Chris Ashton – Northampton and England

first_imgMe centre of attention? – Never! TAGS: Northampton Saints RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the pitch?CA: One of Shane Geraghty’s kicks nearly took a player’s head off in a game against Castres!RW: If your house was alight, what three things would you save?CA: My dog Henry, an English bulldog. My photos. And my first England shirt.RW: What do the England boys do to wind down?CA: The cinema, or we go for food. There’s a Chinese near Pennyhill Park. Charlie Hodgson always loses his credit card there.RW: Do you have any bad habits?CA: Driving too fast when late. I’ve not been caught speeding for a while though, so let’s not jinx it!RW: What’s the best game you’ve played in?CA: Against Australia in Sydney. We won and I scored my first Test try. That one was important.Too many trainers, his alternative career choice and important lessons…RW: What are your bugbears?CA: Foden makes this weird noise with his throat. It’s horrible! He doesn’t know he’s doing it and it really winds me up!RW: What superpower would you want and why?CA: To be invisible, but I can’t tell you what I’d like to do! I’d sneak around people’s houses. And rob banks and spend all the money on whatever I wanted.RW: Who would be your three dream dinner party guests?CA: Michael Jackson for entertainment. My favourite song is Man in the Mirror. Rocky for protection. And the Godfather, because I want to be in his gang.RW: What’s your dream holiday?CA: A hot beach with my missus. Paul Diggin Dylan Hartley Chris Ashton training with EnglandNot only has Chris, a Rugby League convert, made a seamless transition to Union, he has done so with vigour and made sure everyone took notice of his first International try. Now a familiar face around the England squad, Rugby World caught up with him to chat England antics, bad habits and driving a Ferrari. Rugby World: Who do you share a room with on England duty?Chris Ashton: Ben Foden. He’s very messy. He throws his stuff everywhere, whereas mine’s all neat and tidy. He doesn’t brush his teeth sometimes either! One person I wouldn’t like to share with is Delon Armitage, he stinks! I don’t think he uses deodorant.RW: Who are England’s jokers?CA: Haskell likes to be the centre of attention. He’s got a loud voice so people have to pay attention to him. I’m like that at Northampton, but I can’t be like that when I’m with England yet. RW: What can’t you live without?CA: A car. And white trainers, I’ve got about 100 pairs!RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?CA: Lee Evans, he’s hilarious!RW: What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought?CA: A car when I first arrived in Northampton that I got for £400. It was an old banger, and at training one day the lads spray-painted it so I had to get rid of it. Now I drive a Ferrari… no, it’s a Ford Mondeo.RW: If you weren’t playing rugby, what else would you like to do?CA: I’d be a milkman. You just have to work in the morning and then get the rest of the day off, and you get a milk float to drive.RW: Who would play you if a film was made of your life?CA: Dylan Hartley. People get us mixed up. They’d have to play it in fast-forward though.RW: What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?CA: To play an instrument. I’ve tried the guitar but I’ve not got the patience for it so I’ll go for piano.RW: What’s the most important lesson you’ve ever learnt?CA: You can’t shoulder-charge in rugby union, and you have to tackle with your arms!RW: How would you like to be remembered?CA: As that unbelievably good-looking winger!Check out his England profile…A few quick fire questions with Chris…Relive Chris’s try against Australia during last years Autumn Internationals…Learn more about Chris’s teammates at Northampton Saints….Joe Ansbro LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALSlast_img read more

Premier’s path to top

first_imgPremier’s £1.2bn takeover of RHM came as a surprise to many investors, but the company has demonstrated an appetite for iconic British brands in the past.Since its stock market flotation two years ago, Premier has acquired Bird’s custard and Angel Delight brands, and the company behind the meat substitute brand Quorn for £172m. In July it also acquired Campbell’s Soup, which includes Oxo, Batchelor soups and Homepride sauces, in a £460m deal.After the RHM deal, Premier’s finance director Paul Thomas said the company was still looking for more UK brands to add to its portfolio and had the financial capacity to pursue further acquisitions.The RHM deal is predicted by industry commentators to put pressure on rivals such as Associated British Foods and Northern Foods.For the year ending 31 December 2005, Premier Foods reported sales of £790m and operating profits of £102m. The company wants to get a larger part of sales from branded products, which offer a higher rate of return, than making goods under supermarkets own-brands.The deal with RHM will leave Premier as the UK’s biggest food producer with combined sales of around £2.6bn per year.RHM has annual sales of over £1.5bn and over 15,000 employees at approximately 50 locations.For the year ended 29 April 2006, RHM reported sales of £1.56bn and profit of £174m. RHM reported gross assets of £1.35bn and net debt of £676m.Investment group Doughty Hanson floated RHM in July 2005 and retained a 33% shareholding in the company. It first sold stock to investors in July 2005 at 275p. RHM was valued at 352.45p per share by Premier in the deal. Despite high wheat and energy costs, RHM announced. In October that its first-half sales rose 2%.Premier has predicted annual synergies of £85m over the next three years. According to press reports, these will come from £50m worth of cost reductions at manufacturing facilities, a further £25m will come from lower purchasing costs and £10m from closing RHM’s head office in Buckinghamshire, which employs 100 people.Premier Foods was represented by Rothschild and Merrill Lynch in the deal. RHM was represented by Credit Suisse and Citigroup.last_img read more

