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Six Nations 2019: Team-by-team guide

first_imgScotland will be keen to continue the improvements of recent seasons, while for Italy the priority will be ending a Six Nations losing run which stands at 17 matches.Here we take a look at the teams and what each can expect from their 2019 campaign.IRELANDWho’s in charge?Joe Schmidt is nearing the end of his time at the Irish helm after announcing that he will leave the job at the end of the World Cup. Successor Andy Farrell is already on Schmidt’s staff and will be taking notes during this year’s championship.Rory Best has skippered Ireland for the past two years – a period of tremendous success for Schmidt’s side that has seen the team crowned Grand Slam winners and beat the All Blacks for the first two times in history. He is the oldest player in this year’s championship at 36.Who’s the key man?Ireland boasts World Rugby’s Player of the Year in the shape of fly-half Johnny Sexton. He has faced a race to be fit for the opener against England but will be key to Ireland’s success if he has shaken off the effects of a knee injury. Wing Jacob Stockdale – player of the tournament in 2018 – also poses a threat to any defense.What happened last year?Ireland completed the Grand Slam at Twickenham on the final weekend of the championship, consigning its opponents to a fifth-place finish. It was Ireland’s first clean sweep since 2009.What’s expected this year?Ireland has arguably enhanced its reputation since last year’s championship, picking up a series win in Australia, as well as a 16-9 victory over the All Blacks in November. If it can keep up that kind of form over the coming weeks, Ireland will prove themselves to be a serious contender for the 2019 World Cup.Not a bad haul!Well done lads. pic.twitter.com/v2Pssd7Xj5— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) January 24, 2019WALESWho’s in charge?Another coach preparing to say his goodbyes at the end of the year is Warren Gatland, who will stand down as Wales chief after 12 years in charge. The Kiwi has led the team to two Grand Slams during his tenure.Alun Wyn Jones is captain and, with 119 caps to his name, is rapidly closing in on Gethin Jenkins’ record of 129 appearances for his country.Who’s the key man?The battle for Wales’ No. 10 jersey is always fiercely fought and Gareth Anscombe appears to have his hands on the prize after starting the wins over Scotland, Australia and South Africa in November. Anscombe’s challenge will be maintaining his level of performance with Dan Biggar and Rhys Patchell snapping at his heels.What happened last year?It was an impressive second-place finish for Wales in 2018, although its failure to win a match on the road may be a lingering cause for concern ahead of a championship in which it faces three away fixtures.What’s expected this year?Wales has been faced with dreadful luck when it comes to injuries, with Gatland saying only a week and a half before the tournament that just 27 members of his 39-man squad had been able to train, with experienced campaigners Taulupe Faletau and Dan Lydiate among those missing altogether. The situation will likely see players such as Thomas Young and Aaron Wainwright given their chance – experience that could come in useful in Japan later this year. Of the sides contesting the Six Nations, only Ireland can better Wales’ record of 10 Test wins in 2018.It’s that time of year again. Dau fis llawn cyffro. #GuinnessSixNations pic.twitter.com/AF9VuyKfE0— Welsh Rugby Union (@WelshRugbyUnion) January 28, 2019SCOTLANDWho’s in charge?Gregor Townsend continued Scotland’s sustained growth in the competition last season, guiding the side to impressive victories over England and France.The captaincy has returned to scrum-half Greig Laidlaw, with John Barclay, who led Scotland in the 2018 championship, yet to recover from an Achilles injury that has prevented him from making his Edinburgh debut since joining from the Scarlets ahead of the 2018-19 season.Who’s the key man?Stuart Hogg has been the most eye-catching star of Scotland’s resurgence over recent years and made more meters than any other player in the competition last year.What happened last year?Scotland finished third but things could have been better had it not been for a slow start in Wales, where the Scots kicked off the championship with a 34-7 defeat. Their campaign will be remembered for the 25-13 win against England at Murrayfield – their first Calcutta Cup victory for a decade.What’s expected this year?With Italy heading to Edinburgh on the opening weekend, Scotland should have an opportunity to get into gear before welcoming Ireland a week later. Scotland is capable of upsetting the campaigns of other would-be Six Nations champions but, with trips to Paris and Twickenham on the itinerary, a challenge for the title looks unlikely.