{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"politics","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/glasgow-lays-foundations-for-15-000-new-homes-by-2022-1-4344423","id":"1.4344423","articleHeadline": "Glasgow lays foundations for 15,000 new homes by 2022","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484919155000 ,"articleLead": "

More than 15,000 homes will be built in Glasgow over the next five years as the city moves away from a legacy of depopulation.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344421.1484919098!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "More than 15,000 new homes will be built in Glasgow in the next five years. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

A housing strategy signed off this week by the local authority will see the continuation of individual area regeneration programmes as well as a commitment to maintain and improve existing stock.

Vacant land will be identified for future development as planned transport upgrades take effect, with 15 sites released for social housing.

Scotland’s largest city has underwent a significant transformation since the turn of the century, with numerous private developments in the city centre and west end, and significant regeneration projects in outlying estates such as Easterhouse, Oatlands and Dalmarnock.

More than 30 per cent of tower blocks in Glasgow have been demolished in the last 10 years, with new developments focused on low rise accommodation.

It was also announced this week that plans to build 1600 homes at Robroyston could now proceed after the council agreed a £10m funding deal for a new railway station in the area.

Due to open in 2019, the station will be the 60th in the city. Edinburgh has just eight in comparison.

READ MORE: Easterhouse the latest Glasgow district to be transformed

Council leader Frank McAveety said the housing strategy would deliver “affordable homes in sustainable communities”.

He added: “Our homes are undoubtedly one of the biggest contributors to our quality of life, and through this strategy, we aim to ensure that the people of Glasgow are able to find the best and most suitable housing they can.”

The most ambitious project in the city is a £250m plan to regenerate Sighthill, the estate recently profiled in a BBC documentary.

Signed off last year, it has been hailed as the biggest project of its kind outside of London.

The area previously struggled to attract new tenants despite being a short walk from Buchanan Street.

A mixture of high-quality private and affordable housing to rent, a new school campus, student accommodation and sports facilities will be built over the next four years.

“Sighthill has a great location, very close to the city centre and to Glasgow’s major road and rail networks,” said a spokesman for Glasgow City Council.

“However, despite this central location, the Forth and Clyde Canal, the railway infrastructure and the M8 serve as barriers to getting in and out of the city centre easily. The regeneration will reconnect Sighthill to the city centre and neighbouring communities.”

It was designated one of eight Transformational Regeneration Areas (TRAs) in the city, which the local authority, housing associations and Scottish Government identified as priorities for large-scale regeneration.

There are more than 297,000 households in Glasgow, according to council figures, of which 44 per cent are owner-occupied and 36 per cent are rented from housing associations. A further 20 per cent are rented privately.

Glasgow’s population rose to over 606,000 in 2015 and is expected to continue climbing, albeit at a slower pace than other major UK cities.

Around the time of the Second World War there were 1.1 million living in the city. That had fallen to 578,000, a record low in the modern era, by 2001.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CHRIS McCALL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344421.1484919098!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344421.1484919098!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "More than 15,000 new homes will be built in Glasgow in the next five years. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "More than 15,000 new homes will be built in Glasgow in the next five years. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344421.1484919098!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344422.1484919099!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344422.1484919099!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Easterhouse, in the east end of Glasgow, has been substantially rebuilt in the past 15 years. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Easterhouse, in the east end of Glasgow, has been substantially rebuilt in the past 15 years. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344422.1484919099!/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/donald-trump-sworn-in-as-the-45th-president-of-the-united-states-1-4344699","id":"1.4344699","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump sworn in as the 45th president of the United States","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484950777000 ,"articleLead": "

DONALD Trump vowed to put “America first” as he set out a nationalist agenda after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344727.1484932654!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "U.S. President Donald Trump takes the oath of office as his wife Melania Trump holds the bible and his son Barron Trump looks on. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Mr Trump’s address at the event broke with tradition as he sought to hammer home populist political points against globalisation and the Washington elite.

Promising to “rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people”, he said: “From this day forward it is going to be only America first, America first.”

Around 1.8 million people turned out for president Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, but only around 800,000 are thought to have travelled to Washington DC to see his successor sworn in at the Capitol building.

READ MORE: Video: Anti-Trump banners hung in protest in Edinburgh

There were also ugly scenes on the streets nearby as anti-Trump protesters clashed with his supporters. Building windows were damaged by people carrying metal poles and hammers, and police used hand-held water cannon and pepper spray to disperse the troublemakers.

The trouble led to the arrest of around 100 protesters, with two police officers being injured, according to reports last night.

Similar protests took place around the world as Mr Trump took the presidential oath of office on the steps of the Capitol building just before noon local time, with his family and the outgoing president watching.

Delivering his inaugural address, Mr Trump said: “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.

“We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.”

He added: “America will start winning again, winning like never before.”

His pronouncements were met with raised eyebrows by some in the UK, with prominent Labour backbencher Chris Bryant calling it “the most embarrassingly vacuous speech I have ever heard” and labelling it “cod nationalism”.

Other Labour MPs questioned how successful Britain’s goal of a free trade deal with the US could now be, but Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson took a more conciliatory tone, tweeting his congratulations and adding: “Look forward to continuing strong UK-US bond.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also offered her congratulations, saying she wished the Trump administration well when dealing with “great global challenges”.

READ MORE: Ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage to be political analyst on Fox News

Imploring the US to come together, Mr Trump said that a united America was “totally unstoppable”.

Watched by Melania, his wife and the new First Lady, as well as Mr Obama and his wife, Michelle, and former presidents George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, the new president said: “We are one nation, and their pain is our pain, their dreams are our dreams and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home and one glorious destiny. America will start winning again, winning like never before.

“We will bring back our jobs, we will bring back our borders, we will bring back our wealth and we will bring back our dreams.”

Mr Trump wasted no time in settling into his role. Policies have already appeared on the White House website, with Mr Trump saying he was “committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the US rule”.

He has also announced plans to develop a missile defence system to protect the US against attacks from Iran and North Korea.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JOHN-PAUL HOLDEN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344727.1484932654!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344727.1484932654!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "U.S. President Donald Trump takes the oath of office as his wife Melania Trump holds the bible and his son Barron Trump looks on. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "U.S. President Donald Trump takes the oath of office as his wife Melania Trump holds the bible and his son Barron Trump looks on. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344727.1484932654!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344697.1484931206!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344697.1484931206!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "President Elect Donald Trump waves to spectators as Vice President Elect Mike Pence and Melania Trump look on. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Elect Donald Trump waves to spectators as Vice President Elect Mike Pence and Melania Trump look on. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344697.1484931206!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344698.1484931210!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344698.1484931210!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "President Barack Obama greets President Elect Donald Trump. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Barack Obama greets President Elect Donald Trump. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344698.1484931210!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344728.1484932715!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344728.1484932715!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "US President Donald Trump acknowledges his family and the crowd after taking the oath of allegiance during his swearing-in ceremony. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "US President Donald Trump acknowledges his family and the crowd after taking the oath of allegiance during his swearing-in ceremony. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344728.1484932715!/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/vast-majority-of-scots-fearful-of-brexit-1-4344883","id":"1.4344883","articleHeadline": "‘Vast majority’ of Scots fearful of Brexit","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484949600000 ,"articleLead": "

Scots believe Brexit will be bad for business and investment, as well as hitting education and the environment, a report published by MSPs has found.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344882.1484947466!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Holyroods European committee's convener Joan McAlpine said it was clear a vast majority thought Brexit would be bad for Scotland. Picture: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

Holyrood’s European committee found “serious concerns” about the impact of Brexit from 150 organisations and individuals, compiled in a report titled What Scotland Thinks.

Committee convener Joan McAlpine said it was clear a “vast majority” thought Brexit would be bad for Scotland.

The SNP MSP said: “Scotland thinks Brexit is bad for business and investment, bad for workers’ protection, bad for education and bad for the environment. There was considerable concern about leaving the single market and the customs union, and the lack of certainty about what will replace them.”

Concerns over the status of EU citizens in Scotland were among the issues put to MSPs during their inquiry into Scotland’s looking departure from the EU. Future co-operation in initiatives such as the European Arrest Warrant and with bodies such as Europol, and how the volume of EU law in the UK will be dealt with were also raised.

