Live Blog

Danny Welbeck
September 2, 2014, 1:42am
Arsenal spent more money than ever before in this summer's transfer window, forking out £83.8m on five new players, including deadline day addition Danny Welbeck from Manchester United for £16m.
 
Furthermore, manager Arsene Wenger didn't have to sell any star players in order to fund the splurge. Arsenal received just over £13m in transfer fees on new players this summer, meaning their net spend for the season currently stands at just under £70m. Only Manchester United have recorded a bigger net spend in the Premier League so far.
 
Arsenal’s unprecedented purchasing coincided with a record breaking summer for the Premier League in terms of cash spent, its clubs spent a massive £861m on transfers.
 
See every Premier League signing on our interactive map.
 
The North Londoners’ net spend of £70m dwarfs the previous record set last season of £34.9m, which itself followed three seasons in which Arsenal made more money from selling their best players than they spent on signing new recruits.
 
 
After Olivier Giroud was ruled out for four months with a broken leg last week, Arsenal fans called upon their manager to bring in a replacement striker. Arsene duly delivered. Yet the Emirates faithful may have legitimate questions to ask about whether or not Welbeck is the elite striker their side was crying out for.
 
Danny Welbeck's Premier League goals-per-game ratio is worse than most of the strikers currently on Arsenal's books. In fact, only Yaya Sanogo - who hasn't scored a single Premier League goal - has a worse ratio.
 
 
However, like Sanogo Welbeck is still relatively young and has plenty of time to grow and improve - especially if he gets more action at the Emirates than he was afforded at Old Trafford.
 
Besides, he's still an upgrade on Yaya Sanogo.
NHS
September 1, 2014, 10:58pm
The NHS is not safe from the effects of the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal, ministers have admitted. 
 
The US-EU trade deal could result in the health service being opened up to American corporations, and today it was confirmed that it is still a possibility.
 
UK trade minister Lord Livingston said that the NHS had not been excluded from talks about TTIP, arguing that going ahead with the deal would "not see any change to its existing obligations".
 
Trade unions have since called on Prime Minister David Cameron to veto the inclusion of the NHS in talks about the deal. 
 
General secretary of the Unite union Len McCluskey told the Huffington Post: “The government is allowing faceless bureaucrats in Brussels and Washington to make the sell-off of our treasured NHS permanent. The French have already used their veto to exclude the French film industry. There is no reason why the British government can’t do the same to protect the NHS.”
 
If it goes ahead, TTIP has the potential to be the biggest trade deal in history, and David Cameron has described it as a “once in a lifetime opportunity.” Supporters hope that it will boost the economy and create new jobs. 
Alex Salmond
September 1, 2014, 10:36pm
The UK government has no contingency plan to deal with a “yes” vote on 18 September, according a spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron.
 
The FT reports that the spokesman said UK officials have no precise plan for what they would do if Scotland chose independence on 18 September. 
 
“No such work (is being) undertaken,” he replied when asked whether the government had produced a contingency plan for such an outcome. “The government’s entire focus is on making the case for the UK staying together.”
 
Angus Robertson, leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) in Westminster, criticised the government for this. “This is extraordinary complacency from Westminster with less than three weeks to go to the vote – they are doing a disservice to people north and south of the border,” he said.
 
“Westminster politicians are only interested in scare stories and negativity – not making sensible decisions and plans in the very likely event of a Yes vote.”
 
With just three weeks to go before the referendum, one of the main points of contention is whether or not Scotland should continue to use the pound. While Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond is pressing for its continued use in the country, the UK government is arguing the opposite. 
 
But Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said that the central bank is prepared for the possibility of a Yes vote. “Whatever happens in the vote, the Bank of England will be the continuing authority for financial stability for some period of time, certainly over the interim period, and we will look to discharge our responsibilities accordingly,” he said. 
 
“We have contingency plans we develop . . . I would underscore in terms of our responsibilities for financial stability we have a wide range of tools and plans.”
 
Radamel Falcao
September 1, 2014, 9:44pm

Radamel Falcao is set to become the highest paid player in the Premier League after Manchester United agreed to take the Colombian striker on a one-year loan deal from AS Monaco earlier today.

Manchester United are believed to be paying a £6m loan fee for Falcao's services, and will take on 100 per cent of his £346,000 a week wages.

