The REAL election ‘08

first_imgWelcome back, and happy new year. Three weeks tomorrow, the state of Hesse goes to the polls in the regional elections certain to get zero coverage abroad. So I thought I’d do my best to keep you up to date with the ever so slightly overshadowed elections for the regional parliament here. I know they sound minor, but the poll could give a good indication of how the national government are doing in Germany since their election in 2005. Angela Merkel, who became Chancellor of a Grand Coalition in a close election in September ’05, has struggled with reforms (including very unpopular plans to axe minimum wages for postal workers – not made easier by her having to work in coalition with the socialist SPD) and in the last few weeks has become the black sheep in Europe after she cried foul over EU plans to fine car manufacturers whose products hurt the environment. The plans, she says, would wreck the already suffering German car market.Both moves are opposed by the left, but her strength on the international stage and a commitment to destroy German socialism are surely precisely the reasons she won two and a half years ago.Only five of the 16 federal states have had regional elections since Merkel was in power, so how the Hessian candidates do should give us a good idea of the CDU’s popularity two and a bit years in. The CDU took almost 50% of the popular vote in 2003 at the last state vote, so any decrease on that would look distinctively bad for a party that won so closely on a national level.Opinion polls don’t look good for them: the best poll for them puts them on just 43%, despite the emergence of the widely-publicised Die Linke, the far-left party with ads everywhere and a clear determination to have a real say. They may take votes off the rather establishment SPD, whose former leader Gerhard Schroeder was Chancellor for 8 years. In fact, the huge number of left-wing parties involved (SPD, the Greens, Die Linke and the Party for Social Equality) does a damned good job of splitting the liberal vote between like-minded groups. Maybe this will help the CDU. It doesn’t seem to be doing so at the moment! Keep watching as it develops. UPDATE: As if all this electoral craze wasn’t exciting enough, I have just received a ballot slip in the post for the student parliament elections at the J. W. von Goethe University here in Frankfurt this month. Parties running include the usual lot (CDU, SPD) and an outfit calling itself the Giraffes. No idea what they’re about. But the real disappointment was the lack of a familiar name (and face) on the candidates list. Sadly Dean Robson declined to run.ANOTHER UPDATE: According to Monday’s Frankfurter Rundschau we could be seeing two possible coalitions: a right-leaning one between the CDU and the FDP, and another left-wing one between the SPD, the Greens and Die Linke. The latter option would be a real kick in the teeth for the ruling CDU.Cherwell 24 is not responsible for the content of external siteslast_img read more

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The Rivals

first_img4/5 Damn the cold and blasted weather! Liven your spirits with this week’s fantastically indulgent romp down at the Oxford Playhouse. Sheridan’s eighteenth Century Restoration Comedy is brought forward to the decadent, post-war scene of the 1920s. Admittedly, the production is steeped in so much stereotype (complete with women flopping their wrists, clutching tumblers of slow gin, and listening to scratchy gramophone records) you half expect a fast-talking character, wearing a pinstripe suit and spanking new spats, to waltz on. But, it is precisely all this cliché that gives Chanya Button’s version such resonance: the overtly superficial style only helps to emphasise the shallow nature of the characters.Teetering on the brink of exhaustive melodrama, the actors do a tremendous job of giving poised performances, while still enjoying Sheridan’s exaggerated characterisation. With the spoiled naivety of Lydia (Charlotte Bayley) and hopeless sincerity of Julia (Emma Pearce), wonderfully paralleled by the dapper Jack Absolute (Patrick Netherton) and nervously obsessive Faulkland (Tom Palmer), there is a predictably turbulent four-way love game between the younger characters. Meanwhile, the famous Mrs. Malaprop (played by a boisterous Natasha Kirk) verbally stumbles through the play, flirting with both Sir Anthony Absolute (Matt Lacey) and Sir Lucius O Trigger (Shaun Passey). Unbeknown to these upper class knit-wits, are the conniving methods of the secretly omniscient maid of Mrs. Malaprop, Lucy (Cecily Motley), and Jack Absolute’s butler, Fag (Leo-Marcus Wan). Finally, a chaotic farce of love and misunderstanding would not be complete without the pitiable everyman with whom the audience regretfully must identify, pottering awkwardly around in the form of Acres (Peter Clapp).Such an able set of cast members, all playing strongly-defined characters, risk battling each other for the lime light. None, however, are guilty of such a fault. Every characteristic, from the acute to the explicit – from the clammy smugness of Fag to the unscrupulous disorder of Mrs. Malaprop’s speech – is brought to the fore. The biggest laughs seem to be raised by Kirk’s wonderfully delivered malapropisms, including phrases such as “anticipate the past” or “explode the matter”, but the other performances are too slick for her to steal the show.Indeed, ‘slick’ is the production’s definition, save the rather clumsy scene changes (during which we see a single character in the spot light, ironically looking uncomfortable as the black-shirted stage hands scuffle about the darkened stage). Things would have also been helped by a shorter running time, as the fast-paced nature of the setting somewhat jars with Sheridan’s exposition-heavy script: rather than speed it up, it merely proves to expose it for all its slow indulgence. Don’t count on having a last drink at the pub, but prepare to be carried away by completely hackneyed tomfoolery. You’ll be yearning to conjure up a swing band and let that muted trumpet blow your winter blues away! 2:30pm Sat7:30pm Thurs/Sat8:00pm FridayOxford Playhouse: Run ends on Saturday January 26thReview by Frankie Parhamlast_img read more