Witnesses in the education sector highlighted concerns over college and university budgets, research funding and future participation in EU exchange programmes such as Erasmus.

On agriculture and fisheries, uncertainty was expressed over issues including the replacement of the Common Agricultural Policy, while it was acknowledged there could be potential opportunities for Scotland-specific ­policies.

Questions were asked about how Scotland and the UK would meet legally-binding climate change emissions targets given a reliance on involvement in EU initiatives to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

Deputy convener Lewis Macdonald of Labour said: “Our report also sets out concerns about two further areas.

“Firstly, how we will be able to increase the number of economically-active people in Scotland if we cannot retain and attract workers from other EU member states.

“Secondly, whether existing EU laws in the areas of environment, employment and social policy will be weakened or more poorly enforced.”

Other issues raised included the impact on equalities law and human rights, and the possibility of further devolution when powers are repatriated from the EU.

The evidence was taken before the Scottish Government set out its proposals for a differentiated settlement for Scotland and before Prime Minister Theresa May made her speech revealing her priorities for the Brexit negotiations, including leaving the single market.

Scottish Greens external affairs spokesman Ross Greer said: “This cross-party report, drawn from vast amounts of evidence submitted by everyone from farmers to trade unions to business owners, makes clear that Brexit will be bad for Scotland in just about every way imaginable.”

He said an independence referendum now feels “all but inevitable”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SCOTT MACNAB"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344882.1484947466!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344882.1484947466!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Holyroods European committee's convener Joan McAlpine said it was clear a vast majority thought Brexit would be bad for Scotland. Picture: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Holyroods European committee's convener Joan McAlpine said it was clear a vast majority thought Brexit would be bad for Scotland. Picture: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344882.1484947466!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/markets-economy/steven-todd-how-will-brexit-affect-construction-1-4344069","id":"1.4344069","articleHeadline": "Steven Todd: How will Brexit affect construction?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484913600000 ,"articleLead": "

The forecasts for the construction industry over the next two years are a bit of a mixed bag, primarily as a result of the ongoing Brexit debate and forthcoming negotiations.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344067.1484902805!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven Todd says the commercial and industrial sectors are likely to 'bear the brunt' of Brexit uncertainty. Picture: Alan Richardson"} ,"articleBody": "

Construction activity in the UK is expected to remain broadly flat in 2017 and 2018, but drilling down in to the sector shows potential growth in infrastructure and education with reductions in sectors such as commercial offices and industrial factories.

Since the EU referendum last summer, the level of activity within the sector has remained positive, primarily due to projects being signed off 12 to 18 months before the referendum. As these projects all come on line, the level of activity during the early part of 2017 is likely to remain positive.

READ MORE: Builders encouraged by record for housing activity

However, as we go through to the second half of 2017, there is likely to be a significant difference in the activity levels within the sector, as commercial offices and industrial factories bear the brunt of the Brexit uncertainty. It is generally accepted that projects relating to infrastructure and education – which are either publicly funded or in regulated sectors – should fair better.

Private house building so far has not been affected by the effects of Brexit and is expected to have risen by 2 per cent in 2016 and remain flat in 2017 before a 1.5 to 2 per cent fall in 2018.

Forecasts of reductions in both UK economic growth and real wage growth both weigh on the sector. Recent falls in the value of sterling will also add a further strain to household incomes, which will add to the impact on the sector.

With the upcoming Brexit negotiations, it is vital that the government focuses on reducing uncertainty for the private sector, sustaining the housing sector and ensuring delivery of education construction and major infrastructure projects already in the pipeline.

As we keep hearing in the press, Britain is open for business, so it is vital that government policy continues to reassure and encourage investment.

• Steven Todd is a partner and construction sector expert at EQ Chartered Accountants

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "STEVEN TODD"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344067.1484902805!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344067.1484902805!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Steven Todd says the commercial and industrial sectors are likely to 'bear the brunt' of Brexit uncertainty. Picture: Alan Richardson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Steven Todd says the commercial and industrial sectors are likely to 'bear the brunt' of Brexit uncertainty. Picture: Alan Richardson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344067.1484902805!/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/alex-salmond/alex-salmond-reacts-to-donald-trump-s-inaugural-address-1-4344166","id":"1.4344166","articleHeadline": "Alex Salmond reacts to Donald Trump’s inaugural address","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484945689000 ,"articleLead": "

ALEX Salmond reacted to Donald Trump’s inaugural address by saying that it may now be a case of “may God Bless America and may God help the rest of us”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344165.1484909084!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former First Minister Alex Salmond said that Donald Trump has a character problem. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Speaking in a video to the BBC after the inaugural address, Mr Salmond said of the speech: “It was shorter, angrier - it was campaign rhetoric. There was much less than I expected of reaching out to all the Americans who didn’t vote for him.

“There was a lot of God it, even by inauguration standards, for someone who’s found religion comparatively recently.

“So maybe it’s a case of may God bless America, and may God help the rest of us.”

The former Scottish first minister, who clashed with Mr Trump over a wind power project near the tycoon’s golf club, had said earlier today that the incoming president had a “character problem” but that he hoped the responsibilities of office would mellow Mr Trump’s divisive rhetoric.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond predicts indyref2 in autumn 2018

“The problem with Donald, of course, is a character problem. It’s what happens when somebody disagrees with him or somebody says no to him.”

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme “the awesome power of the United States presidential office can change a person and we will just have to cross our fingers and hope that that’s the case”.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Anti-Trump banners hung in protest at North Bridge

During a lobbying campaign, Mr Trump voiced his concerns to the Scottish government about the wind power development, complaining it would spoil the view from his golf resort at the Menie estate on the Aberdeenshire coast.

In a series of colourfully-written letters in 2011 and 2012 Mr Trump warned about the impact “monstrous” wind turbines would have, and told the former SNP leader the “insanity” of the project would bankrupt Scotland.

He told Mr Salmond he would be known as “Mad Alex - the man who destroyed Scotland” if he went ahead with the plan.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HUGHES"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344165.1484909084!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344165.1484909084!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Former First Minister Alex Salmond said that Donald Trump has a character problem. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former First Minister Alex Salmond said that Donald Trump has a character problem. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344165.1484909084!/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/edinburgh-tourist-tax-lined-up-for-next-year-1-4343839","id":"1.4343839","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh ‘tourist tax’ lined up for next year","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484909634000 ,"articleLead": "

A TOURIST tax in the Capital could be in place in just over a year, the council leader has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4343838.1484851612!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinburgh is popular with tourists"} ,"articleBody": "

City leaders expect a final decision in March on their plans for a £2 billion City Deal from the UK and Scottish Governments.

As part of the council’s proposal, it has asked for the power to introduce a levy for visitors – thought most likely to be charged through hotel bills.

If successful, the tax could be introduced at the earliest in spring next year, council leader Andrew Burns said.

The Scottish Government has been opposed to the ‘bed tax’ and said last summer that it “doesn’t make sense”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4343838.1484851612!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4343838.1484851612!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Edinburgh is popular with tourists","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinburgh is popular with tourists","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4343838.1484851612!/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/ex-ukip-leader-nigel-farage-to-be-political-analyst-on-fox-news-1-4344805","id":"1.4344805","articleHeadline": "Ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage to be political analyst on Fox News","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484936579000 ,"articleLead": "

NIGEL Farage has taken up a post as a political analyst on American right-wing news channel Fox News.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344804.1484936523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mr Farage is one of Britains most prominent supporters of new US president Donald Trump. Picture: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

The former Ukip leader will contribute to the main channel and the Fox Business Network’s daytime and primetime programmes, the broadcaster announced.

It comes shortly after he was given his own nightly show on UK radio station LBC.

Mr Farage is one of Britain’s most prominent supporters of new US president Donald Trump and boosted his profile across the Atlantic during frequent appearances at the Republican’s rallies in the election campaign.

