What Reddit Can Tell Us About NBA Fan Bases

DETr/DetroitPistons10,69510,0720.94 SASr/NBASpurs25,67327,1271.06 MILr/MkeBucks20,86917,4300.84 SACr/kings12,84612,8361.00 The NBA’s most talkative fansNumber of subscribers to team subreddits and comments made by users with that team’s flair on r/nba, October 2018 NYKr/NYKnicks35,48224,2940.68 teamsubredditSubscribersTotalPer subscriber BRKr/GoNets9,4499,4301.00 Comments from flaired fans on r/nba The most-upvoted post of all time on /r/nba is the announcement that LeBron would sign with the Lakers. Ever since then, the L.A. fan base, which is one of the largest on /r/nba, has been more active than usual. Meanwhile, comment activity among Cleveland fans is the lowest it’s been since the first post-LeBron era.PelicansThe New Orleans Pelicans exist in one of the smallest media markets in the NBA. Their team-specific subreddit, /r/NOLAPelicans, has the second fewest subscribers among all 30 teams (/r/memphisgrizzlies has the fewest). And yet, their fan base is in the middle of one of its most active periods. For every subscriber to /r/NOLAPelicans, Pelicans’ fans made more than 1.2 comments on /r/nba in the month of October, the highest mark of any fan base. CLEr/clevelandcavs36,85025,8610.70 MEMr/memphisgrizzlies5,5204,8380.88 PHIr/sixers44,36832,8240.74 If Anthony Davis decides to stay in New Orleans beyond his current contract, it’s likely to be in part because of the small but passionate fan base that supports him.It’s worth pointing out that Golden State Warriors fans rank dead last in comments per subscriber. But this is probably misleading because of the inflated subscriber count of /r/warriors. During the summer of 2017, those who downloaded Reddit’s mobile app were subscribed to the Warriors subreddit by default if they selected the NBA as a category they were interested in. This resulted in a spike in subscribers to /r/warriors and created a gap between them and the rest of the league.Check out our latest NBA predictions. GSWr/warriors113,33148,3150.43 NOPr/NOLAPelicans6,5958,1311.23 MINr/timberwolves21,57818,5440.86 ORLr/OrlandoMagic10,1866,7990.67 WASr/washingtonwizards17,92613,1780.74 PHOr/suns14,30213,8720.97 Subscribers were counted on Oct. 9. Subscribers to r/warriors are likely inflated because of a feature of Reddit’s mobile app.Source: Reddit DALr/Mavericks19,26417,8580.93 PORr/ripcity15,95517,1391.07 ATLr/AtlantaHawks12,1108,1310.67 UTAr/UtahJazz16,15717,7891.10 LACr/LAClippers10,4188,2500.79 But the 76ers also have two players on their roster who are a lightning rod for discussion on /r/nba. Hardly a day goes by without a post on the latest Joel Embiid sound bite or Markelle Fultz lowlight (when he’s not injured or involved in trade rumors). So long as those two players are on the team, Philly fans will have plenty to talk about.Because the data is available only through Oct. 31, 2018, the chart does not capture the reaction to Philadelphia’s trade for Butler earlier this month. But given that the replays of Butler’s game winners against Charlotte and Brooklyn are two of the most-upvoted, or highest-rated, posts of the season thus far on r/nba, 76ers fans are likely just warming up.Cavs and LakersWhen LeBron James returned to Cleveland in the summer of 2014, Cavaliers fans instantly became more active on /r/nba. With their teammate squabbles, midseason trades and postseason heroics, the Cavaliers were a constant topic of conversation from 2014 to 2018 — and never more so than during their championship run in 2016.But when James left to join the Lakers this offseason, he took the conversation with him. We charted the comment activity for fans of the Lakers and Cavaliers together, without indexing the shares so that we could make a cross-team comparison. HOUr/rockets35,09023,2370.66 CHAr/CharlotteHornets7,9188,4021.06 LALr/lakers84,13782,1270.98 CHIr/chicagobulls41,93521,2480.51 TORr/torontoraptors52,28958,9351.13 OKCr/Thunder23,64624,8981.05 MIAr/heat15,17016,9331.12 DENr/denvernuggets10,39411,0071.06 BOSr/bostonceltics61,60148,6650.79 The highs and lows of being an NBA fan aren’t necessarily dependent on wins and losses. When your team has been bad for a while, small victories — like upsetting a better team during the regular season — can be your version of winning a championship. Conversely, when your team is a finals contender every year, some setbacks can feel like signs of the end times.One way to quantify the ups and downs of a fan base is to look at how active they are: After all, the only fans worse than angry fans are uninterested ones. To help with that, we have Reddit — the discussion-based website with more than a million communities, or subreddits, each devoted to a different subject.Over the years, basketball fans have flocked to /r/nba, the site’s professional basketball subreddit, to discuss games in progress, seek meaning in the latest trade rumors and debate the legality of surrounding Steph Curry in a moving ring of teammates with locked arms. With more than 11 million comments made from January through October, /r/nba is the third most active subreddit this year, trailing only /r/AskReddit and /r/politics. It’s also far and away the busiest sports subreddit: Through October, /r/nba had received 3 million more comments this year than /r/soccer, the next most active sports-related subreddit.One noteworthy aspect of /r/nba is that users have the option to publicly display their allegiance to teams through “flairs,” which appear as icons next to usernames in posts and comments. Although flairs are optional, roughly 80 percent of comments made on /r/nba since October 2011 have been made by users with those icons.Inspired by Reddit user 808x’s analysis of team loyalty, we used those flairs on comments made since Oct. 1, 2011,1Although the /r/nba subreddit has existed since 2008, the 2011-12 season was the first year with sustained and regular comment activity from all 30 fan bases. to chart the activity of each NBA fan base. To normalize for the growth of Reddit over time, we calculated the total number of daily comments made by a fan base divided by the total number of daily comments made by all users (flaired or not). In addition, we used a 30-day rolling average2To smooth out the daily volatility of comments. indexed to each team’s highest point in order to make the trends for teams in small markets as clear as the trends for teams in large markets. Indexing allows us to show all 30 teams at once, but cross-team comparisons must be made with caution because the y-axis for each team’s chart is unique.In other words, each fan base’s activity is relative only to itself. We can infer from the data that 76ers fans on Reddit were more active earlier this year than they had ever been, but we shouldn’t infer that 76ers fans were more active than Warriors fans. INDr/pacers9,3587,1020.76 The spikes on the charts often correlate with playoff runs, blockbuster trades or better-than-expected starts to a season. For example, the fever of Atlanta Hawks fandom peaked during their 60-win season in 2014-15, which culminated in an appearance in the Eastern Conference finals. The spike on Minnesota’s chart lines up with the summer the Timberwolves traded for Jimmy Butler. Meanwhile, Sacramento Kings fans were most active during the start of the 2014-15 NBA season, when the team jumped out to a 9-5 record (they finished 29-53).To understand the landscape of fandom on /r/nba, it’s worth examining in detail the comment activity for fans of the Philadelphia 76ers, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Pelicans.76ersNo team has had a more linear increase in comment activity over the past seven years than the Philadelphia 76ers. Sixers fans have grown more active on /r/nba each year, in part because their team has gotten incrementally better each year. read more