Alumni win 2016 Kenneth Rothman Epidemiology Prize

first_imgJohn Jackson, S.D. ’13, and Sonja Swanson, S.D. ’14, are the winners of the 2016 Kenneth Rothman Epidemiology Prize. The award is given annually for the best paper published in Epidemiology in the preceding year, and was announced in the journal’s July 2016 issue. It was presented June 23 at the Epidemiology Congress of the Americas.Jackson and Swanson’s winning paper, “Toward a Clearer Portrayal of Confounding Bias in Instrumental Variable Applications,” appeared in the July 2015 issue of Epidemiology. Instrumental variable analyses are widely used in epidemiological studies to estimate causal relationships — such as exposure to air pollution and lung cancer incidence — when controlled experiments are not possible. When doing these studies, researchers must account for additional factors such as differences between the exposed and unexposed populations that could result in a distortion known as confounding bias.“In our paper, we introduced intuitive graphical plots that more accurately represent potential bias,” said Jackson, who is a Yerby Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Epidemiology. “These sorts of tools are critical for readers of published studies, especially when they are charged with making public health decisions that affect the lives of millions.”Swanson, who is an adjunct assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and an assistant professor at Erasmus MC in the Netherlands, called the paper “a lovely example of fruitful collaboration.” She said, “I am incredibly grateful to our mentors for fostering an environment that supported John and me as we pursued and developed our own research ideas.” Read Full Storylast_img read more

Can the Steelers do it again? Be beaten by a winless team?

first_imgCELEBRATION—Antonio Brown celebrates after one of his 7 catches. He was flagged for one of 13 penalties against the Steelers for 125 yards. (AP photo)The Steelers were upset by one of the worst teams in the NFL and hopefully it will not be deja vu when they once again face a winless team this weekend.After playing without a doubt their greatest game of the season against the Carolina Panthers, the Steelers laid an egg against the then winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers last weekend.The Bucs under the leadership of new coach Lovie Smith, who took the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl, only to be fired a few years later after a 10-6 season, is in his first season with the Bucs after sitting out a year.The Bucs also had a new quarterback in Mike Glennon who was supposed to be the face of the future but with the injury to the starter he was forced into action and probably will be the starting quarterback from now on.The Steelers defense held the Bucs in check the first half allowing only 64 total yards but the offense was only able to build a 17-10 lead.last_img read more

Record Number Of Beaches Cleaned Of Debris During Annual Sweep

first_imgWhen Clean Action Ocean began its annual beach Sweep in 1985, only 75 people participated. Last weekend thousands came to help clear tons of debris from 75 sites.During the group’s 27th Annual Spring Beach Sweep along the Jersey Shore volunteers removed and catalogued each piece of debris to document ongoing pollution issues. Robust crowds were reported up and down the coast.More than 1,200 volunteers attended the event in Sandy Hook and collected 8,705 pieces of plastic, 8,384 pieces of foam, 7,527 food wrappers, and 6,665 plastic caps and lids. Volunteers also picked up 94 six-pack holders, 141 shotgun shells, 45 shoes, and 564 plastic utensils. Dog tags, lottery tickets, a solar panel, plastic strawberries and hair rollers were also collected.“Human trash is now found on every shoreline in the world and throughout the global ocean,” said Cindy Zipf, executive director of the organization. “Human trash not only makes beaches ugly, it maims and kills marine life. We must do more to reduce plastic pollution and Beach Sweeps are one way citizens can help and their response is inspiring… People love the beach and ocean and are proud of the real Jersey Shore.”The data collected will be combined with data collected during the Fall Beach Sweep in October, and then analyzed and presented in an annual report. These annual reports identify pollution problems, educate citizens on the types and quantities of debris, aid legislators in passing and enforcing laws to protect the marine environment, and contribute to local and international efforts to combat marine pollution. Clean Ocean Action released the 2011 Annual Beach Sweep last week (available at“The Beach Sweeps helps to raise public awareness about how debris enters the marine environment, as well as the types, quantities, and sources of marine debris,” said Tavia Danch, Clean Action Ocean’s education coordinator for pollution prevention.“Volunteers are encouraged to make the connection between what they are removing from the beach and their everyday decisions, such as the consumerism of single-use plastics. Volunteers learned, first- hand, the negative impacts of single-use plastics on the coastal environment, in addition to the small changes they can make in their everyday lives to prevent pollution,” added Danch.To learn more about the Beach Sweeps and Clean Ocean Action, call 732-872-0111 or visit read more

