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Wales to battle Italy next ahead of the Six Nations Rugby Title

Wales are expected to call up in new players from the bench as key players undergo medical check-up.

photo: creative commons
photo: creative commons

Samson lee who is in London to see  a medical specialist is one of the players who will miss the Saturday match against Italy in Rome.

Wales prop, Adam Jones, who announced his retirement from international rugby early this year might join the squad to Stadio Olimpico for the much anticipated match.

Scarlets Prop who sustained a serious injury might be ruled out of the squad as well. Gethin Jenkins’ hamstring is being reviewed by medics, and Richard Hibbard is undergoing concussion protocols.

Forward coach Robin Mc Bryde, says the results from the previous match was as a result of the vigorous training his team has been undergoing.

Rest of the players are back on the training grounds in preparations for the next match. Winger George North says a win is all they need ahead of the match this weekend by displaying the defensive tactics.

Some of the new players who will play Italy include Exeter Chiefs prop, Tomas Francis, who had been training with the squad for the past week, and Saracens loosehead, Rhys Gill, who has been called up to train with the squad.

The forward coach says their hopes are high on winning the Title as well as preparing for the Rugby world cup.

Beyond the image of St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is on March 17th, a celebration in honour of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland for bringing Christianity there. He was born in Wales around AD 385.

Maria Gibbs, Carl Gibbs, Joe Wilkinson and Kate Birtles. Photo:CNP
Maria Gibbs, Carl Gibbs, Joe Wilkinson and Kate Birtles. Photo: Kate Birtles

But the festival kicks off early in Cardiff with thousands of Irish people gathering here on Saturday for the rugby match. They celebrate all things Irish, with music from bagpipes, laughter, and of course Guinness, traditional drink of Ireland.

People are dressed in green with three-leaved shamrocks, the national emblem of Ireland. The clover-like plant was used by St. Patrick to explain how the Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit could exist as separate parts of the same being.

Ultan Donagher.   Photo: CNP.
Barry Kenny. Photo: CNP.

While it is celebrated in the whole of Ireland, Barry Kenny (pseudonym), an architecture master student, says the way people are dressed is a stereotyped image of the old Irish people.

The stovepipe hats, for example, are part of a typical festive costume for most Irish. But Kenny says, “I can’t view Irish people flouncing about in stovepipe hats nowadays in anything other than a negative light.”

Hear more about what people say here.

Know the score by drinking less

Drinking on the match day is widely considered to be a ritual, but now, those who enjoy drinking to excess are encouraged to drink less. As a part of their long-term tackling violent crime project, the police says a safer night with a reduction in alcohol-related crimes is the aspiration.

Celebrating on Rugby Match Day Photo: CNP
Celebrating on Rugby Match Day
Photo: CNP

South Wales Police launched a campaign called “Know the score- Drink less, Enjoy more”. Supporters of the campaign believe that it can actually  prevent some alcohol-related violent crimes, but more people are against this campaign. They said that being drunk is a symbol of celebration. Celebration of victory. With most of them being full time workers, they see match days are their opportunity to let loose and enjoy themselves.

Photo: Huw Evans Agency
Photo: Huw Evans Agency

Aside from publications via mass and social media, ‘Know the Score’ campaign also call on all licensed premises to uphold the law by refusing to serve drunk customers. During the final rugby match in Cardiff, six cameras were deployed to record evidence of anti-social or criminal behaviour. The police hopes this campaign could persuade people to drink in moderation. Cardiff University Professor Jonathan Shepherd says that effective way of preventing drinking-related crime and public disorder, for instance, is reducing the density of licensed premises and increasing the price of alcohol, which dictate the consumption of alcohol in one area.

Cameras deployed on match day patrol Photo: South Wales Police
Cameras deployed on match day patrol Photo: South Wales Police

Wales vs Ireland rugby match is the last match held in Cardiff, but the police long-term project is ongoing. The police say some evidence shows that Cardiff has become safer after a series of approaches, but they still need time to figure out the effectiveness of this campaign.

New Site for Central Bus Station

Cardiff central bus station will be closed in June for redevelopment. A new transport hub is to open on December 2017. During this period, bus users may face some inconvenience.

New Site for Bus Station  Photo:CNP
New Site for Bus Station Photo:CNP

The site of the existing bus station will be the new headquarters for BBC Wales. In 2017, there will be a news transport hub.