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Bucks look to spike Penn State from nations top spot

The Ohio State women’s volleyball team is picking up momentum. It recorded its first Big Ten weekend home sweep in more than three years,    After defeating both Purdue and Indiana 3-1 in last weekend’s matchups, the Buckeyes climbed from No. 36 to No. 32.  The Buckeyes are 17-6 overall, 5-5 in Big Ten conference play and No. 5 in the conference. The weekend’s biggest contributor, Ashley Hughes, has been named Big Ten Co-Player of the week.  On Friday against Purdue, Hughes posted 48 assists, seven digs and five kills.  It was a tough performance to beat, but she did just that. Saturday against Indiana, Hughes achieved two career highs, with 53 assists and 19 digs.  Hughes has been the starting setter in eight matches and has played in 12. She will be an asset in the team’s trip to No. 1 Penn State.The Buckeyes are entering the second wave of conference play on a positive note. Top-ranked Penn State is 22-0 and has held onto the No. 1 spot this season. The Buckeyes lost to Penn State on Oct. 7 in the first round of conference play. This time around, the Buckeyes have improved in hitting percentages and have employed a smoother offense.  The Buckeyes average 16.81 points per set, just behind the 19.46 points per set Penn State averages. However, the Buckeyes face bigger challenges. Buckeye opponents are hitting .180 and Penn State’s opponents just .091.    The Buckeyes fall just short of Penn State with 13.29 kills and 12.20 assists per set on average. They take the edge over Penn State with 1.58 aces and 13.24 digs on average per set.  It’s easy to compare two teams’ stats, but action on the floor determines the stronger team. The Buckeyes have the aggressive defense that is required to challenge a team with an undefeated record.   The Nittany Lions of Penn State host the Buckeyes at 7 p.m. The match will be televised by the Big Ten Network. read more

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Buckeye field hockey notches No 2 seed in upcoming Big Ten Tournament

The Ohio State field hockey team defeated Northwestern Saturday for the 22nd consecutive time. The win secured the No. 2 seed for the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Tournament, which starts Thursday.The tournament will be played in East Lansing, Mich., on Michigan State’s campus.The Buckeyes will face the No. 7 seed Penn State in their first round game. Penn State defeated the Buckeyes 2-1 in overtime at State College, Pa., in the teams’ only meeting this season.“Of course it was a big loss and setback,” said senior goalkeeper Lindsay Quintiliani, who was named co-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. “But we’ve bounced back since.”The Buckeyes are 6-1 since their loss to Penn State and are ranked No. 13 in the NFHCA Division I Top 20.The Nittany Lions have headed in the other direction. After defeating OSU, Penn State went 3-4 in its final seven games, failing to win another conference game and finishing in last place in the Big Ten at 1-5.If the Buckeyes win their first-round meeting with Penn State, they will move onto the semifinal round, played on Friday. There, the Buckeyes would face the winner of Indiana and Northwestern. The win over Indiana came in the Big Ten opener on Sept. 27. The Buckeyes finished the season with a win over Northwestern Saturday. Both victories came while their opponents were ranked in the top 20. If the Buckeyes get through the first two rounds, they will play in the tournament championship at noon Sunday. All signs point to Michigan State as the would-be opponent in the championship game.The Spartans have been dominant in conference play this season, going 6-0. Owning the top seed in the tournament, the Spartans receive a first-round bye and need only one win to reach the championship game. The Spartans are also playing on their home field and will be facing the winner of Iowa and Michigan, both of which they’ve defeated this season.The winner of the conference tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, which begins Nov. 14. If the Buckeyes fail to win the Big Ten tournament they will be looking for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. read more

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Football 5 plays that mattered in Ohio State vs Rutgers

Ohio State redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) catches a snap in the second quarter against Rutgers on Sep. 30. Ohio State won 56-0. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorEach game, the momentum can shift from one team to the other on one play. Other than last week’s get-well game against UNLV, each week, we will list five plays, elements of plays or series of plays that made the most significant impact in Ohio State’s games.Here’s the five plays that mattered most in No. 11 Ohio State’s 56-0 blowout win at Rutgers.Dante Booker interceptionLooking at the final score, it’s difficult to remember that Ohio State struggled in the first quarter. Leading by seven with 2:52 remaining in the first quarter, Rutgers drove to the Ohio State 15-yard line and threatened to tie the game. On second-and-11, Ohio State linebacker Dante Booker picked off quarterback Johnathan Lewis after the ball bounced off the intended receiver and Booker tipped it to himself.Ohio State followed that interception with an eight-play, 87-yard touchdown drive in fewer than three minutes.Johnnie Dixon 70-yard touchdown catchOhio State was facing third-and-17 from its own 30-yard line when quarterback J.T. Barrett found redshirt junior wideout Johnnie Dixon behind the defense for a score.The Buckeyes were nearing their second consecutive three-and-out at 7:27 left in the second quarter and only leading by two scores. Barrett scrambled to his right and the Rutgers safeties lost Dixon behind them. Ohio State would score two more times before the half. Barrett to Victor, 48 yardsBefore the end of the half in another third-and-long situation, Barrett stepped up in the pocket and delivered a strike to sophomore wide receiver Binjimen Victor for 48 yards down to the Rutgers 32-yard line.That completion with 1:55 left in the first half set up the Buckeyes’ final touchdown of the half to extend the lead to 35-0.Nick Bosa third-down stopOhio State stalled on its first drive on the second half after a failed fourth down attempt. On its ensuing possession, Rutgers picked up 22 yards on second-and-23 to create a third-and-short situation. That’s when sophomore defensive end Nick Bosa blasted through the line and tallied his first tackle for loss of the game with 11:38 left in the third quarter.Had Rutgers gotten a first down, the Scarlet Knights likely wouldn’t have drove the rest of the field for a score, based on their offense’s consistent inability to move the football. Despite that, those are the types of plays Ohio State should be able to make when prompted later in the season.Ohio State sophomore wide receiver Binjimen Victor (9) catches a pass for a touchdown in the third quarter against Rutgers on Sep. 30. Ohio State won 56-0. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorVictor touchdown grabThis play had little to do with the outcome, but had everything to do with the growth of the offense. Barrett threw his best ball of the day to Victor for a 22-yard score on a near-perfect, back-shoulder fade to the left pylon.Redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins replaced Barrett on the next offensive drive with the Buckeyes leading 42-0. read more

