{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"world","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/donald-trump-humiliated-over-health-bill-1-4403711","id":"1.4403711","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump humiliated over health bill","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490513066000 ,"articleLead": "

President Donald Trump and Republican leaders have scrapped their bill to repeal “Obamacare” in a humiliating failure for the US president, when it became clear his flagship manifesto pledge would nosedive in the House of Representatives.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4403710.1490513061!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence seen as House Speaker Paul Ryan, above, announces withdrawal of the bill. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Democrats said Americans could “breathe a sigh of relief” after seven years of non-stop railing against former president Barack Obama’s affordable care act health care law.

But Trump said Obamacare was imploding “and soon will explode”.

Thwarted by two factions of fellow Republicans, from the centre and far right, House speaker Paul Ryan said Obama’s health care law, the Republicans’ top target in the new Trump administration, would remain in place “for the foreseeable future”.

It was a stunning defeat for the new president after he had demanded House Republicans delay no longer and vote on the legislation on Friday, pass or fail.

But his gamble failed and instead Trump, who campaigned as a master deal-maker and claimed that he alone could fix America’s health care system, saw his ultimatum rejected by Republicans who made clear they answer to their own voters, not to the president.

At the White House, a dejected but still combative Trump said he had “never said repeal and replace it in 64 days”, though he had repeatedly shouted during the presidential campaign that it was going down “immediately”.

The bill was withdrawn just minutes before the vote was to take place and politicians said there were no plans to revisit the issue.

Republicans will try to move ahead on other agenda items, including overhauling the tax code, though the failure on the health bill can only make whatever comes next immeasurably harder.

Trump pinned the blame on Democrats, saying: “With no Democrat support we couldn’t quite get there. We learned about loyalty, we learned a lot about the vote-getting process.”

The Obama law was approved in 2010 with no Republican votes.

Despite reports of backbiting from administration officials toward Ryan, Trump said: “I like Speaker Ryan. I think Paul really worked hard.”

Ryan told reporters: “We came really close today but we came up short. This is a disappointing day for us.”

He said Trump had “really been fantastic”, but when asked how Republicans could face voters after their failure to make good on years of promises, he quietly said: “It’s a really good question. I wish I had a better answer for you.”

In the autumn, Republicans used the issue to gain and keep control of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives.

During previous years, they cast dozens of votes to repeal Obama’s law in full or in part, but when they finally got the chance to pass a repeal version that actually had a chance to become law, they could not deliver.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4403710.1490513061!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4403710.1490513061!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "President Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence seen as House Speaker Paul Ryan, above, announces withdrawal of the bill. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence seen as House Speaker Paul Ryan, above, announces withdrawal of the bill. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4403710.1490513061!/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/threat-of-more-air-strikes-sends-thousands-fleeing-mosul-1-4403709","id":"1.4403709","articleHeadline": "Threat of more air strikes sends thousands fleeing Mosul","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490512956000 ,"articleLead": "

Thousands of terrified civilians in Iraq have taken flight amid fears of further air strikes on the city of Mosul.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4403708.1490512988!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Displaced Iraqis flee their homes due to fighting between government troops and IS. Picture: AFP/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Pictures from the region show families boarding buses and pushing wagons packed with their belongings to travel to refugee camps amid fears of air attacks and fighting by Iraqi forces.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Syria, warplanes struck rebel-held parts of the country, killing and wounding scores of people amid clashes on multiple fronts between government forces and insurgent groups in some of the worst violence to hit the country in weeks.

Last week, there were reports of an air strike that left more than 100 civilians dead in a western part of Mosul where US-backed government troops are fighting so-called Islamic State.

It has also been claimed that IS is using civilians as human shields in the region, hiding in houses and forcing young men to fight. Senior Iraqi politicians yesterday expressed concern over the strikes.

In tweets published on his official account, Iraqi parliamentary speaker Salim al-Jabouri said: “We realise the huge responsibility the liberating forces shoulder” and called on them to “spare no effort to save the civilians”. Al-Jabouri is a prominent Sunni Muslim politician in Iraq.

Vice president Osama al-Nujaifi, himself from Mosul, described the incident as a “humanitarian catastrophe,” blaming the US-led coalition air strikes and excessive use of force by militarised Federal Police forces.

Al-Nujaifi put the number of civilians killed at “hundreds”.

He called for an emergency session of parliament and an immediate investigation into the incident.

It was unclear who carried out the air strikes, but on Friday the US-led coalition fighting IS in Iraq and Syria said it was investigating the allegations.

Mosul residents reported two air strikes hitting a residential area on 13 and 17 March.

Meanwhile, at least 16 people in Syria have been killed after air strikes hit the rebel-held city of Idlib in the north-west of the country, opposition activists have claimed.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Friday night attack struck a prison run by militants.

The Local Co-ordination Committee, another opposition activist group, said five air raids struck the city, without giving further details.

Idlib is a stronghold of Syrian insurgent groups and is regularly targeted by Syrian and Russian war planes.

“They have been hitting Hamouriyeh for days but today they struck an area packed with civilians,” said Awis al-Shami of the Civil Defence search and rescue group, also known as the White Helmets.

The air strikes come as insurgent groups have been on the offensive in Damascus and the central province of Hama for the past few days.

