After much hand-wringing over how many Kansas City Royals would start the MLB All-Star Game, the final fan voting tallies were released late Sunday, and the rest of America can breathe a sigh of relief. The tabulation revealed that “only” four K.C. players — Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Salvador Perez — will be slotted into the lineup by the fans.(Two Royals relief pitchers, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera, were added by the players and Royals manager Ned Yost, who is managing the American League this year. Third baseman Mike Moustakas has a chance to become the fifth Royal chosen by the fans in the final round of voting, which ends Friday.)It was a far cry from the staggering eight Royals who were in position to start the game for the American League a few weeks ago, a number that sparked accusations of improper ballot-box stuffing (which MLB officials denied). Had the Royals sustained that number — or even one fewer, if we exclude designated hitters, as Baseball-Reference’s yearly table does — it would have been historic. Since baseball ditched dual All-Star Games in 1963, no team has garnered more than five non-DH position-player starters in one midsummer classic.Kansas City almost certainly didn’t deserve that many players on the lineup card. Based on the historical relationship between a team’s All-Star Game position-player starters and its record, a team with seven starters (again, excluding the DH) should have won something like 68 percent of its games through midseason, which would come out to 110 wins over a full season.1If we regress to the mean, as good sabermetrics would suggest we should, it would work out to a true talent of 103 wins. (Which is still a lot.) That’s as many as the juggernaut 1927 Yankees had.2Albeit in 154 games.But the Royals aren’t the ’27 Yankees. Fangraphs projects that the Royals will finish the year with 92 wins if they maintain their first-half form.As it is, four All-Star starters is an impressive count. Only 14 teams since 1963 have had that many position players as starters.You can quibble over how many starters the team actually deserved. According to Fangraphs’ version of wins above replacement (WAR), only left fielder Gordon leads American Leaguers at his position thus far in 2015. And based on historical teams with the same midseason record, there was only a 1.9 percent probability that the Royals would get four or more starters. The voting power of Kansas City’s fans certainly seems to have exceeded the performance of its players.But the Royals do boast five players who rank among the AL’s top four at their position in WAR (Gordon, Cain and Perez, plus Eric Hosmer and Moustakas). And Kansas City’s record is also very much in keeping with those of the four-starter club’s other members: As of Sunday, their winning percentage on the season (58.2 percent) was only marginally lower than the average first-half winning percentage (59.1 percent) for all teams with four All-Star Game starters since 1963.Yes, the Royals fan base was particularly mobilized during this season’s voting cycle, perhaps out of leftover enthusiasm from last year’s World Series run (which came after years of futility). But maybe that’s a key part of the story as well. From 2001 through 2013, K.C. didn’t have a single All-Star starter; less than a month ago, it looked like they’d have eight in one year. Sympathy turned into backlash. The fans’ votes eventually found the equilibrium between those extremes, and that the Royals ended up with four starters isn’t so crazy after all.
Atlanta156.36-0.3 According to Elo, Kansas City was expected to win about about eight of their 16 playoff games, four more than they actually won. That’s a testament to how good the Chiefs’ regular seasons have been, but also to how many ways they’ve fallen short in the playoffs. They’ve choked late in games (Chiefs fans surely remember the team’s slow collapse against Indy in 2014) and been blown out early (they fell in quick holes against the Colts in 2004 and the Bills in 1994). According to their win probability added (WPA) at various stages of the game, the Chiefs have done plenty of both during their run of playoff futility. Cincinnati94.21-3.2 Kansas City167.64-3.6 Houston62.63+0.4 Cleveland10.30-0.3 Arizona114.26+1.8 Tampa Bay115.35-0.3 Miami177.46-1.4 Philadelphia2613.212-1.2 WINS After a hard-earned bye in Week 1 of this year’s NFL playoffs, the Kansas City Chiefs are back in the divisional round for the second straight season. You’ll have to forgive K.C. fans, however, if they aren’t all that optimistic.Simply put, the second round of the playoffs is where Chiefs seasons usually go to die. Including this year, they’ve made seven trips to the divisional round since 1990 (when the league expanded its playoff field to 12 teams). They haven’t made it any further than that since 1993, when they lost to the Bills in the AFC Championship Game.And it hasn’t been for lack of trying. From 1990 through this year, K.C. has been in the postseason 13 times, the eighth-most of any team. But the Chiefs own one of the most disappointing playoff records in modern history: They’ve won a grand total of four playoff games over that span — the fifth-fewest of any team in football. Kansas City’s playoff record is an abysmal 4-12 during that stretch.In fairness to the Chiefs, they’ve played more than half of those playoff games on the road. They’ve also run into more than their share of tough opponents, including the 2015 Patriots and 2010 Ravens in recent years and the Super Bowl-bound Colts, Broncos and Bills in an earlier era. But even if we account for those factors using FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings — which can be used to create a prediction for each game — K.C. still has the biggest shortfall between its actual and expected playoff wins of any NFL team since 1990: Washington146.67+0.4 Buffalo189.610+0.4 Chicago125.95-0.9 San Diego167.87-0.8 Detroit103.91-2.9 Oakland136.76-0.7 New England3822.625+2.4 Minnesota199.16-3.1 Green Bay3619.620+0.4 Biggest playoff underachievers in the 12-team era, 1990-2016 Jacksonville114.55+0.5 Los Angeles105.66+0.4 New Orleans157.97-0.9 Pittsburgh3318.619+0.4 Dallas2413.514+0.5 This funk has lasted so long that it’s hard to assign blame for Kansas City’s struggles. The Chiefs’ stretch of underachievement spans seven different coaches and 11 primary quarterbacks. (Under the team’s current QB, Alex Smith, K.C. has a 1-2 record in the playoffs.) Maybe there’s something in the water — or at least in Arthur Bryant’s barbecue sauce — that precludes the team from making a deep playoff run. Or maybe, given enough teams and enough time, these kinds of droughts will inevitably happen to somebody.VIDEO: The Chiefs are chronic underachievers Indianapolis2913.814+0.2 Denver2613.715+1.3 Carolina167.49+1.6 Seattle2312.013+1.0 N.Y. Jets155.87+1.2 N.Y. Giants229.714+4.3 Baltimore2511.416+4.6 San Francisco2715.215-0.2 Forecasted wins are based on the game’s location and each team’s pregame Elo ratingsSource: Pro-Football-Reference.com Tennessee168.16-2.1 FRANCHISENO. OF GAMESFORECASTEDACTUALDIFFERENCE Either way, this could finally be the year for a Chiefs breakthrough. On Sunday, they’ll play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Elo gives them a 64 percent chance of moving on to the AFC Championship Game — K.C.’s best odds in a playoff game since they hosted the Colts in a divisional-round game in 1996. (Naturally, the Chiefs lost that one, too.) Furthermore, Kansas City is built like a team that traditionally succeeds in the postseason, with a strong special teams and passing defense, plus a surprisingly efficient aerial attack featuring quarterback Alex Smith and tight end Travis Kelce.None of this guarantees that K.C. will overcome its long history of postseason disappointment, nor does it mean the Chiefs are necessarily “due” for a playoff turnaround after such a long wait. But with Elo giving the team a 15 percent chance of winning this year’s Super Bowl, Kansas City’s championship odds are the highest they’ve been at this stage of the playoffs in a long time.1Specifically, since K.C.’s divisional-round game against Denver in 1998, before which it had a 21 percent chance of winning the championship, per Elo. Now it’s up to this team to break with Chiefs tradition and win a dang divisional game.Check out our latest NFL playoff predictions.