Both Mr Farage and Mr Trump have suggested that Brexit and the controversial tycoon’s election as president are linked phenomena.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344804.1484936523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344804.1484936523!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mr Farage is one of Britains most prominent supporters of new US president Donald Trump. Picture: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mr Farage is one of Britains most prominent supporters of new US president Donald Trump. Picture: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344804.1484936523!/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/noisy-sex-parties-disturbing-residents-in-edinburgh-1-4344404","id":"1.4344404","articleHeadline": "Noisy sex parties disturbing residents in Edinburgh","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484919176000 ,"articleLead": "

An MSP has raised concern over ‘very audible sex parties’ occurring in Edinburgh due to the number of short term holiday lets in the city.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344403.1484917942!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Reports of noisy sex parties have angered residents across Edinburgh."} ,"articleBody": "

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Green MSP Andy Wightman raised concerns over the number of residents in Old Town and Grassmarket about loud sex parties.

He told housing minister Kevin Stewart in Holyrood: “Over the past few weeks, I have been speaking to constituents who live in the Old Town and the Grassmarket in Edinburgh.

“It is clear that there is a substantial problem with unregulated growth in short-term holiday lets. A substantial part of the residential population in those areas might disappear within the next decade.

“Very audible sex parties have taken place in the flat above one constituent, and an elderly couple are now living out the rest of their years lonely in a tenement stair that has lost all its other permanent residents.

“Others with young families live in a state of stress and anxiety due to the rent-seeking behaviour of a growing number of property owners.”

Following the claims, Stewart said he does “sympathise” with the constituents but “the planning system cannot always readily distinguish between different types of housing tenure”.

He added: “Where a householder proposes to change the use of an existing residential flat, the requirement for planning permission will depend on the circumstances of each individual case, and the matter will be for the planning authority concerned, in the first instance.

“Mr Wightman might want to engage in the current planning consultation and urge the residents to whom he has spoken to do so, too.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "STEPHEN MCILKENNY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344403.1484917942!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344403.1484917942!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Reports of noisy sex parties have angered residents across Edinburgh.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Reports of noisy sex parties have angered residents across Edinburgh.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344403.1484917942!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/farming/end-turf-wars-over-post-brexit-policy-urges-mike-rumbles-1-4344033","id":"1.4344033","articleHeadline": "End turf wars over post-Brexit policy, urges Mike Rumbles","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484900263000 ,"articleLead": "

An independent group of “relevant stakeholders” should be set up immediately to start planning how agricultural policy in Scotland should develop in the post-Brexit world, the Scottish Parliament decided yesterday.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344032.1484900207!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mike Rumbles urged Holyrood and Westminster to work together 'responsibly'. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

And a call was made for turf wars brewing over who controlled post-Brexit farm policy and levels of support funding to be set to one side – and not to hinder the serious business of drawing up the fundamental aims of such a future strategy.

Speaking at a debate on the future of funding for rural development, Lib Dem MSP Mike Rumbles said that it was crucial that there was cross-party co-operation to ensure that moves were taken to draw up a set of principles which were right for Scotland’s rural areas.

READ MORE: Farming industry anger after PM signals single market exit

Rumbles said: “I have spoken to many organisations concerned by the lack of preparation being done to secure this funding; many agree that this is the correct way to proceed. It is entirely up to the Scottish and UK governments to act responsibly, work together, and take this initiative forward as soon as possible.”

He added that having these core principles agreed in advance would allow any new policy to be introduced both speedily and appropriately when the time arose.

Rumbles said that while his party stood for Scotland in the UK and the UK in Europe, measures had to be put in place, adding: “Otherwise it will spell disaster for our rural communities who depend on this support.”

The parliament also voted to support a Labour amendment that called on the UK government to work with the devolved governments to ensure that the differing needs of all of devolved nations were met.

It also supported a call requesting that devolved powers over policy should not be centralised at Westminster and that powers repatriated from the EU should be devolved in line with the Scotland Act 1998 with the aim of creating a level playing field between all regions of the UK.

• Speaking earlier in the day at the launch of Scotland’s draft climate change plan in the parliament, environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham revealed she would press ahead with proposals to introduce measures to make soil testing compulsory for farmers. She also announced plans to restore 250,000 hectares of degraded peatlands.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "bhenderson@farming.co.uk" ,"author": "BRIAN HENDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344032.1484900207!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344032.1484900207!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mike Rumbles urged Holyrood and Westminster to work together 'responsibly'. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mike Rumbles urged Holyrood and Westminster to work together 'responsibly'. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344032.1484900207!/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/finance-ministers-seek-treasury-clarity-on-economic-plans-1-4344756","id":"1.4344756","articleHeadline": "Finance ministers seek Treasury clarity on economic plans","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484934613000 ,"articleLead": "

FINANCE ministers from the UK’s devolved administrations have called for greater clarity from the Treasury over its plans to manage the economy as Brexit approaches.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344755.1484934557!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chancellor Philip Hammond announced plans to move the budget to autumn and have a smaller financial update in the form of a Spring Statement. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

The ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland highlighted a number of key finance issues in a joint letter to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke.

They said there is a need for the UK Government to “engage meaningfully” with the devolved nations on the economic and financial implications of leaving the European Union, stressing its plans to exit the single market and customs union have caused “significant concern”.

The ministers also pressed Mr Gauke on the potential impact of cuts to public spending in 2019/20.

“We seek reassurances that you will not pass on further austerity and make additional budget cuts on top of the real-terms reductions in spending power that the devolved administrations are already facing,” they wrote.

In the letter, the ministers also called for the UK Government to announce the Budget earlier in the Autumn to allow greater time for devolved administrations to consider the impact on their own budgets well in advance of the start of the financial year.

Scotland’s Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said: “It is clear that the Scottish and UK economies are facing challenging economic circumstances.

“There is a greater need than ever for the UK Government to engage meaningfully with the devolved administrations on the emerging economic and financial implications of the Brexit vote.”

At the Autumn Statement last year, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced plans to move the budget to autumn and have a smaller financial update in the form of a Spring Statement.

Mr Mackay said: “We would welcome a commitment to engage with us in developing the approach to the new budget timetable and ensuring that steps are taken to support rather than undermine devolved budget processes.”

The Welsh Government’s Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said: “The possible impact of the £3.5 billion of cuts the UK Government have planned for 2019/20 could generate critical cuts to all our budgets.

“By speaking with one voice, we hope the UK Government can provide clarity on how it intends to find these savings and the resulting impact on our Budget.”

Stormont Finance Minister Mairtin O Muilleoir said the “austerity agenda already places severe burdens on devolved budgets and further cuts in 2019/20 would be unacceptable”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344755.1484934557!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344755.1484934557!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Chancellor Philip Hammond announced plans to move the budget to autumn and have a smaller financial update in the form of a Spring Statement. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chancellor Philip Hammond announced plans to move the budget to autumn and have a smaller financial update in the form of a Spring Statement. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344755.1484934557!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/farming/holyrood-s-farming-loan-scheme-set-to-close-today-1-4344023","id":"1.4344023","articleHeadline": "Holyrood’s farming loan scheme set to close today","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484899394000 ,"articleLead": "

The 2016 National Basic Payment Support Scheme – the loan scheme underwritten by the Scottish Government that has paid out roughly 80 per cent of monies due to individual businesses under the main common agricultural policy farm support scheme – closes today.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344022.1484899534!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "NFU Scotland policy chief Jonnie Hall said farmers needed a clear timetable for outstanding payments. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The scheme was introduced last November to ensure that funds reached producers in the face of on-going problems with the new IT system, following the near-collapse of the entire rural economy when 2015 funds were still not delivered in the spring of last year.

Announcing today’s closure, the Scottish Government said that the move would allow resources to be focused on completing the task of processing the full 2016 basic payment scheme (BPS) and greening claims.

READ MORE: Fresh fiasco as farm loan offers use wrong information

The loan scheme was hailed at its launch as a “hugely valuable and welcome” injection of cash into the country’s rural economy by NFU Scotland.

However, the union said yesterday that while it welcomed the news that the focus would now be on processing full payments, farmers urgently required a clear statement on when that process would be completed.

