Ashley Wagner’s trip to the 2014 U.S. Figure Skating Championships was, in her words, “embarrassing” and “horrifying.” Her 2015 victory “tastes the sweetest.”Wagner didn’t just win her third U.S. title in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Saturday night — she demolished the American women’s record for free-skate and total scores. She notched a 148.98 and 221.02, respectively; the previous record had been set only a year ago by Gracie Gold (if there were ever a name made for an Olympian, that’s it). Gold shined in 2014, racking up a 139.57 and 211.69. (Athletes skate twice in competition; a technical program composes a third of the total score, the free skate two-thirds. For the casual fan, the judging system can indeed seem complicated.)Wagner also became the oldest skater to take home the women’s title since Michelle Kwan in 2005 and the first woman since Kwan to win three U.S. championships. It’s unrealistic that Wagner, at age 23, will match Kwan’s nine titles, but Saturday’s record-busting effort was especially satisfying for the outspoken skater, who thinks she has a lot to prove.“I’ve had so many critics over the past couple of months,” Wagner told NBC’s Andrea Joyce after the competition. “I’ve had so many people who said I’m too old for this, I am burnt out.”Wagner is perhaps best known for inconsistency. She fell twice during her messy free skate at last year’s nationals but still made the U.S. Olympic team over a higher-scoring competitor, Mirai Nagasu. Many were quick to deride that controversial decision, although U.S. Figure Skating stood by its choice, citing Wagner’s international experience. She finished seventh in Sochi.So, how did Wagner get to tip-top of the heap in 2015? Sure, keeping her backside off the ice helped, but she also upped her difficulty level and refined her performance. In the chart below, I’ve plotted several elements of Wagner’s 2014 and 2015 free skates. Because a program’s components differ from year to year, this isn’t a perfect measure; I did not include some elements, and others I matched the best I could. For example, in 2014 Wagner’s triple-triple combination (traditionally the most difficult part of a women’s program) was an under-rotated triple flip-triple toe loop, and in 2015 it was the trickier triple Lutz-triple toe loop. In 2014, she performed a triple Salchow; in 2015, a triple flip.Almost across the board, Wagner scored much, much higher. Last year, Mao Asada of Japan won her world title with a total score of 216.69. If Wagner can repeat Saturday’s performance in March — and some might argue that’s a big if — she could easily win her first world championship medal. In gold.
On his website Monday, Tiger Woods wrote that his recovery from back surgery on March 31 is a “slow process” and that he is uncertain when he will compete in another PGA Tour event.“I made the decision to have surgery because physically I just couldn’t make a golf swing,” Woods wrote. “That pretty much sums it up.“I’m doing everything I can and listening to my doctors and working on a strength program, and then we just have to see how my back is. Some people heal up in three months, some people take longer. I just don’t know.“I haven’t used a sand wedge yet. I’ve just done putting and chip-and-runs using the same length of motion. I haven’t really rotated yet. As far as taking a full swing, I have conference calls with my doctors every couple of weeks to see how my progress is and just kind of chart it out from there. Basically, you just follow a program. It’s tedious because it’s little rehab stuff, but you still have to do it.“That’s where I think the experiences of having gone through the surgeries in the past have really helped because you have to lay the foundation down first before you can do the more arduous activities and then return to form. I’m walking and able to cycle now and started swimming last week.”Back pain at the Honda Classic in March forced Woods to withdraw during the final round. He rehabbed the back and tried to play the following week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and shot a final-round 78 to finish 25th. Two weeks later, he pulled out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and then withdrew from the Masters.“I’ve missed major championships before, so this was not a new experience,” he wrote. “It helps when I’m physically unable to play the game. That’s when it’s easy for me, and I don’t have a problem watching. It’s when I’m playing and closer to getting back out there is when I start getting real antsy about watching events: ‘Can I play, can I not play?’ But when I’m physically unable to play, like in 2008 after my knee surgery, it makes things so much easier.“Once I begin swinging a club again, I’m not sure if I will have to make any changes to protect my back,” Woods said. “That’s up to [coach] Sean Foley and me on what we do. As far as limitations, it’s a building process, just like when I came back from my knee and Achilles injuries. You start from the green and work your way back: putting, chipping, pitching, wedging, mid-irons, long irons, woods and eventually playing. That’s all a process and takes time. We have to make sure my back heals fine and I have the strength and mobility going forward.”One the personal front, Woods said he had the same procedure as the Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo and has spoken to the quarterback. He also said he has been rehabbing with girlfriend Lindsey Vonn, the Olympic skier who is recovering from knee surgery. Woods added that he has spent quality time with his children, Samantha and Charlie.
