where Rahman allegedly started rubbing the other girl's leg. Prosecutor Michael Jones said: “He asked her if she wanted to go to a hotel then exposed himself and asked her to touch him. He grabbed hold of her hand and pulled it towards him and she felt sick and scared.” A spokesperson for a local taxi company said: “All taxi drivers are heavily licensed by Cardiff County Council and CRB checked to ensure that they are a fit and proper person.” The Union's Welfare Officer, Edward Dolding, said: “I was deeply disturbed by these reports, especially since the incidents happened in Cardiff, one of the safest student cities in the UK. “My advice for students heading home in a taxi late at night is to,

A Cardiff University Professor has been awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education. Professor Jonathan Shepherd received the reward as director of the University’s Violence and Society Research Group, which has been recognised for its pioneering work on latenight violence in city centres. The Research Group is a cross-disciplinary team that formed in 1996 and includes academics from the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Business and Psychology. The Group’s work has been applauded by national and local Government, the police and the NHS, and most recently by Her Majesty the Queen. Professor Shepherd and the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Dr. David Grant, attended a celebratory banquet for all the Prize winners at the Guildhall, along with other University representatives. Professor Shepherd said: “The Queen’s Anniversary Prize has been invaluable in increasing interest in our continuing work on city centre crime

and its consequences. Meeting her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh this morning was a great privilege and a tremendous reward for our efforts over the last 14 years. This is an achievement for everyone who has ever contributed to the Group and for our many local, national and international partners.” The Violence and Society Research group is the fourth member of Cardiff University to have received an Anniversary award. Past winners from the University include the Institute of Medical Genetics at the School of Medicine, which won the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2007 for work identifying genetic causes of diseases and developing new diagnostic tests and treatments for them, bringing benefits for patients and their families. In 2000, a Queen’s Anniversary prize was awarded to the Manufacturing Engineering Centre for its contribution to the economy. The School of Medicine’s Professor Tony Campbell also won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 1998 for his for his pioneering use of chemiluminescence in clinical settings, which has revolutionised biomedical research and clinical diagnosis, leading to improvements in healthcare around the world.

wherever possible, travel home with a friend, particularly if you've had a couple to drink. If you have to travel alone, make sure you only get in a black cab or a licensed mini cab. Type the registration number into your phone and keep it close at hand. “Concentrate on the route your driver is taking and if it looks suspect,

question him on it and don't feel afraid to ask to be let out in a well lit area. Don’t feel embarrassed about doing this – authentic taxi drivers will understand their passengers' worries and will be happy to let you out at a safe place.” The court case was still ongoing as gair rhydd went to print.


02 NEWS

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EDITOR Emma Jones DEPUTY EDITOR Simon Lucey CO-ORDINATOR Elaine Morgan SUB EDITOR Sarah Powell NEWS Ceri Isfryn Gareth Ludkin Emma McFarnon Jamie Thunder FEATURES Daniella Graham Robin Morgan OPINION Alex Evans Tom Rouse POLITICS Damian Fantato COLUMNISTS Tim Hart Oli Franklin LISTINGS Ed Bovingdon TAF-OD Nia Gwawr Williams Branwen Mathias Cadi Mai SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT Amy Hall Priya Raj JOBS & MONEY Katie Greenway SPORT Jon Evans James Hinks Adam Horne Lucy Morgan Robbie Wells CONTRIBUTORS Mostafa Abdoarrahem Tomos Clarke James Dunn Gwenno George Katie Greenway Tania Habimana Rachel Henson Adam Horne Ayushman Singh Jamwal Yaz Langley Patience Lewis Julia Leonard Lizzie Mansell Vinod Patel Sion Perks Benjamin Price Natalie Popova Edmund Schluessel Lucy Sheriff Oliver Smith Sophie Spence George Talboys Richard Thomas Fran Thistlewaite Lucy Trevallion Mike West Sarah Vaughan

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Year of the Tiger comes to Cardiff

CHASING THE DRAGON: Traditional celebrations with the Confucius Institute

Sarah Vaughan Reporter Guests from various parts of the Cardiff community were welcomed last week to come together in celebration of the 2010 Chinese New Year with its very own Gala. Cardiff Confucius Institute, which aims to be a promoter and provider of the Chinese language and culture in

Wales, was joined by the Lord Mayor to host the event to over 250 guests, including members of the Welsh Assembly, the Chinese Embassy, British Council Wales, and pupils from schools from across Cardiff. The event at the National Museum of Wales showcased an extravaganza of Chinese dance, film and drama, as well as traditional Chinese culture and a fashion show.

During the week leading up to the Gala, the Institute, based at Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, led a series of workshops in Chinese language and Tai Chi for sixth formers at City Hall as part of the Institute’s programme and week celebration, and was attended by more than 500 pupils. The week also marked the conclusion of the Institute’s Welsh Bacca-

laureate programme in Cathays High School, including sessions in Mandarin, Chinese music and dance, Tai Chi and Chinese Calligraphy. Mr Qiao, the First Minister for Education at the Chinese Embassy, and the Lord Mayor both applauded and praised the work of the Confucius Institute throughout the schools in the region and will continue to support their future work and events.

Student council Slash make national passes by-laws championships Gareth Ludkin News Editor Student Council passed the new governance by-laws along with changes to the process of election for non-sabbatical media officers, at last week’s meeting. After opposition was raised over the proposed changes to Union bylaws, at this year’s AGM on February 11, the latest Student Council meeting on February 23rd was relocated to the Great Hall in anticipation of large numbers of students wanting to have their say on the Union’s proposed membership by-laws. The troublesome by-law, which caused frustration among the student body, proposed that the minimum number of students required for an official society be raised from 20 to 30. However, Student Council saw no debate over the issue after the Executive observed the indicative vote taken

at AGM, that clearly showed that a change to the by-law was unpopular. A redraft of the by-law before Student Council sat reduced this number back down to 20, and the by-laws were subsequently passed without opposition. Student Council also passed the motion that would change the way in which non-sabbatical media officers are elected. In previous years, the editor of Quench, the head of Xpress Radio and the head of CUTV have been elected in the cross-campus elections. However, this year the positions will be elected internally within the sections of student media after Student Council decided that this would be a fairer way to elect these specialist positions. The knowledge of which is held more closely within each sections of student media, rather than across the student body.

Tania Habimana Reporter

Cardiff University’s Slash Dance Society last week performed in the prestigious UK Hip Hop Championships in Watford. The team eventually came ninth in their category, with the society’s President, Tania Habimana, admitting that competition on the day was tough. “Most crews are professional dancers training up to ten hours a day for several months but we’re only a society of students who do this as a hobby so for us to make it this far is a huge achievement.” The winners of the Championships go on to represent the UK at the World Hip Hop Championships in Las Vegas. Competitors must display high levels of technicality, creativity, artistic ability and musicology. Contestants who competed against Slash included Britain’s Got Talent contestants, Peridot and Nemisis, and Got to Dance finalists, Jukebox Ju-

niors. The society was formed in 2007 and in its first year they had only ten members. Over the course of three years, the team have gone from strength to strength and have finally built a repetoire which meets the Championships’ high standards. In the run up to the competition, the crew rehearsed as early as 7:30am at Park Place gym in order to make 9am lectures. The team will be performing their Championship routine at society events such as the award-winning ‘Slash the Streets’ as well as at charity balls.

NEWS 1 EDITORIAL & OPINION 8 COLUMNIST 12 FEATURES 14 POLITICS 16 TAF-OD 18 SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT 19 JOBS & MONEY 20 LETTERS 22 FIVE MINUTE FUN 27 SPORT 28


NEWS 03

gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

Millions of pounds spent on complaints Legal costs and case settlement fees are revealed Jamie Thunder News Editor A gair rhydd investigation has found that Russell Group universities spent almost £1 million of public money on legal fees and settlements relating to student complaints between 2002 and 2009. The universities directly paid at least £638,635 on legal fees and nearly £250,000 in settlements over the period (£75,000 from Liverpool University was not broken down into those categories). The true amount is likely to be higher. One university (Leeds) simply did not respond to enquiries, despite repeated requests, and three others refused to provide the information, citing confidentiality or the cost of processing the details. Some also did not record legal fees in a way that showed how much was spent on particular types of cases. Only money paid directly by universities, not that paid on their behalf (for example by insurers), is included in the total. Institutions that refused to clarify who paid the money are not included in the total.

Cambridge only paid legal fees up to £10,000 for any single case, with the rest being paid by their insurers. More than a third of the total £964,000 was paid by the London School of Economics (LSE). It spent more than £275,000 on legal fees and £55,000 in settlements, more than the next highest two institutions combined. Cases relating to student complaints cost three universities over £100,000, and a further three over £50,000. Of the eight universities that provided the full information, the average amount spent over the period was £107,000 (without LSE it is £76,000). This is a small proportion of their income, and usually represents a few expensive cases. However, it is also money that could be spent elsewhere. On its website, the Russell Group says it ‘represents the 20 leading UK universities which are committed to maintaining ... an outstanding teaching and learning experience’. No-one from the body was available for comment. gair rhydd contacted the relevant universities for comment prior to publication, but none responded. Table omits some smaller amounts

What they spent... LSE Cardiff Newcastle

£331,750 £141,051 £117,308

UCL Imperial

£71,521.90

Liverpool

£75,004.84

Manchester

£44,800

Cambridge Sheffield

£42,600 £33,427

Glasgow

£12,731.20

£71,426

(settlements only)

(settlements only)

Election week coming closer It’s only one week until this year's Students' Union elections kick off, and this year could see more candidates than ever running for the eight sabbatical positions. Election week begins on March 8, with voting opening on March 10 and closing on Sunday 14. The entire student body has the opportunity to elect their preferred candidates in order to shape the way in which the Students’ Union is run, and the way students are represented in the forthcoming year. The elections are a vitally important time for students to have their voices heard. The Hustings event on Tuesday March 9 will be a chance for students to grill candidates over their policies and their plans for the year ahead. All students currently studying at Cardiff University can vote and are encouraged to engage in the election process and the manifestos of running candidates. During election week, voting will take place at cross-campus voting stands, and via the internet at cardiffstudents.com. For the first time, some student media positions will not be decided by the whole student body this year.

Welsh eating disorder charity launched beat Cymru encourages Assembly Members to increase support Julia Leonard Reporter beat Cymru, a Wales-based branch of the national eating disorder charity, ‘beat,’ was launched last week. The First Minister, Carwyn Jones, declared the charity officially open for business at an event at the building for the National Assembly for Wales, the Senedd, on Tuesday evening. The Chief Executive of beat, Susan Ringwood, and Bethan Jenkins AM, the Chair of the Cross Party Group for Eating Disorders, also attended. Beat Cymru is part of a five-year plan to improve support for the 56,000 people who suffer from anorexia nervosa, bulimia and other eating disorders in Wales. Twenty support groups have been set up, as well as a helpline and website. “We want to be the voice for people with eating disorders. We want to influence the policy makers as well as ensuring that better services are provided and be the charity that people come to in Wales,” said Project Manager Helen Miller. Until now, there has been a distinct lack of specialist services in Wales. There is currently one adolescent unit in Bridgend and an out-patient bulimia clinic in Cardiff, so sufferers who require in-patient treatment have to go

to clinics in England. The Health Minister, Edwina Hart, has recently allocated £1million of Assembly Government funding to set up community services over the next three years. Beat Cymru plans to train frontline health workers to identify the symptoms. Two clinical network teams are currently being set up, one in north Wales and one in south Wales. Diagnosing the disorder has been problematic due to lack of awareness. One mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, has first-hand experience of this, because her daughter had anorexia for thirteen years. “I was amazed to see quite a senior hospital doctor ask my daughter if she was planning to become a model. I can’t believe that somebody who’s well trained in a hospital could think that,” she said. Beat also hopes to ‘anti-stigmatise’ the condition. Recent research shows that one in five people in Wales do not believe that eating disorders are a serious mental health problem. In reality, they have the highest mortality rate of people with a psychiatric condition. “People die of eating disorders,” said Helen Miller. “They can be beaten but they're a serious problem and this is the message we need to get out there to everybody.” For more information, visit www.beat.co.uk/beatCymru.

BEAT CYMRU: Here to help people in Wales with eating disorders


04 NEWS

gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

university in Egypt Emma McFarnon News Editor The University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC) is collaborating with an Egyptian university to establish an international institution in Africa. ! " # $ % & University and UWIC have maintained a partnership since 1996, but the relationship was last week strengthened when the two confirmed their commitment to developing a new international faculty. The project, which is a direct implementation of the Egyptian National Higher Education strategy, will enable a new Egypt-based University to be built. The venture will enable the two institutions to work in partnership, sharing expertise and knowledge to improve the quality of higher education in the country. A signing ceremony took place at the building for the National Assem-

bly for Wales, the Senedd, last week. UWIC vice-chancellor, Professor Antony Chapman, and Fayoum president professor, Ahmed El Gohary, joined Osama Saleh, chairman of the Gener-

al Investment Authority for Egypt, to formalise the agreement. Cardiff Lord Mayor, Brian Griffiths, and Swansea West AM, Andrew Davies, were also present.

The new facility will be the first Higher Education and Scientific Research Institution in Egypt, using the Public Private Partnership model in an investment zone. Professor Chapman said: “UWIC has a worldwide reputation with students from more than 140 countries, and this event is a major milestone in the continuing relationship with a key international partner, with whom we already share major EU contracts.” Professor El Gohary added: “The establishment of a new international campus based on a public-private partnership model enhances Egypt’s capacity to carry out world-class research. “We are grateful to UWIC for their commitment towards higher education in Egypt. The project will focus on two to three programmes in the first phase, including the areas of food science and technology, hotel and events management, and nursery and total quality management for hospital care.”