Former Irish athletics stars to launch Patsy McGonagle’s book, ‘Relentless’

first_imgTwo former Irish athletics stars will be in Donegal next Monday night to mark the launch of Patsy McGonagle’s new autobiography.Former World champion and Olympic medallist Rob Heffernan and former European champion David Gillick will be the guests of honour at the official launch of ‘Relentless: A Race Through Time’, which charts the story of McGonagle’s life and times.Picture: Patsy McGonagle with Rob Heffernan after his gold medal win at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow. There is an open invite to the launch, which takes place at the Finn Valley Centre at 8pm.McGonagle was Irish athletics team manager for 25 years, during which time he led the cream of Irish track and field (including Sonia O’Sullivan, Heffernan, Gillick, Derval O’Rourke and Mark English) into 4 Olympic Games, 6 World Championships and 6 European Championships.In his time in charge, Ireland came home with 2 Olympic medals, 9 World medals and 27 European medals.McGonagle was Irish manager when Heffernan won gold in the men’s 50k race walk at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow and oversaw Gillick’s winning of a European indoor gold medal in 2007 in Birmingham. Patsy McGonagle with David GillickIrish athletics icon O’Sullivan, who won a silver medal at McGonagle’s first Olympic Games in Sydney 2000 is set to feature on the launch via video link from Australia.McGonagle’s memoir, written by Donegal Daily/Donegal Sport Hub Sports Editor Chris McNulty and published by Hero Books, charts the Ballybofey man’s remarkable story and will be on sale on the night.A graduate from St Mary’s College for Physical Education in London in 1972, McGonagle never lost sight of his home county – he built Finn Valley Athletics Club into a world class facility, and twice served as a coach and selector with the Donegal senior football team.McGonagle now tells his amazing life story in which he always remained Relentless.‘Relentless: A Race Through Time’Patsy McGonagle, A Memoir (with Chris McNulty)Published: June 2019, Hero Books, €20.00 (ISBN 9781910827079) Advertisement Former Irish athletics stars to launch Patsy McGonagle’s book, ‘Relentless’ was last modified: June 4th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Chris McNultyDavid GillickFinn Valley ACmark englishpatsy mcgonagleRelentlessRob HeffernanSonia O’Sullivanlast_img read more

Budget 2017 infographic: Where does the money come from? How will it be spent?

first_imgThe lion’s share of South Africa’s 2017 Budget will be spent on basic education – some R243-billion, or around 15.5% of total spending. But where does the money come from? And what are the government’s other spending priorities? Our handy infographic explains.The main sources of money the government spends are taxes and levies.Tough economic conditions have reduced the amount of taxes that will be collected in 2017/18.In order to sustain its spending priorities, the government has proposed raising additional tax revenue mainly from personal income tax and dividend withholding tax. As a result, some, R1.3-trillion is expected to be collected in 2017/18.Here’s a quick overview of where the money comes from, and how it will be spent.Click the image to enlarge.Words: Mary AlexanderDesign: Jae BritsWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

NPPC speaks out on NAFTA

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Following notification by the Trump administration that it will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the National Pork Producers Council released a white paper on the benefits of the trade deal among the United States, Canada and Mexico.The paper, which focuses primarily on trade with Mexico, makes the case for not abandoning the 23-year-old pact and for not disrupting trade in sectors for which the agreement has worked well, including U.S. pork. Mexico is the No. 2 export market for U.S. pork, and Canada is No. 4. For all U.S. goods and services, Canada and Mexico are the top two destinations, accounting for more than one-third of total U.S. exports, adding $80 billion to the U.S. economy and supporting more than 14 million American jobs, according to U.S. government data.While considerable attention has been given to the $63 billion trade deficit the United States has with Mexico, NPPC’s paper highlights two key facts: When NAFTA took effect Jan. 1, 1994, trade between the United States and Mexico was only $50 billion each way. Last year, U.S. exports to Mexico were nearly quintuple that amount at $231 billion, and those exports supported 5 million U.S. jobs. And while imports to the United States from Mexico were $294 billion, those, too, supported millions of U.S. jobs (nearly 40 percent of Mexican imports include U.S. content).For U.S. agriculture, Canada and Mexico are the second and third largest foreign markets. They imported more than $38 billion of U.S. products in 2016, or 28% of all U.S. agricultural exports. Those exports generated more than $48 billion in additional business activity throughout the economy and supported nearly 287,000 jobs.Disrupting U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico and Canada, the NPPC paper points out, would have devastating consequences for America’s farmers and for the U.S. processing and transportation industries. U.S. pork producers would be particularly hard hit.Iowa State University economist Dermot Hayes calculated that if Mexico placed a 20% duty on U.S. pork — a likely response to a U.S. withdraw from NAFTA — and allowed other countries duty-free access, the U.S. pork industry eventually would lose the entire Mexican market. That equates to a loss of 5% of U.S. pork production, which would reduce the U.S. live hog market by 10% at a cost of $14 per hog, or a nearly $1.7 billion aggregate loss to the industry.“A loss in exports to Mexico of that magnitude would be cataclysmic for the U.S. pork industry,” said Nick Giordano, NPPC’s vice president for global government affairs. “Pork producers will support updating and improving NAFTA but only if duties on U.S. pork remain at zero and pork exports are not disrupted.”The NPPC paper also notes that NAFTA has provided benefits beyond trade, including improved relations with Canada and Mexico, better regional investment and supply chains, increased cooperation with Mexico in fighting drug trafficking and terrorism and greater political stability in that country. [Click here to read the white paper.]last_img read more