The draw ceremony last week for the Australian Open turned into a draw celebration for the hosts: Australian tennis players got relatively easy matchups in the first round. Their draws were among the most favorable for a host country’s players since Grand Slam tournaments started awarding prize money in 1968. And so far the Aussies have taken advantage, with three men in the third round for the first time since 2004.Host nations’ national tennis associations run the Grand Slam events, and organizers like to be able to showcase home players. So, a draw like this year’s might look suspicious. But there’s no evidence that hosts rig draws in favor of their players. If anything, home-nation players have had rougher matchups than you’d expect by random chance.The difference is small, but the toughest Slam, even including this year’s draw, has been Australia’s. Last year’s was as tough as this year’s was easy, a point hinted at by Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia, at the draw ceremony last week.Draw luck matters a lot in Grand Slam tennis, because most players are placed randomly. In each of the men’s and women’s singles tournaments, just 1 in 4 players gets a seed, which governs roughly — though not precisely — where they’re placed in the first round. The other three-quarters of players could go anywhere. One-third of them have to face a seed, including one unlucky soul who worked all year to make the tournament, only to face the top seed. The other two-thirds get to play another unseeded player.The winners of those matchups get a seeded player in the second round, unless that favorite was upset in the first round. For unseeded players struggling to make ends meet, good draw luck at one of these lucrative events could mean their biggest paycheck of the year.The draw has been so favorable to Australians that three men have reached third-round matches Friday without having to face an opponent with a Top 20 seed. Two of them face each other, which means an Australian man will reach the fourth round for the first time since 2012.That kind of home advantage has been more the exception than the norm. I checked by looking at men’s singles draws back to 1968 and women’s singles draws back to 1981 at all four Grand Slam tournaments, as provided by Jeff Sackmann, who runs tennisabstract.com. The draw sizes and number of seeds varied in the earliest years in the data set. I tossed the draws that had first-round byes and focused only on unseeded players, because they’re the ones most subject to draw luck. I also excluded host-nation players who made their way through the qualifying draw, because they’re usually slotted in after the rest of the draw has been set. Then for each event, I compared how many seeded opponents the home players could have expected to draw in the first round with how many they did.For instance, this year, with a 128-player draw and 32 seeds, each unseeded player had a 1-in-3 chance of drawing a seed in the first round. Eight Australian men and six Australian women were unseeded and reached the main draw without having to play the qualifying tournament. Just two of them drew seeded opponents in the first round. On average, we’d have expected four and two-thirds of them to draw seeded opponents.That makes this year’s Australian Open one of the luckiest draws for the hosts in our data set of 178 Grand Slam events. Just twice was there both a bigger ratio and a bigger gap between expected and actual seeds drawn: at the 2003 Australian Open, when unseeded home players got two seeded opponents instead of the expected five, and at Wimbledon in 2001, when unseeded British players drew just one seed instead of the expected four and two-thirds.But there is no nefarious pattern here. Last year’s Australian Open was one of the worst for hosts, whose unseeded players could have expected to draw 4.5 seeded opponents but instead drew eight. Wimbledon in 2002 was one of the toughest for hosts, a year after the cushy draw. And the favorable 2003 Australian Open draw followed two straight unfavorable ones for the hosts.Overall in the data set, home-nation unseeded players have drawn 4 percent more seeded opponents in the first round than expected by chance. That’s probably a fluke, particularly for the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, where the difference between actual and expected seeded opponents is in the narrow range between -1 percent to 6 percent. The Australian Open has been the toughest for home players, with 16 percent more seeded opponents than expected. It would take a few more draws like this year’s to even that out.
If you read my Skeptical Football column regularly last season (which I’m sure you did), you may already be familiar with my “gunslinger” obsession. But in case you’re new, here’s the quick recap: For a quarterback to maximize his ability to win, he has to take risks. Just as a coach failing to go for it in certain fourth-down situations costs his teams wins, so does a quarterback who doesn’t alter his game to exploit the situation he faces. Many times this means making decisions that can be costly to a player’s statistical efficiency — and often his popular reputation — in order to slightly improve his team’s chances of victory. In other words, throwing interceptions may not always be bad, and not throwing interceptions may not always be good.To celebrate the QBs willing to make this bargain, last year I picked a Gunslinger of the Week (the QB who set the best example of taking “good, smart risks in their relentless pursuit of victory, whether or not those risks succeeded”) each week. This season, we’re spinning that off into its own post, to be released on Mondays. (MNFers are eligible to steal the next week’s award, but only if they’re really really slingy.) So without further ado:Week 1Philip Rivers and defending Gunslinger of the Year Tony Romo both won despite trailing big and throwing multiple interceptions while they were behind. Those impossible wins are rare feats that I love to reward.But when I looked over the play-by-play, I was less impressed from the gunslinger perspective. Romo’s first interception came with less than a minute left in the first half, on Dallas’s own 20-yard line, and was thrown only 1 yard downfield on a first-and-10. “Good” interceptions are low risk/high reward — or sometimes high risk/high reward — but a bad short pass on first down in Romo’s own territory is high risk/low reward. His second came on a throw that went 2 yards downfield on third and 6, again in Dallas territory. Suffice to say, these were not the kind of plays that signify that a QB is pulling out all the stops to win; they were just good, old-fashioned turnovers.Rivers had two interceptions in the first half, including one returned for a touchdown and one on the Lions goal line. While he eventually pulled out an amazing win, gunslinging had little if anything to do with it. The Lions’ Matthew Stafford — a Gunslinger Award veteran himself — got a little too slingy for his own good and threw two INTs while in the lead to help the Chargers get back into things, and then Rivers sealed the deal with an impressively robotic but decidedly non-slingy stretch of 20 straight completions, only four of which went for more than 5 yards in the air (and eight of which were thrown behind the line of scrimmage).Note: Gambling by throwing downfield isn’t the only way to be a good gunslinger, but it’s certainly one way. Which leads us to this week’s winner:Ben Roethlisberger.This week 11 quarterbacks faced extended multiple-score deficits,1Took at least 10 pass attempts with their team down 9-plus points. and none pushed the ball downfield as hard as Steelers QB Roethlisberger:Playing the Patriots, Roethlisberger threw his passes the farthest downfield by far: on average, more than 12 yards per pass. That included seven attempts of more than 20 yards — more than the rest of these quarterbacks combined.After New England raced out to a 21-3 lead early in the third quarter, things looked pretty bleak for the Steelers. But Roethlisberger brought them to within 7 with a TD (plus 2-point conversion) and a field goal on the next two drives — each featuring passes completed 24 yards downfield. When the Patriots went back up 14, Roethlisberger continued to push, completing an 18-yard pass to get the Steelers to midfield and then going big with a 40-yard pass that was intercepted by Duron Harmon. There’s no shame in being intercepted on a throw that — if completed — would have set up a potentially crucial score with seven minutes remaining.On the final drive of the night, Roethlisberger would push his yard tally to 351 and get a meaningless TD with seven seconds left. But with two minutes left on that same drive — when he probably could have given up and padded his stats a little more easily — he was throwing a 29-yard bomb to Markus Wheaton that a defender got a hand on. Had that been successful, it might have given the Steelers a slim chance of winning instead of none. That’s the kind of choice I like to see.Reminder: If you tweet NFL questions to me @skepticalsports, there is a non-zero chance that I’ll answer them in Skeptical Football. Check out win and loss projections and playoff odds for all 32 NFL teams.