PlayerYearAgeOPS+PlayerYearAgeWAR/G Ronald Acuña Jr.’s rookie year was historicFor MLB hitters age 20 or younger in a season since 1901, greatest adjusted on-base plus slugging and wins above replacement per game 20Vada Pinson195920129Mel Ott192819.032 Min. 450 plate appearances for OPS+ leaders and 100 games for WAR/G leadersSources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs 17Bryce Harper201320133Ken Griffey Jr.199020.033 2Ty Cobb190720167Alex Rodriguez199620.064 3Mel Ott192920165Mel Ott192920.051 10Ronald Acuña Jr.201820145Jason Heyward201020.039 18Tony Conigliaro196520133Bryce Harper201320.033 11Juan Soto201819143Vada Pinson195920.038 4Al Kaline195520162Al Kaline195520.051 8Rogers Hornsby191620151Frank Robinson195620.041 15Ken Griffey Jr.199020136Bryce Harper201219.034 13Dick Hoblitzell190920143Rogers Hornsby191620.037 16Sherry Magee190520134Sherry Magee190520.034 At a glance, Acuña’s early 2019 numbers actually represent a slight downgrade from that stellar rookie campaign. His OPS+ has dipped from 145 to 134, thanks to a big decline in slugging percentage (.552 to .487). Relatedly, Acuña is hitting home runs less frequently, and his isolated power is down nearly 70 points. It looks sure like a mild sophomore slump — albeit one we should all be so lucky to have.Under the surface, however, Acuña has made some impressive strides this year in two important areas: plate discipline and defense.Acuña’s 2018 walk rate of 9.2 percent was already better than league average — particularly impressive considering the whole “20-year-old rookie” factor — but his 2019 rate is up to 12.7 percent, which ranks 35th in baseball. He’s seeing more pitches (4.61 per plate appearance, second-most in baseball) and consistently getting into good hitter’s counts more often than he did a year ago. At the same time, Acuña has been whiffing a lot less so far in 2019. He struck out in 25.3 percent of his plate appearances last season, which ranked him around the bottom quarter of MLB hitters, but this year that rate is down to 21.8 percent, comfortably in the top half of the league.Those changes give Acuña an overall strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1.72, which is the second-lowest in baseball for a hitter his age. Since a player’s batting eye is a core leading indicator for his underlying hitting skills, Acuña’s improved strike-zone judgment is a great sign of his ongoing development at the plate.The other area in which Acuña has improved is defense. We combined the Ultimate Zone Rating figures found at FanGraphs and the Defensive Runs Saved numbers at Baseball-Reference.com and found that Acuña was no better than an average outfielder last season. (And he might have been worse than that — another prominent metric, Michael Humphreys’ Defensive Regression Analysis, considered him to be 3 runs below average.) This season, Acuña’s numbers are up no matter which source you consult; he’s on pace to have improved by about 10 runs — or 1 entire win — if he ends up playing the same number of innings as in 2018.4Which probably undersells his potential improvement, because Acuña was limited to 111 games last year between injuries and Atlanta’s service-time chicanery.The advanced fielding stats may just be catching up with what the eye test already knew about Acuña’s defensive potential. FanGraphs’ annual poll of fan fielding assessments had already judged Acuña to be one of the most talented left fielders in the game last season, thanks to his tremendous first step and speed to the ball off the bat. But now that he’s putting those skills to use in the metrics, Acuña’s potential value looks even greater: Per 162 team games, he’s tracking for 7.0 WAR this season, which basically matches what Ken Griffey Jr. and Albert Pujols had at the same age.Acuña’s dip in power this year is a bit puzzling, particularly since his Statcast hitting metrics — including exit velocity, hard-hit ball rate and “barrels” (balls hit with the ideal velocity and launch angle) — are also down across the board. Some of that might come down to the injury that kept him out of Sunday’s game: “It’s been on and off,” Acuña told reporters through an interpreter after picking up four hits but exiting Saturday’s game early. “I’ve felt it for a while, so it wasn’t today. Today, it just kind of grabbed at me after I had a quick swing like that and got out of the box pretty quickly. That’s when I felt it. But I felt good coming into today, as always.”But assuming his back isn’t an ongoing issue, Acuña should get plenty more pitches to crush as the season goes on, given his improved willingness to wait out favorable counts. Acuña may not be launching balls out of the park left and right like Bellinger at the moment — he hasn’t homered since April 16, in fact — but the foundation of his game still has superstardom stamped into it as much as ever. 5Mickey Mantle195220162Ted Williams193920.046 14Mel Ott192819139Ronald Acuña Jr.201820.035 When the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Atlanta Braves for a three-game series starting tonight, all eyes will be on a precocious young star who’s taken his game to the next level early this season. We are, of course, talking about L.A.’s Cody Bellinger … right? Certainly Bellinger has been great so far, and he was just named the National League’s player of the month for April. But “precocious young star” could also fit Bellinger’s counterpart on the Braves: Ronald Acuña Jr. Acuña’s ongoing development as a superstar hasn’t gotten as much attention as Bellinger’s, particularly during his recent slump and injury absence over the weekend, but Atlanta’s 21-year-old left fielder is showing important signs of improvement, too, despite surface-level numbers that can’t match those of his Dodger rival.Acuña’s 2018 rookie season already put him in the history books. After being held down in Triple-A until April 25, he posted the 10th-best adjusted on-base plus slugging (OPS+) of any player age 20 or younger in a season since 1901,1Minimum 450 plate appearances. edging out fellow NL East outfielder Juan Soto in the process, and he had the 14th-most wins above replacement2Averaging together the WAR versions found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. per game3Minimum 100 games. of any 20-or-under hitter over the same span, besting Bryce Harper, Ken Griffey Jr. and Willie Mays. Adj. on-base plus sluggingWins above replacement per game 6Alex Rodriguez199620161Mickey Mantle195220.046 1Mike Trout201220168Mike Trout201220.074 19Jason Heyward201020131Willie Mays195120.032 7Ted Williams193920160Ty Cobb190720.046 9Jimmie Foxx192820148Jimmie Foxx192820.040 12Frank Robinson195620143Manny Machado201320.037
