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Advice: Housing week comes to Cardiff P14 >>

gair rhydd

Politics: Brexit blamed on British austerity P21>> gair rhydd | freeword Cardiff ’s student weekly Issue 1085 Monday 31st October 2016 £1.1bn relief road to offer “very little” benefit to valleys


he Welsh Government has been criticised over its plans for an infrastructure project located south of Newport. The project, which will take the form of a relief road for the M4, which, according to social economics expert Dr Mark Lang, will provide “very little” benefit to valleys towns, such as Pontypool and Tredegar. Despite costing an eye-watering £1.1bn, Dr Lang told the BBC that the infrastructure project will offer “very little to the people and town of Pontypool, who like other communities have not been engaged in the conversation around setting the economic policy agenda.” He also added: “Some of the key economic priorities that have emerged in Wales, notably the proposed construction of an M4 relief road around Newport, appear to offer little to the wellbeing of future generations.”

Crime rate in Cathays amongst highest in South Wales area EXCLUSIVE

Harry Webster


nti-social behaviour and crime rates in Cathays, Cardiff’s student centre, have remained higher than in neighbouring districts, according to new crime statistics for the last year. The district, which has a population of approximately 23,000, playing host to many of Cardiff’s students, saw the highest crime rate of Cardiff districts in August 2016, while also seeing unparalleled reports of anti-social behaviour during the last year. Of the 30,191 incidences of antisocial behaviour (ASB), that were reported by South Wales police between September 2015 and August 2016, 2,086 were recorded in Cathays alone, equating to approxi-

mately 7 per cent of the total reported incidences. In terms of the district itself, this equates to roughly 1 report of ASB for every 10 people living in the area, while its nearest rival, Butetown, which only has an approximate population of 10,000, sees this ratio diminish by almost half to 1 incidence for every 20 people living in the area. However, despite the number of incidences remaining proportionately high, the district did see a marginal drop in the number of reported ASB incidences, falling by 6.9 per cent from 2,240 incidences during the year between September 2014 and August 2015. ASB, an offence which police define as partaking in a ‘wide range of unacceptable activities, which can cause harm to individuals and their community’, often includes drinking offences, leading some to link the high number of reported incidences

in Cathays, to its dense student population. The figure can also be related to the areas vast homeless population, with begging and vagrancy also falling under the confines of ASB. Gair Rhydd last year reported that homelessness in Cardiff had increased by more than a half in the two-year period between October 2013 and October 2015, after many cities across the UK began to implement aggressive anti-homeless policies. Such an increase can therefore be linked to the cities high number of anti-social behaviour reports, with Cathays in particular being one of the Welsh capital’s most affected areas. Cathays also accounted for 4 per cent of South Wales Police’s total reported burglaries and robberies, with 313 incidents being reported between September 2015 and August 2016. This marked a drop from

the 421 reported incidences in the previous year by roughly 25 per cent. However, despite the drop, Joseph Bennie, a third year geology student, whose Cathays residence was burgled in June 2015, said he felt student’s were ‘vulnerable’ to such crimes. Speaking exclusively to Gair Rhydd, Mr Bennie said: “Most students live in houses, with lots of tenants, each owning personal valuables such as laptops, as well as having more communal valuables, like games consoles. “Students can be naive to the dangers of burglary. It’s down to the landlords to ensure houses are properly protected.” Continued on page 4

Cardiff sends life saving trauma packs to Namibia


its containing essential medical equiptment have been sent to Namibia in order to reduce the high death rates on Namibia’s roads. Members of the community such as police officers, drivers and senior villagers will be trained in how to use the trauma packs. It was the Phoenix Project Cardiff University has set up with the University of Namibia that meant the packs were sent. They were put together by Welsh researchers with clear instructions on what to do in a crisis. It is hoped that the packs will mean that people who have been injured in an accident will be reached more quickly in order to potentially save their lives. Professor Hywel Thomas, Pro ViceChancellor, Research, Innovation and Engagement, Cardiff University, said: “I hope that this latest innovative intervention, involving many collaborators in Wales and Namibia , will eventually be expanded across Namibia and to developing countries elsewhere in the world.”

2 EDITORIAL Gair Rhydd Coordinator Elaine Morgan Editor Maria Mellor Deputy Editors Toby Holloway Emily Giblett

the free word Spooky, scary initiations

News Toby Holloway Gabriella Mansell Harry Webster Comment Helena Hanson Caragh Medlicott Sam Saunders Columnist Helena Hanson Advice George Watkins Anwen Williams Politics Adam George Ellise Nicholls Science Tanya Harrington Kat Pooprasert Societies Aletheia Nutt Tom Morris Taf-Od Osian Wyn Morgan Liam Ketcher Sport James Lloyd Mark Wyatt Rich Jones Shaun Davey Digital Media Editor Emily Giblett Cartoonist Tom Morris Editorial Assistant Carwyn Williams Proofreaders Hugh Doyle Silvia Martelli Em Gates Get involved Editorial conferences are each Monday at 6:30pm. Proofreading takes place from 6pm on Thursdays in the media office. Write to the editor editor@gairrhydd.com At Gair Rhydd we take seriously our responsibility to maintain the highest possible standards. Sometimes, because of deadline pressures, we may make some mistakes. If you believe we have fallen below the standards we seek to uphold, please email editor@gairrhydd. com. You can view our Ethical Policy Statement and Complaints Procedure at cardiffstudentmedia.co.uk/complaints Opinions expressed in editorials are not reflective of Cardiff Student Media, who act as the publisher of Gair Rhydd in legal terms, and should not be considered official communications or the organisation’s stance. Gair Rhydd is a Post Office registered newspaper.

There has been a lot of clowning around Maria Mellor


is (apparently) the season of binge drinking. I made the mistake of walking home last Wednesday night just as people were going out to YOLO. It seemed like every student and their mum was flocking to the union clad in all manner of costume. There were girls in heels with blood dripping down their faces and men with ripped bloody t-shirts. It was carnage and not just because of the gruesome halloween costumes. At 9pm a student was peeing on someone’s car while another was stumbling down the road retching every five feet. I thought it was just people getting into the Halloween spirit but a conga line of boys in bin bags quickly made me realise a lot of it was down to initiations. Don’t me ask what sport they were a part of; all I know is that they were all off their faces. This time of year is dangerous when it comes to binge drinking. The com-

bination of initiation and Halloween makes for a vomit-splattered, pissstained Cathays. It’s funny at first, but take a deeper look and it really says a lot about the drinking culture in university. I haven’t been part of a sports team so I’ve never experienced the true horror of initiations first hand, but what I’ve heard is enough for me to never want to. I have been told stories of people made to act like chickens, taking vodka shots to their eyes and even some people being sent to hospital to get their stomach pumped. It’s all supposed to be a bit of fun and games but it really does seem to go too far. Halloween across the UK seems to be the biggest drinking holidays of the year but as a student it is all but a requirement that you dress up and batter your body with ethanol. It’s not like I don’t get involved but being sober and watching people stumble down the street is enough to worry even the hardest of drinkers. Not to mention all the silly costumes that get slowly cast aside to litter the streets by

the time morning comes. I can only hope that everyone got home safe. It makes me think of our front page story last week about the SU not doing enough to ensure safety and cleanliness of their club nights. So many people have come to me about that article, sharing their own stories of the horrors of YOLO and Juice. Clearly far too many people are let in for the facilities they have available as toilets overflow and people get beaten up on the dancefloor, unnoticed by bouncers. I myself am not a fan of the nights simply because of the mad crush that happens as everyone tries to squeeze onto the dancefloor at once. I hope that by raising the issue we will make people sit up and listen. This week our Sport editors had a chat with Cardiff University superstar Hallam Amos. He talked about what it’s like to go from playing in stadiums in front of 80,000 people to walk around Cathays, and how he manages to juggle a degree with professional rugby. In Advice we have provided you

with everything you might need to know about housing, from finding your house for next year to sorting out your bills. After a couple of trial weeks we have now made Taf-Od a weekly feature! Our two section editors Osian and Liam have done a stellar job so far in running the section and I hope that we can keep it up! I only wish I could speak Welsh (or had the time to learn) so I could read their articles, but for now I have been assured that they are of top tier quality. We’ll be taking a short break from Gair Rhydd next week. Our fear was that we would be forced to sacrifice both quality and quantity with more than half of the editorial team trying to balance their mid-term assessments with their commitments in the paper. Don’t worry though! We’ll be back with a new issue on November 14. If you still want to get involved in Gair Rhydd, it’s not too late! Our next editorial meeting will be at 6:30 on November 7, with a proofreading meeting for the issue on November 10. See you there!


Campus in Brief

Emily Giblett

Two men blagged their way into the Team GB athletes parade with medals bought from eBay.


outh Wales Police have issued a warning to the public after a message threatening a ‘clown purge’ targeting the valleys village of Ferndale was posted on social media. The post, hosted on prank news website React365, has now been shared over fifteen thousand times by concerned residents. Beginning in the US, the craze, where individuals dress up as clowns in order to commit crimes or scare unwitting members of the public, has made the journey across the Atlantic after being shared globally on social media. Police have reiterated that anyone dressing as a clown to intentionally scare people will ‘have consequences’. It has been announced that £170,000 will be set aside to improve personal security of Welsh Assembly Members following the death of Jo Cox, the MP for Batley and Spen who was shot and stabbed in June this year. The money, which is left over from ‘underspend within existing budgets’, will be allocated to a review and overhaul of the homes and offices of Assembly Members. In a statement released by the Assembly, a spokesperson said Jo Cox’s death made clear that safety of AMs is of ‘paramount’ importance. Parliamentary bodies across the UK are said to be following similar security reviews. Serious accidents involving cyclists in Wales have increased by 50% over the last five years, a survey has shown. An average of 107 accidents occurred in annually in Wales between 2011 and 2015, up from 70 per year between 2006 and 2010. Sustrans, the UK body for sustainable transport, said that the sharp increase was due to rising numbers of bikes on the road, combined with the continuing lack of provision for cyclists in the Highway Code. Current laws state that drivers should leave plenty of room when overtaking cyclists. However, calls for more specific rules to protect cyclists are currently under consideration.


An investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission has found that British businesses could be losing up to £280million a year by unfairly dismissing pregnant women and new mothers. The survey found that 11% of women were pushed out of their jobs following maternity leave, causing companies to spend money on recruiting and training new staff members to replace them. Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of EHRC told The Guardian that the findings could have an important impact on business policy in the future, saying “There is not just a moral and legal case for retaining women who are coming back to work, but a very strong financial case as well.” A Peterborough man has been charged with manslaughter and robbery after attacking a delivery driver and stealing the pizza that he was carrying. The court heard how Mark Lintott, 29, and friends had drunkenly formulated a plan to order the pizzas and avoid paying for them. Pizza Hut worker Ali Quaseemi, 45, died two days after the attack from the head injuries he sustained. The pizza chain said it had introduced measures to protect its delivery staff following the attack, including a new order verification process and driver safety training. Jeremy Wright, the Attorney General, has suggested that the laws surrounding the evidence given in rape trials “could be reformed” after the retrial of Ched Evans, in which evidence of the complainant’s sexual history was used to find the footballer innocent. A group of 40 female Labour MPs wrote a letter to Mr Wright expressing worries that women would be less likely to be willing to come forward to report rape and sexual assault following the verdict. Though it is not common practice to use this type of evidence in rape trials, it was allowed in this case under a loophole relating to consent and the sexual behaviour of the complainant.


Kim Jong-Un’s former sushi chef has told a South Korean news network that the controversial North Korean leader reportedly drinks 10 bottles of wine a night. The chef claims to have left the service of the Kim family after fleeing to Japan whilst he was supposed to be buying sushi ingredients. As well as his love of wine, Kim Jong-Un is also famously a heavy smoker and swiss cheese enthusiast. The Kim family, including the previous two leaders of North Korea, have suffered from obesity, gout, and fatal heart attacks due to the gluttony that is a growing epidemic within the elite classes. Patient Zero, the man who was blamed for years with bringing AIDS to the United States, was the victim of an admin error, a new research has found. Gaetan Dugas, who was painted as the villain behind the spread of AIDS by the media after medical records collected by the US Centres for Disease Control listed him as patient ‘o’. However, research has shown that the ‘o’ in fact stood for ‘outside of California’ rather than zero, as first thought. Dugas died in 1984 in Quebec as a result of kidney failure brought on by the weakening of the immune system caused by the disease. The board of directors for Dreamworld, the theme park where four adults were killed last week in an accident on the Thunder Rapids ride, have come under criticism for awarding the CEO her bonus just days later. The disaster occurred when a raft carrying six people including two children capsized, killing the four adults onboard. Deborah Thomas, CEO of the Ardent Leisure group who operate Dreamworld, has now donated her annual £104,000 bonus to the Australian Red Cross to help those involved in the tragedy.

Pictured: Stay safe on the roads. (Photographer: Zachary Long)

The number of American tourists flooding to Iceland is soon to outnumber the local population.



Editors: Toby Holloway Gabriella Mansell Harry Webster @GairRhyddNews news@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/news

Continued: Cathays crime crisis

Continued from front page

And yet, in light of this contention, Mr Bennie commended the police response to his crime, stating: “The police were helpful as they responded pretty quickly, and put a lot of time into taking statements and looking at the crime scene. “Despite not being able to recover our stolen items, the police did as much as they could in the circumstances.” A spokesman for South Wales Police told Gair Rhydd that it is down to students to help protect themselves from such crimes by taking “all reasonable precautions to make sure premises are

secure, locking all doors and windows, and making sure valuables are kept out of sight.” This comes after South Wales police last year warned students to be ‘vigilant’ when leaving their property for a night out, after it was thought taxi drivers, picking up students to go into town, reported empty houses to potential burglars. The figures also show that the area saw high levels of shoplifting, and violent crime, while additionally displaying that crime was more prevalent during autumn and winter.

Theft from Bike Theft the Person

Reported Cases of anti-social behaviour per 100 people

It is down to students to help protect themselves from crime. South Wales Police.


Criminal Damage & Arson

Other Theft Possesion of Weapons Public Order Other Crime


Violent Crime Antisocial Behaviour Robbery


Vehicle Crime

Cardiff to receive new maxi-pitch in light of Champions League final Pictured: The Millenium Stadium (Photographer: gordonplant via Flickr)

Harry Webster

“ U

EFA and FAW officials are set to decide on a location for a new state-art-of the art artificial playing turf, after a number of Cardiff sites were visited during the last week. The new maxi-pitch will be built in Cardiff as part of UEFA and the Welsh Football Association’s Champions League final legacy fund, and will follow the example of similar pitches built in previous host cities. Grange Gardens and The Marl, both parks located in Cardiff ’s

Grangetown district, are thought to be the preferred location for the project, with both already holding playing facilities. Speaking to Wales Online, Grangetown councillor Ashley Govier said: “The news that the FAW has secured the Champions League final for Wales has been a fantastic boost to our city. “Since then, there has been much discussion about the resulting financial boost our city businesses will receive.

“However, the real success of its presence here will be measured by the legacy it leaves for years to come, and as ward members for Grangetown – which neighbours the host ward – we want to ensure that there is a benefit for the youth of Grangetown.” The news comes after the Football Association of Wales’ chief executive Jonathan Ford announced last year that the FAW would dedicate £500,000 to grassroots football activity in Wales as part of the Champions League’ final legacy.

The pitch will also be part of UEFA’s “ongoing commitment to developing grassroots football in host cities”, with previous pitches being built in Berlin, last season’s host city, Munich, and London - the host cities for the competitions 2012 and 2013 respective finals. This season’s final takes place on Saturday, June 3rd, with the women’s final taking place two days earlier on Thursday, June 1st. Both games will take place in Cardiff ’s Principality Stadium.

The news that the FAW has secured the Champions League final for Wales has been a fantastic boost to our city. Ashley Govier, Grangetown councillor


“Box City” development given go-ahead by Welsh Government Toby Holloway

The new development could] bring a host of exciting leisure and business opportunities. Ken Skates, Economy Secretary for the Welsh Government


Cardiff Bay named fourth most popular autumn attraction by TripAdvisor

he Welsh Government have given permission for the planning of a new building development at Cardiff Bay, it has emerged. The development, which will be known as the “Box City”, is to be located in the Porth Teigr area of Cardiff Bay, will also be constructed entirely out of 400 recycled shipping containers. Initial plans have gone ahead for the Welsh Government to lease 0.64 acres of Cardiff Bay land to DS Properties, the developing company responsible for the rejuvenation of the Grade II-listed Tramshed. The Tramshed, a popular live music venue, digital business hub and apartment building, among other things, was converted from a tram-repair depot and will celebrate two years of refurbishment in March. The Box City, similarly to the Tramshed, will play host to a myriad of facets, including office space, hotel apartments, an outdoor cinema screen, and pop-up market places. Speaking to the BBC, Economy Secretary for the Welsh Government Ken Skates said the new development could “bring a host of exciting leisure and business opportunities”

to the location. Many parts of the Cardiff Bay area, such as Porth Teigr, Cardiff Docks and East Moors have, until recent attempts at gentrification and rejuvenation, become run down and derelict. Numerous buildings used in a variety of industries previously associated with the Bay are now disused and in disrepute. Box City will be the first project of its kind in the UK, and is a good example of how degenerated urban landscapes can be recycled for modern functions. The trend of using shipping containers in housing has already become popular across the world, presenting a contemporary, cheap and flexible option to the spatial restraints that are prevalent in many urban areas. The Box City development will add to the attractions already present at Cardiff Bay, such as the Doctor Who Experience, the Wales Millennium Centre and a plethora of bars, cafes and restaurants. Points of interest such as these, as well as the 19th century Norwegian Church turned arts centre, have helped Cardiff Bay climb to fourth place on TripAdvisor’s list of the top UK autumn attractions for 2016. It bested London’s Tower Bridge

Pictured: An artist’s impression of the proposed Box City (Photographer: EllisWilliams Architects)

(which came fourth) and Tate Modern (eighth), but was beaten to the top spot by Compton Acres in Dorset, Castle Howard in North Yorkshire and the Ridge Walk Mam Tor to Losehill in Castleton, Derbyshire, the likes of which made up the top three. The criteria was based on which

destinations had seen the highest increase in tourist interest this year, according to year-over-year search activity on the TripAdvisor website. Projects such as Box City will only succeed in increasing Cardiff Bay’s reputation as an up-and-coming tourist destination, as well as a hub of sustainable development.

” Cardiff University admits record numbers of clearing students University sees intake of clearing students triple in last six years

Matthew Proctor

Pictured: An autumnal view of the back of the SU (Photographer: mari gordon via Flickr)


ardiff University’s intake of clearing students has hit an all time high for the 2016/2017 academic year, with 1000 applicants being accepted. Such students now account for one in 15 enrolments, triple the proportion (one in 45) of 2009. This increase in both numbers and proportions can be seen in the context of a university wide recruitment push. With the recent end on restrictions in student numbers, Cardiff is continuing to expand enrolments to gain the additional associated rev-

enue with each student. However, some have argued that this rise in recruitment has occurred irrespective of the consideration of both the suitability of the students they are enrolling, and the impact that larger student numbers will have on the services provided by the university. Clearing students are often offered places in empty university residences, however this year has seen large numbers denied any university accommodation at all. Some have reported concerns of first years being left to find residence within the pri-

vate housing market, often without ever visiting Cardiff. One first year, whom wished to remain anonymous, arrived in Cardiff to find the private sector house she had booked online with fellow first years was still mid-construction. Nationally, one in seven clearing students were not satisfied with their university (13 per cent), compared with just 6 per cent of other students. One in 10 clearing students were dissatisfied with their choice of course compared with 6 per cent of other students. The clearing process

itself has also been denounced by the Previous NUS president, describing it as a process no student should have to go through. The university denied there was evidence to suggest clearing students at Cardiff have a worse experience. When questioned, the University denied it was targeting a ‘bums on seats’ policy. It claims the rapid rise in student numbers does has not led to standards being ‘seriously compromised’. The University also stated that the investment in Talygate residences is evidence of adequate investment in halls, despite the fact that the residence in question only accommodates less than half the increase in student numbers since it opened. The university also denies that vital services are being overwhelmed by the overall dramatic rise of student numbers. Although, this statement has been made in the face of per student funding decreasing for services such as mental health support, and despite ever-growing counselling waiting lists. The growth in student numbers can also be viewed in the context of the continuing marketization of the university sector. The NUS and the UCU (the union representing university lecturers) have organised for the first time a joint demonstration against the government’s current agenda, which seeks to increase the role of markets in higher education.

One in seven clearing students were not satisfied with their university (13 per cent), compared with just 6 per cent of other students.