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and former coach David Blatt question an official’s call on April 19 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Credit: Courtesy of TNSWhen David Blatt was hired to be the new coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers in June 2014, the roster he was inheriting consisted of all-star point guard Kyrie Irving, the soon-to-be No. 1 pick in the NBA draft and a bunch of young guys and journeymen veterans who had just finished up a 33-49 season.A month later, LeBron James, arguably the best player in the league and one of the most difficult players to coach, decided to take his talents back to Cleveland to suit up for Blatt’s Cavs.Then, a little over a month after that, Cleveland decided to trade Andrew Wiggins, the player it selected with the first pick in draft and a guy who Blatt had coached all summer, to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for superstar forward Kevin Love.By the time the Cavs opened up regular-season play on Oct. 30, 2014, against the New York Knicks, Cleveland had transformed its roster from one of the worst in the league to one that was expected to win multiple championships.All of this pressure was put on the 56-year-old Blatt, who, despite his great success in Europe, had never coached in the NBA, did not have any relationships with current NBA players or coaches, and had not even lived in the United States since the early 1980s when he moved to Israel.An argument could be made that this man was the worst possible choice Cleveland could have made to coach James, Irving and Love.But the fact of the matter is that Blatt was not hired to coach the team that ended up taking the floor on opening night last season. When James and Love are added to your team, the entire complexion of it changes.Fast forward several months to the playoffs and the roster had changed yet again with trade acquisitions Timofey Mozgov, J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert. Blatt ended up leading the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals, where the team came just two wins short of its first title in franchise history. Many would argue that James and the rest of the gang could have done it with or without Blatt, but, nonetheless, he did coach his team to the finals in his first year.That first year was filled with constant scrutiny from the media, fans and even players. When the Cavs lost, Blatt was given most of the blame, and when they won, he was given no credit. Despite all of this, he never complained and continued to encourage and praise his team and superstar James. Many will point to Blatt’s failure to challenge James as one of the reasons he was fired. But realistically, James has not allowed any coach to challenge him since he was in high school. These same critics of Blatt say that new Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, who basically stole Blatt’s seat on the bench, will be more successful because of his plans to challenge James and the rest of the Cavs’ star players. Lue being a former player — something James has supposedly always wanted in a coach — is pointed to as the reason he will be able to be tougher than his predecessor. The reality is this: Lue was a below-average NBA player, and the players on this Cavs team might respect him more than Blatt but not enough to drastically change the way they play. Their play and demeanor has been — and will continue — to be determined by their true leader: James. Blatt’s track record shows that he is a good coach, just not the right one for this team. The Cavaliers have their coach, and he wears No. 23.
OSU redshirt sophomore pitcher Adam Niemeyer (43) pitches during a game on April 14 at Bill Davis Stadium. Credit: Lantern File PhotoFriday’s deflating loss to Iowa put the No. 4 seed Ohio State Buckeyes on the brink of elimination, and just hours later, the Buckeyes squared off against the fifth-seeded Michigan Wolverines. Another loss in the Big Ten tournament would have sent the Buckeyes home and would have created tension on Selection Monday hoping to receive an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament. At first, it appeared the pitching woes rolled over from the Iowa game as right-handed redshirt sophomore Adam Niemeyer ran into some early trouble, surrendering two earned runs on a hit and two hit batsmen in his first inning of work. However, the Buckeye offense came out in the bottom of the first and scored five runs on six hits to chase the Michigan starter, right-handed sophomore Ryan Nutof, out of the game after only one out in the first. This offensive onslaught was helped by the middle of the order when junior left fielder Ronnie Dawson, second baseman Troy Kuhn and center fielder Troy Montgomery recorded three consecutive RBI singles to score the first three runs. Senior co-captain Jalen Washington brought in the next two runners on a single through the right side to give the Buckeyes a 5-2 lead. Thunderstorms rolled into TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, forcing the Buckeyes and Wolverines to continue play on Saturday. Niemeyer was relieved by freshman right-hander Ryan Feltner because of the weather delay. On Saturday, Feltner got into some trouble in the top half of the fifth. Three straight Wolverines reached base off of a walk, a single and an error which loaded the bases with no outs.After striking out Michigan sophomore Jake Bivens for the first out, Feltner gave up an RBI single to freshman second baseman Ako Thomas to cut the Buckeyes lead to three. Michigan centerfielder Cody Bruder then reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring freshman left fielder Jonathan Englemann, making the score 6-4 Buckeyes after five.As the Buckeyes did in the bottom half of the first, they put any momentum on Michigan’s side into submission after a Dawson RBI single and Kuhn’s two-RBI single to extend the lead to 9-4 in OSU’s favor. The single by Kuhn was initially called foul by the first base umpire, but that was overturned when the OSU coach Greg Beals asked for the umpires to review the call. In the bottom of the seventh, Nennig scored on an RBI double by Kuhn, who was then brought in by Montgomery’s RBI single and cruise to an 11-4 victory.To say that the Buckeyes were hot offensively is an understatement. OSU recorded 18 hits and were 9-for-19 with runners in scoring position. Each Buckeye hitter recorded a hit in the game.This offense helped the freshman, Feltner, have a career day in relief. In his 6.1 innings of work, Feltner gave up two runs, one earned, on six hits and three walks. He also struck out a career high 10 batters on 114 pitches.The Buckeyes will face the No. 7 seed Michigan State Spartans later Saturday. If the Spartans win, they will face the No. 8 seed Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Championship. If the Buckeyes win, they will have to face the Spartans again tomorrow morning to decide who goes to the Big Ten Championship.
Hampered by injuries, running back Brandon Saine’s career as a Buckeye has been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride. Saine was named ‘Mr. Ohio Football’ following his senior year at Piqua High School. In his senior season, Saine rushed for 1,895 yards and 27 touchdowns. Four years later, Saine admits that he’s not the same athlete as his high school career. “Here at OSU, I think I’ve been able to do pretty well, maybe not quite Mr. Ohio football standards.” Partly due to injury, Saine has struggled to put up equivalent numbers. He underwent knee surgery in spring 2007. “I’m glad it happened when I was a little bit younger. Injuries definitely set you back a little bit, but I think that not only physically, but it hurts you mentally too,” Saine said. Two hamstring injuries, one during camp his second season, were big disappointments but served as jumping-off points for improvement. “That injury was able to help me kind of get my head on straight and realize that there’s more to OSU than just starting and playing football,” Saine said. Although his numbers aren’t nearly as impressive at OSU, Saine has become a versatile athlete, finding speed at both running back and wide receiver. Saine has 183 rushing yards and 174 receiving yards on the season. He clearly has the ability to function in both respects. “We think he’s really dangerous as a receiver and as a runner,” Tressel said following the 38-10 victory over Indiana. Saine is third on the team with six touchdowns, only behind wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher and running back Dan Herron, seven and nine respectively. Both Saine and Sanzenbacher have affirmed they are best friends. When it comes to performance on the field, Saine might be slightly more competitive. “I can definitely make it somewhat into a friendly competition (against Dane),” Saine said. “I think it can be fun to maybe towards the end of the year, really see who comes out on top.” Last season, Saine received the Rex Kern award, voted on by coaches and given to an outstanding back. Saine shared the accolade with Herron. “It was a great honor. Anytime you’re able to receive an award like that it kind of shows that your hard work pays off,” Saine said. Saine’s career highlight came on Nov. 21, 2009. “Being able to score a touchdown against Michigan,” Saine said.