According to Cardiff Council, during the two years, buses will pick up and drop off from streets around the city and the shelters and other facilities will be improved for bus users. Some people still show their worries about this problem. Angela Smyth, a passenger says, she don’t know where the news bus station will exactly be and it may bring massive inconvenient and she hope to see Cardiff Council’s new layout. Some people think the inconvenience is temporarily, and it will be more efficient and convenience with the new transport hub.

As a part of Central Square plan, the news transport hub will set up with one million square feet of new office, residential, and leisure space. According to Cardiff Council, the new one will be built at the north of the railway line on the site of Marland House and the NCP car park.

Stranglers singer launches new book

As a former member of British rock band “The Stranglers”, Hugh Cornwell has launched his second book ‘Arnold Drive’ in All saints Church at Penarth last Friday.

Hugh Cornwell Photo: CNP

Hugh Cornwell has enjoyed massive success with 10 hit albums and 21 singles, and received warm welcome among Europe and the USA’s audience. Peaches, No More Heroes, Golden Brown, Always the Sun and Duchess are those enjoying the greatest popularity. His latest album Totem And Taboo also aroused heated discussion.

Book signing  meeting at church  Photo: CNP
Book signing meeting at church Photo: CNP

He has launched his first book Window on the World in 2011, now he is launching his second one. The new book entails a religious theme, and evoked heated discussion among the audience at the launching night of Friday.

Leaving the British rock band The Stranglers, he has successfully extended his personal musical career into international landscape. Feeling one profession being beneficial to another, he is moving forward in his artistic way with music and writing. He is going to play his music in Tokyo in May, in America in June and July , and play some church music in November in UK.

 

 

Cardiff Jews watch as Israel votes

The Israeli elections for the 20th Knesset appear to be a tight contest between the incumbent Likud party and the Zionist Union. Rabbi Micheol Rose from Cardiff United Synagogue says Israelis worry about more things than the people of Cardiff can imagine.

Micheol Rose Photo: CNP
Rabbi Micheol Rose Photo: CNP

“People are being deliberately run over by cars” he said, referring to a form of terror it has proved difficult for Israeli security forces to put a stop to. Settlers might worry if the government is going to take back their houses. Then there is the rockets that might strike anywhere, fired from the Gaza strip.

Rabbi Rose’s synagogue is a place of worship, but also a meeting place of rest and calm for the less observant Jews. This, in itself, is very different from Israel where Jews of no religious observation simply wouldn’t come if they were not ardent believers. Here, people stick together. It is a small community where everyone knows each other.

Netanyahu
PM and Likud party leader Netanyahu with Yasser Arafat in the 90’s Photo: Wikimedia commons

Even in Cardiff the sense of threat to this community feels real. The area around Cardiff United Synagogue, which is home to many Jewish families, is fenced in and heavily policed. At least every half hour, police cars patrol the area.

Rabbi Rose said that while security has increased in Israel in recent years, so has the gap between ordinary citizens and the wealthy. Rose and congregation member Jonathan Bell, separately spoke of security and rising inequality between the ultra-wealthy and average citizens as two important issues facing voters in Israel. Out of security concerns Mr. Bell asked not to be photographed from the front.

Jonathan Bell Photo:CNP
Jonathan Bell Photo:CNP

Asked who Mr. Bell thought was most likely to form a government, he said: “My heart says Zionist Union but then my head says Likud”. He didn’t rule out the possibility that they could form a goverment and rule together, although power sharing could prove very complicated.

Rabbi Rose and Mr. Bell both agreed that crucial reforms are needed. The peace process could according to Mr. Bell in some ways be easier to implement with Likud in power since Israelis might be more comfortable to see Netanyahu negotiate with the Palestinian authorities. According to ynetnews.com, Netanyahu is campaigning on a platform which essentially says: I won’t budge an inch. He recently told a crowd that he will keep all of Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty. There will be no concessions.

But the last couple of weeks popular demonstrations broke out in protest of the incumbent Prime Minister. This could suggest that his star is fading. “The parties seem to be campaigning on ‘anybody but Bibi'” says Mr. Bell.

Since no party has ever obtained an absolute majority in the Knesset, several constellations could emerge from tomorrows election. How Bibi fits into this picture, we will have to wait and see. “I’ll be watching the election closely on TV” says Mr. Bell.