| Hard work continues for @scotlandteam at Oriam! #AsOne pic.twitter.com/84AXJw46lE— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) January 28, 2019FRANCEWho’s in charge?Jacques Brunel took over not long before last year’s championship, following the sacking of Guy Noves. He almost got France off to a winning start in his first match in charge against eventual champion Ireland – Les Bleus undone by a last-minute Sexton drop goal in Paris.Toulon hooker Guilhem Guirado skippers the side, having held onto the role despite the change of coach.Who’s the key man?Center Mathieu Bastareaud sits on 50 caps and his experience should complement the wave of young talent coming into the squad. Romain Ntamack – son of former France international Emile – is among the youthful contingent and could make his debut.What happened last year?Victory over England in round four was the highlight for France but a series of narrow defeats limited its impact on the championship. The disappointment of a 15-13 home defeat to Ireland was compounded by a 32-26 loss at Murrayfield and a 14-13 reverse in Cardiff as it finished fourth. France dropped a number of players after they were involved in an incident on a night out following the Scotland defeat.What’s expected this year?France is, as ever, difficult to predict but if it could convert some of those narrow defeats into victories, there is no reason why it could not end up in the mix at the top of the table.Photo officielle !#XVdeFrance #NeFaisonsXV pic.twitter.com/yunXI6Nv5e— FF Rugby (@FFRugby) January 22, 2019ENGLANDWho’s in charge?Eddie Jones came under pressure for the first time in his England tenure in 2018. The team was unbeatable in the first 17 matches of his time in charge but last year lost six of 12 Tests – after losing only  one of the previous 23 under Jones.Jones has opted for co-captains over recent times but will begin the championship with a solo skipper in the form of Owen Farrell, with Dylan Hartley having been ruled out of the opener against Ireland due to a knee injury.Who’s the key man?It is difficult to look beyond Farrell – a man who has spent most of his time as a center under Jones and in a share of leadership with Hartley. The Saracens man was utilized at fly-half in November and, with the captaincy his for the time being, this could be Farrell’s chance to make both roles his own ahead of the World Cup.What happened last year?England’s disappointing 2018 kicked off with a shocking fifth-place finish in the Six Nations – a championship that saw the side beaten by Scotland, France and Ireland after it opened with wins against Italy and Wales. It was England’s worst performance since the 1987 Five Nations.What’s expected this year?An improvement at the very least. England will be underdogs for the opener against Ireland and how it fares in Dublin could set the tone for the campaign. France at home and a trip to Cardiff follow, so England is going to have to work hard for points early in the championship.Primed and ready to goThe countdown to the #GuinnessSixNations is ON #CarryThemHome pic.twitter.com/Qfn7Lkcpjg— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) January 23, 2019ITALYWho’s in charge?Conor O’Shea’s time as Italy coach has failed to bring about much of an improvement in their Six Nations performances and he may be under pressure in 2019 to show the fruits of his three years at the helm.Stalwart Sergio Parisse has been a fantastic servant to Italy over the years and at 35 years old, with 134 caps to his name, he remains the figurehead of the national team. Who’s the key man?Matteo Minozzi would have this category all tied up based on his breakthrough performance last year, but a serious knee injury has ruled out the fullback. His absence puts the pressure on Jayden Hayward or Edoardo Padovani to perform at 15.What happened last year?Italy’s defeat to Scotland in its final match of 2018 means the side has lost its last 17 games in the championship, tied for the longest such run in Five/Six Nations histor with France’s 17-match skid from 1911-20. Italy’s run stretches back to 2015.What’s expected this year?With injuries to key players there appears little hope Italy can snap its skid and avoid going a full World Cup cycle without winning a Six Nations fixture.A year ago @Federugby were three minutes away from beating @ScotlandteamConor O’Shea wants to see his team rewarded for their efforts in the 2019 #GuinnessSixNations pic.twitter.com/bj6iT8v2aE— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) January 25, 2019 The 2019 Six Nations gets under way on Friday, when France host Wales in Paris.Ireland won the Grand Slam last time around and begins its campaign in Dublin on Saturday against England, whose Twickenham home was the setting for the defending champion’s crowning moment in 2018.last_img read more