Cardiff Uni lecturers oppose cuts Emma McFarnon News Editor Academics from across South Wales gathered at Cardiff Bay last week to lobby against university funding cuts. Lord Mandelson’s plans to cut university funding in England by £533m in 2011 prompted lecturers from Cardiff University, the University of Wales Institute (UWIC), and the University of Glamorgan to talk with politicians in Cardiff Bay. The lecturers, who are members of the University and College Union (UCU) Cymru, met at the building for the National Assembly for Wales, the Senedd. There they warned Assembly Members against cutting funding to the university sector. Union members told AMs that cutting investment would derail Wales’ economic recovery and threaten hundreds of jobs. University of Glamorgan lecturer and chairman of UCU Cymru’s higher education sector committee, Terry Driscoll, said: “If budgets are cut then Welsh universities will face years of crisis. It could take the sector a decade or more to recover.”


gair dd NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

NEWS 05

NI review support for fees freeze exposed Belfast Student newspaper leaks report findings

 

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Lucy Sherriff Reporter A confidential report has been leaked to a student newspaper stating that capped fees in Northern Ireland should not be lifted. The Gown, the student newspaper for Queen's University, Belfast, claims that it has seen secret interim findings of the government commissioned review into whether or not tuition fees should rise. The enquiry, chaired by Joanne Stuart, head of the Institute of Directors in Northern Ireland, was launched

after pressure from the elite Russell Group universities. The group were calling for fees to be almost doubled, in order to make up for government cutbacks and improved standards in universities. Queenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s University is one of the lead campaigners for increasing fees. The Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, who endorsed the campaign, linked the past rise in tuition fees to an improved student experience: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;As students who go into higher education pay more, they will expect more and are entitled to receive more in terms not just of the quality of courses but the whole experience they receive in

Universities urged to consider exam drug testing Rachel Henson Reporter Universities are being urged to consider measures to investigate the use of smart drugs in examinations. Cognitive enhancement drugs, such as Ritalin and Modafil, are increasingly being used by students to increase alertness during exam periods. The drugs increase acetylcholine levels in the brain and are used to improve attention in patients with conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s disease. Professor Barbara Sahakian, a clinical neuroscientist at Cambridge University, is encouraging universities to discuss the ethical issues surrounding the use of smart drugs in education. Prof. Sahakian addressed the audience of a public lecture at the Royal Institution on Monday: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If these drugs become, essentially, legal, it will be difficult to say you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t use them for a competitive exam.â&#x20AC;? Surveys undertaken in the United States estimate that between fifteen

and twenty percent of university students use cognitive enhancement drugs to boost their performance. A study on the use of such drugs in researchers and scientists found that a fifth of those surveyed had used the drugs, but that most were against their use in competitive examinations. As the use of smart drugs increases, so do concerns over peer pressure to take them. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some students feel it is cheating, and it puts pressure on them to use these drugs when they really donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to,â&#x20AC;? Prof. Sahakian said. Smart drugs can be bought over the internet, leading to concerns about the quality of the product. The long-term effects of smart drugs on healthy users and their effectiveness in improving performance during academic assessments are not yet known, with studies into physiological responses to the drugs currently being undertaken. Concerns have also been raised about the practical and ethical implications of prohibiting or monitoring the use of smart drugs in academia through methods such as urine testing.

higher education.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; However, the report also revealed that â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;it found it difficult to link the additional income generated from the introduction of variable fees with an improved student experience.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Last year's National Student Survey results revealed an drop in overall student satisfaction for the first time since top-up fees were introduced four years ago. The review also admits that â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;only a portion of the income generated through the increase in student fees in 2006 has been ring-fenced for reporting purposes' and that 'it is therefore difficult to report exactly how the revenue has been spent'. The leaked

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06 NEWS

gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

Libyan students Welsh student in Miss Universe finals celebrate their Natalie Popova Reporter A student from South Wales has made it through to the Great Britain finals in this year's Miss Universe competition. Victoria George-Veale, 18, from Llandaff, Cardiff, will be competing in the final of the pageant in Birmingham on May 2. Miss George-Veale will be one of 41 girls in the final, with five others from Wales. Miss. George-Veale is currently on a gap year, and takes Welsh evening classes and ballet, along with a parttime course at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. She runs her own dance classes, and has a small supporting role in the new TV drama series, 'Pen Talar', as well as an ITV commercial. At the beginning of April she is auditioning for full-time drama courses and hopes to be accepted by the Royal

Academy of Dramatic Art. When asked about her views on eating disorders in an interview with Herald Wales, Victoria said: “Everyone has something that they don't like about their bodies. Sometimes insecurities come from a hurtful comment from someone when people are growing up, especially in school, and that comment seems to stick in that person's mind always. Others probably don't even spot the issue that the individual is worried about. I think that people should not worry and just be happy that they are who they are. “I don't like to comment on other people's sizes or whether being a size zero is right or wrong, but all I can say is that I just love my food and get tremendously excited about it. I win the gold medal for being a chocoholic! I just make sure that I do a lot of exercise and walking in fresh air.” Victoria is currently fundraising for the Joshua Foundation, this year's

charity of choice of the British Miss World pageant.

national culture Julia Leonard Reporter

FINALIST: Welsh success story

Cardiff goes global

Daniella Graham Features Editor Go Global, the annual festival of culture and diversity, has been taking place all week around Cardiff University. Saturday saw events including Medsin’s ‘Stamp Out Inequality in Healthcare’ workshop and the Malaysian Society’s annual performance. On Sunday, Korea won the Go Global World Cup at Talybont (see Sport for a full report.)

CELEBRATION: Libyan students embrace culture

Mostafa Abdoarrahem Reporter

Socialist Students Society. Model Monday saw from M s events e a onda f ve the t wr RAT R he T omS nt A S oc S t s y . ude M ioc UN’s Children Pack S Society, Harry Potter kS SociP a, tthe oc H hec P a oti U roc se IInvisible r nvi tC N y ey illecture, rhi -e’ fillm ety, and the Live Music Society. The screening and charity auction, telling Clothes Exchange, a clothes-swapping the story of child soldiers in Uganda, event hosted by RAG and the Fashion raised £579.48 for Invisible Children. As gair rhydd went to press, the Society, raised £252.17 for Oxfam. One of the week’s highlights was Real Ale and Cider Festival was in Boombox versus Bhangra presented full swing whilst the Anime Society by the Asian Society and the Students’ were hosting the Cosplay Café, a café Union, where bhangra was declared scene where the hosts dressed as anthe winner in a DJ battle with Boom- ime characters. box. Read next week’s gair rhydd for Events on Wednesday included news and pictures of the rest of Go personality tests, a manga session Global and Global Village. and a rock concert presented by the

cial Officer at the Students’ Union, described his travelling experience in Libya and urged others to go. Two Libyan PhD students studySociety hosted The Libyan S ociety its sec- ing at Cardiff then gave presentations ond Cardiff Libyan Open Day in the about Libya’s unknown treasures, Students’ Union S tudents’ Great Hall last from Roman cities to the lakes in the week. week . desert. To round up the day, both ProfesThe event, which took place on Osmond February 18,eaaimed Car-- sor F d ttobr iintroduce i o nt m C ua Jonathan rea oduc r r and Students’ y Ed difff sstudents taand fsstaff Libyan di ude f tto ndL t o accul- i Union f ul byaPresident, nt - Carey, s weren Libyan Society offieccer, Mostafa tture. L ur S i of bya oc, M .e fipresented r i oswith e a nsilvert plateyt showing a Abdoarrahem, w welcomed visitors A bdoa vi e aand Tripoli l snd ccastle. i om tr or r a Carey Cardiff Uni-r ke sspeakers,peaand iintroduced nd nt C afU a Ed oduc nir said: di “Ir am -hugely s fim, pressed versity’ss P Pro-Vice Chancellor, ve i C rcr so-, eJJonaha i ona t Vwith y’ the nc effort that has -gone e into this event. Mostafa is m clearly a tthan Osmond. ha nO s Visitors explored an exhibition man who loves his country and has history, whilst be be-s an admirable aabout tthe ccountry’s bout he s hi ount , w hit or passion - r l for promoting y’ s y tis a iing aaccompanied sL t ni om l udeand Libyan ngl ode pa ici byent c sstudents i y st charm bya e richness. d n nt m cs explained l it drabout bl ur Libyans’ way e e eof n “I, think this is precisely what all who life. The exhibition, which was full of nationality-based societies could be historic Greek and Roman architec- doing. It is an excellent way to celture, also covered the Libyan struggle ebrate our diverse and vibrant student for freedom from the Italian occupa- population. Visiting Libya is definitely on my to do list.” tion during the 1930s and 1940s. The previous Libyan Open Day, Traditional homemade dishes and sweets were served, before four guests held in December 2008 was attended spoke. Professor Eleri Jones, Director by more than 260 visitors. Last year of Research at UWIC and a member the Libyan Society was the second of the Ministry for Heritage’s tourism best new society at Cardiff Univeradvisory panel for Wales, spoke about sity and their treasurer, Mostafa, was awarded the “Most Committed Socithe Libyan tourist industry. Rich Pearce, Finance and Commer- ety Member” of the year 2008/2009.

sh


WORLD NEWS 07

airrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 08 2010

You'll never guess what...

A remote location Friends of 19-year-old Huang Chen, a student from Changsa, Southern China have gone a little far with a practical joke. The students decided to push a TV remote control up their mate's backside after he collapsed unconscious during a drunken night out. After the remote control was removed, Dr Wei Lung Zhi of Hunan Hangtian Hospital said: “He will be fine in time, but the remote was a write off.”

Flying fish Tomos Clarke Reporter Late last week a small town deep in Australia’s Northern Territory, Lajamanu, experienced a downpour of biblical proportions. This was, however, not a torrential downpour of rain. Thousands of fish poured from the skies above the village. Thousands of spangled perch, found commonly in the waterways of the northern territory, bombarded the residents, shocking locals. Resident Christine Balmer described the scene: “Hundreds and hundreds of fish landed in the town. Locals were picking them up off the ground everywhere.” She added: “These fish were alive when they hit the ground - thank God it didn’t rain crocodiles.” The fish are common throughout much of the northern territory and will live in any large body of still or flow-

ing water. Lajamanu, however, is on the edge of the Australian desert, over 300 miles away from the nearest river or lake. An explanation has been offered for this strange occurence. As unlikely as it sounds, Meteorologists from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology suggest that a tornado could have sucked the fish high into the air, up to 50,000ft, before dropping them hundreds of miles from their point of origin. Mark Kersemakers of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said: "Once they get up into the weather system they are pretty much frozen and after some time they are released." This phenomenon has been observed before, in the early 1980s there were reports of similar occurrences in the area. Historically similar cases have been reported. In 1969 golf balls fell from the sky in Florida, and again in 1976 .

FOR WHOM THE WEDDING BELL TOLLS: Newlyweds in prison

Til assault do us part Sarah Vaughan Reporter

Foolish facebooker A wanted criminal has been found after police discovered his whereabouts on Facebook. Chris Crego pleaded guilty to charges of assault in 2009, but after failing to turn up to his sentencing it was suspected he was trying to escape charges. Luckily for the police, this particular criminal did not seem hugely intent on escape, as he updated his Facebook and MySpace pages with his current address and place of work. He even uploaded his ‘wanted’ poster. Unsurprisingly, Crego was found and charged $25,000. He now awaits his hearing.

! " #$ %% & ' ( ) Last week 200 members of the public gathered to bare all in the name of art. American artist Spencer Tunick is famous for his photographs of mass nudes in artistic formations at varying locations. On Monday crowds assembled themselves outside the Sydney Opera House in Australia, while Tunick organised his artistic subjects over a loudspeaker. Participants were asked to adopt varying poses including lying down, hugging, kissing and waving their arms in the air.

DEAD FISH: Floppy

A newlywed couple in Massachusetts had to spend their first night in separated prison cells after police revealed that the new bride had made an unsuccessful attempt to run over an old flame of the groom. Marissa Ann Putignano-Keene, 22, is said to have tried to run over the woman, who was with her son at the time, in a car park near the residential area where they live. She blamed sudden jealousy and protectiveness for her hasty road rage. The ‘other woman’, although not currently involved in any way with the groom, later admitted to the police that she had previously been in a se-

rious and intimate relationship with him, possibly evoking a reason to be the target of the bride’s anger. On the day of their wedding, the bride was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Her new husband, Timothy Keene, 37, was with her in the car when she made the sudden attempt, and was consequently charged with disorderly conduct. The happy couple got married at Barnstable Town Hall and police have said that they split a bottle of champagne before leaving the reception together. Although they didn’t get too far before heading to prison to spend their first night apart, the new Mr. and Mrs. Keene were released with their charges the following day without the means of an attorney.

A clucking good idea

Belgian town introduces chickens to tackle public health risk Rachel Henson Reporter Households in a Belgian town are being offered chickens to help clean up the local area. Fifty pairs of hens are on offer to residents of Mouscron, who are being encouraged to feed them kitchen scraps. The introduction of these hens comes after over-flowing rubbish bins were deemed a public health risk in the area. The new chicken owners will be provided with basic chicken care instructions to ensure their welfare, and will only be given to households with sufficient space to raise two adult chickens.

The town council have 100 hens ready to be distributed, but the decision has been made to pair the chickens with a companion to prevent loneliness. Applicants must place a bid for the chickens and sign a contract to declare that the hens will not be eaten, sold or given away within the next two years. The successful applicants must also agree to regular inspection visits by local authorities. Households that have previously received free chickens are not eligible for further complimentary poultry. Health official, Christophe Deneve, said that the project offers “dual benefit” for people of the town; providing them with free chickens, while reducing the environmental problems associated with leaving waste in the

streets. The project is being promoted as an opportunity for a supply of free, fresh eggs for several years. Deneve said: “All interested people can send us a letter detailing their motivations. If they live in Mouscron and do not already possess hens, we will give two to them.” The town of Mouscron is located in the western Belgian province of Hainaut, near the French border, and has a population of 52,000. This is the third time that chickens have been offered to local people by town officials. Following the success of previous chicken give-aways, the project coordinators hope to use publicity surrounding this event to promote alternative methods of waste management.

Vermi-composting is another alternative waste management strategy involving worms and manure. It will soon be offered to disappointed residents living in flats who are unable to apply for free chickens.

CLUCKING: Handy


08 OPINION

gair

. 01 2010

BOOZE BLUES: Is drink really worse than drugs?

Is Britain's drug policy Nutts? Is the fact that they are illegal actually worsening the perception of drugs? Sophie Spence Opnion Writer

Prior to Professor David Nutt's lecture last week, all I knew about him was that he was a scientist and he was involved with the government. I had ingeniously gathered this from the lecture title, "Government vs. Science". For those unfamiliar with his work, Nutt was the government’s chief drug advisor before being sacked last year for claiming ecstasy and LSD were less dangerous than alcohol. Sitting in a chemistry lecture theatre, I had no idea what to expect from this highly controversial figure. The place was packed, stiflingly hot and very sweaty. There was a general buzz radiating around the room. Not only was a taboo subject going to be openly discussed, which any Cardiff University lecturer is always likely to shy away from at the risk of getting into trouble, but students would even be encouraged to ask questions about the most illegal of substances. What caught my attention first and foremost was Professor Nutt himself: he seemed genuinely pleased to be there and was a dynamic yet relaxed speaker. He poked fun at himself and was admirably unashamed when re-

telling how he was sacked the previous year. There was no bitterness, just the facts about what happened. This is what made him so compelling to listen to. Here was the polar opposite of a politician, who lie only when their lips move. Nutt respected the role of the government ministers who sacked him and said simply that, more often than not, science and government do not mix. The professor argued that if statistics alone influenced government policy then horse riding would be outlawed and cannabis would be legal.

Alcohol needs to be recognised as a drug, for it is one of the most dangerous out there This is what got him into so much trouble in the first place. Nutt’s ‘equasy’ theory [that riding a horse was statistically more harmful than taking ecstacy], although rationally correct, completely undermined the government’s position on drugs. Then Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, was quoted as saying that “you cannot compare an illegal activity to a legal

one”. As long as drugs are determined illegal then little can be done to change the perception of their relative harm particularly in comparison with horse riding. The law exists to protect people from harming themselves and it is perhaps irresponsible to advocate drug taking, no matter how small the risks are. Professor Nutt was careful not to encourage drug taking of any form but he did argue that scientific evidence should be used for justification of the government’s current drug policy. Nutt spoke at length about cannabis, arguing that taking the drug created only a "relatively small risk" of psychotic illness. He provided interesting data which he claimed proved that the effects of cannabis, ecstasy and LSD were a lot less harmful than alcohol. Alcohol, he im-

plored, needs to be recognised as a drug, for it is one of the most dangerous out there. I agreed with him on this one – how can alcohol be sold so freely and cheaply when alcohol-related illnesses cost the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds every year? Professor Nutt went on to explain the large role that the media plays in ecstasy’s misrepresentation. This was easily his most persuasive argument. He cited that in a one-year period, 261 deaths occurred from a paracetamol overdose, of which just one was reported in the press. In the same year, 25 deaths resulted from ecstasy abuse and all 25 were reported by the press. He acknowledged that ecstasy-related deaths sell papers, as it is the parents of middle-class children that the newspapers target.

DAVID NUTT: The man at the heart of the debate

Newspapers like the Daily Mail and Daily Express are apparently meant to scare parents into thinking that their children are at risk. The media, he argued, has much to answer for in the way in which we perceive drugs. The power of the press to influence policy is huge. It scares the public into thinking that there is a drug problem which the government then reacts to, despite the fact that it’s simply press scaremongering.