Junior Kyle Snyder lifts Penn State’s Nick Nevills for a takedown on Feb. 3, 2017 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 32-12. Credit: Nicholas McWilliams | Sports EditorThe No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes stepped out to the mats draped in robes on Friday at the Schottenstein Center, but they weren’t able to get comfortable against the No. 2 Nittany Lions, eventually losing 32-12. OSU only managed three wins in 10 bouts.One of those victories was junior Kyle Snyder in the heavyweight division. The Olympic gold medal winner dominated No. 3 Nick Nevills 19-9. That was the highlight for the Buckeyes.Penn State began its dominance early starting with second-ranked Nick Suriano. OSU redshirt freshman Jose Rodriguez had little answer for Suriano, losing via technical fall at 125 pounds.No. 1 133-pounder redshirt junior Nathan Tomasello captured a technical fall of his own to even the team score 5-5, but it was the closest the Buckeyes would come to the upset.Penn State proceeded to go on a six-match win streak, driving the score up to 32-5 before OSU redshirt freshman Kollin Moore captured a victory at 197 pounds. The Buckeyes were mathematically eliminated from a shot at a victory before the 184-pound matchup began.At 149 pounds, No. 5 Micah Jordan (OSU) was pitted against No. 1 Zain Retherford, and dropped the matchup with a 20-5 technical fall. Jordan has faced top-three opponents each of the last two weeks.“Micah Jordan wrestled a heck of a match against a heck of a wrestler,” OSU coach Tom Ryan said. “We had a mental break, and that mental break resulted in a six-point move. Two six-point moves occurred, and then you have a problem.”The Buckeyes trotted out backups at 157 and 174 pounds. Penn State had a top-10 wrestler in each of those classes and showed it by pinning their OSU counterparts at each of those weights.At 184 pounds, there was a rematch from the 2016 National Championships between sophomores Myles Martin and Bo Nickal. While Martin won the National Championship for OSU, Nickal got the better of him in this matchup, winning by decision 8-2.Fourth-ranked 197-pounder Kollin Moore continued to cement himself as one of the elite wrestlers in his weight class with a 9-6 decision victory over No. 9 Matt McCutcheon (PSU).On the night, the Buckeyes finished with three victories in 10 matchups, and they’re second consecutive team loss. There were no upset victories on the night, as every match was won by the wrestler who was ranked higher.At 174 pounds, Bo Jordan was out after aggravating a foot injury last week against Iowa, Ryan said in the post-match press conference.“The only reason why I would’ve wrestled him (Bo Jordan) tonight, was for my ego, the ego of this staff, and that’s a wrong reason to put someone in a wrestling match,” Ryan said. “The best thing for Bo is to heal and get ready to train. We do not want Bo feeling the way he feels now at the Big Tens.”On another note, American wrestlers were banned from participating in the Iranian World Cup, which included Snyder and former Buckeye great, and four-time NCAA champion, Logan Stieber.“I know they want us there to compete,” Snyder said about the current status of the U.S. Wrestling team’s visas to travel to Iran. “We’ll just have to see what happens.”Snyder and Stieber were set to wrestle in the tournament Feb. 16-17 before receiving news that they were not allowed to travel to Iran.OSU’s next match comes against another top opponent in No. 13 Rutgers on Monday in Columbus.
The Ohio State men’s basketball team has been a dominant force at home and has an opportunity to go undefeated at the Schottenstein Center this season.Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament are away from OSU. “Going on the road is battle testing,” junior David Lighty said. “Seeing where your team’s mind is gets you ready for the tournament because you never know where you are going to play.”Despite its unblemished home record, the Bucks are just 2-5 on the road and 1-1 on a neutral court. With four of their final seven regular-season games on the road, including games at Michigan State and Illinois, the Buckeyes will have to have success away from home to have any chance at a regular season Big Ten Championship.Lighty said the team tries to imagine it is always playing in Columbus.“We try to treat it like home games, but it’s hard to do with all the opponent fans chanting and going crazy,” Lighty said. “Coach talks about us keeping that same mindset and being prepared for all the situations that happen on the road.”One problem for the Buckeyes is their lack of offensive production on the road. For a team that has eclipsed the 100-point barrier three times this season, it has only scored 70-plus points once away from home, in a 77-73 loss to North Carolina at Madison Square Garden. Coach Thad Matta said the Buckeyes don’t try to change too much on the road. “You are who you are,” Matta said. “We don’t attempt to reinvent the wheel going into a different opponent. “Road games are a big testing ground for the conference tourney and NCAA Tournament. While the Big Ten Tournament is located in Indianapolis this year, if Ohio State were to make the field of 65, the closest opening round site to Columbus would be in Buffalo, N.Y. “My freshman year we played in San Antonio during the tournament and we could have played Texas A&M, which would have been like a home game for them,” Lighty said. “All the road games we played up to that point prepared us for that situation and you just have to take it in stride.”Junior Evan Turner said that while he knows how important it is to win road games, playing away from Columbus doesn’t bother him. “It prepares you for that tough environment,” Turner said. “Playing overseas in Serbia, that was a tough environment. So playing out here feels like Disneyland.”While the road has been far from a fairy tale for the Buckeyes, they understand how important winning road games are to move up the standings and gain experience for postseason play. But Turner says that they have to remember what’s being played, not where. “We’ve all been through these experiences,” Turner said. “So, you just pay attention to the game, not where you are playing at.”
