{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"news","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/government-accused-of-undermining-expert-evidence-on-named-person-scheme-1-4617207","id":"1.4617207","articleHeadline": "Government accused of undermining expert evidence on named person scheme","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511048467000 ,"articleLead": "

The Scottish Government has been accused of undermining the integrity of expert evidence given to the Holyrood committee examining its controversial named person scheme.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617205.1511030515!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Concerns have been outlined in a letter sent by Tory MSP Oliver Mundell to his fellow Education Committee members. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Serious concerns have been raised about Government meetings held behind the back of the Education Committee scrutinising the named-person legislation. Scotland on Sunday has learned that the concerns have been outlined in a letter sent by Tory MSP Oliver Mundell to his fellow committee members.

It says that a series of meetings involving several organisations before they were due to appear before the committee creates the perception that the Government was seeking to unduly influence those about to give evidence. Plans to allocate every Scottish child a named person to look after their wellbeing proved hugely controversial with critics claiming it will undermine family life. The education committee has also taken evidence criticising the scheme’s code of practice for being too complex. Earlier this month Education Secretary John Swinney promised that the code will be re-written.

Mundell’s suspicions were aroused when witnesses mentioned behind-the- scenes meetings taking place between the Government and various organisations to discuss redrafting the code.

Evidence given to the committee at the end of October by Ben Farrugia of the Centre for Excellence for Looked after Children in Scotland said some organisations were “already involved in redrafting the code of practice”.

Answers to a parliamentary question then revealed that since mid October the Scottish Government had met with a number of organisations. Mundell’s letter said this was before they gave oral evidence to the committee.

This month the committee received a letter signed by several children’s organisations urging MSPs to pass the bill at Stage One. The signatories say they are prepared to work with the government to produce a bill and code that can be supported by the children’s sector and the Scottish Parliament. Mundell said he did not think the signatories had done anything wrong but believed the committee should have the chance to ask them how they had come to their conclusion. His letter also suggested previous witnesses who were not party to the Government’s thinking on redrafting the code did not have the chance to express their views on the changes.

Last night Mundell said: “The nature and pattern of the Scottish Government’s activities at a critical point in the parliamentary process have crossed the line from well-meaning engagement into something more sinister.

“By choosing to consult with and influence an exclusive and handpicked audience at the eleventh hour they have potentially denied the opportunity for full and proper parliamentary scrutiny. Given the legal minefield which surrounds this bill there are big questions about whether the Scottish Government should be meddling in this way.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “As the Deputy First Minister openly made clear to Mr Mundell, he and the Scottish Government meet organisations constantly. The Deputy First Minister sent an open letter to the committee summarising engagement with a number of outside organisations which occurred after they gave evidence to the committee.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Tom Peterkin
"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617205.1511030515!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617205.1511030515!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Concerns have been outlined in a letter sent by Tory MSP Oliver Mundell to his fellow Education Committee members. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Concerns have been outlined in a letter sent by Tory MSP Oliver Mundell to his fellow Education Committee members. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617205.1511030515!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617206.1511030519!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617206.1511030519!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Plans to allocate every Scottish child a named person to look after their wellbeing proved hugely controversial.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Plans to allocate every Scottish child a named person to look after their wellbeing proved hugely controversial.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617206.1511030519!/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/politics/leonard-vows-to-unite-scottish-labour-with-socialist-agenda-1-4617296","id":"1.4617296","articleHeadline": "Leonard vows to unite Scottish Labour with socialist agenda","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511048369000 ,"articleLead": "

New Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard yesterday said he would lead the party as a “movement for socialism” as he promised to win back lost voters with his radical policy agenda.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617295.1511043626!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Leonard outside the Glasgow Science Centre where the result was revealed. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

Leonard also promised a zero tolerance approach to “sexism, misogyny and sexual harassment” as he took over the leadership at a time when Westminster and Holyrood politics has been dogged with allegations of politicians acting inappropriately.

The former trade union organiser became the ninth Scottish Labour leader since devolution after comfortably defeating Anas Sarwar in a hard-fought battle for the Scottish Labour leadership.

The victory of the left-winger over the more moderate candidate will secure Jeremy Corbyn’s influence on the party north of the border.

In his victory speech, Leonard said he would lead Scottish Labour “as a movement for real change, a movement for democracy and, yes, a movement for socialism”.

After one of the most bitter leadership elections seen in Scotland, Leonard secured a majority of votes amongst trade unionists and party members to defeat Sarwar.

As expected, Leonard won the vast majority of trade union votes, taking the affiliated category by 3,281 votes compared with 961 for Sarwar. Leonard won by a far narrower margin when it came to Labour members, polling 9,150 (51.8 per cent) compared with 8,514 (48.2 per cent) for Sarwar.

In the registered voters category Leonard polled 38 votes to Sarwar’s 41.

When all votes were tallied up, Leonard was out in front by a clear margin, polling 12,469 (57.6 per cent) compared with Sarwar’s 9,516.

In all 21,994 people voted in the election, 62 per cent of the 35,309 eligible to vote.

Leonard becomes leader at a particularly difficult time for the party.

Divisions between the left and moderate wings of the party have been cruelly exposed during a nine week campaign. And the party is having to cope with the suspension last week of deputy leader Alex Rowley following harassment claims made by a former girlfriend.

In his victory speech at the Glasgow Science Centre, Leonard said he would set up a new independent route to deal with complaints and promised to tackle gender inequality in the party.

He said the under-representation of women would be tackled through the establishment of a Training Academy.

“It is clear though that we need to go further,” he said. “We need to change the very political culture. We need zero tolerance of sexism, misogyny and sexual harassment.

“We need training on equality and diversity for all Labour Party representatives and staff. And we all need an independent route for complaints.”

Leonard said he would unite the party under his vision and paid tribute to his “friend and comrade” Sarwar, saying that his defeated rival would have a “vital role” to play in the party. Sarwar said he would be pleased to serve in Leonard’s team.

Leonard added: “Whoever you voted for, we are one party, we are one movement, and we stand or fall together.”

He said Sarwar had helped ensure that the leadership debate had also been one about ideas. “So that there is now a settled consensus established around a radical policy agenda for the Scottish Labour Party of extending public ownership, of tackling inequality, of more progressive taxation and of a redistribution of power.”

Former Labour voters would be won back by the party being “distinctively Labour, by being confident Labour, and under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, by being principled Labour again”.

The last few weeks saw both campaigns mired in a series of controversies. The integrity of the contest was questioned when Rowley was recorded expressing a preference for Leonard when, as caretaker leader, he was supposed to be neutral. Leonard’s spindoctor Stephen Low stood down after being caught using foul language to describe a comment made by Labour MSP Jackie Baillie.

Sarwar also had a difficult campaign. He relinquished shares in his family’s cash and carry firm after it came under fire for failing to recognise trade unions and to pay the living wage to all employers. He has also been criticised for sending his children to a fee-paying school.

Corbyn congratulated Leonard on being elected, and Sarwar on his energetic campaign.

He said: “Richard’s campaign offered a challenge to the rigged system that has benefited a wealthy elite and showed how he will lead Scottish Labour to transform society.

He added: “I look forward to campaigning with him in Scotland next week as we build a movement that will help our party win in Holyrood and Westminster, to transform our country for the many not the few.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Tom Peterkin"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617295.1511043626!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617295.1511043626!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Richard Leonard outside the Glasgow Science Centre where the result was revealed. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Leonard outside the Glasgow Science Centre where the result was revealed. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617295.1511043626!/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/alison-douglas-take-pride-in-the-defeat-of-big-alcohol-1-4617157","id":"1.4617157","articleHeadline": "Alison Douglas: Take pride in the defeat of Big Alcohol","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511048289000 ,"articleLead": "

The decision by the UK Supreme Court to dismiss the Scotch Whisky Association’s appeal against minimum unit pricing is a landmark victory for public health.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617156.1511029101!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Minimum pricing is not a panacea. Photograph: Getty/iStockphoto"} ,"articleBody": "

Minimum pricing came about in response to soaring alcohol-related hospital admissions and deaths in Scotland. In the 1980s, there were around 600 alcohol-related deaths per year – by the mid 2000s this had increased to 1,500. Right now, an average of 24 Scots lose their lives to alcohol every single week.

Increasing price has been recognised by the World Health Organisation as a highly effective way to reduce consumption and harm. It became clear that minimum pricing was more effective than tax because it targets the drinks which we know the heaviest and most dependent drinkers purchase, in particular high-strength white cider. What Alcohol Focus Scotland, BMA Scotland, Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP) and the many other organisations which have supported minimum pricing didn’t realise was just how long and difficult a journey it would be.

Minimum unit pricing directly links the price of drinks to their strength. This means that a pint in the pub won’t cost any more but certain products on the shelves of supermarkets and corner shops will cost much more than they do just now. For example three-litre plastic bottles of strong white cider (7.5 per cent abv) can be purchased for less than £4. That’s 22 units of alcohol, which works out at 18p per unit. Under a 50p minimum unit price that bottle of cider will cost at least £11.25. These changes will affect those who drink most and suffer the most harm. Moderate drinkers will only pay around £2.25 per year extra.

Fronted by the Scotch Whisky Association, Big Alcohol fought minimum unit pricing tooth and nail. Like Big Tobacco, they seek to delay, distract or derail any measure which would impact on their vast profits, no matter what the devastating human cost. It was a shrewd move by Diageo and other global alcohol producers to have the Scotch Whisky Association front the challenge. The iconic image of Scotch whisky and small Highland distilleries is a far cry from the strong white ciders and cheap vodkas that were really being protected here. The long-term damage to the Scotch Whisky Association’s reputation remains to be seen but they surely haven’t done themselves any favours in so aggressively challenging the democratic will of the Scottish Parliament.

It’s been a long road which has proved costly in terms of time, money and, tragically, the estimated 400 people whose lives could have been saved if the legislation had been implemented five years ago.

We can all think of someone whose life has been cut short because of alcohol, a family that’s broken up, or someone who has had an accident or been assaulted when drunk. In the first year alone, a 50p minimum unit price could prevent 60 alcohol-related deaths, 1,600 hospital admissions and 3,500 crimes. The saving to the NHS and other public services that deal with the fallout of alcohol runs to millions of pounds.

