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Critical cocktail hits UK lamb exports

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Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 10.30.37A CRITICAL cocktail of low consumer purchasing power, punitive exchange rates, cheap imports and supply surfeits forced UK lamb exports to dip by nearly a quarter in the last twelve months, reports Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales’ (HCC) latest edition of Market Bulletin.

Sheepmeat exports during 2015 were significantly impeded by the strength of Sterling against the Euro, as well as cheaper imports from other countries and subdued consumer demand for lamb.

This sent UK sheepmeat exports falling to 79,400 tonnes, a decline of 22 per cent, some 22,500 tonnes less in twelve months.

The Eurozone accounts for nineteen in every twenty sheepmeat export sales and, with shoppers in general feeling the pinch, most European countries recorded reduced shipments. France, which accounts for 54 per cent of the market, witnessed a 16 per cent decline and exports to Germany, Ireland and Belgium fell two per cent, ten per cent and 11 per cent respectively.

Imports of sheepmeat to the UK during 2015 rose by 0.3 per cent to 92,800 tonnes, attributed to an increase in shipments received from New Zealand of six per cent to 68,800 tonnes, amounting to nearly threequarters of all imports. Although New Zealand sheepmeat production fell during 2015, imports to the UK increased as other key markets, in particular China, took smaller quantities due to reduced demand. Other imports to the UK declined, with Australia, Ireland, Spain and France witnessing volume declines of three per cent, 19 per cent, 14 per cent and 23 per cent respectively.

The timing of these imports took its toll on the UK market and was a major contributory factor to the increase during the year.

In 2015, the UK imported more beef than it exported – 268,400 tonnes of beef, five per cent up on 2014, as UK exports fell by ten per cent to 100,500 tonnes. The dominance of Ireland as the main importer of beef to the UK has grown in recent years accounting for 182,400 tonnes, 68 per cent of the total volume of beef imported.

The second largest beef importer to the UK is the Netherlands, some way behind Ireland with eight per cent of all volume at 20,400 tonnes, a rise of 21 per cent on 2014 and underlining how the strength of Sterling against the Euro underpinned all European imports.

UK beef export shipments to other member states during 2015 varied with exports to the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Germany declining whilst those to France increased three per cent to 10,100 tonnes.

Looking forward, HCC expects exports of red meat market from the UK for the coming year to continue to be influenced strongly by the Sterling’s exchange rate with the Euro. If the estimated reductions in volumes of lamb from New Zealand transpire, it could be beneficial to the domestic market, but any optimism is guarded with the global marketplace demonstrating considerable volatility, making the future import and export performance of both species notoriously difficult to predict.

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Lecture considers the future of war

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INTERNATIONALLY renowned war scholar and military conflict expert, Professor Christopher Coker delivered this year’s Kenneth N. Waltz Annual Lecture on Thursday (Nov 16).

Christopher Coker, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is a prolific author on all aspects of war. He is a former NATO Fellow, a former twice serving member of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute, and a regular lecturer at Defence Colleges in the UK, US, Rome, Singapore, and Tokyo.

In his lecture entitled ‘Still ‘The Human Thing’? Thucydides, Waltz & the Future of War”, Professor Coker discussed war as a feature of what we call ‘human nature’ or ‘humanity’ in general, while focusing on urgent contemporary issues such as possible changes in the nature of war by the blurring of the distinction between humans and machines.

He also considered how, as Artificial Intelligence becomes ever more a fact of life, the traditional functions and forms of war could change, discussing such questions as: will we still need war and will war still need us?

Talking ahead of the the event, Professor Ken Booth of Aberystwyth University said: “Chris Coker is a very imaginative, interesting, and controversial thinker. Intellectually ambitious, he always addresses the biggest questions. The titles of some of his most recent books attest to this: Future War, Can War be Eliminated?, Warrior Geeks: how 21st Century Technology is Changing the Way We Fight and Think about War, The Improbable War: China, the US, and the Logic of Great Power Conflict and Men at War: what Fiction tells us about Conflict. We can be sure of a fascinating and challenging lecture about a supremely important area of human behaviour.”