Redshirt-senior left tackle Jack Mewhort (74) prepares to block a defender during a game against Penn State Oct. 26 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 63-14.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorIt is often said football games are won or lost in the trenches. The 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes make no exception to this school of thought.Although senior running back Carlos Hyde is having a great season for the No. 3-ranked Ohio State football team (10-0, 6-0), if it weren’t for the “big uglies,” Hyde’s numbers would be lower.“I give all credit to my offensive line and my receivers,” Hyde said after the game against Illinois, in which he ran for a career-high 246 yards. “They did a great job.”A big part of the offensive line’s success this year has come from redshirt-senior left tackle Jack Mewhort, who is set to start his final game at Ohio Stadium as a member of the OSU football team. It is set to be the 36th straight game Mewhort has started for the Buckeyes.Mewhort said Monday he is “trying not to think about” playing his last game in Ohio Stadium.“I know that when I run out of the tunnel for that last time, it’s going to be a pretty emotional thing,” Mewhort said. “But it’s been a great ride … I owe who I am to this university and this program. So it’s going to mean a lot to me, like I said my last time. I’m going to be taking it all in and looking forward to it.”The last time Mewhort did not start for the Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium was Nov. 27, 2010, in a 37-7 Buckeye win against Michigan.During the Big Ten Teleconference Tuesday, Meyer said Mewhort brings not only a high level of play, but great leadership to the Buckeyes.“He’s one of my all-time favorite players I’ve been around. He’s playing at an extremely high level, but that’s just part of it,” Meyer said. “His leadership — he got hurt last week so we had to take him out of the game and our offense just started spiring and it’s not just the fact that he’s a heck of a player, it’s just the leadership value he brings and the ‘esprit de corps’ that he is a part of.”A large part of the offensive line’s success, Mewhort said, has been the ability to take responsibility as leaders and players.“We did a lot of growing up, as far as maturity goes. I think when coach Meyer got here, we realized that we were the older guys now, and we had to assume some responsibility and not just take a back seat and watch other guys do it,” Mewhort said. “That’s kind of what I’ve mentioned before, guys taking ownership. That was really cool to see. Coach Meyer put a lot of pressure on us to do that and we accepted that and that’s when we started to see guys thrive.”A big concern for the Buckeyes will be blocking out the Senior Day emotions in addition to the BCS standings, and just focusing on Indiana (4-6, 2-4), Mewhort said.“I think there’s a big focus on that now especially that we’re winding down. I think things are getting kind of real for us,” Mewhort said. “We have our eyes on something, but we don’t want to talk about it and I think that’s what coach Meyer was talking about … we’re just going to take it day by day and go through the daily grind and try to get better as an offense and defense.”Redshirt-senior center Corey Linsley agreed with Mewhort, adding that keeping focused on the next game has been part of OSU’s success this year.“Things like the win streak and clinching the Leaders Division and all this, it’s a lot of pressure on you and to think about that stuff and concentrate on that stuff it produces nothing but anxiety, stress,” Linsley said. “Week in and week out, I know it sounds cliche … but it’s a one game season for us. We’ve done nothing but prepare like that all year. Truly, that’s been a huge part of our success.”Mewhort and the rest of the seniors on the Buckeye offensive line are scheduled for their last game at Ohio Stadium Saturday at 3:30 p.m.Mewhort said it has been special playing with the senior class and watching them grow.“I just think we are a really close-knit group of guys. Passionate, I would say. Really caring,” Mewhort said. “There’s something I haven’t seen … I’ve seen guys change over the past three years and really become selfless people. That’s something that’s really special. Seeing guys transform from ‘me’ guys into ‘team’ guys.”
Sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa (97) leads a group of OSU players in tackling Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds (19) during a game against the Midshipmen Aug. 30 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. OSU won, 34-17.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorJust days after playing Navy, the Ohio State defense is preparing to play a completely different style of football as it gears up for its first home game against Virginia Tech.The Buckeyes, which faced the unusual triple-option offense of Navy last week, are now preparing for a more traditional attack run by the Hokies. Coach Urban Meyer said Wednesday that he and his coaches know making the switch from preparing for Navy to getting ready for Virginia Tech will not, and has not, been easy. “In our defense — coaches are actually saying that its hard enough to play Navy, and then all of sudden the week after, you wish had an easier team than this,” Meyer said. One of those coaches, defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who is in his first year at OSU, said it’s nice to put Navy in the rearview mirror.“It feels good to get that behind us,” Johnson said Monday. “Now (we) can go fast forward (against) a team that runs some things that we can adjust to and play a little faster.”Sophomore safety Vonn Bell said the defense has to be prepared for everything the Hokies will throw at them. “It’s a lot of tricky stuff, a lot of tricky formations. We just have to stay disciplined, reading our keys and we are going to have success,” Bell said. “You never know what to expect. You just have to be alert.”Meyer said Monday that he is particularly excited for his defensive line players, as they had to face relentless cut blocks from the Navy offensive line, something that has become uncommon in today’s college football landscape.“I just think of our D-linemen. (Sophomore) Joey Bosa didn’t come to Ohio State to squeeze down blocks and keep people off his ankles,” Meyer said. “That’s what he had to do last week. He came to rush a quarterback and penetrate. So there’s big smiles across our defensive line right now to let them go play.”Redshirt-freshman linebacker Darron Lee added to Meyer’s comments and said his teammates are happy to be taking on a traditional offense.