The global public health community have been watching the progression of minimum alcohol pricing in Scotland with great interest. This is a test case which demonstrates that we can be successful in protecting people from health-damaging products, not just tobacco. Strong evidence isn’t always enough, particularly when such powerful corporate interests are involved. It is to the Scottish Government’s credit – led from the front by Nicola Sturgeon both as Health Secretary and as First Minister – that they persisted in seeing this life-saving policy through.

Minimum unit pricing is not a panacea. Scotland’s alcohol problems will not be solved overnight and much more needs to be done to address the availability and accessibility of alcohol, as well as ensuring treatment services are geared up to support people with problems as effectively as possible. But Scotland should be proud that we are the first country in the world to establish minimum unit pricing. I hope it will also encourage us all to openly discuss and debate the role and impact of alcohol in Scotland and to start changing our relationship with it for the better.

Alison Douglas is chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland. www.alcohol-focus-scotland.org.uk

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Alison Douglas"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617156.1511029101!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617156.1511029101!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Minimum pricing is not a panacea. Photograph: Getty/iStockphoto","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Minimum pricing is not a panacea. Photograph: Getty/iStockphoto","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617156.1511029101!/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-new-labour-leader-needs-to-rewrite-the-script-1-4617300","id":"1.4617300","articleHeadline": "Leader: New Labour leader needs to rewrite the script","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511048058000 ,"articleLead": "

Labour is the Holyrood soap opera that keeps on giving. Even on day one of a new leader.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617299.1511044115!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The party was caught out by the announcement of Kezia Dugdale. Picture: Scott Louden"} ,"articleBody": "

In the last decade six individuals have taken the leading role: Jack (now Lord) McConnell, Wendy Alexander, Iain Gray, Johann Lamont, Jim Murphy and Kezia Dugdale.

All have tried, and failed, to match the energy, vision and populism of the SNP.

Despite the admirable efforts of Dugdale, Labour is now in a distant second place in Holyrood, behind Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP, and with a resurgent Scottish Conservatives, led by Ruth Davidson, on its tail.

And last week – at a time when the party was looking forward to the leadership election – acting leader Alex Rowley stepped down after an ex-girlfriend made harassment allegations against him.

Then, in a further twist yesterday morning, worthy of Hollyoaks or Coronation Street, Dugdale – who is still an MSP – announced she was flying to Australia to be a contestant in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

Today, after a long nine-week campaign, Labour has its new leader in Richard Leonard, who triumphed over Anas Sarwar. It should be a time for renewal and hope. UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the result could lead to Scottish Labour becoming “a real force for change”.

But the road to real power will be long, winding and bumpy.

Scotland needs a strong Labour party but that can’t happen unless it is united. That is surely Leonard’s first priority as leader, a man who easily won the union vote but commanded only a handful of votes amongst Labour MSPs at Holyrood.

Bringing the party together in Scotland will be a huge challenge.

Beyond that, a Labour revival must be based on a strong and wide appeal to voters coupled with radical policies that can grab the imagination. There has been little evidence of this in recent years.

Yorkshire-born Leonard has his work cut out to achieve all of this; just ask all those previous leaders who came up short.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617299.1511044115!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617299.1511044115!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The party was caught out by the announcement of Kezia Dugdale. Picture: Scott Louden","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The party was caught out by the announcement of Kezia Dugdale. Picture: Scott Louden","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617299.1511044115!/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/euan-mccolm-pollok-rapper-who-says-yes-to-grown-up-debate-1-4617288","id":"1.4617288","articleHeadline": "Euan McColm: Pollok rapper who says Yes to grown-up debate","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511047361000 ,"articleLead": "

A couple of weeks ago, some of the most dedicated campaigners for Scottish independence gathered to discuss how best to achieve their ambition of breaking up the United Kingdom.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617287.1511041566!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Darren McGarvey has seen his book about the impact of deprivation become a bestseller. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

More than three years after the 2014 referendum, members of the Scottish Independence Convention met in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall with the intention of reinvigorating a movement that’s suffered its share of knocks.

Welcoming delegates who packed the rows of that grand theatre, the co-convener of the SIC – Rab C Nesbitt star Elaine C Smith – was eager to share her wisdom. It’s been three years since Smith and her fellow travellers endured the bitter taste of defeat; surely three years is time enough to come up with something new, something inspiring.

We won’t win over No voters, Smith told her audience, by calling them quislings and traitors.

Well, blow me. Three years of reflection and this was the level of banality the Yes movement’s brightest and best had reached.

The pro-independence campaign produced a number of loud and confident voices. Unfortunately most of them have been loudly and confidently repeating the same tired old lines about a Scotland held back by the Union.

Those, such as Smith and her SIC co-convener Pat Kane, who have high profiles and, thus, influential roles in the Yes movement, continue to display a lack of understanding of why a majority of Scots rejected the nationalists’ offer in 2014. And the irritation of being called quislings isn’t the half of it.

The nationalist movement, speckled as it is with “free” thinkers whose thoughts must always accommodate the “truth” that independence is always the solution, is all but intellectually moribund. But, from among the ranks of “creatives” – those minor novelists, bloggers, vloggers and “performers” – who formed such a substantial part of the Yes campaign three years ago a truly interesting new voice has emerged.

The rapper Loki – real name Darren McGarvey because he was born in Pollok and not in a Spider-Man comic – has enjoyed an increasingly high profile over the past three years. McGarvey, a recovering alcoholic and survivor of childhood abuse, was – at first, anyway – a darling of the Yes movement.

Authentically working class, with the diction and the furrowed brow to prove it, McGarvey was a gift to the nationalist cause. Here was an articulate, passionate young man whose experiences – and compelling retelling of them – gave weight to the idea that, if independence was about anything, it was about social justice.

McGarvey’s status as darling of the independence cause was to be short-lived. Soon, he began to question the motives of some of those he had once stood beside. Had he been a less interesting character, McGarvey might have found his level as a critical friend of the independence movement.

Last Monday, McGarvey appeared on Radio 4’s Start The Week and announced himself as one of the United Kingdom’s most provocative social commentators. If 2014’s indyref produced a new public intellectual, he is a rapper from Pollok. Who’d have thought?

In a dazzlingly articulate and powerful contribution to the programme, McGarvey spoke about the corrosive impact of stress on those living in poverty and about taking personal responsibility for one’s decisions.

Shortly after the broadcast, McGarvey’s newly published Poverty Safari, a book in which he looks at the impact of deprivation – and at efforts to address it – went to number one in the list of best-selling memoirs on Amazon. It raced into the top 10 across all genres.

I was especially pleased by McGarvey’s breakthrough not because I respect him as a writer and thinker (though I do) but because he gives me hope that Scotland’s debate might move on from the constitutional swamp through which everybody has been wading for a decade.

McGarvey may have stepped into the spotlight as a pro-independence campaigner but the issues he is now discussing are bigger than petty constitutional politics.

The impact of stress on people living in deprived areas and on those working in vulnerable and low-paid jobs is the sort of big subject we should be talking about. Technology continues to transform workplaces, making increasing numbers of traditional jobs obsolete and the inevitable consequence of this will be even more people living in the kind of circumstances which McGarvey so vividly describes.

By challenging the views of some of those who share his ambition to see Scotland become independent, McGarvey has won his share of criticism from the screeching fury chimps of the internet. He is the pet of “Yoons”, goes the attack, a man who, because he is taken seriously by unionist campaigners and politicians, betrays the cause which acted as a catalyst for his new found fame.

The last few years of political debate in Scotland have been depressingly crap. Uber tribalism, a lack of talent at Holyrood, and the ubiquitous tendency for politicians to represent the views of opponents as malicious have combined to make the prospect of joining our national discourse fully unappealing.

McGarvey, with his great clarity – and admission of uncertainty – is, for my money, the most engaging and provocative new thinker to have emerged in Scotland in recent years. He is – or, at least, has the potential to be – someone to whom unionists and nationalists alike should listen.

It will be fascinating to follow McGarvey’s position on the independence question. Unionists who respect his thinking will, doubtless, hope that he reaches an epiphany and repents. Nationalists – the more excitable ones, anyway – will be watching for further evidence that his thinking is impure.

One thing is certain, we’ll hear much more from Darren McGarvey. Last week, he introduced himself to a UK audience and they responded by sending his book soaring up the best-seller list.

Good. This angry, articulate, chippy, argumentative, foul-mouthed, funny, humble, cocky man is worth listening to. And you can’t say that about many of those who came stumbling into the light during the referendum campaign.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Euan McColm"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617287.1511041566!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617287.1511041566!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Darren McGarvey has seen his book about the impact of deprivation become a bestseller. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Darren McGarvey has seen his book about the impact of deprivation become a bestseller. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617287.1511041566!/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/lifestyle/insight-truth-and-the-troll-factory-1-4617294","id":"1.4617294","articleHeadline": "Insight: Truth and the Troll Factory","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511046423000 ,"articleLead": "

In the hours that followed the terror attack on Westminster Bridge earlier this year, one image taken in the immediate aftermath began filling up Twitter feeds and Facebook timelines.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617291.1511043485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Graffiti of Putin in Crimea. Picture: Yuri Lashov/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

It showed a young woman in a hijab apparently ignoring the injured as she walked calmly by, her eyes fixed on the screen of her mobile phone.

Into a febrile collective consciousness popped a single tweet: “Muslim woman pays no mind to the terror attack, casually walks by a dying man while checking phone #PrayforLondon #Westminster #BanIslam.”

It didn’t matter that this interpretation of the events in the photograph was wrong, nor that an inspection of a picture taken almost simultaneously actually showed the face of someone visibly distressed. The damage was done.

The account which sent the tweet, 
@SouthLoneStar, is currently suspended, but screen grabs show that within two hours of the attack, the image and its sinister caption had been retweeted more than 1,600 times. Its subsequent coverage in mainstream media means it is likely to have been seen by an audience of millions and it continues to be shared online.

Earlier this month the United States Congress published a list of more than 2,700 Twitter accounts with links to the St Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency (IRA). Among the list was 

Troll accounts, which are operated by human beings, send deliberately provocative tweets which are then enthusiastically shared by automated bot (short for robot) accounts.

Operating out of an unremarkable-looking office block not far from the Neva river, the Kremlin-linked Research Agency, or “Glavset”, is believed to have begun pushing propaganda around the time of the 2012 Russian presidential election which saw Vladimir Putin win his third term in office.

But while its original focus was on domestic politics, the project has become steadily more ambitious, turning its attentions to the US and elsewhere.