The media has much to answer for in the way we perceive drugs Professor Nutt's argument completely changed the way I view drugs, particularly ecstasy, which has always had so much negative stigma attached to it. I still cannot get my head around the concept that taking cannabis, ecstasy or LSD will statistically cause me less harm than going horse riding, however. It sounds completely barmy, but it is an excellent example of how statistics can prove anything you want them to. The main lesson I learnt is not to believe everything you read in the papers – perhaps not even this article.


OPINION 09

gairrhydd | OPINION@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

Stop Scots eating? Fat chance Scotland's obesity epidemic is costing us millions Alex Evans

Opnion Editor You. Yes, you. You’re fat. Obese, actually. So ridiculously, dangerously overweight that the government is going to have to do something to curb your lard lust immediately before you drop dead at the age of 28, mouth stuffed with greasy burger. Well, if you’re Scottish, that’s what your government thinks of you. In fact, those ever-considerate MPs north of the border are busy dreaming up new measures to keep scotch eggs from podgy Scots’ fingers. Obesity is a big problem up there. The statistics are enough to put you off your breakfast; 40% of Scottish adults will be obese by 2030. Over a million adults and 150,000 children in Scotland already are. That’s not just overweight, but the dangerous, clotted-cream drinking, blood-clotting kind of chunky. The result? A staggering £4billion cost to the NHS and ultimately, to the taxpayer. Clearly, something needs to be done. Unless Scotland does end up going independent, at which point us Welshies/Englishmen can shrug and leave the jocks to snaffle their deepfried confectionery, we are going to have to pay for their problems. In these times of worrying recession, the money involved is almost as worrying as the fact those

Scots are dragging down our British life expectancy average. What is a bigger issue, though, is what the government plans to do about it. Subsidised gym memberships? Healthy food promotions? Flab-fighting campaigns? Er, no. They’re going to restrict portion sizes in restaurants. Imagine the next time you go to eat out, be it Pizza Hut or a poncy French place, stomach rumbling. You order the largest/most expensive item you can find, knowing it to be beltbreakingly satisfying. Picture your

disappointment as you realise you’ve come to the Scottish chain and you’re presented with a meal that’d make anorexics ask for seconds. And you paid full price for it. It’s a ridiculous idea. Almost as absurd as the other clever plan they’ve devised – hiding chocolate and junk food in shops. I don’t want to have to ask for a bag of Skittles from behind the counter like some shifty junkie the next time I want a few sweets, and I’m sure most Scots don’t want to either. It’s certainly a bold set of plans

that the SNP have outlined. Imagine telling the Irish they could no longer drink, or the Welsh that smoking was off-limits. The Scottish aren’t exactly a calm, easy-going people. There’ll be riots in the streets. These are not the kind of changes which are going to make people healthier. Educating people about the dangers of fatty foods, or encouraging people to exercise will help. Deciding for people how much they can or can’t eat and hiding the rest, won’t. Maybe that’s the point. Perhaps the Scottish government are just trying to shame, embarrass or annoy people into being healthier. Hey, it worked with the smoking ban… Governments are intent, it seems, on restricting the freedoms of their people in ever more ludicrous ways. Perhaps it is necessary, actually. After all, some Scots clearly can’t be trusted not to stuff their faces in fatal quantities. Can we really blame MPs for resorting to underhand tactics? Well, yes. MPs can’t legislate people into being responsible or changing their ways if they just aren’t interested. What really needs to change is the food culture. Cut people’s portions and they’ll just be fat and angry. Teach children how – and why – eating healthily is the way forward, and things might change. Or we could just devolve Britain, cut off the Scots’ cash and let them sort it. I’ve long since lost my appetite for subsidising Scotland’s problems.

Bankers: good for Britain?

Perhaps bonuses for bankers are a necessary evil Sion Perks

Opnion Writer With a recent YouGov poll revealing that 76% of people support a cap on bankers’ bonuses, there has been a growing debate in parliamentary circles about whether the government should restrict what many see as the excessive salaries of those in the financial sector. Recent rumours that RBS, which is 84%-owned by the taxpayer, has set aside £1.3bn to spend on bonuses for its staff has added fuel to this fire and seems to show that the government is incapable or unwilling to take action. What is not clear, however, is the effect that a blanket cap on bonuses – seemingly favoured by the public at large – would have on our banks and the economy overall. The justification for the excessive salaries earned in the financial sector has always been that the banks have to pay up or the best bankers will simply move to other institutions that are willing to pay. However, the recent crisis has raised questions over the

value of the people that these banks continue to employ. It is madness to suggest that a group of people, whose actions led to the nationalisation of the companies they work for and who were part of a system which brought the world's biggest economies to their knees, deserve bonuses worth millions. Therefore, it would seem that the government must intervene to stop these excesses, as it is the taxpayer who part-owns these banks and it is not in our collective interest as shareholders to reward incompetence. The fact that the government has so far failed to stop RBS from saving £1.3bn for bonuses within what is technically a state-controlled company perhaps indicates that the only organisation more incompetent than the banks is the government. However, whilst it is right to consider a cap on bonuses at the nationalised institutions, banks in the private sector are an entirely different matter and should be subject to only the minimum of government interference if the UK is to maintain its position as a leading economy. Even though those in power may find it popular to talk

of caps on bankers’ bonuses, not least because it distracts attention from the government’s own failures in regulating the banks, when it comes to the regulation of the bonuses given by privately-owned banks it would be unwise for the government to intervene too much. The idea of government putting an arbitrary cap on bonuses smacks more than a little of the policies adopted by governments during the 1970s: a time not famed for prosperity. The government should go no further than creating a regulatory framework that ensures banks only give bonuses to reward good performance in the long term, rather than short term risk-taking.

By limiting bankers' pay, London would lose its financial status There is always a risk that by limiting the pay of individuals, London would lose its status as Europe's leading financial centre by causing

bankers to move to areas with more favourable conditions. Ruth Lea, an economic adviser to the Arbuthnot Banking Group, warned in a recent interview of “taxing investment banks out of London”. For all of its flaws, the banking sector has made considerable contributions to the UK economy both through tax income and job creation. If this crisis is indeed only short-term, it would be foolish to force banks out of the UK, taking much-needed jobs and revenue with them. Whilst the public may rightly be angered by the actions of those within the banking system, it is worth remembering that it is often those in government who fail to prevent this crises. If the UK is to remain one of the world's leading financial centres there must be a place for banks to offer incentives to those who perform well. It may be popular at the moment to impose a limit on the income of those in the banking profession, but in my view, the political consequences of severely damaging one of the industries that our prosperity depends on would, in the long run, be very grave.

freewords EDITORIAL

Est. 1972

So, it’s been a while…

I thought I’d rear my head again to talk about the upcoming elections. It seems like only yesterday that I nominated myself to run for this very job, thinking that I didn’t have a hope in hell’s chance of actually getting it. And here we are again, a year on, and people are nominating themselves to take the job from me. gair rhydd were hoping to print the list of candidates in this week’s issue, but the close of nominations was not until Friday afternoon – after we had gone to print. No doubt we will give you the full rundown in next week’s issue, but since you will all probably know by the time you read this anyway, I feel okay about divulging the information. There are five people running for the job of Head of Student Media and gair rhydd editor next year (that I know of). All I can say is, I’m glad I’m not in the running this year; there were four of us last year, and that was tough enough. I’m delighted, though, that so many people have come forward wanting to take over the reigns. Naturally, I want to leave student media in the best hands, and there are some bloody good candidates this time around. What can I say? It is a very hotly contested position. I'm especially pleased to see members of CUTV and Xpress in the race, as a trend seems to have developed in recent years where only ex-gair rhydd and Quench members put themselves forward for the job. (Guilty as charged). I just can’t wait for an election week where I’m not running around like a headless chicken, stickering everyone in sight and talking so much that I lose my voice. Yep, election week is going to be a relatively relaxing one for me this year, and I can't wait to see all the new candidates (which I've calculated to be up to 40) battling it out. Another rather interesting development is that you will not see media jobs on the ballot paper this year. A motion that went to Student Council last Tuesday decided that the jobs of Quench editor, Xpress station manager and CUTV controller would be elected by their membership, rather than by a cross-campus ballot as they have been in the past, and as the Sabbatical and Non-Sabbatical positions will be. Now, the various roles will be chosen from within, much like in a sports club or society. The decision was taken because Student Councillors agreed with the Executive that those already involved in student media were probably the best informed to pick the best person for the job, rather than leaving it up to a cross-campus vote, where the outcome is largely based on luck and/or popularity.

Corrections and Clarifications The 'Poor Marx for AGM' article on last week's page 10 was written by Chris Tarquini, not Amy Hopkins.


10 OPINION

gairrhydd | OPINION@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

Sometimes, there is an excuse

Torture cannot be clear-cut until we learn to discuss it openly Oliver Smith Opinion Writer Sometimes the nature of journalism forces us to take hypothetical decisions based on circumstances we are unaware of and in situations we will never find ourselves in. I do not agree with torture, but that is not to say that I cannot understand its use and even, in specific examples, acknowledge its importance. Case in point: last week’s gair rhydd contained an article in which Oli Franklin stated that ‘There is never an excuse’ for torture, in response to an article from Independent journalist Bruce Anderson arguing that ‘We not only have a right to use torture. We have a duty.’

Any debate on torture can only be based on hypothetical scenarios Such black and white arguments, framed through rhetorical questions manage to turn a complex moral debate into a simple ‘for or against’ issue. However this debate is surely more complex than these polarised views. I would have to argue that the moral and philosophical debate surrounding torture (one which has

spanned hundreds of years) cannot be summed up merely by these two opposing sides. Take for instance the example of murder, according to the Bible ‘thou shalt not murder.’ However, our legal system is mature enough to recognise not only that there are different degrees of murder, but also that sometimes murder is committed in selfdefence, and so is the lesser offence of manslaughter. By this thinking, surely there are similar degrees of torture? Torture that is wrong, torture that is right and torture that straddles the gulf in between. Unfortunately, unlike in a court of law, unelected officials make decisions in secret as to whether torture should be applied in a certain situation. Therefore any debate on torture will inevitably be based on these hypothetical scenarios since we are unlikely to ever learn of the successes or failures when torture is used in places like Guantanamo Bay. The lack of concrete examples available to either side means that it is impossible to quantify the relative success or failure of any use of torture. Proponents will talk generally of terror plots foiled whilst opponents will cite the lack of evidence as proof that torture lacks meaningful returns. I can think of countless hypothetical examples that could be used to support torture (sacrificing one to save many), but similarly there are countless more which could be used to counter these arguments. This is the real issue. It is easy for

commentators to declare their opinion on whether torture is right or wrong when neither commentator will ever actually have to take the decision as to whether or not torture is used. And without any examples or facts, the debate is set to remain largely within the realms of opinion for the foreseeable future.

Only once we've held a mature debate can we criticise the use of torture So where does this leave the torture debate? Well, all things considered, it’s arguably futile. But I believe that the debate surrounding the issue of torture is an important one for the future direction of our society. Only once we have shown that we can have a mature debate about torture, without scare-mongering or exaggeration and agree on what is acceptable, unacceptable and how to differentiate between the two, will we be able to criticise certain uses of torture whilst accepting others. In much the same way that we already violate people’s human rights to freedom with a judge, jury and reasonable evidence, so can we be mature enough to justify torture in the right circumstances. GUANTANAMO: In need of open discussion...

AGM motion commotion continues "Youth Fight for Jobs" strikes back at critique of AGM motion Edmund Schluessel Opinion Writer Chris Tarquini last week raised the fair question of the place of politics in the Students' Union. These days politics won't stay out of the Union: decisions about education funding affecting the lives of millions are political footballs both in Westminster and Cardiff Bay, ergo, political decisions. In such a climate, a students' union, a union of students, can never be “apolitical”, and pretending that it is means adopting the worst possible stance: deliberate passivism. On the subject of cuts, fees and funding, our Students' Union must have some position; if this position is to be worth the paper it’s written on it must be backed up with a willingness to work for what this community believes. Youth Fight For Jobs demonstrates regularly, next against the BNP in Barking on 13 March; we proposed supporting another protest, against education cutbacks, at AGM. A broad

campaign of partisans and non-partisans, YF4J's most recent petition at Cardiff University, run jointly with Socialist Students, called for full education funding and received Student Union sabbs Ed Carey's and Carys Hazell's signatures. It is insulting and condescending to paint all YF4J's supporters as Socialist stooges.

If Tarquini really wanted to circulate the facts, he wouldn't call for censorship YF4J's national signatories include the Socialists, certainly, but also three trade unions. Supporting the demonstration would have no more required the Union to adopt the Socialists' programme than the Union's support of The Wave required us to adopt Wave backer BMS World Mission's programme of “church planting”. I'm curious how the Paranoid Fringe convinced itself our proposal was a ploy

for YF4J affiliation, especially after I said “this is not a call for affiliation” in my speech. The question of partisanship, though, is a fair one, and I agree with Mr Tarquini: the Students' Union should not subordinate its interests to that of any political party. Doing so would disrespect the diversity of interests and opinions in the student body. Is it right, then, that Michaela Neild, Students' Union Academic Affairs Officer, lobbied Cardiff Labour Students, albeit unsuccessfully, against our motion? Is it appropriate that despite her promise of non-partisanship, she required public prompting to pursue the Greens' signing of NUS' “Funding Our Future” pledge not to raise tuition fees, and has outright refused to publish Trade Unionist and Socialist PPC Ross Saunders' signing? Is it balanced that she speaks lovingly of Welsh Labour's “clear red water” when providing scant leadership on cuts and fees herself? Is it purely coincidental that Ms Neild is a former president of Cardiff

Labour Students and in 2008 stood for public office under the Labour banner? Students, under attack, deserve to hear every argument. I disagree with the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives on education, but their ideas, like ours, deserve discussion as much as Labour's. Anyone with an idea how to make education work should volunteer it – heaven knows we get nothing from today's national leadership. We won't make any progress until all the facts are in circulation. Tarquini has since admitted he doesn't actually believe a minimum wage destroys the economy; he is invited to explain how £5.80/hour can be defended on principle, while £8/hour must be fought on principle. Even Boris Johnson supports a minimum wage of £7.60! If Tarquini had an honest desire to circulate all the facts, though, he wouldn't call for motions to be censored. Students are not stupid. When presented with complete facts, we make rational decisions; that the motion you so hated fell should reinforce a desperate confidence that the system

works. The solution, Chris, is not less democracy. Socialists support a more democratic Union, with more students involved, a broader debate, and better access to information. So if our Academic Affairs Officer will not provide an open environment for discussion, if the editorial pages of the gair rhydd will not take that mission on then we students must create a fair, fact-based forum for ourselves. Socialist Students challenges all the political groups at Cardiff University to a debate on education funding and academic cuts, with a neutral moderator to be negotiated among everyone taking part. In this coming year, we need a direction if we are to unite and fight for the preservation of our degrees and our futures. We do not expect a direction to be handed down from above. Instead, we students will create one ourselves: through discussion and consensus, in an atmosphere of honesty and mutual respect. And that, Chris Tarquini, is democracy in action.


