The review was commissioned by the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson after he launched the Modernising Defence Programme (MDP) to strengthen the Armed Forces in the face of intensifying threats, alongside the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.The independent review of defence’s contribution to national economic and social value by Philip Dunne looks right across the Armed Forces and industry to provide an in-depth picture to inform proposals for reform into the MDP.Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: Philip Dunne’s review shows how vital defence is, not only protecting us from global dangers and safeguarding our national prosperity, but also to our economy by creating thousands of specialist and highly-skilled jobs and creating billions in exports. He paints a clear picture of how defence and defence industry reaches every corner of the UK and is central to employment in so many cities and towns. He lays down some key challenges to consider as our Modernising Defence Programme continues to ensure defence is the best it can be in a post-Brexit Britain. Defence makes a huge contribution across all regions of the UK whether as a major employer, a large investor or as a hub for local communities. Defence is the third largest landowner in the country with 220,000 hectares often benefiting remote and rural communities.The report reveals that around 500,000 people support defence across the UK. It outlines that the UK’s defence industry is one of the world’s strongest with an annual turnover of £22 billion supporting 260,000 jobs, many of which are highly skilled and well-paid. Most importantly, he acknowledges that defence is a major contributor to the nation’s skills and one of the largest employer of apprentices with over 25,500 currently enrolled.Dunne also acknowledges that, in addition to the MOD budget of almost £37 billion, defence’s direct contribution to GDP features over £7 billion of exports generated each year on average. Just recently a shipbuilding contract worth up to £20 billion was signed between BAE Systems and the Australian government for British-designed Type 26 frigates – the biggest Naval defence contract for a decade.Defence’s relationship as a customer and industrial partner with many high growth sectors in the economy generates more activity, particularly in the aerospace, space, cyber, and increasingly the knowledge economy and creative sectors.Defence is also driving investment in British industry through the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which was launched last year to transform the UK maritime industry and boost the prosperity of regions, shipyards and maritime supply chains across the country. The MOD is also set to launch a Combat Air Strategy to ensure Britain maintains a world-leading combat air capability.The MOD will now consider the findings of Philip Dunne’s report as work continues on the MDP. The report also includes a number of recommendations for review, including: further research into the impact of significant procurements on national prosperity; building on the strong relationships with industry suppliers; and considering how the UK’s world-leading institutions could be given greater entrepreneurial freedoms.Philip Dunne said: I am pleased to have been able to undertake this review and am grateful for the help of all those in and outside the Department who have contributed. This is the first time for some years that an independent report has sought to look at the whole impact of Defence on the UK economy, its devolved nations and regions in England. Defence has made a number of important steps in meeting its prosperity objective. It makes a major contribution to our economic well-being, with 500,000 people working directly and indirectly in Defence and over 25,500 apprentices developing skills. In several local communities Defence is one of the leading providers of high skilled jobs. But there is more that can be done as Defence has to adapt to rapidly evolving technological threats, so too should it seize the opportunities to adapt and improve its own processes to help meet the challenges of the high-tech defence future. I look forward to seeing how the MOD responds to this report and have confirmed to the Defence Secretary that I am willing to revisit in some months’ time how the Department has considered and where it has decided to implement these ideas.
