{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"news","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/tories-attack-labour-candidate-richard-leonard-for-far-left-views-1-4568455","id":"1.4568455","articleHeadline": "Tories attack Labour candidate Richard Leonard for ‘far left’ views","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506247267000 ,"articleLead": "

Richard Leonard has been attacked for his “far left” views, with the Tories compiling a list of the stances and causes he has taken up.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568452.1506247254!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Leonard: accused. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

Conservatives pointed out the Labour leadership candidate had shared a platform with supporters of the “repressive” Venezuelan regime and had signed a Holyrood motion praising Fidel Castro.

They also said he boycotted Better Together when he was a GMB organiser, preferring to work with Labour’s own anti-independence campaign.

Tory MSP Miles Briggs accused him of siding with the “extreme few”.

Leonard’s campaign said: “This is desperate stuff from a desperate party obviously rattled at the prospect of Richard being elected.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "TOM PETERKIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568452.1506247254!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568452.1506247254!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Leonard: accused. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Leonard: accused. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568452.1506247254!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/boy-15-held-by-police-after-london-acid-attack-injures-six-1-4568399","id":"1.4568399","articleHeadline": "Boy, 15, held by police after London ‘acid attack’ injures six","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506240118000 ,"articleLead": "

Six people have been injured after a noxious substance was thrown during an incident at an east London shopping mall.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568398.1506242731!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Emergency services at Stratford Centre in east London, following a suspected noxious substance attack. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

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Three of the victims needed hospital treatment after they were hit with the substance during an “altercation” between two groups of males at the Stratford Centre.

Horrified onlookers reported scenes of panic in the aftermath of the incident which was first feared to be a series of random attacks.

One witness described seeing a young male victim screaming in pain as his friends shouted “it is an acid attack, he is burning”, while others rushed to wash the substance from their skin.

A 15-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm in connection with the incident on Saturday evening.

Scotland Yard said the altercation took place inside the shopping centre shortly before 8pm.

“During this incident a noxious substance was thrown. When the liquid was thrown, both groups ran from the scene,” the force said.

Witness Imran Tahir Rizvi said he overheard the friends of one victim, aged 18 or 19, shouting about an “acid attack”, then saw a young man lying on the floor screaming of a burning pain.

“(They were) screaming and shouting for help as he was feeling a burning sensation on his skin,” Mr Rizvi told the Press Association.

“His fellows were shouting at police for something. Initially people thought like it was a fight. But the guys (with) the victim started shouting ‘it is an acid attack, he is burning’.”

A man who gave his name as Hossen, 28, a Burger King assistant manager, told the Press Association he saw a victim and his friend, a known local homeless man, run into the restaurant’s bathroom “to wash acid off his face”.

“There were cuts around his eyes and he was trying to chuck water into them,” he said.

Members of the London Ambulance Service (LAS) hazardous area response team raced to the scene after the alarm was raised.

In a video shot by Mr Rizvi, a man could be seen sitting on the station floor “crying (and) shouting in pain “ while surrounded by paramedics.

Paul Gibson, LAS assistant director of operations, said teams arrived within 10 minutes of the first emergency call and provided fist aid with help from the police and London Fire Brigade.

“We treated six patients in total and took three to London hospitals,” he said.

Scotland Yard said all the victims were male and inquiries are ongoing into the incident.

Chief Superintendent Ade Adelekan, Newham borough commander, said: “I would like to be very clear concerning this incident.

“What initially may have been perceived as a number of random attacks has, on closer inspection, been found to be one incident involving two groups of males.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Cameron Charters and Aisha Doherty"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568398.1506242731!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568398.1506242731!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Emergency services at Stratford Centre in east London, following a suspected noxious substance attack. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Emergency services at Stratford Centre in east London, following a suspected noxious substance attack. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568398.1506242731!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/various-sport-stars-condemn-donald-trump-s-comments-amid-nfl-row-1-4568397","id":"1.4568397","articleHeadline": "Various sport stars condemn Donald Trump’s comments amid NFL row","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506239594000 ,"articleLead": "

US president Donald Trump has denounced protests by NFL players in a two-day rant that targeted top professional athletes and brought swift condemnation from league executives and star players alike.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568396.1506239412!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump has attracted criticism from athletes. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

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Wading into thorny issues of race and politics, Mr Trump’s comments in a Friday night speech and a series of Saturday tweets drew sharp responses from some of the nation’s top athletes, with LeBron James calling the president a “bum”.

Mr Trump started by announcing that NBA champion Stephen Curry, the popular two-time MVP for the Golden State Warriors, would not be welcome at the White House for the commemorative visit traditionally made by championship teams: “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!”

Later, Mr Trump reiterated what he said at a rally in Alabama the previous night - that NFL players who kneel for the national anthem should be fired, and called on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to tell them to stand.

The Warriors said it was made clear to them that they were not welcome at the White House.

Curry had said he did not want to go anyway, but the Warriors had not made a collective decision before Saturday - and had planned to discuss it in the morning before the president’s tweet, to which coach Steve Kerr said : “Not surprised. He was going to break up with us before we could break up with him.”

Others had far stronger reactions.

“U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going!” James tweeted in a clear message to the president - a post that Twitter officials said was quickly shared many more times than any other he has sent. “So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”

Curry appreciated James’s strong stance.

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“That’s a pretty strong statement,” Curry said. “I think it’s bold, it’s courageous for any guy to speak up, let alone a guy that has as much to lose as LeBron does and other notable figures in the league. We all have to kind of stand as one the best we can.”

Curry added that he does not believe Mr Trump “respects the majority of Americans in this country”.

James also released a video on Saturday, saying Mr Trump has tried to divide the country. “He’s now using sports as the platform to try to divide us,” James said. “We all know how much sports brings us together... It’s not something I can be quiet about.”

The Warriors said that when they go to Washington this season they will instead “celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion - the values that we embrace as an organisation”. General manager Bob Myers said he was surprised by the invitation being pulled, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he was disappointed that the Warriors will not be at the White House.

“The White House visit should be something that is celebrated,” Mr Myers said. “So we want to go to Washington DC and do something to commemorate kind of who we are as an organisation, what we feel, what we represent and at the same time spend our energy on that. Instead of looking backward, we want to look forward.”

Kerr added after his team’s first practice of the season, “These are not normal times.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Catherine Lucey and Tim Reynolds"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568396.1506239412!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568396.1506239412!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Donald Trump has attracted criticism from athletes. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump has attracted criticism from athletes. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568396.1506239412!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/dani-garavelli-a-quarter-of-girls-drowning-in-a-sea-of-self-loathing-1-4568284","id":"1.4568284","articleHeadline": "Dani Garavelli: A quarter of girls drowning in a sea of self-loathing","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506222503000 ,"articleLead": "

COUNSELLING and policing social media alone cannot rescue teenage girls from depression. We need to nurture a whole new mindset, writes Dani Garavelli

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568283.1506195380!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Too often the message girls receive on their smartphones is that they will be judged on their looks. Picture: Getty/iStockphoto"} ,"articleBody": "

Another week, another body-shaming controversy. This one came courtesy of South African Twitter troll Leyton Mokgerepi, who tweeted photos of two models in swimsuits – one thin, one plus-size – with the caption: Girls I Like v Girls Who Like Me (and no prizes for guessing which was which).

The backlash was swift and damning; hundreds of people replied with images of African plains and tundras and tumbleweed drifting across desert towns to indicate just how many women would fancy him now. And then – Lesego Legobane – the plus-size model whose image he had hijacked, took her own revenge, posting an image of herself and the words: “I don’t like you.”

So Mokgerepi was burned; Legobane was applauded (and bagged herself a bit of publicity in the process), and no harm done. Except yes there was, because, backlash or no backlash, the message being sent out to young girls, always and forever, is: “You will be judged on your looks.”

Maybe it was ever thus; certainly, I remember crying as a teenager because I was a size 10 (and my friends insisted they were 8s), because my hair was frizzy and unmanageable (no ghds back then) and because the only make-up I possessed was glitter dust Sellotaped to the front of Blue Jeans magazine. But those moments of self-doubt were scudding clouds, easily dispersed by bopping round the house to the Kids from Fame, not serious and protracted periods of depression.

Today, teenage girls have it so much harder. Life for the Instagram generation appears to be a never-ending parade of pouting selfies, with judgment heaped upon those who fail to live up to, or choose to reject, conventional ideas of female beauty.

Living life online means instant comparisons – Am I as pretty/fashionable/popular as she is? – and a constant craving for approval in the form of likes. Everyone projects an idealised image, with photographs cropped and filtered to create a false reality, and those who fall short edited out of the narrative at the tap of a finger.

From the earliest age, girls are bombarded with propaganda that tells them to smile, wear pretty shoes, play with Barbies and choose arts over science. A recent poll conducted by the Girl Guides found more than half of those aged seven to 21 felt hemmed in by gender stereotyping.

Meanwhile, there is little hope of things improving as they move into adulthood. Last week, Nicola Sturgeon talked of double standards that meant behaviour celebrated in men was deemed inappropriate in women. “The way you are judged is very, very different to the way a man is judged and that can often lead to bias, unconscious or otherwise, of women in the workplace and what they are capable of,” she said.

We know all this; headlines heralding a crisis in adolescent mental health have been doing the rounds for a couple of years. Yet last week’s news that a government-funded study had found almost 25 per cent of 14-year-old girls were clinically depressed (compared to just 9 per cent of boys) still came as a shock.

The results were based on the number answering “yes” or “sometimes” to a series of questions, including whether, in the past fortnight, they had: cried a lot, hated themselves, felt lonely or miserable, or thought they could never be as good as other kids. Imagine that,: a quarter of girls drowning in a sea of self-loathing.

The pressures they identified as impinging on their happiness included stress at school, body image issues, bullying and the worry created by social media. And the scariest thing is, our mental health services are woefully ill- equipped to support them.

Earlier this year, it emerged 3,666 children had waited longer than the Scottish Government’s target of 18 weeks for treatment, while thousands more had their request for specialist help rejected.

In many parts of the country, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) appear to be buckling under the weight of referrals and there is an inconsistency in the provision of school-based counsellors who could catch problems such as depression, self-harm and eating disorders early.

At the last count, 14 local authorities had no on-site school counsellors, while several more had them in some schools but not others. Overall, on-site services were present in only 40 per cent of Scottish secondary schools – despite the fact that the benefits of school counsellors were recognised in the Scottish Government’s new mental health strategy.

Some working within CAMHS have spoken of unsustainable workloads and a shortage of qualified staff, while others have questioned the wisdom of targets which incentivise staff to move patients through the system as quickly as possible (only for them to return later on with more entrenched problems).

Clearly, aspects of the service need to be improved; in Wales school-based counselling is enshrined in law and 86 per cent do not need to be referred to CAMHS after five school sessions. The Scottish Government is currently reviewing the service, but there is no timetable or commitment to universal access.

On the other hand, throwing money into a black hole to meet never-ending demand is neither sustainable nor helpful to those girls (and boys) who are struggling to cope. Far better in the long run to fight the problem at its source. That means tackling gender stereotypes. It means calling out shops that market shoes for girls as “Dolly Babe” and shoes for boys as “Leader”, cracking down on trolls who body-shame and abuse girls prepared to raise their heads above the parapet and providing mentors to foster self- confidence.

With social media now a cultural fixture, we need to find ways to build resilience, so girls can navigate their way through the minefield of Snapchat and Instagram without losing their sense of self-worth.

While our mental health services ought to be fit for purpose, the end-game should be the creation of a society where teenage girls are comfortable in their own skin; not forever striving to live up to a spurious sense of perfection.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DANI GARAVELLI"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568283.1506195380!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568283.1506195380!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Too often the message girls receive on their smartphones is that they will be judged on their looks. Picture: Getty/iStockphoto","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Too often the message girls receive on their smartphones is that they will be judged on their looks. Picture: Getty/iStockphoto","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568283.1506195380!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/we-ve-just-started-to-change-party-jeremy-corbyn-tells-rally-1-4568296","id":"1.4568296","articleHeadline": "We’ve just started to change party, Jeremy Corbyn tells rally","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506222503000 ,"articleLead": "

Jeremy Corbyn last night said the “transformation” of Labour under his leadership is just starting and his drive to give members more control over the party will help win power.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568295.1506196635!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jeremy Corbyn with members of Brighton Table Tennis Club on eve of party conference. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

He claimed plans to give his grassroots support a greater role would help oust Theresa May and tackle “inequality and injustice” in the country.