“For those who have taken up the loan scheme, it would give them a realistic expectation of when the balance payments [worth approximately 20 percent of their claim] will be made,” said the union’s policy chief, Jonnie Hall.

He added that movement on actual payments would also be of huge significance to those who, for whatever reason, had not taken advantage of the loan.

“For them, the full value of their BPS and greening payment is outstanding, making a clear timetable invaluable to their business,” Hall said.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BRIAN HENDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344022.1484899534!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344022.1484899534!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "NFU Scotland policy chief Jonnie Hall said farmers needed a clear timetable for outstanding payments. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "NFU Scotland policy chief Jonnie Hall said farmers needed a clear timetable for outstanding payments. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344022.1484899534!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/management/small-firms-in-scotland-wary-over-donald-trump-s-impact-1-4344013","id":"1.4344013","articleHeadline": "Small firms in Scotland wary over Donald Trump’s impact","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484897208000 ,"articleLead": "

Scottish SME leaders have taken a much more negative view of key political events than the rest of the UK, emphasising existing contrasts with the rest of the country, a new study has revealed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344012.1484897818!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Almost a third of small firms in Scotland fear Donald Trump will have a negative effect on their business. Picture: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Serviced office operator Citibase said its latest business confidence index, which covers 1,100 decision-makers in the SME sector, found that 18 per cent of the UK total believed Donald Trump becoming US president, with his inauguration scheduled for today, would have a negative effect on their business. However, the figure jumped to 29 per cent among the Scottish cohort.

READ MORE: Donald Trump lands in Washington DC ahead of being sworn in

The divide was also clear regarding Brexit, with only 6 per cent of Scottish SMEs believing the vote to leave Europe would have a positive effect on staff morale, as opposed to nearly three times that amount in the rest of the UK.

It comes after it was revealed earlier this week that Scotland’s economic growth is still falling behind the UK’s, with a GDP increase of 0.2 per cent in the third quarter of 2016 just a third of that experienced by the UK in the same period.

READ MORE: Scots economy ‘lags behind UK’ in latest economic data

Additionally, the number of people in Scotland out of work jumped by 11,000 to 139,000 in the three months to November last year, while falling to a ten-year low across the rest of the UK.

Citibase chief executive Steve Jude described 2016 as “a year of significant political change with the UK Brexit vote followed by a Donald Trump US election win”.

He added: “No one can predict the future, however with all this political uncertainty, it is unlikely a business would sign up to an office for the long term. These SMEs crave agility to help manage risk and costs, allowing them to scale up and down easily in these fascinating times.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "EMMA NEWLANDS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344012.1484897818!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344012.1484897818!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Almost a third of small firms in Scotland fear Donald Trump will have a negative effect on their business. Picture: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Almost a third of small firms in Scotland fear Donald Trump will have a negative effect on their business. Picture: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344012.1484897818!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/financial/martin-flanagan-others-set-to-follow-hsbc-in-eu-migration-1-4344009","id":"1.4344009","articleHeadline": "Martin Flanagan: Others set to follow HSBC in EU migration","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484896447000 ,"articleLead": "

The problem with second-guessing bankers is that conscious inscrutability is in the DNA.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344008.1484896557!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Flanagan believes other banks will follow HSBC in shipping significant numbers of workers to the EU following Theresa May's 'hard Brexit'. Picture: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Even if they are worried about something, they cannot fully let on in case it translates as uncertainty, and uncertainty and people’s money are not natural bedmates.

But my guess is that HSBC boss Stuart Gulliver will not be the only one breaking cover soon with plans to ship a relatively significant number of workers to the EU following Theresa May’s clear outline of her Brexit plans for Britain: no membership of the single market, no jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and no freedom of movement.

READ MORE: Brexit: Warning of 232,000 finance sector job losses

The PM does not seek for Britain to become a member of the so-called European Economic Area (like Norway) because it comes with the prerequisite of freedom of movement. She does not want us to be a member of the European customs union (like Turkey) because although it would give us control of our borders we would not have the freedom to conclude trade deals of our own with other parts of the world in an unlikely new imperial Britannica.

That would suggest May would like to have some sort of associate membership of the customs union – the a la carte menu as the Europeans dismiss it or having our gateau and eating it if you prefer Boris Johnson’s language.

Bankers could be forgiven for thinking it is looking like a nebulous dog’s breakfast, and decide to make their plans like HSBC accordingly. It took the EU more than seven years to conclude a trade deal with Canada, and there was goodwill on both sides. And Britain is going to conclude one in two years from when Article 50 is launched this March, plus another two years, say, of transitional arrangements to smooth the way? Looks a long-shot.

READ MORE: HSBC opts to retain head office in UK

Banks might just decide too long a shot, and shift jobs to ensure at least a goodly proportion of their business survives in the EU whatever the upshot of talks.

It will be particularly interesting to see what the big US banks in the City of London do. I don’t believe they can take the chance on a stunningly good trade deal for the UK with the EU. It might happen. But bankers are conservative creatures and operate as a herd (sub-prime lending, Libor-rigging etc). They might feel Gulliver at HSBC has it right.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "mflanagan@scotsman.com" ,"author": "MARTIN FLANAGAN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344008.1484896557!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344008.1484896557!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Martin Flanagan believes other banks will follow HSBC in shipping significant numbers of workers to the EU following Theresa May's 'hard Brexit'. Picture: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Flanagan believes other banks will follow HSBC in shipping significant numbers of workers to the EU following Theresa May's 'hard Brexit'. Picture: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344008.1484896557!/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/video-anti-trump-banners-hung-in-protest-in-edinburgh-1-4344113","id":"1.4344113","articleHeadline": "Video: Anti-Trump banners hung in protest in Edinburgh","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484913258000 ,"articleLead": "

Anti-Trump campaigners have hung banners over North Bridge in Edinburgh in defiance against the President-elect to mark inauguration day.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344309.1484913198!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Trump Inauguration Protest Banners Edinburgh, Picture; contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

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A series of protests have been planned in the Capital with a larger scale protest planned at 5:30pm outside the American Embassy.

Some of the banners at North Bridge read; “Love trumps hate”, “Women rise up”, “There is no planet b”

The action, one of more than 100 planned in villages, towns and cities across the nation, and is being organised by Bridges Not Walls.

Edinburgh Bridges Not Walls spokesperson Alys Mumford said,: “On Trump’s inauguration day we’re taking action to show our support for groups under attack - here in Scotland and the UK, across Europe and in the USA - and to reject the rise of a dangerous and divisive far right politics.

“The new normal that the far right is seeking will roll back decades of progress on civil rights, gender equality and the environment.

“It is up to all of us to take responsibility for actively rejecting this. Bridges Not Walls is about making a public commitment to fighting a politics of hate and bigotry at all levels, including the everyday.”

Edinburgh Bridges not Walls spokesperson Talat Yaqoob said: “The rise of the far right on both sides of the Atlantic threatens democracy and the fabric of society, and affects everyone - but not equally.

“It’s vital that we all stand together, and right now that means actively defending the rights of our most vulnerable people and communities - muslims, immigrants, people of colour, disabled people, women and LGBTQ+.”

Police said they are aware of the protest and will be monitoring the situation.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "STEPHEN MCILKENNY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344309.1484913198!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344309.1484913198!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Trump Inauguration Protest Banners Edinburgh, Picture; contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Trump Inauguration Protest Banners Edinburgh, Picture; contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344309.1484913198!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344310.1484913202!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344310.1484913202!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Picture; Friends of the Earth Scotland","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture; Friends of the Earth Scotland","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344310.1484913202!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344112.1484907241!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344112.1484907241!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Banner reads 'The future is ours'. Picture; Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Banner reads 'The future is ours'. Picture; Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344112.1484907241!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1484907107132"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/royal-mail-letters-arm-feels-impact-of-brexit-concerns-1-4342630","id":"1.4342630","articleHeadline": "Royal Mail letters arm feels impact of Brexit concerns","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484895105000 ,"articleLead": "

Business worries over Brexit sharply dented letter mailing in the nine months to Christmas as companies pulled a lot of their marketing post, Royal Mail revealed yesterday.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4342629.1484814236!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A drop in letter volumes offset a stronger performance from Royal Mail's parcels business. Picture: Julie Bull"} ,"articleBody": "

The privatised former state-owned monopoly said the number of addressed letters, excluding political parties’ election mailings, tumbled 6 per cent, while total letter revenues slid 5 per cent.