The Buckeyes gather on the mound during a timeout in their 4-1 victory over Wright State on Sep. 24. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The LanternThe Ohio State softball team will spend its spring break and then some in California, taking on eight teams across 10 days. It will include 11 games as part of the Louisville Slugger Invitational and the Easton Invitational.One of the opponents includes No. 5 Oklahoma, a team head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly talked about before the season had even started. She called the Sooners one of the most challenging teams the Buckeyes will face all year.But the Buckeyes aren’t interested in analyzing their opponents as much as they are focusing on their own game and what they can control.“Right now we’re just focused on ourselves, not necessarily who we’re playing,” senior outfielder Bailee Sturgeon said. “Our coaches keep telling us, ‘Have confidence in yourselves because when you guys play, you guys are unstoppable,’ so I think that right now we’re just our own biggest opponents and as long as we play Buckeye softball I think we’ll be good.”One team to watch in the Louisville Slugger series will be No. 3 UCLA. The Bruins are undefeated with 19 wins.The Buckeyes also will take on San Diego State, San Jose State, Cal State Fullerton, Loyola Marymount, California State University Northridge and Grand Canyon.Rested and ready to goPlaying so many games in such a short timespan can take a physical toll, from soreness to exhaustion. But the team’s trainers and coaches have made an effort to be sure that the team is taken care of. “Luckily this year we have an awesome staff with coach Claire and Kelsey, our athletic trainer, who recognize when we’re getting fatigued,” Sturgeon said. “After the games we’re doing a lot of recovery, more than we usually do.”Having a weekend of not playing games also has been a big help for the team, giving it a chance to rest up and recharge.“It gives our bodies a rest from the travel constantly on airplanes, in buses, constantly standing and doing games all weekend,” sophomore shortstop Amy Balich said. “But we got the chance to work on some things that we needed to get sharpened up and I think we’ll go to California with fresh new minds and it will be good.”HomecomingHeading to California will be a homecoming of sorts for eight of the 24 Buckeyes on the roster who claim the Golden State as their home.For some, this will be an opportunity for friends and family to watch them play in scarlet and gray. “Oh, I think it’s going to be so fun,” said sophomore infielder Carley Gaskill, a native of West Hills, California. “Coming out [to Columbus], I don’t get to see my friends, they don’t get to see me play and my parents don’t always get to come because I have three other siblings so they’re always with them.”Let the Games BeginThe Buckeyes begin the series Friday against San Diego State and will play Oklahoma on March 18 to end the 11-game stretch.
The Government is reviewing its advice warning parents not to feed babies peanuts and eggs after a new study found that eating small amounts of the foods at an early age may ward off future allergies.Scientists at Imperial College London found that children who ate peanuts between the ages of four and 11 months had a 70 per cent reduced risk of developing an allergy to the nuts compared with children who ate them for the first time when they were older.Children who started eating egg between the ages of four and six months had a 40 per cent reduced risk in comparison.Food allergies affect around one in 20 children in the UK, with peanut and egg intolerance the two most common types.Current advice cautions parents against giving infants allergenic foods such as egg, peanut, fish and wheat, which can cause an malfunctioning immune system to over-react, triggering rashes, swelling, vomiting and wheezing.The new research, which analysed the data from 146 studies involving more than 200,000 children, was commissioned by the UK Food Standards Agency.Professor Anthony Frew, an expert in allergy and respiratory medicine at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, said the study showed that earlier introduction of allergen foods may be appropriate. “Much anxiety and some harm was caused by the UK Government Committee on Toxicology’s 1998 advice on peanut avoidance in high-risk infants being extrapolated to the wider low-risk population,” he said.“Midwives and mothers’ groups assumed that in view of the targeted advice, it might be a good idea for all parents to avoid introducing these foods regardless of their child’s risk of becoming allergic. Eating eggs early could yield a 40 per cent risk reduction of allergyCredit:Alamy 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. “If your child falls into these categories, talk to your GP before introducing these foods,” he said.He also said whole nuts should not be given to babies or toddlers because of the risk of choking.The team also analysed whether introducing peanut, egg, milk, fish or wheat into a baby’s diet earlier affected their risk of autoimmune diseases such as coeliac disease, and found there was no effect on risk.The number of children diagnosed with food allergies is thought to be rising, according to the researchers, although they said this may be because doctors have become better at recognising allergies.The Food Standards Agency said the Imperial scientists had produced a high-quality review.“The Government is considering these important findings as part of its review of complementary feeding for infants to ensure its advice reflects the best available evidence,” said a spokesman.But he added: “Families should continue to follow the Government’s current long-standing advice to exclusively breastfeed for around the first six months because of the health benefits to mothers and babies.” “We now know that the opposite was in fact true.”The Imperial College scientists warned, however, that because their research was a review of previous studies they could not say how many of the babies who were given the allergenic food at an early suffered allergic reactions.Dr Robert Boyle, who led the research, said parents should not give egg and peanut to babies already known to have a food allergy, or other allergic conditions such as eczema.