Corbyn used an eve-of-conference rally to say Labour must be ready to form a government “whenever the next election is called” – indicating that he does not expect May’s administration to last until 2022.

With the party gathering in Brighton today, Corbyn told supporters that June’s election showed a “thirst for real change across Britain”.

“We now have the chance to transform our country. To do that we must use our strength inside and outside Parliament to challenge the Conservatives at every step, and prepare to form a government whenever the next election is called,” he said.

Corbyn’s supporters have secured an important victory in Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) over changes to the leadership election rules, and authorised the review of party democracy. Corbyn said: “For the first time in years, we are handing it back to our members. Politics isn’t some technical specialism for an elite. Politics is about us all coming together to decide our futures. That’s why we’re doing things differently. We aren’t a lobbyists’ playground.

“This is a real conference whose decisions matter. And that’s why we’ve set up a review to democratise and open up our party from top to bottom. The transformation of Labour is just beginning.”

He said the Prime Minister was “floundering” over Brexit and she and her Cabinet were “spending more time negotiating with each other than with the EU”.

Vowing not to accept any Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership-style trade deals after Brexit, he said: “The Tories have made clear they want to use Brexit to deregulate and cut taxes for the wealthy. Labour wants instead to see a jobs-first Brexit that uses powers returned from Brussels to invest in and upgrade Britain’s economy.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "TOM PETERKIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568295.1506196635!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568295.1506196635!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jeremy Corbyn with members of Brighton Table Tennis Club on eve of party conference. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jeremy Corbyn with members of Brighton Table Tennis Club on eve of party conference. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568295.1506196635!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/westminster-unaware-of-impact-of-rural-bank-losses-1-4568308","id":"1.4568308","articleHeadline": "Westminster ‘unaware’ of impact of rural bank losses","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506222503000 ,"articleLead": "

A Highland MP says he has proof Westminster is not scrutinising the impact of bank closures on communities and businesses in remote areas.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568307.1506198771!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Campaigner Michael Baird at the recently closed Bank of Scotland branch in Bonar Bridge. Picture: contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Jamie Stone, Scottish Lib Dem MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross – the most northerly mainland British constituencies and one of the largest – asked the Chancellor Philip Hammond if he was aware of the repercussions of closures for people and businesses in such areas. Stone is now calling on all banks to set up a separate company in which they are all stakeholders, with a branch and ATM in each rural community.

Last week’s closure of the last bank on the Black Isle, the Bank of Scotland’s branch in Fortrose, has left a massive area of Highland Scotland without a bank for the first time in 200 years.

The closure joins a raft of others by the banking sector across Scotland, including Bank of Scotland closures this month at Beauly, Bonar Bridge, Dornoch, Helmsdale and Lairg. Meanwhile the Royal Bank of Scotland has closed branches in Lybster, Invergordon, and Lochinver, over the past two years.

The Clydesdale Bank has closed its branch in Thurso.

Campaigner Michael Baird from Bonar Bridge said people were being forced to travel long distances just to get cash.

Bank chiefs say changes are due to the growing number of customers banking online.

Stone received a reply to his written parliamentary question from Stephen Barclay, Conservative MP, and Economic Secretary to the Treasury, stating: “The government has made no assessment of the effect of closure of ATMs on rural economies and communities, but is monitoring developments within the UK’s ATM network – LINK – as is the Payment Systems Regulator.”

Stone said: “The availability of banking facilities should not be dependent on where you live. I’m asking the Scottish and UK governments – ‘are you really willing to see your citizens disadvantaged in this way?’”

Andy Willox, Scottish policy convenor of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Jamie Stone MP is absolutely right to ask the government if they’re monitoring the availability of banking services across Scotland.

“Banks sharing facilities would be one way to mitigate the impact of local closures, alongside a smart ATM network and mobile banking.”

A spokesperson for UK Finance representing the UK finance and banking industry, said it recognised some customers were not happy with online banking.

“This is why all the major banks have done deals to help customers and businesses do basic banking at over 11,000 Post Office branches. Banks are also investing in mobile bank branches to reach more rural communities, and the industry’s Access to Banking Standard will support business and communities.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SHN ROSS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568307.1506198771!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568307.1506198771!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Campaigner Michael Baird at the recently closed Bank of Scotland branch in Bonar Bridge. Picture: contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Campaigner Michael Baird at the recently closed Bank of Scotland branch in Bonar Bridge. Picture: contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568307.1506198771!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/study-to-evaluate-15-member-jury-and-not-proven-1-4568327","id":"1.4568327","articleHeadline": "Study to evaluate 15-member jury and ‘not proven’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506222503000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland’s controversial “not proven” verdict could face the axe as part of Scottish Government reforms to the criminal justice system.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568326.1506200420!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Some believe not proven tilts the scales of justice in favour of the accused. Photograph: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The prospect of an end to this country’s unusual three verdict system has been raised with the launch of new research which will also look at altering the size of Scotland’s 15 person juries.

In addition, the two-year study, announced by Justice Secretary Michael Matheson, will consider the processes used by juries to come to a decision and whether to alter the requirement of a simple majority of eight jurors to secure a conviction.

The research, which will inform future legal reform, is the first of its kind in Scotland and follows widespread concern that the “not proven” verdict does not serve justice well.

The relatively high proportion of not proven verdicts in rape cases (35 per cent of acquittals in 2014) has led to fears that guilty men have been walking free after attacking women.

The three verdict system, whereby Scottish courts can conclude a case has been “not proven” as well passing the more conventional “guilty” and “not guilty” verdicts has been the subject of much criticism.

In recent years, however, there has been a perception that a “not proven” verdict suggests a sheriff or jury believes the accused is guilty, but does not have sufficient evidence to convict.

Critics of the system argue that it is confusing for juries and the public, can stigmatise an accused person and fail to provide closure for victims. Its defenders say it offers another layer of protection to the accused.

The work will be led by market research experts Ipsos Mori, working with legal experts Professors James Chalmers and Fiona Leverick of Glasgow University and Professor Vanessa Munro of Warwick University.

The study follows a recommendation contained in Lord Bonomy’s work on the Scottish legal system, which considered the safeguards required to maintain a fair justice system if the requirement of corroboration were to be abolished.

Matheson said: “This important research is a direct result of Lord Bonomy’s post-corroboration safeguards review in which he recommended that research should be carried out to ensure that any changes to our jury system are made only on a fully informed basis, including the impact having a three verdict system has on decision making.

“The Ipsos Mori team will work in collaboration with three respected academics and will use case simulations rather than real jurors. Their findings will help inform any future decisions that may be taken in relation to potential reforms of our criminal justice system.”

Last night politicians welcomed the move.

Scottish Labour’s justice secretary Claire Baker MSP said: “It is right that the government is finally considering how juries operate and, in particular, the role of a not proven verdict.

“A not proven verdict risks leaving victims confused and disappointed, or an impression with the public that defendants have escaped punishment.”

The research will be conducted using “mock juries” involving members of the public, who will sit in judgment on simulated cases.

Lorraine Murray, deputy managing director of Ipsos Mori Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be undertaking this important and ground-breaking research – the first of its kind in Scotland. With the help of several hundred members of the public who will sit on ‘mock juries’, we will be able to provide unique insights into how Scottish juries reach their decisions.”

Chalmers added: “Research with mock juries has been used around the world to inform criminal justice reform, but the Scottish jury is so different from juries in other countries there are limits to what can be learned from all this work. This study will help us understand just what difference the special features of the Scottish jury system make in practice.”

Last year a bid to abolish the not proven verdict was rejected by MSPs. The then Labour MSP, Michael McMahon, introduced a members bill seeking to remove the verdict, which he said can confuse juries and upset victims. However, the Scottish government did not support McMahon, with concerns voiced about a provision in his bill, which required two-thirds of a jury to support any verdict. 
MSPs voted 80 to 28 against the bill.

Holyrood’s justice committee had said the not proven verdict was living on “borrowed time” and may not serve any purpose, but was split on whether to support the bill due to the jury majority provision.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "TOM PETERKIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568326.1506200420!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568326.1506200420!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Some believe not proven tilts the scales of justice in favour of the accused. Photograph: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Some believe not proven tilts the scales of justice in favour of the accused. Photograph: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568326.1506200420!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/independence-row-dogs-edinburgh-uni-s-incoming-principal-1-4568302","id":"1.4568302","articleHeadline": "Independence row dogs Edinburgh Uni’s incoming principal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506222503000 ,"articleLead": "

The incoming principal of Edinburgh University has been forced to defend himself after being caught up in a row over his opposition to Hong Kong independence ahead of his move to Scotland.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568301.1506245317!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "University of Edinburgh of Professor Peter Mathieson, who has been appointed as the next Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the university. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Professor Peter Mathieson, currently the Vice-Chancellor of Hong Kong University (HKU), has told Scotland on Sunday the politicisation of higher education on the former British colony is “deeply regrettable”.

With student activists at his current university speaking out in favour of Hong Kong breaking away from China, Mathieson this month signed a statement opposing independence.

The statement, which was signed by nine other leaders of Hong Kong higher education institutions, has led to an angry reaction from independence supporters.

Calls for independence have been rising in recent years with activists, many of whom are students, arguing that Hong Kong is facing increasing Chinese interference.

Pro-independence posters have been appearing around universities. One institution, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, has been criticised for removing independence banners.

The statement signed by Mathieson and others said: “We treasure freedom of expression, but we condemn its recent abuses. Freedom of expression is not absolute, and like all freedoms it comes with responsibilities.

“All universities undersigned agree that we do not support Hong Kong independence, which contravenes the Basic Law.”

Activists claimed the first part of the statement was a criticism of public expressions in favour of independence, an interpretation disputed by Mathieson.

Julian Ho, a HKU graduate and last year’s editor of the Undergrad student magazine, said: “It is worrying and outrageous that Mathieson, who will soon become the principal of University of Edinburgh, considers discussion on independence as ‘abuse’ of freedom of speech.”

Mathieson said the first part of the statement was directed at specific instances of “hate speech”, one of which referred to a young man’s suicide and another suggesting the anniversary of 9/11 should be celebrated.

“I have at no time said that discussion of Hong Kong independence is an abuse of freedom of expression,” said Mathieson.

Ho maintains that Mathieson’s opposition to Hong Kong independence could prove problematic in Edinburgh when he moves to Scotland to replace Sir Timothy O’Shea.

“It is unavoidable that during Mathieson’s term in Edinburgh, there will be discussion on campus on Scottish independence. With this track record, it is questionable if he will uphold Edinburgh’s autonomy when the university is under pressure,” said Ho.

Mathieson said: “The second part of the statement restated a position that I and other universities have taken before, that as institutional leaders we do not support Hong Kong independence. We said nothing about the discussion thereof. Sometimes different political camps here exploit the same words or events to mean different things according to their own aims and wishes.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "TOM PETERKIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568301.1506245317!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568301.1506245317!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "University of Edinburgh of Professor Peter Mathieson, who has been appointed as the next Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the university. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "University of Edinburgh of Professor Peter Mathieson, who has been appointed as the next Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the university. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568301.1506245317!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/euan-mccolm-we-ll-have-to-grin-and-bear-may-s-best-of-both-worlds-1-4568267","id":"1.4568267","articleHeadline": "Euan McColm: We’ll have to grin and bear May’s best of both worlds","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506222000000 ,"articleLead": "

THE Prime Minister’s Florence speech contained little to reassure Remainers, Leavers – or indeed EU negotiators 
in Brussels, writes Euan McColm

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568266.1506193578!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May gives her speech at the Complesso Santa Maria Novella in Florence. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

There was something in the Prime Minister’s speech, said Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, for both Leavers and Remainers.

Moments after Theresa May attempted on Friday to outline, in the Italian city of Florence, some kind of vision of a joyous post-Brexit relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, Davidson went out to bat.