Researchers at Edinburgh University have identified more than 400 accounts operating out of the agency which have attempted to influence UK politics.

Ben Nimmo, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank, says tweets originating from the “troll factory” have had a worrying reach.

“Even though the Lone Star account is gone, the photo that it shared and the interpretation it put on it is still there,” he says.

“We don’t know how many people saw the tweet itself, but we know it was picked up by the mainstream media and is still being used by far-right voices today. It reached millions of people in one way or another.”

Nimmo has written about @TEN_GOP, an account which claimed to be the unofficial voice of Tennessee Republicans and which was suspended earlier this year after it was shown to be registered to a phone number in Russia.

“We know that one account, @TEN_GOP, had 130,000 followers on Twitter, was re-tweeted by Donald Trump Jr and was quoted in the Washington Post. It was a really influential voice which everybody treated with respect as an outspoken voice on the American far-right and which we now know was run from the troll factory in St Petersburg.”

Nimmo says Russian troll accounts operating in virtual space have even managed to mobilise demonstrations in the real world, including on one occasion where Muslims and members of the far-right were encouraged to “face off” over the fate of a Texas mosque.

“This is absolutely something we need to be worried about,” he says.

While there has been a growing body of evidence showing Russian interference in US politics since the election of President Donald Trump, the UK has been slow to wake up to the apparent threat. That changed last week with a speech by Prime Minister Theresa May in which she accused the Kremlin of “planting fake stories” and “seeking to weaponise information”.

In recent days the Russian government has been accused of launching cyber attacks on the UK media, telecommunications and energy sectors and of seeking to sow division in Catalonia following last month’s independence vote.

Professor Laura Cram, director of neuropolitics research at Edinburgh University, believes 419 accounts from the 2,752 suspended by Twitter tweeted about Brexit a total of 3,468 times, although mostly after the vote had taken place.

Cram’s research is yet to be published, but she has urged caution about drawing firm conclusions from the relatively small amount of data available.

As if to underline the difficulties associated with understanding this shadowy subject, a Russian troll recently outed online appears to have been nothing of the sort, but rather a Glasgow security guard.

It was an otherwise quiet Monday lunchtime at the offices of independent radio station Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) when a man broke into the studio and stabbed deputy editor Tatyana Felgenhauer in the neck.

One of a fearless band of Russian journalists who continue to operate amid a culture of intimidation and fear, Felgenhauer – who survived last month’s assault – joined the depressing roll call of those attacked or killed for simply doing their job.

After arresting a man in his 40s, the Russian authorities cited their oft-repeated explanation of “hooliganism”.

However, others pointed to a news report on state television which singled out Ekho Moskvy and Felgenhauer in particular for attempting to advance pro-Western interests in Russia.

According to the international Committee to Protect Journalists, Russia remains one of the most dangerous places on earth to be a reporter, surpassed only by countries such as Iraq, Syria and Mexico.

The most high-profile example of this violence remains the 2006 murder of Anna Politkovskaya, an arch critic of Russia’s war in Chechnya who was gunned down at her apartment building on Putin’s birthday.

Since Politkovskaya’s death, it has become harder for Russia’s investigative journalists to operate, often appearing as lone voices against the monolith of state-run media.

While largely catering for an international audience, that media includes Russia Today (RT), the Kremlin-backed channel which recently signed up former first minister Alex Salmond for his own political chat show.

Angus Roxburgh, who spent 10 years in Moscow as a newspaper reporter and later a BBC correspondent, is critical of Salmond’s decision.

“It lends credibility to a TV station which is a propaganda arm of the Kremlin. I’ve been appalled to see people on Twitter say that RT is no different from the BBC – that’s just an unbelievable misapprehension.

“Their argument seems to be that the BBC is influenced by the government, but RT isn’t just influenced by the Russian government, it’s owned, financed and controlled by it. If the BBC was like RT, you wouldn’t see Jeremy Corbyn on it at all or anyone supporting his views.”

Launched in 2005, RT is now available in more than 100 countries worldwide, broadcasting in English, Arabic and Spanish. Its American channel features former CNN broadcaster Larry King.

Its coverage has received criticism in the West, notably during the 2008 conflict between Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia and following Moscow’s 2014 annexation of the Crimea.

American presenter Abby Martin made international headlines when she went off message during the conflict, criticising the Russian invasion of Ukraine. She left RT the following year.

Roxburgh, who has turned down repeated requests to appear on the station, believes the Kremlin sees RT as an attempt to address anti-Russian propaganda flooding in from Western media.

“Almost everything Putin does and has done for the past 10 years is his revenge or retaliation for things he perceives the West did towards Russia,” he says.

“He believes that the West interferes in Russia and Ukraine in an attempt to foment regime change. Therefore he believes it’s his right to do the same in the West. The West constantly bombards Russia through radio stations and newspaper websites with anti-Putin propaganda, as he would see it. Even organisations such as the BBC which try to be balanced and fair, will almost always be reporting on the opposition or Putin’s corrupt cronies. He sees that as hostile coverage of Russia.”

But the former BBC man thinks the impact of Russian influence on UK politics may be overstated.

“I think there’s too little evidence at the moment to say the Russians tried to interfere in Brexit,” he says. “It certainly had minimal effect. For anyone to suggest the outcome of the Brexit vote was changed by Russian interference is just daft. The effect of any tweets from Russian trolls is absolutely miniscule compared with that big red bus promising £350m a week for the NHS.”

A short walk from the Russian consulate in the west end of Edinburgh lies the offices of Sputnik, another state-funded Russian media organisation.

Sputnik set up its operation in the Scottish capital last year, broadcasting radio programmes made largely by local journalists but focusing mainly on international news.

Its editor in chief, Egor Piskunov, denies his reporters are following an agenda determined in Moscow. “We have complete independence but we need to make sure we don’t repeat each other and do the same stories, so we have editorial chats with the team in Moscow, and with editors in Moscow and in the US. There’s no phone calls from the Kremlin.”

Piskunov, who worked for RT for 11 years, says part of his team’s mission is encouraging its audience not to just “blindly believe” everything in the UK media.

“We’re no different to other news outlets, but we try to focus on the other side of the story which we feel often 
is ignored by mainstream media,” he says.

“Almost every day stories are coming out with accusations about Russia. We can’t not report on a story about Russia hacking the US election but we try to explain to the audience that all these accusations are lacking evidence.

“Mainstream [UK] media has built up a trust in its audience that allows them to base a story on what it will call ‘a source from the US intelligence community’. To us, that’s not exactly evidence when you’re talking about a state intervening in one of the most powerful country’s elections. That’s what we’re trying to explain to our audience so they can start thinking about that stuff rather than 
just blindly believing what they’re being told.

“There are unfortunately double standards and that’s what we try to talk about.”

Piskunov, who shares pictures of his life in Edinburgh with nearly 20,000 Instagram followers, wants people in his adopted home to know he’s not a “Communist robot”.

Asked about the treatment of journalists in his homeland, he says: “I personally don’t represent the government. Anything regarding the government’s actions should be addressed to the Foreign Ministry.

“I just ask people to check out 
[Sputnik] website or listen to the programme. We try 120 per cent to do stories as balanced as possible because we know that as soon as we make a mistake somewhere, that’s going to be out there and punch us right back in 
the face. There’s a perception that 
we’re Communist robots, but we’re normal people. Yes I’m Russian, but that doesn’t mean I’m trying to break up your state.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Chris Marshall"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617291.1511043485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617291.1511043485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Graffiti of Putin in Crimea. Picture: Yuri Lashov/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Graffiti of Putin in Crimea. Picture: Yuri Lashov/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617291.1511043485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617292.1511043492!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617292.1511043492!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Carolyn Scott and Jack Foster on air on Sputnik radio.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Carolyn Scott and Jack Foster on air on Sputnik radio.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617292.1511043492!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617293.1511043493!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617293.1511043493!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alex Salmond hosts his new show on RT","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alex Salmond hosts his new show on RT","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617293.1511043493!/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/war-veteran-devastated-after-remembrance-sunday-snub-1-4616641","id":"1.4616641","articleHeadline": "War veteran devastated after Remembrance Sunday snub","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510995432000 ,"articleLead": "

A war veteran was left devastated after being snubbed on Remembrance Sunday when trying to lay a wreath.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616640.1510995427!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tom Gilzean has been collecting money for local charities fro many years. Picture: Jon Savage"} ,"articleBody": "

Renowned charity fundraiser Tom Gilzean, 97, expected to lay his wreath at the Stone of Remembrance at the annual remembrance ceremony at the City Chambers.

However Tom, who braves all weathers in his trademark tartan trousers to fundraise for the charity on the streets of the Capital, was turned away by the Royal British Legion Scotland for not being on a list.

He said: “I was told I couldn’t go in because I wasn’t on the list. I have never had to do that before and it was the shock of my life. I lay a wreath every year and I couldn’t believe they turned me away in such a cold manner. The things I’ve done for charity in this city. I was really angry and upset.”

More than 100 wreaths were laid at the poignant service, organised by Legion Scotland, to remember those who have fallen in conflicts.

Remembrance Sunday means a lot to Tom, whose brother Douglas died at the age of 18 while serving in the Royal Navy.

Tom was a Legion Scotland member for ten years and missed last year’s service due to breaking his spine after falling down stairs in a freak accident.

The war veteran tripped and fell in his home while making his way to the bank to deposit £700 worth of coins and loose change.

He said: “I wanted to make up for what I missed last year. I was gutted to miss the service and I wanted to go this year and lay the wreath and remember my brother.”

Tom has raised more than half a million pounds for charities over the past 17 years, including for Edinburgh 
Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC) and the British Red Cross. The selfless fundraiser claims he was also told that he couldn’t raise money for all four of his chosen charities and he was unable to see the ceremony.

The formidable charity collector, who has an Edinburgh Award for his outstanding contribution to the city, has vowed to continue fundraising with his trusty tins and will try to lay a wreath again next year.

He said: “I have four licences to collect for four charities and I have been collecting for the past 17 years. I’ve had people asking me where I was and they were shocked when I told them what happened. I will keep fundraising until the day I die.”

A spokesman for Legion Scotland said: “We are really sorry to hear that Tom did not feel that he had the level of involvement in the National 
Service of Remembrance on Sunday that he felt he should.