Royal Mail said: “We are seeing the impact of overall business uncertainty in the UK on letter volumes, in particular advertising and business letters.”

The group first signalled an impact on its letters arm amid Brexit fears in its half-year results in November, when revenues from advertising mail slumped 8 per cent. It said yesterday the trend for marketing mail revenues had remained broadly similar in the third quarter.

READ MORE: Royal Mail earnings down as Brexit vote hits marketing mail

On the fall in total letter revenue, Royal Mail said: “We have seen the impact of low inflation on pricing and we continue to be affected by ongoing trends in downtrading.”

The poor outturn for the letters business was offset by a better performance from its parcels business, where revenues rose 3 per cent and the number of parcels delivered was up 2 per cent. Combined parcels and letters revenues fell 2 per cent.

However, Royal Mail said its European parcels business, General Logistics Systems (GLS), saw a strong festive quarter and that the division’s revenues climbed 9 per cent over the nine-month period. It helped overall group-wide revenues to hold firm on a year earlier.

Moya Greene, chief executive of Royal Mail, said: “Our postmen and women delivered a great service at Christmas, even better than last year, with 138 million parcels handled in December alone.

“Our comprehensive planning, which started much earlier this year, enabled us to deliver this service for our customers right across the UK.”

While letter mailings have been in decline for some time, Royal Mail said the third quarter was hit particularly hard as it also came up against an “unusually strong” Christmas a year earlier.

Its Parcelforce Worldwide business saw parcel numbers dip 1 per cent. Royal Mail said there was no decision yet over controversial changes to its pension scheme announced earlier this month, which sparked union threats of potential strike action.

The group said it had launched a consultation with 90,000 staff over plans to switch workers in its final salary pension scheme to a less lucrative defined contribution plan.

Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Letters are in terminal decline and the parcels industry is looking increasingly crowded. Combined with uncertainty around the health of the wider UK economy, which has resulted in steadily falling business mailings, this makes for a pretty unpleasant background in which to be doing business.”

Royal Mail’s shares ended the day 26.9p lower at 422.5p.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "mflanagan@scotsman.com" ,"author": "MARTIN FLANAGAN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4342629.1484814236!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4342629.1484814236!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A drop in letter volumes offset a stronger performance from Royal Mail's parcels business. Picture: Julie Bull","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A drop in letter volumes offset a stronger performance from Royal Mail's parcels business. Picture: Julie Bull","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4342629.1484814236!/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/call-to-devolve-immigration-powers-rejected-by-uk-government-1-4344656","id":"1.4344656","articleHeadline": "Call to devolve immigration powers rejected by UK government","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484928632000 ,"articleLead": "

THE UK Government has rejected a call to consider devolving immigration powers to Scotland and changing visa arrangements to encourage students from other countries to stay on north of the border after graduating.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344655.1484928574!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell questioned why the Scottish Government hadn't used their current powers to attract more migrants. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

A Scottish Affairs Committee (SAC) report recommended UK ministers consider “sub-national migration powers” for Scotland and a tailored post-study work scheme.

The UK Government response, published on Friday, stated it “does not intend to reintroduce a general post-study work scheme for Scotland” and stressed the immigration system is “designed for the whole of the UK” but takes Scotland’s needs into account.

The scrapping of a UK-wide visa scheme which allowed overseas graduates to work for two years in the UK after completing their studies was the source of strong disagreement between the two administrations.

The committee’s inquiry into Scotland’s demographic trends found its population is growing more slowly than rest of the UK due to a lower fertility rate, lower levels of inward migration and continuing emigration.

Demographic challenges facing Scotland include an ageing population and lower life expectancy than the rest of the UK, and both Holyrood and Westminster have powers that can help tackle the problem.

Westminster retains control over immigration policy, employment, pensions and the overall funding allocation to Scotland from the block grant while health, housing, social care and some tax powers are devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

In his response to the report, Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said: “There is a question for the Scottish Government about why, with these significant powers at their disposal and with the high levels of migration we have at the moment in the UK, Scotland is not attracting more migrants to Scotland over other parts of the UK if they deem the current levels of migration in Scotland to be too low.”

SAC chairman Pete Wishart said: “We are disappointed that the UK Government continues to refuse to explore innovative solutions to the demographic issues Scotland is facing.

“Last week, the All Party Group on Social Integration became the latest in a long list of people who have examined the evidence and realised the benefits of greater flexibility in immigration policy for Scotland.

“The Scottish Government, as well as education, industry and healthcare bodies, are all calling for this and the UK Government must take note and allow for an immigration policy that tackles the specific population issues we face in this country.

“Throughout the inquiry many witnesses expressed support for sub-national migration powers for Scotland and for current visa arrangements to be reviewed.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344655.1484928574!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344655.1484928574!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell questioned why the Scottish Government hadn't used their current powers to attract more migrants. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell questioned why the Scottish Government hadn't used their current powers to attract more migrants. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344655.1484928574!/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/labour-candidate-pledges-to-call-time-on-barnett-formula-1-4344600","id":"1.4344600","articleHeadline": "Labour candidate pledges to ‘call time’ on Barnett Formula","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484926098000 ,"articleLead": "

A LABOUR mayoral candidate has vowed to “call time” on the the Barnett Formula in opposition to party policy on the day leader Jeremy Corbyn travelled to Scotland.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344599.1484926042!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Scottish Conservatives called on Mr Corbyn and Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale to rule out any change to Labours policy to retain the Barnett Formula. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

West Midlands mayoral candidate Sion Simon said on social media he wanted to “call time” on the formula which is used to distribute central funds between the nations of the UK.

He made the announcement ahead of his campaign launch in Wolverhampton on Friday while Mr Corbyn was in Glasgow outlining plans to back a constitutional convention for Scotland.

The Scottish Conservatives called on Mr Corbyn and Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale to rule out any change to Labour’s policy to retain the Barnett Formula.

READ MORE: Scottish Independence would bring ‘turbo-charged’ austerity, says Corbyn

Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont said: “Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to Scotland has, predictably, blown up on the launchpad.

“As he was setting out another muddled plan for Scotland, his mayoral candidate in the West Midlands was demanding that money be taken out of Scotland against his party’s own policy.

“Mr Corbyn now must make it 100 per cent clear that Labour will stick by its promises to voters here about Scotland’s funding.”

A Scottish Labour spokesman said: “This is a boomerang attack from the Tories, who have a history calling for Barnett to be scrapped.

“Around 100 Tory MPs tried to scrap the Barnett formula as recently as 2014.

“Labour is committed to the Barnett formula because it ensures the redistribution of wealth across the UK.

“The Tories would be better focused on their Brexit shambles that has threatened the future of the Union.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344599.1484926042!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344599.1484926042!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Scottish Conservatives called on Mr Corbyn and Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale to rule out any change to Labours policy to retain the Barnett Formula. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Scottish Conservatives called on Mr Corbyn and Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale to rule out any change to Labours policy to retain the Barnett Formula. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344599.1484926042!/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/independence-would-bring-turbo-charged-austerity-says-corbyn-1-4344557","id":"1.4344557","articleHeadline": "Independence would bring ‘turbo-charged’ austerity, says Corbyn","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484924282000 ,"articleLead": "

INDEPENDENCE would result in “turbo-charged austerity” for Scotland and a “glaring hole” in the cash for essential public services, Jeremy Corbyn has warned.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344556.1484924218!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mr Corbyn insisted the vote for Brexit could bring opportunities for Scotland, with the possibility of further powers being devolved to Holyrood. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

While First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to take the UK out of Europe’s single market “undoubtedly” makes a second referendum more likely, the Labour leader cautioned Scots against leaving the UK.

He also insisted the vote for Brexit could bring “opportunities” for Scotland, with the possibility of further powers being devolved to Holyrood.

Mr Corbyn said while “of course Scotland has the talent and ability to run its own affairs”, he did not believe this “would be the best option for the Scottish people”.