Helping the Homeless in Seattle

first_imgIn 2011, Seattle architect Rex Hohlbein began taking pictures of people living on the street and posting the photographs on a Facebook page. He was trying to capture the stories behind the stereotypes, and in a few years the project had blossomed into a non-profit advocacy group called Facing Homelessness. Its motto was “Just Say Hello.” Hohlbein’s goal was to break down the negative stereotypes that divided homeless people from everyone else. In time, his architectural practice became a kind of hangout where people could stop in, have a cup of coffee, use the bathroom, and pass the time of day. That turned out to be just a start. A few years later, Hohlbein’s daughter, Jenn LaFreniere, moved back to town after earning her master’s degree in architecture. The two began meeting every Friday morning for coffee to talk about what they could do as architects to ease a homelessness problem that had reached crisis proportions.RELATED ARTICLESBuilding Community to End HomelessnessTiny Houses Join the Building CodeRethinking the Small House Sweet SpotBoston Mulls a New Template for Urban HousingLittle Houses Are a Big Step for Dallas Homeless And from those conversations sprang the BLOCK Project, a grassroots effort to pair someone in need of a place to live with a homeowner willing to give up part of their backyard for a 125-square-foot self-contained house. The first of those houses — designed by Hohlbein and LaFreniere and their new firm BLOCK Architects — was finished last October. Three others are either complete or in the works. The $30,000 houses are built with donated labor and many donated materials and funded entirely by contributions from the community, LaFreniere said in a telephone call. The average donation is less than $15. According to the project’s website, enough money has been donated to build 13 houses. More than 100 city homeowners have volunteered to have one of the houses placed in their yards. “We ultimately think of the BLOCK Project as a community building project where neighbors come together to help those in need,” she said. Their hope is that the tiny houses eventually will be used to help not just the homeless but also for those with mental health issues, refugees, and the elderly. The program’s inaugural hosts are Kim Sherman and her partner Dan. Their new backyard tenant is 76-year-old Robert, who spent a decade living in emergency shelters and on the street prior to his move. Sherman describes their decision to become involved in the program, and how it’s worked out to date, in this guest blog. It originally appeared at Trim Tab, a blog published by the International Living Future Institute. Building a solid administrative foundation The houses are owned by the BLOCK Project, not the homeowners who host them, and are considered detached accessory dwellings under the city’s municipal code, according to the FAQ section of the project’s website. Single-family lots of at least 4,000 square feet can legally accommodate an accessory dwelling of up to 800 square feet. (See the photo gallery at the top of this column for two drawings that offer more detail about how the houses are built.) The program has taken pains to create a legal framework that protects both residents and homeowners. Social service agencies help screen prospective residents, who must agree to follow a code of conduct. Residents currently do not pay rent. The houses are built so they can be taken apart and moved, as might be the case should a homeowner decide to move. The BLOCK Project is hoping the house design will meet the rigorous certification requirements of the Living Building Challenge. “We know that BLOCK homes are not going to be a perfect fit for everyone,” LaFreniere said. “We’re putting a lot of emphasis on the match-making process with the resident and the host family. We want that to be more of a friendship than a legal, contractual relationship.” The organization has been careful to think through some of the scenarios that might crop up. “We have spent a lot of time creating a solid foundation for this project and trying to think through a lot of stuff,” LaFreniere said. “We have more lawyers on this project than architects.” It’s early going for the program, but interest is picking up in other cities where homelessness is proving to be an increasingly difficult problem. The project has had inquiries from several major cities, LaFreniere said, including San Jose; Portland, Oregon; San Diego; and Boston. “The BLOCK Project is a community building project,” the website says. “We believe that as a city and a society we end homelessness when every member of the community is engaged in the solution … The BLOCK Home is just one component of what is needed for someone to transition out of homelessness. In order to thrive, we all need community and access to resources and the density of a metropolitan area makes both of these things possible.”last_img read more