“The wreath-laying component of the service is split into two parts. Those involved in this part are invited as representatives of their organisations rather than as individuals. Immediately following the benediction, members of the public are then invited forward to lay wreaths. As a veteran and someone who works so tirelessly for the benefit of others, we’ll be in touch with Tom directly to ensure he doesn’t feel excluded in the future.

“We will also discuss the setting aside of a designated area that can be used for members of the public with disabilities.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616640.1510995427!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616640.1510995427!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tom Gilzean has been collecting money for local charities fro many years. Picture: Jon Savage","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tom Gilzean has been collecting money for local charities fro many years. Picture: Jon Savage","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616640.1510995427!/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/corbyn-jungle-bound-kezia-dugdale-shouldn-t-be-suspended-1-4616962","id":"1.4616962","articleHeadline": "Corbyn: Jungle-bound Kezia Dugdale shouldn’t be suspended","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511023453000 ,"articleLead": "

Jeremy Corbyn has contradicted newly crowned Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard after saying that Kezia Dugdale shouldn’t be suspended from the party over her upcoming appearance on reality show “I’m a Celebrity get me out of here.”

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616866.1511023448!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn."} ,"articleBody": "

Mr Leonard, who was elected this morning after triumphing over rival Anas Sarwar, said he was a ‘bit disappointed’ by his predecessor’s decision to sign up for the jungle-based reality show.

READ MORE: Kezia Dugdale may be suspended over I’m a Celeb appearance

When he was asked about a potential suspension, Mr Leonard said: ”I think it’s something the (parliamentary) group will have to consider.

“I awoke as many other people did this morning to the news that Kezia is going into that programme.”

“I think that is something the group is going to have to consider over the next few days and I think we will consider.”

READ MORE: Kezia Dugdale to appear on I’m a Celebrity

But Labour leader Mr Corbyn told the Press Association: “It’s her choice to go on I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!, I don’t think it’s appropriate to suspend someone from the party for doing that, that’s her choice.”

Labour MSP Jenny Marra tweeted as news broke last night: “Election to parliament is a privilege to serve and represent people. It’s not a shortcut to celebrity.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616866.1511023448!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616866.1511023448!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616866.1511023448!/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/kezia-dugdale-may-be-suspended-over-i-m-a-celeb-admits-new-labour-leader-1-4616872","id":"1.4616872","articleHeadline": "Kezia Dugdale ‘may be suspended’ over I’m a Celeb admits new Labour leader","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511013790000 ,"articleLead": "

Labour MSPs will consider if Kezia Dugdale should be suspended for her decision to appear on the reality TV show I’m A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, the party’s new Scottish leader said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616870.1511013782!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kezia Dugdale is rumoured to be going on the ITV show"} ,"articleBody": "

Richard Leonard was elected to succeed Ms Dugdale as the new leader of the party north of the border.

But his victory was in part overshadowed by news that his predecessor is to head to Australia to take part in the TV programme, which begins on Sunday.

Ms Dugdale will join the likes of boxer Amir Khan, Boris Johnson’s dad Stanley and The Saturdays singer Vanessa White in the jungle for the ITV show.

Mr Leonard said he was a “bit disappointed” by her decision, and that Scottish Labour would consider if the former leader should be suspended as a result.

READ MORE: Richard Leonard pledges ‘real change’ in Scottish Labour

Speaking in Glasgow just after he was elected leader, Mr Leonard said suspension was not his initial reaction, but he added: “I think it’s something the group will have to consider.”

It is unclear if Ms Dugdale informed or sought approval from Scottish Labour party bosses about the move.

Mr Leonard told journalists: “I awoke as many other people did this morning to the news that Kezia is going into that programme, and I think that is something the group is going to have to consider over the next few days and I think we will consider.”

He added: “I was a bit disappointed but I think it is a decision the group is going to have to consider.”

In 2012 the Conservative Party suspended MP Nadine Dorries for taking part in the same programme, although she was reinstated the following year.

Mr Leonard said: “I don’t know the circumstances of Nadine Dorries and I don’t at this stage know all the circumstances of Kezia’s decision, so we will need to give that due consideration at the group over the next few days.”

Ms Dugdale became the leader of Scottish Labour after the party’s trouncing in the 2015 general election, in which it lost 40 of the 41 seats it had held north of the border to the SNP.

She stepped down suddenly in August, prompting the leadership contest, with both Mr Leonard and fellow MSP Anas Sarwar vying to succeed her.

Media reports of her participation in the show have drawn criticism and surprised reactions from other politicians.

Labour MSP Jenny Marra tweeted: ‘’Election to parliament is a privilege to serve and represent people. It’s not a shortcut to celebrity.’’

Meanwhile SNP MSP James Dornan added: ‘’We all accept the new @scottishlabour leader is going to be a disaster but surely this is still a bit extreme Kezia.’

READ MORE: Kezia Dugdale to appear on ‘I’m a Celebrity’

Mr Sarwar said he would have preferred the former leader to remain at Holyrood rather than taking part in a reality TV programme.

He said: “She’s made the decision she had. I would prefer that she was in the Parliament working for her constituents, working for the Labour Party.

“I want us focusing on education, the NHS, and employability, rather than kangaroo testicles.”

He said he wanted Ms Dugdale to stay in politics and the Labour Party after taking part in the show, although Mr Sarwar admitted taking part in the programme was “not a decision I would have made”.

But he quipped: “Now she has made that decision I want us to have that phone bank running to make sure that she eats every bug possible, is in the pit with the rats as much as possible, so she fully enjoys that experience and is raring to go when she comes back.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616870.1511013782!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616870.1511013782!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kezia Dugdale is rumoured to be going on the ITV show","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kezia Dugdale is rumoured to be going on the ITV show","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616870.1511013782!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616871.1511013787!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616871.1511013787!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Richard Leonard has admitted 'Jungle Bound' Kezia Dugdale may be suspended.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Leonard has admitted 'Jungle Bound' Kezia Dugdale may be suspended.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616871.1511013787!/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/millions-on-national-living-wage-could-lose-5-000-corbyn-1-4616867","id":"1.4616867","articleHeadline": "Millions on National Living Wage could lose £5,000 - Corbyn","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511012423000 ,"articleLead": "

Millions of low-paid workers will fare far worse than expected under the National Living Wage (NLW) due to sluggish pay rises across the economy, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is claiming.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616866.1511023448!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn."} ,"articleBody": "

He will tell his party’s eastern regional conference on Saturday that the link between NLW rate increases and average earnings means that more than three million people could be paid £5,000 less a year by the end of the decade than was forecast.

Mr Corbyn is saying slower economic growth could see it at £8.25 an hour by 2020, rather than the £9.30 an hour originally expected.

The Labour leader will tell the Huntingdon gathering: “The Tories’ rebranded minimum wage was supposed to overtake £9 an hour by 2020. But our analysis shows that because of their mishandling of the economy and their failure to protect most people’s pay, it could actually fall as low as £8.25 an hour.

READ MORE: Richard Leonard pledges ‘real change’ in Scottish Labour

“That could mean that an estimated 3.3 million people will lose £5,000 compared to what they were promised. It is completely unacceptable.

“Britain needs a pay rise. That’s why the next Labour government will introduce a real living wage of at least £10 per hour by 2020.”

Mr Corbyn will urge the Government to use next week’s Budget to invest in the future and lift people out of debt.

“With pay falling and the cost of living rising, personal debt has too often plugged the gap. Of course, bankers may benefit from this unfair and economically dangerous situation. But increased personal debt is an economic and political failure.

“It isn’t only Labour and the millions facing crippling debts who are worried. The Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority and the IMF have all warned against rising debt now that over 8.3 million people are over-indebted.

“People aren’t borrowing to invest, they are borrowing to survive.

“If the Prime Minister and the Chancellor are serious about ending the longest decline in living standards since the 19th century, they must borrow to invest in our economy, services and people.”

READ MORE: Richard Leonard elected as new Scottish Labour Leader

Mr Corbyn is insisting that the divide on Europe in politics is between a Labour version of Brexit or a Tory one.

“The choice facing the country now is not Leave or Remain, but a Labour Brexit or a Tory Brexit.

“The Tories want to use Brexit to reinforce our existing system’s inequalities and insecurities - and put them on steroids.

“They want to drive through more deregulation, lower taxes on the richest banks and big corporations, even more privatisation and further cuts in pay and conditions in a calculated race to the bottom.

“We want a jobs-first Brexit that helps, not hinders, our mission to transfer power, wealth and opportunity to the many from the few.

“We will use powers returned from Brussels to upgrade Britain’s economy and create good jobs right across our country.”

For the Conservatives, Economic Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay said: “Labour should look at the Government’s record - by introducing the National Living Wage we’ve given the lowest earners their biggest pay rise in 20 years.

“Labour’s tax rises would mean people have less money in their pocket and they would end up punishing businesses, meaning fewer jobs and lower wages. Only the Conservatives are building a Britain fit for the future.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616866.1511023448!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616866.1511023448!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616866.1511023448!/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/richard-leonard-pledges-real-change-in-scottish-labour-1-4616844","id":"1.4616844","articleHeadline": "Richard Leonard pledges ‘real change’ in Scottish Labour","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511007640000 ,"articleLead": "

New Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has said his election sends a “message of real change”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616843.1511007635!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Leonard, the newly elected leader of Scottish Labour."} ,"articleBody": "

The left winger became the fourth person to hold the post in the last three years after defeating rival candidate Anas Sarwar.

Mr Leonard, who only became an MSP last year, was the choice of 12,469 party members and supporters, while 9,516 backed Mr Sarwar.

“This leadership election has shown that a re-invigoration of our politics in Scotland is both needed and yearned for by the people,” he said.

“We need a vision of a better future, a vision of hope again, so that 20 years on since the devolution referendum we need to restate our Scottish Labour vision for the economic, social and environmental transformation we want to deliver for the people of Scotland.”

Mr Leonard spoke out as he addressed party activists at Glasgow Science Centre, where the result of the leadership contest was announced.

He immediately pledged “zero tolerance” of sexism, misogyny and sexual harassment.

READ MORE: Richard Leonard elected as new Scottish Labour Leader

“We need to change the political culture,” Mr Leonard declared, as he vowed to set up independent route for complaints of this nature.

He stressed that under his leadership the party would be “distinctively Labour, confidently Labour”.

Labour Jeremy Corbyn congratulated Mr Leonard on being elected, and Mr Sarwar on his energetic campaign.