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Merton defeated in University Challenge final

first_imgA member of the 1980 team, Steven Gunn, now works as a History professor at the college, and has taught two members of this year’s runners-up: Edward Thomas and Alex Peplow.Merton are losing their cool #UniversityChallenge pic.twitter.com/g3I4tGfZjo— Bazz (@BazzFlashman) April 23, 2018While the Oxbridge stranglehold on the competition has continued in this series, this was the final first since 2010 to feature a female-identifying student on both teams.In the past few years, the show has come under the spotlight due to the lack of contestant who identify as female featuring in the latter stages of the competition.Last year, St Hugh’s College was criticised for fielding an all-male team. Critics asked why a formerly-all-female college had chosen a team featuring four men.In November, Wadham decided to enforce a gender quota for its entry into this year’s competition.Last year’s series was won by Balliol College, who made headlines after refusing an interview with the Daily Mail, which they labelled a “fascist rag”.Alas! It was not to be. Huge congratulations to @stjohnscam on a superlative performance, and a richly deserved victory. pic.twitter.com/Ubsx8L5jaV— M e r t o n C o l l e g e (@MertonCollege) April 23, 2018 Merton College were beaten in the final of University Challenge this evening, as they lost 145-100 to St John’s College, Cambridge.After racing into an early fifty-point lead, Merton fell away as the show went on, as first-year St John’s student Rosie McKeown impressed with a series of correct answers.The result means that the competition has now been won by a Cambridge college for four out of the past five series.Merton had impressed throughout the series, and racked up the most points out of any team in both the first round and the quarter-finals.They overcame Newcastle University in last week’s semi-final with relative ease, but an impressive St John’s side lived up to their billing as favourites on the night.Tonight’s final was also the fifth in a row to be contested between an Oxford college and a Cambridge college.McKeown pulling @StJohns into the lead – she’s flying on the buzzer (as she has been all series!) #UniversityChallenge— Bobby Seagull (UK Libraries Champion @CILIPinfo) (@Bobby_Seagull) April 23, 2018Despite the college’s reputation for academic excellence, and the fact that they have regularly topped the Norrington Table in recent years, Merton have only won the competition once before.That year’s team beat a Queen’s College, Cambridge side that included Stephen Fry in the final.last_img read more

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Princeton Man Arrested for Escape, Local Homeowner Arrested for Assisting a Criminal

first_imgPrinceton Man Arrested for Escape, Local Homeowner Arrested for Assisting a CriminalGibson County – At approximately 9:00 last night Indiana State Police, Gibson County Sheriff’s Department and Princeton Police responded to a residence located at 112 North 9th Street in Princeton to attempt to locate Cory Jefferson, 23. Jefferson was wanted out of Gibson County for violating his home detention. Officers had received information Jefferson was staying at the residence.Officers were talking to the homeowner, Jared Smith, 26, on the front porch of the residence when officers in the back yard observed Jefferson leave the residence through a side door and attempt to flee. Jefferson was arrested in the back yard without further incident.Further investigation revealed Smith had knowledge that Jefferson had been staying at his residence for the last several days. Jefferson and Smith were arrested and taken to the Gibson County Jail where they are currently being held on bond.Arrested and Charges:Cory L. Jefferson, 23, 722 East Broadway, Princeton, IN1.Escape – Violation of Home DetentionJared Smith, 26, 112 North 9th Street, Princeton, IN1.Assisting a Criminal, Class A MisdemeanorMEDIA NOTE:Picture 1 is JeffersonPicture 2 is SmithArresting Officers: Trooper Ross Rafferty and Trooper Taylor Fox, Indiana State PoliceAssisting Agencies: Gibson County Sheriff’s Department and Princeton Police-30-RINGLERegister with Nixle.com to receive news releases and other information from the Indiana State PoliceAll criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.For full details, view this message on the web. FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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Sen. Todd Young to visit South Bend on his RESTART Tour