“However, rollout across the NHS has been slow, meaning people are missing out on treatment to lower their risk of an early heart attack or stroke. Before any future change in practice based on this new research, the widespread rollout of the current cascade testing programme is vital if we’re to prevent people unnecessarily dying from FH”.The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “The majority of people living with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) are still undiagnosed, putting them at higher risk of suffering a deadly heart attack or stroke before they reach 50.“Early diagnosis in children is likely to substantially improve treatment of their condition and will help find other family members with FH. But before nationwide screening is adopted by the NHS more work needs to be done to show it’s a cost-effective way for picking up individuals with FH which will be acceptable to families.“Current NICE guidance recommends that the most effective screening model is for family members of those diagnosed with FH to be tested, based on BHF-funded research showing the life saving potential and cost effectiveness of running this type of cascade testing programme. Once an FH positive child was found, the parents were then contacted for screening, revealing an additional FH positive parent. Overall, one person at high risk of early heart attack was identified for every 125 people tested.Professor Wald added: “This is an example of an effective screening strategy being combined with routine vaccination, which has clear advantages.“No extra clinic visits are needed and uptake is high because parents are already focussed on the future health of their children and the family as a whole. The one-stop service requires no new clinical infrastructure and as simple and inexpensive to implement.” Screening could prevent 600 heart attacks a year, say researchers Children should be tested for heart disease from as young as 12 months old to prevent hundreds of heart attacks a year, health experts have claimed.Around 1 in 270 people suffer from familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), a genetic disorder which causes naturally high cholesterol putting them at risk of heart problems from a young age.Researchers at Queen Mary University of London carried out cholesterol and genetic test on 10,000 children while they were undergoing routine vaccinations between one and two years old.They found almost double the numbers of children had the condition and they estimate that screening could prevent around 600 heart attacks a year in the under 40s if it was rolled out across the country.Familial hypercholesteraolaemia raises the risk of a heart attack before the age of 40 ten-fold but medication including statins, as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle can dramatically lower the risk.Lead researcher Professor David Wald said: “This is the first demonstration that child-parent screening works on a large scale. It’s the only screening method that stands a reasonable chance of covering the whole population and identifying those at highest risk of an early heart attack.”Now that we’ve demonstrated this as being effective across England, the next step is for public health agencies to consider offering this routinely at the time of childhood vaccination to test all children aged 1-2 years.” Around 1 in 270 people suffer from genetically high levels of cholesterol which raises the risk of a heart attack before 40 ten fold 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.
Join Telegraph Women for an evening of resilienceDon’t miss our ‘Women and Resilience: How to be your strongest self’ event on November 22nd at the Ham Yard Hotel.The evening, chaired by Telegraph Women editor Claire Cohen, will focus on how women can better cope with setbacks in work and life. The research found that the UK economy could see a £1.7bn boost if there were more women in the workplace and more female leaders. Laura Hinton, executive board member and head of people at PwC, said: “The business and economic arguments for getting more women back into high quality work following a career break are compelling.“Many women want to return, it is the system that needs to change.”The organisations all called for employers and recruiters to do more to reassess how they evaluate women’s potential.“Getting more senior women back into the workplace will help businesses build stronger pipelines of potential female leaders and improve the diversity of businesses at senior levels,” said Brenda Trenowden, global chair of 30% Club.“Returnships create an effective route back to mid- to senior-level professional roles, and the availability of part-time and flexible opportunities in professional roles helps widen the pool of talent businesses can access.” Women need flexible roles to help them combine work and family lifeCredit:Alamy Two-thirds of female professionals end up working below their potential when they return to work after career breaks, research has found.PwC, Women Returners and 30% Club estimated that out of the 427,000 women in the UK on a career break, around 249,000 are likely to enter lower-skilled roles when they return to work.They also found a further 29,000 women returning to the workplace are forced to work fewer hours than they want due to a lack of flexible working.Women earn nothing from now until 2017 – sort it out Theresa MayWhen women are downgraded on their return to work, they can end up experiencing a 12-32 per cent reduction in hourly earnings – or an average £4,000 per year.Julianne Miles, co-founder and director of Women Returners said: “A CV gap presents a significant barrier to resuming a successful professional career after a multi-year break. Employers often assume a lack of recent experience equates to a loss of the ability to operate at a senior level. 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. There will be a panel discussion featuring Jude Kelly CBE, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre; June Sarpong MBE, author and social entrepreneur; Lara Morgan, founder of Scentered; and Cassandra Stavrou, co-founder of Propercorn. Plus a secondary panel of female entrepreneurs, available for networking. Tickets include a luxury goody bag and a Laurent Perrier Champagne reception.Tickets are available here. “A US study found that managers prefer to hire a less qualified candidate over one who has been out of work for more than six months, as they assume skills have deteriorated; and this recruitment bias is far greater with a multi-year gap. Those returners seeking a part-time or flexible role to combine work with family life also struggle to find a suitable professional opportunity.”