Since the 2014 independence referendum, the case for Scotland leaving the UK had “weakened”, he claimed, citing the plunge in North Sea oil revenues as one reason for this.

Speaking out against independence in Glasgow, he insisted: “It would lead to turbo-charged austerity and a glaring hole in the money required to fund essential services, and would not be in the interests of the people of Scotland.”

His claim was, however, rejected by Ms Sturgeon, who branded it “rubbish”.

The SNP leader tweeted: “If Corbyn wasn’t leading such a pitifully ineffective opposition the Tories wouldn’t be getting away with half of what they are.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344556.1484924218!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344556.1484924218!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mr Corbyn insisted the vote for Brexit could bring opportunities for Scotland, with the possibility of further powers being devolved to Holyrood. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mr Corbyn insisted the vote for Brexit could bring opportunities for Scotland, with the possibility of further powers being devolved to Holyrood. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344556.1484924218!/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/donald-trump-inauguration-police-clash-with-protesters-1-4344110","id":"1.4344110","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump Inauguration: police clash with protesters","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484908903000 ,"articleLead": "

Protesters have clashed with police outside a pro-Donald Trump rally in Washington DC, as tens of thousands of people prepare to take to the streets to oppose his presidency.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344107.1484908843!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Protesters hold signs as they listen to speakers at an anti-Trump rally. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)"} ,"articleBody": "

Demonstrators had gathered outside the National Press Club on Thursday night to oppose a group of Trump supporters who were staging a “DeploraBall”, an event named after Hillary Clinton branded them a “basket of deplorables” during the election.

Footage posted on social media appeared to show police use pepper spray to disperse the protesters while smoke was also seen filling the street.

Police announced later that a man had been charged with conspiracy to commit an assault.

The clashes came as tens of thousands of people prepare to stage protests in cities around the world on Friday when Mr Trump will be sworn in as US president.

Security officials have expressed concerns about possible clashes between supporters and opponents of Mr Trump in Washington, where up to 900,000 people are expected to watch him take the oath.

Coalition protest group DisruptJ20 has vowed to disrupt Mr Trump’s inauguration and interfere with security checkpoints.

In contrast, Bikers For Trump will rally on Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue to celebrate Mr Trump’s inauguration.

Outgoing homeland security secretary Jeh Johnson said 28,000 officials will be involved in the security operation in Washington, including more than 3,000 police officers and 5,000 members of the National Guard.

He told MSNBC: “The concern is some of these groups are pro-Trump, some of them are con-Trump, and they may not play well together in the same space.”

Film-maker Michael Moore will speak at a rally in Washington’s McPherson Square on Friday afternoon, where some 20,000 people are expected to attend.

On Thursday, Moore was joined by Hollywood stars Robert De Niro, Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin during a large protest outside Trump International Hotel in New York.

Anti-war group, the Answer Coalition, is planning demonstrations at the US Navy Memorial and Freedom Plaza near the White House.

Meanwhile, a group calling itself Occupy Inauguration plans to rally on the morning of the inauguration ceremony at Meridian Hill Park, about a mile and a half north of the White House.

The group said speakers at the rally will include 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

In the UK, protests against Mr Trump will be staged in a number of cities including London, Edinburgh and Manchester.

The largest demonstration will take place in Washington on Saturday when some 200,000 people are expected to join a women’s march.

Celebrities including Scarlett Johansson, Amy Schumer and Patricia Arquette have pledged they will attend the protest, while similar events are being planned in a number of US cities including Los Angeles and Park City, Utah.

Ugly Betty star America Ferrera, who is helping organise the Washington protest, said: “Since the election, so many fear that their voices will go unheard.

“As artists, women, and most importantly dedicated Americans, it is critical that we stand together in solidarity for the protection, dignity and rights of our communities.”

Many of the women will be wearing pink knitted hats with cat ears - a reference to comments made by Mr Trump in a 2005 leaked video in which he bragged about grabbing women’s genitals.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID MERCER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344107.1484908843!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344107.1484908843!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Protesters hold signs as they listen to speakers at an anti-Trump rally. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Protesters hold signs as they listen to speakers at an anti-Trump rally. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344107.1484908843!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344108.1484908846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344108.1484908846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States later today. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States later today. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344108.1484908846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344109.1484908848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344109.1484908848!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Self-identified members of "Bikers for Trump," in red, stands between protesters and police outside the National Press Building. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Self-identified members of "Bikers for Trump," in red, stands between protesters and police outside the National Press Building. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344109.1484908848!/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/environment/scots-emissions-to-be-cut-by-66-in-15-years-under-latest-plan-1-4343809","id":"1.4343809","articleHeadline": "Scots emissions to be cut by 66% in 15 years under latest plan","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484907717000 ,"articleLead": "

Greenhouse gas emissions will be slashed by two thirds from 1990 levels in the next 15 years under the Scottish Government’s new action plan to tackle global warming.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4343958.1484907661!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham meets pupils studying climate change at Currie Community High School in Edinburgh."} ,"articleBody": "

Scottish environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham says the draft Climate Change Plan demonstrates “a new level of ambition” in the challenge to combat climate change, which is widely considered to be the biggest threat ever to face mankind.

Scotland has already exceeded its world-leading 2020 target, achieving a 42 per cent emissions cut six years early.

The latest plan raises the bar even higher, setting out how the country can cut emissions by 66 per cent by 2032.

Ms Cunningham says it will take green efforts into “truly transformational territory”, describing the targets as “ambitious” but “achievable”.

Achieving the goals will not only benefit the planet but also create jobs, improve health and cut poverty, she claims.

The key aims include cutting transport emissions by a third from 1990 levels, increasing forest cover by at least 15,000 hectares annually, restoring 250,000 hectares of peatlands and fully decarbonising the electricity sector – including bringing in carbon capture and storage technology.

“Our proposals for further deep cuts in emissions represent a new level of ambition which will help maintain Scotland’s reputation as a climate leader within the international community,” Ms Cunningham said.

“The transition to a low carbon economy offers important opportunities for Scotland – thanks to our highly skilled workforce, the strength of our research institutions and, of course, our natural resources.

“The Scottish Government’s ambitions are clear, but we have now reached a point in our journey where future progress will require the support of individuals, organisations and businesses across the country.”

But the new plan has drawn criticism from green campaigners, who fear a “lack of new actions”could make the vision impossible to deliver.

Tom Ballantine, chair of environmental coalition Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, added: “This is a draft plan – MSPs from across the parliament should use this opportunity to suggest concrete actions needed to help make this a world-leading climate change plan.

“The urgency could not be clearer, with this draft plan published straight after news that 2016 was the hottest year on record. With the threat from climate change increasing and affecting the lives of people here in Scotland and around the world, it’s time to shift up a gear.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4343958.1484907661!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4343958.1484907661!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham meets pupils studying climate change at Currie Community High School in Edinburgh.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham meets pupils studying climate change at Currie Community High School in Edinburgh.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4343958.1484907661!/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/corbyn-joins-dugdale-to-back-constitution-plan-and-attack-snp-1-4343833","id":"1.4343833","articleHeadline": "Corbyn joins Dugdale to back constitution plan and attack SNP","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484904018000 ,"articleLead": "

Jeremy Corbyn will appear alongside Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale to endorse plans for a constitutional convention despite last week refusing to back her idea of a “new Act of Union”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4343832.1484903963!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his Scottish counterpart Kezia Dugdale"} ,"articleBody": "

On a visit to Glasgow, the Labour leader will accuse the SNP of “devolving austerity” by cutting hundreds of millions of pounds from local government spending and claim the SNP is “standing up for the establishment”.

The joint appearance follows a turbulent year which saw the two leaders play out a bitter power struggle over a failed coup against Mr Corbyn by MPs, and party reforms to give Ms Dugdale a seat on Labour’s executive.

Jeremy Corbyn is expected to say: “The SNP Government simply passes on Tory austerity and is increasingly failing to govern effectively or fairly.

“Trying to talk left at Westminster when in opposition, whilst acting Right in power at Holyrood, is not standing up for Scotland.”