He said: “After being written off time and again, the general election showed that our party is capturing the mood both in Scotland and across the rest of the UK.

“There is much to do to continue our party’s revival in Scotland and many who still need to be persuaded to put their trust in the Labour Party.

“But Richard’s campaign offered a challenge to the rigged system that has benefited a wealthy elite and showed how he will lead Scottish Labour to transform society.

“This can be a turning point in Scottish politics and our party will now come together, united to challenge Tory and SNP austerity that has held Scotland back.

“I am confident that under Richard’s leadership, Labour will once again be a real force for change in Scotland.

“I look forward to campaigning with him in Scotland next week as we build a movement that will help our party win in Holyrood and Westminster, to transform our country for the many not the few.”

John Hannett, general secretary of the shopworkers union Usdaw, said: “Richard Leonard is a committed trade unionist and understands the real change that Scotland needs, so we are delighted that he won the support and confidence of Labour’s members and affiliated members in Scotland.

“The SNP government are failing to deliver social justice, tackle poverty and address the crisis in health and education, our members need Labour in power to deliver change.

“I know that Richard does not underestimate the challenge ahead for Labour, and Usdaw will be working with him to help improve Scottish workers’ lives.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616843.1511007635!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616843.1511007635!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Richard Leonard, the newly elected leader of Scottish Labour.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Leonard, the newly elected leader of Scottish Labour.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616843.1511007635!/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/thousands-take-to-streets-in-final-push-to-remove-mugabe-1-4616824","id":"1.4616824","articleHeadline": "Thousands take to streets in final push to remove Mugabe","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511003471000 ,"articleLead": "

Thousands of people are marching in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare to demand the removal of Robert Mugabe from power after nearly four decades.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616823.1511003464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Protesters hold posters asking President Mugabe to step down. Picture; AP"} ,"articleBody": "

The euphoric crowds, including people of all races, hope the turnout will speed up the official end of Mr Mugabe’s rule, which is widely blamed for the collapse of an economy that was once one of Africa’s wealthiest.

The 93-year-old is virtually powerless and has been deserted by most of his allies after Zimbabwe’s generals placed him under house arrest, allowing him limited movement while talks on his exit from office unfold.

But many Zimbabweans are growing impatient and want him to leave immediately.

As the jubilant crowds gathered on some main streets in central Harare, motorists were honking their horns and people were whistling and cheering.

In a gathering that even days ago would have drawn an immediate police crackdown, Zimbabweans giddy with joy raced through the streets, raising their arms in triumph.

Some had posters with an image of the military commander who swept in earlier this week and put Mr Mugabe under house arrest, with the slogan: “Go, go, our general!!!”

Marchers handed flags to soldiers, who accepted and waved.

“It’s like Christmas,” said one marcher, Fred Mubay, who said Zimbabweans have been suffering for a long time.

Mr Mugabe, the world’s oldest head of state, is said to be asking for more time amid negotiations that seek his exit with a veneer of dignity.

But the crowds in Harare on Saturday were making it clear the country was ready to move on without him.

Concerns remain about who next would be in charge and what freedoms might be available if the military lingered in power - or if Mr Mugabe’s longtime but recently fired deputy led a new government.

However people revelled in the rare chance to speak out, in an event approved by the military.

Veterans of the long liberation war against white minority rule, once close allies of Mr Mugabe, took part, along with opposition activists who have faced police crackdowns by the Mugabe government.

One driver was so jubilant that he got out of his moving car and danced in front of it for a couple of minutes as the empty vehicle coasted slowly down a street lined with cheering crowds.

Some of the demonstrators were removing street signs with the name of President Robert Mugabe and stomping on them.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616823.1511003464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616823.1511003464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Protesters hold posters asking President Mugabe to step down. Picture; AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Protesters hold posters asking President Mugabe to step down. Picture; AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616823.1511003464!/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/brexit-eu-threatens-to-hold-back-5bn-rebate-as-talks-deadline-set-1-4616818","id":"1.4616818","articleHeadline": "Brexit: EU ‘threatens to hold back £5bn rebate’ as talks deadline set","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511001432000 ,"articleLead": "

The European Union is reportedly threatening to hold back Britain’s final £5 billion rebate payment from Brussels as part of negotiations over the so-called Brexit “divorce” bill.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616816.1511001427!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May, right, speaks with French President Emmanuel Macron,, as they walk on a pier at an EU summit in Goteborg, Sweden on Friday. Picture; AP"} ,"articleBody": "

European Council president Donald Tusk has set a deadline of the start of December for Britain to make further movement on the financial settlement in order to unlock trade talks.

But according to the Telegraph, Brussels negotiators have not provided clarity on the final rebate payment for 2018, which is due to come a year in arrears after Britain’s scheduled exit from the EU on March 29 2019.

The newspaper quotes “British officials” who think the rebate, first secured by Margaret Thatcher in 1984, should be “netted off” the final divorce bill.

READ MORE: Brian Wilson: Fundamentalists forced ‘bonkers’ Brexit deadline on May

Both the Government and the EU did not comment on the report on Friday night.

Reports, dismissed as speculation by Downing Street, have suggested Mrs May could be prepared to offer a further £20 billion in payments, which would bring to around £38 billion the total sum Britain is prepared to pay to settle its liabilities - well short of the 60 billion euro (£53 billion) sought by Brussels.

After talks with the Prime Minister in Sweden, Mr Tusk said the EU has completed the internal work necessary to give the green light for talks on trade and transition to begin at the next European Council summit in Brussels on December 14-15.

But he said that “much more progress” was needed from the UK on the divorce bill and Northern Irish border, two of the three key issues in withdrawal talks, in order to break the deadlock which has prevented the move to the second phase of negotiations which the UK is seeking.

He said he had told Mrs May that “this progress needs to happen at the beginning of December at the latest”.

Mrs May told reporters as she left Gothenburg: “We are agreed that good progress has been made but there is more to be done, that we should move forwards together towards that point where sufficient progress can be declared and we can look ahead to what I have already said I want to see as a deep and comprehensive and special partnership between the UK and the remaining 27 members of the EU.”

Mrs May is anxious to secure the agreement of EU leaders to open discussions on Britain’s future relations with the bloc - including a free trade deal - when they meet next month in Brussels.

READ MORE: EU leaders demand more money before continuing Brexit talks

In meetings at the summit with Mr Tusk, Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar, Swedish PM Stefan Lofven, French president Emmanuel Macron and Italian premier Paolo Gentiloni, Mrs May came under pressure to spell out how much the UK will pay Brussels in a so-called divorce bill in order to secure progress on trade talks.

Mr Varadkar made clear that Dublin is ready to delay the start of trade talks beyond the start of next year unless the UK offers further concessions on the Northern Irish border.

After meeting Mrs May in the margins of the summit, he told reporters: “Before we move to phase two talks on trade, we want taken off the table any suggestion that there will be a physical border, a hard border, new barriers to trade on the island of Ireland.

“If we have to wait until the new year, if we have to wait for further concessions, so be it.”

Brexit Secretary David Davis suggested that he wanted to see compromise from Brussels, warning EU leaders that they will get “nothing ... for nothing”.

“In any negotiation you want the other side to compromise,” Mr Davis told the BBC. “I want them to compromise. Surprise, surprise, nothing comes for nothing in this world.

“But so far in this negotiation, we’ve made quite a lot of compromises. On the citizens’ rights front, we’ve made all the running.”

Asked about the Brexit Secretary’s claim that the UK had made all the concessions so far in the negotiations, Mr Tusk said: “I can say only that I appreciate Mr Davis’s English sense of humour.”

If leaders do not agree to move to the second phase at the summit in Brussels on December 14-15, then it could mean no progress until the next scheduled European Council in March.

That would add to business uncertainty and increase the potential for the UK to leave without a Brexit deal.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616816.1511001427!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616816.1511001427!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Theresa May, right, speaks with French President Emmanuel Macron,, as they walk on a pier at an EU summit in Goteborg, Sweden on Friday. Picture; AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May, right, speaks with French President Emmanuel Macron,, as they walk on a pier at an EU summit in Goteborg, Sweden on Friday. Picture; AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616816.1511001427!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1508862309336"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk-state-pensions-must-be-overhauled-says-think-tank-1-4616815","id":"1.4616815","articleHeadline": "UK state pensions ‘must be overhauled’ says think tank","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511000411000 ,"articleLead": "

Politicians have been urged to show “moral and political” leadership by overhauling the current “unsustainable” UK state pension scheme.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616814.1511000405!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Reform Scotland said the plan needs rethinking"} ,"articleBody": "

A report by the Reform Scotland think-tank said population projections, which show a significant increase in the number of pensioners over the next 25 years, should serve as a “reality check” to all parties.

The organisation has highlighted its own proposal - the Pensions Guarantee - ahead of the publication of the Budget on Wednesday.

Official statistics show the number of people over state pension age in the UK is expected to grow by a third between 2017 and 2042, from 12.4 million in 2017 to 16.9 million in 2042.

Reform Scotland said the ageing population, which is growing at a faster rate than the working-age population, means the affordability of the state pension in its current form is unsustainable.

The state pension age is currently 65 for men and is gradually increasing for women from 60 to 65.

It is due to increase again for both men and women over the coming years, with the UK Government setting out proposals to increase the age to 68 between 2037 and 2039.

At present, payments are funded through National Insurance contributions but the rules over entitlement were changed from April 2016.

The UK Government said these changes were designed to simplify the system but Reform Scotland has argued it should be overhauled completely.

The think-tank’s proposal for a Pension Guarantee, first published in 2014, would see National Insurance phased out and replaced by a compulsory system where individuals pay a percentage of their salaries into a defined contribution scheme.

Under this scheme, individuals would own their own pension pot and choose when to draw it.

The system would also mean people would know exactly how much money they had for retirement while future generations would be relieved from “the burden of funding current pensioners”, Reform Scotland said.

To avoid poverty in old age, a means-tested minimum guaranteed income should be provided along the lines of the pension credit, it added.

Reform Scotland chairman Alan McFarlane said: “Politicians of all parties have been engaged in a conspiracy of silence about the state pension for too many years.

“The reality is that National Insurance is nothing more than income tax with a nicer name. Current taxpayers pay for current pensioners and have done so since the invention of the state pension.

“It is simple logic that as the number of pensioners increases at the same time as the number of taxpayers decreases, something has to give.