“I am sure the D-line is happy they get to pass rush now as opposed to taking on double teams all the time,” Lee said Monday. “Our coaches are forcing us back into our basic defenses. We will be fine, it is just switching modes. It’s a bit of relief, just playing our normal game.”Bosa agreed with Meyer and Lee on Wednesday and said that the defensive line has been waiting to show what it can do. “It was not a fun game last week,” Bosa said. “(I’m) still feeling sore from it. This week we will get to rush the passer a little bit, which we obviously love to do.”Bosa also said that because of the switch to Virginia Tech, the defensive line has to get used to doing things the way they were done before playing Navy. “We did nothing we have ever done before last week and now we are getting back to what were our basics and everything we usually run and it almost seems foreign after doing it for so long,” he said.The game against Virginia Tech is expected to take place in front of a record crowd Saturday, as the university added 2,600 seats to Ohio Stadium during the offseason. Bosa said he is ecstatic to be playing in front of the home fans once again.“Nothing is like playing in front of 110,000 people,” Bosa said. “I am just excited to get back in there.”While OSU athletics isn’t quite expecting 110,000 — they’re anticipating about 108,000 fans, which includes non-ticketed attendees, according to a university release — Meyer added to Bosa’s excitement. “I call it ‘night games Buckeye style,’” Meyer said. “That stadium is awesome. We have had some great games there in the last two years at night.”Meyer also said he believes Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James might be in attendance on the sidelines for the game. The Buckeyes and Hokies are scheduled to kickoff at 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Passengers on an easyJet flight from Gatwick to Venice endured a terrifying trip in which a traveller repeatedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” and “today we will die”.The Mail on Sunday reported the man shouting the threats was a migrant who, accompanied by Home Office officials, was being deported.An 11-minute audio recording captured the man’s tirade. He screamed “Allahu Akbar” 29 times, “death is coming” 17 times, and “we will die” nine times. Earlier this year it emerged that the Government wasted £1.9 million on “phantom deportations” buying plane tickets for failed asylum seekers who never showed up.A spokesman for easyJet said: “We acknowledge that on this occasion the situation on board could have been distressing for other passengers and apologise for that.”The Home Office declined to comment on individual cases. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Witnesses said officials accompanying the man tried to subdue him as best they could.Lucy O’Sullivan, 33, from Detling, Kent who was travelling with her husband, Terence, said she felt threatened.“The worst-case scenario was that we weren’t going to get off that plane alive because we didn’t know who the person was, what the circumstances were or anything. There was nothing explained to us. It was very daunting.“When we got on board, the seats were moving so he was obviously kicking or thrashing out. I thought someone was having a fit.“But when we got up close we could see people were restraining him.”
In the podcast the singer told Mr Corbyn he has an “obsession” with compost and when the opposition leader questioned him further asking: “Do you turn the compost? … and do you put rods in? and do you water your heap?”, the star replied: “I wee on it!” His prized produce, which includes sweetcorn, leeks and artichokes, is complemented by his special compost, he revealed. In a surprising revelation the Labour leader revealed in a podcast to singer Will Young how adding urine to compost is “excellent” and says “everyone in allotments does”. Far from being shocked, Mr Corbyn responded: “Well that too,… Jeremy Corbyn has revealed the secret to his flourishing allotment – how he ‘waters’ his compost.
The death of a student who took ecstasy as a “final fling” following the end of her university exams has prompted a pathologist to warn young people against fooling themselves into believing they are immortal.Joana Burns was with a group of friends celebrating the end of her final year of a maths degree at Sheffield Hallam University when she took £7 worth of the drug.Miss Burns rolled the powdered drug, also known as MDMA, into ‘bombs’ and took one before she went into the union building on June 6 last year.But after taking another bomb in the early hours of the morning the 22-year-old vomited it straight back up and began fitting before being rushed to hospital, where she later died.Pathologist Kim Suvarna told an inquest into her death on Wednesday that Miss Burns died from drug toxicity after the MDMA reacted with enzymes in her body, causing it to overheat.Dr Suvarna, a Consultant Histopathologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said people up and down the country, like Miss Burns and her friends, take the drug without paying too much thought to the dangers.But he added: “There’s no such thing as a safe drug, particularly with this kind of psychoactive substance. 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 you are susceptible, they will kill you. The young tend to believe they can do things they wish because they are young and immortal. Unfortunately, that doesn’t apply.”Lewis Birch, Miss Burns’s boyfriend, told the hearing at Sheffield Coroner’s Court that she had taken the ecstasy willingly and he thought it was probably the third time she had done so.He said they were with a group who decided to go to the Tuesday Club at Sheffield University students’ union – an event he said was known for the use of ecstasy.Mr Birch said he had paid £14 for two quarters of ecstasy – cheaper than the price he had previously paid – and that nobody else who took the drug in the group suffered any adverse effects.There had been reports at the time of Miss Burns’ death that one of her friends had also collapsed.Mr Birch, a former biomedical sciences student who said he had been in a relationship with Miss Burns for three years, said the group had decided to go out that night as a last celebration of their time at university.The night out was described by Detective Constable Elizabeth Cooper, who investigated Miss Burns’ death, as a “final fling”. Assistant coroner Abigail Combes recorded a verdict of misadventure.Following the inquest Miss Burns’s mother Mosca Burns, from Alfreton, Derbyshire, urged youngsters to resist the temptation to experiment with drugs.Speaking outside court she said: “I would prefer it if nobody took MDMA again because I don’t really think you can assess the risk.”It’s different every time you take it. It can have a different effect on your body, it’s made in different ways, in different recipes, in different places, by different people, with different ethics. So, it’s not worth the risk.”Mrs Burns has previously expressed the hope that her daughter, who wanted to be a maths teacher, would be remembered more as an inspiration for girls to take up maths rather than as another victim of illegal drugs.