Hers was a loyal, if unconvincing, contribution. Davidson – a leading Remainer during last year’s referendum campaign – welcomed May’s proposal of a two-year transition period after the UK leaves the EU in 2019 during which financial contributions would continue to be made by Westminster and existing trading agreements would be retained.

If this was something for pro-EU voters, for those who feel differently there was the PM’s re-assertion of the fact that Brexit was inevitable.

Davidson’s optimism was all very well, but listening to May’s speech, my impression was that it contained things to anger rather than inspire the confidence of Leavers and Remainers.

Those who believe departure from the EU to be a self-destructive move may, indeed, welcome a prolonged period of transition; why wouldn’t they? But May’s proposal – should it be acceptable to the EU – will do nothing but, briefly, postpone the inevitable. Leaving slightly later is still leaving. There was not, really, much in that speech for those who found themselves on the losing side last year.

Leavers, on the other hand, may be reassured by the Prime Minister’s insistence that Brexit will proceed but they may wonder why, if the UK is to leave the union in 2019, the government wishes to pay another £20 billion into EU coffers during the succeeding two years. It was a hardly a surprise when former Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, reacted to the speech by describing its content as a “victory for Westminster and the political class” which was guilty of “giving a big two fingers up to 17.4 million people”.

May’s speech was intended to do two things. First, it was to reset the fraught relationship between the UK and the EU in the hope that Brexit negotiations might proceed smoothly and, second, it was to reassure voters – on both sides of the EU divide – at home that the government has some kind of clue about how to proceed with this expensive divorce.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier – who did not attend the speech – issued a statement in which he said the Prime Minister had “expressed a constructive spirit which is also the spirit of the European Union during this unique negotiation”; May’s speech showed a willingness to move forward when time is of the essence.

Barnier added that May’s remarks about EU citizens living in the UK – she suggested they would to be allowed to stay, post-Brexit – were a step forward, before delivering the sucker punch that the PM’s words “must now be translated into a precise negotiating position of the UK government”.

Brexiteer government ministers such as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson have been especially pugnacious when it comes to the question of how Britain should handle the negotiations – roughly: Johnny Foreigner can whistle for a penny by way of a financial settlement – and so we should not be surprised if Barnier and his negotiation team proceed cautiously, even after the PM’s speech.

The Prime Minister did not, then, transform the relationship between her government and the European Union. She simply tried to make it less appalling. We won’t know until negotiations get moving whether she succeeded.

And if May did not instantly transform the tense relationship between Britain and the EU, nor did she succeed in giving the impression to voters that she and her government have a coherent plan for the way forward. The newly proposed transitional period points to an administration not properly prepared for the task ahead.

May’s speech was full of warm words about a Brexit deal – followed by a close relationship – in the interests of both the UK and the EU. This undoubtedly sounded like level-headed stuff (or treachery, if you take the Farage view of Europe) but the fact remains that the UK hasn’t many cards to play.

It has never – since the moment Britons voted last June to leave the EU – been the case that Brexit could proceed on terms which both sides of the negotiation would be happy with. The EU, having been told to do one by British voters, has no interest in making departure from its ranks a painless experience.

The decision to quit the EU came as a blow to the institution, which learned that decades of co-operation could be brought to an end quite easily. This being so, the European Union has no option but to do all it can to see that the UK’s decision is – ultimately – regarded by others as a colossal mistake.

Standing in Florence in front of cabinet colleagues, including Johnson, the Prime Minister painted a best-of-both-worlds picture where the UK would leave the EU but the relationship shared by both would continue as if nothing had happened.

There’s a pathos about all of this. Through a fixed grin, the PM talks warmly about our European neighbours while knowing fine and well that those neighbours would very much enjoy her humiliation over Brexit.

During last year’s referendum campaign, Leavers were bullish about how the UK might deal with the EU. They successfully sold the ludicrous notion that our government could dictate the terms of our departure – we’ll have all of the good stuff and none of the bad, thanks – and spoke of a future where money currently paid into EU coffers would be available to invest in the NHS.

But, as the Prime Minister tries to get Brexit negotiations back on track, it’s abundantly clear that departure from the EU will be anything but straightforward.

Theresa May’s speech in Florence did have something for both Leavers and Remainers – running through it, caressing every syllable, was the truth that Brexit is going to be painful.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568266.1506193578!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568266.1506193578!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Theresa May gives her speech at the Complesso Santa Maria Novella in Florence. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May gives her speech at the Complesso Santa Maria Novella in Florence. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568266.1506193578!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/dani-garavelli-facing-up-to-slavery-in-second-city-of-empire-1-4568273","id":"1.4568273","articleHeadline": "Dani Garavelli: Facing up to slavery in second city of empire","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506222000000 ,"articleLead": "

GLASGOW has begun to search its soul about the wicked trade that civic grandeur all but airbrushed from history, writes Dani Garavelli

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568270.1506243643!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "In August, Glasgow University appointed Dr Stephen Mullen author of It Wisnae Us, a book about the tobacco and sugar lords to research the extent to which the institutions may have benefited from slave-produced bequests. Picture: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

On the top floor of the People’s Palace, Glasgow’s temple to its industrial heritage, researcher Marenka Thompson-Odlum perches precariously on a ladder set up in front of one of the city’s best known art works.

Much of the surrounding room speaks of working class struggle: around the dome are Ken Currie’s fiery murals charting the history of resistance from the Calton Weavers to the 1980s miners’ strike. Below, excerpts from the speeches of Red Clydesider Jimmy Reid are displayed in a glass cabinet. 
The portrait I have come to look at speaks only of wealth and status. It shows tobacco lord John Glassford sitting in his finery, his extensive family at his side and a basket of fruit at his feet. Thompson-Odlum, however, is pointing out the barely visible profile of an enslaved boy’s head in the top left-hand corner.

Over the centuries, the boy – a human status symbol – faded from view; no-one knows if he was painted out or simply disappeared under layers of grime. He re-emerged during a clean-up in 2006. But what has been recovered is not so much an image, as the shadow of an image; a spectral presence hovering on the periphery of the painting like a guilty conscience.

The Glassford portrait is a powerful metaphor for Glasgow’s attitude to its involvement in the slave trade. The Merchant City was founded on exploitation. Its grandest thoroughfares – Buchanan Street, Ingram Street, Dunlop Street, and, of course, Glassford Street – are named after the traders who made their money through slave-run tobacco and sugar plantations; the neo-classical mansions that grace them were built with the fortunes they amassed.

Yet somehow, over the centuries, Glasgow managed to bury its tainted past; to celebrate its architectural heritage without acknowledging the misery on which it was based.

Its merchants were laid to rest in ostentatious tombs in the Cathedral or the Necropolis with its commanding view of the city’s skyline. But of their links to slavery there was little mention. As for their victims – the men, women and children forced to toil on their land – they were effectively airbrushed from history.

For the past decade, academics, activists and artists have been trying to reclaim their past. The 200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in 2007 saw a flurry of books on the role of Scots planters in the Caribbean, where names like Campbell and MacDonald proliferate.

During the Commonwealth Games in 2014, author Louise Welsh and architect Jude Barber set up the Empire Cafe, while Graham Campbell, the founder of the now-defunct African Caribbean Centre, co-produced a site-specific production called Emancipation Acts.

When the games were over, the council accepted the city’s complicity and pledged action; but while other ports, such as Liverpool and Bristol, invested in permanent museums and/or exhibitions, the Second City of the Empire failed to deliver on its promise.

Glasgow is a city replete with plaques and statuary to powerful white men, but there is no permanent reminder of the source of its wealth nor any memorial to the victims who – like the boy in the Glassford painting – remain flickering figures at the edge of our collective consciousness.

Now – at last – all that seems set to change. As preparations for Black History Month get under way, the city is finally psyching itself up to confront its past. In August, Glasgow University appointed Dr Stephen Mullen – author of It Wisnae Us, a book about the tobacco and sugar lords – to research the extent to which the institutions may have benefited from slave-produced bequests. The Museums Service is staging a series of exhibitions, including Blockade Runners at the Riverside Museum, which explores the role Clyde-built ships (illegally) played in prolonging the American Civil War. And, at the 9 October launch of the Nelson Mandela Scottish Memorial Foundation’s campaign to create a statue of the former South African president, city council leader Susan Aitken is expected to announce plans to set up a cross-party working group to consult on the creation of a permanent exhibition or memorial.

This is in addition to ongoing research projects, such as Glasgow University’s Runaway Slaves, which involves collating and digitising newspaper advertisements placed by “masters” trying to locate fugitives, and the creation of a Minecraft computer game in which the workings of a plantation can be explored.

“Scots have often been accused of ‘amnesia’ regarding the nation’s historical connections with Caribbean slavery,” says Mullen, a former joiner whose journey into academia began when he joined Glasgow Anti-Racist Alliance (now CRER).

“Historians and museums professionals in particular have been held responsible for the lack of popular understanding. But this is shifting.

“In 2015, Tom Devine’s edited collection Recovering Scotland’s Slavery Past was Edinburgh University Press’s bestselling book. And academic research is percolating into the popular consciousness too, in ways that can only be described as a cultural awakening.

“With Glasgow’s colonial past under scrutiny like never before, it is clear historians, artists, activists and writers have opened up a considerable debate. Now the question is: how should the imperial history of the city be addressed?”

Originally from St Lucia, and, therefore herself descended from slaves, Thompson-Odlum is currently in the third year of an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded PhD exploring the impact of slavery on Glasgow Museums’ collections.

A striking woman with an explosion of gold-flecked braids and a natural effervescence, she draws my attention to a silver collar – used to shackle a slave in Scotland – and another smaller painting of a female shopkeeper standing behind her counter in 1790. Thompson-Odlum points out the bowl of lemons, the cones of sugar, the bottles that are probably rum. Though it doesn’t explain this on the accompanying information panel, the shop-keeper makes her living selling products brought back from the plantations.

The number of artefacts with overt connections to the slave trade, however, is not enormous, so most of her research is focused on the way the merchants spent their wealth: the goods they purchased; the portraits they commissioned, the impression they were trying to create.

One of the things that fascinates her most is the collection of punch bowls, which were at the heart of the city’s thriving social scene in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The punch was made from lemons, lime, rum and sugar and served at lavish merchants’ gatherings at venues such as the Hodge Podge Club.

“I think it’s interesting how the whole idea of Glaswegians, sociability and the rise of clubs centres around consuming the things that are created by enslaved people,” she says. “The bowls are made from the finest china; they are so delicate and dainty when slavery is the least dainty thing imaginable. It seems to me it’s almost a conscious decision to surround yourself with these finely made things in order to distance yourself from how you make your money.”

Thompson-Odlum’s research is helping to build up a better understanding of the impact of slavery on those who profit from it. But the inevitable focus on the white slave owners over black slaves – whose lives remain undocumented – is a constant source of frustration.

Three months spent at the Library of Congress in Washington DC – where the Glassford family’s business records are held – yielded plenty of information about the tobacco stores he opened across the states, but nothing about the identity of the boy in the portrait. “I wish I could give the enslaved people voices,” says Thompson-Odlum. “It makes me sad that they go unheard.”

The same frustration is inherent in the Runaway Slaves project run by Thompson-Odlum’s Glasgow University supervisor Professor Simon Newman, who has traced hundreds of advertisements placed by Scottish masters, suggesting ownership of slaves in Scotland was not uncommon.

These advertisements are important because – together with the court cases sometimes fought on their recapture – they contain tiny insights into how slaves in Scotland lived .

“We know, because the advertisements (and other sources) tell us, that a reasonable number of slaves joined churches; that some learned saleable skills, like carpentry, which meant they could potentially find work elsewhere – and that in not insignificant numbers they married into the local community and so produced mixed race populations,” says Newman.

The 50 words the advertisements contain may be the only record left that a person actually existed; but they are still written from the perspective of the owner and may be quite derogatory.

To turn the slaves from ciphers into fully-drawn human beings requires creativity, which is why writers and artists have such an important role to play in reclaiming the past.

As part of Newman’s project, for example, William Pleece has been commissioned to create a graphic novel based on the story of three Scottish runaways; it will be disseminated in Scottish secondary schools, where the Higher syllabus now includes the Atlantic slave trade.

A similar leap of imagination was required for sisters Moyo and Morayo Akande as they set about making 1745 – a short film about two runaway slaves which premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and will be shown during a civic reception at Glasgow City Chambers during Black History Month in October.