Welsh wages fall well short of UK average Welsh Conservative Leader claims economy is thriving under leadership even though Welsh weekly wage is £46.30 behind UK average

Gabriella Mansell

Not only do they need to do more to support Wales’ many small and medium sized enterprises, they need to attract more high-skilled and high-paid roles to the country. Russel George AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Secretary for Economy


ccording to a report published by the Welsh Government last week, adults in Wales in full-time work earn, on average, £46.30 less a week than those the rest of the UK. As of April 2016, Welsh adults earned a gross average weekly income of £492.40 compared to the UK average of £538.70, marking an 8.6 per cent gap. On this measure, Wales now ranks the second lowest among the 12 areas in the report including UK nations and English regions. Despite this, weekly earnings for adults in full-time work in Wales have increased. However, this is only a minimal increase of 2.9 per cent between 2015 and 2016 with the 2015 total at £473.40 a week. In addition to this, the gender pay gap on a hourly fulltime basis increased slightly – by 0.1 per cent between 2015 and 2016 in Wales and decreased by 0.2 per cent in the UK. Commenting on the report, Welsh Conservative Shadow Secretary for Economy Russell George AM said: “The Labour-led Welsh Government have levers at their disposal to get the Welsh economy moving. Not only do they need to do more to support Wales’ many small and medium sized enterprises, they need to attract more high-skilled and high-paid roles to the country.” He then added: “This can be achieved through reforming business rates and taking greater efforts to attract foreign investors with long-term commitments to Wales. “The steady rise in weekly earnings is to be welcomed and is a clear indicator that the UK Government’s efforts to introduce a National Living Wage, and in lifting millions of people out of income tax, are having a clear benefit on the Welsh econ-

omy. The Welsh Government must take a much more constructive approach to working with the UK Government to ensure that Wales can develop an economy that is competitive and works for everyone.” Despite the obvious income inequalities between Wales and the rest of the UK, the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies was insistent that the Welsh economy has and will benefit from conservative leadership. In response to the new GDP figures showing that Britain’s economy grew by 0.5 per cent in the third quarter of 2016, Mr. RT Davies said: “Today’s figures show that our economy is resilient and is growing showing that the fundamentals of our economy are strong. It is clear from the data that the economy has benefited from the stewardship of a Conservative government. “Welsh Conservatives are working closely with the UK Government as it moves into a period of negotiations with the EU to ensure that Welsh households and businesses get the very best deal. “Naturally the economy will need to adjust to a new relationship with the EU, but we are well-placed to deal with the challenges and take advantage of opportunities ahead. In the meantime, the Welsh Government must use all the devolved levers available to it to support the economy and cultivate greater business and consumer confidence. It’s high time that naysayers embraced the vote to leave the EU instead of making relentless attempts to re-run the referendum and undo the will of the people.” The revelations came after Mr Davies also praised the expansion of Heathrow Airport in a quote that highlighted the growth of the Welsh

economy: “Now more than ever Wales and Britain need to be globally facing, and the expansion of Heathrow Airport would be a major boost for trade and tourism. As such, we welcome the committee’s approval for a third runway, which will serve to help the economy grow while creating thousands of jobs and apprenticeships across the country, and secure a lasting legacy for the entrepreneurs and innovators of Wales’ future. “Today’s decision sends a clear message that Wales and Britain are open for business and that we welcome closer ties with countries around the world.” Contrary to claims of relative growth and success under Conservative leadership, the gap in the Welsh weekly wage could have negative consequences for the 66,000 students who will be graduating from Cardiff ’s various universities over the next 3 years. When asked about what could be done by the Welsh Government in

an attempt to encourage prospective graduates into remaining within Cardiff, one 3rd Year student, Harry Busz said: “I don’t think there is anything that the government can do anymore to draw skilled workers away from London in the numbers necessary to employ a large amount of graduates in places such as Cardiff, even though many people, including myself might want to stay in the city. It’s part of a larger problem of centralization of business in London which is to the detriment of the rest of the U.K.” In relation to whether the difference in pay would potentially discourage graduates wanting to find employment within Cardiff Mr Busz then added: “It would discourage people but not because they don’t like Cardiff just that there might not be enough employment opportunities. However, if the right job is available here I potentially would apply despite the wage and wouldn’t mind that much as everything’s cheaper here.”

[The lower weekly wage] would discourage people but not because they don’t like Cardiff just that there might not be enough employment opportunities. Harry Busz, 3rd year CPLAN student

Pictured: Left: Spare change (Photographer: Tax Credits via Flickr) and Right: The Welsh flag (Photographer: Andrew Bowden via Flickr)

New shops and services!

The brand new ground floor space at Cardiff University Students’ Union opened in September, bringing back old favourites and introducing some new faces.

Pop in today to check it out! open now

open now

Blackwell’s Burrito Brothers Cardiff Student Letting Coffi Co Inc (IT repairs and stationery)

Kodak Express Store Magic Wrap Salon The Print Centre Tibetan Dawn

coming soon Santander YoGoGo Co-op



Editors: Helena Hanson Caragh Medlicott Sam Saunders @GairRhyddCom comment@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/comment

The Showdown: Hillary vs. Donald

CLINTON Maria Collins


ext week, the world will wait in anticipation as America makes a choice: they must decide whether they want a racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, television celebrity as their next president or a genuine, qualified politician who will make history for all the right reasons. Ultimately, there is only one safe, sane, intelligent and qualified person for the job, and her name is Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately for Clinton, many people, particularly the media, tend to draw attention to her flaws, consistently reminding the public of her links to Wall Street, the missing emails scandal she was caught up in, and her supposed responsibility for the security failures that contributed to the attack on the Benghazi consulate. But what many people fail to realise is that Hillary Clinton is so much more than the ‘lesser evil’ option to Donald Trump. Unlike her rival, she has the potential to change America for the better as she represents everything Trump stands against. For instance, Hillary is an advocate for equality, as she strongly supports the LGBT community and voters’ rights - something the Republicans oppose. She realises that childcare, equal pay, and paid leave are fundamental

economic problems, not just ‘women’s issues.’ She wants to raise taxes on the rich, prevent them from avoiding estate taxes and close loopholes for Wall Street and heir corporations. Furthermore, she cares about environmental issues and has a comprehensive plan to tackle climate change. As a person, she is caring and considerate, has owned up to her past errors and doesn’t lower herself to lying and insulting others for her mistakes, unlike- Trump. But essentially, as the former Secretary of State, First Lady, and a lifelong advocate for women and families, she is the most qualified person for the job. And while no one is implying that she is the perfect liberal candidate, refusing to vote for her because she has made mistakes in the past is insane, especially when the alternative option is Donald Trump. Clinton isn’t just the ‘only other’ option, she is so much more and as a woman in a world dominated by white, middle class men, she has achieved an awful lot. So, for the sake of humanity and those affected by its outcome, let’s just hope our friends across the pond make the right decision and put their trust in Hillary Clinton.


t’s a funny state of affairs in politics when a multibillionaire businessman is the candidate of the people. Personally, I view Trump as the senile, conservative grandparent every family has. On the other side, we have the professional politician. Slippery, slick and sleazy, you will never be able to pin a crime on them. The penalty for perjury (lying under oath) is five years in prison and/ or fines. In order to prosecute for perjury, the court must demonstrate that a lie was intentional. Due to this legal loophole, Clinton has managed to evade a further investigation. The FBI conducted the original investigation over Clinton’s handling of federal emails. During the investigation, five people were granted prosecutorial immunity before they would give their testimony. Let that sink in. Five people, all of whom committed crimes under Hillary’s stint as Secretary of State, were granted immunity; yet there were no eventual prosecutions for anyone at the office. This is why Donald Trump is not just being serious when he says he wants to put Hillary in jail, he has a case. It should also be noted that Trump has repeatedly and consistently stated that his priorities as president would

be to develop a protectionist economy. Similar to the ancient Romans importing free labour (slaves) to work, American industry has increasingly exported jobs, utilising cheaper foreign labour. Trump is intent on stopping this. On the other hand, Hillary has supported trade agreements from the likes of the TTIP, NAFTA and the TPP. Such trade agreements favour one group of people over everyone else: the corporates. This makes sense, seeing that four of Hillary’s top ten donors are Wall Street banks, two are law firms and one is the parent company of Google (revenue in excess of 70 billion dollars in 2015). A 2014 study provided exhaustive evidence to suggest that America has become an oligarchy; the rich lobbyists may pay politicians in exchange for favours once they’re in power. In other words, America is no longer a democracy. For these reasons, a vote for Trump is a vote to raze the current establishment to the ground, to inflame the angers of those in power, but most importantly, a vote for democracy. It’s like a really crappy would-you-rather question: your cringey granddad or a criminal as president? I know my answer.

TRUMP Lucas Zierold

Pictured: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the frontrunners in the 2016 election (source: DonkeyHotey via Flickr).


Gary Lineker condemned for tweets defending migrants MOTD host’s comments cause controversy

Sarah Harris

However, nowhere in his tweet does Gary Lineker call the entire nation ‘racist.’


ast week, former footballer and Match of the Day host, Gary Lineker tweeted, ‘the treatment by some towards these young refugees is hideously racist and utterly heartless. What’s happening to our country?’ Lineker’s tweet was met with heavy criticism and caused a huge stir on social media. It leads us to question why the subject of the UK welcoming vulnerable child refugees is met with such negative reception. Surely we should welcome these children with open arms after the horrific situations they’ve had to experience? Hundreds of children from the Calais refugee camp are supposedly to be bought to the UK over the weeks to come. The Home Secretary Amber Rudd, stated that almost 800 child refugees that claim to have family links in Britain have been interviewed by the Home Office and 200 have already been brought to the country. The story of a 49-year-old refugee who is currently residing in Germany was brought to the media’s attention this week. Ghazia A has 4 wives and 23 children and receives

nearly a whopping $400,000 worth of benefits. However, based on the amount of family members he needs to support, surely this is a satisfactory amount and people shouldn’t be concerned about it? This brings us back to Lineker’s controversial tweet. Media tabloids were plastered with covers claiming that Lineker had just insulted the whole of Britain by referring to them as racist. However, nowhere in his tweet does Gary Lineker call the entire nation ‘racist.’ He is simply referring to those who are objecting to refugees entering this country based on their religion and ethnicity, which he has every right to do. A couple of days later, he went on to tweet, ‘getting a bit of a spanking today, but things could be worse: imagine just for a second, being a refugee having to flee your home.’ It’s been over 2 years since the Syrian Refugee crisis began and it seems that as time goes on, more people are becoming insensitive towards this topic. We live in a world that is orien-

tated around celebrity culture and in which more people are concerned about the colour of Kylie Jenner’s hair than the fact that thousands of refugees remain homeless in Calais.

Just for a moment, imagine yourself in their position, and then reconsider whether having a couple thousand refugees move to the UK will really have such a huge impact on you.

Pictured: Vulnerable children from the Calais ‘Jungle’ began to arrive in the UK this week. (Source: malachybrowne via flickr)

Filibustering the Turing Bill was disrespectful Maria Mellor

It doesn’t mean that the entire bill is therefore unreasonable. It just means it may need to be rethought a little.


Bill pardoning all men convicted of homosexuality ‘talked out’ of Parliament

t’s only been a short space of time since the LGBT+ community received the rights that they currently have. After all it was only two years ago when same-sex marriage was legalised, and it was not until the 1980s that same-sex sexual acts were decriminalised. So many people have not just been treated poorly by society, but have actually been prosecuted and punished for homosexuality, many of whom are still alive today and are living with outdated convictions. When plans were revealed to officially pardon all those who were punished before the change in law I was not only pleased, I was running through the town, rainbow banner in hand screaming “about bloody time!” The private members bill known as the ‘Turing Bill’ would have finally wiped the slate clean for people living and dead who were convicted under archaic laws. It would have been a mark of respect, a message that we’re finally equal. But then what happened? Some jerkwad decides to take the childish way out and filibuster until the time to debate ran out. There’s no problem with expressing an opinion. There’s no prob-

lem in disagreeing with something. However to not even allow a motion to be debated is just ridiculous. The bill could have been passed to the next stage where the flaws would be ironed out, but instead MP Sam Gyimah forced it to fail by running out the clock. The problem certain politicians had with the bill was the fact that it would give a blanket pardon to anyone effected - living or dead, even those with convictions that are still illegal today such as non-consensual acts or acts with minors. That’s fair enough, you don’t want people who are still considered sex offenders to be pardoned as part of this bill. It doesn’t mean that the entire bill is therefore unreasonable. It just means it may need to be rethought a little. How would we come up with how to rethink it? Debate it! Listen to people’s opinions; use it to form something even better. Filibustering has its benefits but only really to those doing the filibustering. It’s not exactly a prime example of democracy, but rather a ridiculous, slightly comical but mostly ridiculous method to stop progress through debate. This bill is impor-

Pictured: Alan Turing was convicted of homosexual acts in 1952 but was pardoned in 2013. (Photographer: James O’Gorman via Flickr)

“ tant and on the surface what happened just looks a little homophobic. Past blatant homophobia, not even letting the matter be debated is just outright disrespectful. It is estimated that nearly 50,000 men were prosecuted, their lives ruined by British Government policy. A simple

gesture to apologise for what happened may be a small comfort but a comfort nonetheless. It’s looking like the Scottish Parliament will implement their own separate bill that would be specific to Scotland where homosexual acts were not decriminalised until 1980.

Past blatant homophobia, not even letting the matter be debated is just outright disrespectful.



G. Gavin Collins

If any appropriation is taking place here, it is that of adults acting like children.


Halloween, should it be left to the kids?

s with every seemingly innocuous thing in this age of perpetual outrage, university student Halloween costumes have now come under scrutiny for their latent offensiveness. A holiday normally thought of with fondness for the joy it brings children at the height of their imaginative faculties, has now been tainted by the politics of immature adults. The real genesis of this controversy traces its way back to September 2015 on the campus of Yale University in the United States when Ms. Erika Christakis, a lecturer employed by the university, had the temerity to respectfully voice her disagreement with an email sent by Yale’s Intercultural Affairs Committee advising students against wearing costumes which could be construed as culturally insensitive. What followed is now a viral You-

Tube hit. A large group – nay, mob – of students surrounds a bewildered Mr. Christakis (also employed by the university) to excoriate him for his wife’s intellectual heresy. At the climax of this one-sided shouting match, one particularly boisterous student flings her bag to the ground and takes several menacing steps towards Mr. Christakis before being restrained by fellow students. The university administration -obeying the sound adage that the customer is always right- promptly apologised to the protesting students, ‘We failed you’, Yale’s president quavered in a statement. After months of harassment by these ‘oppressed’ students, the Christakis both resigned their positions. While the action of Yale’s administration may have been prudent to safeguard its endowment, the actions of a few weak administrators have

likely succeeded in making Halloween costumes October’s controversy du jour for the foreseeable future. This means more handwringing over cultural appropriation and a Facebook newsfeed clogged with desperate click-bait headlines. One such headline from Buzzfeed alerts readers that ‘People are calling out a Halloween store for selling stereotypical costumes depicting indigenous people’. The initial use of the word ‘people’, of course, is a savvy rhetorical device which seeks to persuade the reader that there are in fact many people concerned about this issue, and not just the 49 poor souls who bothered to leave comments. But as irritating as this faux outrage is, it is difficult to defend dressing up for Halloween as an adult. If any appropriation is taking place here, it is that of adults acting like children. To get a better sense of the incompat-

ibility of adults and Halloween, think for a moment what images the words ‘adult Halloween costume’ conjure to mind. For instance, to get the best response on social media today, one must endeavour to really push the envelope when selecting an ‘adult’ costume. Frankenstein simply does not receive the same amount of attention as say a ‘hostage Kim Kardashian’ costume, which was briefly on sale this year, inspired by Ms. Kardashian’s recent altercation with robbers who stormed her hotel in Paris. Freedom of expression aside, there is something just a little infra dig about dressing up as a gagged and bound Kim Kardashian or a sexy Native American. If you are over the age of twelve and feel you really must celebrate Halloween, give it another thought.

If any appropriation is taking place here, it is that of adults acting like children.

Why we should be helping the homeless

Kezia discusses homelessness in the UK and things we can do to help individuals living rough in the colder months

Kezia Fentiman

During winter months in the city of Cardiff, frostbite, hypothermia and diminished mental health all threaten those who are sleeping rough.


wareness is paramount to today’s social issues and if we continue to give nothing but unspoken sympathy and coppers to the homeless, long term solutions will remain part of the distant future. The number of homeless people across the UK has reached a record high, with around 3,600 people sleeping on the streets every night in England alone. This doesn’t even account for the undeclared “hidden homeless” or those who sleep in a shelter. Surveys show that people are more likely to ignore homeless people than give them anything; empathy and compassion have been replaced with ignorance and a lack of desire to become aware. As residents of an urban area where homelessness has risen by 83% over the last two years, we should feel collectively responsible for the failure to provide adequate local aid. Looking broadly at the homelessness crisis, it shows so many flaws in the nature of society. It is said that structural inequalities and inequity are a functional part of economy and culture, but I don’t believe this is necessarily true. After all, equal distribution of resources would surely demonstrate a more democratic, representative and fair society. With temperatures dropping as low as 4°C during winter months in the city of Cardiff, frostbite, hypothermia and diminished mental health all threaten those who are sleeping rough. It is interesting to contemplate each of these and real-

ise how easy it could be to take small steps towards changing the lives of our homeless neighbours. Take mental health for example; not only does a cold core temperature hinder enzyme effectiveness in the brain causing mental lethargy, but the physiological effects are amplified when combined with the psychological effect of the Christmas season. Being surrounded by a festival of consumption and Christmas cheer may intensify feelings of isolation, hopelessness and deprivation which will ultimately contribute towards symptoms of depression. Why not spend an hour getting to know someone on the streets, or invest in a gift for them this Christmas? As for physical consequences of freezing temperatures, insufficient sources of warmth can literally lead to people freezing to death. Why not donate some of your old clothes and blankets to the homeless or invite them to purchase foil blankets and a hot drink with you? I’d like to highlight that while our sympathy for homeless people may be at its peak during the cold weather, their suffering is definitely not seasonal. General misconceptions and judgement are a daily obstacle for those living on the streets, as their attempts to reach out to people like you and me are shut down by our certainty that any money we give directly to them will be used to fuel substance abuse.

Pictured: Cold temperatures effect the homeless mentally and physically. (Source: ben_osteen via Flickr)

Rather than considering alternatives such as politely declining or offering to buy them some food, passers-by often ignore them or become irritated by them which is frankly belittling and unjust. It is so important to show respect to those in a disadvantaged position; psychological research has proved that a simple “have a nice day” has a positive ripple effect on those suffering from low mood or depression. While these are short term suggestions, small changes can add up to having a big impact and will encourage the success of long term solutions such as businesses working with charities to generate income for the homeless.

Independent action can be difficult, but there are so many existing schemes that you can become a part of here in Cardiff. Charities such as The Huggard Centre and The Wallich would welcome your support with open arms, even if it was through a one-off donation of clothes or food. Purchasing The Big Issue is also an easy way of showing your support. If you take anything away from reading this, it should be that supporting a person in need’s journey to happiness will take nothing away from you; I urge you to be compassionate and do whatever you can - no matter how small - to help a homeless person this winter.

Independent action can be difficult, but there are so many existing schemes that you can become a part of here in Cardiff.



Cheer up love, it might never happen Why Dove’s new #speakbeautiful campaign is just another movement which seeks to monitor women’s behaviour.

Mariana Díaz Montiel

Sometimes we just have a bad day and angrily send a tweet. So there’s no need for the positive attitude police to monitor those messages.

” Helena Hanson

Clearly, this can be quite the buzzkill as you are leaving with Beckythought-hername-wasBritney that you met ten minutes ago


ove launched their new online campaign, on October 18th, with this ‘powerful tweet’: ‘If you know a girl who has been negative online-about herself or others-try this fun activity to spread positivity. #SpeakBeautiful”. Supposedly, encouraging women to help their female friends to stop the online negativity and replace it with a positive attitude towards themselves and how they express themselves about others. The campaign, which was launched on Twitter, hopes to measure women’s attitude change through their hashtag #SpeakBeautiful. Dove, a UK personal care brand owned by Unilever, has acquired a good reputation of encouraging women to keep a healthy relationship with their bodies by embracing their own distinctive beauty. No one can put into question that Dove’s marketing team know how to sell their products. They do this by carefully selecting a diverse range of female models to lead their beauty campaigns. But the veracity of their campaigns has started to crumble after they keep using the same structure for them: women saying how they love their bodies, or women chang-

ing their minds thanks to the company’s effort. The only few changes they make are on their hashtags and the female model’s face. After all the campaigns Dove has made, they force us to ask if we are ever going to have the right attitude? It seems that women, for Dove at least, are in a constant need of an attitude reform, we’ll never love our bodies the way they want us too, or maybe they just don’t have any more ideas on how to improve their brand awareness. Their latest campaign states that if you hate your hair and body, or just have a bad day and send an angry tweet, it’s no justification enough to have a negative behaviour. Dove’s idyllic world is a world where the perfect women are portrayed as beautiful, positive human beings with high self-esteem. This world they envision is one which has forgotten all about the hardships women face, the gender gap and sexual harassment. Sometimes we just have a bad day and angrily send a tweet. So there’s no need for the positive attitude police to monitor those messages. Although the personal care brand has come up with a campaign to

Pictured: Dove’s latest campaign has a mixed response. (Source: image via youtube)

change women’s negative behaviour, the hashtag #SpeakBeautiful is just a reflection of a bigger problem. Women are constantly being told to ‘smile more’ or ‘cheer up love’, as if we aren’t entitled to have a bad day or to express our discomfort, but instead we should all be smiling and happily celebrating the greatness of the patriarchal society. It seems that Dove has forgotten that women have feelings. They’ve forgotten about the violent world we live in where a skirt that’s two inches shorter, might lead to an avalanche of threats and sexual

harassment. Plus, if this campaign is truly worried about people’s mental health, shouldn’t it be targeting men too? After all, self-esteem doesn’t make a gender distinction So Dove, please stop telling women how to behave. Stop censoring our words. We need help fighting the hardships we face, not more monitoring of our behaviour. We need help encouraging women to pursue scientific careers, to aim for top leadership positions, not encouragement to censor our words.