Crucially, most animals would benefit from a supply of water or a damp area in the garden.A pile of dead, damp wood is also appealing for amphibians, especially if left in the shade, and the logs are a “five star” option for a range of invertebrates including hoverflies, woodlice, spiders and beetles. Gardeners will be excited to tend their gardens this weekend, if it rains as promised – but they have been told to be sparing with their shears in order to save the lives of animals blighted by the heatwave.The Royal Horticultural Society has asked gardeners not to make their gardens too tidy, as this reduces the amount of hiding places for toads, birds and hedgehogs.Gardeners should leave wildflower and meadow grasses uncut, increase log piles, and leave in place plants that have gone to seed, as various animals love to shelter there.Birds need plants that have gone to seed for their nests, while the seeds are highly prized by goldfinches.The RHS has also warned gardeners to dig gingerly; many toads will have burrowed to escape the heat. 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. Helen Bostock, Senior Horticultural Advisor at the RHS said: “The UK’s gardens are a haven for wildlife with many gardeners plumping for plants and features that support their numbers.”Instigating some small changes this long, hot summer could bring major benefits for the many insects, amphibians, mammals and birds that call our plots, pots and baskets home.”Weeding should also not be done too thoroughly, the society warned, as they can provide important food for wildlife such as dandelions which are a larval food plant for a number of moths, rich source of nectar and pollen for bees and butterflies and seed source for goldfinches. Other changes the RHS urged gardeners to make include leaving food in shady spots for hedgehogs, who suffer without moist soil, in which they usually dig for worms. Don’t dig too hard! Toads will be burrowing to escape the heatCredit:AP Photo/Mark Baker, Files
The Easter Island dispute follows several other claims the British Museum face, including returning the Elgin Marbles to Greece and the Benin Bronzes to Nigeria.Ms Zarate, who studied her doctorate in international law at the University of Oxford, said: “You can say that the Greeks are attached to the Elgin Marbles, that the Nigerians are attached to the Benin Bronzes, but it’s not the same degree of attachment as it is for the Easter Islanders.“Out of all the 900 Moais built by the Rapa Nui people, this is the finest of all.”Felipe Ward, Chile’s National Treasures Minister, said: “I do agree that this moai is so much more than an object. A long time ago, when someone important died, it was built by the Rapa Nui community even with the physical features of the deceased.“I am confident that this campaign and also the conversations that we had with the British Museum authorities, are heading in the right direction.”The British Museum said it hoped to develop positive collaborations with the Rapa Nui community. Easter Island’s Moai statue should be “treated like human remains”, an expert in international law has said.The Moai statue, named the Hoa Hakananai’a, has been in the possession of the British Museum since around 1870, after it was taken to England from the Chilean island by Richard Powell, captain of HMS Topaze.But the indigenous population of Easter Island, known as the Rapa Nui, have requested it is returned.The British Museum are only considering a temporary loan of three to five months as they believe “there is great value in presenting objects from across the world” in London.Paz Zarate, a legal practitioner in public international law who has experience of cases before the International Court of Justice, said: “The case of the Easter Island Moai statue is different from other cases British museums are facing. What distinguishes it is that it’s a claim being made by indigenous people.“For them, this is not an object or a statue. For them this is a grandfather and it’s full of spirit needed back in the island to care for the people. This is family for them and it helps explain their emotional reaction.“This case should be treated like we are dealing with human remains, not just a statue. In Western culture, we treat human remains with reverence because this is how we honour the past of our ancestors. In other cultures, they have other ways of honouring the dead. For them, this is their way.” 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.
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. “Furthermore the Bees’ Needs campaign brings together conservation groups, farmers, beekeepers to promote good practical advice so we can all do more to provide suitable habitats for bees and other insects.”The original Bees’ Needs press release was posted by Defra and former undersecretary for the department Lord de Mauley.The website now asks users to search for the Bees’ Needs site, which is run by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Online advice offered by the Government about bees has been found to mistakenly include a link to a website offering escort services.The Bees’ Needs campaign from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), dated July 2014, offers advice on how to help pollinating insects, such as planting “bee-friendly flowers”.However under the “find out more” section of the page users were linked to an external website which lists hundreds of UK addresses, all of which then take the user to the escort service website.”The Alternative To Escorts,” reads the website tagline. “Get Laid For Free! Sex does not have to be complicated.”Defra says the link on the Bees’ Needs website was correct at the time of publication five years ago but the owner of the domain name had since changed.The department has now updated the information after they were alerted to the issue.After being contacted about the issue, a Defra spokesman said: “We are working hard to support our bees and other pollinators – as these species are essential for pollinating crops and in turn human survival.”Our Biodiversity and National Pollinator strategies have helped to create over 130,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat and our 25 Year Environment Plan will develop a Nature Recovery Network to protect and restore wildlife.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedLabour Day MessagesMay 1, 2019In “latest news”Kenneth Joseph hailed as ‘a true champion of the workers’February 24, 2017In “latest news”Pay rise “imposition” in public service unacceptable – FITUGOctober 24, 2017In “Business” …says in its Labour Day Message The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) in its Labour Day Message says unity in the Trade Union Movement is needed now more than ever, as the working people are confronted with increasing pressures and heavier burdens.See full statement below:The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) extends warm and fraternal greetings to the workers of Guyana on the occasion of Labour Day 2017. This year, as workers in various parts of the country take part in marches and rallies, the GAWU is pleased to record that the observances are characterized by greater signs of unity in the trade union movement. Such togetherness is needed especially at this time when our working-people are confronted by increasing pressures and heavier burdens.The GAWU is also saddened to record that for the first time, in a long time, Labour Day finds workers and their families in a state of great uncertainty and having to contend with steadily declining living standards and an ever increasing cost of living. We see deteriorating economic circumstances serving to devalue our dollar and increasing the cost of imports. At the same time, additional burdens are placed on workers backs with the taxation of previously untaxed essential goods and services; the introduction of new taxes; the hiking of extant taxes; the significant increases in the cost of Government fees, among other things. In such a depressing state we see the promise of a ‘Good Life’ becoming increasingly elusive.For the nation’s sugar workers, Labour Day celebrations are most bitter. Not only are they the only segment of the state’s employees to be denied pay rises and incentive payments,but now salt is being rubbed into the deep wounds inflicted on the heels of the closure of Wales as thousands more stand to be gravely affected by the Administration’s