The daughters of Nigerian immigrants who grew up in Bearsden, Moyo and Morayo were also inspired by newspaper advertisements and a sense that Scots were under-informed about the country’s role in the slave trade. They are now developing the short – which explores the slaves’ predicament as well as the universal theme of human relationships – into a full-length feature film.

“When I started to research the project – and found out about the street names – I guess I was shocked because I wasn’t aware of the history,” says Morayo. “If you look at the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art [a Palladian mansion built by tobacco lord William Cuninghame], there’s nothing on it explaining how it was funded.”

Moyo says she was shocked she hadn’t learned more about the Atlantic slave trade at school. “We are both young black Scottish women living here and very proud to be, but not knowing this part of our history was quite disappointing,” she says.

The sudden buzz around the issue of slavery has been created by a confluence of events. The controversy over Confederate statues in the US and the change of administration at Glasgow City Council have given a fresh momentum to an issue that had fallen down the agenda.

The fact this year’s fresh intake included the city’s first black representatives – Ade Aibinu, Tory councillor for Victoria Park and the aforementioned Campbell, now SNP councillor for Springburn/Robroyston, means pressure is likely to be sustained.

In his maiden speech, Campbell, whose family is from Jamaica, talked about his own ancestry; he is descended from both black slaves and white planters, and wears a map of Africa on a chain around his neck to remind him of his heritage. “My father’s grandfather, Captain Campbell, owned a plantation, but post-slavery,” he says. “I have not really traced my history because I thought it would upset me. But I suppose I am ready now. My father is 80 and he wants to know more so I will have to find out.”

When Campbell moved from London to Glasgow 15 years ago, he was frustrated to discover the city in denial, but channelled his negative emotions into the Glasgow Anti-Racism Alliance, the African Caribbean Centre and an organisation called Flag Up Scotland Jamaica.

He would like to see a permanent slavery museum on the scale of Liverpool’s and the public better educated on the consequences of colonialism. “People often ask me if I want Glasgow to apologise, and of course I do,” he says. “But an apology will be meaningless if there isn’t also a proper educational programme with the citizens that involves them in the process of recovering their own history.”

One of the lessons he wants people to learn is that it was slaves who abolished slavery. “It wasn’t gloriously nice white liberal politicians, it was slaves who found it intolerable and kept having rebellions; it was slaves who forced politicians to recognise they were humans.”

Whatever the outcome of the consultation, there will be a cost to permanently marking the city’s role in the slave trade; but both Campbell and David McDonald, the deputy leader of the council believe there could also be economic dividends in the form of ancestral tourism.

“The Mitchell Library gets 40,000 inquiries a year from people looking for information about their families and history,” says McDonald. “A lot of that will be white families and white histories, but we think there is a big piece of work to do in terms of black history of black families too.”

However the greatest potential dividends of confronting the past are not financial; they lie in coming to terms with who we are, what we did and the extent to which slavery continues to shape the world today.

As we sit in the cafe in the Winter Gardens – the glass house at the back of the People’s Palace – Thompson-Odlum fingers the sachet of Demerara sugar on the side of her saucer. “Bringing it all back home,” she laughs.

In fact, there are echoes of colonialism all around us: from the tea we are drinking to the exotic botanical plants which Thompson-Odlum says make her homesick for her garden in St Lucia.

Slavery may have long been abolished but its poisonous legacies endure. It lies at the roots of deepening racial tensions in the US, the continued economic divide between white and black in the West Indies, the disproportionate number of Afro-Caribbean men in UK prisons and the high unemployment rate in many black neighbourhoods.

But what is the point of Glasgow raking up the past? Is it an exercise in self-flagellation or conscience-salving? An act of atonement or of reparation?

For Thompson-Odlum it is about increased empathy and reconciliation. “I am not about going round pointing fingers and saying anyone is ‘guilty’, because I live in the now,” she says.

“I just think it’s good to acknowledge your history, because once you acknowledge it you begin to understand ideas of whiteness and white privilege; you see the discrepancies between people and you see how the idea of racism was born. Once you understand the roots of all that, you start to see where people are coming from and it is possible to move forward together.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DANI GARAVELLI"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568270.1506243643!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568270.1506243643!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "In August, Glasgow University appointed Dr Stephen Mullen author of It Wisnae Us, a book about the tobacco and sugar lords to research the extent to which the institutions may have benefited from slave-produced bequests. Picture: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "In August, Glasgow University appointed Dr Stephen Mullen author of It Wisnae Us, a book about the tobacco and sugar lords to research the extent to which the institutions may have benefited from slave-produced bequests. Picture: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568270.1506243643!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568271.1506194621!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568271.1506194621!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Marenka Thompson-Odlum who is originally from St Lucia and is doing a PHD on slave connections stands in front of a painting of the Glassford family. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Marenka Thompson-Odlum who is originally from St Lucia and is doing a PHD on slave connections stands in front of a painting of the Glassford family. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568271.1506194621!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568272.1506194628!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568272.1506194628!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Councillor Graham Campbell - Glasgow African Caribbean SNP Councillor, Rastaman, Scottish-Jamaican Musician, poet, anti-racist, fundraiser. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Councillor Graham Campbell - Glasgow African Caribbean SNP Councillor, Rastaman, Scottish-Jamaican Musician, poet, anti-racist, fundraiser. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568272.1506194628!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/education/pat-black-teach-first-collaboration-helps-raise-standards-1-4568306","id":"1.4568306","articleHeadline": "Pat Black: Teach First collaboration helps raise standards","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506201372000 ,"articleLead": "

Throughout my career, I have been motivated by the power education has to transform the lives of young people, especially those from poorer backgrounds.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568305.1506201379!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Schools should embrace the new approach. Photograph: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Every child deserves the best start in life, and the importance of having the best possible leadership and teaching in the classroom has been shown time and time again. In schools, excellence matters and we should all aspire to the highest quality teacher training.

My current role as Head of Teacher Education at the Institute for Education at Bath Spa University, has allowed me to draw together tackling educational inequality and teaching excellence.

Bath Spa has been training teachers for 70 years and we are proud of our exceptionally high standards.

I was born in Scotland and am Scottish at heart. Therefore, I’ve been impressed, with the clear statements from the Scottish Government to make tackling the attainment gap and improving education outcomes their top priority.

There is determination across the education sector to maintain Scotland’s high standards, particularly in how it recruits, trains and accredits new teachers. However, that determination must go hand in hand with a flexibility to adopt innovative approaches, which have been successful elsewhere.

At Bath Spa, we offer a range of routes into teaching, one of them being with Teach First. Our experience of working with them has been hugely positive. Crucially, the teacher education programme we operate with Teach First has been complementary and not in contradiction to our other teacher education pathways.

What often strikes me about the people Teach First recruits is that they may not have been attracted to the more conventional routes into teaching. This means a group of people are joining the profession, who had never been targeted before.

We have successfully worked in partnership with Teach First for five years, and have recently worked with them and several English universities to co-create an innovative training model built on a two-year PGDE qualification for participants. This has included Bath Spa working with Cardiff Metropolitan University to place Teach First participants in Welsh schools.

This equates to the qualification offered by Higher Education providers in Scotland and is double the academic value of a standard PGCE teaching certificate in England.

The programme is a partnership harnessing the unique expertise of the university, Teach First and the schools themselves. We each have a crucial part to play and can learn from one another to make sure we’re producing talented teachers.

The evidence shows that the partnership is working. Independent research has shown that two years after school departments partnered with Teach First, they outperformed other departments in the same school by 16 per cent. Additionally, Teach First teachers could be adding as much as 30 per cent of a grade per student.

As Scotland considers its next steps in improving educational standards, I would suggest that policymakers are motivated by that kind of evidence. Not least by improving outcomes for those children who are least privileged.

We know how motivated the teachers we train are in tackling inequality. Three years after they enter the profession, Teach First teachers have been shown to be three times more likely to be working in schools facing the greatest challenge. I’m proud that we are delivering results when it really matters.

Scotland is rightly proud of its educational heritage and is home to some of the best universities in the world. It is well placed to build for a future founded on high teaching standards and proven new approaches. Higher education institutions have much to gain from being part of this drive to attract a new generation into the classroom and will be part of a long-overdue increase in status for the profession.

At Bath Spa’s Institute for Education, our traditional routes into the teaching profession are high quality and very successful, but that does not reduce our enthusiasm for new approaches that are proven to work. The debate about Teach First is an important one for Scotland to have, as the outcome has the potential to improve the lives of those children who deserve it most.

• Pat Black is Head of Teacher Education at the Institute for Education, Bath Spa University

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Pat Black"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568305.1506201379!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568305.1506201379!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Schools should embrace the new approach. Photograph: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Schools should embrace the new approach. Photograph: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568305.1506201379!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/north-korea-ups-stakes-with-threat-of-hydrogen-bomb-test-above-ground-1-4568333","id":"1.4568333","articleHeadline": "North Korea ups stakes with threat of hydrogen bomb test above ground","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506200853000 ,"articleLead": "

Fears have been raised that North Korea’s next nuclear test could involve a thermonuclear missile being flown over Japan, after its foreign minister said his country may test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568332.1506200859!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Students march in Pyongyang yesterday in support of leader Kim Jong-un. Photograph: AFP/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The world hasn’t seen an above-ground, atmospheric nuclear test since an inland detonation by China in 1980, and North Korea going ahead could push the region dangerously close to war.

The room for error would be minimal, and any mistake could be disastrous. Even if successful, such a test could endanger air and sea traffic in the region.

Because of that, many experts don’t believe North Korea would take such a risk. But they’re also not ruling it out, given the North’s increasing number of nuclear and missile tests.

The main reason for North Korea to take the risk would be to quieten outside doubts about whether it really has a thermonuclear weapon small enough to fit on a missile, said Jeffrey Lewis, an arms control expert at Middlebury Center of International Studies in the US.

So far, North Korea has been separately testing nuclear weapons and the ballistic missiles built to deliver them, rather than together.

North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho would not have spoken without approval from Pyongyang’s top leadership when he suggested on Friday that the country could conduct an atmospheric hydrogen bomb test to fulfil the ambitions of premier Kim Jong-un.

Kim, in an unusual direct statement to the world, pledged hours earlier to take “highest-level” action against the US in response to President Donald Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea if provoked. Ri didn’t elaborate and said no one knew what decision Kim would make.

If North Korea attempts an atmospheric nuclear test at sea, it would likely involve its most powerful ballistic missiles, such as the intermediate-range Hwasong-12 or the intercontinental-range Hwasong-14, experts say.

The nation lacks assets to air-drop a nuclear device, and sending a vessel out to sea to detonate a device raises the chances of getting detected and stopped by US military.

For the nuclear missile to reach a remote part of the Pacific, it would have to fly over Japan, as happened with two Hwasong-12 test launches in recent weeks.

A nuclear launch by North Korea would come dangerously close to an act of war, said Lee Choon Geun, a missile expert from South Korea’s Science and Technology Policy Institute.

However, Lewis disagreed: “Although I am sure such a launch would be very alarming to people in Japan, there is little the United States or Japan could do.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "KIM TONG-HYUNG"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4568332.1506200859!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4568332.1506200859!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Students march in Pyongyang yesterday in support of leader Kim Jong-un. Photograph: AFP/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Students march in Pyongyang yesterday in support of leader Kim Jong-un. Photograph: AFP/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4568332.1506200859!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/anas-sarwar-relinquishes-his-shares-in-family-business-1-4567981","id":"1.4567981","articleHeadline": "Anas Sarwar relinquishes his shares in family business","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506171429000 ,"articleLead": "

Anas Sarwar has relinquished his shares in his family’s cash-and-carry business as he attempts to regain the initiative in the Scottish Labour leadership contest.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567979.1506171976!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anas Sarwar had faced criticism over his ties to a Glasgow-based business started by his father. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The MSP has faced a barrage of criticism after it was revealed that Glasgow-based United Wholesale (Scotland), which was built from scratch by his father, did not pay the real living wage to all staff.

Nicola Sturgeon made reference to the row at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, with the SNP leader claiming there was “a massive gulf - a gulf as wide as the Clyde - between what Labour says and what Labour does”.

