Four things you should know this morning

5/12/2001'FOR NEWS'BRIGADIER HUGHIE MONRO PICTURED AT THE SITE OF THE HUGE MONS MEG CANNON AT EDINBURGH CASTLE WHERE HE HAS PLAYED AN ACTIVE ROLE FOR THREE YEARS WITH THE 52 LOWLAND DIVISION.
5/12/2001'FOR NEWS'BRIGADIER HUGHIE MONRO PICTURED AT THE SITE OF THE HUGE MONS MEG CANNON AT EDINBURGH CASTLE WHERE HE HAS PLAYED AN ACTIVE ROLE FOR THREE YEARS WITH THE 52 LOWLAND DIVISION.
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IT’S never too early to learn something new like could Mons Meg be moved from Edinburgh castle and will the UK ever have driverless vehicles?

Scots shopper numbers drop by highest margin for 3 years

Shopper numbers have fallen by the biggest margin for nearly three years as more people move towards buying online, according to a new report.

In November, footfall in Scotland was 4.2 per cent lower than a year ago, the worst performance since January 2013.

The figure, published in the monthly Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) Springboard Footfall Monitor, was also significantly down on a 0.6 per cent year-on-year fall in October.

Retail experts attributed the decline to a continued rise in online shopping, with Black Friday deals on most business websites last month attracting those who would previously have shopped on high streets or in town centres.

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Will motorists ever embrace the driverless vehicles?

A trial of the UK’s first driverless pods is getting underway in Milton Keynes, but will British drivers leave their cars behind for a pod?

An important trial of driverless vehicles has scooped the prestigious Automotive Award for Innovation from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The trophy was in recognition of technology involved to bring three driverless pods to the streets of Milton Keynes to assess their viability and the response of the public.

Working in partnership with academics to develop the LUTZ Pathfinder (Low-carbon urban transport zone), the company behind the project is Transport Systems Catapult (TSC). It wants to show driverless pods can help drastically reduce road deaths and serious injuries by removing the human element from driving.

TSC’s Steve Yianni said: “Ninety percent of collisions on the UK’s roads are due to human error in one way or another, so by allowing the vehicle to make decisions based on a broad array of information provided could help reduce this figure enormously.”

There is no dispute that most collisions are due to one or more driver making an error of judgement. Also, there are plenty of studies and statistics to prove that a driverless car future could make road deaths and serious injuries very rare and almost completely avoidable.

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Katherine Jenkins announces Aberdeen charity concert

Opera singer Katherine Jenkins is to perform a one-off charity concert in Aberdeen to raise money for children and adults with disabilites.

The lyric mezzo-soprano will perform at His Majesty’s Theatre on Saturday, February 20, where she will be supported by the Aberdeen-based chamber choir, Con Anima.

The event, sponsored by BP, is being organised by the Lord Provost’s Charitable Trust, with all proceeds going to its chosen beneficiary, Scottish social care charity Cornerstone.

Cornerstone provides care and support services for adults, young people and children across Scotland who live with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, autism, dementia and other support needs.

When are tickets on sale?

Row over ownership of Edinburgh Castle’s Mons Meg cannon

A war has broken out over the ownership of Scotland’s most famous military artefact as campaigners demand the return of Edinburgh Castle’s Mons Meg to Dumbarton.

Dumbarton Castle Society, which is seeking the refurbishment of the Clyde landmark, wants the siege cannon to be returned, alongside 1,000 other artefacts related to the historic fortress.

The demand is part of a wider call for a scheme of improvements and refurbishment to position the castle, which sits atop a volcanic plug known as Dumbarton Rock, as a leading Scottish tourist site alongside the country’s better known castles Edinburgh and Stirling.

It was given to King James II by Duke Philip of Burgundy in 1457, and at the time was considered cutting edge military technology – capable of firing a 150kg gunstone for up to two miles.

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