The Kenneth N. Waltz Annual Lecture brings distinguished scholars to Aberystwyth to talk about issues that were central to the concerns of the late Ken Waltz, the leading theorist of international relations over many decades.
Hosted by the David Davies Memorial Institute and the Department of International Politics, this year’s lecture was held in the Main Hall in the International Politics Building on the Penglais Campus.

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Youth Service invited to international training event

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TWO Youth Workers from Ceredigion Youth Service have been selected to represent the UK on a week’s training opportunity in Horažd’ovice in the Czech Republic.

‘The danger of a Single Story’ is a training course funded by Erasmus+, that combines stories, media, global education and active citizenship to empower trainers, educators and youth workers with the tools to educate young people on issues such as cyberbullying, hate speech, and online harassment.

Elen James, Head of Youth Engagement and Continuing Education​,​ said​:​ “We are extremely proud of both Rebeca Davies and Guto Crompton, 270 people had applied, for 24 places, 2 were allocated for the UK and both places have been assigned to Ceredigion Youth Service staff.

“This is an excellent training opportunity for them, which will inform them and encourage them to reflect on the evolution of media and the consequences that it has on the formation of stereotypes and prejudices. We wish them all the best in Prague!​”​

Rebeca Davies and Guto Crompton will join 22 other Youth Workers from Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey. The week will be hosted at the PROUD Environmental Centre approximately 120km from Prague, from ​Sunday (Nov 19) for a week.

Rebeca Davies, School Based Youth Worker said​:​ “I’m really looking forward to visiting Prague, and meeting other Youth Workers from across the World. It will be a fantastic opportunity to learn new tools and techniques to encourage and empower young people back here in Ceredigion.”

Guto Crompton, School Based Youth Worker ​added​:​ “I’m looking forward to learning more about different Youth Work methods and approaches. I’m also eager to develop a greater awareness around education, active citizenship and democracy.”

Cabinet member for Learning Services, Children and Young People’s Partnership, Councillor Catrin Miles, ​commented: “As a Council, we are very proud of the hard work of our Youth Service to the young people of the county. This will be a very important and worthwhile opportunity for Rebeca and Guto to represent Ceredigion and Wales and we wish them all the best at the event.”

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Pot Noodles bought with theft proceeds

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ON WEDNESDAY (Nov 15), Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court heard that a 23-year-old man stole an HDMI cable from a store and sold it for a tenner to buy ten Pot Noodles.

Joel Alexander Owens, of Portland Street in Aberystwyth, pleaded guilty to stealing alcohol to the value of £24.96 belonging to his hometown’s B&M Bargains on June 29. He also admitted stealing an HDMI cable to the value of £14 belonging to Tesco in Aberystwyth on September 24.

Prosecuting, Helen Tench said a staff member at B&M was notified by a member of the public about a male who left the store without paying for items.

CCTV footage was checked, which showed Owens select a number of alcoholic items and leaving the store without making any payments.

Police officers later viewed the footage and identified the defendant.

On October 14, a member of staff at Tesco was informed of the incident at B&M. The Tesco CCTV footage was viewed as a result and the defendant was seen removing an HDMI cable from its box on September 24 and leaving without paying.

Ms Tench said Owens was interviewed on October 19, where he admitted committing the offences in his personal statement.

The defendant also admitted he sold the HDMI cable for £10 in order to buy ten Pot Noodles.

Defending, Katy Hanson said Owens pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and admitted to stealing beer and cider from B&M.

Probation officer Julian Davies stated that the defendant was currently serving a 12-month community order for two previous offences of theft and a breach of a conditional discharge.

Aberystwyth magistrates revoked Owens community order and imposed a 12-month community order with 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and a four-week curfew.

Owens was told to pay prosecution costs of £85, compensation of £14 to Tesco and compensation of £24.96 to B&M Bargains.

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