Watch: Impeachment Trial Day 2

first_imgIn a marathon 13-hour session on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, the Senate formally adopted rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.Now, with the rules set, Democrat impeachment managers are delivering their opening statements.last_img


Woman Charged in Mar-a-Lago Chase Refuses to Appear Before Judge, Delaying Hearing

first_imgThe woman who is accused of driving through security barriers at Mar-a-Lago on Friday refused to appear before a judge this weekend to have charges read to her.According to the arrest report, 30-year-old opera singer Hannah Roemhild is charged with aggravated assault of an officer.After crashing through two security checkpoints at President Trump’s Palm Beach estate and having Palm Beach Sheriff’s deputies open fire on her SUV, she led them on a chase, where they lost her in traffic.Roemhild them allegedly picked up her mother from Palm Beach International Airport, and the two checking into a local motel. Deputies arrested her there a few hours later.The judge delayed her hearing until Monday, depending on whether Roemhild can be transported from the Palm Beach County Jail without endangering herself or deputies.last_img read more


Tumwater’s 4th of July: Parade, Festival, Road Closures, Services, and Fireworks

first_imgParade Road Closures and Restricted Vehicle Access Traffic on Linderson Way and West Lee Street will be restricted to emergency access only, beginning at approx. 8:30 a.m. on July 4.   If you need access to these streets after 8:30 a.m. and prior to 12:30 p.m., please make advance arrangements for your vehicle in the event that you need to travel.From approx. 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., vehicular access to and from property along the parade route will be restricted due to street closures.The parade route begins at the corner of Capitol Boulevard and Lee Street, moves south on Capitol Boulevard to Israel Road, then turns west (right) onto Israel Road and continues past City Hall, ending at the Linderson Way/Israel Rd intersection. Parade route map is available online here.Artesian Family Festival & Thunder Valley Fireworks Show Held at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course Driving Range. Festival gates open at 6:00 p.m.  Event features music, food vendors, games, and much more.Thunder Valley Fireworks Show begins at 10:15 p.m. and is accompanied by music on site.Festival entry is free; event parking is $10/car. No alcohol, pets, personal fireworks, or BBQs allowed.Tumwater Farmers MarketThe Tumwater Farmers’ MarketThe Farmer’s Market will be open on Saturday, July 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The market is located at the corner of Capitol Boulevard and Israel Road SW. For more details, visit www.tumwaterfarmersmarket.org. Submitted by The City of TumwaterThe 4th of July parade steps off in Tumwater at 11:00 a.m.Celebrate this 4th of July in Tumwater.  Events for Independence Day are listed below.Independence Day Parade – Saturday, July 4, 11:00 a.m.The parade will be led by Grand Marshals from the Tumwater Soccer Club, representing this year’s parade theme, “Just Kickin’ It!” The parade begins at 11:00 a.m. The parade is closed to new entries. Facebook112Tweet0Pin0 Please Note: Pioneer Park will be closed all day on Saturday, July 4, 2015.  City services will be closed on Friday, July 3 in honor of the holiday.For more information about activities, please contact Tumwater Parks and Recreation at (360) 754-4160. More details available online at www.ci.tumwater.wa.us/parade or www.ci.tumwater.wa.us/festival.center_img Find more fireworks information online at www.ci.tumwater.wa.us/fireworks Fireworks SafetyAlthough personal fireworks are allowed within the City limits, conditions are exceedingly dry this season and fire danger is high. Please consider alternatives to personal fireworks this year to celebrate Independence Day—the City hosts a full day of festivities, including a professional fireworks show. If you do use personal fireworks this holiday season, please remember:Ignition or discharge of safe and sane fireworks are allowed within the City of Tumwater on July 3 and 4, between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. only.Patrol officers will enforce these regulations during the holiday season. Violators can be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $1,000.last_img read more