first_img Facebook Facebook Twitter Pinterest By Tommie Lee – May 22, 2020 0 830 Google+ (Photo supplied/The Elkhart Truth) Senator Todd Young will visit eight Indiana cities this week on his RESTART Tour, including stops along the northern part of the state on Tuesday.It’s all to promote his proposal to provide needed support to Indiana job creators.He introduced the RESTART Act in the Senate on Thursday, a bipartisan effort to improve the Paycheck Protection Program and provide additional assistance to those businesses that have been hardest hit by issues related to the pandemic.His tour includes a stop at the South Bend Chocolate Company location on South Michigan Street Tuesday at 11 AM.His planned stops are:Tuesday, May 26, 2020FORT WAYNE9:30 a.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)Catablu Restaurant6372 W Jefferson BlvdFort Wayne, IN 46804SOUTH BEND11:00 a.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)South Bend Chocolate Company122 S Michigan StreetSouth Bend, IN 46619VALPARAISO1:45 p.m. (Central Daylight Time)Zimmer Biomet Hibbard3209 Cascade DriveValparaiso, IN 46383Wednesday, May 27, 2020EVANSVILLE9:30 a.m. (Central Daylight Time)Bob’s Gym North8700 N Kentucky AveEvansville, IN 47725NEW ALBANY1:30 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)Dress and Dwell Boutique138 E Spring St aNew Albany, IN 47150Thursday, May 28, 2020TERRE HAUTE11:00 a.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)Terre Haute Children’s Museum727 Wabash AveTerre Haute, IN 47807LAFAYETTE1:45 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)Arni’s Market Square2200 Elmwood AveLafayette, IN 46203Friday, May 29, 2020CARMEL11:00 a.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)Woody’s Library Restaurant40 E Main StCarmel, IN 46032 Twitter WhatsApp CoronavirusIndianaLocalNewsSouth Bend Market Previous articleIndiana unemployment rate soars to 16.9%Next articleWolcottville couple accused of child molestation in LaGrange County Jail Tommie Lee Google+ Sen. Todd Young to visit South Bend on his RESTART Tour Pinterest WhatsApplast_img read more

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What does your biscuit say about you?

first_imgIt is National Biscuit Day (29 May) and a poll has revealed what your biscuit choice says about you. United Biscuits brand McVitie’s decided to poll the nation as we a bunch of biscuit fans with the average Brit enjoying two a day [One Poll research].The results include general personality traits as decided by your biscuit, for example, Digestive-eaters describe themselves as fun-loving, Jaffa Cake fans think they are cheeky and Hobnob enthusiasts think they are funny.More detailed results indicate that Milk Chocolate Digestive lovers are most likely to be fans of Coronation Street, Ginger Nut eaters prefer a ‘staycation’ over a holiday abroad and Rich Tea chompers are most likely to live in East Anglia.Sarah Heynen, marketing director, Sweet Biscuits, said: “At McVitie’s we know the truly ubiquitous nature of biscuits – but we decided wanted to dig a little deeper and discover what makes each biscuit-lover unique. Our research should put smiles on people’s faces for National Biscuit Day and reminds everyone how biscuits can make everyday moments go just that little bit better.”Here is some more:Digestive lovers are most likely to describe themselves as ‘fun-loving’; watch Hollyoaks; and cite Frozen’s Elsa as their favourite Disney Character.Milk Chocolate Digestive lovers are most likely to go on holiday to Spain; watch Coronation Street; class themselves as kind’ and live in London.Rich Tea lovers are most likely to holiday in Paris; describe themselves as shy; and live in East Abglia.Jaffa Cake lovers are most likely to describe themselves as cheeky; and enjoy banoffee pie.Hobnob lovers are most likely to be 36; holiday to Las Vegas; describe themselves as funny; and watch Eastenders.Ginger Nut lovers are most likely to be female; wish they were more sophisticated; and describe themselves as ‘feisty’.Fruit Shortcake lovers are most likely to describe themselves as ‘charming’; choose a ‘staycation’ in the UK over holidays abroad; watch Neighbours; and live in the North West of England.last_img read more