“Reform Scotland’s Pensions Guarantee is fairer for pensioners because it gives them certainty over if, when and what pension they will have.

“It is fairer for taxpayers because they are able to contribute towards their own retirement rather than paying for the retirement of others.

“Most importantly of all, it provides a solution to the problem of fewer taxpayers paying for more pensioners.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616814.1511000405!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616814.1511000405!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Reform Scotland said the plan needs rethinking","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Reform Scotland said the plan needs rethinking","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616814.1511000405!/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/scottish-labour-to-announce-new-leader-1-4616809","id":"1.4616809","articleHeadline": "Scottish Labour to announce new leader","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510997589000 ,"articleLead": "

The new leader of Scottish Labour will be announced at an event in Glasgow.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616808.1510997585!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Labour Leadership candidates Richard Leonard and Anas Sarwar"} ,"articleBody": "

Party health spokesman and Glasgow MSP Anas Sarwar has been vying with left-wing Central Scotland MSP Richard Leonard for the top job.

Voting in the leadership contest, which was sparked by the shock resignation of Kezia Dugdale in August, closed at midday on Friday.

Mr Sarwar has the backing of several of the party’s high-profile parliamentarians, including MP Ian Murray and current interim leader Jackie Baillie, while Mr Leonard has the support of the majority of trade unions.

READ MORE: Kezia Dugdale to appear on ‘I’m a Celebrity’

During the contest, Mr Sarwar came under close scrutiny for working practices at his family’s firm while supporters of both candidates raised concerns over the sign-up process for those eligible to vote, with accusations of unfair tactics on both sides.

Speaking after the polls closed, Mr Sarwar said that if elected he would “work tirelessly to return us to power so that Scotland has a government that works for the many, not the few”.

Mr Leonard said it was “time for the party to come together to take the fight to the SNP and the Tories, for all of those people in all of those communities who need Labour back in power”.

The victor takes over the helm at a tumultuous time for the party following the suspension of Alex Rowley as a member of the Scottish Labour Parliamentary group on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Richard Leonard pleas for unity as leadership voting closes

Mr Rowley had already stepped down as interim and deputy leader after allegations about his conduct emerged.

Meanwhile, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will say the contest has “revealed a party that is divided and bitter” in a speech to her party’s autumn convention in Perth.

She is expected to warn that regardless of its captain, Scottish Labour is “holed below the waterline” as it picks its ninth leader since devolution.

Ms Davidson is expected to say: “It doesn’t matter who takes over today, Labour is a party marooned on the rocks.

“It means my party must step up to do the job that people in Scotland desperately want to see: holding the SNP to account.

“To oppose the nationalists’ obsession with independence - and to set out a mainstream alternative: improving schools, investing in services and supporting business.

“We can appeal to those thousands of Labour voters who are looking for a party to do a job for them.”

In response, Ms Baillie said: “No matter how hard Ruth Davidson tries the people of Scotland know she is propping up the most shambolic Tory government in living memory.

“Everything that government does - from the cruelty of the rape clause to the chaos of Brexit - is a result of Ruth Davidson propping up Theresa May.

“In Scotland, the Tories have no answers, just the same tired old dogma, tax cuts for the richest and public service cuts for the rest of us.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616808.1510997585!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616808.1510997585!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scottish Labour Leadership candidates Richard Leonard and Anas Sarwar","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Labour Leadership candidates Richard Leonard and Anas Sarwar","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616808.1510997585!/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/kezia-dugdale-to-appear-on-i-m-a-celebrity-1-4616793","id":"1.4616793","articleHeadline": "Kezia Dugdale to appear on ‘I’m a Celebrity’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510990812000 ,"articleLead": "

Kezia Dugdale is set to take part in the ITV show I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here according to a number of reports.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616791.1510990806!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "According to reports.\\nKezia Dugdale is to appear on I'm a Celeb."} ,"articleBody": "

The Ex-Labour leader is set to fly out to Australia this weekend following a shock, last minute call-up.

She will join the likes of Amir Khan and Boris Johnson’s dad Stanley in the jungle.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond turns down ‘I’m a Celebrity’ appearance

The Lothian MSP will also leave her constituents without a representative while she is taking part in the show.

And the decision comes at a critical time for her party, who lost Alex Rowley as interim leader just this week.

Indeed, a number of politicians have already criticised the Lothians MSP for her decision.

READ MORE: Scottish Labour leader Alex Rowley steps aside over conduct claims

Labour MSP, Jenny Marra tweeted: “Election to parliament is a privilege to serve and represent people. It’s not a shortcut to celebrity.”

A Scottish Tories spokesman said: “Kezia clearly thinks dining on kangaroo testicle is more appealing than being an MSP.

“She should consider her position as an elected member before chucking herself off that plane over the Australian jungle.”

Despite leaving her role for a period of time, it is understood that Kezia Dugdale hosted a number of back-to-back constituency advice surgeries in preparation for the potential move to the jungle.

READ MORE: Inside story of Kezia Dugdale’s resignation

The last politician to be on the ITV show was Nadine Dorries who was blasted for ‘abandoning’ voters after her appearance five years ago.

Kezia Dugdale quit as leader of the Scottish Labour party in August after two years in the job, stating it was time to “pass on the baton” to someone else with “fresh energy, drive and a new mandate”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616791.1510990806!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616791.1510990806!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "According to reports.\\nKezia Dugdale is to appear on I'm a Celeb.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "According to reports.\\nKezia Dugdale is to appear on I'm a Celeb.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616791.1510990806!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616792.1510990808!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616792.1510990808!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The ITV line up for the show.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The ITV line up for the show.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616792.1510990808!/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/opinion/jane-bradley-how-the-myth-of-bad-british-food-was-born-1-4616594","id":"1.4616594","articleHeadline": "Jane Bradley: How the myth of bad British food was born","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510984800000 ,"articleLead": "

I always knew French president Jacques Chirac was a bad egg – well before he was ever convicted of corruption and diverting public funds – when he launched a vitriolic attack on British cuisine.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616593.1510948244!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scots have a reputation for having a bad diet, but this country has some of the finest produce (Picture: Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

I always knew French president Jacques Chirac was a bad egg – well before he was ever convicted of corruption and diverting public funds – when he launched a vitriolic attack on British cuisine.

“One cannot trust people whose cuisine is so bad,” he was overheard to say in a private chat with the Russian and German leaders of the time before an international meeting in 2005. Of course, no chat is ever really off the record when you’re a world leader, and his distaste for our ingredients and methods of cooking spread around the world quicker than you could say “Jamie Oliver”.

His dislike for British food had been cemented, he added, by an encounter with former Nato secretary general Lord George Robertson, a Scot who made him try a local dish, reportedly haggis. Unless it was a particularly bad example – and I can’t imagine a supermarket-value tinned version was served to France’s premier – I believe that Mr Chirac’s verdict on Scotland’s national dish says more about his poorly developed tastebuds than it does about Scottish food.

For modern British food is among the most diverse and exciting in the world. Our cities boast cuisine from literally hundreds of different cultures, while the breadth of produce available, local and imported, far surpasses many other nations.

Our celebrity chefs’ books outsell those by cooks in other parts of the world and the variety of food eaten by the typical Brit dining out is far more varied than in most societies.

Despite all that, a report this week found tourists travelling to Scotland feel let down by a lack of local produce and poor value for money when eating in our restaurants and cafes.

The study, entitled ‘Opening Up Scotland’s Larder to our Visitors’, reported tales of woe from travellers disappointed by menus they claimed were dominated by burgers and “bland” cuisine.

Interestingly, the only bright spot in an otherwise gloomy culinary report was that despite the unappetising meals presented to them, they were still marginally better than the visitors had expected. Some cause to celebrate, no? No, for it only serves to show that the universal acceptance that our food is bad continues to be perpetuated.

READ MORE: Poor menus and ‘bizarre’ hours leave visitors to Scotland with sour taste

Even Mr Chirac didn’t say we were actually the worst – Finland apparently held that accolade in his opinion – yet somehow we still manage to continue this myth that we eat terribly.

And myth it is. Yet it is hard to shift the perception of foreigners who insist that they know our country better than we do.

Many Americans still apparently think we wear bowler hats, carry black umbrellas and stop all activity at 3pm when it is “time for tea” and that it rains constantly in all parts of the UK, despite the fact there is actually less precipitation in even wet, west coast Glasgow in an average year than in New York (1124mm and 1274mm respectively, if you’re interested).

Brits of all kinds (to the Americans, it makes little difference whether you come from Portree or Polperro) are exactly how they expect us to be. The fact that the world has moved on and we no longer all have brown, crowded teeth and a pathological fear of physical contact is ignored. Like many people, they love a good stereotype.

And herein lies the crux of the problem of our globally bad culinary reputation. It is a little known truth that this was acquired when the first major influx of American visitors came to the UK and returned to their homeland with tales of unpleasant meals and low-quality ingredients.

It was, of course, wartime. Food was heavily rationed and ersatz ingredients replaced the many hundreds of types of foodstuffs which were suddenly unavailable to the average person.

American airmen took their tales of powdered egg and camp coffee back across the Atlantic and, hey presto, the legend of terrible British cooking was born and spread quickly across the globe.

I am not sure what we can do to right this wrong, except bombard our tourists with the facts. In Britain, we produce roughly 700 different kinds of cheeses — that’s 100 more than France, which is supposedly the king of the stinky stuff. Many of our cheeses, including plenty produced north of the border, are artisanal products, made from raw milk and lauded in international competitions.

In Scotland, we are proud and quite rightly so, of our produce. We have unparalleled seafood and delectable strawberries; delicious venison and tasty North Ayrshire potatoes; local craft beer and Scotch whisky.

In cities and major towns, you cannot walk more than a few steps without falling across a restaurant that uses locally made charcuterie, Scottish grown vegetables or hand-reared meat from a farm a few miles down the road.

Out in the countryside, there are an increasing number of farm shops and cafes with excellent food provenance and kitchen skills, while the remote Isle of Skye boasts a number of restaurants which over the years, have won coveted Michelin stars not least, the world-renowned Three Chimneys, which, while no longer a darling of the Michelin inspectors, has won over 30 awards since it opened in 1985.

I would love to know where these visitors to Scotland ate. McDonalds perhaps, although, even that chain says all of its beef is sourced within the UK and Ireland.