With several trade unions confirming this week their support for Richard Leonard, the left-winger and rival candidate for the party leadership, Mr Sarwar was under pressure from his backers to regain momentum as the contest heats up.

He has voluntarily waived his right to any dividend and will now be unable to access the assets or take any remuneration for his lifetime.

Although senior politicians have previously placed shares in a blind trust that can be accessed at a later point, Mr Sarwar will go even further and has signed a discretionary trust deed that means he can never access the assets.

The beneficiaries of the trust will be Mr Sarwar’s three young children, who will not access the assets until they are adults.

In a statement, he said: “I will never apologise for being my father’s son. I am incredibly proud of his achievements, building a company that now employs around 250 workers – many in Nicola Sturgeon’s own constituency.

“Scotland has cradled my family, nurtured it and gave it opportunity and success.

“And it’s the Labour Party that allowed them to share that success to help others. I’m in the Labour Party because of those values and because I know our party remains the single best vehicle for change in this country.

“That’s why I have dedicated my life to fighting for the values I believe in.

“In this contest, it’s only right that Labour members can hear my plans to rescue our NHS, invest in education, reverse Tory benefit cuts, tackle gender inequality, strengthen Scotland’s place in the UK, and lift tens of thousands of children out of poverty.

“I am ready to go toe-to-toe with Nicola Sturgeon, because our country needs a First Minister who will deliver equality, opportunity and fairness for all.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon attacks Anas Sarwar over family firm

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CHRIS McCALL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4567979.1506171976!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567979.1506171976!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Anas Sarwar had faced criticism over his ties to a Glasgow-based business started by his father. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Anas Sarwar had faced criticism over his ties to a Glasgow-based business started by his father. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4567979.1506171976!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/financial/interview-ross-mcewan-rbs-chief-executive-1-4566690","id":"1.4566690","articleHeadline": "Interview: Ross McEwan, RBS chief executive","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506161647000 ,"articleLead": "

Straight-talking New Zealander Ross McEwan has been at the helm of Royal Bank of Scotland since 2013, working to try and rebuild its tattered reputation and repay the £45bn of public money required to stop it going bust in 2008. The bank is getting there, he tells Janet Christie, but there is much still to do

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4566688.1506087525!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ross McEwan, Chief Executive of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group photographed at the RBS headquarters in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh"} ,"articleBody": "

Ross McEwan doesn’t mind if you call him old fashioned. In fact he likes it. The CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland uses the epithet several times when we meet in the august surroundings of the Royal Bank’s 36 St Andrew Square head office in Edinburgh.

“Look, call me old fashioned,” he says, when the conversation turns to recent stories around his dislike of zero interest credit card deals, “but I like people paying back. Call me old fashioned,” he repeats, “but I think we should be giving customers a lot more warning about the issues around them,” he says, his New Zealand accent flattening the vowels.

“I’ve never had a problem with borrowing money myself but I like to get it paid back. I’ve been lucky enough probably all of my life, if I put money on a credit card I pay it off in the month. I’m a bank’s worst nightmare. And I think that came from my mother.” He laughs.

McEwan’s attitude to money was formed back in NZ, where his mother was a shop assistant and bequeathed him her financial mantra.

“‘It’s not how much money you have, it’s what you do with it’ she used to say. We wanted for nothing,” he says, “but she was frugal. Even on a pension she would save and ask me what she should do with it. I would say, ‘mum, why don’t you think about spending it?, but she wanted to save it.’

His dad, an Australian who started in banking then joined the air force before flying crop spraying planes, added to his money make up.

“I remember I borrowed some money off my dad and him saying ‘I want it back’ and it’s something I hope I’ve instilled in my children. If they borrow money, they’ve got to pay it back. They got pocket money but had to do things for it, and now both of them are working and able to save.

“My daughter started her business from zero – yes, I helped her get that up and she’s paying me back. I want her to, not because it’s important to get the money back, but it’s important she learns the value of money.”

And does he get dad’s rates for his tea and scone at her cafe in London?

“No! I pay full price. The staff say to me do you get the staff rate, and I say no, dad pays the full price.” He laughs.

“I’ve learnt a lot watching the pain and anguish that goes into building a business. Same with our other daughter, I can help with money, but it’s nice to see them paying it back.”

McEwan is approachable, but isn’t afraid to say no when it’s required.

“I think that’s something we as banks forgot to do and why we ended up in crisis. Tell people why, but if the right answer is no, that’s the answer.”

As for zero interest credit deals, he wants more information about the charges, penalties and rate hikes. “With these products, around 50 per cent of people get to the end of the time and roll again. And when the rate changes, 60 per cent don’t even know what it’s going to change to. To me that’s fundamentally wrong.”

He’s similarly phlegmatic on the subject of compensation for victims of fraud and happy to have started a debate with his comments.

“Look, if people hand over their passwords, should the bank be accountable? I don’t think so. We take care of vulnerable customers and put measures in place – we’ve a new tool that can detect if it’s you using your device – and need customers to take responsibility too. If someone hands over their card in a bar and all their mates buy drinks on it, should the bank have to pay for that?” He laughs. “I wouldn’t have thought so.”

Maybe customers are forced online by closures I suggest, but McEwan is adamant they are voting with their fingers and choosing digital.

So who is Ross Maxwell McEwan, the straight-talking Kiwi who took on the job of restoring the 290-year-old bank’s reputation when he stepped into the CEO chair in 2013? What kind of person wants to take on customer and shareholder ire after the Fred Goodwin years and the bank’s part in the financial crisis of 2008, to be accountable for the subsequent £45bn government bailout?

Born in New Zealand 60 years ago – “my dad’s family was from County Clare in Ireland, part of a clan pushed out of Scotland about 500 years ago. His family went to Australia, then dad moved to New Zealand” – McEwan is based in London with his wife Stephanie and two grown up daughters, but “up here all the time”.

Tall and rangy, with short dark hair, he’s business smart in dark blue suit, striped blue and white shirt. His blue tie has tiny flashes of colour, but it’s discreet and a smartwatch is a reminder of the bank’s digital direction. He’s every inch the respectable banker, warm courteous and polite as he shows us around the recently refurbished building, the banking hall with its beautiful star studded dome, the offices and boardroom. He points out the portrait of John Campbell, cashier during the 1745 Jacobite rising that hangs on one wall. More flamboyant than today’s chief banker, Campbell is resplendent in a black and red kilt.

“There he is in his tartan,” says McEwan. “Of course he shouldn’t be wearing that because it was banned at the time” he says, and laughs.

Part of McEwan’s job is to rehabilitate the bank, rebranding as the Royal Bank of Scotland once more and pushing RBS, the investor brand, out of focus. Keen to stress the bank’s profile in the community, there’s a Money Sense programme in schools and this summer he’s been out and about chairing an Edinburgh International Book Festival Q&A event with Crash Bang Wallop author Iain Martin. Come December he’ll be jumping in a sleeping bag in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens for Sleep in the Park alongside Bob “give us the money” Geldof, other business leaders and 9,000 others bidding to raise £4m to fight homelessness in Scotland.

“Banks have a special place in society and it’s why people got very upset about us losing that safe and secure position we should have in the market place. Businesses should be good citizens, but we have an additional responsibility because of that fundamental role of lending into communities,” he says.

But why would anyone want to take on such a job, given the bank’s low reputation after the financial crash?

“Look, this is one of the iconic jobs in banking. This was a bank that was doing great things worldwide and all of a sudden it was on its knees. I thought we could repair it and more importantly put the pride back. That’s pride in our colleagues, in customers, and our shareholders, which is the UK public who were quite rightly scornful about this bank, having to put in £45bn of public money.

“There was hubris and now I think there’s a humbleness. We’re here to serve customers and make money long-term for shareholders by looking after customers.”

McEwan is optimistic, with the bank – Scotland’s largest private sector employer with 10,500 of 92,400 staff based here – reporting an operating profit for the second quarter of this year of £1.2bn compared to a £695m loss in the same quarter of 2016, a 24 per cent rise in income and 32 per cent fall in operating costs compared to the previous year.

Yet the legacy of the past persists when it comes to passing stress tests and the prospect of returning to an overall profit. Then there’s the question of a return to private ownership.

“If we resolve the two outstanding issues – the divestment of some of our SME (small and medium sized enterprise) customer base around Williams & Glyn and the issues around mortgage backed securities that we and others have been fined over – we believe this bank will make money again in 2018. The core bank has been making money, it is restructuring and conduct and litigation that’s been dragging it down. There are two things a financial institution has that it must guard, very, very strongly. The first is financial strength and we lost that – we were broke, so we’ve been rebuilding and are a very strong bank now. The second is reputation, and we damaged that very, very badly. I think the repair job is going to take some years. We’re getting better but we still have a long way to go.”

So how did he set about turning round the bank’s reputation?

“We had really good positions in the UK and Republic of Ireland to serve customers long term and make money, so we brought the bank back from 38 countries down to 14, re-shaped and got rid of assets and products that didn’t make sense for us. We’ve dealt with most of the legacy issues and are in better shape, but reputations are not rebuilt in a year and this bank did very severe damage to its reputation. We were seen as the bank that brought down the UK economy, along with others, but we were a big part. We had focused on growth as our prime driver instead of customers. The UK taxpayer ended up saving this bank so we had to re-focus onto customers and rebuild.

Another concern for McEwan right now is Brexit, which he approaches from a customer point of view.

“How do we keep them able to trade so we don’t have a big drop-off in productivity and business in the UK? We will look after customers. We’ve got a bank licence in Amsterdam we can purpose easily and have a European entity with about 150 staff, although our HQ will be in the UK.

As for a possible indyref2, his approach is similarly pragmatic.

“Oh, I’ll leave that for the Scots to work out for themselves,“ he says. “Yeah, I don’t get a vote. For the bank, we wouldn’t operate any differently. We’d take the plaque to England, the reason being this bank is just too big for the Scottish economy to have reliant on it if something goes wrong. We’ve got a very large Scottish business – 1.7 million personal customers, 140,000 business and commercial customers, 27,000 charities and about 30,000 private banking customers – and we’ll be here to look after them. We will look after the Scottish people in or out of an independence arrangement.”

McEwan prides himself on changing a culture that “lacked openness” to one where staff and customers can ask whatever they like.

So in that spirit, does he think he’s worth a pay packet that was reported as around £3m last year?

“I think it comes round to what the market pays for a skill anywhere. You’re going to be paying for a resource of any sort, and I am a very well-paid executive. I don’t think there’s any other answer to that.”

As for whether this insulates him from the financial realities the rest of us struggle with he says, “You know, most of my friends do not earn anywhere near what I earn. My family do not earn what I earn. And I go back to it’s not what you get paid so much as what you do with it. I have seen wealthy people end up with nothing and those who have earned a basic wage ending up reasonably well off.”

So rather than buy a house back in New Zealand to return to one day, McEwan and his wife have invested in a cattle farm near Auckland.

“I’m not a farmer,” he says, “but wanted to put money into something that will grow, to see good people grow a business. To see productivity going up and people growing themselves, that’s interesting for us.”

McEwan has always professed to be a people rather than numbers man, so is it true that he failed accountancy level two while studying for his business studies degree?

“Yes, I did.” He laughs and takes a long sip of his tea. “It’s not something someone who is running a bank should be proud of, but in my first year I passed all papers plus an additional one so there was a little bit of a slack in the second year, which flowed into the third year… And I’m reasonably good with figures – I can see important trends as opposed to wanting to be an accountant, and a business is about people.

“But to me university’s a great experience and you develop as an individual. It was also where I met my wife, so it was a good place to be. She was in the women’s basketball team and I was in the men’s, so we did a lot of travelling and it was a lot of fun.”

Stephanie went on to graduate in food management and today works with their daughter in her cafe.

After graduation McEwan worked his way up at Unilever, Dunlop and National Mutual and by 40 was NZ chief executive for Axa. First NZ Capital Securities and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, followed then he joined RBS in 2012 to head their retail banking.

He’s used to responsibility but what wakes him in the middle of the night?

“Things like fraud, money laundering, cyber attacks, keeping the bank safe. Or an outage like 2012 which I wouldn’t say could never happen again, but we’re prepared for with better technology and support.