Adding up to an annual salary of £18m per year, the striker will become the highest paid footballer in England, with the striker earning more than new United teammate and captain Wayne Rooney.

Following last week's arrival of Angel di Maria to Old Trafford, United now have the three highest-paid players in the league. Di Maria has signed a five-year deal worth an annual £15.1m, while Rooney had previously been in possession of the league's fattest paycheque after signing a new £300,000 a week contract in February. Robin van Persie is not far behind with an annual salary of £9.6m.

Falcao's contract is so huge, United will pay him more than Arsenal will pay Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil combined.

Put together, United's front three of van Persie, Rooney and Falcao will cost the club £46.8m this season.

The move for Falcao comes after the biggest summer spending spree in Manchester United's history. The £6m loan fee will take United's total summer spending to a whopping £169m. No club in the Premier League has spent more.

It also means United will have shelled out roughly 20 per cent of the £821m spent by Premier League clubs this summer. Explore all the spending data for yourself in our interactive transfer map below.

Angel Di Maria
September 1, 2014, 9:33pm
Manchester United have spent 18 per cent of all money shelled out by Premier League clubs in this summer’s transfer window so far after the £59.7m purchase of Angel di Maria from Real Madrid broke the British transfer record yesterday.
 
United have spent £141m of the Premier League’s current total outlay of £768m, which is itself a new record for a summer transfer window.
 
See every Premier League signing on our interactive map.
 
Despite having spent such a large percentage of the league’s total, United’s capture of five new players represents just 3.8 per cent of the 132 players bought by Premier League clubs this summer. 
 
Alongside Di Maria, manager Louis van Gaal and vice-chairman Ed Woodward have spent £33m on Luke Shaw, £31.7m on Ander Herrera and £17.6m on Marcos Rojo. After a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of MK Dons in the Capital One Cup, it remains to be seen if this splash the cash approach can turn around the club’s stuttering fortunes.
 
Liverpool almost match United in the spending stakes: the Merseyside club have signed 11 new players this summer, four more than an average of seven new players signed by Premier League clubs.
 
As two of the three clubs who have bought just four players so far this summer, Tottenham and Arsenal’s maps look somewhat stripped down in contrast.
 
 
After Manchester United, Liverpool have the second highest proportion of Premier League transfer spend. Their £131m outlay represents 17 per cent of the league’s total. Yet while the two rivals have spent similar amounts, their approach to recruitment has been as divergent as opinions on Luis Suarez.
 
Liverpool have not spent over £30m on any of their 11 new signings while United have only spent less than that figure on Rojo. Quality over quantity? The early signs aren’t good for Louis van Gaal and co, but of their new signings, only Herrera has made an appearance for the Red Devils so far this season.
 
 
Yet while United and Liverpool have been waving hefty cheques at star names, many clubs in the league have had their scouts searching for cut-price deals in the free transfer or loan market.
 
Burnley and Stoke appear to be the most thrifty clubs so far. Despite the fact they have both signed seven new players, their collective transfer spend doesn’t even reach one per cent of the league’s total. Both clubs may only reside a short drive away from Old Trafford, but their transfer activity has been a world apart. Managers Sean Dyche and Mark Hughes have parted with just £2.2m and £4.4m respectively, less than any other club has spent on their most expensive signing this summer.
 
Unsurprisingly, Burnley’s most expensive signing is smallest transfer fee in the league - £1.67m on Lucas Jutkiewicz from Middlesbrough.
 
 
Our interactive map allows you to explore the transfer activity for every single Premier League club to date. Each line on the map represents the passage of one or more players. Simply hover over the line to reveal the identity of a player(s), which club they came from, who they joined, and how much they went for.
 
The drop-down menu in the right hand corner lets you to display the transfer activity for specific clubs.
 
 
All data comes courtesy of the excellent transfermarkt.co.uk
Shanghai City
September 1, 2014, 8:27pm
The world's second largest economy is planning to roll out a national market for carbon permit trading in 2016, according to officials. 
 
The rules for the market are currently being finalised and, if all goes to plan, within a few years China will replace Europe as the world's biggest trader in emissions. 
 
China is responsible for 30 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, making it the world's biggest contributor to climate change. By 2020, it has pledged to have reduced the amount of carbon it emits per unit of GDP to 40-45 per cent below 2005 levels.
 