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Kasich urges grads to seek a deeper purpose

first_imgPhilosophy, not politics, was the focus of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s Commencement address at the Harvard Kennedy School on Wednesday. “This is not a public policy speech,” the 2016 Republican presidential contender told the graduates at the outset. Though he touched on some current political issues, including gun violence, Kasich’s main message challenged the audience to reach for deeper purpose.“What is the meaning of your life?” he asked the graduates and their families. “You’re going to a place like Harvard and trying to figure out how to navigate the real world. This frankly has been going on since the beginning of time. Plato and Aristotle both talked about the eternal nature of the soul: What is life all about?”Referring to his own studies, Kasich said, “Jean-Jacques Rousseau was the inspiration of the bloody French Revolution, [Friedrich] Nietzsche examined the dark side of human nature. And I think about the great theologians, like St. Augustine, who said, ‘I want to dedicate my life to God, but I have a couple of parties I want to go to first.’ ”HKS Dean, Douglas Elmendorf introduces Former Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich who delivered the HKS Class Day speech in JFK Park. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer…Kasich said he personally rejects existentialism and sides with the theologians who found a need for a moral compass, despite the consequences faced by some of them, such as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the German dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer.“When I hike with my friends and want to get out of the woods, I don’t want to hear their opinions. I want to know who is carrying the compass. And I need to have a compass in my life,” he said.“Christians, Jews, and Muslims all have the same view of human life: that the creator made human life above all else, and that it is our duty to reflect the creator, and to realize we are all made in the image of God. If you think about that, it means we have no right to dismiss or alienate any other human being. It means we must show respect.“When I look at these values, they are pretty simple to me: They are love. If you search the Old and New Testaments you will find that it’s about compassion, about humility and forgiveness, but most of all, it’s about living a life that’s bigger than ourselves.”,Some of those values, he said, have been displayed in recent crises. Twice citing the Houston Texans linebacker J.J. Watt, who raised money to help flood victims in Houston and later visited hospitalized victims of the Las Vegas tragedy, he said, “We saw people who didn’t even live [in Houston] put their boats on their cars and drive to Houston to help. And we can’t forget that horrible gunman in Las Vegas. As those bullets rang out, there were many untold stories of people putting their lives on the line to save someone else.”Answers for the future won’t come from politicians or from Hollywood, Kasich said. “We keep hoping that someone is going to come along and solve all our problems, and you might as well wait for Godot.” Instead, he said, his faith is in the graduates and their generation.“My hope for the millennials is that they’re not in it for the money. Our millennials are in search of more meaning, in trying to make a big difference in the way the world works. …You can change the way the world turns on its axis. You can, you will, and you must.”last_img read more

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A boost for school principals