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12 COLUMNIST

gairrhydd | OPINION@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

e b o T . . . . K N A R F id le Or the

n k li O li F r a f o s g in rant

n

Success is overrated You might notice – or might have already – that lately this column has become more focused on the world outside of Cardiff student life. This is probably because writers tend to focus on what they know, and as a final year, the mind tends to dwell on the big question mark that is next year. It also might be because this week I’m not even in Cardiff at all. Nope, I’m perched on a sofa in fairly central London – the sofa that is to be my bed for the coming weeks, while I’m here in the big smoke on work experience. And though my bereaved wallet and I desperately miss Cardiff, there is something gloriously eye-opening about leaving the cocoon of Cathays and facing real life. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in the awe of city life. Commuting on the tube in the morning, wandering down Oxford Street, through Soho and into the vibrant hub of the city – it fills you with a sense of excitement that after three years, Salisbury Road Tesco just doesn’t. What is perhaps most striking though is the lack of students. Suddenly, the appearance of Superdry trackie bottoms becomes a rarity, and at 7am the streets are full of life. Life, jacked up on coffee, in an awful hurry, and – crucially – wearing a suit. The suit is important because perhaps no other uniform is as synonymous with success. If Don Draper from Mad Men has taught us anything, it’s that you’ve not really made it unless you’re wearing an incredibly nice suit. Just like Bond, or Barney from How I Met Your Mother. Strolling down the street to work in the mornings, with impeccably suited men and women bustling past, has made me think about success, and what a peculiar beast it is. Peculiar and elusive. It seems these days, all we really care about is success. Success, defined by having lots of nice things, or having been to all the places we want. Success that is defined by being the boss with a big office, or by being so rich you don’t have to work. Success, it seems, usually comes in cash form. And it certainly dwells on our minds. Those of us graduating this year will leave during perhaps the toughest jobs market in a generation – although the UK is officially out of recession, unemployment remains high,

particularly among young people. For many, the graduates of last year and those made redundant during the crisis will be competing for the few available jobs. Recently, I was doing a bit of parttime work taking one of the big student surveys. Although I can’t reveal any results, I did notice from talking to people that almost every student is worried about their future career. Not about what they will do, or whether they will get a job, but whether they will be successful. Perhaps we shouldn’t be as worried as we are. Admittedly, the current financial situation is worse than it has been in a long time, but you already knew that. But lest we forget that the cyclical nature of modern economics dictates that a recession, in some form, takes place every ten years or so. Indeed, it was only in 2001 that we saw the Dot Com bubble burst. In the 1980s, the country was plagued with unemployment – yet twenty years later, the graduates of that generation have just seen the end of one of the most bountiful decades of growth in history. Admittedly, times are going to be hard at the moment, particularly for those graduating this year. But, counterintuitively, that is good news for success. Here you are probably saying ‘Eh?’ and for that I don’t blame you. But consider the state we all got into in the Noughties amid all our high flying excess. Our country is now mired with an unfeasible amount of government debt – £848billion, according to the government. In our personal lives, we also saw debt become the norm, as we tricked ourself into the aura of success through credit cards, mortgages and loans aplenty, despite our productivity not actually going up. Perhaps the suits are a bluff after all. What a recession means then, is hard work. It also means a hell of a lot of failures, redundancy, bankruptcy, and a whole lot of desk clearing. But amongst all this sadness, there are some benefits. First of all, although it makes it harder for companies to succeed, it tends to be the best ones that do grow and thrive. It’s like evolution, but modern and less offensive to religious fundamentalists. Win. But more than that, it means that people will perhaps start to reflect on the meaning of success. Just like I am

DON DRAPER: He's got suited and booted down to a fine art now. You see that? Ahead of the game. Because, and here comes the honesty bit – success isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. No, really. In fact, it’s a bit shit. In a recent survey by Esquire, 40% of men said earning more would improve their happiness. That means 60% think it won’t necessarily. For once, I’m going with the crowd on this one. Trust me. My father was a very successful banker but he was in fact a total and utter bastard of the highest degree. The Beatles got one thing right – Money Can’t Buy Me Love (incidentally, Michael Bublé’s version is better – Spotify, thank me later). Consider this: Über billionare Bill

Gates, founder of Microsoft, is irrefutably the pinnacle of materialist success. His personal wealth is so massive, even the genie from Aladdin couldn’t top it, least of all the rest of us. Yet he has now almost entirely left Microsoft to focus on his charitable enterprise, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has set out to try and cure AIDs and Malaria and help millions of sick people. And, according to interviews, he has never been happier. I’m sure I needn’t tell you this. I should probably be preaching through a dictaphone like that religious zealot at Oxford Circus, trying to convince the suited masses the error of their

ways. But no. We, the students, are the future. And I for one don’t want that future to be ruined by an obsession with money, power and success. I’ll still wear a suit, mind. Capitalist iconography be damned, they’re just too fucking cool. I think I’ll finish by recalling a little anecdote, which I’ve purloined from an interview in GQ. In conversation with a dying friend, the author Martin Amis recalls a discussion on success. He asked his friend (another writer whose name escapes me) if he wished he’d done more, travelled more, earned more money? “No,” came the reply. “I just wish I’d had more sex.”


gairrhydd | NEWS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY OCTOBER 26 2009

NEWS 05


14 FEATURES

gairrhydd | FEATURES@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

Pakistan: your views The situation in Pakistan is often seen from a Western viewpoint. Features asked two Pakistani students for an alternative view. Ayushman Jamwal Features Writer

The nation of Pakistan has been a warzone since 2009, with 87 suicide attacks and a soaring death toll of 3,021 across the country, from the most remote of districts to the major cities. Pakistan's stance with militants was seen as weak when it signed the Waziristan Accord in 2006 with tribal and militant leaders from the remote province of Waziristan – which borders Afghanistan – calling for a stop to encroachments and attacks from both parties.

Events in the Pakistan situation have been reported through an American lens

The Accord was suspended in 2007 when the Pakistani army clashed with members of the radical Red mosque in Islamabad, after they had set fire to the Ministry of Environment building, resulting in 154 deaths and the capture of 50 militants. The nation was led into a bloody conflict which reached its height in 2009. That year, the destruction at the hands of the Tehrik-e Taliban and sub-militant groups led the Pakistan government to engage in military campaigns in areas which held their strongholds and supply routes. With grim force and strong resolve, Pakistani forces liberated previously militant-controlled areas of the Swat valley, the Malakand district, and in October began an offensive in South Waziristan aiming to eradicate havens belonging to militants operating both in Pakistan and Afghanistan. General David Petreaus,

chief of the United States Central Command, recently stated that the South Waziristan offensive has dealt a serious blow to cross border militancy, and that the Pakistan military is slowly gaining ground for a campaign in North Waziristan to effectively consolidate the nation’s borders. From a political perspective, Pakistan’s offensive in Waziristan is framed as a proxy war of the coalition nations of NATO, primarily the United States, where the predominant media rhetoric emerges from officials and members of public thousands of miles away who are concerned about the threat of radical foreign elements, promoting drastic and sometimes, damaging steps to curtail it. The effect of this rhetoric was seen in October 2009 when the US Congress passed the Kerry-Lugar Bill, which advocated almost complete control of Pakistan’s internal affairs to battle domestic militancy. It highlighted the Obama administration’s distrust of the Pakistani government in controlling an aspect of their ‘war on terror’. Within this environment, the views of the Pakistani people, who are in the centre of the firestorm, are disregarded. To gain that ignored perspective, I spoke to two students from Pakistan who come from the affected areas about their views on the conflict. They expressed that more than enforcing national security, the people of Paki-

stan see the conflict as a solution to rid their nation and their identities of the yolk of Islamic extremism. According to Chaudhary Badar Iqbal, a second year Electronic Engineering student from the city of Rawalpindi and the President of the Pakistani society, Islamic extremism is a ‘cancer’ to the Pakistani nation. He told me how rampant poverty has fostered bigotry and frustration amongst the rural youth which allows extremism to hijack their conscience, making them easy targets to terrorist recruiters. While him and – according to him – the majority of the Pakistan nation supports the military campaign, he believes that the government needs to tackle corruption and develop a clear strategy in providing education and welfare to its citizens in order to promote secular thinking and shed its post 9/11 image that has blurred with extremism.

The Kerry-Lugar Bill highlighted Obama's distrust of the Pakistan government He stressed the mockery the militants made of his religion when claiming that they fight in the name of God, quoting the Qur'an which states that “To you be your religion and to me is mine” (chapter 109, verse 6.) This highlights Islam’s tolerant attributes as opposed to the much-reported extremist image. He also directed my attention through YouTube clips and internet sites to campaigns in Pakistan, namely the Yeh Hum Naheen [We Are Not This] campaign. This is a major media initiative endorsed by Pakistan celebrities, who use aggrssive activism and the song Yeh Hum Naheen aim to distance their national image from extremism in global perceptions. The song’s imagery reminds one of the classic We Are The World, sung by Pakistani music personalities like Ali Zafar, Fuzon and Strings, who are renowned in south Asian communities and fusion music circuits across the world. I also spoke to Hina Mansoor, a first year Business student from Lahore who recounted her security regulated school life during the 2009 disturbances. She described the lockdown procedures and bomb-scare drills her school was constantly subjected to and how studying behind barricades and bullet-proof walls always kept a sense of fear in the air, seriously hindering the education system. She strongly supports the Wa-

A STRONG MESSAGE: The Yeh Hum Naheen campaign poster ziristan operation for its aim to remove extremism from Pakistan. However, like Badar, she believes that it is not a conclusive solution. She believes that the destruction brought the nation’s public together in support of the operation, but simply in a reactive state of mind. The people of Pakistan are still divided between liberals and radicals. Ultimately, she believes that political recognition of domestic extremism as a national foe can lead to definite support for the government in its aim to maintain national unity and peace. Regarding American intervention, both stated that the Kerry-Lugar Bill risks fostering dangerously antiAmerican sentiments in Pakistan, which is a detrimental factor when regional cooperation is a necessity in the war on terror. They further add that as support for the war in Afghanistan begins to wane in the US, the Obama administration needs to endorse Pakistan’s sovereignty to maintain it as a co-operative regional partner. Through my discussions, I discovered just how much the Pakistani media and the public’s voice have been sidelined on the global stage and in the media. Furthermore, this has resulted in a limited and one-sided understanding of the ongoing tensions

and conflict.

The operation will pave the way for stronger national unity The sidelining of public sentiments and campaigns like Yeh Hum Naheen have led to the reporting of the military campaign through an American lens, where simple death-toll statistics and umbrella terms such as 'Islamic extremism' prevail. The situation in Pakistan is reported as merely one of the many battles in the broader war on terror. However, both Badar and Hina believe that even though the redemption of their nation’s sovereignty and identity hinges on each success of the Pakistani military, the operation will also pave the way for a stronger national unity and better regional co-operation amongst south Asian countries to collectively eradicate extremism from the region and allow peace to prevail.


gair ydd | FEATURES@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

Mind the gap, old man

Age gaps between partners are rather like the elephant in the room. Except the elephant is a bit of a toyboy. Features investigates... Richard Thomas Features Writer A few months ago, tucked away on the BBC website, was a story of true love – in the midst of war and economic turmoil, a human interest story par excellence. The tale of how the most seemingly insurmountable of obstacles can be overcome by love. The heart-warming realisation of an older man’s sensitive passion for a younger woman. The chronicle of two hearts intertwining despite the unlikeliest of circumstances. The sentimental narrative of how a 112-year-old man married a 17-year-old girl. Putting the queasy uneasiness aside, the more serious implications here are difficult to analyse. The practicalities are easier to consider, especially in the context of university life. The first semester has matured, boy has already met girl, girl has met girl,

boy has met boy and after adding each other as Facebook friends, they are all considering taking the next step in the relationship before the most binding act of university based love sharing fridge space. Freshers and postgrads may share milk, butter and beds occasionally but the age difference there is likely to be about five years, not 95.

Charlie Chaplin married his wife at 54, when she was only 18 Frowned upon by the prim and cynically condemned by the judgemental, many age gap liaisons flounder before the ink has dried on the register. Anyone who saw the ill fated 26-year-old Anna Nicole Smith fawning over her 89-year-old oil magnate husband must have been just a little disturbed. Mrs. Merton famously asked Debbie

McGee what first attracted her to older millionaire Paul Daniels, but this could have been adapted to ask Smith what it was about the chronically unwell, wheelchair-bound oil industrialist that got her hot under the collar. Maybe the answer was as obvious as what it was about the pneumatic Anna Nicole that made him attracted to her. Reportedly, she continually insisted that age didn’t matter, but when your husband is turning 90 and sitting on a billion bucks, it must matter a bit, surely? Age difference relationships are not new, and were established way before Anne Bancroft landed underneath Dustin Hoffman. There is even a socially accepted mathematical formula – when considering an age gap relationship. As the older partner, it is apparently acceptable to date someone as long as they are at least half your age plus seven years. Ashton Kutcher (31) and Demi Moore (47) are thus mathematically authenticated (just),

LOVE: His zimmerframe is just out of shot

MARRIAGE: It's a bit bloody mental as are Catherine Zeta-Jones (40) and Michael Douglas (65). Barbara Windsor (72) and Scott Harvey (47) are also formulaically approved. Charlie Chaplin and Oona O’Neill married when he was 54 and she was 18 and so broke all sorts of conventions. Despite this, they enjoyred a long and enduring marriage, lasting 34 years and producing eight children. The others on our list are all still going strong at the time of writing. So, such relationships are not necessarily doomed, although if our headline couple make it to their silver wedding anniverssary, the fact they are still married will not be the main story. One suspects that of the “His” and “Hers” towels on the wedding list, “Hers” may see more action than “His”. Glossing over the details of the honeymoon in the interests of good taste and keeping my lunch down, think about the operational aspects of their nuptials. Shooting from the hip (replaced, plastic), when the bride was born, Victoria Beckham was still four years away from success with the Spice Girls. When the groom was born, Queen Victoria was four years away from death. He was born sixty years before the first manned spaceflight; she was born the same year that Space Shuttle Endeavour made its maiden voyage. He was born the same year as the start of the Klondike gold rush; her birth coincided with Microsoft releasing Windows 3.1. One suspects that the physical side of their relationship may be the least of their problems: finding something to talk about could be the biggest. When he was born, 20 shillings a week was considered a good salary; his wife’s generation would claim it to be a derisory apology for pocket money. If you find yourself in the beginnings of an age-issue relationship, the approaching Easter break presents the opportunity to unveil the new object of your affections. I have a teenage

daughter and the blood curdles in anticipation. In my imagination I see her sidling up and announcing that she has met a man she loves. My Guardian would flutter as I express approval, and ask where she had met him. She confirms that it was “sort of” through university.

I have a teenage daughter - my blood curdles in anticipation

The paper would remain fully engaged, and I would assume that it was another “fresher”. My head pops over the top of the sports page to look at her proudly, with a mild alert about not allowing “chummy” to distract her from her studies. The Guardian would crumple half way down when news breaks that he is not a fresher. “A second or third year then?” I ask and start to feel slightly anxious as neither box is ticked. A postgrad had never crossed my mind, but that couldn’t be too bad; he may be a scientist with the inside track on micro brewing. The first signs of alarm creep in and the collar tightens as I assume this paramour is a PhD student. I wouldn’t have to call him Doctor would I? Of course not I am assured, because he isn’t a PhD student. Mild desperation now, realising we are travelling up the gold paved hierarchical structure of university life. Still, I should be glad that my daughter was being courted in such style. Gulping, I ask the big money question... “Surely not one of your lecturers?” I am relieved to hear it isn’t, but can remember nothing about the ambulance ride after I found out this raffish young buck with lofty ambition is actually her lecturer's great-grandfather. If it happens to me you’ll be the first to know.