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Southern railway passengers face 14 days of strike action in escalation of

first_imgSouthern Railway workers are to stage 14 days of strike action in five blocks from next month in the long-running dispute over the role of conductors.The Rail, Maritime and Transport union announced an escalation of industrial action that will bring fresh travel chaos for hundreds of thousands of passengers.The strikes will start on Tuesday, October 11 and will be held intermittently until Thursday, December 8.The union has held a series of walkouts in recent months in protest against changes to the role of conductors at Southern, which is owned by Govia Thameslink Railway. The RMT pointed out it has just reached a deal with ScotRail, being recommended for acceptance, that guarantees a conductor/guard on every new train.Mr Cash said: “This agreement protects passengers and guarantees a second safety-trained member of staff on board a train, who can assist if there is an incident such as we recently saw near Watford. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Guards are said to have played a 'vital role in protecting passengers' when the London Midland service came off the track last Friday Guards are said to have played a ‘vital role in protecting passengers’ when the London Midland service came off the track last FridayCredit:Network Rail/PAcenter_img RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Yet again our members are being forced to take industrial action in a bid to maintain a safe and secure service on Southern.”Govia Thameslink and the Government have made it clear that they have no interest in resolving this dispute. Instead they have begun the process of bulldozing through the drive towards wholesale driver-only operation (DOO) without agreement and without any concern for the impact on safety, security and disability access. “Last week there was a train derailment near Watford that involved two trains. The guards on both trains played a vital role in protecting the passengers and the trains in what were extremely frightening circumstances.”If the train had been DOO and without a guard, the consequences would have been far worse.” “If an agreement can be reached on ScotRail, then an agreement can also be made on Southern.”In the light of these recent developments, it is disgraceful that neither the company or the Government are prepared to engage and are continuing to attempt to impose DOO in the interests of putting profit before safety.”We call on them to get round the negotiating table as an urgent priority.”last_img read more

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Man jailed for cutting off drugged pet dogs ears with pliers

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Warning: Contains graphic images A Wrexham man has been jailed after cutting off his pet dog’s ears with pliers in a ‘heartbreaking’ case that shocked RSPCA officials.Christopher Griffiths was found guilty of animal welfare offences following a trial at Wrexham Magistrates’ Court.Victor, a tan male Staffordshire bull terrier type dog, was found to have cocaine in his system when vets treated his horrific injuries. His 34-year-old owner was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering and carrying out a prohibited procedure to his dog following the September 2015 incident.He was handed a 24 week prison sentence, was disqualified from keeping dogs for 10 years and was given a 12 month probation order.Mr Griffiths denied the charges and said he had been the victim of an assault. He claimed his alleged attacker cut the dog’s ear off when he was unconscious.center_img RSPCA inspector Kia Thomas said: “When I first saw Victor I was just so shocked as his ears were gaping open wounds. I had never seen anything quite like it before.“It must have been so painful for him. It was just so heartbreaking. It is awful to imagine what poor Victor went through. It was totally unnecessary.”Inspector Thomas added: “Since Victor has been in our care he has been doing so well. He is an adorable dog with a lot of love to give. He loves nothing more than to be in your company and loves a cwtch [cuddle] on the sofa.” RSPCA Cymru said: “We are delighted to say he recovered and is now looking for a home.”Meanwhile, a teenage gang were banned from keeping animals after they set a dog on fire, broke his neck and fed him drugs.last_img read more

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Pippa Middleton chooses £2720 Erdem gown for society wedding in Stockholm

first_imgPippa and James Matthews put their honeymoon on hold to attend the wedding of Jons Bartholdson and Anna Ridderstad in Stockholm. Pippa wore a £2720 bohemian ‘Kenzie’ gown from London based designer Erdem for the occasion. Mr Bartholdson is a long time friend of Pippa, 33, and in 2015 they completed a 50 mile endurance race together to celebrate her 32nd birthday to raising funds for the Michael Matthews Foundation.It was founded following the death of her husband’s brother, then 22, in a mountaineering accident on Mount Everest in 1999 and builds schools in poverty-stricken locations around the world.The charity is run by members of the Matthews family, including husband James and Made in Chelsea’s Spencer Matthews. Pippa and James Matthews arrive at Rose Bay Wharf by sea plane in Sydney  Pippa and James Matthews attend the wedding of Jons Bartholdson and Anna Ridderstad Pippa chose Erdem for the wedding Credit: Rex Features Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. According to the Swedish press 190 guests were at Villa Pauli, arriving by boat to ensure as much privacy as possible from photographers. The Kenzie Covertine Rose gown from Erdem  Pippa and Jons were teammates for the ÖTILLÖ, one of the toughest ‘swimrun’ events on the planet, which involves running and swimming a 50-mile route across 26 of the Stockholm archipelago’s 1000 islands.’We are just here to enjoy the wedding,’ James told Swedish daily Expressen. center_img Pippa and James Matthews attend the wedding of Jons Bartholdson and Anna RidderstadCredit:Rex Features The Kenzie Covertine Rose gown from Erdem Credit:Erdem  Sweden is the final stop on Pippa and James’ honeymoon after they wed in Berkshire in May.The newlyweds began their trip in French Polynesia and were later spotted soaking up the atmosphere in Sydney, after flying in from Tahiti via New Zealand.On touching down in Perth last weekend, Pippa told reporters she was having a ‘wonderful time’ so far.   Pippa chose Erdem for the wedding  On Saturday Jons married Anna Ridderstad, 37, at a lavish wedding in Stockholm’s Oscar Church. Guests were then ushered to a nearby steamboat, which took them to nearby Villa Pauli to continue celebrations.The wedding included several prominent members of Swedish high society, including H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson.Emma Pernald, the former girlfriend of Swedish Prince Carl Philips, was also present. Pippa and James Matthews arrive at Rose Bay Wharf by sea plane in Sydney Credit:SAEED KHAN AFPlast_img read more