Ms Dugdale will highlight her opposition to the Scottish Government’s budget, accusing ministers of causing a “real and growing crisis” through under-funding of health and education.

“Our Parliament is now more powerful than ever, with all the powers it needs to reverse Tory austerity,” she is expected to say. “But despite this, our services are still facing £327 million of cuts.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "paris.gourtsoyannis@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Paris Gourtsoyannis"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4343832.1484903963!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4343832.1484903963!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his Scottish counterpart Kezia Dugdale","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his Scottish counterpart Kezia Dugdale","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4343832.1484903963!/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/mel-gibson-braveheart-woke-something-up-in-scottish-politics-1-4344026","id":"1.4344026","articleHeadline": "Mel Gibson: Braveheart ‘woke something up’ in Scottish politics","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484899565000 ,"articleLead": "

Mel Gibson believes his Oscar-winning film Braveheart “woke something up” in Scotland during the country’s debate over independence.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344024.1484899507!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mel Gibson played William Wallace in the 1995 film. Picture: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

The Hollywood star, who played 13th century Scottish warrior William Wallace in the 1995 movie, said the decision to devolve powers to Holyrood had been a “good thing” for Scotland.

But Gibson, 61, did not reveal whether he backed Scottish independence, saying he did not comment on the politics of other countries.

In an interview, Gibson said of Braveheart: “It certainly woke something up there in Scotland. I know they achieved partial autonomy for that and I think it was a good thing.

“I like to stay out of the politics of other people’s nations so I won’t go further.”

The Scottish Parliament was created following the 1997 devolution referendum, while the 2014 vote on Scottish independence ended in favour of remaining part of the UK by 55.3% to 44.7%.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond predicts indyref2 in autumn 2018

Gibson described Wallace as a “butcher” but said he saw similarities in Second World War hero Desmond Doss, the subject of his latest film Hacksaw Ridge.

Doss was the first conscientious objector to receive America’s Medal of Honour after saving the lives of 75 men on a Japanese battlefield without carrying a gun.

“They’re both men of conviction who were willing to die for what they believed,” Gibson said.

“But Desmond was the pacifist, he wouldn’t take another life, whereas Wallace was a butcher. He’d light people on fire.

“Desmond was far more evolved in solving the world’s problems.”

Hacksaw Ridge, which is up for five Baftas next month, marked Gibson’s return to directing for the first time in a decade following a string of controversies in recent years including his controversial anti-Semitic rant in 2006.

The Lethal Weapon actor said he decided to return to work as a director because Hacksaw Ridge was a “story well worth telling”.

“It’s a war film but it’s beyond that, it’s a love story,” he said.

“It’s a man who goes to war with his core belief - love. He wants to help others and he considers others more important than himself. So in that way he’s selfless, he sacrifices and he surely did.

“He saved many and the inspirational aspect of the story is huge so why wouldn’t I tell a story like that? It’s the pinnacle of heroism.”

Hacksaw Ridge is released in UK cinemas on January 27.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS HOWARTH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344024.1484899507!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344024.1484899507!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mel Gibson played William Wallace in the 1995 film. Picture: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mel Gibson played William Wallace in the 1995 film. Picture: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344024.1484899507!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4344025.1484899508!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4344025.1484899508!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Braveheart was an international success. Picture: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Braveheart was an international success. Picture: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4344025.1484899508!/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/leader-comment-we-should-all-aim-for-more-sustainable-energy-1-4343852","id":"1.4343852","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: We should all aim for more sustainable energy","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484892000000 ,"articleLead": "

Often the size of Scotand and the country’s ambition are used as weapons in the wrangle over our consstitutional future, but in tackling the causes of climate change, our small nation can genuinely claim to be in the vanguard.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4343851.1484852960!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Whitelee Windfarm, 20 minutes from central Glasgow, is the UK's largest windfarm"} ,"articleBody": "

Details of how Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions will be cut by 66 per cent by 2032 were set out yesterday by climate change secretary Roseanna Cunningham.

They include a fully decarbonised electricity sector able to remove CO2 from the atmosphere with the use of technologies such as carbon capture and storage, with 80 per cent of domestic heat provided by low-carbon heat technologies.

Meanwhile, the proportion of ultra-low emission new cars and vans registered in Scotland annually will reach at least 40 per cent, while 250,000 hectares of degraded peatlands will be restored and at least 15,000 hectares of woodland created each year.

Ministers committed last year to cut harmful CO2 emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, with a new interim target of 50 per cent by 2020.

The previous interim target of 42 per cent was hit six years ahead of schedule in 2014, although the independent Committee on Climate Change said the decrease was largely down to warmer winter weather reducing the demand for heating.

Cynics will question what difference all this will all make.

What’s the point of a small country in northern Europe adopting ambitious climate change targets when the engine room of the world’s economy, countries such as China and India, continue to build coal-fired power stations capable of belching out huge levels of emissions?

The answer, to borrow the SNP’s soundbite, is that Scotland can be a world leader.

Not only can we send a message about the importance of acting now to tackle climate change and be an example for others to follow, but we can also be at the forefront of developing the sort of new technologies which will allow emerging economies to leave fossil fuels behind once and for all.

There is no denying that renewables are the future. The potential of onshore wind has already been realised but Scotland has huge opportunities to develop tidal power and should continue to be at the forefront of the sector.

As laudable as it is to promote renewables, however, we are a long way off from a position where they can consistently meet 100 per cent of our energy needs.

Unless we want to become a country which relies on importing electricity from elsewhere, the time has come for Scotland to consider a new generation of nuclear power plants.

The proposal will be a contentious one but nuclear provides a form of clean energy easily capable of meeting demand at all times.

That way Scotland can continue to be a forefront of tackling climate change, while at the same time managing to keep the lights on long into the future.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4343851.1484852960!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4343851.1484852960!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Whitelee Windfarm, 20 minutes from central Glasgow, is the UK's largest windfarm","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Whitelee Windfarm, 20 minutes from central Glasgow, is the UK's largest windfarm","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4343851.1484852960!/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/jim-duffy-another-jfk-moment-is-here-trump-takes-over-as-president-1-4343876","id":"1.4343876","articleHeadline": "Jim Duffy: Another JFK moment is here: Trump takes over as President","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484892000000 ,"articleLead": "

Today’s historic moment is a day many of us will never forget says Jim Duffy - an event that changes the world we live in

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4343875.1484856896!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The assassination of John F Kennedy is a moment that many of that generation will never forget."} ,"articleBody": "

Eight years ago, this week, I was at Babson College in Boston on the start of the inaugural class of the Saltire Fellowship. Babson is the No1 college for entrepreneurship in the US and consistently tops the charts in this regard. We were all summoned from class to watch the swearing in of President Obama. I recall people in the room were pretty excited as we watched the big TV - mostly Americans. They were jabbering and shuffling in their seats. It felt for many of them like a new dawn, a new era, a new politics.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t all that impressed and didn’t really get what all the fuss was about. I now feel vindicated in my lack of enthusiasm, as the Obama presidency has felt uninspiring, weak and more about the fairytale of the Obamas. That said, I do have to say that Michelle is a class act and maybe one I would have voted for. I can certainly reference the Obama inauguration as an event because a new chapter was starting in my life, but I guess that’s as good as it gets. Ergo, this made me think about today and the swearing in of President Trump.

This feels like an occasion folks. I might get out the bunting for this. This is one I will say to my grandkids: “I remember exactly where I was the day President Trump took office.” I’m rather excited about it! Real change is in the air it appears.

There have been two very distinct events where people of our generations have been able to pinpoint a moment in time that stopped them in their tracks and left an indelible mark in their memory banks. The first one is the assassination of JFK, the 35th president of the USA. Although television was in its infancy then, the moment the special bulletin was flashed up on CBS News caused a stir. It announced that JFK had been shot three times. An hour later Walter Cronkite was live in the studio when he received the confirmation. Cronkite read out: “President Kennedy died at 1 pm central standard time. Two o’clock eastern standard time… some 38 minutes ago.” He then took off his glasses, swallowed hard and for that short period, one could feel the barnstorming emotion and magnitude of what had taken place in Dallas, Texas. This assassination was a world event that sent shockwaves globally and rooted people to the spot when they heard it. Many Scotsman readers will indeed remember the day JFK was shot.