closure and sell-out intentions for sugar. In totality, 9,000 workers will have their jobs lost and thus forced onto the breadline resulting from the Executive’s ill-considered and, seemingly ill-thought-out, decision on sugar. Aside from the workers tens of thousands of poor, hard-working Guyanese stand to be affected and scores of now vibrant villages will certainly experience falling standards. It seems, from our perspective, that the ‘Good Life’ is not applicable to this large section of Guyanese.It is disheartening, and perplexing, that in spite of the massive social and economic consequences that will attend the industry’s miniaturization, the Executive remains headstrong and seemingly unconcerned. Clearly, it seems to us in GAWU, that the Government has selectively ignored the advice of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which had warned that the societal effects of the sugar decision must be considered foremostly. Such consideration is especially important when the alternatives proposed are seemingly non-starters. GAWU reiterates its strong view that sugar can be saved and be made sustainable. Key to such a feat we hold is a supportive Administration, a knowledgeable management, and committed workforce.Indeed, the working-people, the students, the farmers, the youth, the pensioners are facing challenging and tough times. But, at the same time, we are also seeing increasingly the fight back and resistance to the harsh decisions being taken. This is indeed a positive development and one that augurs well for our people and that should be actively and widely supported. As the workers and their organisations celebrate Labour Day, the GAWU looks to the unity displayed today being consolidated. This is a demand of the times in which we live and is in the interest of Guyana’s working-people and our nation’s future as well.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedBandit shot in robbery attempt on Soesdyke businessmanAugust 18, 2017In “Crime”$100,000 bail for Soesdyke man accused of fraudFebruary 5, 2014In “Crime”Businessman granted $100,000 bail for robbery underarmsNovember 29, 2013In “Crime” Linden businessman Lloyd Thomas, accused of discharging a loaded firearm at Anthony Rogers with intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or cause him actual bodily harm, was on Wednesday arraigned before Georgetown Magistrate Annette Singh, charged with the offence.Lloyd ThomasUnrepresented by legal counsel, the 43-year-old defendant denied the charge, allegedly committed on August 17, 2017 at Sand Hills on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway, and explained to the court that he was on the road when he was attacked by a bandit who attempted to snatch a gold chain that he was wearing at the time.Thomas said he put up a fight, during which he was able to disarm the bandit of his gun, and he used it to shoot the bandit.Because the Police Prosecutor did not object to the defendant being placed on bail, Thomas was placed on $50,000 bail, and was ordered to report to the police station nearest to his home until the conclusion of this matter. The case will continue on September 11.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedLETTER: No justifiable reason for delay in appointing GECOM ChairSeptember 8, 2017In “latest news”Granger’s criteria for GECOM Chairmanship would constitute Presidential malfeasance – RamsammyMarch 23, 2017In “Opinion”Diaspora urges President Granger to appoint GECOM Chair without any further delaysSeptember 21, 2017In “latest news” Dear Editor,An opinion survey I conducted for the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA) last week found that the overwhelming majority of the nation wants President David David Granger to appoint, without any further delay, the Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) from the latest (third) list of six nominees submitted by Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo last month.GECOM has been without a Chair since last February when Dr Steve Surujbally resigned from the position. The Commission’s critical election work has been largely suspended since that time. Jagdeo nominated twelve potential chairpersons, all of whom were rejected by the President as not being “fit and proper” because they were not all (former or sitting) judges or potential judges. The Chief Justice recently ruled that the Chair does not have to be a judge as President Granger had required.Dr Jagdeo then submitted a third list comprising a judge, potential judges and a former GECOM Chair). Almost all of the respondents interviewed in the poll are in agreement with the Chief Justice that any fit and proper person can be appointed Chair of GECOM and that the nominee or appointee does not have to be a judge. They are of the view that all 18 nominees of the Opposition Leader are qualified to be Chair of Gecom and that the President should not further hold up the appointment from the latest list.Voters express suspicion that the Government is dragging its feet on the appointment of GECOM Chair as a strategy to delay elections due by mid-2020 because without a Chair GECOM cannot engage in registration of voters and prepare a new list for an election. Respondents also voiced concerns that without a Chair, there could be contamination of the electoral list with ineligible registrants that could affect the outcome of an election.The poll randomly interviewed 392 likely voters to yield a demographically representative sample (43% Indians, 30% Africans, 16% Mixed, 10% Amerindians, and 1% other races) of the population. The poll, using the live interview method, was coordinated by Dr Vishnu Bisram, pollster, newspaper columnist, and educator in NY. The results of the poll were analyzed at a 95 per cent significance level and a statistical sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points was found.Asked if they support the ruling of the Chief Justice that the Chair of GECOM can be any fit and proper person who is not necessarily a judge, former judge or qualified to be a judge, 79% concur with only 3% disagreeing and 18% not offering a response (largely not having knowledge about the issue).Asked if the President should appoint the GECOM Chair now, 85% said yes, with 2% saying no, and 13% not offering an opinion. But many expressed reservations on whether the President will proceed to appoint a Chair because they feel he wants to choose his own person to head the electoral body.More findings will be released in another report.Sincerely,Vishnu Bisram
…on “vulgarity”Over in Carnival Land, folks are all riled up about what constitutes “vulgarity” in their emblematic art form of Calypso. Now that’s more than a bit ironic, isn’t it? CalypsoORIGINATED in Trinidad when slaves wanted to tell-off their “massas” in the most ribald terms. They got away with it under the cover of the Carnival brought over by the French planters who’d fled the revolution in Haiti. Obviously it was heavily influenced by surviving African customs and cultures.It became praised as the “people’s newspaper” when social commentary became “the thing” and everyone became fair game for their bubbles and pretentions to be pricked and punctured. The tradition of Calypso provided a space for “Chutney” to develop in the Indian-Trinidadian community. Soca (SOul-CAlypso) was another derivation, which added some Chutney/Indian influences to the two acknowledged genres. The “Chutney-Soca Monarch” joined the “Calypso Monarch” as the crowning achievement in these “art forms”.But this year, up comes this Chutney singer Neermal “Massive” Gosein who releases a composition “Rowley Mudda Count” which was promptly banned from entering the extremely lucrative Chutney Monarch Competition, claiming the double entendre, “Mudda Count” (get it?) is disrespectful to Prime Minister Rowley’s mother. The PNM’s women’s wing denounced the composition as also being disrespectful to women in general and mothers in particular. More troubling was the Telecommunications Authority of TT (TATT) warning broadcasters about playing the ‘derogatory” song.