“When you get married to a young woman, you can’t say no to children,” he said in 2012.“I am fortunate in that I am fit and I have some money and therefore I will be able to get whatever help I need,” he said. insisting he was going to live “to at least 150”. Sheila Ferguson, the singer, paid tribute to Stringfellow, her “dear friend”.The Three Degrees star tweeted a picture of herself meeting Diana, Princess of Wales, alongside the nightclub owne: RIP Peter Stringfellow, I met this man a few times over the years. A great guy & king of the discos. My thoughts are with his family 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/5P1cUaSbRg— Frank Bruno MBE (@frankbrunoboxer) June 7, 2018 The entrepreneur was giving evidence to the Commons’ Culture Committee, which was examining whether to impose stricter rules on lap dancing establishments, where women strip for men and dance for them.Rejecting proposals to classify lap dancing clubs as “sex encounter establishments”, he said: “Of course, it is sexually stimulating but so is a disco. So is picture of David Beckham lying there in his Calvin Kleins.”Stringfellow leaves wife, four children and four grandchildrenMarried three times and a grandfather four times over, Stringfellow is survived by his wife, Bella and four children, Karen, Scott, Rosabella and Angelo.Stringfellow married Bella, a former Royal Ballet dancer, in 2009 and embraced fatherhood in recent years. Rosabella was born in 2013 and Angelo was born two years later. Treatment for lung cancer after diagnosis in 2008Stringfellow underwent treatment for lung cancer after being diagnosed in 2008.However he kept the diagnosis a secret for nearly six years, telling only family and close friends, until it was leaked in 2015.’A terrific guy who lived life to the full’: Tributes to Peter StringfellowComedy actress Su Pollard, who knew Stringfellow and had worked with him, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “He was a fantastic role model for other entrepreneurs.”When he was in the room – for a start, I used to think he was so handsome, I love men with long hair – he was lovely.”I liked him because he was always warm, he could have probably been in showbiz in another area, but he chose to be an entrepreneur.”Pollard added: “You miss people that are large, and are givers. He gave of himself such a lot. He was a great person to be around, I feel for his family.”BBC Radio presenter Tony Blackburn tweeted a tribute to Stringfellow, describing him as a “terrific guy who lived life to the full”. Peter Stringfellow, pictured in 2001, was known as the King of ClubsCredit:PA So sorry to hear that Peter Stringfellow has died at the age of 77.He was a terrific guy who lived life to the full and was a wonderful person to be with.He was always full of fun and to me was a big part of he 60’s and 70’s .R.I.P. Peter x— Tony Blackburn (@tonyblackburn) June 7, 2018 R.I.P Peter Stringfellow. Wow, a big part of our lives and one of Sheffield’s finest. What a character. He introduced me and my mum to Princess Diana.— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) June 7, 2018 King of Clubs: Peter Stringfellow at a New Year’s Ever party in 1983Credit:Alan Davidson/Silverhub/REX/Shutterstock One of Stringfellow’s four children, Karen, said she is “heartbroken and devastated” at her father’s death, as she posted a picture on Facebook of them together. Novelist and journalist Tony Parsons shared a picture of Stringfellow with musicians Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye on Twitter, and tweeted that they are “three legends”. Just waking to the news of my lifelong mate #PeterStringfellow. We 1st met here, Albert Hall, when we were appearing at The Princes Ball for #Charles and Diana. Peter & I only flew together from Mallorca a while ago. RIP dear friend. 💕 pic.twitter.com/nNRkrUSDNf— Sheila Ferguson 3° (@SheilaDFerguson) June 7, 2018 Mr Glass said in a statement: “Known as the King of Clubs, Peter will be remembered for his flamboyant style, charismatic personality and for being a magnet for celebrities across the planet, with A-list stars across six decades flocking to perform and party at his various clubs around the world.” Stringfellow: ‘Lap dancing club’ is ‘derogatory term’In 2008, Stringfellow told MPs that he objected to the phrase “lap dancing club”, which he described as a “derogatory term”, adding: “My term is adult entertainment, or in my case, gentleman’s club.” 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. Comic Rufus Hound wrote: “RIP Peter Stringfellow. You’re with the angels now. So no change there.” In 1980, he opened Stringfellows in Covent Garden in London’s West End and went on to create venues in Paris, New York, Miami, and Beverly Hills.With its topless girls and exuberant after-hours entertainment, the Stringfellow brand became a byword for debauchery and sexual kicks that had echoes of the empire created by late Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner.The mogul said his clubs had hosted A-listers including Prince, Marvin Gaye, Rod Stewart and Tom Jones.And it was not just celebrities who experienced Stringfellow’s hospitality – Professor Stephen Hawking once joined him for dinner at one of the venues. Former rugby player Brian Moore said that Stringfellow was “very good company” after having spoken with him at a Cambridge Union debate some time ago.Boy from Sheffield brought up by his ‘feisty’ motherBorn in Sheffield in 1940, Stringfellow was the eldest of four boys who were brought up by the women in his family after the men went to war.He served a brief prison sentence in 1962 for selling stolen carpets, a sharp lesson which he said put him on the straight and narrow.In a 2012 article, he attributed his entrepreneurial spirit to his “feisty” mother.He said sex was never a topic of conversation in the house, while his father declined an invitation to visit one of his establishments in his later years. Boy George described him as “one of Sheffield’s finest”, adding: “What a character”. Peter Stringfellow, the flamboyant nightclub owner who was a magnet for celebrities, has died at the age of 77 from cancer.The businessman, who had wanted to keep his illness private, died early on Thursday after spending time in hospital.His publicist, Matt Glass, said: “It’s very sad news. He passed away in the early hours of this morning.”It was kept very private, he didn’t want to tell. He wanted to keep it a secret.”Stringfellow – known as the King of Clubs – started in the nighttime trade in the early 1960s and recalled booking acts including The Beatles, The Kinks and Jimi Hendrix to play at his clubs. Three legends – Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Peter Stringfellow. Peter had the biggest hair and the biggest heart. A lovely man. pic.twitter.com/ei9EPhDbj8— Tony Parsons (@TonyParsonsUK) June 7, 2018 Peter Stringfellow’s wife Bella holds their newborn daughter, Rosabella, in 2013Credit:PA Former boxing champion Frank Bruno was among those to pay tribute to Stringfellow on Twiter:
Coco Pops are now “tasteless”, customers have complained, after Kellogg’s reduced the amount of sugar following pressure from the Government.However, there is just one calorie less per bowl disappointed consumers have noted — despite the 40 per cent reduction in sugar.While before a 30g bowl of the chocolate cereal contained 9g of sugar and 116 calories, now it contains 5.1g of sugar and 115 calories.The cereal company said the new recipe does not call for artificial sweeteners and instead uses a “more premium” cocoa.However, hundreds of customers have hit out at Kellogg’s, writing that the cereal “tastes stale right out of the box.”Twitter user Peter complained: “Got a box of coco pops while shopping this week, they tasted so stale I had to check the date on the box, that is when I saw ‘new and improved’ @KelloggsUK where can I return the coco pops? They are so dead, couldn’t finish a bowl, no way I can finish the entire box.” 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. Leona Gray agreed, tweeting: “I’m actually gutted at the new cocopops recipe. It just tastes wrong.”Another annoyed customer, Erna, wrote: “Fuming, they’ve changed coco pops recipe cause of sugar tax and now they taste like cardboard.”Christopher Snowdon, director of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, told The Telegraph: “Consumers are right to be upset about their food being reformulated to hit government targets. Public Health England thinks we won’t notice when sugar is removed for food and soft drinks but the experience with Ribena, Lucozade and now Coco Pops shows how wrong they are. Lies! Morning coco pops ruined😩😭 pic.twitter.com/yO9nRWaPhd— Sammmy (@sammyjosmith_) July 30, 2018 “Nobody voted for this crazy reformulation programme and yet this is only the beginning of the government’s plans for the wholesale desecration of the food supply. To add insult to injury, the new Coco Pops only have one less calorie per bowl than the original. The taste of food is being ruined and it is not even being made less fattening.”The Government has asked companies to aim to cut sugar in cereal and snacks by 20 per cent by 2020.Sugary drinks have already been hit by a sugar tax, with customers recently complaining that Lucozade and Ribena, both of which have reformulated their recipes to contain less sugar, taste far worse than they used to.A Kellogg’s spokesperson said: “We take our responsibility to public health seriously, that’s why we’ve worked really hard to halve sugar in Coco Pops over the past year.“We’re confident the small number of people who have commented on the recipe change will grow to love it – just like the millions of people who chose to buy Coco Pops each year in Britain.“One bowl is still 115 calories – the reason that’s the same in the new recipe is because removing sugar does not always impact calorie levels.“The new recipe includes a more premium cocoa powder and no artificial preservatives or sweeteners.”