Legendary singer Meat Loaf performed at the Northern Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton, Alberta last night, when he unfortunately collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. The news comes after Meat Loaf had cancelled a handful of Canada performance, citing ill health as the reason.Fans reported that the singer fell mid-song, and his slow fall was confusing at first. One fan said that the show seemed to take a lot out of him, according to the CBC. The whole building was evacuated for a medical emergency after Meat Loaf fell.You can watch some video of the incident, courtesy of DJ Rebellion.While reports seem to indicate that Meat Loaf is now stable condition in the hospital, we’re still wishing him all the best.[Photo via CNN] read more
The Stretford End love watching FernandesFernandes lifts Man Utd as Wolves, Arsenal winLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Manchester United moved onto the shoulder of fourth-placed Chelsea on Sunday after brushing aside lowly Watford as Wolves and Arsenal also staked their claims for Champions League football next season.With runaway leaders Liverpool looking certain to win the Premier League, attention has switched to the race for European places, with just 10 points separating fourth-placed Chelsea from Southampton, in 12th spot.New signing Bruno Fernandes opened his goalscoring account for United at Old Trafford from the penalty spot before impressive second-half goals from Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood sealed a 3-0 win.It means United, who have struggled to find consistency all season, are now in fifth place on 41 points, just three adrift of Chelsea.United paid tribute to the late Harry Gregg, hero of the 1958 Munich air disaster, before kick-off at Old Trafford, where Fernandes calmed the nerves in a superb individual display.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised his new signing, who picked up the man-of-the-match award for his display against Watford, languishing second from bottom of the table.“He has done fantastic,” said the Norwegian boss. “He has given everyone a boost. He wants the ball all the time, he wants to conduct the play.“I am very pleased for him. He has done something to the crowd. He shows the attributes of a Manchester United player. He is a great addition to the squad.”Portugal midfielder Fernandes is under no illusions over his task as United look to return to the lucrative Champions League after a season away.“Everyone knows we want to get into the Champions League places. I am here to help the team conquer this place and keep winning games,” he told the BBC.Wolves, in eighth place, are just two points behind United after a convincing 3-0 win against bottom-club Norwich at Molineux.Diogo Jota scored twice and Raul Jimenez poached his 21st of the campaign early in the second period to leave Norwich seven points adrift of safety and looking doomed.Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo said his side had managed the game well. When asked about challenging for a Champions League spot, he said: “We’re going to stay focused because the difficulty is to sustain your performances through the season.“After that, we’ll see, but it’s about building your team and getting them ready to compete whenever, wherever.”– Arsenal comeback –In the day’s late kick-off, Arsenal recovered from a terrible start to hand Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton their first Premier League defeat since New Year’s Day.Dominic Calvert-Lewin finished acrobatically after Arsenal failed to deal with a free-kick in the first minute.Arsenal were level in the 27th minute when Eddie Nketiah finished expertly past Jordan Pickford from Bukayo Saka’s cross and six minutes later they were ahead when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang raced clear and finished coolly.Everton equalised in first-half stoppage time when Richarlison got the faintest of touches to a header from Yerry Mina to poke past Bernd Leno but Arsenal retook the lead when Aubameyang scored his second moments after the re-start.Arsenal survived a late scare to climb to ninth in the table, two points behind Wolves.As it stands, fifth place could be enough to earn a Champions League spot because second-placed Manchester City have been banned from Europe’s elite competition for two seasons, pending an appeal.On Saturday, Chelsea strengthened their grip on a top-four place by beating London rivals Tottenham 2-1 on a day overshadowed by controversial VAR decisions.Officials ruled that Spurs midfielder Giovani Lo Celso did not deserve to be sent off for a stamp on Cesar Azpilicueta that Chelsea boss Frank Lampard called a “leg breaker”.There were also incidents involving the technology in Bournemouth’s defeat at Burnley and Manchester City’s win at Leicester.Elsewhere, there were wins for Crystal Palace and Southampton while high-flying Sheffield United drew 1-1 with Brighton.Share on: WhatsApp read more
In addition, Tropic Ocean Airways says it has rescued 80 people and delivered 12 tons of cargo and supplies via 60 flights since the storm struck the island Sunday. According to authorities, 43 people have been declared dead as a result of the hurricane, and more than 6,600 are still missing.The refugees are allowed to stay here under asylum for 30 days before they are required to apply for visas. However, lawmakers are currently working on legislation that would allow Bahamian refugees to stay without visas. More than 1,400 Bahamian refugees arrived at the Port of Palm Beach over the weekend, after being evacuated by a cruise ship from the destruction of Hurricane Dorian.The Bahamas Paradise “Grand Celebration,” which brought the group to safety, also delivered more than 112 tons of supplies and nearly 300 first responders to the storm-ravaged island. read more