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Woman feared dead in the Grenfell Tower fire turns up alive in

first_imgMs Ahmed’s mother, who asked not to be named, said: “In her last call to us she said, ‘I can’t come down any more. I can’t get down. I’m in God’s hands now. Pray for me. Goodbye.’ We all cried.”“He [the firefighter] is a hero. He saved her life, it’s that simple. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have got out.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A firefighter views tributes after observing a minute’s silence at Latymer Community Centre, near to Grenfell TowerCredit:Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire But it emerged yesterday the cleaner was found unconscious on the 18th floor by a fire crew who got her to safety outside.Ms Ahmed has been in hospital since the fire eight days ago surrounded by her family, who had no idea of the appeals being made for her. A woman feared dead in the Grenfell Tower disaster after she made a heartbreaking call to her mother to say goodbye has turned up alive in hospital.Fadumo Ahmed’s picture was on posters put up on the streets around the site of the blaze as friends desperately searched for information but heard nothing.Ms Ahmed, 32, lived on the 19th floor of the block and shared a heartbreaking call as the fire closed in, telling her mother: “I can’t get out. Goodbye.” A firefighter views tributes after observing a minute's silence at Latymer Community Centre, near to Grenfell Towercenter_img People pass posters showing images of missing people, in Kensington, west London “We are just so happy she is okay. When we saw how bad the fire was and knew she was inside, it was terrible. We didn’t think anyone else could get out of there alive.” Ms Ahmed is now recovering from the effects of smoke inhalation. People pass posters showing images of missing people, in Kensington, west LondonCredit:PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Imageslast_img read more

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Newsnights Kirsty Wark criticises BBCs gender pay gap saying somethings got to

first_img“How on earth does that happen? She has been on that programme for more than 12 years and somehow she’s not on the list, isn’t that a mistake?” BBC presenter John Humphreys  BBC Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark has joined criticism of the BBC’s gender pay gap as it emerged women accounted for just a third of the corporation’s biggest earners.Following the publication of a list of 96 BBC stars who earn more than £150,000, the Government has threatened to expose more top earners unless the broadcaster “gets its house in order”.Discussing the issue on Wednesday night’s programme, she upbraided James Purnell,  the corporation’s director of radio and education, over the gender disparity.Mr Purnell said it was the broadcaster’s wish to remove the gender pay gap, telling Newsnight “we need to change the mix of people” adding, “obviously we need to look at pay”.Challenging him on how pay equality would be achieved, Wark said: “Will you be expecting more male on-air talent to take a pay cut?… something’s got to give.”Are you going to say to Gary Lineker you’re earning, what is it, £2.6million can you just give £600,000 up so we can bring new female talent on in sport?”Mr Purnell replied “we’ve been doing that already” but went on to suggest that the lowest paid person on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme is a man. But Wark interrupted him to say, “that’s not actually quite right, but seeing as you mentioned the Today programme Sarah Montague is a senior presenter on the Today Programme. She’s not been there as long as John Humphrys… [but] she does over 100 programmes a year, she’s not even on the list.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img Mr Purnell agreed that Ms Montague was a “brilliant broadcaster” but said he could not go into “individual details”. He added that it was hard to compare the salaries of those on the list as there were a number of factors, such as experience to consider. However he added that Ms Montague’s colleague Mr Humphrys was “the outstanding interviewer of his generation”, saying “he’s got a unique value to the BBC and that is something we recognise”.An unimpressed Ms Wark replied: “You recognise it when he doesn’t even need it recognised. It’s extraordinary.”He’s said that actually he didn’t even look for pay rises, but he kept getting them and he’s also said that he doesn’t want to go anywhere else so actually that’s not about the market, you just want to give John Humphrys lots of money”. BBC presenter John Humphreys Credit:REUTERS last_img read more

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Mexican cartel responsible for decapitations and torture planning to flood Britain with

first_imgJoaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman  The National Crime Agency has warned the unnamed Romanian gang is able to bring large quantities of cocaine to the UK on a weekly basis using HGV goods vehicles.It is thought places such as Liverpool’s docks and ports in Dover, Folkestone and Harwich are key entry points for smuggling in a large amount of cocaine through huge shipping containers. The group’s leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has boldly escaped from maximum security prisons twice in Mexico and is currently awaiting trial in New York. While links between Central American cartels and British crime syndicates are nothing new, the Sinaloa’s brutal methods has caused concern over its influence on the increasingly violent British drugs trade.  View of cartridgeds and weapons from the gangsters and drug-traffickers at the Military Headquarter in Mexico City Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. View of cartridges and weapons from the gangsters and drug-traffickers at the Military Headquarter in Mexico CityCredit:AFP It is feared children are being used as mules to deliver drugs to rural areas from major cities.A spokeswoman for the NCA said: “There were a limited number of historic serious organised crime (SOCA) operations which had links between Liverpool based organised crime groups (OCG) and Mexican cocaine suppliers.“These drugs were transported via courier to varying European airports such as Frankfurt and Brussels before transiting on to the UK. A number of these couriers were intercepted at European airports with 4-5 kgs of cocaine in their possession. A 2014 MPS operation involved the rip on of cocaine at Mexico City airport and the rip off at London Heathrow.“NCA in collaboration with International partners identified a Romanian OCG with the capability to import large amounts of cocaine into the UK on a weekly basis using HGV transport. Intelligence indicates that the Romanian OCG are still being supplied by a Mexican OCG linked to the Sinaloa Cartel.”center_img Members of the navy stand behind what is believed to be around 80 million euro (£62.5 million) worth of cocaine  Members of the navy stand behind what is believed to be around 80 million euro (£62.5 million) worth of cocaine after one drugs haul Credit:PA A brutal Mexican drug cartel responsible for decapitations and torture is planning to flood Britain’s drug market with huge quantities of cocaine.The Sinaloa cartel has reportedly made a pact with a Romanian crime gang who have control over goods lorries, allowing the cartel to operate in Britain on a large scale, the Times has revealed. The alliance with the infamous drug lords, often described as the largest and most powerful cartel in the western hemisphere, will increase fears over the level of security at the UK’s borders. It is estimated as much as 100 tonnes of cocaine is shipped to the country each year, but the majority is intercepted by law enforcement agencies. The NCA believes the Sinaloa cartel has been drawn to the UK because of its lucrative market, where customers are prepared to pay large sums for cocaine.  Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Credit:CEFERESO last_img read more