first_imgWhen a new online training program launched in July to help school principals become better leaders and managers, the instructors expected to get maybe 100 participants.Instead, they were swamped.Six hundred registered for the Certificate in School Management and Leadership, which attests to the need that school principals feel to become better equipped to lead schools. There are nearly 114,000 school principals across the nation, and surveys say that superintendents are often unhappy with the preparation that principals receive.The four-course program is a partnership between the Harvard Graduate School of Education  (HGSE) and the Harvard Business School (HBS). The program’s instructors are Mary Grassa O’Neill, former school principal and superintendent, senior lecturer on education, and faculty director of the School Leadership Program at HGSE, and Allen Grossman, senior fellow and retired professor of management practice at HBS.The Gazette sat down with O’Neill and Grossman to talk about the changing demands on school principals, and the preparation they could use to lead their schools. (The first course, called “Leading Change,” will be offered again in October.)Q&AMary Grassa O’Neill & Allen GrossmanGAZETTE: How has the role of school principals evolved over the years?O’NEILL: Once upon a time, a school principal ran his or her school the way she or he saw fit. There wasn’t a whole lot of accountability. We weren’t measuring everything. We were not using high-stakes testing. Now we’re comparing schools based on test scores. We’re issuing report cards for schools. We’re failing schools. We’re also in an era where parents think the school should take care of everything and prepare their children to get into competitive colleges. Once upon a time, we didn’t feed kids at school, but now we do. We provide counseling; we provide care before and after school. These are all relatively new requirements for schools. Add to that managing social media and technology, focusing on instructional leadership, teacher evaluation, and violence prevention.GROSSMAN: Everything that happens in schools is now more complex. We need more sophisticated leaders — people who not only understand what the needs are, but know how to attract, motivate, and retain good people to deliver on higher expectations. The trend in American education today is very much toward decentralization, which means that each school has its own unique characteristics, and therefore must have a leader who can adapt what’s happening in his or her building to the school’s environment.GAZETTE: What do principals need to learn to deal with all these challenges?O’NEILL: School principals need to be better prepared. Surveys of superintendents indicate that they are unhappy with the preparation school principals are getting. The research points out that you can’t have a great school without a great principal. You can have a great classroom if you have a great teacher, but the school can’t be great. It’s very much like business. In business, great leadership really matters. We’re focusing on effective leadership and management because they go hand in hand. We chose to focus on the principals because they get to make a lot of decisions. They decide who gets to work at the school and what the school culture will be. They decide what kind of equity is offered, what the children are learning, and how to inspire and motivate students.GROSSMAN: It doesn’t matter what sector you’re in — business, nonprofit, government, or education — you’re hard-pressed to find any outstanding, high-performing organization unless it has outstanding leadership. School principals need to be innovative, creative, and disciplined in terms of how and what we teach to our children. Schools need to create an environment where teachers can excel, where parents feel engaged, where students feel people care about them. And at the end of the day, that’s dependent upon the quality of the leader in the building.GAZETTE: Some people may question that schools cannot be run as corporations and principals are not CEOs. What’s your take on this?GROSSMAN: Principals have many of the same functions as CEOs, but they often bristle at the notion of being called CEOs, and there is no need to call them that. Schools can’t be run like a business. But can they adapt knowledge from the business world to the specific needs of schools? Yes. We’re not saying, “Here is what we do in business; now you go and do it in your schools.” In the year 2000, the Business School and the Ed School formed a program for urban school districts called the Public Education Leadership Project, which brought superintendents and their leadership teams to campus for a week. Many school districts that have improved their performance are members of this program.O’NEILL: Everybody knows that you can turn a school around if you have the right person at the helm who has high expectations and knows how to build a team that rows in the same direction. We think that the principal is really the single most important person in the building. We think we can make a difference and help principals turn around their schools, take them from good to great, and from excellent to outstanding.GAZETTE: Can you describe how the program can help principals improve their schools’ performance?GROSSMAN: There are many programs around leadership and management, but there aren’t a lot in the field of education. We tried to create content that is relevant, whether you’re a beginning principal or you’ve been in the seat for a long time. You can always improve. We’ve identified problems that are common to virtually all schools, and then adapted managerial and leadership ideas for the participants to apply. We use the case study method. This is not a course on theory that you then have to translate into practice. It does provide theory, but it also provides the way you can implement this theory in a school.O’NEILL: The program is very interactive, and the big focus is on practice. Everything is research-based and action-oriented. The idea is to help principals make things better. Principals will be able to work with other principals and create new social networks. The first course is “Leading Change,” and it has four parts, which deal with problem-solving strategies and building coalitions to work together, with how to develop a strong, positive school culture that supports teaching, learning, and the people within the building, and how to lead a diverse school community to make sure equity is at its core.GAZETTE: Would the program deal with the other challenges that principals face, such as teachers’ salaries, contracts, health insurance, pensions, etc.?O’NEILL: No one course can do everything. We’re working with the things you can change. One of the misconceptions is that often people don’t think they can change. They don’t think they have power and authority, but principals can change things, and they do have power and authority.GROSSMAN: Every single organization has external factors that limit its ability or interfere with its ability to perform. Within those constraints, every single organization can perform either at a lower level or optimize its results. What we observed in the Public Education Leadership Project is that the quality of the leadership and management plays a big role in performance improvement, regardless of constraints. We won’t be able to solve some issues, but we want to help people close the gap between their current performance and what is possible.O’NEILL: And ultimately, it’s for the benefit of students and their families. That’s what it’s all about. Our expectation is that an individual principal can take the course, and we welcome them, and whole districts can take the course too. A superintendent can transform a district by working with principals to implement the lessons taught in this course. The power and potential for change are enormous.This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.last_img read more

