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Lampeter Student makes astronomy awards shortlist

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screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-14-31-58KATHERINE (EVA) YOUNG, a MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology distance student in the Sophia Centre at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s campus in Lampeter, has made the shortlist for the 2016 Insight Astronomy of the Year Photographer Competition for her photograph ‘Rise Lunation’. 

This year’s Insight Astronomy of the Year Photographer Competition had over 4,500 entries and only 140 photographs were shortlisted. Katherine’s photo submission, Rise Lunation, included her quote:

‘There is little clarity through the atmospherics that can intensify horizons – to portray it as such would be unnatural. As the Moon emerges, I relish the ripples and surprising shimmers – it extends and reaches through its seeming climb, out of this world! The Moon is rising and at an altitude of +8, an azimuth of 75 and 98% illuminated. It is a day after being full and now on the returning wane’.

Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich and competition judge said: “It’s the sheer variety of images that impressed the judges this year. It’s been wonderful to see the entrants really pushing the boundaries, both in terms of extreme technical achievement and also in the originality and artistry of their subjects and compositions.”

Turner prize-winning artist Wolfgang Tillmans and Oana Sandu of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) join the judging panel this year, and the overall winner will be announced on September 15 at a special ceremony at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

UWTSD’s Sophia Centre Director, Dr Nicholas Campion, said: “We are all very proud of Eva. Astronomical photography helps us reconnect with the power of the sky and reminds that visual images can be as important as words in academic work.”

Earlier this year, Katherine conceived the Sophia Centre’s first student photo competition ‘Adventures in Time and Place’, which allowed the Sophia Centre’s students a forum for sharing and discussing their participation in visual culture, skyscapes and places via time and space. In April 2014, Katherine won UWTSD’s INSPIRE Photography competition for her photo titled ‘Making the Invisible, Visible’.

The Insight Astronomy of the Year Photographer Competition is in its eighth year and is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

The winners’ exhibition will be open to the public starting on September 17 at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

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Man denies £7,000 burglary

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A MAN from West Sussex has today denied carrying out a £7,000 burglary in Lampeter.

Kurtis Poat, aged 23, appeared at Swansea Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Paul Thomas.

Poat, of Osborne Crescent, Chichester, denied breaking into a house in Nantyglyn, Cwmann, in May, 2017, and stealing a tin containing £7,000 in cash.

Poat faces a two day trial scheduled to begin on April 11 and was granted bail until then.

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Campaigners urge air gun licensing following cat shootings

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CATS PROTECTION is urging the UK’s cat lovers to join a call on the Westminster government to introduce air gun licensing in Wales and England, following in the footsteps of Scotland and Northern Ireland where it is illegal to own air weapons without licence.

The government is currently holding a public consultation into air weapon regulation, including licensing, which closes on February 6, making this the ideal time for cat lovers to make their voices heard by sending an e-mail to the Home Office.

To take part people should visit www.cats.org.uk/airgunsconsultation where they can adapt and send the e-mail. People can also watch a video showing some of the feline victims of air gun shootings, which some may find upsetting.

Victims of air gun shootings include Jalapeno, a black-and-white cat from Bridgend who was shot in the eye, and Chaos, a black-and-white cat from South Wales who was shot between her eyes, shattering the bones in her nose.

Luckily both Jalapeno and Chaos survived their injuries after receiving emergency veterinary care.

However, in March 2017, a cat from Barry was fatally shot, as was a cat from Llanell in August 2017.

“Shocking air gun attacks like the ones on Jalapeno and Chaos are by no means rare,” explains Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations.

“Our monitoring of UK press reports shows that three cats are killed or injured by an air gun each week and this is likely to be an underestimate because most attacks are never witnessed or reported. Worse still, over 90% of these shootings take place in Wales and England where it is legal for anyone over 18 to purchase an air gun and ammunition without the need for a licence.

“These attacks cause immense pain and suffering to cats as well as anguish for their owners and fear in their local communities for the safety of people and pets.”

Cats Protection believes that if licensing were introduced, it would be easier to track down culprits who use these weapons to inflict harm on cats.

The charity wants to ensure that cats in Wales and England are fully protected. Those who have a legitimate reason to purchase, possess and use an air gun will be able to retain ownership and would simply need to apply for a licence.

Jacqui added: “Last year over 90,000 people signed an online and paper Cats Protection petition calling for the licensing of air guns in Wales and England, showing the depth of public feeling on the issue. Our hope is that as many people as possible email the government in support of air gun licensing so that we can make the whole of the UK a safer place for cats, animals and human beings.”

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps around 190,000 cats each year through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres.

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Police crack down on drink and drug driving

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NEARLY 100 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police for drink and drug driving in December, as a result of the All Wales Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Drive Campaign.

The month-long operation against driving under the influence ran from Friday, December 1, and police forces across the country used intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol over the festive period.

98 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police.

Supt. Huw Meredith, Specialist Operations, said: “We adopt a proactive, targeted and intelligence-led approach to drink and drug driving, using specialist Roads Policing resources and response officers.

“The number of arrests indicates that sadly some are prepared to risk the lives of others and themselves by driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

“Our message is the same all year round – don’t drink/take drugs and drive.”

In 2017 Dyfed-Powys Police arrested 452 people for drink and drug driving.

Operation Snap also launched in December, allowing members of the public throughout Wales to submit footage and images showing traffic offences being committed – from driving dangerously or carelessly to contravening solid white lines, using a mobile phone while driving or ignoring traffic lights.

To submit footage to any of the four Welsh Police Forces, visit https://gosafesnap.wales/ or https://gosafesnap.cymru.

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