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Max Clifford in critical care unit after collapsing with cardiac arrest in

first_imgMax Clifford’s family have claimed he was denied medical treatment after the disgraced PR guru died having collapsed in his prison cell.The 74 year-old was said to be “in a bad way” after falling twice at the Cambridgeshire jail where he was serving an eight-year sentence for historical sex offences.The Ministry of Justice confirmed that Clifford, who had been ill since suffering a heart attack in August, died in hospital on Sunday after a cardiac arrest.Clifford’s daughter Louise, who appeared in court as a witness for her father’s defence, has alleged that she had been fighting for medical treatment alongside her father’s legal team and doctor, but without success.The 46 year-old said: “It is with great sadness that I must announce that my father Max Clifford passed away. “He had been ill for some time with heart problems and myself, his doctor and our legal team had fought for his diagnosis and treatment but to no avail.“He was hugely loved by the many people in his life for the compassionate, kind and funny man that he was.”Clifford’s daughter added that she and her legal team, led by Sarah Forshaw QC, will “continue to pursue his appeal hearing and get him the justice he was denied in life”. The PR guru, who used his celebrity connections to lure women, was found guilty of a string of indecent assaults – with the sex attacks carried out between 1977 and 1984. On the basis of alleged fresh evidence, Clifford had been due to appeal against all of his convictions early next year. It is not known if the case will be allowed to continue after his death.Before his death on Sunday morning, the former celebrity publicist was said to be “in a bad way” after collapsing twice at Littlehey Prison.His daughter told the Mail on Sunday that Clifford first collapsed in his cell on Thursday when he was trying to clean it.A spokeswoman for Ms Clifford confirmed to the Telegraph that her father cleaned his cell out of choice as he was “conscientious and particular.”Ms Clifford said he collapsed again the next day and was unconscious for several minutes. After seeing a nurse, he was transferred to a local hospital where he suffered a cardiac arrest on Friday, she said.Clifford was jailed for eight years in May 2014 after being convicted of a number of charges under Operation Yewtree, the Met Police investigation set up after the Jimmy Savile scandal.He was the first person to be convicted as part of the national investigation. During his sentencing, he branded his accusers as “fantasists” and was seen laughing and shaking his head in the dock. He had been ill for some time with heart problems and myself, his doctor and our legal team had fought for his diagnosis and treatment but to no availLouise Clifford In 2016, he was cleared of indecently assaulting a teenage girl, after being accused of using his power to humiliate the 17-year-old into performing a sex act on him in the 1980s.The former PR mogul crafted a reputation for garnering maximum exposure for the fame-hungry wannabes in his charge.His previous clients included Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra and Chelsea Football Club.A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: “As with all deaths in custody, there will be an investigation by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman. “Our condolences are with Mr Clifford’s family at this difficult time.”When asked about the claim that Mr Clifford was denied medical treatment, a Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: “All prisoners receive the same level of treatment as anybody would.”NHS England said it was unable to comment on specific cases. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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Health chiefs vow to step up war on salt as targets to

“While we have seen some progress, those that have taken little or no action cannot be excused for their inactivity. It is clear that, with the right leadership from industry, further salt reduction in foods continues to be possible.”The health body is calling for mandatory labels on foods so that they display their salt content.Health officials recommend that adults should eat no more than 6 grams of salt a day. Overall, manufacturers met just 37 per cent of their average targets, the figures show, with better progress by retailers, who achieved 73 per cent of the goals they were set.Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: “Too much salt can lead to increased blood pressure which can cause heart disease and stroke – two of the biggest killers of adults in the UK – which is why government has set such stretching targets. It follows warnings from health campaigners that a sausage sandwich could contain nearly two thirds of an adult’s recommended salt intake.Kate Halliwell, Head of UK Diet and Health Policy at the Food and Drink Federation, said:  “This report shows the good progress manufacturers have made under the ambitious salt reduction programme, with almost three quarters of foods falling below the maximum salt targets.“FDF members have led the way in reducing salt in food. Voluntary action helped to reduce adult intakes by 11 per cent between 2005/6 and 2014. And during the lifetime of the latest salt targets – 2012 to 2017 – our members have reduced salt by a further 11.4 per cent, continuing to build on more than 15 years of steady reformulation work. This has been done without compromising on taste, quality or safety.” But the average person consumes around 8 grams a day – a slight fall from 8.5 grams in 2011.Breakfast cereals, fat spreads, baked beans, pizza and pasta were among foods which hit the average targets.Public Health Minister Steve Brine said: “While it is encouraging to see the food industry is making progress towards the salt reduction targets we set in 2014, we know there is more to do.“That’s why we committed to further reducing salt intake in our prevention vision. Next year we will put forward realistic but ambitious goals and set out details of how we will meet them.”The PHE report provides the first detailed analysis of the salt content of foods for which reduction targets have been set.The foods covered by the targets are the main contributors to dietary salt intakes in adults in the UK and provide around 54 per cent of salt in the diet. Health chiefs have demanded “no more excuses” after new figures showed just half of targets to cut salt intake in common foods have been met.A report by Public Health England (PHE) reveals zero progress reducing average salt content in some foods – including bacon and ham – since pledges were made four years ago.Ministers have repeatedly vowed to wage war on salt, which increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.The new analysis found that just 52 per cent of the average sodium level targets were met for products consumed in the home, PHE said.Meat products were the saltiest culprits, with no average targets met and 43 per cent of products above recommended maximum limits.No progress at all was made reducing the average salt content of ham and bacon, the figures show, with targets missed for sausages, ready meals, rice and soups. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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Jeremy Clarkson says he will be nicer to new contestants on Who