Post-Juice interrogations, helpful or humiliating?


t is no secret that I do not like bouncers. I actually once managed to craft over 1000 words in a column about how much I really do not like bouncers. I think they are often bad-mannered, sexist, racist and some of them are just downright nasty. As figures of significant authority, in a setting where they are expected to safeguard potentially vulnerable people, I think they suck. Having not yet ventured to the SU on a Wednesday or Saturday night this year *gasp*, I can confirm I am yet to have been exposed to some of the new initiatives that appear to have been rolled out by the university. I have not experienced ‘Juice’ (why does it sound so dirty?) in all it’s sticky, fruity glory and this year I am yet to palate the nauseating, but familiar taste of murky orange and vomit in a plastic bottle. What I have also not yet experienced, is the interrogation from the bouncers you now receive if you leave the SU alone with a member of the opposite sex, or, frankly, if you’re just completely wasted. During freshers’ week last year, there was a series of three sex attacks, which took place over a period of just five days in Cardiff city centre. The attacks received a significant amount of media attention, and prompted many to call for improvements to be made by the university, to improve safety in Cardiff for students after nights out. So then, now, before you can begin the deadly descent down the concrete stairs, if you are with a member of the opposite sex, or look drunk and/or vul-

nerable, you will be pulled aside by a bouncer. If you are alone, they will ask you if you are okay, how you are getting home, where are your friends. If they are concerned for your safety they will send you down to a volunteer, who will escort you home safely. Wonderful. However, it is perhaps a little more…indiscreet, when you are leaving with somebody else. Wednesday and Saturday nights in the Union are somewhat comparable to David Attenborough’s ‘Planet Earth’. If you have ever had the misfortune of being sober during The Lash, you will recognise the thick smog of testosterone that hangs in the air, you will know that VK’s are nothing but a plastic bottle overflowing with orange fluid and sexual tension, and that the moment the lights come on, ravenous, voracious predators will lock eyes on their target and drag them back to their den. This is not unusual. In fact, I would go as far as to say it is common practice. Many clubbers get their whole weeks’ worth of ‘YOLO-ing’ done just in that one night. So then, it is understand awkward when you and your one night stand are pulled aside, to discuss your, ahem, plans for the evening. Pairs are being pulled aside by bouncers, and then separated. They are asked questions such as, ‘what is his/ her name?’, ‘how long have you known each other?’, and, significantly, ‘do you feel safe and comfortable leaving with them?’ Clearly, this can be quite the buzzkill

Pictured: This new setup has led to some awkward conversations. (Source: Parker Knight via flickr)

as you are leaving with Becky-thoughther-name-was-Britney that you met ten minutes ago outside the toilet and who is now flouncing off with her mates because ‘you got her name wrong which is ridiculous because you just told her you fucking loved her’. It can also be quite the ambiance assassin when the bouncer is visibly judging you and ‘think his name is Dan or Sam or something like that’ for leaving together having clearly no idea what each other’s name is. It’s awkward, and if handled incorrectly, it could be incredibly offensive and degrading. That said, friends have assured that they have felt entirely comfortable, if not a little embarrassed, by the whole process. Ultimately though, if their questioning leads to sobering second thoughts or doubts or discomfort around leav-

ing with an individual that had initially seemed nice during the dim, dingy lights of the dancefloor, then this is only a good thing. If their interrogation gives an individual who feels vulnerable or uncomfortable the opportunity to get out of a potentially volatile situation, then this is only a good thing. If their post-Juice interview will only serve to deter potential creepers from preying on vulnerable, drunk people, then this is only a good thing. Yes it’s awkward that the bouncers know who you’re going home with each week, yes it’s awkward that you don’t know each other’s name and that you met when you both reached for the same VK at the VK stand in the corner, but they also know your safe, which is definitely the most important thing.

If their post-Juice interview will only serve to deter potential creepers from preying on vulnerable, drunk people, then this is only a good thing.

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A little less conversation

The machines are taking over as people choose robots over human contact

Helena Hanson

We live in a world is removing social contact and extinguishing local community through the manifestation of everyday technology.


have always had this romanticised visualisation of ordinary life in the past, maybe in our grandparent’s golden days. I imagine little, glass grocery stores with fresh vegetables and juicy fruits lying in baskets by shop door ways. I can see a radish-faced, turnip-shaped green grocer, who wears a brown waistcoat and has a straw boater hat, who is on a first name basis with all his customers. I imagine a butcher’s shop, with fresh cuts of meat laid out in excess, with a hammy-looking, porky man stood behind the counter. He will ask, “how are the children?” and give you a little bit of his leftovers every week to give to your dog because he’s always loved animals really. I imagine a little lady that worked in the bakery, she would be round and doughy, with a warm smile and fluffy white hair. She would always give the children some fresh, free gingerbread and would always be empty and stockless by three o’clock. I could sit for hour inventing, and imagining an era when you said hello to your neighbours and knew the names of your local shopkeepers. Alas, we live in a world is removing social contact and extinguishing local community through the manifestation of everyday technology. Sweet, little, old Mrs Goggins has been replaced with an automated, robotic, self-service check out. As self-service checkouts and internet shopping are on the increase, it is the small things that I miss the most. Buying a book and the cashier telling you “I loved reading this one!” or buying a shirt and being told “That’s lovely! I bought one myself just yesterday!” You know they are lying, but it’s nice all the same.

That said, I know so many people that would prefer to avoid social interaction with staff when they are out shopping. But, what would become of our lives if there was no cashiers, no shop assistants, no taxi drivers, no waiting staff, no hotel staff, and no travel workers? I can’t imagine a future where all of our shopping, travelling, dining, commuting is done without any interaction with another human. Communication as we know it would be lost, and when that happens, everything would begin to unravel. Community, civility, character, everything that makes us human. Our futures are already bleak! As students, we know full well our job prospects are little more fruitful than the Lidl checkout, and we are ok with it, but please don’t take that from us too! If, after three years’ worth of university education and 40 grand worth of debt, we are only qualified to become a checkout assistant, please don’t give this job to a computer instead. If you have been living under a rock for the past 10 years, an automated checkout machine is essentially a piece of technology that gets really pissed off at you, for reasons beyond your control. There is a typical man vs machine showdown that will take place every time you attempt to make use of it, and it usually goes something like this: You will always immediately upset the machine by putting your handbag down in the ‘bagging area’ (there’s literally nowhere else to put it) and it will get very distressed and immediately snitch on you to a member of human staff. Said member of staff, will slump over to you, usually frustrated and bad-mannered, having spent six hours listen-

ing to a Spem in alium taking place featuring fifteen checkout machines screaming in unison about bagging areas. She will give you the death stare, scan her special, magic card, and slump off again muttering profanities under her breath. You will attempt to continue to service-yourself but alas, more complications will undoubtedly arise. You will soon realise that if you have a light item, perhaps a packet of chewing gum or a sachet of flavouring, which the machine will not be able to comprehend. So then, you will be forced, in the most dramatic and exaggerated fashion possible, to slam your item into the bagging area. This will happen a few times, until you find a product so minuscule, that the robot will simply not register it in the bagging area, despite your energetic throwing. Again, you will have no choice but to re-summon slumpy Sarah who will scan her magic card again and say something infuriating like “you need to properly put it in the bag”, as if you have not just been slamdunking that paprika sachet into the bag for twenty five minutes. Then, after you have been huffed at again, you will, no doubt, throw something in to the bag, with afore mentioned gusto, which you haven’t quite scanned properly. Shit. Well, then all hell will break loose as the machine will begin screaming “unexpected item in the bagging area!!!!”, which is polite, computer speak for “THIS WOMAN IS STEALING SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING!!!” and you will start to get all hot and sweaty which will make matters worse, and also make you look guilty, and then slumpy Sarah will return, her eyes rolling so vigorously they might actually fall

out and then at this point it is usually ok to just start crying. Just when you think things literally cannot get any worse, you will notice that all those deals and offers you made use of during your shop have not registered on the till and you are now paying an extra thirty pounds for things you didn’t want and need and then just as you scrabble around for your payment card, wondering what you could have possibly done in a past life to deserve all of this, the robot will deduct the excess charge, and you just know that it is laughing at you. If only that was all. Alas, there is a whole family tree of humanitydestroying technology on the way to squash our current humanoid harmony. There’s the checkout’s twin, the self check-in machine at the airport, and the retro grandparents, the vending machine and the coffee machine, and not to mention the huge, bulking cousin internet and cousin smartphone. And now, the birth of the most grotesque relative yet, the self-driving vehicle. What is our obsession with robotising our future? I want to buy my shopping at a local green grocers and I am want to chat to the checkout-staff about my two-for-one cucumbers. I don’t want to stop chatting to taxi drivers about their shift that night and I am not prepared to sacrifice my conversations with restaurant staff about their recommendations. I want to be told I am pretty in real life, and not just on Instagram pictures, and I want REAL kisses not just xxx. Human interaction is beautiful and brilliant and exciting, and I just can’t bear to imagine a world without it.

Pictured: We’ve lost that personal touch (Photographer: Duncan Toms)

You will have no choice but to re-summon slumpy Sarah who will scan her magic card again.

Michelle Obama

there are several positions reserved for self-defining women in our structures. we need you to stand and ensure that the students’ union is listening to the voice of women students.

Nominations Close: Wednesday 2nd November 09:00 nominate yourself at: cardiffstudents.com/elections



Editors: George Watkins Anwen Williams @GairRhyddAdv advice@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/advice

Housing Week comes to Cardiff

George Watkins


ardiff Students’ Union will play host to Housing Week, designed to give guidance to students on the topic about everything, big or small, to make sure that your new place is the closest thing to a home from home that you can get. When you choose a house, it’s normal for agencies to sweep in and stir up panic with students that unless they find a house within their first few months, then they will be unable to find a place to live at all and will end up on the streets. The reality is quite different. Many of the best houses come on the market only towards the second half

Don’t feel detached

of the year, and often it is the lesser properties which are put out to be snapped up often by freshers who are misinformed about what they need to look for. Then there’s the quality issue. We all hear endless stories about damp or rats or cramped cupboard-sized rooms, and Housing Week aims to help you out in making sure that you aren’t one of the ones who suffers with these nightmares. You don’t need to put up with inadequate houses, and you shouldn’t have to. It’s difficult being a student and living away from home properly for the first time, and you shouldn’t

Hollie’s note

What is housing week?


Find a place that’s right for you (Source: Nick via Flickr)


his week is Housing Week! This is not the week to start looking for a house, instead it is the opposite! The main message we send out in this week is don’t rush. Despite what you might think, there is actually more housing available than there are student, so you will always have options no matter when you look. Alongside this, we also encourage students to look out for certain

things, there is a list of housing advice on our website cardiffstudents. com/advice. It is important that you find the right housing with the right people as it can make a drastic difference to your university experience. We will also be going around doorknocking and chatting to students about these things to watch out for as part of the campaign week, so please come and talk to us.

have to settle for less because of being misinformed or led astray. Also, there will be general advice on finding accommodation; where to look and what to look for, in a series of events and campaigns to draw attention to what we have on offer on campus, and what it’s like to start looking in areas like Cathays and Roath. Any other issues, such as contracts, deposits and the like will all be on offer to be discussed. It’s so tricky trying to find out valuable, unbiased views on what these things actually mean, and what you need to do to both protect yourself from being exploited,

and make sure you’re ready to make as informed a decision as possible. The whole project is working in partnership with Student Advice, who offer all sorts of support on a wide range of topics besides housing, on an appointment or drop-in basis. They are located on the third floor of the Union. All in all, housing for most of us is a nightmare to try to get right. It can make you feel forcedinto compromising or dragged into arguments about what’s best for you all, but hopefully Housing Week should help you realise that you’re not alone, and the university can help.

Pictured: Victorian houses in Cardiff

It’s normal for agencies to sweep in and stir up panic.


Letting agencies Anwen Williams

Anwen Williams

Once signed, a contract is legally binding - so it’s important you read it properly.

” Greg Barradale

Become aware with what direct debits you have going out, also what’s coming in.


ou can find accommodation through a letting agency or directly with a landlord. Most letting agencies will charge a letting fee, which can be anything from £20 to £150. If you find it’s over £150 you should probably look elsewhere. Some letting agencies will not charge a letting fee, but letting agents will only have a certain amount of properties, so if you’re looking for a certain location - this can be unavoidable. Your letting agency should let you know if you’ll be dealing with them or the landlord directly, for if/when you have any problems or any repair needs. When getting everything sorted and securing your new house, you’ll be required to pay a deposit. This will be held against damage to the property, any essential cleaning on departure,


nce signed, a contract is legally binding - so it’s important you read it carefully before you sign it. It’s easy to feel pressured into signing the contract on the day by the letting agents if you’ve had the impression you’ll lose the house if you don’t sign right now. If you’re not happy about some parts of it, don’t sign it. There’s no right to cancel after you’ve signed, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Any promises made at the time of the viewing (repairs/redecoration) should be written into the contract with an agreed time limit completion. If it’s not in the contract, then ask yourself if you’d be happy to still live in the house if the ‘promised’

removal of large amounts of rubbish or the replacement of any keys that are not returned. Deductions cannot be made for reasonable wear and tear to the property! At the beginning of the tenancy you’ll be asked to sign an inventory (a list of all furniture, fittings and other equipment provided by the landlord). You should make sure that this includes not only the furnishings but the condition of everything in the house such as the carpets, walls or doors. This can be used in evidence when it comes to cleaning the house when you’re leaving. If you don’t have an inventory, you should request one or even make one yourself and have them sign it, as you don’t want them to be charging you for things that were already there.

Bills, bills, bills


ossibly the worst thing about moving into a new house is setting up the bills. If the cost of bills isn’t included in your rent, you’re going to have to set them up and pay them between you. This includes the gas, electricity and water. When you move into your new house, you’ll need to take the gas and electricity meter readings and pass them on to your current or new suppliers. It’s always a good idea to take a picture of these and keep them as a record, if you ever need proof in the future. It’s definitely worth looking in to switching providers if you find a better deal, as every little helps, and you could find it saves you a good few bucks. There’s loads of great offers

Tenancy contracts

improvements or repairs are not carried out. If you’re happy to take the house you’ve viewed, and you and your housemates sign the same contract - you become joint tenants who are all equally responsible for any rent, utility bills and damage to the whole property. If one or more tenant moves out, the landlord or letting agent can pursue the remaining tenants for any unpaid rent or bills, so it’s also important to consider this when you’re deciding who you’re signing that contract with. When you get to signing your contract, most letting agents and landlords require a guarantor form signed. The guarantor form is usually

signed by your parents or a family member and guarantees that any rent or bills get paid if you are unable to pay them yourself. If the tenancy is joint, it’s important that the guarantor form is worded correctly, otherwise your parents could find themselves liable for any money owed by other tenants. It’s important to get on the ball as soon as possible when it comes to the guarantor forms, as you’ll only get a certain amount of time to complete this form, and by this time you will probably have already paid your agency fees, so you wont want to find yourself with no guarantor. Last year we had a problem in our house due to a few of our housemates being international students, therefore they weren’t able to find

for students out there. If you need more guidance, look at websites such as The Student Room for some extra tips on where to look and what to look for. Don’t jump at the first offer you receive. Make sure you have others to base your decision on, even if you choose the first one after all. Something else you’ll need to set up alongside these is your internet, but that’s pretty straight forward. It’s a good idea to share the responsibilities with the rest of your house, and make sure everyone’s doing their bit. It’s pretty overwhelming for one person to be in charge of the entire house bills. Sharing is caring. For more information on housing you can visit the 3rd floor of the students’ union, or call 02920 781410

guarantors as the guarantor form required a family member or guardian who owned a house in the UK, therefore it’s definitely worth looking into if you want to get your house soon. Most tenancies are for a fixed period of time, so if you’re thinking of leaving early before the end of the tenancy, the landlord and the other tenants will have to agree. This is usually only possible if you have found a replacement. If you have a joint tenancy then you’ll have to make sure the renaming tenants and the landlord are happy with this replacement. You can contact student advice for more about your rights and responsibilities, and can also help with advertising a room, and helping students to find a new one.

Don’t jump at the first offer you receive.

If you have a joint tenancy then you’ll have to make sure the renaming tenants and the landlord are happy.

Where to look for your new house F leeing the comfort of halls for the legendary second year house is a big moment. As much as living like a king in glorious Cathays is a new experience, so is navigating the minefield of student lettings. Before you get round to viewing a house, there’s a few things you need to consider. Think about the money. Do you spend a bit more on a nice place, or save a bit monthly on a place you can treat like a dump and forget about the deposit? Do you want the convenience and warmth of bills included, or are you willing to bear admin and arguments over heating to save some money? Cardiff Student Letting should be your first point of call on account of the lack of agency fees and links to the Students’ Union. However, their portfolio is limited, so if you go with another company be sure to check out reviews for any worrying trends.

Now you’re doing viewings, the real work begins. Don’t go for the first house you see; view some others. You might end up with the first one, but make sure to have something to compare it against. Obviously whether you like the house matters, and it’s crucial it’s got fridge space for beers and room for a telly, but there’s a few practical essentials to look out for. Double glazing is a must. Nobody likes paying for heating, and nobody likes seeing their breath. No mould. They say they’ll sort it out. They won’t. Avoid. Security - does the front door automatically lock? Try and talk to the current tenants. Estate agents won’t want you doing it, which is precisely why you should. Find out about how easy and well set up the bills and meters are. It took us until after Christmas to find out we had three different meters in our house, but had only been regis-

tered for bills on one. Not that we were told that. Talking to the current tenant saved us £25 a month in rent, after discovering the estate agents were bumping up the rent quite considerably. Never be afraid to negotiate. Keep your wits about you. Unfortunately, you need to be constantly on edge when dealing with letting agents. They’ll try to lure you into

a false sense of security with sweets and leading questions, but give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. I’ve had estate agents confidently insist that replacing keys incurs a £20 fee, right up to the point I point at the contract they’ve just given me saying it’s £5. Students who know no better are easy pickings, so take your time, do your research and don’t rush into anything.


There’s so much to choose from (Source: Oscar F. Hevia)


Welcome Home: Phoebe Grinter

Settling into your new place


efore you know it, freshers’ week is over and it’s time to start thinking about who you want to live with next year. When looking for housemates, you need to make sure every box is ticked. In every student house, there are 5 vital roles that need filling: The Chef: Takeaways are great until you check your bank balance the day after a night out, and see that you managed to spend a week’s grocery money in one drunken sitting. The role of house chef is not only to ensure that you are eating, but eating healthily. The Chef is the one who can turn anything they find in the kitchen into a meal, preferably with-

out using the microwave. They make sure everyone eats something green at least once a week, not including pesto pasta! The Cleaner: When moving into your own house after a year in halls, you really do realise just how much of a saint your cleaner was! Despite leaving threatening warnings about the state of the kitchen, they would still clean it from top to bottom, week in week out, knowing full well their hard work would be unnoticeable the following day. The person who takes on the role of house cleaner will have their work cut out for them, but the pride they can take in their work, plus the respect they will earn from their

housemates, is satisfaction enough. The Sensible One: This member of the house is arguably the most invaluable, and without them you would not make it through the year. They are the type of person who will hold your hair back while you’re vomiting in the toilet, then update the ‘Chunder Chart’ with your shameful behaviour. That’s not to say that this person can’t enjoy a night out too! As long as they make sure everyone gets home alive, they have fulfilled their purpose. The Driver: It can get competitive when trying to find a house, and if you end up getting one in some dodgy back alley, a 4-mile hike away

from civilisation, having a housemate who can drive would be a godsend. No more early morning treks to lectures in the pouring Cardiff rain: your knight in a shining Corsa will be waiting for you just outside. The Funny One: Being students, it is unlikely that you will want to spend money on a TV license when you can spend it on a few big nights out instead. However, you will need some form of entertainment. The role of the funny one is quite self-explanatory: to provide 24/7 entertainment for the whole house. It may sound simple, but it’s a big job to take on, and few are truly capable of it, so make sure you bag the best.

In every student house, there are 5 vital roles that need filling.

Community living in Cardiff Anwen Williams

Keep the fines at bay and the seagulls away.