The Telegraph tracked Mr Downey, 66, down to his newly-built, four-bedroom house with its own private beach in County Donegal in Ireland. Relatives of the murdered soldiers spoke of their disgust that John Downey, acquitted after receiving a ‘comfort’ letter, is able to enjoy his retirement while, in contrast, Army veterans of the Troubles remain under criminal investigation. The IRA’s Hyde Park bombing suspect is living in a luxury beach front home, having transferred ownership to his wife after being sued over the atrocity. Irish Land registry documents show that Mr Downey removed his name from ownership of the house, worth £300,000, on June 7 last year, just as lawyers for victims of Hyde…
Tech firms could end the proliferation of indecent images of children online instead of tolerating it, the National Crime Agency (NCA) chief leading the fight against child abuse has said. In an interview with The Telegraph, he warned their approach was too reactive and there was a danger of online child abuse being normalised in society by the continued proliferation of thousands of images that were too easy to access on the “open” web. He said it provided an “escalation pathway” which “desensitised” and… Rob Jones said the firms had the technology to be more proactive to prevent images reaching the web in the first place to stop crime happening and to hunt down paedophiles grooming children.
One day after it was announced that President David Granger has ordered a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into an alleged plot to assassinate him, Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo said this move was one that could be seen as the President’s lack of confidence in the local security forces.Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat JagdeoJagdeo told the press on Monday that this revelation also highlighted the Government’s intention to do all it could to distract the Guyanese populace from the multiple issues that needed urgent attention.“You need another CoI…into this? That means you don’t trust your security forces or the Police to investigate this. You are saying that somebody didn’t investigate this properly,” he opined.Meanwhile, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan recently confirmed with sections of the media that the President had indeed ordered a CoI into the alleged plot to assassinate him.President David GrangerRamjattan revealed that the decision was taken after the President and others within the Cabinet felt that the investigation was taking too long (it has been ongoing for months now) and there were countless issues with the case.He did note that the President had deliberated on the terms and conditions of the CoI.Minister of State, Joseph Harmon had earlier disclosed that the Administration had been provided with some information by the Police about an ongoing investigation of that nature.He said the matter was being investigated by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Police’s legal advisor.Harmon had said, “I have the full confidence of the ability of the security forces to protect our President and the Ministers of Government who have been elected by the people to run the Government.”The matter involving the alleged plot to assassinate President Granger was first brought to light by Minister Harmon in April at a post-Cabinet press briefing.The man who claimed two local businessmen hired him to assassinate President David GrangerShortly after news broke of the investigations into the alleged assassination plot against the Head of State, the complainant, a well-known barber of Grove, East Bank Demerara (EBD), appeared on a local private television station to relate his story.In that interview, the barber revealed that he was offered $7 million and given a “long black gun” by a businessman to carry out the job of assassinating the President, but he had declined the offer.Reports indicate that he subsequently filed a complaint with the Police. However, the alleged witness to the offer has since told investigators during the confrontation that the complainant had contacted him and offered a sum of money in exchange for him giving a statement claiming that he (the alleged witness) was present when two businessmen contacted the complainant about allegedly assassinating the President.According to a Police source, the complainant had only made the monetary offer after he informed the Police of the assassination plot. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAssassination Plot CoI will destroy morale of the Force – Opposition LeaderJuly 28, 2017In “Crime”Paul Slowe had an axe to grind using alleged assassination CoI -JagdeoSeptember 19, 2017In “Crime”Ramnarine’s testimony to CoI a “deliberate falsehood”- Crime ChiefAugust 16, 2017In “Crime”
President David Granger was, today (Friday), paid a courtesy call by China’s Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Cui Jianchun and his Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Yang Chenqi.President David Granger and China’s Ambassador to Guyana, Mr. Cui JianchunAccording to the Ministry of the Presidency, during their discussions at State House, the two sides discussed several areas of cooperation. This follows a meeting that was held between the Head of State and the Ambassador in March earlier this year. (More details later) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGovt receives from China US$2.6M worth of vehicles, equipment to boost the Police ForceNovember 6, 2017In “Crime”Chinese businesses in Guyana not being profiled, Security Minister assures as envoy raises robbery concernsSeptember 15, 2018In “Crime”New Thriving Restaurant’s Providence branch opensFebruary 11, 2017In “Business”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGayle Storm’ set to hit England – tomorrowMarch 15, 2016In “Sports”Pollard named to lead Bloem City BlazersOctober 6, 2017In “latest news”Don’t see myself making a WI comeback – Dwayne BravoDecember 18, 2017In “latest news” “I have no hesitation committing to Middlesex for six games of the Vitality Blast and am looking forward to joining Dan Vettori’s squad at the start of July.”Following the Blast, Bravo will lead TKR in the defence of their CPL title starting August. LONDON, England (CMC) — In-demand West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo will ply his trade for Middlesex in the upcoming England T20 Blast, the club announced yesterday.West Indies all-rounder Dwayne BravoThe 34-year-old, currently playing for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League, will turn out for Middlesex in their first six matches of the season.Bravo boasts an impressive short format resumé with titles in the Indian Premier League with CSK, the Caribbean Premier League with Trinbago Knight Riders, and in the Bangladeshi Premier League with Dhaka Dynamites.He has also twice helped West Indies win the T20 World Cup and Middlesex managing director of cricket, Angus Fraser, said the club knew it was acquiring a match-winner.“Dwayne is one of the most exciting and best T20 players in the world. He can win games of cricket with bat or ball,” Fraser said.“He may only be available for six games, but I expect him to have an impact in a number of these matches. I’m sure he is a player the huge Lord’s crowds will enjoy watching.”Bravo is one of the world’s most experienced T20 cricketers, with 5,635 runs and 420 wickets in 385 matches. In fact, the Trinidadian remains the only bowler with more than 400 wickets in the format.The former West Indies one-day captain said he was looking forward to the short stint with the Lord’s-based outfit.“I’ve been fortunate enough throughout my career to have played all round the world, and Lord’s in London is a place that really excites me,” he said.