Look up! “What’s that around the sun,” you ask?Some South Floridians have noticed and reported what appears to be a strange ring around the sun this weekend.Apparently, that ring is actually a sun halo, and it may be more common than you might think.It developed as sunlight passed through high, thin cirrus clouds moving into our area from the Gulf of Mexico.These clouds are more than 20,000 feet off the ground. They are so cold that they are actually made of ice crystals.Light passing through them is refracted, just like a prism, creating the halo.Occasionally they can show some color. The halos seen this weekend were vivid enough for a reddish color in the inner ring.Halos can also be found around a bright full moon if conditions are just right. read more
In this Jan. 11, 2014, file photo, Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams answers questions in Nashville, Tenn. Williams announced Sept. 11, 2018, that he will retire once his replacement has been hired. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File) David Williams II, the first African-American athletic director in the Southeastern Conference, announced Tuesday that he has decided to leave his role overseeing Vanderbilt athletics and as vice chancellor. He will stay on as athletic director and vice chancellor until his replacement is hired, then become a full-time law professor. He also is establishing a new Sports, Law & Society program at Vanderbilt Law School.Williams will leave as the SEC’s second-longest tenured athletic director, behind Kentucky’s Mitch Barnhart. Williams said he told Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos last October that he wanted to end his tenure as athletic director on June 30 before being persuaded to stay past that date after turning 70 in January.“I just want them to be able to get somebody that can come in here and keep the ball rolling,” Williams told The Associated Press.In this Jan. 18, 2014 file photo, Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams speaks at a news conference in Nashville, Tenn. Williams announced Sept. 11, 2018, that he will retire once his replacement has been hired. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)Zeppos, chairman of the SEC committee that hired Greg Sankey to replace Mike Slive as commissioner, will oversee the search for Williams’ replacement.“The only challenge will be making sure that the person understands that they’re walking into a great university and they’re kind of following on the footsteps of someone who is really a giant in our history and in college athletics,” Zeppos said.Vanderbilt was criticized heavily for being seen as giving up athletics in 2003 when then-Chancellor Gordon Gee dissolved the department and put athletics under student life. Williams was Vanderbilt’s African-American vice chancellor of student affairs along with being a tenured law professor, general counsel and university secretary. His job overseeing student affairs put him in charge of athletics, which he had worked in while at Ohio State.Williams, who shed a couple of his jobs in taking the athletic director title in July 2012, will leave his job as AD with Vanderbilt having won four national championships combined in baseball (2014), women’s tennis (2015) and women’s bowling (2007, 2018), along with the best football success in nearly a century.He told his family after taking over athletics that Vanderbilt would go to a bowl game. The last bowl berth for the Commodores, whose colors are black and gold, had been in 1982. Vanderbilt now has been to five bowl games under Williams’ tenure, starting in 2008 and most recently in 2016. It marked a huge turnaround for a program that ended the SEC’s longest bowl drought and a 25-year stretch without a winning record.“I remember the disbelief that people had,” Williams said. “But I knew we could do that. And quite honestly, I also knew that the hardest thing of all of this was going to be football because of the size of it and that this is the Southeastern Conference. So I always thought that we could do these things.”Williams hired both James Franklin , now at Penn State, and current coach Derek Mason in football; Vanderbilt has four wins in the past six years over in-state rival Tennessee. He hired Bryce Drew and Stephanie White in 2016 to coach men’s and women’s basketball. He has retained Tim Corbin as baseball coach; Vanderbilt’s streak of 13 straight NCAA Tournament berths is best in the SEC.He also helped oversee upgrades to McGugin Center, home to the football program, along with building an indoor football practice facility that also has a track, upgrades to the baseball field, and offices and renovations at Memorial Gym among others.Williams said his favorite moment as athletic director will be reconciling Vanderbilt with the late Perry Wallace, the first Black basketball player in the SEC. Wallace routinely suffered indignities while playing for the Commodores, both at home and on the road. Vanderbilt retired Wallace’s jersey in 2004, and Williams and his family made the first donation to a new scholarship in Wallace’s name earlier this year.“There’s a lot of proud moments that I will remember and remember, but I think that’s the proudest,” Williams said.There is no set deadline to hire Williams’ replacement. Zeppos said he will consult with coaches, athletes and students. How to improve Vanderbilt Stadium, with the last major renovation at the SEC’s smallest football stadium coming in 1981, will be part of the discussions in hiring a new athletic director.“We’ll get it right,” Zeppos said. “We’ll get it right the Vanderbilt way.”___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The man nicknamed the Goldfather for his work guiding Vanderbilt athletics to success not considered possible at the Southeastern Conference’s only private university is stepping down. read more