“Massive” promptly cried “FOUL”!! and pointed out that for years Calypsonians had been allowed to get away with double entendre-laden calypsos directed at women in general and women politicians in particular without criticisms. They were protected by “freedom of speech” and allowed “artistic licence”. Massive specifically mentioned one calypso on Oma, the wife of then Prime Minister Basdeo Panday – “Oma AcCOUNT BIG”! or Crazy’s “Yer Mudda Come”.He also pointed out that Rowley himself was famous for misogynic statements: “he compared women to a golf course that needs grooming; referring to a 65-year-old woman by using the term “Jammetery”; telling a woman, she could bark at meh dog, because I goh ignore she cyat.” Massive finally concluded that it wasn’t just a matter of “different strokes for different folks” but a matter of different standards for different ethnic groups. Africans, he said, could make scatological comments about Indians – women and men – and that was “poetic” but when he as an Indian Chutney singer does no less – it’s “vulgar”!Over here in Guyana, your Eyewitness wonders if the same sociological imperatives are at work, when Simona “I is” Broomes can “boom out” against Jagdeo in Parliament without reproach; but the latter is “vulgar” when his MP’s raise placards there.…on inclusive democracyWhen the coalition was in the Opposition, one of their major talking points that gained traction in the general populace was on “constitutional change” that would make the political system become more “inclusive”. By and large, Guyanese of all stripes know that while the coalition may have “won” the elections in 2015, Guyana has LOST because the PNC-led coalition Government has broken their promise to include the Opposition in their governance structure. To a large extent, the present malaise gripping the country is a consequence of the PNC’s insistence of tightly monopolising the reins of power.The PNC has clearly reverted to form in this area. When Burnham was eased into office in1964, he not only chafed at the bits to get rid of the UF. He effectively banished the members of the UDP – which his faction of the PPP had coalesced with to form the PNC. Carter and Kendall were given foreign ambassadorships which took them out of the local play.Witness the fate of the AFC and WPA today.…on agri developmentHave you noticed which rural coastal villages are being drained and irrigated? Or that the big bucks for agri are now directed towards the interior savannahs?Burnham always said “last licks better than first licks”. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedRespondents not satisfied with quality of Mash Soca/Calypso musicFebruary 23, 2014In “Local News”Culture Ministry geared for Mashramani activitiesJanuary 17, 2015In “Business”MASH 2019: 39 events and activities planned for regions across GuyanaJanuary 14, 2019In “latest news”
A new date has been set for the court case against Government’s decision to deposit the US$18M signing bonus received from ExxonMobil into a private account. The decision was challenged by Member of Parliament, Anil Nandlall.Nandlall was represented in the High Court by attorneys Rajendra Jaigobin and Manooj Narine at today’s hearing before acting Chief Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire in her chambers.Former Attorney General Anil NandlallDue to the Attorney General’s Chambers failure to file their affidavit in defense on time, an application for an extension was submitted.That application was heard today and was granted by the acting Chief Justice who has extended the time to March 20 to permit them to file same.The acting Chief Justice also gave timelines for the parties to file the requisite documents. Nandlall has to file an affidavit in reply on or before March 26.Thereafter, the applicant has to file the submissions before April 20 and the respondents have to file their submissions before May 11. The matter has therefore been adjourned to June 14 for hearing or ruling.The existence of the oil bonus and the renegotiated oil agreement with the company was kept a secret until evidence of the transaction was leaked in December 2017.After mounting criticism, President David Granger defended the transaction by saying it was the thing to do at the time.Government subsequently defended its move not to deposit the singing bonus into the Consolidated Fund by saying that it was holding the money to pay legal fees for Guyana should it have to take its border case with Venezuela to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).Nandlall is contending however, that the $US18M deposited into an account established by the Minister of Finance within the Bank of Guyana and kept there without depositing same into the Consolidated Fund is in “breach of and contrary to, the letter and spirit of Article 216 of the Constitution of the Republic of Guyana and Section 38 (1) of the Fiscal Management and Accountability Act, Chapter 73:02.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedH2H Registration challenge: Unauthorized application filed for CJ to recuse herselfJuly 30, 2019In “Court”LLA alteration…AG’s jurisdiction application has no merit – Nandlall tells courtSeptember 28, 2018In “latest news”Appeal Court challenge to the GECOM Chairmanship ruling commencesJuly 25, 2018In “Court”
Timothy Vanmaalson of Buxton, East Coast Demerara (CED), was today (Tuesday), charged with the murder of 72-year-old Krishnachand Dabee of Annandale, ECD, when he appeared at the Cove and John Magistrate Court before Magistrate Peter Hugh.Murdered: 72-year-old Krishnachand DabeeThe now 16-year-old boy was not required to plea to the charge. He was remanded to jail until October 08 when the case will be called at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court.The Court session was not opened to the public.The pensioner’s body was found at his home last month by his daughter after she failed to make contact with her father for an extended period of time.There was a slight fracas at the court today. Vanmaalson turned 16 years old today. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related23 – Year – old charged with murder of PensionerAugust 7, 2014In “Crime”Fisherman charged with murder of Good Intent pensionerJuly 10, 2018In “Court”Annandale man charged with murdering sonOctober 1, 2016In “Court”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedBlairmont Estate sugar workers down tools, protest for better wagesNovember 27, 2018In “Business”Albion Estate cane harvesters picket GuySuCo’s ‘gang merger’ impositionAugust 4, 2017In “Business”Uitvlugt estate workers, pensioners protest new bank account requirementJune 27, 2018In “Business” Workers protesting at Albion on Wednesday, following GuySuCo’s decision to cut their wagesReeling from the unilateral move by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) to reduce their earnings for canal cleaning by some 75 per cent, workers attached to the Albion Sugar Estate, after protesting the reduction, say the are now jobless.The workers expressed great frustration over the wages, outlining that to clean a four-foot canal, they are being paid $56 to clean each rod.“The rate before was $225 per rod and somebody came from the office in Georgetown and set that rate down. They cut it by 75 per cent without saying one word to us that they paying you that; no consultation,” said Gopaul Singh, one of the operators.Singh added that management at the Estate promised that there would be full consultation in the future.However, the workers staged a two-day strike on Monday and Tuesday and when they informed management that they were going to resume work on Wednesday; they were reportedly told that the Estate had no work for them.“We are contending that they should pay the $225 until they have such matters resolved as to a rate they want to pay,” Singh stressed.Another worker, Nazir Hussain told this publication that what was done to workers was us unfair.“They did not ask us anything. They just came to a conclusion at $56, which is wrong and we and management tried to discuss it but it going in a circle,” he said.The sugar industry has been encountering significant challenges over the last several years with European markets having shelved preferential payments for sugar.Government after assuming office has implemented several austerity measures including the closure of several estates – Wales, East Demerara, Skeldon and Rose Hall. However, many of thousands of workers who lost employment say they have been finding great difficulty in garnering alternative employment.For those who remain, they have been complaining about not seeing wage increases or Annual Production Incentives (API).The three estates that remain in operation are Uitvlugt, Albion and Blairmont.