16 POLITICS

gairrhydd | POLITICS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

Brown goes old school

This world, this week

Gordon Brown has been accused of bullying his staff. Turkey dinner Should this matter? Yaz Langley takes a look

S

o the gist of the story is that one journalist wrote a few little stories about a few things Brown might or might not have done backed up by a few phone calls to the National Bullying Helpline which might or might not have been directly about Gordon himself. Several statements and articles later and the media have turned him into an aggressive monster who ‘as-

saults people, has childish tantrums and throws Nokia phones about’. Of course, credible tabloids such as The Sun never fail to overlook the actual facts and evidence of these blown-up allegations; nowhere does it actually say any of the calls were actually about Brown, instead they all (yes, all three or four) came from ‘people working in his office’, while his

confession that he might sometimes, God forbid, "throw a newspaper on the floor or something like that", has instead become the main focus of the bullying story. Even one of the alleged victims has said that the claims are not true. This has all generated a media storm because of the public’s love of criticising just about anyone in the spotlight - especially Brown. His trout-like resemblance and lack of charisma make him an easy target, a target that rarely seems to stand up or fight back. Yet when he does, he gets labelled ‘threatening’ and is instantly criticised. Surely we want someone who’s ‘very determined’ leading our country? His job must be the most stressful job in the entire country - he could do a lot worse than throwing paper onto the floor. One thing he could do would be to send a load of soldiers to their death and lie to the nation, but then no one likes a copycat. Everyone seems to dismiss this act of evil that Blair not only did for several years but recently admitted to. Sure, he was in the news for couple of THAT'S RIGHT GORDON: You're a wanker days, but it was quickly for-

gotten while headlines were replaced with ‘Brown the Bully’ which for some reason has seemed to cause more of an outrage. Again this bottles down to favourability. People simply ‘like’ Blair more than Brown, therefore his illegal invasions are irrelevant, while Brown is left to pick up the pieces. Again, no one remembers to recognise this. If we’re giving credit where credit’s due then we can’t forget the catalyst to this whole story: Chief Executive of the helpline, Christine Pratt. Not only did she completely go against the whole concept of confidentiality by taking the calls to the BBC, but she herself is no stranger to bullying allegations. As well as losing an employment tribunal for bullying in 2003, she has been called ‘aggressive’ and ‘confrontational’ and has caused three colleagues to resign. No matter whose side you’re on or whether you think it’s just a popularity contest, the main issue is how it will affect votes, if at all. Hopefully most voters are mature enough to look past the politicians involved, to the policies they hold, and one day, eventually, these journalists might grow up too and report real news.

Greek economy woes

James Dunn examines the effect the that Greek economic crisis could have on the rest of Europe

T

his past month has seen one of the most unfortunate chapters in the global recession. The Greek economy has suffered an apocalyptic assault. Economists worldwide are now providing it as the example of what the recession has the strength to do. When the global recession began (the National Bureau of Economic Research claims that this was December 2007), the UK’s national debt was at 40%. Already at this point, Greece had a national deficit of close to 100% (this is calculated by the national debt level contrasted to the country's GDP). Since then, things have not improved. Britain has stayed roughly the same – 44% is the current figure – while Greece has seen a substantial downturn. Now standing at 114%, the nation stands on the brink of bankruptcy. But why such a vast gulf between Greece and the rest of Europe? One reason why some countries, notably Britain, are weathering the storm far more successfully is that we have our own currency. This may not seem like a lot, but it allows a certain flexibility that is not possible within an international currency scheme, like the Euro. But this in itself does not explain

the gap. George Papandreou, the Greek Prime Minister, has had to combat an almost unsalvageable situation. With their GDP standing at $360 billion, and their national debt at $412 billion, it is hard to see where he can turn. Raising taxes could lead to riots. Worse, they could irrevocably damage an already reeling economy. It has got so bad that the Prime Minister, last week, revealed he was willing to sell off debts at 7% interest, compared to 3% just four months ago. Not surprisingly, buyers seem to be sparse on the ground. Even a bail out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – who gave £14billion to a beleaguered Northern Rock last year – would not help noticeably. At some point, the money would have to be paid back. In order to lift themselves high enough above the debt in order to generate a substantially clear GDP, Greece would have to do something close to miraculous. The Spanish have found themselves in a similar situation. There are a number of other factors that are conspiring to leave Greece wallowing in the depths of this crisis. One of these factors is the volatile nature of the unions. At the end of January, farmers nationwide were in the

T

he Turkish government has this week accused the country's military of attempting to stir up trouble and justify a military coup. The Turkish government and military have never seen eye to eye. The former accuses the latter of blocking democratic reform and the latter accuses the former of wanting to undermine the country's secular system. The allegations were followed by the arrest of four admirals, two generals and a colonel. Turkey's ruling party, which came to power in 2002, has Islamist roots. Can they cohabitate with the staunchly secular military?

Nigeria rules

N

igeria has amended its constitution to force abenstee Presidents to step aside. The move comes after the recent Nigerian political crisis in which the current President, Umaru Yar'Adua, was taken ill and spent several months in hospital in Saudi Arabia. Crisis followed as no-one was entirely sure who was in power. Several factions used the opportunity to gain control of the West African country. Eventually the Vice-President, Goodluck Jonathan, agreed to take over, keeping the seat warm until Yar'Adua's return last week.

In-Fidel-ity

middle of a three week blockade. Barricading 23 highways, the strike reputedly cost the country over $25 million a day. For Papandreou, this was a massive blow. The relationship with neighbouring Bulgaria, who rely heavily on imports from Greece, was damaged substantially. Other nations are the greatest factor. Angela Merkel, the German leader, led an European coalition that has refused to bail Greece out. The EU has, nonetheless, pledged to help Greece. The worry shared by

GREECE: It's all going to ruins European Union politicians is that Greece may pull out of the single currency in order to improve competitiveness, and this would seriously devalue the Euro. Sympathy from the member states doesn't seem forthcoming. So this is the challenge Papandreou – who was elected last October to fight the crisis – faces: finding $52 billion to draw the economy level, without raising taxes or getting aid from abroad. This may be the first national bankruptcy claimed by the recession.

C

uban security forces have clamped down on all political activists that sought to protest at the funeral of a leading dissident. Orlando Zapata Tamayo died at the age of 42 after an 82-day hunger strike in protest of the repeated beatings that he claimed he received whilst in prison. The Cuban President, Raul Castro, has issued an unprecedented statement in which he expressed regret over the death of Zapata. Nevertheless, government forces have detained 30 activists to stop them from going to the wake.


POLITICS 17

gairrhydd | POLITICS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

Giving you a peace of their mind

Chris Tarquini has a chat with Barbara Tucker, a member of a protest group that's been outside Parliament for nine years

A

t first glance, the banners and tents looks like any other protest. However what makes this campaign different is that it’s in Parliament Square, positioned right next to Westminster Palace, and it has been there for almost ten years. The Parliamentary Peace Campaign was started in 2001 by Brian Haw. Although originally targeted against the British and American bombing campaign in Iraq, long before the controversial Iraq War, it has spread to campaign against Western aggression in general. As I crossed the road towards the pictures of bombs and children savaged by warfare, I took a deep breath: would an organisation notoriously suspicious of much of the media tear apart an unsuspecting student reporter who could probably pass for a sixth former? What met me was quite a contrast. Far from some of the vitriol-spitting anger-merchants that many protests on any side of the political spectrum attract, the relaxed demeanour of the lady standing by the signs was a great surprise. Barbara Tucker has been outside Westminster Palace for over four years, and her laid-back Australian attitude put me at ease immediately.

Surprisingly, it was not the Iraq War she wanted to talk about first, but the depleted uranium used in coalition forces weapons. "In Iraq, Afghanistan and even in Bosnia people are complaining about weapons that not only kill them first, obviously, but leave residue that increases cancer and birth deformities", she says. "If you’re going to build nuclear power stations, then you need to get rid of nuclear waste. I remember growing up in the Pacific and we were saying to the French, ‘test in your own back garden’ and now they know the consequence of nuclear waste. There’s lots of information coming out now and they’re even saying there are lots of women on death row now who are scientists and were speaking out about it. There’s an attitude of 'lets get rid of everyone and shut them up about it'". She goes on to explain that the banners and signs on show were torn down in the middle of the night a few days before, although they managed to save some of them. After all, just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. "There’s a government policy that anybody can do what they like to this campaign because we’re standing up and openly challenging the govern-

ment and, to be fair, we’re the only visible opposition to what this government is doing", Barbara says. The topic of Iraq inevitably followed, and Barbara didn’t even have much praise for the Liberal Democrats. "Bless their little cotton socks, it was the Liberal Democrat Lembit Opik who, when the siege of Gaza

was taking place last year, had me arrested when I was standing outside those gates saying the media and the government have collective amnesia as to how the state of Israel came into existence. He had me arrested because I made it impossible to be seen on his little wheely peddly thing, while children were being murdered in Gaza. Government is just working for big

PROTESTS: They're a peace of cake

business now so we are pretty much the only physical opposition to what they’re doing and so the government is constantly trying to get rid of us. We constantly speak the truth and if you want to occupy other countries with your brutality and your violence, we’ll occupy your minds, your time, your money. The state has arrested me 38 times for being here and speaking the truth." But surely radical Islam is a threat to Western security? "We need to stop using this political language. Extremism. What does it mean? Don’t you think it’s extreme to kill, or murder 500,000 children under the age of five?" (a clear reference to Iraq). "I’m saying that was wrong, I’m saying 9/11 was wrong. Let’s do justice for everyone. People have lost the ability to negotiate sensible solutions. Isn’t it sinister that anyone, anywhere, can be kidnapped, tortured, dumped in prison and extradited? It’s just a lawless world. As long as I continue to make a difference, I’ll stay." Whether you agree or disagree with Barbara, she is raising valid points and exercising her right to free speech. Surely that is what Britain is all about?

Making a killing Back to the future Argentina claim the Falklands are theirs. Damian Fantato explains why

R

ight. So we know that the 80s are supposed to be back in fashion, but this is ridiculous. Argentina is renewing its claims to the Falkland Islands after passing a law in December which establishes that the Falklands, as well as other British Overseas Territories, are, in fact, Argentinian. The British government has once again denied these claims. Foreign Office minister, Chris Bryant, has

stated that there is "no doubt" that the Falklands belong to the UK. Gordon Brown has announced that the UK is prepared to protect the islands, known to Argentinians as the Islas Malvinas, and hopes that Argentina will be "sensible" on the matter. In the meantime, Britain has sent another destroyer, HMS York, to help the one that is permanently based there, HMS Clyde. Argentina, meanwhile, has enforced restrictions on ships passing

HATE THATCHER? The Falklands named a street after her

through their waters on their way to the Falklands and has received support from a wide range of leaders, particularly Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who has warned 'Mrs Queen' that it is "no longer 1982" and that Britain should hand over the Falklands. However, the difference between this disagreement over the sovereignty of the Falklands, and the one that led to war in 1982, is that Argentina are after something more than just land. A couple of years ago, an oil exploration firm found oil beneath the islands and recent projections indicate that there could be around $50 billion worth of black gold. If this is true it would make the inhabitants of the islands the richest people on the planet per capita. Drilling for the oil is supposed to start next week, but since Argentina isn't letting ships - particularly, and coincidentally, ones that are carrying oil drilling equipment - through their waters, there is doubt whether it will start on schedule. Argentina is now seeking the support of the UN in their claim that the islanders don't have a right to develop an oil industry within their waters, but deny they are looking for war.

L

ast week, Israel was accused of sending 15 secret agents to Dubai to kill a senior member of Hamas. The operation was, strictly speaking, a success: Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a Hamas senior commander, is no longer alive. The problem is that the secret agents in question left a trail behind themselves. What they had done was use fake passports, and here begins the diplomatic problems in a mission that has been described as "a tactical success but a strategic failure". The passports that the agents supposedly working for Mossad, the Israeli secret service, used were British, Irish, French, Australian and, more problematically, used the names of

real people. The British government, like many others, has a responsibility towards its passport holders, wherever they live, and Israel has a history of using fake British passports: they were cautioned about it by Britain in 1987. Gordon Brown now claims to want answers from Israel. Australia, meanwhile, has summoned the Israeli ambassador to explain what exactly went on. Israel refuses to accept or deny any responsibility for the murders, which in itself is not going to reassure the British or Australian governments. It has become a question of how much longer Britain, Australia, Ireland and France will be willing to put up with Israel's behaviour.

DUBAI: Don't go there, you might die


18 TAF-OD

gairrhydd | TAFOD@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

Dathlu Doniau Caerdydd Gwenno George

Taf-od Writer

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SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT 19

gair ydd | SCIENCE@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

The problem with palm Newsbites News in brief Carbon neutral aviation fuel Airways (BA) are helping to establish Europe's first 'green' jet fuel plant in London, which will turn landfill waste into carbon neutral aviation fuel. The plant will be built and run by American company Solena with BA being guaranteed to buy all of its output. It will generate 20 megawatts of electricity per year. BA have a target of cutting their emissions by 50% and it is hoped that this plant will help them on their way. However, some environmentalists are concerned that the plant will resort to using biomass crops grown specifically for fuel, replacing food crops.

Rainforests have been stripped down to make way for palm oil plantations

Lucy Trevallion Science Writer A recently leaked report indicates that millions of tonnes of palm oil will be pumped into Britain's vehicles, despite scientific proof that chopping down rainforests for palm oil plantations exacerbates climate change. The report suggests that the European Commission's Renewable Energy Directive (RED), a mandate intended to reduce greenhouse gasses, will result in an increase in the amount of palm oil used on cars and power stations. A loophole in the draft communication from Brussels on implementation of the directive would allow almost all of the palm oil currently produced to

be used in vehicles on British roads. Currently in Britain, we use 50 billion litres of transport fuel a year, 2.7 per cent of which came from biofuels in 2008-09. Controversially, palm oil, an edible plant oil derived from the pulp of oil palm fruit, already forms part of that mixture. Under RED, passed last year, ten percent of petrol and diesel in road transport must come from renewable sources. A minority of this will be accounted for by electrical vehicles, but the majority is suspected to come from plant-based fuels such as rapeseed, soy, sugar cane and palm oil. The government says it is keen to avoid using environmentally damaging substances, yet admits they are uncertain where 42 percent of UK transport biofuel comes from. Palm oil is controversial since it is

usually derived from vast plantations, which have gradually replaced rainforests across south-east Asia, west Africa and the Amazon over the past 15 years. The EC document seemingly protects wildlife areas that could grow these plants by banning member states from sourcing fuel from greenhouse gas sequestering grasslands, wetlands and forests. However, in a crucial exemption, the protection does not apply to habitats changed before January 2008, meaning that member states can legally source palm oil from existing plantations. The policy is almost certain to increase demand for palm oil. To grow oil palms, around ninety percent of an area's flora and fauna are lost when the land is converted to monoculture plantations (where the plants are

grown in straight lines). Such changes reportedly increase pressure on threatened species such as orangutans and Sumutran tigers. Furthermore, some palm oil producers have also been linked to human rights abuses. It has been argued that this deal was incited by Malaysian producers, who, fearing the EU would ban imports of palm oil for energy, have lobbied Brussels intensively. Campaigners warn that this deal will lead to fresh bouts of forest destruction in Asia. According to a study by Denmark's Nordic Agency for Development and Ecology, published in the journal Conservation Biology in 2008, it would take between seventy-five and ninety-three years for the benefits of this switch to biofuels to outweigh the detrimental effects of converting rainforest to plantations.

The results are in

Results from the Large Hadron Collider have been released Tomos Clarke Science Writer Scientists working at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) took the first tentative steps towards a greater understanding of the nature of reality this week. The first data from the device's Compact Muon Solenoid detector has been analysed. The group report in the Journal of High Energy Physics said that the collider produced many more particles than was originally predicted. These preliminary results probably won't have too much impact, however, as the accelerator will be run with even greater levels of energy as the year goes on. The number of particles detected is marginally higher than most models had predicted, but not so high that it forces a rethink of the experiment.