“I’m reasonably relaxed, but any CEO, if you don’t get stressed, you’re not thinking about it hard enough. I always have my phone with me. But weekends are important to us and we do things we enjoy like cycling and sport, going to a movie. You need to decompress mentally and often I find solutions when I’m out cycling.”

McEwan’s name has recently been linked to the top job back at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia but when we met McEwan wasn’t talking about any moves.

“I’m here while the board wants me. I want to see the bank on a really strong path to focus on customers and making money and starting the government out process. That would be important for me. I’d love to see the Scottish people really proud of this bank again, because it’s their bank and the UK public saved it. The biggest reward for them is to have a good bank back.”


" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JANET CHRISTIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4566688.1506087525!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4566688.1506087525!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ross McEwan, Chief Executive of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group photographed at the RBS headquarters in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ross McEwan, Chief Executive of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group photographed at the RBS headquarters in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4566688.1506087525!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4566689.1506087527!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4566689.1506087527!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ross McEwan, Chief Executive of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group photographed at the RBS headquarters in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ross McEwan, Chief Executive of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group photographed at the RBS headquarters in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4566689.1506087527!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/dead-pigeons-in-walls-close-ward-as-hospital-patients-evacuated-1-4567749","id":"1.4567749","articleHeadline": "Dead pigeons in walls close ward as hospital patients evacuated","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506142854000 ,"articleLead": "

Patients have been evacuated from a ward at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary – after dead pigeons were found behind the walls.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567748.1506111399!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "ERI Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Picture: Greg Macvean"} ,"articleBody": "

Nurses are understood to have raised the alarm after hearing faint chirping noises from behind the plaster in ward 207.

The general medical ward is now believed to be closed for a week – the third major pigeon-related disruption at the site in five years.

“A patient complained about the smell in a side room on the ward and the nurses came and heard chirping and a rustling sound,” said Unison’s Tam Waterson.

“They found a number of dead pigeons. We have said there are issues with vermin on the site.”

The union warned of a 100-strong pigeon colony living at the hospital five years ago. Two operating theatres were shut down for 11 days in June 2012 when flies from a maggot-infested pigeon carcass found their way in.

And in December that year, shocked hospital staff found a rogue fly in a sterile area – closing another operating theatre.

Opened in 2001, the Little France site was built and is run by controversial Private Finance Initiative provider, Consort.

“We reported it five years ago but Consort denied in and the health board denied it,” said Mr Waterson.

“There are a number of concerning matters – pest control being the main one.

“We’re paying an extortionate amount of money, 
£60m-a-year in rent, for a hospital where we can’t even keep birds out of the wall.”

A 45-year-old clinician said of the latest pigeon problem: “They noticed it when staff heard chirping coming from the walls.

“They called in the pest control, pulled down the walls and have been bringing sacks full of dead birds out.

“The ward will be shut for a week yet. That’s 48 beds that they have to find somewhere else for patients.

“There’s a net up covering part of the roof and they’ve brought falconers in before to try and get rid of pigeons.”

George Curley, NHS Lothian’s director of facilities, said: “Our routine maintenance checks found pigeons in an external wall cavity in the building of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. As a precaution, and to prevent disruption, some patients have been moved to another part of the hospital while cleaning is carried out.

“We work hard to ensure all our sites are free of pests, which is why we are investigating the issue at the RIE more closely and will continue to monitor all of our estate.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANDY SHIPLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4567748.1506111399!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567748.1506111399!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "ERI Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Picture: Greg Macvean","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "ERI Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Picture: Greg Macvean","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4567748.1506111399!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/ruth-davidson-under-fire-over-conservative-offenders-1-4567789","id":"1.4567789","articleHeadline": "Ruth Davidson under fire over Conservative offenders","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506142854000 ,"articleLead": "

Ruth Davidson was under pressure last night to discipline a Tory councillor who has been struck from the teachers’ register after posting insulting tweets describing Nicola Sturgeon as a “drooling hag”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567788.1506114091!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ruth Davidson with Kathleen Leslie, who posted offensive comments online"} ,"articleBody": "

The Scottish Conservative leader was urged to “get her house in order” after it emerged yesterday that Kathleen Leslie, left, had agreed to be removed from the General Teaching Council for Scotland’s (GTCS) register.

Ms Leslie, who used to teach at Woodmill High School in Fife, posted a series of tweets attacking Ms Sturgeon, the SNP and its supporters during the build up to the 2014 independence referendum.

Ms Sturgeon was described by her as a “wee fish wife”, “a walking horror show” and “wee Jimmy Krankie” while she was employed as a teacher by Fife Council. She also laid into the lottery-winning Weir family, who have donated millions to the Yes movement, ridiculing them as “uneducated fat f******”.

And she smeared almost half of those who voted by saying that “only a racist supports a Nationalist ideology”.
Ms Davidson has previously been praised after speaking out against the homophobic abuse she has suffered since becoming Tory leader in Scotland and has warned that growing levels of online hate could put women off a career in politics.

But she has also come under fire for failing to deal effectively with offenders within her own party.

Ms Leslie is the latest Conservative councillor to be criticised for online behaviour. Last month anger greeted the party’s decision to reinstate Stirling councillors Alastair Majury and Robert Davies after they were suspended for posting offensive tweets.

Cllr Majury was behind a twitter account that likened the SNP to the Nazis and Mr Davies tweeted racist jokes.

Last night a Conservative source said there would be no action taken against Ms Leslie on the basis that she had apologised for her tweets at the time.

A document released by the GTCS showed that a complaint had been made alleging her fitness to teach was impaired. A GTCS panel considered the complaint and determined there was a case to answer.

According to the GTCS, Ms Leslie chose not to challenge the complaint and in doing so admitted the allegations made against her “relating” to her fitness to teach.

Yesterday a SNP spokesman said: “Kathleen Leslie’s online rants were spectacularly ill-judged and insulting.” He added: “This sort of behaviour has become a pattern in the Tories, with councillors and candidates across the country being caught posting bile online – but not being properly disciplined. The question remains, is Kathleen Leslie fit to be a councillor? Ruth Davidson desperately needs to get her house in order.”

Ms Leslie left her teaching post when she was elected councillor for Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy in May.

She then wrote to the GTCS and said she wanted to be removed from the teaching register, a move that was to lead to the end of her 16-year teaching career.

Cllr Leslie said: “During my years of teaching I was never under any scrutiny as regards my professionalism and performance in the classroom.

“I took my responsibilities very seriously and never allowed politics to intrude in the teaching environment.”

Ruth Davidson said: “These comments were clearly unacceptable. Ms Leslie apologised for them when they came to light and removed them from social media.

“I’ve made it clear that everyone representing the Scottish Conservatives must uphold the highest standards when in office.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Tom Peterkin"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4567788.1506114091!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567788.1506114091!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ruth Davidson with Kathleen Leslie, who posted offensive comments online","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ruth Davidson with Kathleen Leslie, who posted offensive comments online","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4567788.1506114091!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/leader-comment-move-to-stop-trolls-must-come-from-top-1-4567771","id":"1.4567771","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: Move to stop trolls must come from top","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506142854000 ,"articleLead": "

Social media is awash with comment masquerading as fact. And it attracts an unfortunately high number of people who think it is acceptable to defame, malign, smear and vilify others, the majority of whom they have never met. These are the 21st century internet trolls.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567770.1506113669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has been forceful in her criticism of online abuse. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Politics, of course, is a topic where many regard abuse as normal and accepted. It shouldn’t be. Robust debate is one thing; personal abuse is quite another.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has been forceful in her criticism of online abuse while Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has, to her credit, spoken out on many occasions at the cyber attacks directed at her and her staff.

This message from the top is to be welcomed – online vitriol is poisoning Scottish politics and must be stamped out. But it needs to be accompanied by action.

Today we report yet again on abusive messages from a councillor.

Kathleen Leslie, a Tory councillor in Fife, posted insulting tweets describing Nicola Sturgeon as a “drooling hag”. The First Minister was also described by her as a “wee fish wife”, “a walking horror show” and “wee Jimmy Krankie” while Ms Leslie was employed by a teacher by Fife Council. She also laid into the lottery-winning Weir family, who have donated to the Yes movement, ridiculing them as “uneducated fat f******”. And she smeared almost half of those who voted by saying that “only a racist supports a Nationalist ideology”.

A document released by the General Teaching Council for Scotland showed that a complaint had been made alleging her fitness to teach was impaired. Ms Leslie declined to contest it and has been struck from the teachers’ register.

Last month the Tory party reinstated Stirling councillors Alastair Majury and Robert Davies after they were suspended for posting vile tweets offensive to Catholics and ethnic minorities.

It appears that Ruth Davidson is content to speak out on the issue, but when it comes to her own party a great deal of latitude is given. If Ms Leslie accepts that she is unfit to teach, why she is fit to hold public office? And why does Ruth Davidson think it’s acceptable?

The message it sends is: say what you like, apologise, and it will all die down. Unless the strongest voices in our country – including Ruth Davidson and Nicola Sturgeon – act to stamp this out, we will forever be a nation of nasty keyboard warriors.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4567770.1506113669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567770.1506113669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has been forceful in her criticism of online abuse. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has been forceful in her criticism of online abuse. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4567770.1506113669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/heart-patients-may-be-treated-in-england-amid-staffing-issues-1-4567757","id":"1.4567757","articleHeadline": "Heart patients may be treated in England amid staffing issues","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506142854000 ,"articleLead": "

A Scottish health board has struck a deal with a hospital in Newcastle to treat heart patients amid staffing problems, it has emerged.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567756.1506150449!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Due to staffing issues heart patients may be treated south of the border. Picture: Greg Macvean"} ,"articleBody": "

Patients in Grampian have already been offered the chance to travel to the north-east of England for treatment, although none have taken up the opportunity.

Opponents insisted it shows the “staffing crisis” which is engulfing the NHS in Scotland, but hospital chiefs in Grampian insist it has similar arrangements with health boards in Lothian and Glasgow.

The arrangement came to light when Tory MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston raised concerns with health Secretary Shona Robison about the wait faced by a patient in Grampian.

Ms Robison admitted in her response there was “a backlog of cardiac patients due to staffing difficulties” and that “the impact of this can result in a delay for some patients scheduled for elective admission”.

She added: “The board have indicated they have also secured a Service Level Agreement with Newcastle and this option has been offered to patients.”

It comes amid concerns over nursing and consultancy vacancies across the country, while hospitals struggle to hit waiting times targets.
Mr Halcro Johnston said: “The fact a health board in the north of Scotland is now depending on hospitals in England to treat heart patients shows the depth of the staffing crisis in Scotland’s NHS.

“It’s time for the SNP to admit it’s made a mess of workforce planning and apologise to the thousands of patients who’re paying the price for these failings.

“Travelling to Newcastle for any patient in the Grampian area isn’t convenient, but even less so for those with heart problems.

“The Scottish Government should count itself lucky that the NHS in Newcastle has offered to help out in this way. The SNP has been in charge of health for more than a decade now, and only has itself to blame for this unacceptable situation.”

NHS Grampian admitted earlier this year that it could not guarantee patients treatment within the target 12 weeks of diagnosis, unless the case was urgent.

But a spokeswoman for the health board said it is committed to ensuring patients are seen as quickly as possible.

“This means, occasionally, people are offered the opportunity of surgery elsewhere during peaks in demand,” she said.

“We have well established links with Lothian and Glasgow and our agreement with Newcastle is a backup option which has not been utilised so far. People should be assured that our priority will always be to see patients in Grampian. There are also a range of factors which can result in capacity issues and not only down to staffing difficulties.

“As a result, we are working with our cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and other key clinicians on a comprehensive redesign of the service that will deliver change and build future capacity in Aberdeen.”​​​

Ms Robison said the service in Newcastle is a “third back-up option” behind Lothian and Glasgow.