Jeremy Clarkson insists he is more polite to contestants in the new series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? but claimed his first stint as host featured “some very stupid contestants who didn’t warrant any niceness”.The presenter will reprise hosting duties for a new series beginning on January 1 after the game show was revived for a string of special episodes earlier this year.Clarkson took over the role previously filled by Chris Tarrant for seven episodes broadcast in May to mark the 20th anniversary of the show, which was presented by Tarrant from 1998 to 2014.Discussing what will be different in the new series, Clarkson said: “I’m told I’ve been nicer to the contestants, but last year there were some very stupid contestants who didn’t warrant any niceness.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––”This time they’ve been – by and large, with one or two exceptions – sparky and on-it and bright and deserving of a place in the chair.”The previous series saw the introduction of the new lifeline Ask The Host, and Clarkson admits he was “almost entirely useless” at helping contestants. Producer Fiona Clark said new measures had been put in place to thwart potential cheats.”With the advance of Google, smartphones and tablets, the management and security around lifeline ‘Phone-A-Friend’ needed to grow,” she wrote in Broadcast magazine.”A small team was put in place to oversee and deploy fully-briefed security officers to each person’s home to ensure fair play.”The extra security had “added a new financial and logistical aspect to the budget” in the new series, she said.- Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? returns on January 1 at 9pm and continues nightly until January 6. Clarkson (centre) with Richard Hammond, and James May Clarkson (centre) with Richard Hammond, and James MayCredit:Matt Jelonek/WireImage “It’s so annoying, because sometimes, you’ll get to the £125,000 question and you go, I know this. But they’ve already asked you and used the lifeline on something like the Kardashians that you don’t know.”He continued: “The only way that you can prepare for this show is to learn the Internet, and nobody can do that.”Clarkson said his ideal question would be about Genesis albums or birds, adding: “It’s one of those little things that not a lot of people know, I know not very much but I know a little bit about birds.”I know a ptarmigan from an osprey, a yellowhammer from a reed warbler. I know how to tell a cold tit from a blue tit, which most people don’t know. But now I’ve said that, people will ask me bird questions and I won’t know the answer.”Clarkson said his Grand Tour co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond have offered him some practical advice for the second series.He said: “They have actually (offered advice): ‘Get a f—ing hearing aid. And glasses. Get a hearing aid and some glasses, you old idiot.”‘It emerged yesterday that the show is dispatching security guards to the homes of contestants’ friends to stamp out cheating in the ‘Phone a Friend’ segments and avoid the possibility of smartphones and Google being used to help contestants. He added: “To a certain extent, I’ve continued that tradition this time out.”Occasionally I accidentally knew something, but not as often as I would have liked. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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RAF Nato row after totally unacceptable engine problems keep £26bn fleet on

A row erupted at a recent Nato conference over the RAF’s new £2.6billion transporter planes as it has emerged engine problems mean just two of 20-strong fleet are able to fly at any one time.The delay in bringing into service the new A400M plane for the RAF and other partner nations led to a major disagreement between Airbus, the aircraft manufacturer, and Nato Ministers. Stuart Andrew, the MoD’s Minister for Procurement, said that after an “extremely robust meeting” the problems with the A400M aircraft should be fixed by next year.  Concerns have been raised over the new aircraft since its inception in 2003. A recent Defence Select Committee was told that engineering staff at RAF Brize Norton called the aircraft “a dog” and that on occasion only two out of the fleet of 20 aircraft were serviceable.In 2015 one A400M aircraft crashed in Spain during a test flight, killing four crew members. A software fault, since rectified, was found to be the cause of the crash.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The latest serviceability figures for the RAF’s A400M, from February this year, showed that 12 of the 20 were in the ‘Forward Fleet’, which comprises serviceable aircraft and those temporarily unavailable due to minor works or other technical inspections that can arise on a day-to-day basis.The number of aircraft available varies day-to-day according to normal flight management activities and general serviceability.Although assembled in Seville, Spain, the A400M is an international project with parts built across Europe. The carbon-composite wings – the biggest ever on a military aircraft – were designed and built in Filton, near Bristol, and numerous other subsystems including the software which controls the aircraft came from Britain.A total of 174 of the aircraft have been ordered so far, sustaining 8,000 UK jobs.  An A400M in service with the German Luftwaffe showing the eight-blade variable pitch fully feathering propellers on the aircraft. An A400M in service with the German Luftwaffe showing the eight-blade variable pitch fullyfeathering propellers on the aircraft.Credit:Steve Thorne/Getty Images Europe A crew member looks out the window of a RAF Airbus A400M as it arrives at RAF Fairford. July 7, 2016. A crew member looks out the window of a RAF Airbus A400M as it arrives at RAF Fairford. July 7, 2016.Credit:Matt Cardy/Getty Images Europe The RAF version of the A400M – called Atlas – is due to replace the current fleet of C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft. With a capacity of 35 tonnes and a 2,000 nautical mile range it is far more capable and versatile than the ageing Hercules. As it is fitted with propellers rather than jet engines it can operate from dirt strips and unprepared runways and can fly up to 400 knots. Although the larger C-17 Globemaster can carry around 70 tonnes of supplies, it has to fly from established air bases, limiting its utility in disaster relief or covert operations.Britain has bought 22 aircraft, with 20 delivered so far, at a cost of £2.6 billion. The planned in-service date of 2009 slipped more than six years. Germany has bought 53 aircraft, with 30 delivered so far. The Telegraph understands the Luftwaffe sought to pull out of the programme and not take the remaining 23, but was convinced by Britain to stay in. Large crowds in front of an Airbus A400M during the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on July 12, 2014.Credit:Tim Ireland/Getty Images Europe In Parliament this week Mark Francois, a former Defence Minister, said: “We have paid £2.6 billion for an aircraft with appalling reliability, bad engines, a virtually broken gearbox, problem propellers, massive vibration problems and an inability to deliver paratroops.”The former Minister of Defence asked what could be done about the “emerging procurement disaster”.Mr Andrew replied: “The performance has been totally unacceptable.  We are now expecting EuroProp International, the engine manufacturer, to be more empowered to negotiate the support solutions that we need. “Airbus Defence and Space has also been held to account, but, following the problems with the engines and gear boxes, those parts will be replaced on each of the aircraft by the middle of next year.The MoD confirmed that there will be no additional cost to the taxpayer and that all reliability improvements will be funded by industry. Large crowds in front of an Airbus A400M during the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on July 12, 2014. read more

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Domestic violence murders at fiveyear high amid warning of hidden victims of