The only worry is when the LHC moves onto accelerating particles of the heavy metal lead later this year, as the higher energies involved will cause even more particles to be created. Scientists will have a greater understanding of what to expect soon as they are planning to move onto higher levels of energy before then. The LHC has a circumference of nearly 27,000 meters and contains 9,300 superconducting magnets cooled to two degrees above absolute zero. It currently accelerates beams of protons — the subatomic charged particles that are one of the basic building blocks of atoms — to energies not seen since the big bang, and forces them to collide with each other. The Compact Muon Solenoid, that provided the data published this week, uses large magnetic fields and electro sensitive crystals to detect the novel

high energy particles formed by these collisions. Such high energy particles quickly break down into more stable ones and it is these decay events that the detector can analyse. The centre reached energies of over a trillion electron volts (2.36TeV) in December, a new world record, making the LHC by far the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. But scientists are hoping to eventually have the device running at energies in the region of 7TeV: enough to melt a tonne of copper. The ultimate aim of all this is to discover the Higgs Boson, the so-called God Particle: a massive subatomic particle that is thought the give all other particles mass. It is hoped that discovering it will answer questions about the nature of gravity, especially the reason behind its weakness when compared to the other fundamental forces.

The publication of data is a rare piece of good news for the besieged project. Ever since the European Organization for Nuclear Research announced the project, there has been widespread scepticism regarding the need for such a powerful and expensive particle accelerator. Construction costs alone are estimated at three bullion euros, making it the most costly science experiment ever undertaken. The project has been on rocky ground since an accident released a large quantity of supercold liquid helium, leaving the project inoperable for many months. But with the device now back online and more data collected daily, the scientists have a chance to prove the critics wrong, and with the promise of more data to come later in the year, it is an exciting time for particle physics.

AIDS drugs for all in South Africa a real possibility A top HIV researcher has said that anti-retroviral treatments (ARVs) could stop the spread of AIDS in South Africa in five years. Dr. Brian Williams was speaking at the annual general meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science last weekend. Currently, only 30 percent of people in South Africa who need ARVs have access to them and they are often given too late. He reiterated that the search for an AIDS vaccine should still continue but that researchers were still a long way from finding an effective solution. He said it was hoped that new ARV trials could be integral to stopping the spread of AIDS. Great white sharks more endangered than tigers A leading marine biologist has said that great white sharks may be more endangered than tigers due to their bad public image. Ronald O'Dor said that fishing and collisions with shipping vessels are to blame. Great whites are listed as vulnerable by the World Conservation Union but there is no official estimate of their global population, although a recent survey has suggested that their numbers have fallen below 3,500. D'Or said that the public may not care as much about sharks as tigers because they cause a danger to people in the sea. Singing could help stroke patients recover speech Scientists, led by Gottffried Schlang from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre and Harvard medical school, have discovered that teaching stroke patients to sing could 'rewire' their brains and help them recover speech in a process called 'melodic intonation therapy'. Singing uses a different area of the brain to speech, but if a person's 'speech centre' is damaged by a stroke the researchers have found they can then use their 'singing centre' instead. Patients are taught to put their words to simple melodies and are encouraged to tap out each syllable with their hands to act as an 'internal pace maker'.


gairrhydd | JOBS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

20 JOBS & MONEY

Gap Years: Friend or Faux? Gap years are great fun but they don't automatically make your CV look good. Jobs and Money tell you how to make the most of it

GAP YEARS: Give you a greater sense of direction

Katie Greenway Jobs & Money Editor It is at this point in our academic lives when the pressure is on to apply for jobs for the following September, if you have not already done so. But there are other options. How about hopping off the factory line and taking a gap year? A gap year could work for those of you who are unsure of what career path you want to pursue, or those of

you who are afraid that you do not yet have the required experience to apply for those jobs. Some graduates simply want to travel, perhaps if they did not have a gap year before university, and some just need a break from it all. Gap years are a great idea even if you know what industry you want to work in in the future. It will help you to see if it is realistically something that you will enjoy and be good at. You can get a job as an assistant, which will enable you to learn much more about the industry. You will gain great life experience, meet all the right

people and learn the right skills for applying for jobs in the industry. You can earn money to pay for postgraduate study or to pay off any outstanding debts (other than your student loan of course!). You can use the time to figure out what it is that you really want to do so that you can pursue it wholeheartedly in due course. Some words of warning, however: even though you may be taking a gap year to go travelling, you are advised to do something else too. After liaising with several employers, it is apparent that a year off just to

go travelling does not fly. You need to have learnt something, or experienced something that makes you a better candidate now than you were before you took a year off. Using a year just to go travelling shows that you are not dedicated and committed to your profession. You can, however, get away with taking a purely travelling-based trip if you do some work experience before or after â&#x20AC;&#x201D; then at least you will have something to make you stand out at interviews and in your application forms. If you have learnt another

language then say you improved your linguistic skills. If you are a lawyer then sit in court wherever you go and say that you have now seen the difference between national courts and those abroad, and so on. In all honesty, all graduates probably need a bit of time off, but if you can take a few weeks out of 52 to develop yourself, it will pay off in the long-run for you and your prospective employer.


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22 LETTERS

gairrhydd | LETTERS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

the

Comments from the week’s news, opinion, features and sport at www.gairrhydd.com

Sarah Palin's right-wing

renaissance

Carlton Stanley

Sarah Palin has not announced her candidacy for any political office; but, as usual, TV pundits & lamestream media hacks report their own fantasies & prejudices about her. She would certainly be a better President than Obama.

Ethan

Carlton: You think the woman that would completely ban abortion would be a better President than Obama? The woman is disgustingly dense, and a complete fundamentalist christian. The founding fathers wanted church and state to be seperate for a reason. Any person who is religiously motivated in their politics should not be in politics. Could you honestly say that you would want someone who thinks that the world is 6000 years old, that is; someone who completely disregards immense amounts of evidence in favour of a 2000 year old book written by goat herders, to be the most powerful person in the world? The woman would not allow any form of marriage but man-woman, would want intelligent desing taught alongside evolution, as an actual science, despite the lack of evidence and would never allow stem cell research to proceed. This woman would set America back decades with her approach. I cannot believe people take her seriously.

Sarah Palin

Carlton, although I admire your faith in my presidential capabilities, I'm afraid I will have to

concur with Ethan regarding this matter. It is absurd to believe a woman, myself, that would rather her own daughter raise a child resulting from rape, as opposed to relieving it of the overshadowed, shoddy life it would no doubt be brought into, would demonstrate wise judgement regarding the remainder of the country’s affairs. Mike Hunt Sophie: How was it that such a dunce ran a small city, a state energy commission and the largest state in the union (that pays it’s citizens for living there) and took on Exxon and the other big petrochemical companies, and won?! Before his inaugeration, Mr. Obama had exactly 0 days of executive experience, and as for him being “well-educated, eloquent and worldly wise”, what proof do you offer. No one has EVER seen his transcripts from Kindergarten up to Harvard Law School and as editor of the Law Review he published exactly 0 articles. Governor Palin’s life is an open book, whereas Mr. Obama’s (if that is indeed his real name) is a complete cypher. SkippyTheDread College students…is there anything they DON’T know? Pamela Good grief. Opinions on the inner most workings of some potentials for POTUS certainly dismay me as much as the thought than anyone can be way more/less competent than the current office holder has shown himself to be. Although I happen to agree he’s the lesser competent. The extremes of such thoughts are what divide us internally and put folks in office to begin with.

...read more at www.gairrhydd.com

Students need to wake up to rape Lianne Wilson I dunno, I really don’t trust that survey. I don’t know anybody that thinks it is the victim’s fault if they get raped. That’s ludicrous. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful: it’s risky to get legless in a tiny dress and go home alone with a stranger. It’s silly and potentially dangerous. But that doesn’t make it your fault if he then rapes you. Similarly it’s pretty stupid to stand in the street and shout “Shoot me!” but you aren’t to blame if you then get shot. If I lay myself open to a crime it is still the legal and moral fault of the criminal to seize that opportunity. Really though, I don’t think that rape is about to become acceptable any time soon. All this scare is simply that: scare. Incidentally, someone really should have thought for five seconds before naming the report “Wake Up to Rape”, I can’t take it seriously. I mean, it just sounds like an invitation more than anything…

forum

This is appalling. You are instilling sexist views from the outset, and your argument is just ludicrous. You could go out covered head to toe, be sober as a judge (note the pun), and never go out alone…this doesn’t protect against rape..!? Anything can happen, and this is certainly not the right way to go about it. It’s you who needs to wake up, love.

Holy Jesus, God was right! Adam Troth “The Ten Commandments are a pretty good guide to life.” Are they really? The first four, as the author rightly points out, are less about guiding people to behave considerately and more about oppressing/controlling primitive people (RIP George Carlin). Given the Bible’s “mixed messages” (to put it politely) about rape, slavery and other such deviances, it is hardly surprising that prohibiting these does not feature on the list. If the Ten Commandments really are such a wonderful moral guide, why did people not stop killing, pillaging and generally being insolent the moment Moses descended from the mountain... ...read more at www.gairrhydd.com

Anon

Lianne Wilson

No, no “or you may be stupid and naïve enough to think that a man will be able to control himself”, actually men can control themselves. Even drunk randy boys in Solus, can stop themselves. In the worst case of a girl saying no at the last possible point, the boy or man, isn’t out of control. Annoyed, very possibly. But he still possesses free will and a free won’t. There isn’t any excuse of a man to rape.

I dunno about “honour thy father and mother” either, to be honest. My mother is a horrible woman who has caused very little but pain to my family, I’m not going to be honouring her any time soon. “Honour thy father and mother” is a blanket commandment which does not deal in any way with the fact that parents are people and therefore, like everybody else, can be bad people. We shouldn’t be teaching anyone to unquestionably honour their parents, we should be teaching them to respect good people and how to deal with

anon.

bad people. We should not be telling children that they should love mummy and daddy even if mummy or daddy turns out to be a drunkard, abusive, a rapist, a murderer or even simply a bad parent or nasty human being. Moreover, as Adam points out, they have nothing to say about rape, slavery, abuse or many other immoral acts which should really be very high on the list of “things to not do”. And, as he says, half of them are about being in thrall to the big sky fairy and loving him the vewwy best. Dewi ap Richard An interesting article. I agree that the Ten Commandments are a good basis for life. We live in a country whose population proclaims to be 71.6% Christian (2001 census). A higher figure than that includes those who maybe won’t believe that Jesus is God, but would certainly respect him as a good man who was killed because the authorities at the time of his life objected to the good work he was trying to do. And so I wonder, in a paper written by and for this same population, trying to avoid use of the word ‘blasphemous’, why such a title trivialising his good name is used? It saddens me how cheaply we value those who have done so much for us, whether or not we believe they are divine. As a side note, I found it an amusing suggestion that if the Church of England were to change what it’s about it would get more people through the doors. This thinking could be applied to just about any organisation, but for most, would defy the whole point of why that group exists. Another point of amusement was the statement “I prefer the high road to taking cheap shots at people..” followed by ”..no-one likes adultery. Except you, Tiger Woods.” Dewi, Christian student

Away on a placement? Heading abroad?

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24 LISTINGS

'Bigger than big' week

gairrhydd | LISTINGS@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

YOUR INDEPENDENT LISTINGS GUIDE Mondayy M 1st March

So much going on in Cardiff at the moment, that it's actually been quite fun doing Listings this week. With the brand new collections in Milkwood cropping up, finally there is some culture that Cardiff can be proud of (aside from the rugby). Bit of different music for everyone to enjoy, featuring Richmond Fontain at Clwb on Monday, followed by FLUX:RAD with the sensational invasion — this night at CAI is something everyone should be checking out. The big excitement for you this week is probably going to be the fight for sell out between PETER ANDRE and the every so wierd LADY GAGA. I want Lady Gaga to win. Basically becasue she's better. She is a proper pop-star. She doesn't pretend that its all emotional stuff she's churning out, but admits it is just a show. Whereas Andre pretends to be all deep and meaningful, which to be fair, is plausable considering last year was his worst since... well... he made Mysterious Girl and his soul died. But all is not pop this week. The CAI is host to a load of great stuff, which we haven't got space for, HOWEVER, Trafffic are bringing JAZZSTEPPA - a live dubstep band that will make your feet move and heart scream with more bass than Jesse out of Death From Above 1979.

FUN FACTORY, Solus, FREE Fun Factory is still producing entertainment for those already haemorrhaging cash. Free entry and super cheap drinks are a perfect way to enjoy yourself and keep your new purse strings in check. Plus, it's got quite good for those catching up with dubstep, dub, DnB... little bit late, but yeh... go for it. RICHMOND FONTAIN, Clwb, £12 Richmond Fontain formed in 1993 in Portland OR, the band coming together through a mutual love of The Replacements, The Blasters, X, Willie Nelson and Husker Du. Writers and fans raved about the band's powerful live blend of rock, country, punk and folk music. Equally admired were the strong story-based songs of singer Willy Vlautin, which were often compared to the stark short stories of writers such as Raymond Carver and Larry Brown - and could easily stand alone as works of prose. 'mind-blowing..absolute perfection'- UNCUT.

Tuesday 2nd March

INVASION (3), CAI, £FREE The new, North and East London based band INVASION are a massively heavy bass-less trio made up of two-thirds girls. They play catchy, fast, riff-based tracks with unselfconscious vocal pyrotechnics to accompany the various build and release sections and metal break-downs. They might be said to sound like a Manga character fronting a stoned Metallica playing QOTSA songs too fast (and too short). Or as one kid said: "you sound like a heavy metal Yeah Yeah Yeah's". JOHNNY FLYNN, Clwb, £10 A true one-off, listening to his songs is the only way to discover how talented this boy is.' - Transgressive Records. Johnny Flynn is a sometime actor, sometime pub-gig noisenik. An inspired songwriter who can balance book and pint while playing guitar, mandolin and any other instrument you care to throw at him.

LADY GAGA

Wednesday 3rd March

LADY GAGA, CIA, LIMITED Like a cross between Madonna, Kylie and Gwen Stefani if they were in their early twenties, Lady GaGa makes fearless electro-pop spiced with elements of hip-hop, grime and pure dance. If you don't catch ALPHABEAT at The HMV in Cardiff, they are supporting this lovely... lady? ALPHABEAT, HMV Cardiff, FREE Popjustice called them 'the best band in the world ever' - and this 6 piece will more then live up to the hype. Already firm favourites on the European festival circuit, their debut album 'Alphabeat' has gone platinum in their native Denmark. A winning combo of infectious feel good pop and memorably energetic live performances. (From 5pm). PETER ANDRE, St Davids Hall, LIMITED London-born, Aussie-based pop singer with the famous six-pack who had a string of hits in the 1990s, the most popular of which (Mysterious Girl) shifted over 2 million copies. After time out of the limelight mostly focused on writing for other artists, Andre re-entered the media world by appearing on ITV's I'm A Celebrity... in 2004 and finishing third.

V ANDRE

If good music ain't your thing, try TRIVIUM. They (in our opinion) are appalling. So yeh, let your ears bleed to that. Listings out.

Students’ Union, Park Place, 02920 387421 www.cardiffstudents.com ! IV Lounge, Neuadd Meirionydd, Heath Park 02920 744948 ! Clwb Ifor Bach ros, Bakers Row 02920 399939 www.clubmetropolitan.com ! Dempseys, Castle Street 02920 252024 ! Move, 7 Mill Lane 02920 225592 ! Jazz, 21 St. Mary Street 02920 387026 www.cafejazzcardiff.com ! The Riverbank Hotel, Despenser Street www.riverbankjazz.co.uk ! St. David’s Hall, Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay 0870 0402000 www.wmc.org.uk ! The New Theatre, Park Place 02920 878889 www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk ! The Cardiff International Arena, Mary Ann Street 02920 224488 ! The Millennium Stadium Can’t miss it. www.millenniumstadium.com ! Tiger Tiger


FIVE MINUTE FUN 27

gairrhydd | FMF@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

MEDIUM

sudoku.