” George Watkins


Keep those savage seagulls away

few things you’ll know if you’re living in Cathays are that the streets are like floor bins, Cathays is monitored by gangs of savage seagulls, parking officers are out to get you, and students are really noisy. There’s a few things you’ll need to do living in Cathays to keep the fines at bay and the seagulls away (and make Cathays that little bit more liveable). When you’ve moved in to your new house or into halls, you’ll usually receive leaflets that inform you when the black bins, food bins and recycling are to be put out. It’s important you put the right ones out on the right day, as you could face a hefty fine for putting them out on the wrong day. Asides from keeping the fines away, you’ll soon find yourself sick of the seagulls tearing your bins apart, so you’ll learn its best to not keep them out in the open to make life easier. Recycling and food waste bags are free and can be collected from Cardiff Council libraries, and from the Students’ Union. Another thing that can be irritat-

ing living in the centre of Cathays is the noise. The most common complaint to Cardiff Council’s pollution control department is that of noisy neighbours. Most of the time it’s understandable that there’s going to be noise every now and again, and it’s advisable to try and resolve the matter informally. You can also discuss this with an adviser at Student

Advice. However, if it’s really out of hand, you might want to make a complaint. If this is the case, you may want to get in touch with Cardiff Council. Cardiff Council can be contacted on 02920871650. Finally, something you may not have considered since living in halls, is parking. If you’re planning on bringing your car to uni, you’ll obvi-

ously need somewhere to park. You might have noticed that most of the places near residential areas in Cardiff are resident parking only. If your house has a residents only space outside, you’ll need to apply for a permit from Cardiff Council. Once you’ve got living in Cathays nailed, you’ll find yourself having less time for hassle and more time for fun.

Pictured: Cathays’ savage seagulls. (Source: Guardian Cardiff via. flickr)

Mid year, new home


ou’ve decided this is it. You’ve had enough of your housemates leaving the kitchen like a scene from the Crystal Maze. You can’t handle the tension of the Million Pound Drop when you move your cups from the Jenga tower next to the sink anymore. You’ve decided to leave. It’s a headache. You want to find a new place to live, because you feel so down about coming home, but at the same time you start to freak out about the contract, and plenty of irrational things. What can you do?

I’m outta love, set me free

First of all, commit to your decision. If it’s something you are really ready to go through with, go to Student Advice. Located on the third floor of the Union, they have drop-in facilities or bookable appointments available regularly, and will be able to point you in the right direction. Next, I would ask Advice for the list of students currently looking for a place to live. I used this service myself at the start of the year as we looked for an extra housemate, and it worked well. Upon request, you will be provided with the list, and will be able to

contact them directly to ask whether they’re still looking. It’s probably best to do a bit of the groundwork to find a housemate to replace you, so as to make the transition as smooth as possible. It’s up to you, but to save a massive change in fees for the remaining people as you leave by them covering your cost, I would advise towards doing it. Exit fees and all the contract jazz is best consulted with both the Advice service and your agency. They will no doubt vary by agency and landlord, but by receiving professional advice,

you will find that you will hopefully be able to get straight to the point with it. Speaking to your housemates is optional, depending on how well you get on with them and whether you think it would be worth it. It is a personal decision, so you’re the best judge. Communication can be tough with people you are struggling to live with already, particularly if you’re a confrontation-phobe like myself, but it can save you the hassle of doing all this. It depends if you feel that second chances are worth it or not.

Communication...can save you the hassle of doing all this.


wine p i h s n o i p m a Ch , 0 :0 3 2 – 0 3 1: 2 , r e b m e thursday 17 nov r o o d e h t n o 8 £ / e in l n Y plas. Tickets ££6 o th

An evening of wine tasting with a difference! Teams will be blindfolded and have to guess the wines. Each member of the winning team will receive a free bottle of wine. tickets > cardiffstudents.com/postgrad Pic: Max Braun


New house, new rules

Sarah Harris

George Watkins


Making your new house less of a headache

f you’re lucky enough to find a fun and genuine group of friends, choosing people to live with in second year becomes pretty easy. The majority of students move out of student halls and in to a rented house after their first year of university. The prospect to freshers seems exciting. I mean who wouldn’t want to live in a pretty house with a bunch of their closest friends? Who doesn’t want every night to be a sleepover and every weekend a 48-hour house party? Maybe in some student houses it is like that, but I can tell you it


most definitely isn’t for most of us. The prospect of growing up seems daunting despite the fact that most of us are no longer living at home and being taken care of by parents and guardians. For me, the realisation that I was now officially a ‘grown up’ didn’t hit me until the first month of living in a shared house with my friends. Council Tax? What’s that? I didn’t realise how much leaving the TV on overnight was actually costing us and I had no idea how to take a gas reading. I called my dad in the first few days as every single one of

us was clueless about bills. I guess living in student accommodation was pretty easy. At the start of each term a large sum of money would leave our bank account and for the rest of the term we’d slightly budget on food and nights out etc. Moving in to your own house is completely different. I guess the advice I’m sure anyone would give to anyone who is thinking of potentially moving in with their friends would be to sit down together and plan out how things are going to be done. It’s all a lot harder

than it looks. And, RULES! Rules are key if you don’t want arguments to be caused or you don’t want to walk in to a kitchen full of dirty dishes when you’re hungover on a Sunday morning. Living with the people you’re closest to is great and you’ll definitely make fantastic memories with them, but at the same time you need to remember that it’s not going to be exactly how you thought it would be. It may even be a little confusing at first but once you all gather and figure it all out, it’s pretty easy from there.

Tenancy rights you need to know

ot a problem with your student house? Wondering if there’s something you can do? Channel your inner Atticus Finch and get down to business with these rights you really should know. SURPRISE. They can’t turn up out the blue unless they’ve given you 24 hours of

notice. EVERYTHING’S ON FIRE. There has to be at least on smoke alarm per floor. If there’s a fireplace, you need a carbon monoxide detector. If there’s not one, buy it and invoice your landlord. GET OUT OF MY SWAMP. You can be evicted for being two

months or more late on rent, regularly being late with payments, breaching the tenancy agreement, letting the property become unacceptable, causing a nuisance to neighbours or being involved in illegal things.

LEAVE ME ALONE. They aren’t allowed to bully you into leaving, doing things like cutting

electricity. It’s considered a crime. THIEF. Every landlord has to put your deposit in a Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme (government-owned). This protects both sides equally. You could be due compensation if they don’t put your money in one within 30 days of receiving it.

Sit down together and plan out how things are going to be done.





Photo: Stewart Black

Home to aquatic creatures’ like the South American fur seals and African penguins, Bristol Zoo offers some unique experiences. Put yourself in their shoes as a zookeeper for the day, conquer the ZooRopia rope course or be a little more daring as a lion-feeder!


p politics

Editors: Adam George Ellise Nicholls @GairRhyddPol politics@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/politics

Clinton and Trump go head-to-head for final debate US Presidential candidates clash in Nevada on immigration and Iraq

Charlotte Gehrke

Clinton emphasised LGBT and women’s rights arguing prochoice, Trump highlighted his conservative stance for a traditional interpretation of the constitution and pro-life.


he third and final presidential debate took place on Wednesday October 19 at the University of Las Vegas in Nevada, hosted by Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace. The candidates, Secretary Hillary Clinton and businessman Donald J. Trump, faced each other on six topics: The Supreme Court, immigration, economy, fitness to be president, foreign policy in the Middle East, and national debt. The New York Times election forecast ranks Clinton at a 93 percent chance of winning the election so it was vital that Trump used this debate to prove himself as capable of being trusted with the Presidency. He had to position himself as the change candidate - just days after a Fox poll showed that Hillary Clinton, whose party has held the presidency for eight years, was beating him on the question of who would “change the country for the better”. Instead, after roughly half an hour of something resembling an actual policy debate about the Supreme Court, gun rights, abortion and even immigration, the old Donald Trump - the one who constantly interrupted his opponent, sparred with the moderator and lashed out at enemies real and perceived - emerged. Clinton began by emphasising the need for the Supreme Court to work for the American people and not for the wealthy corporations. She also said that the country needs a Supreme Court that will stand up for women’s rights and the LGBT community, and

be against Citizens United. Trump highlighted his conservative stance for a traditional interpretation of the constitution. His pro-life beliefs were evident when he admitted that his Supreme Court would likely overturn the famous Roe v Wade case that gives women the right to have an abortion. His far-right ideology was maintained as he told the audience that he opposes all limitations on assault weapons, indicating his NRA endorsement and explaining his plans to make it a national right to carry a gun. Clinton assured the public that she wasn’t against gun ownership but pushed for more comprehensive background checks. On the extremely controversial issue of immigration, Clinton stated that she did not “want to rip families apart” and called America a “nation of immigrants” and explaining her immigration reform including a path to citizenship for non-violent immigrants. Trump surprised the audience by complimenting president Obama for deporting “millions of people”, He further advocated his plan to build a wall between Mexico and the US by declaring “we have some bad hombres here and we’re going to get them out”. The most controversial moment of the night came when Trump was asked if he would accept the election’s outcome, he replied “I will look at it at the time, I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense.” Later, the New York Times quoted Trump: “I will totally accept the results

of this great and historic presidential election — if I win.” Adding “I would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result.” Trump explained his theory of a “rigged election” by characterising the media as corrupt and “poisoning the minds of the voters”. He also spoke about the disputed issues of falsely registered voters and suggested that criminals, such as Hillary, shouldn’t be allowed to run for president. The final topic of the debate centred upon American foreign policy in the

Middle East. Trump stated that the situation in both Mosul and Aleppo were Clinton’s fault. Hillary said that she would not send troops in to fill the vacuum in Mosel. She would, however, instate a no fly zone over Aleppo. In her closing statement, Hillary attempted to reach out to people across the political spectrum by proclaiming to stand up for families and against corporations. Trump repeated his campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” as he did in his previous closing statements.

Pictured: Clinton leaves third and final US Presidential election debate (source: AFP/ GETTY images)

Plaid Cymru PCC calls for cannabis legalisation Ellise Nicholls

The North Wales police boss wants the drug to be legal for medicinal purposes.


annabis should be legalised, according to Plaid Cymru’s Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones. The North Wales police boss wants the drug to be legal for medicinal purposes. He claims the use of cannabis, currently a class B controlled drug, is of “considerable benefit” to sufferers of many illnesses. Mr Jones, a member of Plaid Cymru and a former inspector in North Wales Police  , has sent a letter to politicians across the region to try and judge support for the proposal. The idea has already been floated by the Durham PCC Ron Hogg, who is a former deputy chief constable, but was rejected by Clwyd West AM Darren Millar. In a letter Mr Millar, Commissioner

Jones requests backing for an All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform who are spearheading a drive to legalise medicinal cannabis. In the letter, he stated an All-Party Parliamentary Group for reforming drug policy has provided “strong evidence” that “reform in this field is long overdue”. He asked politicians to “support this call to legalise medicinal cannabis and help alleviate the pain and suffering of at least 30,000 people across the UK”. Mr Millar has criticised the move as “reckless” and suggested that it may encourage a “laissez faire” attitude to drugs in the North Wales area. He said: “As Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, Arfon Jones knows first-hand the damaging effects drugs is having on our communities, so it was with some surprise

and disappointment that I received his letter. “Cannabis, whether used for medicinal or recreational purposes, is a dangerous substance and would have catastrophic consequence to health and society if it was ever legalised. “How can we in one breath be calling for smoking cessation while advocating the use of cannabis, which is most commonly ingested through smoke inhalation? “We already have problems with addiction to and the illegal trading of prescription drugs, legalising cannabis would make matters even worse. “The commissioner’s calls are as reckless as they are misguided, and serve only to cultivate a ruinous laissez faire attitude to drugs, which are already taking their toll on public services and families affected by their use.”

Pictured: Welsh Conservative Party AM Darren Miller (source: National Assembly for Wales)


CETA: Belgian state rejects EU-Canada trade deal Melissa Moore

The deal would allow Canada and the EU to eliminate 98 per cent of tariffs between them.


Wallonia is single handedly blocking an EU trade deal

he Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) is an anticipated trade deal between Canada and the European Union. After almost eight years in the making, it is one of the EU’s most ambitious in its history. The deal would allow Canada and the EU to eliminate 98 per cent of tariffs between them, which supporters argue would boost trade by 20 per cent and assist EU exporters in saving approximately €500 million in duties annually. However, after ardent negotiations since 2008, it has fallen at the last hurdle. As with all EU trade deals, each one must be signed by all 28 member states. Belgium, a historically divided nation between different regions and languages, needs to have agreement from seven different federal, regional and community bodies. Wallonia, based in the South and a staunchly socialist province, has refused to sign the pact. Wallonia’s refusal is indicative of wider concern about the continued expansion of globalisation and its effects on local interests. Wallonia argues that trade deals such as CETA and the TTIP deal with

the US, protect the interests of powerful multinational corporations and make it difficult for the corporations to be held to account by government. Wallonia has received support from other European regions who agree with its opposition to the deal. On Saturday, 8,000 people including youngsters, farmers, union leaders and entrepreneurs joined a rally in Amsterdam in a show of solidarity. They held banners which read, “Our world is not for sale” and “Stop these bad treaties”. The environmental activist group, Greenpeace, have also shown their support arguing that the deal risked satisfying “corporate greed”. Highlighting the current strained relations, Wallonia’s regional leader Paul Magnette commented, “We still never sign anything under an ultimatum or under pressure.” However, the affair has deeply humiliated EU leaders who had hoped such an ambitious deal would set a benchmark and pave the way for future deals with the region and with the United States. The regional leader of Belgium’s Dutch-speaking Flanders area, Geert Bourgeois, was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying, “We’re the laughing stock of the whole world.

Pictured: Left, the Parliament of Wallonia in Namur, southern Belgiun (photographer: Antoine 49); below, Toyota manufacturing UK - assembly (source: Toyota UK)

It’s bad for Wallonia, for Flanders, for Belgium, for Europe, for the whole world.” With the agreement expected to have been signed Thursday, it has led critics to argue how such an expansive and long awaited deal could have ended up in such difficulty. Sebastian Dullien, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, criticised the commission for its role in the failure of negotiators to secure an agreement

on the deal, “The European Commission carries part of the blame because it didn’t quickly seek a dialogue with doubters. And for this type of deal, you need a large consensus”. Concerns have been raised that this outcome is ominous for the UK which will need to forge its own trade deals with the European Union following Brexit, however Theresa May was quick to dismiss these warnings on Friday.

Manufacturing exports boosted by weak sterling

Molly Ambler

Manufacturing exports have been booming since this shock political decision.


anufacturing exports surge in wake of Brexit vote and pound’s slump, says CBI. The pound has fallen by nearly a fifth against the dollar since the EU referendum. Heavy losses sent the value of sterling down by more than 2% on Tuesday to below $1.21 against the dollar while the Euro fell below €1.10. Sterling recovered some lost value on Wednesday trading back over the $1.23 after MP’s announced a full and transparent debate on Brexit. It may come as some surprise then that manufacturing exports have been booming since this shock political decision. While the exports are booming some employers are concerned at the lack of skills available to them.

Many firms have claimed that a lack of skilled labour available to them may limit their ability to meet export demands over the next few months. The CBI’s chief economist, Rain Newton-Smith stated, “Manufacturers are optimistic about export prospects and export orders are growing, following the fall in sterling”. However, Ms Newton-Smith concluded that “the weaker pound is also feeding through to costs, which are rising briskly and may well spill over into higher consumer prices in the months ahead”. As manufacturing skills remains of a high priority many will be looking to the government to secure a migration scheme that meets the needs of businesses in the UK and “maintaining a preferential route between the

UK and the EU, our largest trading partner, will be important” according to Ms. Newton-Smith. However, this sharp decline in the value of sterling may not all be plain sailing for businesses and consumers alike. Unit costs, pushed up by rising import prices have raised at the fastest pace in three years and are expected to carry on increasing. For consumers there has been some domestic price inflation, although small, which is likely to increase as businesses try to pass rising costs onto the consumer. Not all have felt the decrease in sterling has had a positive impact on their business of the 231 manufacturers that submitted an answer to the CBI survey, 47 per cent have stated the fall in sterling has had a

negative impact on their business, with 32 per cent citing a positive impact and 19 per cent citing a neutral impact. It is clear that while the majority of the recent media reports have cited the positive impacts there are still large gaps in the industry, with the majority feeling concerned at the value of sterling. The CBI has told companies to look towards the autumn statement from the Chancellor for further details on long-term industrial strategy. There is still uncertainty as to the future of UK manufacturing in relation to the EU. For now we can cling onto the rise in exports as one positive impact of Brexit. Only time will tell how the industry will fair in the long term.

While the majority of the recent media reports have cited the positive impacts there are still large gaps in the industry.


UKIP leadership contestants

Hannah Woodward

The new leader of UKIP is to be announced on the November 28.


A brief introduction to UKIP’s potential leaders

KIP are set to undergo another leadership contest after Diane James resigned as leader of the party after 18 days into her role. Eight hopefuls have come forward to represent the party; but who are the contenders for the new face of UKIP?

gested that the death penalty should be resurrected for child killers, as well as advocating NHS privatisation. He claims that his UKIP would be the new face of the working class, and as Nuttall is the MEP for the North West of England he could be the man to snatch Labour voters from Corbyn.

Suzanne Evans

Raheem Kassam

She was UKIP’s former deputy chairwoman, however was blocked from standing in the previous leadership contest, on the grounds of disloyalty towards the party. This decision has since been overturned. Evans has vouched that UKIP is ‘to break free of its hard-right image and set itself firmly in the common sense centre-ground’. Evans supports the policy on adopting an Australian point system, and a hard Brexit. If Evans were to become the new face her ideals would most definitely hold Theresa May’s feet to the fire in terms of Brexit negotiations.

Paul Nuttall

Mr Nuttall has been a MEP since 2009, and suggested he would be able to unite UKIP. Nuttall has sug-

Mr Kassam is argued as one of the most fractious hopefuls. Kassam has suggested that someone needs to sort out UKIP with a “big stick”. Kassam has outlined that UKIP should continue to be the driving force behind Brexit, and has pledged to make UKIP ‘great again’. Kassam has come under fire from fellow candidates such as Suzanne Evans who has described him as ‘far right’.

Peter Whittle

He is a former journalist and has been the party’s cultural spokesman for many years. Whittle was UKIP’s candidate in this summer’s London Mayoral Election, only managing to pick up 3.6% of the vote. Whittle has outlined that he will target Labour voters that are “fed up” with Corbyn.

David Kurten

Mr Kurten is a relative newcomer to UKIP, having only been elected as one of the party’s candidates on the London Assembly in May 2016. The former teacher says UKIP appealed to him because of how it was able to challenge the ‘elites in Westminster’. His main policies are ensuring ‘Brexit means Brexit’, ditching the Human Rights Act and ending benefits, welfare and free healthcare’ for those who aren’t ‘genuine refugees’.

John Rees-Evans

Mr Rees-Evans is the final candidate to declare that he is running in the leadership election. Rees-Evans grabbed the headlines in 2014 when he claimed a ‘gay donkey’ tried to rape his horse, he dismissed the comment as ‘playful banter’. He stated UKIP is a ‘party of fighters’ and he was the man to lead. The new leader of UKIP is to be announced on the November 28, with Paul Nuttall currently the clear favourite.

Austerity behind Brexit, claim Warwick academics

Alex Seabrook

The first past the post voting system used in the House of Commons makes it difficult for smaller parties to win seats.


usterity was the main factor causing people to vote to leave the European Union on the 23rd June, much more so than immigration, according to evidence published by researchers at the University of Warwick last month (Oct). The researchers compared votes across 380 local authorities throughout the UK with data on immigration to those areas, as well as the effect of fiscal cuts, quality of public services, unemployment, education, crime, and other socio-economic factors. Whilst immigration from Eastern European countries did play a part, there was a much higher tendency to vote leave in areas with high unemployment, low pay, and poor public services. Places with a historical tradition of manufacturing employment, such as the North East of England, also had a much higher share of leave voters, suggesting that Brexit was a protest against de-industrialisation, as well as austerity. The researchers calculated that minor reductions in fiscal cuts would have been enough to have swayed the vote. On average £448 of public spending was cut per person. If that had been reduced by just £41, the public would’ve voted to remain in the EU. Gaps caused by austerity were also shown to have an effect within cities as well as nationally. Ward level data was compared across four cities: Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham, and Greenwich in London. Whilst it has been suggested

Pictured: Above, former UKIP leader Farage speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (photographer: Gage Skidmore); right, UK and EU flags (source: prachatai via Flickr)

that there was a split between cities voting to remain and rural parts of the country voting to leave, the data showed that in parts of the cities with higher deprivation such as crime and unemployment, more people voted to leave. The paper also looks at the problems caused by the first past the post voting system. Before the referendum UKIP enjoyed popular support, and, in 2014, won the largest delegation in the European Parliament elections, which used a proportional representation system. The first past the post voting system used in the House of Commons makes it difficult for smaller parties other than

Labour and the Conservatives to win seats, and in 2015 UKIP only managed to get one MP. This divide between high popular support and low political responsibility meant that the party received a lot of media coverage, without the usual scrutiny that larger political parties usually receive. The researchers claim that under proportional representation, UKIP would have received more media scrutiny, and the public would have been able to make a more informed decision. The paper rejects the stereotype that racism and xenophobia drove the vote, and was published at the

same time as a group of 41 MPs wrote an open letter to the Chancellor Phillip Hammond. The letter, organised by the Vote Leave Watch campaign, demanded that he pledge £350 million a week extra spending on the NHS, in his Autumn Statement later this month. In the run up to the referendum, prominent Leave campaigners such as Ian Duncan Smith and Nigel Farage were often photographed and filmed in front of the infamous red bus that appeared to promise £350 million spending a week on the NHS. Hours after the referendum results Farage denied he’d ever made the promise.