The number of domestic violence killings has hit a five-year high, new figures show.Data obtained by the BBC from 43 police forces across the UK reveal that 173 people died in domestic violence-related homicides last year.The statistics, reported on Friday, show there were 165 domestic killings in 2014, 160 in 2015, 139 in 2016 and 141 in 2017.One criminologist, who anonymously talked to the BBC, described those killed as “invisible victims of knife crime”.The new data emerged after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to reintroduce domestic abuse legislation in the next Queen’s Speech.Mr Johnson tweeted on Thursday: “Domestic abuse shatters lives and tears families apart.”We are fully committed to tackling this horrific crime – which is why the Queen’s Speech will confirm we will be reintroducing domestic abuse legislation in the next session.”Sir James Munby, former president of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales, has called for the Domestic Abuse Bill to be brought back before Parliament.He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday: “This is a vitally important Bill, tackling what everyone agrees is a very great social evil.”It is immensely depressing nothing effective has been done to get this necessary reform through Parliament.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Sir James added: “The Bill must be reintroduced in Parliament as soon as the next session starts.”It must then be pursued to the earliest possible conclusion of the parliamentary process with determination, vigour and a real sense of urgent commitment on the part of Government.”What the Prime Minister does or not will be a vital litmus test of his real commitment to safeguarding those in our society who are vulnerable, disadvantaged and oppressed.”The Domestic Abuse Bill was introduced in Parliament in July.The proposals would give better protection to those fleeing violence by placing a new legal duty on councils to provide secure homes for them and their children.It would also introduce the first legal Government definition of domestic abuse, which would include economic abuse and controlling and manipulative non-physical behaviour.A row erupted earlier this month over former prime minister Theresa May’s decision to honour her favourite cricketer, Sir Geoffrey Boycott, who was was convicted in France in 1998 of beating up his then girlfriend in a Riviera hotel.While campaigners said it was sending a “dangerous message” that “domestic abuse is not taken seriously as a crime”, Sir Geoffrey said he “couldn’t give a toss” about criticism of his knighthood. read more

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Six billion computer records hacked so far this year

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related’One billion’ affected by Yahoo hackDecember 15, 2016In “latest news”Guyana, among other countries at risk from computers donated by ChinaNovember 4, 2013In “Local News”FIRED SATTAUR FIRES BACK: ‘I was asked to settle tax cases that would have cost country billions in lost revenue, promote unqualified persons, and rehire persons previously dismissed for corrupt practices…’January 22, 2016In “latest news” (AFP) A surge in computer hacking has led to the breach of more than six billion records so far this year, topping the total for 2016, security researchers said Tuesday.Virginia-based Risk Based Security said in its mid-year report that it identified 2,227 publicly disclosed data compromise events through June 30 affecting business, government, medical and educational data.“It is stunning to see the steady increase in the number of breaches impacting one million or more records,” said Inga Goddijn, Executive Vice President for Risk Based Security.The report said hackers are increasingly targeting employment and tax records. Some attacks successfully used “phishing” or spoofing or emails to obtain tax information from US citizens.Other targets included human resources departments, employment agencies and aggregators of employment data.“While news of politically motivated foreign interference in election systems continues to dominate the headlines, the breach activity we are tracking this year is a stark reminder of just how many data compromise incidents are motivated by financial gain,” Goddijn said“As long as information can be quickly monetised and systems remain vulnerable to attack, we should not expect to see any slowdown in breach activity.” read more

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Bus driver nabbed with ganja cocaine at Mabura

…24.9 kilograms cannabis, 200 grams cocaine found in vehicle transporting passengers to LethemA bus driver of Tabatinga, Lethem is now in custody of the Police after he was, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, found with a large quantity of cannabis and cocaine in his possession.The 55-year-old man was said to be transporting passengers to Lethem at the time of the discovery. He was attempting to pass through a checkpoint at the Mabura Police Station, Linden at around 04:00hrs.The 24.9 kilograms of cannabis and 200 grams of cocaine that were unearthedThis publication understands that the vehicle was thoroughly searched by ranks, acting on a tipoff, and the 24.9 kilograms of cannabis and 200 grams of cocaine were unearthed.The minibus that was stopped and searched at a Police checkpoint at Mabura Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedLethem bus driver remanded for trafficking cocaine, cannabisOctober 3, 2017In “Court”Man wrapped in over 1000 grams of ganja heading to Mahdia bustedApril 27, 2018In “Crime”Kwakwani resident arrested with 1654 grams cannabisDecember 3, 2017In “Crime” As such, the man was questioned about the discovery and later taken into Police custody, where investigations are still being conducted.He is being processed for Court.The suspect in custody read more

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Australia and India play down Kohli v Paine banter