The graph below shows the ten countries that emitted the most carbon dioxide in 2012, according to data from the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system (EDGAR).

As you can see from the graph, China emitted over three times more than any other country during that year. The new market would cap carbon dioxide emissions from a range of source including electricity generators and manufacturers, and those who go over their cap would have to buy permits in the market.
 
"We will send over the national market regulations to the State Council for approval by the end of the year," said Sun Cuihua, a senior climate official with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
 
Seven regional pilot markets have already been launched in a bid to gain experience in advance of the roll out. It is expected that these pilot schemes will attract professional trading companies to boost liquidity.
 
With the new market, China would become the main trading hub in Asia and the Pacific, where currently  Kazakhstan and New Zealand operate similar markets. 
 
Others planning to launch new carbon markets include South Korea, Indonesia Thailand and Vietnam. 
Farm
September 1, 2014, 7:04pm
Bad news, hamburger fans. New research shows that if we are going to have any chance of slowing down climate change, we must eat less meat.
 
We tend to concentrate on practices such as fracking and emissions from coal-based power stations when we consider the prevention of climate change, but a paper published today in Nature Climate Change suggests that the impact of eating habits is no trivial matter. 
 
Every type of food we consume affects the environment, but some more than others. “Inefficient” foods are the worst for contributing to climate change, and meat is a food source that has been demonstrated again and again to be highly inefficient. 
 
This is because a lot more corn or other feed is required to sustain a cow than is needed to sustain a human directly, without the livestock in between. You could get, for example, 900 calories from a hamburger, but many more calories would be required to get to that meat end product. 
 
"The losses at each stage are large, and as humans globally eat more and more meat, conversion from plants to food becomes less and less efficient, driving agricultural expansion and land cover conversion, and releasing more greenhouse gases,” the paper's lead researcher Bojana Bajzelj said in a statement.
 
The way things are going, food production alone is predicted to reach or exceed the targets for total global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Therefore, we have no choice but to cut down on the inefficient foods like meat if we are to have any chance of keeping climate change under control. 
 
This is partly because the speed with which the population is growing means it will require an approximate doubling of global crop production by 2050. 
 
"Unless we make some serious changes in food consumption trends, we would have to completely de-carbonise the energy and industry sectors to stay within emissions budgets that avoid dangerous climate change," said researcher Pete Smith. "That is practically impossible."
 
People in the US consume the most meat

According to data from the Meat Union of Russia in 2009, the average person in the US consumed considerably more meat than people in any other country did, and their consumption of chicken was particularly high. The average US citizen consumed 119kg of meat during that year – that's over three times more than the world average of 34kg. 
 
The EU came some way behind the US, with the average person consuming 80kg of meat during the year, but it is still up there among the world's biggest meat eaters. In Europe, people seem to have a penchant for pork; each of us consumed on average nearly twice as much of it in a year as people from the US did. 
 
By no means do we need to cut meat out completely in order to make a significant change, however. The paper says that to eat reasonably, we can still have two portions of red meat and five eggs every week, and a portion of poultry every day.
 
But if we choose to ignore the growing risk and do nothing about our eating habits, the researchers say that we will lose a tenth of the world's tropical forests by 2050. They also predict a 42 per cent increase in use of land for crops. The result? More carbon and methane emissions and less biodiversity. 
Jennifer Lawrence
September 1, 2014, 6:29pm
Yesterday a thread appeared on notoriously NSFW forum site 4chan, promising to post nude photos of actresses Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Ariana Grande in return for Bitcoin donations.
 
Publicists for Lawrence and Upton confirmed the pictures were real (although Grande’s insisted they were “completely fake”). But how did the hacker get access to their photos?
 
Experts pointed to a glitch, known as “iBrute”,  in Apple’s iCloud software, which means it was vulnerable to “bruteforce” hacks, allowing hackers to try out (potentially) thousands of passwords, rather than being locked out after a few tries.
 
Is it a coincidence the flaw was only discovered just two days ago, and detailed on coding website Github?

According to those in the know, the glitch has now been patched by Apple:

 
But there’s also a risk the fix might not be completely effective in all regions (Nancy Dell’Olio watch out):
 
 
And according to a supposed “master-list” doing the rounds online, Lawrence, Upton and Grande aren’t the only ones targeted. The full list includes Avril Lavigne, Amber Heard and Cara Delevigne as well. Presumably the photos will be leaked over the next few days.
 

