HMAS Sydney Returns to Its Homeport

first_img Authorities September 26, 2014 Australian Navy’s HMAS Sydney has returned to its homeport in Garden Island, Sydney, after five and a half months on patrol. View post tag: Homeport View post tag: HMAS Sydney Sydney sailed at short notice in early April and was operationally employed in a border patrol role. While Operation RESOLUTE was the largest part of Sydney’s program, the ship’s company also honed their war fighting skills during exercises BERSAMA SHIELD and KAKADU.One of the highlights of the time away for Lieutenant Commander Marc Beecroft was dominating the ‘free-play’ phase of Exercise KAKADU.“Sydney led the Blue Force, comprising of ships from the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force and the Philippine Navy,” Lieutenant Commander Beecroft said.“During the unscripted scenario, we identified and neutralised the red force threat, proving the capability of our weapon systems and our crew’s abilities.”“We also had the chance to host a number of international observers, which gave us the chance to strengthen relationships with foreign Navy personnel,” Lieutenant Commander Beecroft said.Another highlight was visiting the Pemulihan Dalam Community Centre in Lumut, Malaysia after Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD.Over the coming weeks, Sydney will remain alongside conducting deployment preparations before she takes part in exercise TRITON SIM.[mappress]Press Release, September 26, 2014; Image: Australian Navy View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Naval HMAS Sydney Returns to Its Homeport Back to overview,Home naval-today HMAS Sydney Returns to Its Homeport View post tag: Asia-Pacific View post tag: Australian Navy Share this article View post tag: Returns View post tag: Navylast_img read more