EASY

Mystic Smeg Aries, March 21 – April 20 Your workplace environment is bitchy at best. Maybe stop sleeping with everyone, you bloody whore. Taurus, April 21 – May 21 How’s your sex life? Exactly. Get a haircut. Gemini, May 22 – June 21 Are you on work experience? Maybe shut the fuck up about it, yeah?

quick crossword. Across

Down

1. Corrective lenses (7) 5. Hick (7) 9. Furthest away (9) 10. A feeling of melancholy apprehension (5) 11. Bring up (7) 12. Lamp (7) 13. A type of quadrilateral (9) 15. Lengthwise (5) 17. Expenditure (5) 19. Large luxurious car (9) 22. Missive (7) 25. French for "New" (7) 26. Museum piece (5) 27. Previously mentioned (9) 28. Snuggled (7) 29. Cardigan (7)

1. Eyelet (7) 2. Assistant (9) 3. Continue to live (7) 4. A type of wading bird (9) 5. Asian pepper plant (5) 6. Deep purplish red (7) 7. Monetary unit of Denmark (5) 8. Specified (7) 14. Significant (9) 16. Traveling from place to place to work (9) 17. Invade in great numbers (7) 18. Visual (7) 20. Small 4-stringed guitar (7) 21. A South American country (7) 23. Runs in neutral (5) 24. African antelope (5)

Cancer, June 22 – July 22 Nothing to worry about this week, keep being awesome. Everyone appreciates it. Leo, July 23 - August 23 You’ve done no work. But you’ve done some men. A decent week - you go, sister. Virgo, August 24 – September 22 Okay, I apologise, don’t break up with her. Just play around a la Ashley Cole. Libra, September 23 – October 23 Ouch. Did someone confuse you for Whoopi Goldberg? I can’t think why… Scorpio, October 24 – November 22 Your mum. That’s it. Nothing witty about that, really. I stand by it. Your mum. Sagittarius, November 23–December 21 You’re gonna be pretty clever this week. Here’s an anagram for you: uyo’er a tncu. Capricorn, December 22 – January 20 Hard day at work? Come home, have a drink, smother your kids? Right? Wrong. Don’t smother your kids. Aquarius, January 21 – February 18 Who’s that girl? No, not the song, that whore who just stole your man. That’s awkward. Pisces, February 19 – March 20 What’s new Scooby Doo? You’ve got syphilis, that’s what.


28 SPORT- WARM UP Previews in Adam Horne predicts an easy win for England as brief they face Egypt in the run up to the World Cup Bangladesh V England One Day series

England, under new temporary captain Alistair Cook, have travelled out to the Middle East to embark on their tour of United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh. After starting the tour positively with good results against Pakistan in Twenty20 matches, they go into the One Day International series against Bangladesh, on February 28th with renewed vigor. The tour has already caused some controversy as regular captain Andrew Strauss has pulled out. Aussie loud-mouth Shane Wayne has publically criticised this decision claiming that Strauss is degrading the tour in Bangladesh. However, Strauss is adamant that he needs a rest from tour cricket so that he is fresh for a busy schedule this summer. England may miss Strauss’ cool captaincy but with Pietersen on top form and Broad and Swann still bowling ferociously Bangladesh have a lot to handle. I predict an England victory. Hopefully a triumphant win will boost England and prove Strauss’ decision to be the right one

Manchester United V AC Milan - 2nd Leg The match everyone has been waiting for. Beckham's return to Old Trafford but is it going to be an anti-climax for the ex-United star? The first leg of the first round of the Champions league knock-out stage was a compelling watch. Although all the pre-match talk was about Beckham, he was not the centre of attention on the field. That belonged to Rooney and Ronaldinho. The two looked world beaters and both got their names on the score sheet. I am hesitant to use the cliché but it really was a game of two halves. AC could have been in front at half time but United in the second half deservedly took the lead. With a win and three away goals under their belt United should be comfortable at home. However, in a season that has seen them lose six games in the league and get knocked out to Leeds in the FA Cup, you can never be too sure with the Red Devils this season. Saying that I predict a United (Rooney) victory.

gairrhydd | SPORT@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

On Wednesday evening England will play host to 2010 African Cup of Nations winners Egypt in what will be Fabio Capello’s last chance to see his team in action before their World Cup campaign in the Summer. Quite often it seems, England's matches rarely live up to the expectation built up around them, but Wednesday may well prove to be different. Egypt will be out to cause an upset, and will most certainly be high on confidence after their Cup of Nations win. The two-time consecutive champions will want to show they can beat the best, and will certainly give England a run for their money. At the same time, the England players Capello picks to face Egypt will be giving everything for the cause. This is their last chance to stake a claim in the upcoming World Cup squad. This game promises to be anything but a friendly. Unfortunately most talk surrounding the England camp has been focussed upon one John Terry and his adulterous liaisons with Wayne Bridge’s ex. This will be the first game England play under Capello where Terry isn’t captain. Whoever is chosen to fill in as captain will need to have something to prove to the manager. I say whoever is picked, because newly instated captain Rio Ferdinand has of course been ruled out of the match with yet another injury. The commanding centre-back has been riddled with injuries this season, a further worry for Capello as the World Cup nears. The most likely player to step in as captain is undoubtedly Steven Gerrard. Yet again I foresee another problem. Gerrard’s own form this season has been unusually poor and if he is to be picked as captain on Wednesday, fans will be looking to him to step up to the plate. I personally would hand the captaincy to Wayne Rooney. The Man United striker has been in scintillating form for his club this season, driving their push for a record consecutive fourth premiership title. He leads from the front, shows the passion that all England fans come to expect, and can inspire those around him. No doubt Capello will be hoping Rooney

ROONEY: Capello's main man can continue his premiership form when he pulls on the England shirt midweek. I have no doubts that Rooney will start on Wednesday, but who Capello picks to partner him will be interesting. Of course, Jermaine Defoe has been in good form this season, and his World Cup place is virtually guaranteed. Owen’s potential inclusion in the summer squad remains a constant talking point. I personally don’t see it happening, so I would be surprised to see him face Egypt. Crouch is another likely contender, and we all know how useful his height proves to be for England. And of course, Emile Heskey appears to remain a favourite with Capello despite his lack of goals for the national side. He has been playing regularly for Aston Villa, and will be a firm fixture in Capello’s plans ahead of the summer. Another problem area for Capello is at left-back. Ashley Cole has been ruled out with his troublesome injury, and now Wayne Bridge has ruled himself out of being selected to face Egypt. No real surprise to me con-

sidering the furore surrounding the player lately. In my mind there is only one real replacement at left-back: Stephen Warnock. He has been fantastic for Aston Villa so far this season, and I would be very surprised if his form has gone unnoticed by Capello. Of course, he may opt to play Gareth Barry at left-back but I can see Warnock getting his chance. I think the Italian will be looking to shake up midfield a bit on Wednesday to give a few fringe players a chance to shine. The likes of James Milner, Stewart Downing, and Ashley Young have all been knocking on the door, but have struggled to make the team with Gareth Barry, Lampard and Gerrard stealing the starting places. Personally I believe on form alone, Milner deserves to start ahead of Gerrard, but picking the starting midfield remains a tough call. Beckham is bound to go to the World Cup, but will not get much game time against Egypt in midweek. Aaron Lennon has been struck with an injury setback so the likes of WrightPhillips or even Joe Cole may just be given a chance on the right wing.

Capello will be looking to keep a clean sheet against Egypt, and in my mind there’s only one keeper who is likely to start against the African side. Rob Green has played well whenever given the chance for England, and for me, he has to be the first choice keeper at the World Cup. His remarkable ability to save penalties will no doubt prove a boost to the team when we undoubtedly face the dreaded penalty shootout later this year. Paul Robinson has been impressive for Blackburn so far this year, but I still can’t see him taking Green’s spot yet. Danger men for Egypt are likely to be 34 year old captain Ahmed Hassan. He has scored a total of 31 goals for his country and will no doubt look to cause England some problems in midfield. Upfront, they will rely on danger men Amr Zaki and Emad Moteab. Between them they have scored 60 goals in 116 games for Egypt and England’s defence has been suspect of late. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them concede. I would however expect England to finish the game comfortable winners. 3-1 to England.

England v Egypt: Editors' Predictions Robbie Wells: As a matter of patriotism and logic, I've got to go for England. Egypt will be perfect preparation for Angola in the group stages, as form suggests that they will provide a sterner test than their African neighbours. The English squad is very strong though, and even with the loss of Ferdinand, Cole and Bridge, there is strength in depth. In contention for the left back berth is Steven Warnock, who I hope to see given his chance, as he has been in scintillating form this season. This will be a tough game, but England should nick it by the odd goal.

James Hinks: Normally I bet on nothing but a resounding England win, but this time I am predicting a draw. This has nothing to do with the fact that everybody else has gone for England. Egypt may not be in the World Cup but they are double African Cup of Nations Champions and you don't do that by being a poor team. England will no doubt underestimate them and concede, probably from a goalkeeping error. However, with Rooney on such form England can't loose.

Jon Evans: With all the off-field talk that's been going on around England of late it'll be nice to see some footballers doing what they get paid to do. With time rapidly running out before the summer players will be desperate to impress under the watchful eye of Capello. Egypt will be relishing this opportunity after they missed out on World Cup qualifictaion and will be a good test for England, particularly after Egypt's African Cup of Nations success. Still, I expect a comfortable win for England and hopefully no injuries. 4-0 England.

Lucy Morgan: Depite facing the current Africa Cup of Nations champions, I think that England are sure favourites to come away with the victory on Wednesday. England will be playing their first match without John Terry as captain but with some strong contenders up for his job, I can't see this having too much of a detrimental affect. In their last game before the World Cup, England should be out to impress and this should be a very comfortable victory.


THE WORD ON - SPORT 29 Top Five Alex Bywater gives The Word On England's tour to Foreign born lions Bangladesh and the players looking to impress... gairrhydd | SPORT@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

England’s upcoming tour to Bangladesh may not excite the cricketing public as much as an Ashes Series or a contest against India or South Africa. However, the upcoming visit to South East Asia offers fringe players in the England Squad the chance to impress. Controversially, England Captain Andrew Strauss has been rested from the tour along with other key play-

ers such as James Anderson. England Cricket Board officials have toed the line that key players such as Strauss need to be rested and ready for key battles coming up over the next year, including both a World Twenty 20 Tournament and an Ashes Series down under. On the other hand, critics, including legendary former Australian leg spinner Shane Warne, have argued that it

is disrespectful to both Bangladesh and Test cricket as a whole for England’s best players to be absent from the squads. "It's a lack of respect for Test cricket," said Warne. "It's disappointing that the Captain of England decides to have a rest from a Test series, I can't comprehend that." It has to be argued that the England Captain must be Captain of the team if he is both fully fit and fulfils the relevant selection criteria. On the other hand, the huge amount of cricket played at International level nowadays inevitably takes its toll on the bodies of the players, especially fast bowlers. Surely though, Strauss’s role as an opener cannot be that taxing to have to result in a rest? Obviously the mental fatigue of Captaining a side can have its effects, but as Strauss is not included in the Twenty 20 side, his workload is much less than players such as Stuart Broad and Kevin Pietersen who play international cricket in all forms of the game. Whatever your viewpoint on the resting of Strauss and company, England should have too much for the youthful Bangladeshis. Since their introduction to test cricket, Bangladesh have really struggled at the highest level. However, with batsmen such as Mohammed Ashraful really stepping up, there is hope that they can push England hard. As a result of certain players being missing, there is opportunity as well as pressure for new call-ups to press their claims for a permanent place in the side. After a disappointing test series in South Africa, Kevin Pietersen will be looking to dominate the Bangladeshi bowlers and provide the majority of the England runs.

There is opportunity as well as pressure for new call-ups to press their claims

KIESWETTER: South African born but proud to wear the three lions

With regards to the One Day International’s, Eoin Morgan will look to continue his fine recent form. However, with three One Day Internationals and two Test Matches, there is ample opportunity for new squad members such as Ajmal Shahzad, Michael Carberry and the late call up Craig Kieswetter, amongst others, to show the national selectors what they can do. The latter, after a series of im-

pressive performances for Somerset and the England Lions has catapulted himself into the frame for an appearance in the One Day Series. Indeed, his latest innings of 143 off only 123 balls — albeit against a Bangladeshi Cricket Board XI-was a lucky, yet mightily impressive innings.

England should have too much class Shahzad, a Yorkshire fast bowler, who has also shown promise with the bat, will look to take his opportunity in one of the fast bowling berths. Though inexperienced, Shahzad did show promise by taking two wickets in his first over in International cricket during the Twenty 20 International against Pakistan in Dubai last week. He will look to take this into the One Day Series where he will challenge Ryan Sidebottom and Stuart Broad for a place. There can be no doubt that England’s most successful test match batsman over the last 18 months has been Strauss. With the Captain wrapped up in cotton wool, Michael Carberry is expected to fulfil the opening berth with new Skipper Alistair Cook. The Hampshire batsman has enjoyed a memorable year averaging nearly 70 in the County Championship. He will be looking to carry this form into the Test Series. There can be no doubt then that England have a wealth of talent coming through to bolster their ranks and stake their claim to a starting place in Bangladesh. England have come under particular criticism for bringing through players who have their roots in other countries and who have recently qualified to play for England. There has been debate as to whether England can truly be described as ‘England’ when at least five of England’s players, including Captain, Keeper and star batsman have their roots in South Africa. These critics are, though, only nit picking, as a succession of England debutants, in particular Jonathan Trott have shown their potential on the International stage. Players such as Kieswetter, Shahzad and Carberry have the potential to showcase their talent. Whatever their background, players such as Kieswetter should have the opportunity to represent England now that they are qualified in what could be an ultimately easy series.

1. KEVIN PIETERSEN: The cocky but loveable cricketer was born in Natal, South Africa. KP is now one of England's most important players in the current team.

2. JOHN BARNES: Digger was born in Kingston, Jamaica, but later went on to be one of the greatest players to grace British football. After amassing 79 caps for England we can forgive him for his shambolic stint at presenting!

3.

GREG RUSEDSKI: Born in Montreal to a British mother, Greg chose to represent Britan on the court. He went on to become one of our most successful players

4.

ANDREW STRAUSS: At the age of six Strauss moved to England from South Africa where he was born. The Middlesex batsmen now captained his side to victory in last years Ashes.

5.

RIKI FLUTEY: New Zealand missed a trick in not selecting Flutey for their national side. The Kiwi born centre is one of world rugby's in-form stars.