 
If that list is real, even using iBrute it would have taken weeks - months, even - to gather pictures of all those celebrities. So it may be that the hackers exploited a different weakness in iCloud, discovered at some point in the past. In which case: celebrity iPhone users, beware. 
 
Children coding
September 1, 2014, 5:33pm

This week thousands of children returned to school to find themselves faced with a new subject: computer programming.

England's five-year-olds are the only ones in the G20 to be taught programming, in a move the government hopes will turn the nation's children into budding tech entrepreneurs.

But children at academies may be spared the new curriculum - only local authority schools are compelled to teach the new subject.

Teachers who will be pioneering computer programming in the national curriculum for key stage 1 will be responsible for making children understand algorithms, how they are implemented on digital devices and the programs that execute them, by following precise and unambiguous instructions.

Five-year-olds will also be taught how to create and debug simple programs. Teachers are told this may take the form of writing commands for a Bee-Bot or Roamer, or by snapping on-screen program building "blocks" together, like this:

The language behind the blocks is Scratch JNR - a simple programming language that's supposed to introduce children to basic concepts of algorithms and logical reasoning.

Scratch JNR showcases four examples of how it introduces children to the wonders of programming.

Pupils are taught how make a scary-looking forest, creating multiple characters using scripts:

To get kids into using sound and motion blocks, there is the ever-rewarding prospect of making overly enthusiastic on-screen characters dance to their hearts' content.

The learning process for using the "repeat" block is making this adorable cat dribble a basketball:

To be fair, computer programming for the under-10s isn't all cat-dribbling and creepy forests. Pupils will be instructed to use technology safely and respectfully, keeping their personal information to themselves. They will be given early advice to treat others with respect - essentially "don't be a troll".

While there hasn't been enough time to assess children's attitudes to the new class, the older generation of tech enthusiasts are delighted with programme.

“Many more young people will now leave secondary education with a far stronger grounding in technology,” said Tech City UK chief executive Gerard Grech.

David Richards, chief executive of software firm WANdisco, added that Britain previously had “a national curriculum out of synch with the needs of our technology and software companies”.

Arsene Wenger
September 1, 2014, 5:25pm
With the transfer window deadline looming, Arsenal fans were frantically refreshing their Twitter feeds and monitoring Sky Sports News in the hope of seeing their side add new players to their ranks.
 
As things currently stand, Arsenal have signed fewer players than any other Premier League side this summer, with the Gunners bringing just four new players to the Emirates Stadium. 
 
In contrast, our transfer map demonstrates that Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have made six signings this transfer window, Everton have made seven, while Liverpool top the pile with 11 new players.
 
See every Premier League signing on our interactive map.
 
 
After Olivier Giroud was ruled out for up to four months with a broken leg last week, it seemed that Wenger would be left with no choice but to dip into the transfer market once again in order to sign a replacement striker. The 64-year-old Frenchman currently has Yaya Sanogo, Alexis Sanchez, Joel Campbell, and Lukas Podolski at his disposal in forward positions, with Theo Walcott nearing a return from injury. Yet of those players, only Sanogo (who has never scored a Premier League goal) is recognised as a traditional centre-forward.
 
 
Could this prove costly for Arsenal fans? Even with Giroud available, many would have suggested that Arsenal were still in need of an elite level striker if they were to mount a serious title challenge this season.
 
Giroud will certainly be a big loss for Wenger’s side. He has the best goals-to-game ratio in Arsenal’s armoury at 0.39 goals-per-game. Yet that record is comfortably beaten by many of the mean leading the line at Arsenal’s rivals. Everton, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham all have strikers with a superior Premier League scoring record.
 
 
Will Wenger pull something out of the hat between now and tonight’s 11pm deadline? It’s not looking likely. He’ll be at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome this evening to help out at the Interreligious Match For Peace organised by Javier Zanetti and Pope Francis.
 
It’s an admirable cause, and it could be argued that it's refreshing to see the manager shun the garish splurges so common to many of his contemporaries on transfer deadline day. However, for Arsenal fans that may be may mean they’ll have to put up with Sanogo’s scuffed shots for four more months at least.
 
 

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