Heavy-duty trucks still operating haphazardly on Linden highway – CouncillorThough numerous consultations have been hosted, on the heels of safety concerns regarding defaulting heavy-duty trucks utilising the Linden-Soesdyke Highway and internal roads in Linden, the issue continues to be one of concern for Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) officials.At the last statutory meeting of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC), Councillor Douglas Gittens highlighted several re-occurring issues he has observed, as he pleaded with the Council to take another look at the situation.Gittens said heavy-duty trucks are still not adhering to safety rules, as he also made calls for enhanced road markings along the highway. The Councillor said he gets “emotional” every time he speaks on this issue, since he is a regular traveller on the highway.A lumber laden truck making a U-turn on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway“I’m saying to us, we have to do something about these trucks that are on the highway. They are still moving with these big logs and they are not protected enough…there are no lights on any of the sides and numerous things… Some of these trucks got a big beam on the front. When they shining that on the highway, you can’t see anything… When they stop across the road, they put a tree branch to show you that there is where the truck is…I am begging, we have to do something about these trucks,” Gittens reiterated to officials of the Council.He added that while work is ongoing to secure funding for the upgrade of the highway, in the interim the Council should request that the Public Infrastructure Ministry apply road markings to it.Gittens pointed out that some of the log-carrying trucks, which utilise the Mackenzie-Wismar Bridge continue to appear to be severely overweight. In this regard he urged that the bridge’s scale be fixed and put back in operation.He also questioned how and if vehicular fitness is being issued for these vehicles, as he pointed out that some of the issues can be corrected by Police.After Gittens raised the concerns, Councillor Denise Belgrave stood up to support him. Regional Chairman Renis Morian promised to raise the issue at the region’s security meeting. He also reminded the Council that several high-level meetings were held regarding the same issue. Last June, officials met and discussed recommendations and measures of enforcement for heavy-duty trucks in an effort to curb road fatalities and the destruction of roads within the region and along the Linden-Soesdyke Highway.The regional administration had also made a decision to clamp down on defaulting timber and lumber trucks utilising the MacKenzie-Wismar Bridge and internal roads in the Linden community, following concerns that some were not operating under standard regulations. With Linden being a major link to interior locations, scores of these trucks pass through the community daily. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedSand trucks on Linden/Soesdyke Highway major offenders of axle overload – surveyMay 9, 2019In “Business”Linden councillors want gold board branch in regionJuly 23, 2016In “latest news”Discussions underway for construction of Region 10 AbattoirMarch 20, 2017In “Local News”
E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org Press service of MMC Norilsk Nickel Tel:+7 (495) 797 8294 Fax:+7 (495) 786 8394 Today RUSAL has completed a transaction to acquire a 25% +1 share stake in OJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel. Denis Morozov, General Director of Norilsk Nickel, said: “On behalf of Norilsk Nickel’s management I would like to welcome UC RUSAL as a large shareholder in our company. The acquisition of such a significant stake demonstrates once again the investment appeal and strong prospects for the further growth of Norilsk Nickel”.Norilsk Nickel’s development opportunities expanded considerably last year as a result of major overseas acquisitions and effective implementation of brownfield and greenfield projects in Russia. The market value of the company, the largest public company in the Russian mining and metals industry, nearly doubled over the last year. “The management of Norilsk Nickel continues its efforts to strengthen the company’s leadership in the world mining and metals industry and ensure stability of its activities in the interests of our shareholders, employees and the regions where our operations are located”, – said Morozov.Norilsk Nickel, a corporation incorporated under the laws of the Russian Federation, is the largest mining and metals company in Russia and the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium and one of the world’s largest producers of platinum and copper. In addition to this, it produces a large number of by-products, including cobalt, rhodium, silver, tellurium, selenium, iridium and ruthenium. The Norilsk Nickel group is involved in prospecting, exploration, extraction, beneficiation and metallurgical processing of minerals; and in production, marketing and sales of base and precious metals.The company is headquartered in Moscow, Russia, with sales and distribution activities managed through its Moscow headquarters and international sales network. The Russian operations include the operations of the Polar Division on the Taimyr Peninsula in the Krasnoyarsk region and the Kola Mining and Metallurgical Co (KMMC) on the Kola Peninsula in the Murmansk region.Norilsk Nickel’s international mining and metallurgical operations encompass nickel sulphide and laterite mining, processing and refining operations spanning Finland, Australia, Botswana and South Africa and a process technology group. Norilsk Nickel Australia’s assets include the Lake Johnston, Black Swan and Waterloo nickel operations and the Honeymoon Well project, as well as the Cawse and Avalon laterite high pressure acid leach (HPAL) operations. Norilsk Nickel Africa’s assets include 85% ownership of both Tati Nickel and the Botswana Metal Refinery in Botswana (the remaining 15% is held by the Government of the Republic of Botswana). The African assets also include a 50:50 joint venture with African Rainbow Minerals in the Nkomati nickel mine in South Africa. Norilsk Nickel Finland’s assets include the Harjavalta Refinery and a 5.46% share in the Talvivaara Mining.Norilsk Process Technology in Australia supports the processing and metallurgical operations. It provides a wide range of technical process support from ore processing through to the production of final metal.Norilsk Nickel also operates a research and development institute, LLC “Gipronickel”, located in St Petersburg with branches at the Polar Division and KMMC. Norilsk Nickel is the majority shareholder in Stillwater Mining Company, the largest producer of platinum group metals in North America, whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.April 24, 2008 www.nornik.ru/en/