For me, and others, the day the world changed was when my friend - now departed, Paul Watson - called me on my mobile and asked if I had the TV on. I put it on quickly and saw that the North Tower of the World Trade Centre was on fire. The date was September 11, 2001. The time was 1.55pm. I was pottering around the house on annual leave. I then watched as United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the south tower as I kept Paul on the line. I will never forget this moment and the subsequent collapse of both towers. It is ingrained on my memory and I could write screeds about it in this column as if it were yesterday. It was an event that changed the world I live in. Every time, I go to airports and stand in queues, I know why.

Today feels like one of these moments in time. I’m glad to say and I’m hopeful that no-one will lose their life. I don’t need to see any more of this on live TV. If another Clinton was being sworn in, I’d make it my best effort to miss it and have an afternoon nap instead. How dull would that have been? But, it’s not. It’s Donald J Trump and I will be glued to my TV screen, along with the 63 million Americans who voted for him. Let’s not forget that please. He deserves that level of dignity.

At 4pm today a moment in time will take place that you will remember. The moment when America decided it wanted to put a non-career politician in the White House who is most certainly going to stir things up. Your lives are about to change. If I’m not mistaken, Obama came over here and told the UK we would be at the back of the queue in any trade talks. But Trump has stated we will be up front and get a great deal. That’s the difference between those who play politics with our lives and those who can see what the right thing to do is – in their eyes. Where is David Cameron anyway?

There’s no doubt Trump has had some ‘head in the hands’ moments on the campaign trail, as well as some more than questionable remarks and perceived attitudes. The fact is though, he was voted in – he’s going to be inaugurated today. Let’s deal with it and not dwell – negative thinking and moping got no-one anywhere.

America is swearing in a new Commander-in-Chief: a 70-year-old billionaire. It’s not easy to tell him what to do, so make sure you remember the day he took office as it’s going to be a rollercoaster ride.

Whatever the Trump Presidency produces - and it is going to have moments of real amplitude and theatre - 4pm today is a moment I’m going to record in my memory banks. It’s no longer business as usual.

Razorlight perform the song, America. One of the lyrics reads – “All my life watching America. All my life there’s panic in America.” They weren’t half wrong there….

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JIM DUFFY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4343875.1484856896!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4343875.1484856896!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The assassination of John F Kennedy is a moment that many of that generation will never forget.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The assassination of John F Kennedy is a moment that many of that generation will never forget.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4343875.1484856896!/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/joyce-mcmillan-brexit-rhetoric-insults-a-generation-1-4343874","id":"1.4343874","articleHeadline": "Joyce McMillan: Brexit rhetoric insults a generation","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1484892000000 ,"articleLead": "

War reference promotes dangerous idea that conflict is more natural than co-operation says Joyce McMillan

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4343873.1484856684!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May's speech was followed by "a minor explosion of war-mongering language' says Joyce McMillan."} ,"articleBody": "

In the unfolding story of Britain’s exit from the European Union, this has, at last, been a week of clarification; the only problem is that the clearer view that has begun to emerge, on various levels, is one to make any self-respecting Remain voter crawl back into bed, pull up the covers, and hope that the whole business - like the inauguration of the EU-hating President Trump, just across the Atlantic - may somehow prove to be nothing more than a bad dream.

The economic and political clarification that came with Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech on Tuesday was certainly depressing enough. Britain, it seems, will leave the European single market, but will somehow find a way of trading with it as freely as if we were still in it. We will leave the Customs Union, but still have a customs-free common travel area between the UK and Ireland, while somehow gaining full control of inward migration from the EU, of which Ireland remains a member. And if the EU tries in any way to make our trade deal less advantageous than that of a full member, the UK will walk away, shouting over its shoulder that we don’t need any trade deal anyway, and that EU countries are clearly not our friends any more.

This may be a mere negotiating position, of course, albeit an unpleasant and extreme one; but it is still difficult not to gape in amazement at the sheer, unprincipled opportunism of a Prime Minister who was campaigning for a remain vote just seven months ago, and who is now apparently pursuing a policy - and adopting a tone towards the nations of the European Union - barely distinguishable from that of Ukip.

Yet if Theresa May’s speech did something to clarify the UK government’s hard-right initial negotiating position, what was even more chilling was the minor explosion of war-mongering language that followed, from some members of her cabinet. For years, I have been reading left-wing analyses of the British establishment psyche which suggested that the country had failed to adjust to the loss of Empire, or to move on from its finest hour in 1940, when it briefly stood alone against the Third Reich; I had always thought those analyses overstated, or perhaps applicable only to those overheated individuals who write the front page headlines in one or two well-known British newspapers.

This week, though, within a few hours of Mrs May’s speech - and apparently high on a toxic brew of rampant retro nationalism - two senior members of her cabinet were on the airwaves using language that likened our current situation to the great anti-Nazi struggle of the 1940s. The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, is of course a well-known buffoon, although perhaps a little young, at only 52, to be displaying the kind of Biggles complex reflected in his comment that President Hollande sounded like a prison camp guard, when he suggested that Britain should pay a price for leaving the EU.

Much more shocking, though, was the language of the Brexit Secretary David Davis, who - when confronted with some evidence of the likely economic cost of Brexit to the British people - actually uttered the words: “We survived World War Two, we can survive this.” In other words, he likened the unilateral, entirely unprovoked damage associated with Britain’s Brexit decision - made on the basis of a pack of lies about the economic advantages of Brexit, and an ill-informed spasm of ugly xenophobia against EU migrants - to the huge unified effort the British people made between 1939 and 1945 to defeat a genocidal tyrant who had begun to annex countries across Europe.

This comparison represents such a breathtaking insult to the generation who suffered, fought, died in that conflict that it sickens the heart to hear it. And once again, it exposes the levels of sheer nationalistic and nostalgic unreason that are now driving UK politics, as politicians of a certain age, presiding over the reactionary mess that is Brexit, flatter themselves with the illusion that they at last are taking part in their own D-Day moment, and ranging themselves alongside the Second World War heroes of whom they read in their childhood.

Of course, we can comfort ourselves with the hope that most Britons no longer share this particular backward-looking neurosis, in which conflict with the nations of Europe somehow seems more “natural”, and more invigorating, than the long attempt to build new forms of co-operation from which we are now shamefully disengaging ourselves. No one under 45 can even remember a time when the EU was not taken for granted, with all the accompanying rights and freedoms which are now about to be wrenched away from that Remain-voting generation; and in Scotland and Northern Ireland, a clear majority of voters no longer want any truck with this resurgent emotional attachment to the days of war-war, rather than jaw-jaw.

Even if the UK hangs together for now, though, what’s clear is that the collapse of the centre-left at UK level, and then of the old Tory centre right, has left almost half of Britain’s voters completely voiceless in the Brexit process, condemned to watch a Tory party that could barely win 37 per cent of votes in 2015 now lead us not only out of the EU, but into the kind of hard Brexit that was never on any ballot paper, and - contrary to the Prime Minister’s contention this week - was explicitly ruled out by many Leave campaigners.

Yet until some grassroots political earthquake reaches Westminster, and forces a purposeful pro-European re-alignment of the centre and left, the Theresa May government will sail on largely unopposed, on a tide of xenophobic rhetoric orchestrated by Britain’s most notorious newspapers. And 16 million Britons will look on in despair, as a peaceful and inclusive European future that once seemed almost certain is thrown away; to the sound of triumphant laughter from the reactionary millionaires who orchestrated the Leave campaign, and of the strains of the Dambusters’ March played on a loop down the corridors of Westminster, while the best legacy of that wartime generation is finally consigned to history.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JOYCE McMILLAN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4343873.1484856684!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4343873.1484856684!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Theresa May's speech was followed by "a minor explosion of war-mongering language' says Joyce McMillan.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May's speech was followed by "a minor explosion of war-mongering language' says Joyce McMillan.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4343873.1484856684!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}