Anxiety May Shorten Your Cell Life

first_img(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Two newly published studies involving thousands of nurses show that lifestyle and attitude might influence the age of your cells.Telomeres are special “end caps” on chromosomes that keep them from unwinding.  Cells begin with a number of caps; each time a cell divides, a cap is lost (although the telomerase enzyme can add new telomeres).  Much remains to be learned about telomeres, but they seem to be implicated with aging.  When a chromosome runs out of telomeres, it can no longer divide, and the cell dies.Can lifestyle and attitude influence telomeres?  This is largely unknown territory.  Starting in 1976, thousands of female nurses participated in a Nurses Health Study (NHS) by filling out questionnaires on their health habits and anxiety levels and following up every 2-3 years.  In 1988-1990, thousands submitting blood samples.  This data has now been correlated with telomere counts in the leukocytes (white blood cells), important cells in the immune system.One study by Qi Sun et. al, published in May in PLoS ONE, found a correlation between telomere shortness and unhealthy lifestyles.  Another study by Okereke et al., just published July 11 in PLoS ONE, found a possible connection between “phobic anxiety” and telomere shortness.  This study was summarized on Science Daily.The authors of these papers realize that correlation is not causation, and even correlation is difficult to measure, due to errors and omissions such as inconsistencies in questionnaire responses, lack of follow-up blood samples, evaluation of a single cell type, and evaluations of one gender only.  Nevertheless, the researchers found statistically significant correlations that remained stable even after cross-checking their data various ways.  These studies had the advantage of large data sets involving thousands of participants.If the correlations remain robust in similar studies, it would indicate that mental states and lifestyle choices can produce epigenetic effects on our genes.  Most of us realize that poor lifestyle choices and anxieties are unhealthy, but these studies suggest a detailed physical connection between mind and body about which many of us were unaware.Since it’s very difficult to have high confidence in correlation studies like this, we’ll mark this as interesting and potentially valuable to know.  It fits well with what biologists are learning about the “mysterious epigenome” (see 07/04/2012 entry).  Wouldn’t it be something if your fears or choices have a tangible effect on the action of the telomerase enzymes in your cells?  Don’t make your telomerase say, “What’s the use?  My owner doesn’t care about all the work I do.”last_img read more


Communications Minister Ayanda Dlomo on #PeacefulMarches

first_imgMinister of Communications Ayanda Dlodlo updating South Africa on issues surrounding the #PeacefulMarches that took place today around the country.Minister Ayanda Dlomo and Brand South Africa commend the public for exercising their rights peacefully and responsibly.Here’s some more on what the Minister had to say:last_img


A legal look at wind farm setbacks

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural and Resource Law ProgramThe Ohio Power Siting Board’s approval of new wind-turbine models in facility’s certificate does not constitute an amendment to the certificate for the purposes of triggering current turbine-setback requirements. In 2014, the Ohio Power Siting Board approved an application by Greenwich Windpark to construct a wind farm in Huron County with up to 25 wind turbines. In the initial application, all of the wind turbines would have used the same model of turbine. Just over a year after the application was approved, the wind farm developer applied for an amendment to add three additional models to the approved wind turbine model list, noting that the technology had advanced since its initial application. Two of the three newer models would be larger than the originally planned model, but would occupy the same locations and would comply with the minimum setback requirements at the time the application was approved.The issue involved whether the new setback requirements, which were put in place by the state between the initial approval and the requested change, should apply. An amendment to a certificate would trigger the current wind turbine setback requirements. Greenwich Windpark wanted the less restrictive setback requirements in their initial application to still apply to the newer models, but a local group wanted the more restrictive setback requirements to apply. The Ohio Power Siting Board said that adding the new wind turbine models would not be an amendment, and would not trigger the more restrictive setbacks. The Ohio Supreme Court sided with the Ohio Power Siting Board, explaining that the Ohio General Assembly wanted the Ohio Power Siting Board to have broad authority to regulate wind turbines.last_img read more