30 SPORT- BUCS

gairrhydd | SPORT@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

United they stood, United they fell London United Hospitals 13 - 48 Cardiff Medicals RFC Richmond Rugby Club played host to the inaugural fixture between Cardiff Medicals and London United Hospitals, an invitational side formed from the combined talents of the capital’s six medical and veterinary schools. Cardiff have long awaited the opportunity to add the Londoners’ scalp to their NAMS (National Association of Medical Schhols) title and made no mistake on a crisp day, eventually running out comfortable 48-13 winners. The magnitude of the occasion was reflected by a cagey start, but early pressure was rewarded with a long-range penalty from Captain Sion Crabtree, the beginning of his 18-point haul. A try further settled the nerves, Darius Williams crossing under the posts when Nick Gill was brought down just short after capitalising on a London mistake to burst through from his own half. London did hit back with

a pushover try from their bigger pack, but the centre pairing again linked to good effect when Williams collected a loose clearance and some good hands put the supporting Shawn Carter into space. He had no problems crossing the line, setting the blueprint for Cardiff to start to run the game. Hooker, Rhys Price was all smiles after a fantastic piece of individual play saw him pick up a loose ball and sprint sixty yards to score, leaving London’s floundering fullback redfaced as the front-rower out-paced him. London could only find a penalty in return and next time it was teamwork that unlocked the London defence, Crabtree adding the finish to a flowing move. Cardiff headed into the break with a commanding 29-10 lead. Despite some good individual performances on the part of the London side, Cardiff’s greater cohesion continued to tell as they eased away in the second half. Williams made an incisive break and a well-timed pass put substitute Duncan Woster away for a try. The Cardiff forwards’ work-rate stayed high, winning good line-out balls with open-side Endaf Morgan really starting to cook around the park in the February sun. Even when Mat-

thew Carter was controversially sinbinned, believing he had sniffed out a legitimate opportunity for a turnover, Cardiff got their noses further in front. Scrum-half Richard Knight showed good vision to escape down the blindside and released Woster, between them getting the ball safely down for Cardiff’s sixth and Woster’s second. The prolific Williams capped off the

victory as he hacked through and collected to complete his brace. The game was scrappy in parts but Cardiff took their chances clinically and few London mistakes went unpunished. They looked a cut above their English opposition and will take confidence from what was ultimately a dominant performance. Skipper Crabtree was pleased with the victory,

“We’re proud of our reputation as the top medical school side in Great Britain and Ireland and a win today was vital to ensure it was maintained. We’ll enjoy tonight and then get back to hard work in training so that we can build on this result in some crucial BUCS fixtures and in the defence of our NAMS title.”

PHOTO: MIKE WEST

Mike West Sports Writer

MEDICALS: Enjoying a flurry of success

Korea crowned Go Global Champs Ayushman Singh Jamwal Sports Writer Winners - Korea

The usual grey sky turned sunny over the Talybont grounds as eleven teams gathered to compete for the Go Global championship. The Go Global Football cup is one of the early events of the current Go Global festival, where football enthusiasts from the diverse student population of the University come together to compete in a friendly tournament. “It’s a fun thing to do on a Sunday morning, where you can have a sort of international student social through a football tournament”, said Shaikh Basit, the organiser of the event from the International Students Association. Every year the Go Global cup is marked by enthusiastic cheering, aggressive competition and dramatic tension. And this year was no different. The competition began with the group stage where the teams were divided into four groups from where the top eight teams would advance to the quarter-finals on the basis of points gained on match outcomes and goals scored. The teams competing for the cup were, Al-Khalej, Samoa, India A (Group A), India B, Pakistan, Korea (Group B), Spain, Italy, Laos (Group C), Argentina and Guatemala (Group D). Each game lasted 20 minutes which made the whole tournament a great watch, with rapid back

to back game play of different teams. Laos and Samoa emerged from their respective groups as the dominant teams with Spain and India A trailing behind them with a significant margin

of points. Korea and India B, and both Argentina and Guatemala emerged from their respective groups with a tie in points after neck-and-neck competition.

KOREA: Proud of their matching kit

Korea took on Spain in the first match of the quarter-finals. Spain significantly improved their game, frustrating the Korean attack with a strong defence line. However, in the second half, one smart pass gave a Korean striker the opening for the game-winning goal. India A took on Guatemala in a hard-hitting match, with well-coordinated attacks and aggressive defence lines from both teams. The game was tied until the last two minutes, when in a final push the India A midfield out-manoeuvred the Guatemalan defence to score and get the victory. Argentina dominated in its game against Samoa, keeping the possession of the ball through most of the game and sailed through with a 3-1 victory. In the final game of the stage, the lax defence of India B allowed Laos to inflict three goals, which advanced the team to the next stage. The semi-finals began with Korea taking on India A. The Korean team had really stepped up its game from the group stage and its two-man attacking line was putting pressure on the Indian defence. The Indian attack didn’t put up much of a fight, and every attempt at the goal was countered by a long feed to the Korean strikers. In the first half, taking advantage of confusions in the man-to-man marking of the Indian team, Korea scored two goals. They maintained the pressure on the Indian defence in the second half, which eventually gave them the victory. The big showdown of the semi-finals was Argentina vs. Laos, where the two high scorers went head

to head for victory. It was a rough game where determined attacks met with solid defences with a constant 5050 possession rate between the teams. It was an evenly matched game till the final whistle, after which the outcome was to be decided by penalty shootouts. With five shots to a side, after a 4-2 win, the Laos keeper prevailed in carrying his team to the final. The final game wasn’t as exciting as the semi-finals. The Laos attack had lost steam, and failed to capitalize on the openings in the Korean defence. Taking advantage of this, the Korean defence kept feeding the strikers. Supported by a dominant midfield, the strikers scored two well taken goals in the course of 20 minutes, and at the blow of the final whistle, were proclaimed Go Global Champions. As the tournament closed, the contestants shook hands, played few ‘retribution’ matches, had some last minute shots at the goal and then moved off to the pub to reminisce about the last couple of hours. “I had a great time” said Yameer Gupta of the India A team. “With my Engineering degree schedule, I don’t get time to play much football, and through this tournament I got to meet and interact with people who are as big football fans as I am.” Many were simply glad of having a more eventful Sunday than usual. “It’s a great thing to do on a Sunday besides laze around waiting for Monday”, said Yony Choi, captain of the victorious team Korea, “I really enjoyed playing in the tournament and look forward to the drama and aggression next year.”


BUCS - SPORT 31

gairrhydd | SPORT@GAIRRHYDD.COM MONDAY MARCH 01 2010

Undefeated Cardiff ladies Bath-ing in glory Plain sailing Cardiff Ladies 36 - 5 Bath Cardiff faced a tough task to keep up their so far undefeated run this season when they faced Bath last Wednesday. The home team made their presence felt within the first few minutes, their attacking flair causing Bath trouble, practically dancing their way around the pitch. They came close to breaking the deadlock early on as number ten Tina Lee looked to have broken through. Unfortunately muddy conditions caused the ball to slip from her hands inches from success. A tussle for dominance ensued, both teams giving their all. Each pack of forwards striving to give their backs the best possible chance given the conditions. Unfortunately for Cardiff, Bath were the first to put points on the board. The quick Bath backs broke away following a scrum, cross-

ing the line to set the score at 0-5. Refusing to let their heads drop, Cardiff turned up the heat. Their forwards looked competitive in rucks, and despite possession switching back and forth, each member of the Cardiff team held their own. Fullback Blanche Lumb, although out of

position had some storming runs and Hannah Browne consistently made blinding tackles. Cardiff dominated line-outs, winning their own as well as stealing many from underneath Bath’s nose, thanks to Rosie Hutton. Cardiff continued to push for points, a drive on a line-out, allowing flanker Jen PHOTO: ABIGAIL JOHNSON

Fran Thistlethwaite Sports Writer

Hawkins to score Cardiff’s first try. Meg Tudor unfortunately missed the conversion, the score after 25 minutes resting at 5-5. Another try, this time provided by Tudor, and scored by Lee gave Cardiff a vital lead at 10-5. Three minutes later, and right on half time, Heather Warwick put the ball down between the posts after an impressive run, Tudor converting to leave the half time score at 17-5. The second half brought more tries, Sally Tuson having success on the 43rd minute and Tudor converting. Fran Manzai also scored powering through from the back of a ruck again with a conversion from Tudor to take the score to 31-5 with 15 minutes to go. Hutton made the most of the remaining time, making an inspired run to make the score 36-5 in the 75th minute. Cardiff finished the match victorious and undefeated, completing one of their most successful seasons ever.

CARDIFF LADIES: Good reason to celebrate

Cardiff Taekwondo clean up in ITF Grand Prix Vinod Patel Sports Writer Seven members from the Cardiff University Taekwondo club have taken part in the ITF Wales Grand Prix series. The day was split into two halves. For the first half, competitors would perform patterns and compete in a knock out stage. The second stage involved sparring. Cardiff had a good start with patterns picking up three bronze and two silver medals.

It was then time for Cardiff to flaunt their sparring skills against opponents from across Wales. The first fight was Cardiff’s Paul Chappel versus Muhamed Ezadan from Fairwater Taekwondo. Paul won, carrying himself through the semi-finals to an impressive final. Paul grabbed the gold after an impressive back kick to his opponent Steve James. Cardiff’s Vinod Patel managed to pick up the bronze in the same group for sparring after a defeat from Steve James, the blue tag from Taekwondo Wales.

Cardiff’s Sarah Farthing managed to defeat all three of her opponents and took the gold medal in the over 18’s women’s category. Adam Gaunt faced David Leech from Ely Taekwondo. There was a huge weight disadvantage for Adam but he put up an impressive fight after opening with a 360° turning kick, landing on the opponents head. Unfortunately Adam tired towards the end and was beaten on points. Cardiff’s Michael Perks faced David Leech in the final and unfortunately lost set-

tling for a silver medal. Jonathon Lewis competed in the over 18's white belt category and managed to defeat his two opponents, one of them being Bieshoy Awad, a Cardiff University postgraduate. Overall the seven members collectively won 12 medals, three gold, three silver and six bronze, rounding off a very successful day for the Cardiff University club.

Cardiff trampoliners jumping for joy Lizzie Mansell Sports Writer The last two weekends have seen Cardiff University Trampolining Club win a total of seven spots on the podium in two inter-university competitions. The BUCS regional qualifier for the south, held in Plymouth on February 14 was the biggest competition of the year with a whopping 150 competitors from over ten universities. The Cardiff squad hit the south coast with force, winning one first and two third places from six crowded categories. Helen Showan landed first place in the competitive BUCS four category ensuring her place in the finals. Lizzie Mansell finished in tenth place in this category, just making it to the finals. Unfortunately, as only the top 20% of competitors progress into the finals, Laura Price, recovering from a recent injury, just missed out on qualifying, taking 11th place in the BUCS four category from 50 competitors. Mike Thompson and Jenna Scrivens both finished third in the men’s

and women’s BUCS five categories, with up and coming trampolinist Sarah Scotcher taking tenth place from 30 competitors. Unfortunately no competitors from this level go on to finals. Members of the team competing at a higher level proceed directly to the finals due to fewer athletes competing. Darryl Patterson, Craiger Solomons, Chris Edwards and Holly Bryant will join Lizzie and Helen in Sheffield on March 13 after more intensive training. The following weekend, at the University of Bath Trampoline Open, the squad managed to whip out some equally superb routines. Mike Thompson medalled again, this time in second place with Brian Dias following closely behind in fourth position for the novice men. The Cardiff team for this category, which also included Hannah Buncle and Catrin Evans, finished in second place, beating the home team for their place on the podium. Other medal winners of the day were Lizzie Mansell who won silver for the first time ever in the experi-

enced women’s category. President and coach Craiger Solomons took second place in the advanced men’s category, while Chris Edwards, a promising recent addition to the squad, followed closely in third.

Captain Laura Price commented “Everyone has trained really hard for these competitions and put in onehundred percent on the day. Congratulations to everyone who competed!”

CARDIFF TRAMPOLINING: Showing good promise

continued from back page...

The Ladies Captain, Tash Wetherall who is in her first year stated, “Even though this has been a tough event, we’ve all gained valuable experience which hopefully we can take forward into future competitions.” She also muttered something about being hungover being partly to blame. Let’s wish both teams the best of luck for this weekend’s qualifier and hopefully we’ll be hearing more about their successes in the near future.

Wham, bam, thankyou Glam Patience Lewis Sports Writer Cardiff 1sts 54 - 16 Glamorgan

The afternoon of February 24 saw the clash of Cardiff University netball 1sts against Glamorgan University 1sts in an eagerly anticipated clash. Although Glamorgan are not in the same league as Cardiff and the game was only a ‘friendly’, a sense of goodnatured rivalry provided added intensity to the match. The first quarter was approached with ease, with the shooters netting goal after goal. Steady play and a solid performance from captain Jo Allan at goal shooter regained most of the rebounds meaning that Cardiff were able to push their lead to 11-3 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter saw Sarah Wreford take to the court for the first time in four months after being out with an injury, but this was hard to tell as she put in a fantastic performance. The new defensive combination dominated the circle conceding only two goals meaning Cardiff were able to increase their lead. Their constant defence all the way down court made Glamorgan panic and make errors, forcing the ball into the circle and allowing Cardiff to take full advantage. The third quarter saw a change to the positions throughout court, with Cardiff using their lead to try out new combinations for Varsity. Cardiff started to tire and make mistakes, but good defence from Amy Cooper at wing defence on the centre pass meant Cardiff could turn over the ball and continue to capitalise, increasing the score line as they did so. In the final quarter, Glamorgan made some changes to positions in one final effort to change the game but Cardiff’s attack throughout court was fluent and effortless, moving the ball with speed and accuracy. There was some great re-offering and give-andgo ball meaning Cardiff continued to net goals. Glamorgan never gave up, working hard until the end. However, with Cardiff’s shooting prowess and dominant defending Glamorgan were never going to close the gap and Cardiff clearly deserved the exciting victory taking the final score to 54 goals to 16.


Sport gairrhydd

PHOTO: GEORGE TALBOYS

INSIDE: BUCS, The Word On... The Upcoming England vs Bangladesh Tour, and England vs Egypt Friendly Preview

Wind in their sails George Talboys Sports Writer Cardiff University Sailing Team will go into the first BUSA (British University Sailing Association) qualifier on a high after a successful weekend in Reading. Two teams of six sailors made their way to Reading at the weekend for the last competition before the upcoming important qualifier this Saturday in Bristol. After a couple of last minute drop-outs due to academic commitments, Cardiff’s 1st team was made up of a mixture of sailors from the 1st and 2nd squads. On Saturday morning in Reading, temperatures of 2 degrees were braved by teams from across the country. Fortunately, wind conditions were perfect, leaving Cardiff twitching to get

on the water. The morning saw the 1st team secure four vital wins against some of the top teams including Solent 1st team, which would crucially give them a psychological edge over them the following day. As the afternoon came, confidence was high but temperatures had begun to fall so keeping focused was vital. With only two races left that afternoon, Cardiff had almost secured a place in the gold fleet for the Sunday, but an unlucky wind shift left them baffled as they watched Portsmouth's 2nd team sail away from them. This loss left them with one race to sail which they had to win. “All six of us were pretty angry that we let Portsmouth beat us and I guess we turned our anger around into a race winning performance”, said Vice-Captain, Richard Hingston, but there was still an edge of bitterness in his voice as he recalled the race.

Sunday morning saw many dreary-eyed sailors stumble into the club after another classic sailing event social. Cardiff had four races in which to continue their performance from the previous day. The gold fleet racing proved to be harder than they had been used to the day before as the podium was now in sight. After winning three of these races,

Cardiff were on track for victory and were left to face Portsmouth’s 1st team in a race to gain the title for the event. Either through bad fortune or a split-second lack of concentration, Portsmouth 1st team managed to slip away off the start line and protected their lead until the finish, but not without a fight from the keen Cardiff team, who were snapping at their heels until the very end. A promising last leg

from veteran sailor Emma Redshaw saw Cardiff narrowly missing out on stealing the victory. Portsmouth had gained the title but Cardiff 1st team were more than content with second place out of 16. This leaves them confident and determined leading up to their qualifier this coming weekend, where they will compete for a place at the BUSA finals to be held in Easter. The newly formed Ladies team set sail in their first event this year, a race in which they were keen to put what they’d been training for into practice. Unfortunately, their lack of experience proved dominant as they struggled against more composed and experienced teams.

Continued on page 31

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gair rhydd - Issue 917  

gair rhydd - Issue 917