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 17: Virat Kohli of India speaks with Tim Paine of Australia during day four of the second match in the Test series between Australia and India at Perth Stadium on December 17, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)Neither camp believes any line of personal decency was crossed during on-field exchanges between Tim Paine and Virat Kohli during the Perth Test between Australia and India.The series had been incident-free on the first seven days, but on the eighth the two captains exchanged a few verbals, which carried on into the ninth day, and paused momentarily with a cheeky Josh Hazlewood saying Kohli was not the most prized wicket for Australia.It all possibly started in Perth on the third day with Kohli telling Paine he was staring at a 2-0 deficit if he messed up with the bat. Paine responded with telling Kohli he had to bat last on this pitch. The needle continued into the fourth morning where the umpires had to intervene. There nearly was physical contact when Kohli and Paine’s paths crossed as they looked to field the ball and take a single respectively.Two subplots to these confrontations arguably made it bigger than it might have been. Australia find themselves under intense scrutiny for their behaviour after the events in Cape Town and the culture review. The confrontation, coming as it did when India started to feel they were falling behind for the first time in the series, could possibly be seen as a cynical attempt to push the Australian buttons.Australia’s concentration on Kohli – not just the players, but the media, the former players, the broadcasters – has at times been excessive with each move of his being scrutinised. Even after getting Kohli out, Paine used his name for banter with M Vijay, basically asking him how he could possibly like Kohli despite his being the captain.At the press conferences at the end of day four, both sides strove to downplay the incidents as “part of the game”, “bit of fun”, and something that shouldn’t be read too much into. “I think it was all good fun,” Australia fast bowler Hazlewood said. “It’s quite competitive out there as you know, and there’s going to be words from time to time, but it was all in good spirits I think.”Shami was of a similar view. He was asked if he found any inconsistencies with how Australia had promised they would behave and how they have actually gone.“See it is a long match, and there might be some moment where you say something and you get a reply in that moment,” Shami said. “So maybe in that moment, things get heated up but it is not something to be made a big issue out of. According to me, we should leave this here. It is part of the game, and it is a way to enjoy things in the Test match. Sometimes we say things, they get upset and make mistakes. These are the moments, but nothing personal.”When asked if the Australians started it, Shami refused to commit either way. “If there is no sledging, you won’t enjoy the game, the public won’t enjoy the game. If there is aggression, the match becomes more interesting. It is part of the game. As it should be.”Hazlewood was asked if Australia felt frustrated and if they felt the opposition was trying to capitalise on the scrutiny they were under.“No, I don’t think so,” he said. “I think at stages in a game it is going to get heated from time to time. I think we are pretty confident that we can hold that line that we have talked about as a group. It’s more in the heat of the moment, definitely not a ploy to attack any batsman at any stage. It has been really good so far. Just good banter.“I don’t think we read too much into it, we go about our work as we see fit and the Indians can do what they like. We control what we control, and our behaviour is what we control. We’ll worry about that, and let everything else take care of itself.”In a way, Kohli is under similar scrutiny with all the cameras trained at him, scanning every move, be it celebration, reaction to crowd or banter with the opposition. Shami said they didn’t feel concerned about that, but Hazlewood might have made the cheekiest comment yet about the entire thing.Asked if Australia were risking focusing too much on Kohli alone, Hazlewood left with this reply: “I probably see [Cheteshwar] Pujara as the big wicket as far as when I’m bowling,” Hazlewood said. “The glue that holds them together I think. He has batted the most balls this series, and scored nearly the most runs. I see him as a big wicket and [Ajinkya] Rahane as well. So the Nos 3, 4, 5 as the key wickets, and we see it a bit unstable in the other parts of the order. Certainly not all the focus is on Virat.” (ESPNCricinfo) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedVirat Kohli in doubt for start of IPLMarch 28, 2017In “latest news”Ponting slams Kohli boos as ‘disgraceful’January 4, 2019In “latest news”Time right for Dhoni to hand over to Kohli – ShastriMay 31, 2016In “Sports” read more

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Hambro companies buy more Russian skills

first_imgAricom, the Anglo-Russian developer of mineral resources, has agreed to acquire a 68.49% holding in OJSC Giproruda for a cash consideration of some $8 million, conditional on Russian Anti-Monopoly approval. Based in St Petersburg, and employing 148 people, Giproruda is one of Russia’s most respected mining design institutes specialising in the analysis and design of mining projects. Giproruda has unique experience in the design of pits and mines in extreme mining, geological and climatic conditions. Other areas of expertise include the development of efficient mining technologies, project repair base layout, design and transportation services, the repair of technical equipment, storage facilities and the design of administrative and domestic facilities.Peter Hambro’s mining companies, of which Aricom is one, appear to be forward looking in an approach to the skills shortage that involves locking in the expertise of companies like Giproruda. Late last year, Peter Hambro Mining (PHM) acquired an 80% equity holding in the Irkutskiy Institute for Scientific Research of Precious and Rare Metals and Diamonds (Irgiredmet), one of the best known Russian laboratory research and scientific consulting companies. The Irgiredmet laboratories provide a range of services in the testing, developing and optimizing of gold, precious metals and diamond projects. At that time, PHM intended to extend the offer to the holders of the remaining 20% of Irgiredmet’s equity on the same terms, implying a total acquisition value of $50million. It was eexpected that the acquisition of the remaining 20% would be completed in early 2007.These acquistions are also focussed on the needs of the Hambro companies. Iron ore is a key area of specialisation for Giproruda. This will be of specific benefit in the analysis and design of a number of Aricom’s future and existing development projects. Giproruda will continue its work programme for other customers but will be given an opportunity to focus attention on Aricom’s portfolio of projects.Giproruda believes it currently has about a market share of the project design services market in the Russian mining sphere. As well as development plans to grow its operations within the CIS, Giproruda is advancing its international programme with contracts signed on a number of projects as well as an application for ISO 9000 status. Jay Hambro, Chief Executive of Aricom, commented: “Aricom’s project portfolio now contains a sizeable amount of reserves and resources which are all located within 500 miles [800 km] from the Russian-Chinese border. We are an existing client of Giproruda and their position, as a leader in Russian mine design and development, will significantly enhance the Group’s ability to exploit the massive potential inherent in our assets. With Kuranakh nearing production, Aricom’s next task is to bring on stream two very large iron ore projects – with Giproruda’s wealth of experience in iron ore, I believe there will be significant benefits in them becoming part of our Group.”Aricom plc is a leading developer of Russian metal and mining assets, focusing on iron ore and ilmenite production and delivery. The Company was established in September 2003 to develop projects, situated in the northwest of the Amur Region, in Russia’s Far East. These projects are set to service the Chinese and Russian commodity market. Aricom currently operates three projects in the Amur region and the adjoining Jewish Autonomous Region, which will be the subject of International Mining’s September issue Operations Focus. Aricom’’s Kuranakh, K&S and Bolshoi Seym projects have combined estimated reserves and resources of over 1,000 Mt of iron ore and ilmenite ore. The location of the deposits offer a significant logistical advantage being close to the Trans-Siberian-Express and the Baikal-Amur Magistral railways. In 2005, 700 Mt of iron ore were shipped globally, of that 300 Mt (43%) was shipped to China. In June 2006, Aricom announced a Memorandum of Understanding with China’s largest nonferrous metal company Aluminium Corp China (Chinalco), to co-operate in the design and development of a titanium sponge production plant in China. Giproruda Institute is the oldest leading design institute in Russia, working in the complex mining enterprise design sphere dealing with open-pit and underground excavation. Giproruda has built and reconstructed around 200 enterprises in Russia, Kazakhstan and Transcaucasia. The institute has designed enterprises, which now work in China, India, Iran, Egypt, Bulgaria, the Balkans and other countries. For the calendar year ended 31 December 2006, Giproruda had revenue of $6.8 million, operating profit of $1.4 million, profit after tax of $1.5 million and net assets of $3.3 million – all of these figures are as yet unaudited.last_img read more

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