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin listens to a question while meeting with reporters following a 26-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Fred Vuich)The time has come. The Mike Tomlin era needs to be over in Pittsburgh. Barring some miracle run that gets the Steelers to the Super Bowl, the Black and Gold must move on.Why should the Steelers move on from a coach who has never had a losing season, you are probably asking…While it’s true; Tomlin has never had a losing season, the only thing that matters to Pittsburgh, or should, at least, is winning championships. Not of the division title variety, but of the Super Bowl variety. Tomlin did win one, 10 years ago, he did appear in another one, eight years ago, and he’s gone 3-5 in the postseason ever since (when he’s made it).Of those five postseason losses, you can count the devastating loss at Denver to the Tim Tebow-led Broncos in 2012 and the disastrous home loss to the Blake Bortles-led Jacksonville Jaguars last season by the score of 45-42.Neither of those should have been losses, yet either way, had the team won, they never would have gotten past the New England Patriots in the following round, a team that up until this season, Tomlin hasn’t been able to beat in seven years.Turns out, that victory over the Patriots may have been the Steelers’ Super Bowl this year. If you’re OK with that, you’re not seeing the bigger picture.Nobody involved with the Steelers in any capacity, ownership, management, players or fans, should ever be accepting of the Steelers’ most exciting moment of the season being a regular season victory over the Patriots. Yet here we are, in the Mike Tomlin era.Ask yourself, are you OK with that?Are you OK with “winning seasons” that end up falling short of the ultimate goal, a championship? If so, go get involved with a team like the Browns who would kill for that.But this is Pittsburgh, a city of champions. Falling short is not acceptable. Is the standard too high? Perhaps it is but as Tomlin would say, “The standard is the standard.” Quite frankly, he’s not living up to that standard at this point.It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that good coaches often get fired. I’m not saying Tomlin wouldn’t or shouldn’t be picked up by another team should the Steelers part ways with him. He’d be the hottest coach available, understandably, but what I’m saying quite simply is, he’s lost his voice in Pittsburgh. He’s been tuned out, moved on from internally, lost respect of the players.There have been far too many discipline issues off the field with the antics of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown to name a few. Let’s not forget that when Ben Roethlisberger was having his off-field issues years ago, that was on Tomlin’s watch, too.Or how about the National anthem flap in 2017 and how poorly that was handled?I could go on.The Martavis Bryant disaster.The Joey Porter bar fight. Oh, and just as a reminder, this was when Porter was a coach!The list goes on.You cannot have a successful team on the field if you don’t hold your players accountable both on and OFF of it. Just look at Marvin Lewis in Cincinnati to understand that.But the discipline issues aren’t just off the field, they are on it as well. The Steelers rank 28th in penalty yards this season, 9th in 2017 (that’s good, no argument), 26th in 2016, 19th in 2015, 15th in 2014, 4th in 2013 (I’m amazed) 24th in 2012 and 22nd in 2011 (the season after they last went to the Super Bowl). That’s an average of 18th in the league, bottom half in other words. Championship football doesn’t consist of averaging 18th in the league in penalty yards given up, I can tell you that much right now. If you think that’s acceptable, go root for the Bengals where it is acceptable, and oh by the way, where they don’t win championships.Tomlin has never put the hammer down on these players. Bill Cowher’s teams averaged 6th in the league his last three years, which were the first three years I was able to pull for this data.My point is, I don’t want to hear the argument that this has always been how the Steelers play football, it hasn’t.Yet if it were just discipline, perhaps that could be lived with. Yet Tomlin is a terrible game manager, can’t handle clock management, use his timeouts properly or even make in-game adjustments. He’s brazen at the wrong times and calls bone-headed plays like the fake punt this past week vs. the Saints (Dec. 23) in a game that had their entire season on the line. The idea of failing and giving Drew Brees the ball with less than half a field to go apparently didn’t matter to Tomlin. He called it, it failed, season over.But it’s not just the bad decisions in-game. It’s the lack of prep pregame. The season-opening tie to the Browns, the losses at Denver and at Oakland, the blown fourth-quarter lead to the Chargers, any one of these games can be looked upon this season as the one that cost them a playoff spot.When you’re a team like the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers, New England Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers, the expectations are to win it all, not just make the playoffs. It’s not happening anymore.Just like in Philadelphia with Andy Reid or in Green Bay with Mike McCarthy, the teams had to move on after a while, things just got stale. Both guys were great, successful coaches for those two organizations. McCarthy even has a Super Bowl title under his belt, like Tomlin does (by beating Tomlin in fact), yet the Packers saw it was time to move on.McCarthy had an all-world quarterback with Aaron Rodgers and the team didn’t want to waste his last remaining years not winning it all.Tomlin has an all-world quarterback with Roethlisberger, an all-world receiver with Brown and another one with JuJu