“Long waits are unacceptable which is why we have provided an additional £50 million to the NHS budget to improve waiting times at all stages of a patient’s journey through the health service – almost £5m has been provided to NHS Grampian,” she 

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SCOTT MACNAB"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4567756.1506150449!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567756.1506150449!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Due to staffing issues heart patients may be treated south of the border. Picture: Greg Macvean","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Due to staffing issues heart patients may be treated south of the border. Picture: Greg Macvean","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4567756.1506150449!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/jane-bradley-quel-relief-it-s-ok-to-parlez-franglais-1-4567726","id":"1.4567726","articleHeadline": "Jane Bradley: Quel relief, it’s OK to parlez Franglais","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506142800000 ,"articleLead": "

Quebec’s language police have had to call off the dogs after a row over an Italian restaurant being forced to drop the word ‘pasta’ from its menu says Jane Bradley

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567725.1506107969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "In Quebec, around 78 per cent of people class themselves as Francophone, while 42.6 of the local population are bilingual. Quebecois want to preserve their French culture, but rules are being relaxed."} ,"articleBody": "

When I was living in Quebec a quarter of a century ago, a local English-language TV station delivered a fantastic April Fool’s Day broadcast.

It ran a news item telling people that they would no longer be allowed to give their dogs commands in English, and they would have to retrain them entirely in French.

The trick piece showed dog owners desperately trying to teach their pets to respond to commands such as “assis” rather than “sit” and “reste” rather than “stay”. Owners who were struggling were to be provided with special state-funded language classes for their dogs, the programme claimed.

It was funny.

But the problem was, no-one knew if the news segment was actually a joke or not, because what was known locally as ‘the language police’ was a serious institution.

A small business in my suburb of Montreal was closed down for a short period of time because its branding did not follow the rules – which required any sign in English to be just two thirds the height of the French sign.

This particular business ran into problems because it combined the lettering of its dual language signage. It read: “Floriste St Lambert Florist”, which could be read as “Floriste St Lambert”, the French version – or “St Lambert Florist” – the English version. The problem was that it printed all of the letters in the same sized font.

This was not good enough for the Office Quebecois de la langue Francaise (OQLF) – to give it its Sunday name - which jumped on the owners from a great height and insisted they rectify the matter immediately.

Just last year, a pub in Montreal was warned over a sticker in its window which said it was “recommended on TripAdvisor”, which the OQLF said was not acceptable as it was only in English. Meanwhile, a few months earlier, the owner of a board game shop – ironically with a French-English name, ‘Chez Geeks’ – ran into difficulties with the OQLF because it had too many signs and adverts in English – even though the owner said many of the games he sold were produced in countries outside of Canada and therefore had no French version.

This month, the watchdog has relaxed its guidelines for the first time after its head was forced to resign amid a furore that an Italian restaurant in Montreal was forced to remove the word “pasta” from its menu.

Now, suddenly, in a move which is unprecedented in Quebec, which fiercely protects its French language roots, politicians have told the OQLF to be less aggressive over the use of foreign words in French - particulaly Anglicisms.

Set up 56 years ago, the organisation’s aim was “to align on international French, promote good Canadianisms and fight Anglicisms”. Originally, the Charter of the French Language required that all commercial signage be in French and no other language – a decision which was modified in 1993, just a few years before I lived there.

The new regulations are a shock for Quebecois, who have previously translated words which originated in English into the French language – even when in France, they have stuck a French prefix in front of the English moniker for the item.

While the French would more often talk about “le weekend”, in Quebec, we referred to “la fin de semaine” – the “end of the week”.

Words such as “un grilled cheese” were prohibited in the past, with the watchdog insisting on a “sandwich au fromage fondant” on a restaurant menu, while the popular North American game of softball no longer has to be called “balle-molle” under the new rules.

A small number of words from languages other than English, including Italian terms such as café latté, gelato and scampi, have also been adopted as permissible in French in Quebec.

In Quebec, around 78 per cent of people class themselves as Francophone, while 42.6 of the local population are bilingual.

What is particularly bizarre about the OQLF’s previous stance is that it is so at odds with how the Quebecois society actually uses the language. In everyday speech, Canada’s Frenchies pepper their language with a complete amalgamation of English and French. A sentence begun in English can often end in French - or, if a word is more suitable in one language or the other, it is thrown into the middle of a conversation conducted otherwise, entirely in the alternative language.

As a teenager visiting my friend Sarah’s house in Montreal, I would watch in awe as her family chatted over dinner. She would speak in French, while her parents, a British-born ex pat married to a Francophone Quebecoise, would answer in different languages. Of her two older brothers, one leaned more towards French, while the other preferred to speak English.

They were, of course, all bilingual (most people in the cosmopolitan city of Montreal are, even if there are other areas of Quebec where English is rarely heard), but they all had their preferences – and it made no difference which language they spoke – everyone understood.

Naturally, the OQLF is not to be disbanded entirely. It will, it says, continue to promote French and create French equivalents as words come into common useage in modern society. Due to the prevalence of English as a business language around the world, technology-related words are more likely to be in English, requiring foreign languages to either adopt them as their own or create an equivalent – such as the Quebecois “mot-clic” for “hashtag”.

And nor should it. With such a close proximity to the US – and English-speaking parts of Canada – it is understandable that the Quebecois want to preserve their French culture and ensure the English language is not allowed to run rough-shod over a fascinating and important part of Canadian heritage.

But at least the new, more relaxed attitude will mean English-speaking dog owners in the province will be able to breathe easy again.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JANE BRADLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4567725.1506107969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567725.1506107969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "In Quebec, around 78 per cent of people class themselves as Francophone, while 42.6 of the local population are bilingual. Quebecois want to preserve their French culture, but rules are being relaxed.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "In Quebec, around 78 per cent of people class themselves as Francophone, while 42.6 of the local population are bilingual. Quebecois want to preserve their French culture, but rules are being relaxed.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4567725.1506107969!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/nicholas-kristof-meet-the-world-leaders-in-hypocrisy-1-4567720","id":"1.4567720","articleHeadline": "Nicholas Kristof: Meet the world leaders – in hypocrisy","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506142800000 ,"articleLead": "

There is plenty posturing in the spotlight but little is being done to tackle humanitarian crises, says Nicholas Kristof

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567719.1506107952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Trump used a forum for peace to threaten to annihilate a nation of 25 million people."} ,"articleBody": "

Leaders from around the world descended on New York this week for United Nations meetings, fancy parties, ringing speeches about helping the poor – and a big dose of hypocrisy. And – finally! – this is one area where President Donald Trump has shown global leadership.

If there were an award for United Nations chutzpah, the competition would be tough, but the medal might go to Trump for warning that if necessary, “we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” There were gasps in the hall: A forum for peace was used to threaten to annihilate a nation of 25 million people.

There also was Trump’s praise for American humanitarian aid to Yemen. Patting oneself on the back is often oafish, but in this case it was also offensive. Yemen needs aid because the U.S. is helping Saudi Arabia starve and bomb Yemeni civilians, creating what the U.N. says is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. In other words, we are helping to create the very disaster that we’re boasting about alleviating.

It was also sad to see Trump repeatedly plug “sovereignty,” which tends to be the favoured word of governments like Russia (even as it invades Ukraine and interferes in the U.S. election) and China (as it supports corrupt autocrats from Zimbabwe to Myanmar).

Speaking of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi skipped the U.N. meeting, after being feted last year, because it’s awkward to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner who defends a brutal campaign of murder, rape and pillage. Many Muslim leaders in attendance, like Recep Tayyip Erdogan, did highlight the plight of the Rohingya suffering an ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. If only they were as interested in their own political prisoners!

Meanwhile, world leaders usually ignore places that don’t fit their narratives. Everybody pretty much shrugged at South Sudan and Burundi, both teetering on the edge of genocide; at Congo, where we’re headed for civil strife as the president attempts to cling to power; and at the “four famines”: in Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen and South Sudan. To Trump’s credit, he expressed concern on Wednesday about South Sudan and Congo and said he would dispatch U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley to the region to see what can be done; let’s hope his administration provides desperately needed leadership.

In fairness, there are broader reasons for hope, including astonishing progress against global poverty – more than 100 million children’s lives saved since 1990. Every day, another 300,000 people worldwide get their first access to electricity, and 285,000 to clean water. Global poverty is a huge opportunity, for we now have a much better understanding of how to defeat it: resolve conflicts, invest in girls’ education, empower women, fight malnutrition, support family planning, and so on.

For the first time in human history, less than 10 percent of the world’s population is living in extreme poverty, and we probably could virtually eliminate it over the next 15 years if it were a top global priority. Trump rightly hailed PEPFAR, the Aids program President George W. Bush devised, but he also has proposed sharp cuts in its funding.

The progress on stopping human trafficking is also inspiring. I moderated a U.N. session on the topic, and it was heartening to see an overflow crowd engaging in a historically obscure subject, even as a new report calculated that there are 40 million people who may be called modern slaves. Prime Minister Theresa May convened perhaps the largest meeting of foreign ministers ever on human trafficking.

We now have the tools to achieve enormous progress against these common enemies of humanity – poverty, disease, slavery – but it’s not clear we have the will. What’s striking about this moment is that we have perhaps the worst refugee crisis in 70 years, overlapping with the worst food crisis in 70 years, overlapping with risks of genocide in several countries – and anemic global leadership.

“There is a vacuum of leadership – moral and political – when it comes to the world’s trouble spots, from Syria to Yemen to Myanmar and beyond,” notes David Miliband, the president of the International Rescue Committee. Margot Wallstrom, Sweden’s foreign minister, agrees: “I think there’s a leadership vacuum.”

There are exceptions: Wallstrom, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and more.

But many countries are divided at home, distracted by political combat and looking increasingly inward, and in any case, the U.S. remains the indispensable superpower, and it is AWOL. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has achieved a degree of irrelevance that no one thought possible, and Trump is slashing the number of refugees accepted, cutting funds for the U.N. Population Fund and proposing huge cuts for diplomacy, peacekeeping and foreign aid (fortunately, Congress is resisting).

The number that I always find most daunting is this: About one child in four on this planet is physically stunted from malnutrition. And while it is the physical stunting that we can measure, a side effect is a stunting of brain development, holding these children back, holding nations back, holding humanity back.

So it’s maddening to see world leaders posturing in the spotlight and patting themselves on the back while doing so little to tackle humanitarian crises that they themselves have helped create.

©2017 New York Times New Service

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "NICHOLAS KRISTOF"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4567719.1506107952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567719.1506107952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "President Trump used a forum for peace to threaten to annihilate a nation of 25 million people.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Trump used a forum for peace to threaten to annihilate a nation of 25 million people.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4567719.1506107952!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/councils-in-scotland-dismiss-need-for-review-of-uber-operations-1-4567767","id":"1.4567767","articleHeadline": "Councils in Scotland dismiss need for review of Uber operations","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506113326000 ,"articleLead": "

Scottish councils have ruled out a review into the operational licence of controversial private hire firm Uber, despite transport bosses in London announcing the taxi-hailing app would not have its permission to work in the city renewed when it expires at the end of the month.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567766.1506113334!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Councils have dismissed the need for a review of Uber's operations in Scotland. Picture: Carl Court/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Transport for London (TfL) said the minicab app was “not fit and proper” to operate in the city due to concerns which have “public safety and security implications”.

The ruling means Uber drivers will be banned from working in the city after September 30, pending an appeal.

However, local authorities in Glasgow and Edinburgh both dismissed the need for 
an investigation before licences were due for renewal in 2019, with Glasgow City council confirming “no complaints” had been received “in respect of the operation of Uber’s Booking Office Licence”.

Aberdeen City Council were unable to comment as Uber’s application to operate in the city had only recently been received.

TfL cited a number of incidents as their reasons for denying the licence, including its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and how it carries out background checks on its drivers.

Mark Greenhalgh, Chairman of the Edinburgh Private Hire Drivers Association said Uber were unlikely to fall foul of the rules in Scotland, adding: “I think they have effectively used a sledgehammer to crack a nut by revoking Uber’s London licence.”

“In Scotland, I think it’s different because there’s an understanding of the rules and Uber are compliant with them, but in London, it seems to be there was no kind of regulation in place, so it seems a little harsh.

“Obviously passenger safety should be taken extremely seriously, but I also feel sorry for the drivers, some of whom will have just been told they will be out of a job in just over a week”.