Most likely, I believe, their complaints have little to do with what they actually experienced and more to do with what they had already, ahead of their visit, decided they would experience.

While we can always strive for excellence in what we provide for our visitors and for ourselves, what we actually need to focus on changing is perception. And that is possibly even harder than changing reality.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jane Bradley"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616593.1510948244!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616593.1510948244!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scots have a reputation for having a bad diet, but this country has some of the finest produce (Picture: Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scots have a reputation for having a bad diet, but this country has some of the finest produce (Picture: Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616593.1510948244!/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/timothy-egan-why-fake-news-triumphed-in-america-1-4616592","id":"1.4616592","articleHeadline": "Timothy Egan: Why fake news triumphed in America","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510984800000 ,"articleLead": "

The US is now a country where people live in social media bubbles that only reinforce their worldview, writes Timothy Egan.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616591.1510948234!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump has made an average of five false statements a day since becoming US President (Picture: Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

It would be much easier to sleep at night if you could believe that we’re in such a mess of misinformation simply because Russian agents disseminated inflammatory posts that reached 126 million people on Facebook.

The Russians also uploaded a thousand videos to YouTube and published more than 130,000 messages on Twitter about last year’s election. As recent congressional hearings showed, the arteries of our democracy were clogged with toxins from a hostile foreign power.

But the problem is not the Russians — it’s us.

We’re getting played because too many Americans are ill equipped to perform the basic functions of citizenship. If the point of the Russian campaign, aided domestically by right-wing media, was to get people to think there is no such thing as knowable truth, the bad guys have won.

READ MORE: Donald Trump could back Scottish independence, says former adviser

As we crossed the 300-day mark of Donald Trump’s presidency on Thursday, fact-checkers noted that he has made more than 1,600 false or misleading claims. Good God. At least five times a day, on average, this president says something that isn’t true. We have a White House of lies because a huge percentage of the population can’t tell fact from fiction.

But a huge percentage is also clueless about the basic laws of the land. In a democracy, we the people are supposed to understand our role in this power-sharing thing.

Nearly one in three Americans cannot name a single branch of government.

When NPR tweeted out sections of the Declaration of Independence last year, many people were outraged. They mistook Thomas Jefferson’s fighting words for anti-Trump propaganda.

Fake news is a real thing produced by active disseminators of falsehoods. Trump uses the term to describe anything he doesn’t like, a habit now picked up by political liars everywhere.

But Trump is a symptom; the breakdown in this democracy goes beyond the liar in chief. For that you have to blame all of us: we have allowed the educational system to become negligent in teaching the owner’s manual of citizenship.

Lost in the news grind over Roy Moore, the law-breaking Senate candidate from Alabama, is how often he has tried to violate the Constitution. As a judge, he was removed from the bench — twice — for lawless acts that follow his theocratic view of governance.

READ MORE: New Spitting Image series to target Donald Trump

Shariah law has been justifiably criticized as a dangerous injection of religion into the public space. Now imagine if a judge insisted on keeping a monument to the Quran in a state judicial building. Or that he said “homosexual conduct” should be illegal because his sacred book tells him so. That is exactly what Moore has done, though he substitutes the Bible for the Quran.

I don’t blame Moore. I blame his followers, and the press, which doesn’t seem to know that the First Amendment specifically aims to keep government from siding with one religion — the so-called establishment clause.

My colleagues at the opinion shop on Sunday used a full page to print the Bill of Rights, and urge Trump to “Please Read the Constitution”. Yes, it’s come to this. On press freedom, due process, exercise of religion and other areas, Trump has repeatedly gone into Roy Moore territory — dismissing the principles he has sworn to uphold.

Suppose we treated citizenship like getting a driver’s license. People would have to pass a simple test on American values, history and geography before they were allowed to have a say in the system. We do that for immigrants, and 97 percent of them pass, according to one study.

Yet one in three Americans fail the immigrant citizenship test. This is not an elitist barrier. The test includes questions like, “What major event happened on 9/11?” and “What ocean is on the West Coast of the United States?”

One reason that public schools were established across the land was to produce an informed citizenry. And up until the 1960s, it was common for students to take three separate courses in civics and government before they got out of high school.

Now only a handful of states require proficiency in civics as a condition of high school graduation. Students are hungry, in this turbulent era, for discussion of politics and government. But the educators are failing them. Civics has fallen to the side, in part because of the standardized test mania. A related concern is historical ignorance.

By a 48 per cent to 38 per cent margin, Americans think states’ rights, rather than slavery, caused the Civil War. So Trump’s chief of staff, John F. Kelly, can say something demonstrably false about the war, because most people are just as clueless as he is.

There’s hope — and there are many ways — to shed light on the cave of American democracy. More than a dozen states now require high school students to pass the immigrant citizenship test.

We should also teach kids how to tell fake news from real, as some schools in Europe are doing.

But those initiatives will mean little if people still insist on believing what they want to believe, living in digital safe spaces closed off from anything that intrudes on their worldview.

©2017 New York Times News Service

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Timothy Egan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616591.1510948234!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616591.1510948234!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Donald Trump has made an average of five false statements a day since becoming US President (Picture: Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump has made an average of five false statements a day since becoming US President (Picture: Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616591.1510948234!/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/richard-leonard-pleas-for-unity-as-leadership-voting-closes-1-4615837","id":"1.4615837","articleHeadline": "Richard Leonard pleas for unity as leadership voting closes","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510954505000 ,"articleLead": "

Richard Leonard said it was time for the Scottish Labour party to unite just hours before the result of the leadership contest is announced.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4615836.1510903769!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Leader candidates Anas Sarwar and Richard Leonard. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

Mr Leonard, the left-winger regarded as the front-runner in the leadership race, made his plea ahead of Saturday’s announcement of the result of his battle with Anas Sarwar.

Both candidates issued statements thanking their supporters at the conclusion of a bitter ten-week campaign, marked by a series of controversies. Mr Leonard said he had run a campaign “rooted in Labour values from the grassroots up”, which had shifted the debate in the Scottish party.

“Now is the time for the Party to come together to take the fight to the SNP and the Tories, for all of those people in all of those communities who need Labour back in power,” Mr Leonard said in an eve of poll message.

READ MORE - Alex Salmond’s show on Kremlin-backed TV stokes controversy

Mr Leonard’s strategists downplayed his chances of defeating Mr Sarwar in the race for the Scottish Labour leadership. An internal memo prepared by Mr Leonard’s campaign organiser claimed it would be “a massive stretch” for him to win, despite him being regarded as favourite to succeed Kezia Dugdale.

READ MORE - Tom Peterkin: True to form, there was the Robert Burns quote

Throughout the campaign, it has been assumed the left winger and former union organiser would ride home on the back of Corbynista support and trade union voters.

The memo, however, warns that Mr Sarwar has a “much higher profile” than Mr Leonard and concludes the result will come down to the number of trade unionists who turn out to vote.

The integrity of the contest was questioned when then acting Labour leader Alex Rowley was recorded expressing a preference for Mr Leonard when he was supposed to be neutral. Mr Leonard’s spin doctor Stephen Low resigned after using foul language to describe a comment made by Labour MSP Jackie Baillie.

It has also been a difficult campaign for Mr Sarwar, who relinquished shares in the Sarwar cash and carry business after it came under fire for failing to pay the living wage.

Yesterday Mr Sarwar said he was immensely proud of leading a positive campaign and promised to “work tirelessly” for the “many, not the few”.

Ms Dugdale meanwhile warned her successor will have to walk a tightrope between backing Jeremy Corbyn’s agenda and insisting on the party’s Scottish identity north of the Border.

“We will continue to fail the people who need Labour most if we don’t prove ... that we’ve learnt the lessons of the 2014 referendum,” she said.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Tom Peterkin"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4615836.1510903769!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4615836.1510903769!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Leader candidates Anas Sarwar and Richard Leonard. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Leader candidates Anas Sarwar and Richard Leonard. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4615836.1510903769!/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/eu-leaders-demand-more-money-before-continuing-brexit-talks-1-4616693","id":"1.4616693","articleHeadline": "EU leaders demand more money before continuing Brexit talks","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510954272000 ,"articleLead": "

Theresa May has been told she must put more money on the table by the start of next month if the European Union is to agree to move Brexit trade talks to the second phase of negotiations.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616692.1510954268!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ireland's Prime minister Leo Varadkar (L) and Britain's Prime minister Theresa May (R) talk ahead a discussion session during the European Social Summit in Gothenburg, Sweden, on November 17, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jonathan NACKSTRANDJONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Theresa May has been told she must put more money on the table by the start of next month if the European Union is to agree to move Brexit trade talks to the second phase of negotiations.

EU Council president Donald Tusk has warned the Prime Minister that “much more progress” was needed from the UK on the “divorce bill” and the Irish border to break the deadlock.

If the UK comes to the party, Mr Tusk said the EU had completed the internal work necessary to give the green light for talks on trade and transition to start at the next European Council summit in Brussels on December 14-15.

Speaking yesterday after an EU jobs summit in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, Mr Tusk said he had told Mrs May “this progress needs to happen at the beginning of December at the latest”.

“We will be ready to move onto the second phase already in December, but in order to do that we need to see more progress from the UK side,” Mr Tusk said.

“While good progress on citizens’ rights is being made, we need to see much more progress on Ireland and on the financial settlement.”

The pair are due to meet again this Friday.

Mrs May repeated her promise that the UK will “honour our commitments” to the EU as it leaves the bloc, but has come under increasing pressure to go further.

She also used yesterday’s gathering to meet French president Emmanuel Macron, Italian premier Paolo Gentiloni and Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar as she attempted to build support.

Mrs May said: “We are agreed that good progress has been made, but there is more to be done, that we should move forwards together towards that point where sufficient progress can be declared and we can look ahead to what I have already said I want to see as a deep and comprehensive and special partnership between the UK and the remaining 27 members of the EU.”