Minor reductions in fiscal cuts would have been enough to have swayed the vote.


Monmouth MP suggests dental checks on refugees David Davies has claimed that refugees arriving in Britain should undergo checks to verify their age

Adam George

The British Dental Association (BDA) said Mr Davies’ demands for testing were “inappropriate and unethical”.


he Conservative MP for Monmouth, David Davies, has caused controversy by suggesting dental checks on refugees to determine their age. Davies, Chair of the Commons Welsh Affairs Select Committee, said dental checks or hand xrays to check bone density should be used to check that children are indeed under-eighteen. His comments came after the first child refugees arrived from Calais on Tuesday 18 October for resettlement in the UK. They  included  a 12-yearold girl from Eritrea and 12 boys aged between 13 and 17. But Davies  has argued that they “don’t look like children”, and that he hoped “British hospitality wasn’t being abused”.  British right-wing media backed up the MP’s comments. The Daily Mail, the Daily Express and the Daily Telegraph all reported upon concerns that the first 14 ‘children’ relocated from Calais to Britain  — aged between 14 and 17, with a legal right to be here — are actually adult men. Davies’ idea of dental checks has received a lot of criticism from fellow politicians, celebrities and even dentists themselves. The British Dental Association (BDA) said Mr Davies’ demands for testing were “inappropriate and unethical”. It asked that the privacy of these “vulnerable young people” be respected by the media, and said it was not even possible to accurately say if someone was under the age of 18 using dental tests. The often outspoken journalist

Piers Morgan reacted to the comments very passionately. Davies appeared on Good Morning Britain to debate the age of child refugees - but Piers made it very clear that he was not a fan of Davies’ views. Piers left the right-wing politician red-faced as he lambasted his view that migrants should be forced to have their teeth inspected before being allowed to enter the country in a bid to prove they’re under 18. Amid a fiery exchange, Morgan told Davies he was “making a series of sneering, fatuous little points”. He said: “Who are you to decide that these very impoverished people who have been through an absolutely hellish time and are coming to this country in comparatively small numbers and your response is, ‘urgh. I don’t think they’re the right age. Let’s check their teeth’.” The Welsh MP has also received death threats in the wake of his comments. Mr Davies, who has been MP for Monmouth since 2005, said that two “serious” death threats directed towards him have been reported to the police. However he is still standing by what he said and has stated that he is not against child refugees coming into the country. This is not the first time that Davies has made controversial comments regarding the refugee crisis. He recently criticised Lily Allen’s recent apology on behalf of Britain to the Calais migrants. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Wednesday: “We must not be naive about this. It’s no good

Pictured: Dentist treats young patient (photographer: Evelien Noens)

“ Lily Allen turning up with tears in her eyes and all the rest of it - we need to be quite hard-nosed here”. He also came under fire earlier in the year when clashing with Anna Nichol, chair of the Welsh Refugee Council, on BBC Radio Wales as she argued that the UK should take in more refugees than it has done so far. Mr Davies said: “What the Refugee Council is suggesting is completely irresponsible” and even suggested

that Ms. Nichol “has blood on her hands”. Many people said that these comments were “inhumane” and “immoral”. Last week Cardiff Council announced that the Welsh capital will be welcoming child refugees from the Calais Jungle in the near future. It is not totally clear how many children will be arriving but it is believed that they will be reunited with their families.

This is not the first time that Davies has made controversial comments regarding the refugee crisis.

Calais ‘jungle’ closed and migrants relocated

Silvia Martelli

Pictured: Calais Jungle January 2016 (Photographer: Malachy Brown)


he French government have announced the Calais ‘jungle’ is clear and the closure declared a success, but charities and volunteers on the ground remain concerned over potentially hundreds of unregistered child refugees with nowhere to go. During the past year, the population of the Jungle reached its highest rate (at least 7,000 people), yet the camp won’t exist for any longer. Earlier this month, French President Francois Hollande announced its “full and final” dismantlement through a plan that expects to have it completely torn down by December. One of the main issues that de-

termined this drastic decision was the fact that the camp was unofficial, which meant that it did not qualify for international assistance. Therefore, charities have been in full charge of migrants’ basic needs, often lacking the necessary funds to fulfil them. Prior to the camp’s closure, which started on Monday 24th October, thousands of leaflets were distributed, asking camp’s residents to queue up at a reception point in order to be bussed out to various asylum centres in France. In the meantime, there are around a thousand unaccompanied children who speak no English and little

French remaining in built container cabins in the Jungle, waiting to be assessed for eligibility to come to the UK. The priority is given to children either under the age of 12, likely to be granted refugee status or at high risk of sexual exploitation. Since October 10th, two hundred children have already been transferred to the UK. However it is believed that there are forty-nine other children known to be eligible still in the camp. “The younger children are struggling to understand where they are supposed to go, and how they are supposed to get there,” an Help Refugees’ member said. So far the demolition has been

highly controversial. The French officials declared the camp empty last Wednesday, however aid workers have argued that there are still dozens of unaccompanied minors left on site. Demolition crews are continuing to clear the tents and shelters from the area that were left-behind, which were damaged in fires reportedly set by departing migrants. Volunteers found shelter for the children in a warehouse where many of the migrants were being processed, as well as a makeshift school inside the camp. The camp has become a key symbol of Europe’s migration crisis, with its residents desperate to reach the UK.

The priority is given to children either under the age of 12, likely to be granted refugee status or at high risk of sexual exploitation.

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science Josh Green

Nuclear fusion is a process in where two atoms fuse together and release energy. away from HFCs.


Editors: Tanya Harrington Kat Pooprasert @GairRhyddSci science@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/science

Nuclear fusion: the small gains

eing able to harness nuclear fusion, which could provide near-unlimited clean, safe and carbon-free energy to the world, has become even more possible after researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) broke a record for maintaining pressures of over twice the pressure of our atmosphere. You are probably thinking how someone even attempts to do nuclear fusion and why someone should care about pressure! Nuclear fusion is a process in where two atoms fuse together and release energy. This occurs because as the two atoms collide they lose mass which is equivalent to energy being released (thank Einstein and his famous E=MC equation there). To be able to scale this idea up, so that it could provide net energy to the world’s infrastructure, people have built giant reactors that mimic how the process of nuclear fusion occurs in our own Sun. Now many readers will probably know that the sun is extremely large, extremely hot and has extreme pressure inside of itself. For a reactor based on Earth to maintain the Sun’s type of nuclear fusion it needs to have a high ‘plasma density’ (so that atoms can hit each other enough in order to get a net

energy yield), a high temperature so that atoms can overcome the repulsion between each other (due to the charge) and collide, and that the time that this plasma is confined to is long enough to create this net energy (which is called the confinement time). These three factors are included in the ‘triple-product’ requirement, in which pressure is a result of two of the three products. The pressures generated are a result of temperatures of around 35 million degrees C and the density of the plasma, contained inside the donut-shaped chamber, which contained around 300 trillion fusion reactions a second in this recent record breaking run. The pressure observed in the reaction run has a relationship with how much power can be generated from the occurring reactions. For every doubling of the pressure obtained the power produced increases four fold as power produced increases with the square of the pressure. This means that the pressure of 2.05 atmospheres (so 2.05 times the pressure we experience in our daily lives) that broke the previous record of 1.77 atmospheres would theoretically lead to a 34% increase in power output. These advanced are necessary to obtain net energy outcomes in order to use nu-

clear fusion to power our homes. Challenges that lie ahead is further improving all of the ‘triple product’ requirements, such as being able to maintain the dense plasma for longer than the two seconds the record-

breaking run managed or being able to innovate on reactor designs, like incorporating superconductors that can be used to make high magnetic fields without generating heat nor consuming electricity.

people on the tracks and is going to hit them. On another track there is only one person. Should you switch the tracks and kill one person or do nothing and kill five? On the one hand you save four lives by switching tracks, but on the other you are actively deciding to kill. While this is only hypothetical, understanding the ‘trolley problem’ is important as it applies to potential real world scenarios that a driverless car may encounter. If a pedestrian

suddenly walks into the road, should the car swerve to avoid hitting the pedestrian, thereby hitting a tree and killing the passengers inside? Alternatively, should the car continue traveling forward, thereby killing the pedestrian? What if the pedestrian was a child? Would this change the decision the car makes? Here a driverless car would be forced to decide who to save and who to kill, and this decision has to be programmed by us. Unless we program the car to make what we consider to be a ‘moral’ decision, the car may just decide to do nothing. To understand how the public believed cars should deal with such a scenario, the dilemma was put to nearly 2000 people as part of a study published in the magazine Science. The study found that the respondents supported a ‘utilitarian’ decision where the cars would sacrifice their own passengers for the ‘greater good’. Yet the same respondents also said that they would be unwilling to travel in a car that was not programed to prioritise passenger safety. Some car makers are already adopting this protective approach to their driverless cars. MercedesBenz’s manager of driver-assistance

systems, Christoph von Hugo, revealed that the company’s autonomous cars will seek to protect its occupants, whatever the cost. “If you know you can save at least one person, at least save that one. Save the one in the car”, said von Hugo, speaking in an interview with the magazine Car and Driver. While it remains to be seen if other car-makers will follow Mercedes’ direction, engineers developing Google’s autonomous car don’t seem to be as concerned about the issues raised by the ‘trolley problem’. “Even if we did see a scenario like that, usually that would mean you made a mistake a couple of seconds earlier” said Andrew Chathan, principal engineer on the project, in an interview with The Guardian: “My goal is to prevent us from getting in that situation, because that implies that we screwed up”. While there is still a lack of consensus as to how to resolve this moral dilemma, the driverless cars will prevent countless numbers of car accidents and save thousands of lives, and many argue that hindering the introduction of this technology any further would therefore be unethical.

Pictured: (Photographer: Simon Stangaard)

” Live and let die? Driverless cars could face mortal dilemma

Joshua Lee

If you know you can save at least one person, at least save that one. Save the one in the car.


elf-driving technologies can already be found in thousands of cars on the streets today, but as we become closer to a world where driverless cars rule the road, there remains a serious moral debate surrounding how a driverless car should respond in complex life or death scenarios. The moral dilemma is centred on the philosophical ‘trolley problem’. In this thought experiment, a runaway tram is heading towards five

Pictured: (Photographer: Department of Transport)


CO2 levels reach milestone high Emmaline Rice

Human impact on CO2 emissions remain the primarily culpable catalyst.

Sanya Arora

The study used three types of photos to determine how smiling, reflecting and giving affect other people’s moods.


Recorded amount reaches its highest in 443 million years

t is no secret that the struggle to combat the inflation of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere has been a floundering attempt at best– or a failure, if you’re willing to be harsh about it. Instead of seeing CO2 levels dissipate over the last few years (as one might expect now that humans have gained an awareness of how their behaviour impacts the environment), scientists have instead reported record levels of CO2. Despite scientific and environmental organizational harbingers around the world monitoring and reporting on these discrepancies between daunting facts and actions taken to mediate them, human emissions are now compounding CO2 amalgamation of natural phenomena such as El Niño. Measured in parts per million – that’s ppm for those versed in the lingo, meaning one molecule of CO2 for every million molecules total– the CO2 levels are now reaching above the 400 ppm benchmark, rising above their relatively static resting point at that same benchmark throughout mid-2015. It is expected that, given the current status of human emissions worldwide, the 400 ppm benchmark will remain surpassed, and high CO2 levels could persist for generations to come. For some perspective, Matt McGrath, the environmental corre-

spondent for BBC News, cites the CO2 levels of 1800 reaching only 280 ppm. This makes it exceedingly clear that a level of CO2 above 400ppm is abnormal for the planet’s atmosphere. Several severe weather patterns have been linked to climate change, including strong hurricanes that have made landfall in 2016. Despite this, the El Niño event has been viewed as typical of the patterns these meteorological features experience– they are hugely impactful on their own. However, it is obvious that even with phenomena like El Niño having been unusually strong this year, human impact on CO2 emissions remains the primarily culpable catalyst. Scientists have also noted, hand-inhand with the contrast of CO2 levels in 1800 and now, that the last time Earth’s CO2 levels reached anywhere near 400 ppm was 500 million years ago. This time frame would put the levels near the tail end of the Ordovician period (during the Paleozoic Era) of 440 million years ago. Frighteningly, the Ordovician period is known for several tumultuous events, including an Extinction event marked by anoxia– that is, a lack of oxygen– and shifts in carbon and oxygen isotopes. The World Meteorological Association, however, remains stalwart in their attempts to cut back on further human

Pictured: Pollution is causing extreme change in our environment. (Photographer: Matthias Ripp)

contributions to climate change. Several of theses schemes include plans like cutting out the usage of HFC gases in Rwanda, just as earlier in the struggle chemicals like CFC’s were banned in the United States (a primary user) and elsewhere. The Paris Climate Talks will hopefully also continue the furthered implication of

governments and everyday people alike in their awareness and mindfulness concerning their employment of contributing chemicals and lifestyles. Accelerating attempts like these are the only way to keep the ppm levels static and begin to reduce them before their effect on the climate is too severe to mend.

Could selfie taking be linked to happiness?


New studies link use of selfie-related social media to mood

elfie lovers, rejoice! Just joined the gym? Click a selfie while on the treadmill and tell the world about it! Celebrating a friend’s birthday? Snap a “groupie” and post it on Facebook! Bought a new lipstick? Take a selfie and upload it on Instagram! You don’t need an excuse to take a selfie, and now you have all the more reasons to do it- science has shown that taking more selfies can actually make you happier! “Selfie”, a self-photograph taken with a camera or phone held in the hand or with a selfie stick, was named word of the year in 2013 by the Oxford dictionary. Ever since, social media around over the world has been flooded with people of all ages posting their selfies! According to a study conducted at the University of California, Irvine, regularly taking selfies can have a positive effect on you. The study was conducted on 41 college students (28 female and 13 male). Participants were made to download a survey app on their smartphones and document their moods during the first week of the study. They used a different app to take photos and recorded their emotional state over the following three weeks. The study used three types of photos to determine how smiling, reflecting and giving affect other

Pictured: Fun in the sun. (Photographer: Bezalel BenChaim)

people’s moods. The first kind was a selfie which had to be taken every day while smiling. The second image was something that made the photographer happy. And the last was a photo of something the picture-taker believed would bring happiness to another person (which was then sent to him/her). The students were randomly allocated to take pictures of one kind. After collecting almost 2,900 mood measurements during the study, it was found that participants

in all three groups experienced increased positive moods. Some students in the selfie group reported becoming more comfortable and confident with their smiling pictures over time. Commenting on the research, Yu Chen from University of California said “Our research showed that practicing exercises that can promote happiness via smartphone picture taking and sharing can lead to increased positive feelings for those who engage in it.”

In a different study, conducted on 130 female students, researchers found that women often take selfies to boost their self-esteem. This is because supportive messages left by other uses lets them see themselves in better light. However, it is extremely important to be careful while clicking selfies- last year, more people died worldwide while taking selfies than from shark attacks. Always be alert!


Number of snow leopards in the wild declines


Kirby Evans

Retaliation killing is causing a dramatic decrease in the numbers of snow leopards left in the wild.

undreds of snow leopards are being killed by poachers every year across the high mountain ranges of Asia, according to a new report that also highlights the rise in illegal trade of snow leopard skin and fur. Snow leopards, not the largest of mammals measuring 4-5ft and weighing in at 25 - 75kg, can live up to 20 years in captivity, despite being native to Central Asia, Mongolia, China, Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan and Russia. Usually solitary, they can be found in forests above the tree line, living in caves in the rocky cliffs. However only 4,000 remain in the wild with around four a week being poached. Although mostly hunted for their skin, the leopard’s teeth, claws and bones are also being illegally traded online. Ahead of poaching, their main threat is native locals: as whilst snow leopards do tend to avoid direct contact with people, they will happily eat their livestock. Snow leopards can kill prey up to three times their own size, which makes cattle and sheep easy targets. Retaliation killing is causing a dramatic decrease in the numbers of snow leopards left in the wild. Local people are hunting the leopards in an attempt to protect both their livestock and liveli-

hood. Thankfully, conservation communities are aware of this dramatic decline in snow leopards and have started taking action: WWF is helping people live in harmony with these enigmatic beauties. Recent developments mean that instead of hunting the leopards, locals are now paying into a community-managed fund, that works as an insurance policy. If a snow leopard kills insured livestock, the owner gets support from this communal pot of money. This, combined with education of how to securely keep livestock, is helping the community to tolerate snow leopards, and the changes are spreading from central Asia outwards. Kyrgyzstan government and conservationists have started to introduce wildlife sanctuaries, in place of hunting grounds, in order to preserve them. Leopards have been caught on camera numerous times in Kyrgyzstan’s wildlife sanctuaries, suggesting that these conservation efforts are having a positive effect. And whilst this is only a small population, it is a leading example of how we can move forward to increase snow leopard numbers across the globe. Further to this, WWF has equipped many snow leopards with GPS technology in the form of a collar, which

Pictured: Hanging out behind mom. (Photographer: Charles Barilleaux)

allows them to keep track of the cat’s movements. This informwation is helping to build up a catalogue of information on snow leopards, which until have remained somewhat elusive, until now. Knowledge about them, enables us to enhance their chances of survival in the wild, and improve their conditions

in captivity. Yet despite corporations such as WWF may be able to research snow leopards, and teach communities about sustainability, but they are very limited in terms of preventing poaching. For more information and to find out how you can help, head over to WWF’s website and search ‘Snow Leopard’.

Your number is up: How toxic is your phone battery?

Kat Pooprasert

The first initial guess made by physicians was correct a whopping 72 percent of the time compared to the 34 percent for digital


research published in Nano Energy has identified more than 100 toxic gases released by lithium batteries used in smartphones and tablets. The gases, including carbon monoxide, can cause strong irritations to the skin, eyes and nasal passages, are harmful to the environment and are potentially fatal. The research was conducted by researchers from the Institute of NBC Defense and Tsinghua University in China who investigated a type of rechargeable battery known as the “lithium-ion” battery, which is used in two billion consumer devices every year. Dr. Jie Sun, the lead author and professor at the Institute of NBC Defence described how “nowadays, lithium-ion batteries are being actively promoted by many governments all over the world as a viable energy solution to power everything from electric vehicles to mobile devices. The lithium-ion battery is used by millions of families, so it is imperative that the general public understand the risks behind this energy source.” The potential dangers of exploding batteries led manufacturers to recall million of devices, as seen in 2006 when Dell recalled four million laptops or recently this month when Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices were recalled after reports of battery fires. Contrary to these well-publicised cases, the threats posed by toxic gas emissions and the sources of these emissions are not so well understood. Despite the lack of clear-cut explanations, Dr. Sun and her col-

Pictured: What threats could our phones pose? (Photographer: Laura Bittner)

leagues were able to identify several factors that can cause an increase in the concentration of toxic gases emitted. For example, the researchers found that a fully charged battery will release more toxic gases than a half charged battery. Further, the chemicals contained in the batteries and their capacity to release charge also affected the concentrations and types of toxic gases released. By being able to identify the gases produced and the reasons for their emission, manufacturers are able to better understand how to re-

duce toxic emissions and protect the wider public. Commenting on the harmful effects of the batters, Dr. Sun said how “Such dangerous substances, in particular carbon monoxide, have the potential to cause serious harm within a short period of time if they leak inside a small, sealed environment, such as the interior of a car or an airplane compartment.” During the study, almost 20,000 lithium-ion batteries were heated to the point of combustion, which caused most devices to explode and emit a range of toxic gases. In the

real world, such circumstances can be witnessed if the battery overheats or is damaged in some way. The researchers now plan to develop this detection technique to improve the safety of lithium-ion batteries so they can be used to power electric vehicles safely. Envisioning a safer future, Dr. Sun concluded that “we hope this research will allow the lithium-ion battery industry and electric vehicle sector to continue to expand and develop with a greater understanding of the potential hazards and ways to combat these issues.”




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Editors: Aletheia Nutt Tom Morris @GairRhyddSoc societies@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/societies

What’s going on this week?