Smith-Schuster, an amazing offensive line and he had an all-world running back with Bell when he was in town as well, yet the team consistently falls short.With talent like that on the roster, it shouldn’t be acceptable to consistently fall short of the ultimate goal. The window is about to close and what do the Steelers have to show for it? At this point, nothing.Tomlin came over as a defensive specialist and when Keith Butler was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2015, it was proclaimed that Tomlin would be heavily involved in the defensive schematics and game-planning. It is widely known that he was very involved in the 45-42 loss to the Jaguars at home this past January 2018 in the divisional round of the playoffs.The defense has been far less than stellar in the last four years and it was downright atrocious in that playoff loss and there are absolutely no arguments about that.If the head coach can’t utilize his “specialty” and improve the team, then what can he do?Well who would they hire, you are probably saying. You’re saying there aren’t many other coaches in the league you would take over Tomlin.OK, fine, that may be true. But would you have taken Tomlin in 2007 over anybody? Probably not. Would you have taken Cowher before him in 1992 over anyone? Doubtful.Yet, the Steelers did. They have an incredible ability to find hidden talent and hire them and win with them. So if you’re the kind of person who’s afraid of change because you think they can’t replace Tomlin, you’re a doubter of the Rooneys. They have proven over and over again that the success the team has had starts from the top with them and then it funnels down to the field. Why wouldn’t they be able to do it again? There is no reason.The front office hires the coaches and provides the talent, it’s up to those coaches to win with that talent that is provided.Tomlin has a lot of talent in that locker room but he’s not getting the job done with it any longer.Ask Rocky Bleier how he feels about this team under Tomlin, aside from the “I’m Done” comment.“With three games remaining, the Steelers’ destiny lies in their hands, but it is shaky with the Patriots, Saints and Bengals on the horizon. How they fare will dictate the team’s future and it may be without [head coach Mike] Tomlin.”I don’t expect him to be fired anytime soon but it’s about that time the Steelers should consider it. If however, Tomlin does bring another Lombardi back to Pittsburgh someday, I’ll write a raving review of him and admit my mistake in judging him. This is in print, hold me to it.Until that happens though, don’t hold your breath. MIKE PELAIACOURIER STEELERS CENTRAL read more
Facebook34Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Jessica JensenI usually write about law but occasionally you’ll find me writing about other topics (like my house fire this winter). This is the first installment in a series I am calling the EV Journal, “EV” meaning my electric vehicle.I waited over a year for my 2011 Nissan Leaf. If the truth be told I hung on to my 1997 Honda CR/V for 4 years longer than I intended to because I wanted my next car to be all electric and it wasn’t until the Leaf that there was a viable, affordable option.Buying my Leaf felt a little like getting a mail order husband. I made a reservation and a $99 deposit on line and waited almost a year before I actually received a tentative delivery date (also on line). About six months before my car arrived, I was notified (guess how?) that I could test drive a Leaf up in Tukwila. I and about a thousand other prospective Leaf buyers got about 10 minutes each to test drive and check out a Leaf. I was sold anyway, but it was fun to see the car in the flesh. It absolutely exceeded my expectations.My shiny red Leaf arrived on one of the few sunny days we had last August. So here’s a recap of the pros and cons of an EV. I haven’t pumped gas since last August and it costs me about $1.58 to fully charge my Leaf (smile). The Leaf was billed as having a 100-mile range, but the range is closer to 70 miles because accessories like headlights and the heater suck up electricity.The Leaf has the usual creature comforts like comfortable seats and legroom (even in the back), back seats that fold down, GPS, hands-free Bluetooth, and a nifty program that locates EV stations along your route and directs you to them if needed. There’s also a small solar panel on the roof to charge accessories.The biggest surprise was how peppy and quiet the Leaf is. It goes from 0-60 almost immediately and it’s so quiet they include a beep-beep back-up sound so pedestrians and bikers can hear me back up. What’s missing is a decent place to stash a trash bag and a sunroof option (heck, I’d take a moonroof).My biggest challenge so far is traveling south beyond Centralia. I can go roundtrip to Tacoma, Shelton and Centralia no problem without stopping for a charge. Seattle is a one-way trip unless I charge up for the journey home. This used to be a major issue unless I was going overnight (because of the time it took to charge), but Seattle just installed a fast-charge station where I can charge in 20 minutes! I can check my email on my iPhone while charging and be on the road again in no time. I’ve done the trip to Seattle only once when my partner Mark and I spent last New Year’s Eve in Seattle and plugged into a regular outlet at the hotel garage to charge up overnight. I’m looking forward to my next trip to Seattle soon so I can report how it goes finding and using the fast-charge station!My Leaf turns 1 this month. Overall, I LOVE my Leaf and would do it again in a heartbeat. The Leaf is quiet, fun to drive and I enjoy being an EV pioneer. Stay tuned for EV adventures where I’ll be discussing longer trips, range, charging stations and the long-anticipated EV Highway.Read the next article here. read more