Oxford students to sue University over strikes

first_img“Our lecturers have lost pay by going on strike don’t forget, so we need to continue our support for their cause.“Staff were out on the marches with us when we called for free education and students were out on their picket lines during the UCU strikes.“Solidarity is key and should be central to any form of action. We are stronger united than we are divided.”However, one of the Oxford students who has signed up, told Cherwell: “I honestly think the action might positively affect the student-staff solidarity. “Throughout the strike, my fellow students were encouraged by striking professors to reach out to the administration regarding concerns such as the loss of tuition value/teaching time as a way of pressuring the administration to return to negotiations.”More than 100,000 students across the country have already signed petitions protesting against the loss of lectures and other classes they have paid for through tuition fees.Achieving 1,000 sign-ups means the collection action now has a sufficient number of students to apply for a Group Litigation Order. Asserson have confirmed that the University of Kent has the most students signed up overall to the action, making up 13% of those signing up to sue. Students from Cambridge, Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham have also joined the action. 27% of sign-ups are “overseas students.”Asserson also founded a website for students interested in reclaiming part of their tuition fees. Asserson aim to have actin committees in universities to inform people about the class claim. Oxford students are among a group taking substantial collective legal action suing UK universities for financial compensation after teaching time was lost due to recent UCU strike action.Cherwell understands that 17 current Oxford students will make up part of the class action, which has the support of over 1,000 students from universities across the UK. The law firm leading the litigation, Asserson, has claimed universities could pay up to £10m each in compensation over the UCU staff strike. Oxford SU has criticised the action for its “consumer rights” approach.One postgraduate student, who is taking part in the action, said they felt financial loss “particularly acutely”, in addition to “the loss of education and instructional time.”The student, who is on a one year Masters programme, told Cherwell: “I took out a tremendous loan to attend Oxford this year…this was my one chance to receive the teaching of the experts from whom I came here to learn. “As a result of the strike, I lost three of eight lectures for two courses. Feedback on assignments done during the term was delayed which then affected my progress on the the final paper.”They added: “I understand why the professors decided to strike and I support their ability to stand up for their rights.” A spokesperson for Oxford SU told Cherwell: “We appreciate the frustrations raised by students, due to strikes forced by UUK and university management. “We believe, however, in the right to a free and accessible education, in accordance with SU policy, rather than the “consumer rights” approach on which this case predicates itself.” Former Oxford University Labour Club Co-Chair and undergraduate finalist, Hannah Taylor, told Cherwell: “The marketisation of education is damaging to us all. Seeking compensation is thus not the most helpful thing to be doing to combat it. A senior solicitor at Asserson, Shimon Goldwater, told Cherwell:: “You quickly realise there’s millions of pounds of damage here potentially, and universities won’t pay out millions of pounds on the basis of a few petitions, or letters, or dare I say even sit-ins and protests and all the other means by which students normally try to change their University’s view about something.”Goldwater also said: “No other service provider would get away with charging for 25 weeks of a service and cutting that to 22 with no price reduction. “There is no question that universities owe students fair compensation.”He added: “With the UCU estimating in March that strike action affected a million students, with the loss of 575,000 teaching hours that will not be rescheduled, we’re expecting a surge of sign ups over the coming weeks. “This is already one of the largest student group legal actions ever to have been launched in the UK.”“If the class action is accepted, universities would pay out millions of pounds. Over 20,000 undergraduates attend each large UK university. Paying approximately £500 compensation each to 20,000 students would cost £10 million.”Lawyers for those seeking compensation also claimed that universities have saved millions of pounds by withholding salaries for striking staff, and that no university has offered to pay any saved money directly to students affected by the strikes. “Many students do not view this as acceptable,” they argued. A spokesperson for the University of Oxford told Cherwell: “The University will not benefit from any monies accrued through this strike action.center_img “Any deductions from striking staff will be put to use for the benefit of students.”The University did not clarify whether compensation for students has been discussed or suggested among university bosses.Acting President of Oxford UCU, Terry Hoad, told Cherwell: “It is entirely understandable that the commodification of education represented by the tuition fees regime should have led to this kind of response to the recent strike action. “We are grateful that students have supported our action in defence of decent pensions for university staff, and know that they share our view that the long-term effects for our universities if staff salaries and pensions are allowed to deteriorate will be even more damaging than the immediate impact the strikes will have had on students’ work.“We are at one with students in wanting to secure the best circumstances for all who are engaged in and contributing to the processes of learning and research in our own outstanding university and in the country’s Higher Education system as a whole.”Cherwell understands that the class action claim would likely be for a breach of contract. While some universities exclude liability for loss caused by strike action in their agreements with students, Asserson considers that these exclusion clauses could be voided under the Consumer Rights Act (2015). Asserson will also consider a complaint to the Independent Adjudicator, as well as seeking to add several thousand more students to the group action. By signing up on the dedicated website, students are instructing Asserson to act for them. Any decisions regarding the settlement of claims will be taken by the whole group attending the relevant university, the law firm says.last_img read more

USC travels outside of comfort zone

first_imgNo Lexus Gauntlet, no problem in tonight’s early season match between two teams with no love lost between them. As the No. 1 USC men’s volleyball team (2-1) travels across town to legendary Pauley Pavilion to begin Mountain Sports Pacific Federation conference play against their heated rivals the UCLA Bruins (1-2) at 7 p.m.Different look · Outside hitter Tri Bourne and the Trojans meet a UCLA program that has traditionally been at the top of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference, but has a losing record on the season. – Nathaniel Gonzalez | Daily Trojan UCLA, arguably the most successful program in the history of the sport with 19 NCAA Championships, has fallen on hard times since claiming the title back in 2006. Last year, despite a below .500 record (14-16), the Bruins managed to claw their way to the first round of the NCAA Championships. However, UCLA head coach and AVCA Hall of Famer Al Scates was defeated by his former player John Speraw and the eventual champion UC Irvine Anteaters.This year the team finds themselves in a rare position in the MSPF. While USC received a preseason ranking of No. 1, UCLA will start their 2009-2010 campaign in unfamiliar territory: No. 8 in a conference of 15 teams. Led by senior outside hitter Garrett Muagututia — who led the team in assists per sets in 2009 — and redshirt sophomore opposite Jack Polales — who led the team in kills as a redshirt freshman in 2009 — the Bruins will look to bring back a 20th title to Westwood this season despite a lack of high expectations from outside the university.In early season play, UCLA finished fourth in last week’s 46th annual Santa Barbara Invitational, despite losing two of their three matches. Although USC players recognize a shift in the balance of power occurring between the two teams in recent years, team members said they understand how meaningful a win at Pauley Pavilion would be so early in the season.“Of course there is a huge rivalry, they have always been the big dogs in the MSPF,” said sophomore outside hitter Tony Ciarelli. “We want and need the game really bad.”The match will mark the fourth straight game the road-weary Trojans will be playing away from the Galen Center. The team feels, however, in order to adequately prepare for the level of competition they will likely face during the postseason, these road games are essential.“Although it may not seem desirable to play tough matches away from home, I feel that our team confidently faces any high-caliber competition out of our comfort zone,” said senior middle blocker Hunter Current. “The lofty expectations on us improve our level of play and prepare the team for a national championship-type environment.”last_img read more

