Odds Against | Climate Action | Shear Genius

Manchester City fans will be waking up this morning knowing that victory over Brighton at the Amex stadium will be enough to secure the 2018/19 Premier League title. After a momentous title race with Liverpool, the scenario on the final day is simple. A Manchester City win – which would be their fourteenth in succession – will see them retain their crown regardless of what Liverpool do against Wolves at Anfield. The bookies seem to think it is a foregone conclusion (the odds for City to win are 2-17), but, given the events of the past week in the Champions League, The Weekly is beginning to think anything can happen! For instance, there is one scenario that has been largely overlooked; the possibility that the race could ultimately be decided by the first-ever title play-off if both teams finish level on points and goal difference. The Weekly put its top number crunchers to work and concluded that if Man City lose 4-0 AND Liverpool draw 4-4 then the title race will indeed be heading for a final head-to-head showdown. The odds aren't exactly favourable (an unfancied 200-1), but in a week where every footballing precedent has been turned on its head, The Weekly thought it was probably worth a flutter!

Over the past few months, the need to take action to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change has been thrust to the forefront of public debate. The Extinction Rebellion protests that brought parts of London to a halt before Easter may not have been universally popular, but their direct action is seen by many to be tapping into a shift in public opinion. Only on Thursday, the Environment Agency warned that Britain will be spending £1 billion a year on flood defences if global warming continues along current lines and that some communities will have to be moved wholesale. And on Friday, eight European countries called for 25% of the EU budget to be spent on tackling climate change, with the EU cutting greenhouse emissions to a net-zero level by 2050. So how is the property industry reacting to the threat, as well as the changing political and public opinion on the issue? The answer is that we may be behind the curve. In a recent RICS global survey of commercial and construction professionals, 47% of UK investors were unconcerned by climate change, rating the risk as 'irrelevant' or 'not important'. Yet there are prominent voices in the industry pressing for action. Only this week, Landsec's Head of Sustainability grabbed the headlines by asserting that the property industry needs to stop growing in the next twelve years to deal with the climate change threat. How we set about achieving "de-growth" is another matter entirely.

Here in the UK, many parents will be familiar with the stresses associated with securing a place for their children at their preferred school. Pressure on places is intense and, in some parts of the country, house prices within a particular school's catchment area can command a significant premium. In the foothills of the French Alps, however, the story is rather different, with one primary school told that it would need to shut a class after pupil numbers fell. That is until one farmer and local resident took the slightly unusual step of enrolling fifteen sheep at the school. The register at Jules-Ferry school in Crêts en Belledonne apparently now includes a pupil called “Baa-bete” and another called “Saute-Mouton’. The Weekly isn't clear what subjects the new woolly pupils will be studying, but reports suggest the headmaster has been acting rather sheepishly over the whole fiasco!