Aletheia Nutt


ello! Unfortunately, Milly was unable to write a note this week as she is out of the office, so Tom and I will be giving you the societies low-down for this coming week. This week the Societies Forums begin, offering a chance for the many societies at Cardiff University to help the Guild Of Societies improve. Last year, the feedback given helped introduce new things and was even included on the Univer-

sity Reports. This chance to raise concerns or make suggests really is crucial in making a difference to your society experience. In other news, there are many events going on this week with different societies; Wildlife and Conservation Society’s Halloween Social, Politics Society’s trip to Westminster, Law Society’s Osborne Clarke Cocktail Evening and many other exciting events. Our favourite event on this week is Cardiff University Asian Society

ball, boasting to be Wales’ Biggest Diwali and Eid Ball. The event will be at Cardiff City Hall and will include a three-course meal, entertainment throughout the evening, and the headlining act is Zack Knight, a renowned Punjabi singer! Feel free to drop us an email if you would like to write an article for Societies Section or if your society is doing something particularly interesting worth Tom and me coming along to.

Mid Term Quiz: Test your general knowledge and Gair Rhydd comprehension with Quiz Soc!


t’s almost reading week (or not, sorry medics)- but have you been paying as much attention to Gair Rhydd as you have your lectures? The Quiz Society committee have put together a fiendish set of questions to vex and perplex your cortex.

Pictured: Yellow fireworks (Source: Programator2), GR 1084 (Photographer: Tom Morris) , Corgi pic Photographer (Bernard Spragg NZ on Flickr)

Gair Rhydd Round 6. Last week in the Gair Rhydd (Issue 1084): Which musician, who rose to fame in the 1960s, recently won the Nobel Prize in Literature? 7. Danish restaurant Noma recently opened a popup in Sydney. But how much do they charge for their set menu? 8. Sŵn Festival collaborated with Cardiff University to launch what in Castle Arcade? 9. Last week’s issue highlighted the concerns that students have with bouncers in which club? 10. Cardiff University health students contributed to a new journal recently. What is special about this publication?

General Knowledge 2

General Knowledge 1 1. What year was Cardiff University founded? 2. What is the name of the comedian who portrays the popular character Keith Lemon? 3. Double, double toil and trouble! What anatomical part of a dog would you find in the cauldron of Shakespeare’s three witches? 4. For whom does Alfred Pennyworth work for? 5. Also found in table salt, which element of the periodic table gives yellow fireworks their colour?

11. How many corgis does the queen currently have? 12. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in which US city? 13. Which actor – before appearing in films such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Lord of the Rings trilogy – famously portrayed Count Dracula in a series of Hammer Horror films? 14. In which game does one use a ‘squidger’? 15. How many US states begin with the letter ‘M’?



1. 1883 2. Leigh Francis 3. Tongue 4. Batman / Bruce Wayne 5. Sodium 6. Bob Dylan 7. £300 8. The Music Museum 9. Y Plas 10. The content is provided entirely by students 11. Two 12. Cleveland, Ohio 13. Christopher Lee 14. Tiddlywinks 15. 8

Quiz Society


Adam Rawles

James Fox

Tom Morris


Cardiff Volunteering’s first placement student

year ago, I was in my second year of psychology here at Cardiff University and preparing to search for a placement for the following academic year. Today, after setting up my own placement with Cardiff Volunteering, I am developing my very own project – a befriending scheme for elderly residents and individuals with some form autism spectrum disorder in Cardiff – called the Student Befriending Scheme. The prospect of finding a placement is daunting for a student of any discipline. Cast into the world of work, you’re forced to talk yourself up, dress smart and pretend you know what you’re doing for long enough to secure a job. For us psychology students, placement applications mainly take place in two rounds. After round two, placement opportunities are fairly limited, and finding a placement that you wanted to fill and with an organisation that wanted you to fill it can be a struggle. With


n the 6th January, Cardiff University MLANG Student Ambassadors are hosting local schools for the day to promote the use of a modern language. We work alongside schools in Cardiff providing students the opportunity to assist within the classes of their specific language, and promote languages at the University. These


the exception that students are allowed (and often encouraged) to approach organisations to set up their own placements. Following an unsuccessful first round, and a consequent struggle to find a placement that I was both passionate about and interested in, I was facing an empty year. Round two quickly came and went and I was running out of opportunities to make my placement year worthwhile. Luckily however, the friendly and accommodating nature of the Cardiff Volunteering team would eventually mean that I would soon be in a placement that I both enjoyed, and was passionate about. During my second year, I developed a small idea for a befriending scheme, wherein students could visit elderly residents during times of when most other potential Befrienders would be in work. The idea was originally borne from what I learnt in my time studying psychology, particularly from learning about the cognitive and physical de-

terioration that can arise as a result of prolonged loneliness. Dementia, depression, and even increased mortality rates have all been linked with loneliness in the elderly, and loneliness is an issue that I would argue most of us have some degree of experience with, be it close to home or further afield. So I decided to see if anyone else thought it might be a good idea. A quick google search of Cardiff Volunteering gave me someone to get in touch with and before long, I was meeting with Michelle and her team. I pitched the idea to them, with a (thankfully) positive response, and the Student Befriending Scheme was officially born! It was at this point that I thought I should mention to Michelle and the team that I was currently searching for a placement and, should they have a free computer and a desk, I’d love to join the team and get the project up and running. Luckily, they had the space and were happy to do everything

MLANG Study Day

schools are the same as those invited to the study day. Throughout the day we will be putting on a variety of workshops from beginners Japanese to talks about students’ experiences from their year abroad. Hopefully this will give the pupils a taste of what opportunities a foreign language can provide. In 2014,

it was revealed that the number of students taking a language at University was at a record low! In an ever more diverse society and market, the ability to communicate in another language is becoming even more important. Having a language as part of your skill set is a useful asset to have. It opens doors not only in terms of

they could to converse with the School of Psychology to officially set up Cardiff Volunteering’s first ever placement scheme. A few months later, with all my inductions and introductions completed, I am now an official member of staff in Cardiff Volunteering and enjoying every second of it. Setting up my own project has been extremely rewarding from a personal achievement perspective, and has given me the confidence to make what I want to happen, happen! I would wholly recommend the placement scheme to any Cardiff University, and I would also add that if there isn’t a currently a placement that you think you would enjoy, then go out and make one. Organisations would often jump at the chance to have a bright young student in their midst, and with the reputation of Cardiff University on your side, you will discover that getting out there and making space for yourself is easier than you might think.

career prospects but on a personal level too. It allows you to connect with people all over the world and gives you a real insight into different cultures. We hope that this opportunity we are providing not only offers a better understanding but also inspires them to either carry or take a language further into their education.

Spotlight: Airsoft at Strikeforce Gloucester

aving been a member of Cardiff University Airsoft Society, or CUAS, since refreshers week of my first year, this spotlight is a little different to the others so far- I’m so well ingrained within the society that I live with three other members. However, I’d never quite managed to visit this particular site- making their recent trip to Strikeforce Gloucester a worthwhile event to attend. First, what is Airsoft? The default answer most members give is that it’s like paintball. Players head on out to a woodland, or an old warehouse, or a well-sealed Great Hall (basically anywhere there’s nothing precious to get damaged) and bring with them an assortment of plastic gun replicas. They then proceed to shoot small plastic ball bearings at each other (in teams, usually aiming to take an objective, similar to in a shooter video game). If you’re hit, you know it, and you’ve got to shout “Hit!” before returning to base to start again.

This particular Saturday the society had hired out all of Strikeforce CQB (that’s Close Quarters Battle) for private use. It’s basically an old warehouse in Gloucester filled with plyboard walls to hide behind when cowering. Highlights of the day for me include when Alister, an Architecture student, jumped out from behind a wall I was using for cover, got a hit on myself and another player across the way with one shot from his crossed pistols, before landing and taking a bow whilst enemy fire rained down on his entire body. Another would have to be when I decided to wear my red hoody instead of camouflage for one game, but it turned out to be the target game so I spent the whole time convinced I was the target. I wasn’t. CUAS are a vibrant society, with activities from poker nights to circuit training which accentuate the central attraction of “pew-pew”- if you’re looking for a social society which likes to do exciting stuff, it’s the place to be.



Golygyddion: Osian Wyn Morgan Liam Ketcher @Taf_od tafod@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/tafod

A yw llywodraethau yn gwneud digon i gefnogi ieithoedd lleiafrifol? Yn y llun: Baner y gwledydd Celtaidd (Tarddiad: Shirokazan drwy Flickr)

Osian Wyn Morgan a Liam Ketcher

Mae’n peri gofid i feddwl nad yw rhai pobl sy’n siarad ieithoedd lleiafrifol yn cael yr un cyfle i ddefnyddio a dathlu eu hieithoedd yn yr un modd ag yr ydym ni yn yng Nghymru.


hwe mis yn ôl, cyhoeddwyd y bydd Llywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig yn rhoi terfyn ar y gyllideb o £150,000 y flwyddyn a roddir i gefnogi’r iaith Gernyweg. Roedd y Gernyweg wedi derbyn y swm blynyddol hwn ers 2003, pan gydnabuwyd y Gernyweg fel iaith leiafrifol a rhanbarthol. Deillia’r Gernyweg, ynghyd â’r Gymraeg a’r Llydaweg, o’r iaith Frythoneg, felly mae cysylltiadau ieithyddol agos rhwng y tair iaith. Fodd bynnag, gydag oddeutu 500 o siaradwyr iaith gyntaf, a rhyw dair mil sy’n maeddu ar ryw sgiliau yn yr iaith, mae’n deg awgrymu nad yw’r Gernyweg wedi goroesi cystal â’r Gymraeg, sydd â 562,000 o siaradwyr, a’r Frythoneg, sydd â thros 200,000 o siaradwyr. Er bod niferoedd y siaradwyr Cernyweg yn llai na’i chwiorydd ieithyddol, mae hi’n cael ei siarad gan gannoedd o bobl yn ddyddiol, ac mae’r iaith yn parhau i fod yn rhan bwysig o ddiwylliant a hunaniaeth Cernyw, ac adlewyrchir hynny yn yr ymatebion angerddol yn erbyn penderfyniad y llywodraeth i roi terfyn ar ei gyllideb. Lluniwyd deiseb i erfyn ar y llywodraeth i barhau gyda’r gefnogaeth ariannol i’r Gernyweg, ac mae bellach wedi cael ei lofnodi gan 10,000 o bobl, sy’n golygu bod rhaid i’r llywodraeth ymateb i’r ddeiseb. Perodd penderfyniad y llywodraeth Dorïaidd i gael gwared ar y gyllideb wrthwynebiad tanbaid gan wleidyddion yr wrthbleidiau hefyd. Ysgrifennodd Tim Farron, arweinydd y Blaid Ryddfrydol yn San Steffan, lythyr personol

i David Cameron, y Prif Weinidog ar y pryd, i’w ddarbwyllo y byddai diddymu’r gyllideb yn “atal cenedlaethau’r dyfodol rhag y mynediad i gyfleoedd a buddion lleol yr iaith.” Dywedodd “mae gan y bobl Gernyweg hanes balch ac amrywiol a chaiff ei ymgorffori yn yr iaith unigryw, sy’n rhan annatod o’u hunaniaeth”, cyn ychwanegu “byddwn yn ymgyrchu yn lleol ac yn genedlaethol am newid a fydd yn rhoi parch i’r iaith sy’n bwysig ac annwyl i lawer o bobl, ac sy’n ased i’r Deyrnas Unedig.” Fodd bynnag, er bod sefyllfa’r Gernyweg yn sylweddol wannach na’r Gymraeg, mae hi’n parhau i fod yn iaith fywiog, sy’n bwysig i’r bobl sy’n ei siarad. Cawsom gyfle i siarad gyda Sam Brown, myfyriwr MA mewn Astudiaethau Celtaidd, sy’n rhugl yn y Gernyweg a’r Gymraeg. Dywedodd: “Yng Nghernyw does yna ddim un gymuned sy’n defnyddio’r iaith ar y strydoedd fel yng Nghymru. Mae’n rhaid i siaradwyr Cernyweg drefnu cyfarfodydd er mwyn siarad yr iaith, os nad ydynt yn ddigon lwcus i fod yn un o’r ychydig o bobl sy’n gweithio gyda’r iaith neu yn ei defnyddio gyda’u teulu. “Mae siaradwyr Cernyweg yn edrych ar y Gymraeg fel y gôl ddelfrydol. Mae’r Gymraeg yn iaith addysg, mae yna deledu a radio Cymraeg pob dydd ac mae pawb sy’n dŵad i Gymru yn gwybod ar unwaith bod y Gymraeg yn bodoli achos ei phresenoldeb ym mhob cornel y byd cyhoeddus. “Tua un awr o Gernyweg yr wythnos sydd i’w chlywed ar y radio ac mae ar-

wyddion Cernyweg wedi dechrau ymddangos yn ddiweddarach. Fodd bynnag, mae llawer o wrthwyneb gan bobl ddi-Gernyweg, ac mae gan y Gernyweg ffordd hir i fynd er mwyn cyrraedd yr un sefyllfa â’r Gymraeg, ond dwi’n obeithiol.” Wrth ystyried y bygythiad newydd o ddiffyg cyllideb i’r Gernyweg, ymddengys bod sefyllfa’r Gymraeg yn un cryf wrth gymharu. Er bod rhai o’r Cymry yn gweld sefyllfa’r iaith fel un bregus, i bobl, fel Sam, sy’n siarad ieithoedd lleiafrifol eraill, mae sefyllfa’r Gymraeg yn un cadarnhaol. Ychydig o wythnosau yn ôl cyhoeddwyd cyllideb ddrafft gan Gynulliad Cymru, a fydd yn golygu y bydd Cymraeg i Oedolion a’r Asiantaeth Iaith Genedlaethol yn derbyn £5m ychwanegol. Nid oes modd dadlau yn erbyn y ffaith fod y Gymraeg yn derbyn llawer mwy o gyllideb a buddsoddiad na’r Gernyweg. Fodd bynnag, gellir dadlau nad yw’r buddsoddiad yn y Gymraeg yn ddigonol chwaith. Yng Ngwlad y Basg, caiff 1% o gyllideb llywodraeth ddatganoledig y wlad ei wario ar y Fasgeg, canran sylweddol uwch na’r hyn a chaiff ei wario yng Nghymru. Er y byddai rhai yn dadlau nad yw’r Cynulliad yn gwneud digon dros y Gymraeg, i gymharu â rhai ieithoedd lleiafrifol eraill, mae’r Gymraeg yn cael llawer o sylw a chyllideb gan ei lywodraeth. Cymerwch y Llydaweg fel enghraifft, mae llywodraeth Ffrainc yn enwog am weithredu yn erbyn lleiafrifoedd ethnig ac ieithoedd lleiafrifol o fewn ei gwlad.

Nid yw llywodraeth Ffrainc yn cydnabod y Llydaweg fel iaith swyddogol, ac nid yw ysgolion Llydaweg eu hiaith yn derbyn cyllideb gan lywodraeth Ffrainc. Ymddengys, felly, bod y ffordd y trinnir y Gymraeg gan ei lywodraeth, yn llawer cryfach na’r ffordd y trinnir ieithoedd lleiafrifol eraill gan eu llywodraethau hwythau. Er nad yw sefyllfa’r Gymraeg cystal a dylai hi fod, ac er bod llawer mwy y gall, ac y dylai, cynulliad Cymru wneud dros y Gymraeg, ymddengys nad yw’e sefyllfa mor anobeithiol ac y gall fod. Er nad yw’r Gymraeg wedi goroesi cystal ag y byddai llawer o Gymry wedi gobeithio, mae’n bwysig ein bod yn cydnabod bod y Gymraeg wedi goroesi yn llawer gwell na rhai o’i chwiorydd ieithyddol (er nad yw hynny’n esgus i beidio â pharhau i gryfhau sefyllfa’r Iaith, yn amlwg!). Mae’n peri gofid i feddwl nad yw rhai pobl sy’n siarad ieithoedd lleiafrifol yn cael yr un cyfle i ddefnyddio a dathlu eu hieithoedd yn yr un modd ag yr ydym ni yn yng Nghymru. Felly, pan ddefnyddiwch eich Cymraeg o ddydd i ddydd, gyda’ch ffrindiau, wrth wylio S4C, neu wrth ddarllen y Taf-Od, cofiwch pa mor lwcus yr ydych fod gennych iaith fywiog, brydferth a chyfoethog i’w siarad. Ymgyrchwch dros y Gymraeg. Anogwch bobl i’w ddysgu. Gweithredwch tuag at Gymru gwbl ddwyieithog. Ond ar yr un pryd, mwynhewch ei siarad. Cymerwch ran yn y diwylliant llewyrchus sydd ynghlwm â hi. A chofiwch pa mor lwcus yr ydym i allu siarad ein heniaith hardd pob dydd.

Mae siaradwyr Cernyweg yn edrych ar y Gymraeg fel y gôl ddelfrydol. Mae’r Gymraeg yn iaith addysg, mae yna deledu a radio Cymraeg pob dydd ac mae pawb sy’n dod i Gymru yn gwybod ar unwaith bod y Gymraeg yn bodoli. Sam Brown


Y ‘Bale’-on D’or

Eirian Jones

Mae gan y tymor yma y potensial i fod yn un gwych Bale.

Esyllt Lewis

Mae teynerwch ei lais a’i bresenoldeb arallfydol ar lwyfan yn ddigon i’ch meddwi heb gymorth alcohol, ac yn gwneud ichi gwympo mewn cariad bob tro.


ros y blynyddoedd diwethaf, mae’r dasg o ddyfalu pwy fydd enillydd y ‘Ballon ’Or’ wedi bod yn un gymharol hawdd, gyda Lionel Messi a Cristiano Ronaldo yn rhannu’r wobr ers bron i ddegawd bellach. Ai dyma’r flwyddyn fydd y patrwm yn newid? Wedi’r cyfan, rhaid cydnabod pa mor gryf yw’r rhestr fer eleni, gyda nifer o chwaraewyr sy’n deilwng i ennill y wobr. Ai Gareth Bale fydd yn ennill, ac yn dod â’r tlws i Gymru am y tro cyntaf erioed? Mae gan y tymor yma y potensial i fod yn un gwych Bale. Os cyrhaedda Real Madrid rownd derfynol y ‘Champions League’ eleni, fel y maent wedi gwneud dwywaith yn y tair blynedd ddiwethaf, caiff Bale y cyfle i chwarae yn ei ddinas enedigol, Caerdydd, yn y rownd derfynol.

Yn ogystal, â Bale i mewn i’r tymor newydd yn chwaraewr hyderus ar ôl ei berfformiadau arwrol yn y Pencampwriaeth Ewropeaidd dros yr hâf. Mai’n gwbl ddadleuol mai perfformiadau Gareth Bale oedd y prif reswm y disgleiriodd Cymru yn yr Ewros. Er hyn, yn ôl rhai papurau newydd ym Madrid, mae hollt wedi ymddangos rhwng Bale a’i gydchwaraewyr, wedi i Bale, yn ôl y sôn, ofyn am gyflog uwch. A fydd hyn yn effeithio ar ei berfformiadau, a’i siawns o ennill y Balon d’Or? Chwaraewr arall a ddisgleiriodd yn yr Ewros oedd Antoine Griezmann, a arweiniodd ei dîm i’r rownd derfynol. Mae ei berfformiadau, i’w wlad ac i Athletico Madrid, wedi ei wneud yn un o gewri byd y bêl, gyda’r BBC yn honni bod Chel-

sea am gynnig £80 miliwn am ei wasanaethau. Ond wedi’r cyfan, fe gollodd Athletico i dîm Gareth Bale, Real Madrid, yn rownd derfynol y ‘Champions League’, ac fe gollodd Ffrainc i Bortiwgal yn rownd derfynol yr Ewros. Yn anffodus i Griezmann, credaf y bydd yn colli i Cristiano Ronaldo unwaith yn rhagor yn achos y Ballon d’Or. Wedi’r cyfan, arweiniodd Ronaldo ei wlad i fod yn bencampwyr Ewrop, gan ennill tlws rhyngwladol, camp nad yw Messi wedi ei gyflawni. Dyna pam, yn fy marn i, Ronaldo bydd ar y brig ym mis Ionawr. Rhaid cydnabod y flwyddyn anhygoel y mae Luis Suarez wedi ei gael, hefyd. Gorffennodd y tymor diwethaf ar frig y tabl goliau yng nghynghrair Sbaen, gyda 40 gôl, uwchben Messi a Ronaldo. Ond

Yn y llun: Gareth Bale gydag Ashley Williams (Tarddiad: Jon Candy drwy Flickr)

gellir dadlau y gall unrhyw un o’r triawd sy’n cael eu galw’n MSN (Messi, Suarez, Neymar) gipio’r wobr. Braf yw gweld bod Riyad Mahrez a Jamie Vardy wedi cael eu henwi ar y rhestr hefyd, wedi iddyn nhw helpu Leicester i gyflawni’r gamp anhygoel o ennill y teitl llynedd. Ond yn anffodus nid wyf yn gallu gweld un o’r ddau yn curo mawrion y byd pêl-droed, yn enwedig wrth feddwl am safle’u tîm yng nghanol y tabl hyd yn hyn eleni. Mi fydd y Ballon d’Or yn anodd i’w phroffwydo eleni gyda nifer o chwaraewyr anhygoel yn cystadlu am y wobr. Bydd hi’n ddiddorol gweld pwy fydd yn fuddugol mis Ionawr, gan fod cymaint o chwaraewyr gwych yn cystadlu am y wobr. Pob lwc i Gareth Bale!