The effective stalemate remained as one of the proposal’s leading critics, former attorney general Dominic Grieve, warned Mrs May she was facing defeat on her “idiotic” plan to enshrine the Brexit date in law.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister would not back down over her demand for 29 March 2019 to be fixed in the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. But Mr Grieve said there were “at least half a dozen to potentially a dozen more” rebels than the 15 reported “Brexit mutineers” who could oppose the move in a House of Commons vote.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616692.1510954268!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616692.1510954268!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ireland's Prime minister Leo Varadkar (L) and Britain's Prime minister Theresa May (R) talk ahead a discussion session during the European Social Summit in Gothenburg, Sweden, on November 17, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jonathan NACKSTRANDJONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ireland's Prime minister Leo Varadkar (L) and Britain's Prime minister Theresa May (R) talk ahead a discussion session during the European Social Summit in Gothenburg, Sweden, on November 17, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jonathan NACKSTRANDJONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616692.1510954268!/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/four-die-after-collision-between-helicopter-and-aircraft-1-4616395","id":"1.4616395","articleHeadline": "Four die after collision between helicopter and aircraft","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510952356000 ,"articleLead": "

Four people have died in a mid-air collision between a helicopter and a two-seater aircraft, crash scene investigators have said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616498.1510952346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A number of casualties have been reported as a result of an aircrash in Buckinghamshire. Picture: BBC News"} ,"articleBody": "

Both of the aircraft are understood to have come from Wycombe Air Park and collided near the village of Waddesdon, in Buckinghamshire, shortly after midday.

Superintendent Rebecca Mears of Thames Valley said on Friday evening the aircraft were carrying two people each.

She said she could not give any details of the identity or the genders of the victims at this stage and her “first priority” at this stage was the next of kin.

The two aircraft came down close to - but not in - the famous Waddesdon Estate, the former country seat of the Rothschild banking dynasty.

The plane involved was a Cessna 152, built in 1982 and owned by Airways Aero Associations which is based at the Wycombe Air Park.

It had flown almost 14,000 hours as of May and had previously suffered substantial damage to its landing gear, propeller and engine following a crash at a Cornish airfield in 1993.

An archived report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) shows the pilot admitted the accident was caused by his “misjudgement and lack of experience”.

The crash occurred about 20 miles from the airfield.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616498.1510952346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616498.1510952346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A number of casualties have been reported as a result of an aircrash in Buckinghamshire. Picture: BBC News","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A number of casualties have been reported as a result of an aircrash in Buckinghamshire. Picture: BBC News","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616498.1510952346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616499.1510952352!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616499.1510952352!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Police at the scene near Waddesdon, in Buckinghamshire. Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police at the scene near Waddesdon, in Buckinghamshire. Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616499.1510952352!/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/world/huge-number-of-parasites-found-in-north-korea-defector-1-4616424","id":"1.4616424","articleHeadline": "Huge number of parasites found in North Korea defector","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510933946000 ,"articleLead": "

Doctors in South Korea have confirmed that a defector from the North who was shot while fleeing across the border has an ‘enormous’ number of parasitic worms in his intestines.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616423.1510933940!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dr Lee Cook-jong. Picture: Getty."} ,"articleBody": "

The unnamed soldier was shot by North Korean guards on Monday as he fled through the demilitarised zone which separates the two countries, who remain technically at war.

However the doctors treating the man say that his condition is being exacerbated by an ‘enormous number’ of worms in his body which are contaminating his wounds.

READ MORE: North Korea fires second missile over Japan

South Korean doctor Lee Cook-jong told journalists that the biggest worm removed from the man’s intestines was 27cm long, explaining he had never seen anything like it.

The condition of the soldier is thought to give an insight into the continued economic and health problems facing the impoverished, but secretive dictatorship.

READ MORE: Where the UK stands on North Korea’s nuclear tests

Parasites can enter the body via contaminated food, which in the case of North Koreans is thought to come from the human faces which is still use in the country as fertiliser.

Defections are still relatively rare, as the North Koreans cultivate a cult of personality around their leader Kim Jong-un.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616423.1510933940!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616423.1510933940!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dr Lee Cook-jong. Picture: Getty.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dr Lee Cook-jong. Picture: Getty.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616423.1510933940!/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/environment/glitter-banned-from-nurseries-over-ecological-fears-1-4616368","id":"1.4616368","articleHeadline": "Glitter banned from nurseries over ecological fears","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510931409000 ,"articleLead": "

CHILDREN are to be banned from using glitter at a group of nurseries due to concerns about the damage it does to the environment.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616367.1510931404!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Glitter is being banished at Tops Day Nurseries - a chain of 19 nurseries across the South of England. Picture: PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The substance, loved by youngsters for making Christmas cards and baubles, is being banished at Tops Day Nurseries - a chain of 19 nurseries across the South of England.

Managing director Cheryl Hadland told the Press Association she made the decision after realising glitter is a microplastic which can harm the environment.

“You can see when the children are taking their bits of craft home and there’s glitter on the cardboard, it blows off and into the air and on to the road, and it’s only a tiny little bit, but we’ve got 3,000 children and they’re all doing Christmas craft at the moment, so we’ve got glitter everywhere.

READ MORE: Scottish think tank slam free nursery system as ‘unfair’

“There are 22,000 nurseries in the country, so if we’re all getting through kilos and kilos of glitter, we’re doing terrible damage, and these children, the world is for them.

“So here we are wrecking the place for them, and I didn’t even know. I’ve been running the nurseries for 27 years and I had no idea that we were doing all that damage. You can’t really recycle it because it’s so small, you can’t separate it from anything.”

Ms Hadland, from Bournemouth, added: “I love glitter, it’s lovely, shiny, twinkly stuff, so it is kind of sad, but when we’re wrecking the environment we really can’t be doing it. So we’re just going to have to start getting our heads round using stuff that’s more sustainable.”

She said the decision has only just been made so parents may not be aware of it, but she insisted they are likely to be supportive.

“We did a survey a few months ago and 86% of our parents want us to be eco-sustainable. I think a lot of our parents really want us to do this.”

Many parents who use her nurseries are millennials, she said, who are likely to want a sustainable education for their child.

Sue Kinsey from the Marine Conservation Society praised the “proactive approach”.

READ MORE: Nursery teachers may be sent to primaries to plug staff gaps

“The majority of microplastics that get into the sea come from personal care products, household cleaners, tyre wear and other sources,” she said.

“While glitter is only a small part of the microplastic load getting into watercourses and the sea, steps like these will all add up to something greater.

“This is a very proactive approach, amongst lots of things that the nursery is doing to help the environment, like using cloth aprons and not releasing balloons outdoors, and it is definitely possible to create a Christmas card to take home without using glitter!”

Sue Learner, editor of daynurseries.co.uk, said: “We can only hope that by Cheryl Hadland raising awareness of the damage glitter can cause, other nursery owners and managers may be prompted to think about what decorative materials are being given to children and the potential impact it has on the environment.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616367.1510931404!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616367.1510931404!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Glitter is being banished at Tops Day Nurseries - a chain of 19 nurseries across the South of England. Picture: PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Glitter is being banished at Tops Day Nurseries - a chain of 19 nurseries across the South of England. Picture: PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616367.1510931404!/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/odd/virgin-trains-offer-signed-will-ferrell-toilet-seat-as-prize-1-4616200","id":"1.4616200","articleHeadline": "Virgin Trains offer signed Will Ferrell toilet seat as prize","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510922784000 ,"articleLead": "

VIRGIN Trains have launched a new competition where rail passengers can be in with a chance to win a toilet seat signed by Anchorman star Will Ferrell.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616199.1510923174!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Virgin Trains passengers have the bizare opportunity to win a toilet seat signed by Will Ferrell. Picture: Anchorman 2 (2013)"} ,"articleBody": "

An image showing the Hollywood Funnyman holding up a signed Virgin Trains toilet seat was posted across the firm’s social media channels today.

Ferrell, who is gearing up for the launch of new comedy Daddy’s Home 2, has been enlisted ahead of a new Virgins Trains toilet announcement.

The signed toilet seat features a notice reminding passengers to bin items such as wet wipes, nappies and sanitary towels, rather than flush them down the loo.

Fans of the A-list comedy actor can enter the bizarre competition to win the signed lavatory fixture by using hastag #FerrellToiletSeat on the appropriate posts appearing on Virgin Trains’ Facebook and Twitter pages.

READ MORE: Interview: Will Ferrell - The actor may be game for a laugh but there’s more to him than that

Will Ferrell has also recorded a range of special toilet announcements for Virgin Trains on the West Coast to remind passengers to lock their toilet door and avoid the embarrassing ‘slow reveal’. The on-board announcements will be played on selected Virgin Trains West Coast services until the end of the year.

Daddy’s Home 2 is released nationwide by Paramount Pictures on 22 Novemeber.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616199.1510923174!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616199.1510923174!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Virgin Trains passengers have the bizare opportunity to win a toilet seat signed by Will Ferrell. Picture: Anchorman 2 (2013)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Virgin Trains passengers have the bizare opportunity to win a toilet seat signed by Will Ferrell. Picture: Anchorman 2 (2013)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616199.1510923174!/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-writes-to-family-of-shaun-woodburn-1-4616187","id":"1.4616187","articleHeadline": "Nicola Sturgeon writes to family of Shaun Woodburn","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510922492000 ,"articleLead": "

Nicola Sturgeon has offered her condolences to the family of Shaun Woodburn amid a campaign for an appeal against his killer’s sentence.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616186.1510922702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Shaun Woodburn was attacked and killed on New Year's Day. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE - First Minister urged to face parents of Shaun Woodburn

A 17-year-old male, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty after attacking Shaun in the Leith area of Edinburgh on New Year’s Day.

He was jailed for four years in November, a sentence which outraged Shaun’s family and friends as well as the wider public.

The First Minister was urged to meet with Shaun’s family to hear their concerns over the justice system following the ruling.

In a letter, Ms Sturgeon said the Crown Office had offered the family a meeting to answer any questions they had, but stressed she could not intervene herself in matters of the court.

She wrote: “I can scarcely begin to imagine the deep distress your family is experiencing and offer my sincere condolences for the loss you have suffered.

“I hope this meeting will prove useful to you. While I can entirely understand your wish for me to intervene personally, I know you will appreciate that Scottish Government ministers are not able to intervene in any criminal case.

“I know that this can be difficult for families but it is essential to preserve the independence of the legal system and to protect it from political interference.

“I understand that this continues to be a heart-wrenching time for you and I want you to know that my thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.”

The Justice For Shaun Woodburn petition has so far attracted over 60,000 signatures.

READ MORE - Shaun Woodburn killer jailed for four years

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DIANE KING"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616186.1510922702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616186.1510922702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Shaun Woodburn was attacked and killed on New Year's Day. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Shaun Woodburn was attacked and killed on New Year's Day. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616186.1510922702!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}