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Army cadets compete for German badge in military proficiency

first_imgNotre Dame’s Army ROTC program prepares cadets for American military life, but this weekend members of the Fightin’ Irish Battalion will compete for German recognition. Four cadets will compete for the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency, awarded by the German Army, known as the Bundeswehr. Senior Josh Sandler, will compete for the award along with Holy Cross sophomore triplets Randy Jozwiak, Matt Jozwiak and Allen Jozwiak. The group will participate this weekend in Indianapolis, with Sandler serving as the team leader. Each will vie for his own badge individually. Sandler said though the German army gives the award, it is for American participants. “The German Armed Forces Badge is an award for military proficiency from the German army, authorized to be awarded to and worn by Americans,” he said. The competition takes place over two and a half days and is comprised of eight separate individual events ­— a 200-meter swim, a 100-meter sprint, a five-kilometer run, a long jump, a shot put competition, a first aid test, a 9 mm pistol shoot and a march carrying a 33-pound pack called a “ruck march.” Competitors have to meet or exceed a standard of performance in each event. These standards vary for different age brackets and are based on gender. Further, some events are referred to as “go, no go” contests, and others determine whether a competitor receives a gold, silver or bronze badge, Matt Jozwiak said. “Go, no go” means a competitor will no longer continue in the competition if they fail to meet an event’s standards. Jozwiak said an example of a “go, no go” event is the long jump, where competitors are disqualified if they do not jump at least 4.5 meters. Other events in this category are the 200-meter swim, the 100-meter sprint, the five-kilometer run and the shot put. Jozwiak said the first-aid test is similar to the “go, no go” physical event, as competitors must pass in order to receive a badge. The shooting competition and the “ruck march” determine the type of badge a competitor is eligible to receive, Jozwiak said. “There is a shooting competition with a 9 mm pistol. You have five chances to hit a target 25 meters away,” he said. “Three out of five is the minimum to still be eligible for a badge. If you hit the target five times you are eligible for gold, four times you are eligible for silver, and three times you are eligible for bronze.” The “ruck march” is the final competition and determines what type of badge an individual earns, Jozwiak said. Different distances and time standards for the march are required for different types of badges. Sandler said he wanted to compete for the German Armed Forces badge for the prestige. “In the Army, you wear your resume on your chest,” he said. “This is a shiny new bullet point.” Jozwiak said he is competing for the badge because he has never participated in a similar experience. “I really just wanted to do it because I’ve never done anything like the track-and-field events before,” he said. “The experience itself is what I’m looking forward to. I also want to better myself physically.” Sandler said all of the Notre Dame ROTC cadets have a chance at a badge this weekend. “It’s not a participation ribbon, but if we continue to put the work in every one of us is capable of coming home with some hardware,” he said. Jozwiak said he is confident at least one of the four teammates will come home victorious. “Personally, I don’t know how I will do,” he said. “I think as a team we’ll come back with some badges, at least one gold.”last_img read more

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U.K. plans for a U.S.-style fracking boom not happening

first_imgU.K. plans for a U.S.-style fracking boom not happening FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNN:The United Kingdom once hoped that fracking would unlock its shale energy reserves, enhancing the country’s energy security and creating jobs and new tax revenues in the process. That now looks unlikely to ever happen.Only three wells have been fracked in the country to date, according to a report this week from the National Audit Office (NAO), which monitors government spending. The U.K. government had been hoping for 20 wells by the middle of 2020.The NAO cites multiple factors for the slow start: Public support for fracking was weak to begin with and has dropped over time. The size of U.K. shale reserves remains unknown and the cost effectiveness of extraction has not been studied by the government.Even more dramatic, each of the three wells have caused earthquakes more powerful than the 0.5 magnitude threshold that requires a pause in operations, according to the NAO. The most recent was a 2.9 magnitude quake in August.In 2016, fracking accounted for more than two-thirds of all oil and natural gas wells drilled in the United States, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.U.S. oil production has more than doubled over the past decade to about 12 million barrels per day. The United States briefly overtook Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world top oil exporter in June, according to the International Energy Agency.In addition to environmental concerns, the fracking industry faces another big challenge: the cost of renewable energy is falling fast.The U.K. government wants the country to become a global leader in renewables and plans to derive a third of its electricity from offshore wind by 2030. For fracking, the game may already be up.More: The UK once hoped for an American-style fracking boom. It’s not happening.last_img read more

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