Mi fydd y Ballon d’Or yn anodd i’w phroffwydo eleni gyda nifer o chwaraewyr anhygoel yn cystadlu am y wobr.

Dathlu Sŵn yn troi’n ddeg


rysur, blinedig, ysblennydd, swnllyd. Y pethau hyn, i gyd ar unwaith, dyma oedd degfed pen-blwydd gŵyl Sŵn yng Nghaerdydd. Roedd cerddoriaeth o bob lliw a llun i’w ganfod mewn lleoliadau ar hyd y ddinas, o Glwb Ifor Bach, i Gwdihŵ, i’r Tramshed. O’r bandiau cyfarwydd fel Ysgol Sul, i fandiau fel Garden Centre oedd wedi gwisgo fel blodau melyn ac yn sgrechian fel ‘mandrakes’ o Harry Potter, roedd y gwych a’r gwahanol yn cyd-fyw’n lliwgar braf dros y penwythnos. Mae gormod o synau diddorol o’r tridie i’w rhestru mewn 500 gair, felly dyma fy uchafbwyntie o’r uchafbwyntie:

Meilyr Jones

I ddechrau Sŵn eleni cafwyd gig arbennig yn y Tramshed i agor yr ŵyl, hen sied dramiau wedi’i addasu’n ‘venue’ sydd wedi llwyddo i ddenu enwau fel Public Enemy, John Cooper Clarke a Billy Ocean ers iddo agor ychydig dros flwyddyn yn ôl. A minnau erioed wedi bod yn y Tramshed, roedd mynd i’r lleoliad cyffrous hwn i weld un o fy hoff artistiaid yn y byd yn addo noson

fythgofiadwy. Erbyn i Meilyr ddod i’r llwyfan, yr oedd angerdd set Estrons, band ifanc o Abertawe, eisoes wedi swyno’r gynulleidfa, ac wedi creu cynnwrf mawr yn yr ystafell. Anodd yw cyfleu mewn geiriau y profiad o wylio Meilyr Jones a’i fand ar lwyfan, heblaw bod tynerwch ei lais a’i bresenoldeb arallfydol ar lwyfan yn ddigon i’ch meddwi heb gymorth alcohol, ac yn gwneud ichi gwympo mewn cariad bob tro. Os nad ydych wedi gweld Meilyr Jones yn fyw eto – cerwch!


Yn hwyr ar bnawn Sadwrn, wrth frwydro ‘hangover’ erchyll, llwyddais i wylio ambell fand anghyfarwydd i leddfu rhywfaint ar y cur pen. Wrth weld yn y rhaglen bod band oedd yn boblogaidd gyda’r Gorky’s a’r Super Furry Animals yn chwarae yn y Moon Club, es i draw i Stryd Wombany - oedd wedi cael ‘makeover’ arbennig ar gyfer yr ŵyl - i brofi ychydig o bop breuddwydiol o’r 90au. Er nad yw Derrero yn chwarae’n aml y dyddiau hyn, roedd eu perfformiad yn llawn hapusrwydd a melodïau ffres, a roddodd rhywfaint o egni imi ar gyfer y noson fawr o’n blaenau.


Llais bendigedig, agwedd herfeiddiol a’r trowsus mwyaf ‘wow’ a welwyd erioed.

Cate Le Bon

Wrth glywed bod un o artistiaid mwyaf llwyddiannus Cymru yn mynd i fod yn canu yn llofft bychan Buffalo bar, roeddwn i’n poeni y byddai’r ystafell braidd yn fach i gynnal enigma mor fawr â Cate Le Bon a’r band. Ond roedd y lleoliad yn un perffaith. Roedd bod yn un o’r dorf enfawr o bobl oedd yn mwynhau roc seicadelig pŵerus mewn gofod mor fychan yn brofiad cynnes mewn sawl ffordd, a’r clasur daionus ‘Are you with me now?’ yn neud i fi deimlo fel bo fi’n hedfan.


Mae enillwyr brwydr y bandiau 2016 yn gigio bob wythnos yng Nghaerdydd a thu hwnt ac yn gwella bob tro – roedd Undertone ar brynhawn dydd Sul yn lleoliad perffaith ar gyfer ei pync beiddgar i ddeffro cynulleidfa, gyda’r gitarydd a’r drymiwr yn creu rhythm nerthol, cythryblus fel platfform ar gyfer y seren, Katie Hall, llais sy’n ysgwyd yr SRG. Gwyliwch

y gofod hwn. Nos Sul perffaith: roedd gwrando ar The Gentle Good yn Dempseys, fel gwrando ar hwiangerddi cyn cysgu. A dyna ni. Melys gybolfa o fandiau ac artistiaid hen a newydd oedd degfed pen-blwydd sŵn i mi, gyda digon o ‘glitter’ a chaneuon cofiadwy i gadw fi fynd tan yr unfed ŵyl ar ddeg.

Yn y llun: Logo yr wyl (Cymerwyd gan Esyllt Lewis)


Women’s lacrosse go three in three to set up Exeter showdown on Wednesday James Lloyd

Pictured: Pictures: Top (Ladies lacrosse in Varsity action via Huw Evans Agency) Middle (Tom Bullock after a game) Bottom(Elin Harding)


ardiff ’s women’s lacrosse first team made it three wins from three after their tense 11-10 win over arch-rivals Bristol. Bex Jordache, Maeve McKenny and Shanti King bagged the goals in the comeback victory. Bristol came out of the blocks firing and raced into an early lead. But Cardiff roared back and led 6-5 at the interval. The momentum swung once again in a dramatic second half as the girls trailed 10-9 with five minutes on the clock remaining. But Cardiff left it late as they scored two quickfire goals to seal the win. And the victory means their topend clash against the University of Exeter on Wednesday is all the more important after they also maintained their undefeated start to the season. The men’s rugby first team had their match abandoned after King’s College London failed to supply a full team, citing lack of tight-head props.


But their seconds’, thirds’ and freshers’ team all stormed to victories last Wednesday. The 2nds’ cruised to a thumping 44-3 win over University College London with the 3rds’ edging rivals University of South Wales 13-12 in a tight affair. The 3rds’ were made to work after USW nudged into the lead with 10 minutes to go as Huw Parks held his nerve to slot home the deciding penalty. The Freshers’ beat Gloucester 3412. And the women’s rugby first team found their winning touch again as they hammered Bournemouth 485. Anna Mawhinney and Elyse Finlayson scored a brace of tries each with Olivia Payne, Catherine Galtier, Megan Compton and Emily Hare also getting in on the act. Vice Captain Jessica Coxton chipped in with eight points from the boot. The men’s water polo first team

revealed their title credentials after beating league favourites UWE, 2011 in their opening game of the season. After last weeks’ clean sweep heroics the Netball team won five matches with the first team beating Brunel University, 38-30. Cardiff men’s ultimate frisbree team ran riot as they thrashed Bristol, 15-1. And the badminton men’s first team whitewashed Exeter seconds’, 8-0. The Cardiff Cobras American Football team, warmed up for next weeks’ BUCS opener against the Exeter Demons with a 14-8 win over the Plymouth Blitz. The Cobras, who won ‘Most Improved AU Club’ last year, triumphed after touchdowns from the ever-reliable Scott Higgins and rookie running-back Ross Ludlow. But Cardiff, under a new Head

Coach in former player Sean Cook, face a tough task this season after losing a number of key players.

Week Four of Athlete of the Week

eek four of the Athlete of the Week saw medics football team star Tomas ‘Bainsey’ Bullock crowned champion after a stellar performance in the medics’ league win over bitter rivals, Swansea 2nd’s. The left back put in a man-of-thematch display against a well driven and organized Swansea side who were also under the leadership of five disciplined coaches. But even though Swansea had

a squadron of managerial expertise to call upon from the sidelines, they were no match for Cardiff who had no managerial presence in their technical area, as the medics fought valiantly against a professional and resolute side to claim a 2-1 victory. In only his second appearance for the medics’ team as a fresher this year Tom put in a colossal performance at left back. The in form footballer was

defensively sound all game. But, it was his unbelievable solo goal that proved to be the winner. After, a well composed game seemed to be heading for a stalemate, Tom picked up the ball in his own half and made a darting run up field before weaving through six defender’s challenges, before cutting into the area and unleashing a venomous low footed drive that beat the goalkeeper at his near post. The fresher showing outstanding pace, power and skill. In the second half Tom produced a match winning piece of goal line defending, putting his body on the line for the team to prevent what seemed an inevitable goal, somehow managing to scoop the ball away from under the cross bar when the keeper was beaten. On his performance Tom said: “I thought that we played well as a team! Everyone gave it their all and achieved a well deserved win and it’s always nice to get a goal on top of the win.”

Alun’s Thoughts: It’s time to build on early success


fter the heroics of the netball team last week, it’s time to switch the focus to the rugby

club. Last Wednesday proved to be a successful day for the club as a whole as we took another step in the right direction. We’ve improved from four out of five club wins two weeks ago to a clean sweep, five from five. The seconds were playing under a new coach in David Griffith and sealed a thumping 44-3 win over University College London. The thirds’ had to show their character and resolve to grind out a tense 13-12 win over USW seconds’ as they fell behind with minutes to go on the

clock. And the girls had a huge win on the road in Bournemouth despite having numerous key players missing. The massive 48-5 margin shows the depth of the squad. Unfortunately, the first team had to miss out on the action last week, and I was bitterly disappointed for the boys. Sadly, Kings College London forfeited the match as they failed to find a team. But it’s onwards and upwards for them as we have two big games coming up. On Wednesday Exeter seconds will travel up to Llanrumney before the showdown with our arch rivals, Swansea. Plans are already underway for the Swansea game, with the match due to

take place at St Helens in the evening of the 9th - it should be worthwhile. But as I’ve said, despite the immense success, we can’t afford to become complacent. There is a lot to be done and we’re really “learning to win” which is easier said than done - even the professional clubs are trying to master it! The group of people we have at this club have the right mentality and ability to challenge. I’d also like to take the time to say thank-you to the players who are missing out on selection at the moment as I’m still getting familiarised with people at this fantastic club. One of my main focusses is to get players as much rugby time.

Last Wednesday proved to be a successful day for the club as a whole as we took another step in the right direction.


Ioio Dafydd

There’s no doubt that it’ll be a struggle for Wayne Pivac’s men to reach the quarter finals.

Gareth Axenderrie

With internationals reintroduced to a squad chasing a first piece of European silverware, the Ospreys are perhaps Welsh rugby’s best bet this season.



ith two games playedf in the Champions Cup, it comes as no surprise that the Scarlets are under heavy pressure in one of the hardest groups of the competition. Their first chapter in this European campaign was against the Sale Sharks, who had lost their last 11 games in this competition. It was vital for the Scarlets to get off to a good start and win this game as the next two fixtures would be a much tougher test for the region against French giants Toulon and the European Champions Saracens. A strong first half performance from the Scarlets saw them up 21-11 up at half time with tries from winger DTH Van der Merwe and scrum half Gareth Davies, with Rhys Patchell converting one but making up for the other one by claiming 9 points from penalties. Scarlets dominated territory and possession throughout most of the game and with no surprise managed to clinch another try in the 58th minute as Van der Merwe managed to run in his second score of the night. A 28-11 win was just the start Wayne Pivac and his men needed before facing a tough away encounter with Saracens. Scarlets’ performance against Sale showed us how threatening that backline can be with 5 out of the 7 being full internationals, especially with the outstanding centre partnership of Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams on show as

they performed an amazing piece of link up play to set up Gareth Davies’ try. Allianz Park was the next stop for the men in red as they faced the mighty Saracens in their second game of their Champions Cup campaign. This was the ultimate test for the Scarlets as Saracens were heavy favourites following an impressive victory over Toulon, the first time the French side had been beaten at home in the Champions Cup. As predicted, Scarlets were under tremendous pressure throughoutthe whole of the first half and managed to concede two tries. At half-time the score was 20-12, with Rhys Patchell managing to get all of the visitors’ points from penalties. The second half was much stronger from the Scarlets as they started pushing into the Saracens territory, but one counter attack later and the home side crossed the line twice within seven minutes of each other to bring the scoreline to 34-12. With a final push in the last 20 minutes the Scarlets managed to get two tries under their belt from Aaron Shingler and Jonathan Davies making it 37-26. Yet Saracens almost immediately answered back with the last try of the game to make the final score 44-26 to the home team. Nobody expected Scarlets to win, especially away from home, but managing 26 points against the best team in Europe is one positive they can

Ospreys A

disappointing eighth place finish last season meant the Ospreys missing out on Europe’s premier competition for the first time since their inception. Wales’ most successful region have always featured in the Champions Cup (formerly Heineken Cup), but any disappointment has not transferred to their first two games in Pool 2 of the Challenge Cup this year. Their campaign started with an Anglo-Welsh clash at home to Newcastle at the Liberty Stadium. The Falcons came in a buoyant mood following a positive start to their Aviva Premiership season, but they ran into an Ospreys side who put them to the sword. Dan Biggar, subject to intense competition from fellow fly-half Sam Davies so far this season, touched down early. The score took Biggar over the half century mark for European club points, and his link up play with Rhys Webb will please Wales heading into the Autumn Internationals. The scrum half bagged the home side’s second before half time, before the floodgates opened after the break. Following the consolidation of the bonus point through tries from Scott Baldwin and Ashley Beck, the everimpressive Justin Tipuric took centre stage. Collecting a restart, Tipuric broke through the defence before chipping through, winning a foot race and collecting his kick to score a truly remark-

able try. Tipuric has long been knocking on the door for a regular start in the Wales seven shirt, and with the Welsh management looking to play a more expansive game, surely Tipuric must now be first choice in a position where many believe he rivals anybody else in the world. Good news for the Ospreys didn’t stop there either, as Keelan Giles, making his European debut, touched down for a brace of tries late on. Eighteen-year-old Giles then backed up his impressive debut with a phenomenal performance in Lyon a week later. Having beat Grenoble a week before, Lyon were expected to provide the Ospreys with a firm test, especially on the road. However, Giles stole the show and made a mockery of the home side’s challenge, with a hat-trick of tries. The first came from a James King break, before Giles collected a pass out wide and finished in impressive fashion. Minutes later, Giles collected the ball out wide again, this time on the tenmeter line, and with several players to beat, the youngster had no right to even think about scoring. However, void of any inhibition, he went for it, and his quick turn of pace and balance saw him leave the defence for dead. The Waunarlwydd RFC prospect saved his best for last however, when minutes into the second half he turned

Toulon 11th Dec 16:15 Stade Mayol

Toulon 19th Dec 13:00 Parc Y Scarlets

take from that encounter. When it comes to Scarlets progression in this competition, there’s no doubt that it’ll be a struggle for Wayne Pivac’s men to reach the quarter finals. They face yet another massive game when they travel out to Toulon on the 11th of December. If Scarlets want to make it through the group stages thentheir key players such as Liam Williams, Scott Williams, Jonathan Davies and Gareth Davies will have to perform in these big matches. Another key player that has proven to be a good signing for the team is the Canadian international winger DTH Van Der Merwe, who has managed to cross the line on numerous occasions. With all that being said, if the Scarlets want to progress in this competition then all players must be on their best form throughout these group stage games.

Saracens 14th-16th Jan Time TBC Parc Y Scarlets

Sale 21st-23rd Jan Time TBC Salford City Stadium

Key Man: Rhys Patchell Since making the winter switch from the Cardiff Blues, Patchell has made his mark for the Scarlets. The 23-year-old has made the most of his sustained run in the side at outside half and become a key component of Wayne Pivac’s side. He will be hoping to continue pulling the strings against strong opposition as their Champions Cup campaign progresses. One to watch: Steffan Evans Evans has made a starting spot his own in 2016, missing just four minutes of action in all competitions. The electric wing is capable of incisive runs and game-changing moments with the ball in hand and could possess the magic needed to unlock top opposition. The 22-year-old is growing into his role out wide and will look to make his mark in Europe. How will they fare? As the only Welsh side competing in the Champions Cup, the Scarlets are certainly up against it. Their win against Sale means they still have a chance to progress, and they can take plenty of heart from their battling showing against Saracens. Realistically, another win over Sale and credible performances against Toulon would represent a successful campaign in Europe.

Grenoble 8th Dec 20:30 Stade des Alpes

Grenoble 17th Dec 15:00 Liberty Stadium

a Lyon player over in his own 22 and raced the length of the field to touch down for his hat-trick. Sam Parry scored the Ospreys’ fourth late on, which takes the side’s try tally for the season to 43 from just eight games. The Swansea outfit are in scintillating form heading into a testing run of Pro 12 games in November, where they’ll be without twelve international stars. Their next Challenge Cup fixtures are back to back games against bottom of the pool Grenoble. The French outfit are in poor form in Europe, going down 50-7 to Newcastle last weekend. The Ospreys will fully expect two victories, which should put them firmly in the Pool 2 driving seat by Christmas. If they can then secure return victories against Newcastle and Lyon, a home quarter final awaits, and with internationals reintroduced to a squad chasing a first piece of European silverware, the Ospreys are perhaps Welsh rugby’s best bet this season.

Lyon 12th-15th Jan Time TBC Liberty Stadium

Newcastle 19th-22nd Jan Time TBC Kingston Park

Key Man: Justin Tipuric It has been a tremendous start to the season for Tipuric as he continues to strengthen his claim to make the Wales No.7 shirt his own. Tipuric’s talent has never been in question, and the 27-yearold has demonstrated his flair in abundance for the Ospreys so far this season. His stunning solo effort against Newcastle was arguably the highlight of the season so far for the region, and he is sure to be at the forefront of their bid for European Challenge Cup success as the campaign progresses. One to watch: Keelan Giles The teenage winger burst onto the scene with a hat-trick against Lyon and will be looking for an increasing impact as the season unfolds. His speed and agility has earned him a wealth of admirers and his development will be an intriguing subplot for the Ospreys. How will they fare? Two wins from two have left the Ospreys sitting pretty at the top of Pool 2. Barring a disastrous loss of form, they look unlikely to be seriously challenged for the top spot. Bigger tests will undoubtedly lie ahead in the latter stages of the competition, but the initial signs suggest the Ospreys have what it takes to mount a serious challenge in Europe.

Recent European record


Quarter Final (Challenge Cup)

2010/11 3rd in Pool 5 (Heineken Cup)


Quarter Final (Challenge Cup)

2012/13 4th in Pool 5

(Heineken Cup)

2013/14 3rd in Pool 4 (Heineken Cup)

2014/15 4th in Pool 3

(Champions Cup)

2015/16 4th in Pool 3

(Champions Cup)

Recent European record


Quarter Final (Heineken Cup)

2010/11 3rd in Pool 3 (Heineken Cup)

2011/12 3rd in Pool 5 (Heineken Cup)

2012/13 3rd in Pool 2 (Heineken Cup)

2013/14 4th in Pool 1

(Heineken Cup)

2014/15 3rd in Pool 5

(Champions Cup)

2015/16 3rd in Pool 2

(Champions Cup)


Rich Jones

Whether they can match last year’s run to the semi-finals remains to be seen, but they must first work hard to negotiate a tricky group.

Rhys Thomas

Even at this early stage the pool has (as expected) turned into a shootout between the Blues and their West Country rivals in Bath.