Tony Kenmuir, chairman of Central Taxis, agreed the ruling would have little impact north of the border, adding: “Personally I can’t see there being a review any time soon, but we will certainly be keeping an eye on how things progress.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JAMES DELANEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4567766.1506113334!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567766.1506113334!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Councils have dismissed the need for a review of Uber's operations in Scotland. Picture: Carl Court/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Councils have dismissed the need for a review of Uber's operations in Scotland. Picture: Carl Court/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4567766.1506113334!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/long-delays-expected-as-america-s-busiest-border-crossing-shuts-1-4567747","id":"1.4567747","articleHeadline": "Long delays expected as America’s busiest border crossing shuts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506111243000 ,"articleLead": "

The busiest border crossing in the world will close this weekend to the more than 40,000 cars that pass between California and Mexico every day.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567746.1506111250!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The busiest border crossing in the United States, between San Diego and Tijuana, will close to the more than 40,000 cars that pass through it daily to Mexico. Picture: AP Photo/Gregory Bull"} ,"articleBody": "

The closure between San Diego and Tijuana for work on a $741 million expansion project presents a monumental headache for border businesses, workers, tourists and Christopher Enjambre. His band, Minor Gems, plays gigs in Tijuana.

“It’s already hectic now, so ... damn,” he said, shaking his head in disbelief. “It’s going to be crazy.”

Travellers have been enduring hours-long waits on the Mexican side of the border to enter the US with the constant addition of security measures since the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Frequent crossers, like Enjambre, 28, of Chula Vista, south of downtown San Diego, worry they will now face long lines on both sides, making trips through the San Ysidro crossing intolerable.

The expansion is believed to be the largest renovation of a crossing along the nearly 2,000-mile-long US-Mexico border. It has been in the works for years to ease congestion and boost cross-border commerce.

US officials are warning people to avoid driving to Baja California from the early hours of today until noon on Monday, hoping to ease what is feared will be a massive traffic jam on the US side as Mexico-bound cars are detoured to the much smaller Otay Mesa crossing to the east.

“Don’t even think about going across in a vehicle,” said Jason M-B Wells, executive director of the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce. “It’s going to be a standstill.”

Wells and other business leaders want people to cross on foot and are planning a festival with live music and food trucks to greet those who do. San Ysidro’s pedestrian crossing, where 22 inspection lanes into the US were added this summer, will be open in both directions. Vehicles from Mexico into the US also can cross.

Leaders in Baja California’s tourism industry are concerned about the disruption that could continue well past the weekend as some lanes stay closed until November.

They already were working to get word out that their tourist spots are safe after the US State Department issued a travel advisory last month that included the region because of violent crime.

Ricardo Argiles, chief executive of the Rosarito Beach Group, which owns the landmark Rosarito Beach Hotel, said the border closure is a second blow. Reservations for his hotel this weekend are down 30 per cent from last year at this time, and he fears tourism will keep lagging.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JULIE WATSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4567746.1506111250!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567746.1506111250!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The busiest border crossing in the United States, between San Diego and Tijuana, will close to the more than 40,000 cars that pass through it daily to Mexico. Picture: AP Photo/Gregory Bull","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The busiest border crossing in the United States, between San Diego and Tijuana, will close to the more than 40,000 cars that pass through it daily to Mexico. Picture: AP Photo/Gregory Bull","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4567746.1506111250!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/angela-merkel-set-to-win-fourth-term-as-germans-go-to-the-polls-1-4567728","id":"1.4567728","articleHeadline": "Angela Merkel set to win fourth term as Germans go to the polls","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506108883000 ,"articleLead": "

Chancellor Angela Merkel appears all but certain to win a fourth term when Germans vote tomorrow after a humdrum campaign produced few divisive issues but saw smaller parties gain support - including the nationalist, anti-migration Alternative for Germany.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567727.1506108890!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Supporters of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) political party demonstrate against the German Chancellor and Christian Democrat (CDU) Angela Merkel at a CDU election campaign stop. Picture: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Merkel, already chancellor for 12 years, has run a low-key campaign emphasising the country’s falling unemployment, strong economic growth, balanced budget and overall stability in a volatile world.

Pre-election polls give her conservative Union bloc a lead of 13 to 17 points over the centre-left Social Democrats led by her challenger, Martin Schulz. The two are traditional rivals but have governed together in a “grand coalition” of the biggest parties for the past four years. Schulz returned to German politics in January after years as the European Parliament’s president. He has struggled to gain traction with a campaign that centred on righting perceived economic injustices for Germany’s have-nots. It has also been difficult for him to carve out clear differences with the conservatives.

Merkel offered Germans “a combination of the experience of recent years, in which we have achieved plenty, and curiosity for the new” during the pair’s only head-to-head debate of the campaign.

Merkel is pledging to get from Germany’s current 5.7 per cent unemployment rate - down from 11 per cent when she took office in 2005 - to “full employment” by 2025. She pledges limited tax cuts and to keep Germany’s borrowing at zero.

And she offers a steady hand internationally, with long experience of European Union negotiating marathons, tough talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and now of engaging cautiously with President Donald Trump.

Polls suggest that Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and its Bavaria-only allies, the Christian Social Union, will come in a few points short of the 41.5 per cent support they had in 2013 - Merkel’s best result yet. They put Schulz’s Social Democrats around or below the 23 per cent they won in their worst showing yet in post-Second World War Germany, which was recorded in 2009.

Hans Kundnani, an expert at the German Marshall Fund think-tank, said it was a “foregone conclusion” that Merkel would be the next chancellor.

The difficult part may be forming a new government. Merkel can hope for a narrow majority for a centre-right coalition with the pro-business Free Democrats, with whom she ran Germany from 2009 to 2013, or the traditionally left-leaning Greens.

More likely is a result that leaves her either seeking an untried coalition with both those parties, or another “grand coalition” with the Social Democrats. The latter party has pledged to ballot its membership on any coalition deal, which could be tricky if it performs very badly.

A government with the Free Democrats aboard might take a tougher stance on efforts to reform the eurozone and bail out strugglers. The Greens want a faster transition away from gas and diesel cars and a wealth tax on the rich.

The junior partners, whoever they are, will have “limited influence over the overall direction of policy”, Kundnani wrote in an analysis. He added that “in so far as differences exist between the four parties that could become part of the government, they are a matter of details and nuances”.

Polls show four parties competing for third place, with support between 7 and 12 per cent – the Free Democrats, who look set to return to parliament after a four-year absence; the Greens, the Left Party and Alternative for Germany, or AfD. AfD has swung right since it narrowly missed entering parliament in 2013. It has been helped by opposition to Merkel’s decision to allow in large numbers of refugees.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Margaret Neighbour"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4567727.1506108890!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567727.1506108890!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Supporters of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) political party demonstrate against the German Chancellor and Christian Democrat (CDU) Angela Merkel at a CDU election campaign stop. Picture: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Supporters of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) political party demonstrate against the German Chancellor and Christian Democrat (CDU) Angela Merkel at a CDU election campaign stop. Picture: Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4567727.1506108890!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/donald-trump-says-kim-jong-un-is-obviously-a-madman-1-4567620","id":"1.4567620","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump says Kim Jong Un is ‘obviously a madman’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506099242000 ,"articleLead": "

Donald Trump has added economic action to his fiery military threats against North Korea and renewed his rhetorical offensive against Kim Jong Un, calling the reclusive leader “obviously a madman”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567619.1506099251!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "An escalating war of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un ratcheted up a notch as the US president dubbed North Korea's leader a "madman". Picture: SAUL LOEB,ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: 50 countries have just banned nuclear weapons

The US president’s move to punish foreign companies that deal with the North was the latest salvo in a US-led campaign to isolate and impoverish Kim’s government until his country halts its missile and nuclear tests.

Mr Trump announced the measures as he met leaders from South Korea and Japan, the nations most immediately endangered by North Korea’s threats of a military strike.

“North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile development is a grave threat to peace and security in our world and it is unacceptable that others financially support this criminal, rogue regime,” Mr Trump said as he joined Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in for lunch.

“Tolerance for this disgraceful practice must end now.”

Hours later, Kim branded him as “deranged” and warned that he will “pay dearly” for his threat to “totally destroy” the North if it attacks US interests.

The rare statement from the North Korean leader responded to Mr Trump’s combative speech days earlier when he issued a warning of potential obliteration for the isolated nation, and mocked the North’s young autocrat as a “Rocket Man” on a “suicide mission”.

• READ MORE: Jim Duffy: Trump’s bold stance is a power game driven by economics

Returning insult with insult, Kim said the president was “unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country”.

He described the president as “a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire”, and characterised Mr Trump’s speech to the world body on Tuesday as “mentally deranged behaviour”.

The volley of insults continued on Friday as Mr Trump sent out a pre-dawn Twitter post: “Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!” the president tweeted.

Mr Trump’s executive order expanded the Treasury Department’s ability to target anyone conducting significant trade in goods, services or technology with North Korea, and to ban them from interacting with the US financial system.

Mr Trump also said China was imposing major banking sanctions, but there was no immediate confirmation from the North’s most important trading partner.

• READ MORE: North Korean minister echoes Pedro Caixinha’s ‘dog and caravan’ phrase

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Matthew Pennington and Jonathan Lemire"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4567619.1506099251!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567619.1506099251!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "An escalating war of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un ratcheted up a notch as the US president dubbed North Korea's leader a "madman". Picture: SAUL LOEB,ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "An escalating war of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un ratcheted up a notch as the US president dubbed North Korea's leader a "madman". Picture: SAUL LOEB,ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4567619.1506099251!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/nicola-sturgeon-s-admits-to-suffering-sexism-as-young-politician-1-4567357","id":"1.4567357","articleHeadline": "Nicola Sturgeon’s admits to suffering sexism as young politician","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1506095832000 ,"articleLead": "

Nicola Sturgeon has spoken out about the “double whammy” of judgement she faced as a young woman starting out in the male-dominated world of politics.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567356.1506088208!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke of the difficulties starting out as a young female politician. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon attacks Anas Sarwar over family firm

Scotland’s First Minister revealed the sexism she faced in her early career and warned that while attitudes had improved, young women now faced “dangerous and unacceptable” pressure online over their appearance.

Ms Sturgeon told an audience of 15 to 17-year-old girls when she began her career, women in politics were “extremely few and far between”.

She said: “When you’re surrounded by people what you find, not consciously but looking back on it unconsciously, what you start to do is emulate the behaviour of all of these middle-aged men that surround you because you think that’s what’s expected of you.

“And in politics what that often means and what I think it meant for me when I was younger is behaving in a way that’s quite adversarial or aggressive because that, in the world of politics, is what you think is necessary to succeed.

“You very quickly discover, particularly in politics I think, that there’s a double whammy effect in all of this because what you also find is that the behaviours that in men are considered to be attributes and positive behaviours in a woman are considered completely differently.

“If a woman behaves in that way, aggressively or adversarial, it’s not seen as strong leadership often, it’s seen as being and often described as being bossy and strident and a woman behaving in a way that shes not supposed to behave.”

• READ MORE: FMQs: Sturgeon refuses to back down on Named Persons

Recalling that she was often criticised in the press as never smiling, she added: “There is a much greater focus on how you look, what you wear, what your hair looks like on any given day.

“That’s not the kind of thing you would ever read or hear about a man in politics. So the way you are judged is very, very different to the way a man is judged and that can often lead to bias, unconscious or otherwise, of women in the workplace and what they are capable of.”

Ms Sturgeon said the “pernicious” pressure exerted on young women through social media was “one of the most challenging issues”.

“If I’m being honest it’s one of the issues where I think instead of going forwards we might have gone backwards a little bit,” she told the Future AS5ET conference in Edinburgh today.

“I look at my niece, 11 years old, and I look and get quite horrified sometimes at the pressure that is on girls as young as that and it’s coming from social media, the comments that they read, the pressure and often bullying that can be brought to bear on people through that. And I worry about that.

“I’ve been living with this in the media for 20 years or more so I’m quite inured to it, I don’t get upset personally any more but I feel a real obligation to challenge it for the sake of younger women because we shouldn’t have, whether it’s in the traditional media or social media, that pressure to conform and to be something you’re not.”

• READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon backs Catalonia’s right to hold a referendum

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS HOWARTH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4567356.1506088208!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4567356.1506088208!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke of the difficulties starting out as a young female politician. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke of the difficulties starting out as a young female politician. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4567356.1506088208!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}