Dodgers pitcher Carlos Frias emerging as serviceable back-end rotation option

first_imgThe Dodgers’ rotation was in trouble.Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu started the season on the disabled list and has been slow to recover from a shoulder injury.Right-hander Brandon McCarthy was lost for the season with an elbow injury just two weeks into the season.Internal options were not obvious and a series of in-house auditions were held to find a stopgap replacement. “He’s throwing the ball well and he’s not doing anything that says that he can’t be that guy for us,” Mattingly said. “His stuff has always been there. As his mix grows and he learns how to take a little off here and there, he’s going to get better and better.”His low-90s fastball jumps. His slider has some bite. And his changeup can come and go but has the potential to be a dangerous pitch.Slowly the confidence has been building up in the 6-foot-4, 190-pounder.“I feel comfortable every time they give me an opportunity to pitch,” Frias said. “I just want to take the ball and help the team win every time out. The difference has been consistency.”And with that consistency comes more trust from the Dodgers’ brass, although at a sometimes begrudging pace.After all, they remember that debacle in Colorado last season in which Frias allowed eight runs and 10 hits in two-thirds of an inning.Frias had been fairly effective out of the Dodger bullpen before that and in two spot starts. Frias went 1-1 overall with a 6.13 ERA, most of the damage coming in the disastrous outing at Colorado. He recorded 29 strikeouts and allowed seven walks last season.Mattingly said it was important to see that Frias made the most of his time last season.“The biggest difference is his confidence. He seems like he’s much more assured of himself,” Mattingly said. “Once guys come up and have some success like he did last season, they can take it into the winter. “You can’t overestimate how good that is for you. You can take it into your offseason work. You come into spring training and it’s a whole different animal. You feel like you’re there to fight for a spot. In your mind, you know you can pitch at this level.”Frias started the season in Triple-A Oklahoma City, then was brought up to the Dodgers and totaled 2 1/3 scoreless innings in two appearances, earning a relief victory April 27 against the Giants.Frias made his first start May 1 against Arizona and delivered 5 1/3 scoreless innings to improve to 2-0. Frias followed that up by allowing three runs in five innings in a lopsided win over Milwaukee on May 7 for a 3-0 record.In his last start against Miami on May 13, Frias recorded his first quality start of the season, allowing three runs in six innings.Frias has 16 strikeouts and just four walks in 18 2/3 innings, showing more control than his minor-league strikeout-to-walk ratio of 7.3 strikeouts and 3.4 walks per nine innings suggests.“I was working hard in the offseason,” Frias said. “All the hard work has been about consistency. That’s what it takes to succeed at this level.“It’s all coming together. I wanted to be physically and mentally prepared. Hopefully, I’ll keep getting better.” It did not take long for hard-throwing Dominican right-hander Carlos Frias to emerge as a serviceable back-end rotation option.“So far, it’s been talent,” Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal said. “He’s winning games just by having talent. Once he can put the ball where he wants it and get guys out, the abilities will come. But there’s no doubt he has been doing well.” Frias is scheduled to start Tuesday’s opener against the rival San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park against Tim Hudson. And Frias will continue to try to give the Dodgers a chance to win as he has done in his first three starts, compiling a 3-0 record with a 2.89 ERA, even if he has been unable to go deep into games.VIDEO: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly reflects on Carlos Frias’ early-season performancecenter_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more