NEWPORT Gwent Dragons have experienced a mixed start to their European Challenge Cup campaign. The Welsh region have recorded one win and one defeat in their opening two fixtures leaving their chances of progressing from Pool 3 hanging on a knife-edge. Having battled to the semi-finals in the competition last year, the Dragons have high hopes of going one further and mounting another serious challenge for European honours this time around. They got their bid off to a perfect start with a convincing 37-16 win over CA Brive at Rodney Parade on October 14. Some quick-thinking after Brive were penalised for offside saw Rynard Landman open the scoring from a tap-andgo penalty in the 11th minute. But after opening up a 13-0 lead, the visitors quickly hit back and a Thomas Laranjeira score helped them tie things up heading into half time. After a scrappy start to the second period, the Dragons looked set for a frustrating start to the competition. However, Kingsley Jones’ side turned on the style with a breathtaking final 20 minutes, running in four tries to wrap up victory and claim a potentially vital bonus point. Brilliant work from Hallam Amos after a line-out saw him set free skipper Lewis Evans to score in the 64th minute. Just three minutes later, man of the

match Cory Hill put the game out of reach with a try which was converted by Angus O’Brien. Amos expertly collected a Sam Beard grubber to secure a bonus point with seven minutes remaining before Adam Warren capped off a rampant display in the closing stages. It was a pleasing night for the Dragons, who showed plenty of character and attacking prowess with a fine showing as the game progressed. Yet they were left frustrated eight days later as a long trip to Russian outfit Enisei-STM yielded a 38-16 defeat. The game was almost a mirror image of their win over Brive, with EniseiSTM running in three unanswered tries in the last 20 minutes to secure their second bonus point win of the competition. It was an error-strewn performance from the Dragons, who failed to capitalise upon an early lead following tries from Patrick Howard and Sam Beard. They were twice pegged back within just moments of going ahead and the Russian powerhouses, including an allinternational line of backs, were fully deserving of their victory. It was disappointing but perhaps not unexpected, however, as the Dragons rested a number of players for the trip. Hallam Amos and Tyler Morgan were amongst those who did not make the gruelling, 4,000 mile round trip with a 12-hour journey.



ardiff Blues are sitting pretty atop their Challenge Cup pool after their two victories with nine points out of a possible ten. Bath follow with eight points, then Pau and Bristol on one and no points respectively. Even at this early stage the pool has (as expected) turned into a shootout between the Blues and their West Country rivals in Bath. The Blues kicked off their latest European campaign with a short trip to Ashton Gate for a Severnside Derby against English Premiership returnees Bristol. There are plenty of connections between the two clubs - head coach Danny Wilson was an assistant at Bristol, attack coach Matt Sherratt helped Bristol to promotion last year and Bristol’s Gavin Henson spent a short yet eventful spell in the Welsh capital. Bristol are rooted to the bottom of the English Premiership, already staring down the barrel of relegation in the face with no wins and only two points. A handy opening tie for the Blues were undoubtedly favourites to pick up a straightforward victory. Even in the face of two yellow cards for Matthew Morgan and Gethin Jenkins respectively, the visitors secured a 20-33 victory and a try bonus-point in the process - Rey LeeLo, Josh Turnbull, Alex Cuthbert and Tom James all touching down. Whilst the standard of opposition was hardly

the crème de la crème, a win against the nearest English team can never be rejected out of hand, especially considering the Cardiff record of the past few seasons! The Blues returned to the Arms Park a week later to face Pau, the French team edged out 22-25 by Bath at the Stade du Hameau in the previous round. Whilst the visitors had put up a strong performance against Bath, all too often the Challenge Cup is an afterthought for French sides with dreams of domestic glory or survival in the Top 14. So, unfortunately no sign of English international Steffon Armitage or All Blacks Colin Slade and Conrad Smith pitching up in South Wales for some Friday night European action. Nevertheless, Pau put up a spirited first half performance which saw they go 13-5 down at the break. Their resistance wasn’t to last long however and the Blues triumphed 27-12 with Cory Allen scoring two impressive tries from backline moves inspired by outside-half Steve Shingler. USA international Blaine Scully added the other score, his second minute try in the corner giving Cardiff Blues an early platform for victory which should’ve been more conclusive considering the dominance that the Welsh side had especially in the second period. To be brutally honest, the Challenge Cup is the tournament no one wants to

Worcester 10th Dec 14:30 Sixways Stadium

Worcester 16th Dec 16:45 Rodney Parade

Enissey-STM 12th-15th Jan Time TBC Rodney Parade

CA Brive STM 19th-22nd Jan Time TBC Stade Amedee Domenech

Key Man: Hallam Amos The Cardiff University student has been in dazzling form for the Dragons so far this season. His absence in Russia was notable last time out, and if they are to make amends and make it out of the group then Amos’ finishing and playmaking ability will be crucial.

It was perhaps the trip that took its toll in the closing stages as the home side came into their own and took the game away from Jones’ side. Despite their away day frustration, the Dragons will be keen to focus on the positives following their first two games. The last 20 minutes against Brive showcased their dynamic attacking play and will give them plenty of encouragement. With Enisei-STM topping the group but yet to play away from home, the Dragons still have an opportunity to top the group. They will travel to Worcester on December 10 before hosting the return fixture six days later. Two wins against the Warriors will be the target and would leave them well-placed heading into the final round of group games in January. Whether they can match last year’s run to the semi-finals remains to be seen, but they must first work hard to negotiate a tricky group. Bath 10th Dec 14:30 Cardiff Arms Park

Bath 15th Dec 19:45 Recreation Ground

be in - it’s the Champions Cup that has all the biggest teams, best players and most desirable venues (you won’t see the galacticos of Toulon having to brave a trip to icy wastelands of Siberia like the hapless Newport Gwent Dragons). However there are some match-ups in Europe’s second-tier that are worthy of attention, with the Cardiff Blues v Bath double-header coming up in December being one of those such fixtures. With the home match followed by a Thursday night trip to the Rec, these games will be reminiscent of a bygone age where both sides were among Europe’s elite. A golden opportunity awaits for either side to place themselves in the driving seat of Pool 4 and a probable quarter-final spot which would make up for last years failure to reach the knockout stage.

One to watch: Ashton Hewitt Hewitt has attracted plenty of attention following his breakthrough 2015/16 campaign. The 21-year-old winger is said to be on the radar of Wales bosses and will be looking to showcase his ability in Europe for the Dragons. He has experienced a modest start to the season but undoubtedly has the talent to make a big impact on the opposite flank to Amos. How will they fare? The recent defeat in Russia was certainly a blow, although perhaps not unexpected given the circumstances. The Dragons’ attacking capabilities were on full show against Brive, and if they can overcome Worcester next month then they have an excellent chance to progress. With some strong sides in the Challenge Cup, however, it will take a huge effort to go deep into the competition.

Pau 12th-15th Jan Time TBC Stade du Hameau

Bristol 19th-22nd Jan Time TBC Ashton Gate

Key Man: Gareth Anscombe The departure of Rhys Patchell over the winter has opened the door for Anscombe to nail down the fly half role. His early performances have been mixed, but his ability to bring some of their talented backs into the game could be crucial to the Blues’ European fortunes. With competiton from Steven Shingler for the starting spot, Anscombe will need to call the shots at outside half in order to maximise the impact of their playmakers. One to watch: Willis Halaholo There has been plenty of buzz surrounding the signing of Halaholo from the Hurricanes. The talented centre has only just arrived from New Zealand, meaning he missed their opening two fixtures in Europe. With plenty of work still to do in order to progress, it will be hoped he can provide a boost in midfield to see them over the line. How will they fare? It has been an encouraging start for the Blues in all competitions, with Europe proving no exception. There is certainly a sense of optimism at Cardiff Arms Park, but they will need to up their gamew against Bath next month if they are to progress.

Recent European record

2009/10 4th in Pool 2

(Heineken Cup)

2010/11 4th in Pool 6

(Heineken Cup)

2011/12 3rd in Pool 4

(Challenge Cup)

2012/13 3rd in Pool 3

(Challenge Cup)


2nd in Pool 2 (Challenge Cup)

2014/15 Semi Final

(Challenge Cup)

2015/16 Semi Final

(Challenge Cup)

Recent European record

2009/10 Winners

(Challenge Cup)


2nd in Pool 1 (Heineken Cup)


Quarter Final (Heineken Cup)

2012/13 3rd in Pool 6 (Heineken Cup)


2nd in Pool 2 (Heineken Cup)


Quarter Final (Challenge Cup)

2015/16 3rd in Pool 3

(Challenge Cup)


Wales superstar Gareth Bale makes Balon d’Or shortlist once again

Mark Wyatt


veryone’s favourite Welsh wizard has done it again. This time Gareth Bale has been recognised by FIFA as one of the 30 best players in the world, making it onto the final shortlist for the fourth time in as many years. Previously he has been awarded 9th (2013), 12th (2014) and 16th (2015) but there is a strong case that this year he will break into the coveted ‘top 5’. It’s easy to see why. Bale has had a great year for both club and country, first off he scored a decisive penalty in the shootout for Real Madrid to help the Spanish club complete ‘La Undecima’ – their eleventh victory in the competition and Bale’s second. Coming into the European Championships after that scintillating victory saw Bale hit the dizzying heights we’ve seen so many times before. He hit three goals in the group stage and led the line brilliantly as Wales reached the semi-finals. Clearly he now has the credentials to launch him into the top ten of the Balon d’Or, but with his impressive

CV ever growing, there’s nothing to say he won’t take home the coveted prize one day soon. He will have to wait at least another year for this however as this year’s Balon d’Or looks set to become Cristiano Ronaldo’s fourth award of his glittering career. The Portuguese won the Champions League like Bale, yet he managed to lead his team to European Championship glory in Paris (knocking out Bale’ Wale on the way). The other competition for Bale will come from La Liga’s finest players. Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr and Luis Suarez scooped a domestic double winning the league and Copa del Rey in 2016. Suarez also won the Golden Boot award for his impressive tally of 59 goals in just 53 games for Barcelona last season. Lionel Messi will inevitably be a leading candidate to take his place in the top three with 41 goals in 49 games last year, whilst Neymar hit 31 in 49. Antoine Griezmann will be the other player who can seriously contend for the top three shortlist, to be announced in the coming weeks. The

Pictured: Gareth Bale looks on as Cristiano Ronaldo parades his 2015 award around the Bernabau (Photography: D Sanchez)

Frenchman helped Atletico reach the Champions League final and helped Les Bleus reach the final at the EUROS, losing out both times to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real and Portugal. Griezmann has already collected Player of the Tournament and Golden Boot awards in France alongside winning the La Liga Player of the Year

award too. Bale’s competition is healthy but could be a stretch too far for him to seriously challenge for the prize in 2016. A stellar season for the Welshman nonetheless, but one that needs even more glamour for him to mark his name on world football even more in 2017.

Macauley Cook backing Blues to build on early season success Rich Jones

Gareth Axenderrie Cardiff Blues Columnist


ardiff Blues star Macauley Cook believes they have all the components to build on their strong start to the season. The Arms Park outfit have won six out of their opening eight fixtures in all competitions, including back to back wins over Bristol and Pau to kick-off their European Challenge Cup campaign. Danny Wilson’s side currently sit sixth in the Guinness Pro 12 table despite suffering their first major setbacks with defeats to Leinster and Ospreys in their last two league outings. Cook, who has appeared in all eight games, admits they were delighted to bounce back from their derby day defeat at the hands of the Ospreys by claiming a convincing victory over Bristol in Europe. Despite embarking upon the international period which will see


hen the fixtures for this season’s Pro 12 were announced, the concept of ‘Derby weekends’ were welcomed by rugby purists. Welsh derbies, paired up on weekends, is certainly a proposition that wetted the appetite for those casual fans that the regions are desperate to get through the gates. So then, how absurd is it that one of these weekends falls during a period of international fixtures? At the time of writing, the Scarlets visit of The Arms Park is a fixture that holds importance in terms of where each club are heading this season.

them lose some key players, the 24-year-old forward believes some clever winter recruitment means they are well-placed to continue their good form. Cook said: “To sum it up, we’ve won six out of eight games, so that’s a great start to the season from that perspective. “We’ve had some really good performances, and even though we lost to Leinster I thought we deserved to win the game and played really well. “Obviously the setback was the Ospreys game where we didn’t really turn up, but we’ve put that game behind us now. “After that result we were a little bit disappointed and wanted to bounce back. We had a good result against a tough Bristol team. It’s always good to come away with a win, especially with the bonus point

as well. “Most importantly I think the performance was there. We started a bit slowly but we built into the game and really got into our stride for the rest of the match to get a great win. “As a whole it’s been a great start to the season, and we just have to look to take each game as it comes now. “We’ve got a great squad and a lot of strength in depth. I think we recruited really well over the summer, and we’ve got some key strength in key positions now. “That’s massive in a long season like we have. Last year we had a big squad, but this year we’ve shortened it slightly and got our strength in depth. “When we rotate now, we’re always just as strong as the main boys so it’s looking good and I think we can go a long way.”

However, the Welsh training squad is now in session, and a whole host of individuals are unavailable. Head coach Danny Wilson hasn’t hidden his own displeasure at the situation with Mr Warburton, Jenkins et al. all missing. While the battle for hearts, minds and ticket sales continues, a big derby without frontline superstars will not be welcomed by the other regions or the fans. That said, and with my whinging done for the day, the Blues can take plenty of positives from the fact they appear to have strength in depth, with

players who have already stood up when asked this season. They do have depth that some other sides do not. With Gareth Anscombe away, Steven Shingler looks more than an able deputy. The fly half was outstanding against Pau last weekend, playing a part in all three tries. Two of those tries were scored by Cory Allen, and despite the centre admitting he was right to not be included in Rob Howley’s Wales squad, he will be determined to prove his worth for his club during November. In the pack, there are plenty of options waiting in the wings, keen

Pictured: Macauley Cook speaks to Gair Rhydd’s Rich Jones

to fill the boots of their international colleagues. Rhys Gill and Matthew Rees offer tonnes of experience in Gethin Jenkins and Kristian Dacey’s absence and the return of Josh Navidi and Ellis Jenkins provides plenty of dynamic cover in the back row. Add to that the release of Lloyd Williams, the promise of Matthew Morgan, the experience of Nick Williams and the long anticipated debut of Willis Halaholo, and the Blues are looking in a good place heading into fixtures against the Scarlets, Treviso and Connaught. Time will tell.


Con’t: We meet rugby star Hallam Amos as he explains his busy lifestyle James Lloyd and Rich Jones


nd Amos hinted that he could retire from rugby when he finishes his medical degree, to pursue a career as a doctor. Amos revealed that compatriot Jamie Roberts, who secured a medical degree at Cardiff University in 2013, has been giving him some help and advice along the way as he mulls over retirement from the sport. He said: “I’m not sure if Jamie will ever use his medical degree. He may do, but he’s left it quite a long time after passing his finals to become a doctor, whereas I do want to become a doctor. “When I finish my degree in Cardiff, I’ll be 28 and I’ll have

a big decision to make whether to retire from rugby and do my foundation years of becoming a doctor or doing what Jamie has and put the medical studies on hold”, added Amos. “It’s a possibility [Oxford and Cambridge], I’d love to do it, Jamie’s done that, so fair play to him but not sure as it’s so far away. “After your finals, you’ve got two years to go into your junior role otherwise you have to resit your finals. So Jamie now, if he wants to do it, would have to resit his finals, so that’s why I need to decide, you have to go into the system quite quickly or otherwise you’re out basically.”

Pictured: Amos in action (via Simon Latham)

Q&A with the ten cap Wales Wing

James Lloyd and Rich Jones

How on earth do you balance being a student and a professional rugby player? It’s alright. I do my medical studies part time so I still have six years left of a nine year degree. Both sides are very appreciative of what I’m trying to get out of it. My club side, the Dragons, let me miss some training

sessions and the university let me miss hospital placements. It’s just about effective time management and conversing with both sides, at the moment it’s going OK. Jamie Roberts has done it in the past, he’s come in and spoken to the university with me. We’ve sat down, me, Jamie and the Dean of Medicine

and sorted how we were going to work it out and so far it’s going OK.

Is it hard to plan your life around the demands? I base it around the Wales campaigns. Now I go into the autumn squad I won’t do any medicine for the next two months and then I’ll get a good block of my placement done over Christmas and January and then if I’m named in the Six Nations squad then I won’t do any then, so it works like that, Wales block, medicine and Dragons block, Wales block and so on. It’s alright, it’s done on a week to week basis really. Sometimes I’ll have to go in early to do my gym before placement and miss morning training and other times I’ll do afternoon placement but I’ll take it how it comes. How do you balance it all around exams? Luckily it’s been alright. I was away in New Zealand for a month at the end of last year with Wales but exams had all finished by then. Luckily it’s never clashed with any tours or

Philip Marsh Cardiff City Columnist


f you were to have told Cardiff fans just over three weeks ago that Neil Warnock would be succeeding Paul Trollope and then win seven points from a possible nine, it’s fair to assume they would have laughed. Seven points from difficult fixtures against Bristol City, Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest have seen fans, and confidence alike, return to the Cardiff City Stadium. Cardiff now sit clear of the relegation zone and 14 places outside the top six, although this massive group of teams is only separated by eight points. In Warnock’s press conference after

Cardiff ’s most recent away win, a 2-1 away win against Nottingham Forest, he remained calm despite rising expectations. When asked whether Cardiff had a chance of achieving promotion this year, Warnock cooly responded by saying: “Let’s get out of the bottom three first.” Results aren’t the only source of encouragement for fans at the moment. Players such as Aron Gunnarsson, Sean Morrison and new signing Sol Bamba are visibly relishing the opportunity to play for Neil Warnock and their performances have been first class since his appointment.

Bamba, whose arrival originally divided opinions, has instantly become a fan favourite at Cardiff. His Severnside Derby winning goal, coupled with his no nonsense tackling and aerial presence has seen the Ivorian receive praise from fans and the new manager. Despite the recent revival under Warnock, the club must remain wary of its upcoming fixtures. A home fixture against third place Huddersfield is sandwiched by away trips to two of last season’s Premier League clubs, Newcastle and Aston Villa. Newcastle, who currently sit top

anything. The World Cup last year, I missed an initial exam but because I’m now doing third year over two years I can catch up with it later, it’s not too bad. It must be quite strange going from playing at the Principality Stadium to walking around Cathays! It’s alright, I live with six mates from my course so I’m in a students’ house. It’s quite different to how these other boys live. Sam and Alun-Wyn have these hundreds of thousands of pounds amazing houses, so it’s a bit different, but I love it, I wouldn’t change it. These boys keep me grounded and don’t let me get too big for my boots. What’s the atmosphere like in the Wales dressing room? It’s good, it’s a tightly knit group, there aren’t any egos, everyone’s on a level playing field. It’s nice to be able to have both aspects. I can go to the union with the boys from my house and then playing in front of 80,000 at the Principality, it’s nice.”

of the league, were the shortest price favourites to win the Championship in history. Aston Villa on the other hand have had a less than satisfactory start to life in the Championship, finding themselves in the bottom half of the table, but should by no means be deemed an easy fixture. Three defeats would more than likely see Cardiff slip back into the relegation zone and end any hopes of a promotion challenge before they’ve even begun. On the other hand, three victories would see Cardiff rise into the top half of the table and a promotion challenge would certainly be on the cards.

Amos revealed that compatriot Jamie Roberts, who secured a medical degree at Cardiff University in 2013, has been giving him some help and advice along the way as he mulls over retirement from the sport.


Editors: James Lloyd Mark Wyatt Rich Jones Shaun Davey @GairRhyddSport sport@gairrhydd.com gairrhydd.com/sport

November sport in Cardiff Saturday 5th November Rugby: Wales v Australia Principality Stadium, 2:30pm Wales look to end a run of 11 straight defeats against the Wallabies in their first game of the 2016 Under Armour series. Saturday, 12th November Rugby: Wales v Argentina Principality Stadium, 5:30pm Football: Wales v Serbia Cardiff City Stadium, 7:45pm A huge day of sport in the capital sees Wales face their second Autumn International whilst Chris Coleman and his Wales side look to get their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track. Friday 18th November Rugby: Cardiff Blues v Ospreys Cardiff Arms Park, 7:15pm Cardiff Blues get their Anglo-Welsh Cup bid underway against their regional rivals. Saturday 19th November Rugby: Wales v Japan Principality Stadium, 2:30pm Football: Cardiff City v Huddersfield Town Cardiff City Stadium, 3:00pm Saturday 26th November Rugby: Wales v South Africa Principality Stadium, 5:30pm Wales wrap up their Autumn Internationals against a physical Sprinboks side.

Hallam Amos: We showed we can compete against anybody

Also this week

Cardiff University’s rugby sensation met up with Gair Rhydd Sport’s James Lloyd and Rich Jones as he discusses Wales, the All Blacks and his ambition of becoming a doctor

EXCLUSIVE James Lloyd and Rich Jones


ardiff University student and professional rugby player Hallam Amos believes Wales can build on from their summer New Zealand tour as they prepare for the autumn internationals. Wales lost all three of their Test matches against the All Blacks in June, but Amos says their spirited performances has put them in good stead ahead of the visits of Australia, Argentina, Japan and South Africa across November. “The last time we were altogether was for the New Zealand tour and while we didn’t get a win out there we put in some good performances”, said Amos. “It’s been interesting to see how they’ve completely annihilated every

team at the Rugby Championship”, added the wing. “That puts into perspective our games, our first game against New Zealand at Eden Park, at their home ground where they haven’t lost since before we were born. “We were leading at 60 minutes and could have won so we’re definitely confident going in, so we’ll see.” Stand in Head Coach, Rob Howley faces a selection headache in the back three with Amos vying for a place with Toulon full-back Leigh Halfpenny, Scarlets’ Liam Williams and George North of Northampton. But that doesn’t seem to bother the 22 year old medic. “We’ll see. Leigh is back and so is Liam so they are definitely favourites going in but there’s always injuries in rugby these days and hopefully I’ll get a run out at some point. “I’ll take it as it comes really.”

As well as the internationals Amos is keeping one eye on his club side, the Newport Gwent Dragons, as they bid for a solid Pro12 campaign and a European Challenge Cup run. The Dragons have made a mediocre start to the latter, beating French outfit Brive before being humbled away at Russian minnows Enisei. “We’ve made the semi-finals the last two years of Europe”, he said. “We had a good start versus Brive. But I think we can go on and do better than the last two years and hopefully we can reach the final.” Gair Rhydd Sport quizzed the superstar back on his life as a student, and how he balances the demands of being a professional athlete with the intensity of a medical degree. Amos also described the surreality of playing in front of thousands at the Principality to going down to the Students’ Union for a pint.

Pictured: Hallam Amos in action for the Dragons. (Photography via Simon Latham)

Continued on page 39

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