Federal Agencies Can Pick the Green Rating System They Like

first_imgGSA had made specific recommendationsThe new rule has a long and complicated history.DOE was required in a law passed in 2007 to identify a green certification system for rating federal buildings. The study fell to the GSA, which in 2008 said that LEED-Silver would meet legal tests. In 2011, DOE asked for comment on whether other green rating systems also would meet requirements of the law, and last year the GSA administrator recommended that federal agencies use either the 2009 LEED standard or the 2010 Green Globes program.If agencies choose LEED, they should get at least a Silver rating; if they use Green Globes, the GSA said they should be certified at the “two globes” level or better.In the most recent rule, the DOE “encourages” federal agencies to consider GSA’s 2013 recommendations on rating systems even if using one is optional.And that, writes Shari Shapiro at the Green Building Law blog, probably means LEED will be the favored system. “Sounds a lot like LEED to me,” she said of the DOE’s updated criteria, “so unless something else comes into the marketplace, Federal buildings are likely to use the LEED standard.”Shapiro found it interesting that GSA requires its own buildings to be certified to the LEED Gold standard.“Since the Final Rule does not have a recommended rating system, and most agencies are unlikely to parse whether a particular rating system other than LEED complies with these characteristics, the GSA’s recommendations are likely to become the Federal default,” she wrote. The U.S. Department of Energy won’t be directing federal agencies to use any particular green-building rating system when they design new buildings and plan major renovations. But whatever system they choose will have to meet certain criteria.Rather than choose the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED system or the competing Green Globes program — both of which have been found to be acceptable by the General Services Administration (GSA) — the rule leaves the choice to agency planners.“DOE is not approving by this rule any specific green building rating systems for use in new Federal buildings and major renovations,” the rule says. “Instead, DOE is specifying in regulation criteria for determining acceptable green building rating systems to allow agencies flexibility in choosing a rating system, including the possibility of using new or improved rating systems that are not currently available or known.“In this way, DOE is allowing Federal agencies to use the system most appropriate for their buildings.”New and substantially renovated federal buildings must meet certain energy standards, but the agencies planning them are not required to use a rating system such as LEED or Green Globes. But should agencies choose to use a rating system, it must meet these conditions:Auditors must be able to verify the criteria of the rating system independently.The certifying organization must be able to collect and use public comment.The standard should be developed with a consensus-based process.The rating system should be recognized in the industry.And it should include a provision for assessing the building’s energy and water conservation after it’s occupied.The final rule, issued by the department on October 14, goes into effect on November 13.last_img read more


Study Recommendations Aim to Protect Ft Bragg over Long Term

first_imgLocal officials are waiting to consider a series of recommendations to preserve training activities at Fort Bragg, N.C., as the post’s latest joint land use study nears completion. On Thursday the study’s sponsor, the Regional Land Use Advisory Commission, heard draft recommendations, including disclosing military impacts to property during real estate transactions, supporting regional efforts to ensure the adequate supply and quality of drinking water sources, and discouraging incompatible growth in critical areas. The recommendations fall into four categories — regional coordination, compatible growth, environmental and actions Fort Bragg can pursue on its own, reported the Fayetteville Observer. A final version of the study and its recommendations are expected to be available later this year.Photo by John Snyder Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more