Government forces and their allies launched a counteroffensive capturing some of the areas they lost in Damascus and Hama.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARGARET NEIGHBOUR"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4403708.1490512988!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4403708.1490512988!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Displaced Iraqis flee their homes due to fighting between government troops and IS. Picture: AFP/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Displaced Iraqis flee their homes due to fighting between government troops and IS. Picture: AFP/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4403708.1490512988!/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/belarus-protesters-clash-with-police-over-parasites-tax-1-4403707","id":"1.4403707","articleHeadline": "Belarus protesters clash with police over ‘parasites tax’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490512674000 ,"articleLead": "

Hundreds of Belarusians defied a protest ban to march against a so-called parasites tax on the long-term unemployed in the latest anti-government demonstration in an eastern European country.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4403706.1490512668!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A woman confronts police officers blocking a street during an opposition rally in Minsk. Photograph: AP"} ,"articleBody": "

Police yesterday began arresting protesters after blocking the march using a cordon of riot police wielding clubs and holding shields.

Belarus has seen a wave of protests over the past two months against President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled since 1994.

“They’re beating the participants, dragging women by the hair to buses. I was able to run to a nearby courtyard,” demonstrator Alexander Ponomarev said. The march took place on the 99th anniversary of the proclamation of the Belarusian People’s Republic, which lasted just six months when it was formed in 1918.

Earlier, police raided the office of the human rights group Vesna. About 30 of its activists were detained, the Belarusian Helsinki Committee said.

In the days leading up to the demonstration, more than 100 opposition supporters were sentenced to jail terms of three to 15 days, Vesna reported before the raid.

Prominent opposition figure Vladimir Neklayev was reportedly pulled off a train by police during the night as he tried to travel to Minsk.

In Romania last month hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets for days in protest at a bill decriminalising official misconduct.

Yesterday’s demonstrators in Belarus shouted “shame” and “basta [enough]” and deployed the opposition’s red and white flag, first used by the independent Belarusian People’s Republic in 1918 and again after independence from the Soviet Union.

In his 23 years as president, Lukashenko has stifled dissent and free media and retained much of the Soviet-style command economy.

The protests this year initially focused on his unpopular “anti-parasite” law that calls for a £185 tax on anyone who works less than six months a year, but does not register with the state labour exchange.

But the protests broadened into general dissatisfaction with his rule, which some critics have characterised as Europe’s last dictatorship.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4403706.1490512668!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4403706.1490512668!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A woman confronts police officers blocking a street during an opposition rally in Minsk. Photograph: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A woman confronts police officers blocking a street during an opposition rally in Minsk. Photograph: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4403706.1490512668!/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/one-dead-one-wounded-after-las-vegas-strip-shooting-1-4403635","id":"1.4403635","articleHeadline": "One dead one wounded after Las Vegas Strip shooting","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490480408000 ,"articleLead": "

ONE person has been confirmed dead and another wounded following a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip on Saturday afternoon.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4403634.1490480404!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "One person has been killed and one person has been wounded after a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

A hospital spokeswoman has said that one person has been confirmed dead. Another person who was taken to hospital is described as being in a “fair condition”.

Las Vegas police have stated that the shooter has barricaded himself inside a bus, prompting a partial closure of the busy boulevard near the Cosmopolitan hotel-casino.

Negotiators are currently on the scene. Police say they do not believe there are any other suspects.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "RUSSELL JACKSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4403634.1490480404!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4403634.1490480404!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "One person has been killed and one person has been wounded after a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "One person has been killed and one person has been wounded after a shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4403634.1490480404!/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/humiliation-for-trump-after-defeat-on-obamacare-repeal-1-4403283","id":"1.4403283","articleHeadline": "Humiliation for Trump after defeat on ‘Obamacare’ repeal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490438403000 ,"articleLead": "

Donald Trump and Republican leaders have scrapped their bill to repeal “Obamacare” in a humiliating failure for the US president, when it became clear his flagship manifesto pledge would nosedive in the House of Representatives.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4403281.1490438395!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The defeat was seen as a humiliating loss for the President. Picture; Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Democrats said Americans could “breathe a sigh of relief” after seven years of non-stop railing against former president Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act health care law.

But Mr Trump said Obamacare was imploding “and soon will explode”.

Thwarted by two factions of fellow Republicans, from the centre and far right, House speaker Paul Ryan said Mr Obama’s health care law, the Republicans’ top target in the new Trump administration, would remain in place “for the foreseeable future”.

It was a stunning defeat for the new president after he had demanded House Republicans delay no longer and vote on the legislation on Friday, pass or fail.

But his gamble failed and instead Mr Trump, who campaigned as a master deal-maker and claimed that he alone could fix America’s health care system, saw his ultimatum rejected by Republican politicians who made clear they answer to their own voters, not to the president.

At the White House, a dejected but still combative Mr Trump said he had “never said repeal and replace it in 64 days”, though he had repeatedly shouted during the presidential campaign that it was going down “immediately”.

The bill was withdrawn just minutes before the House vote was to take place and politicians said there were no plans to revisit the issue.

Republicans will try to move ahead on other agenda items, including overhauling the tax code, though the failure on the health bill can only make whatever comes next immeasurably harder.

Mr Trump pinned the blame on Democrats, saying: “With no Democrat support we couldn’t quite get there.

“We learned about loyalty, we learned a lot about the vote-getting process.”

The Obama law was approved in 2010 with no Republican votes.

Despite reports of backbiting from administration officials toward Mr Ryan, Mr Trump said: “I like Speaker Ryan. I think Paul really worked hard.”

For his part, Mr Ryan told reporters: “We came really close today but we came up short. This is a disappointing day for us.”

He said Mr Trump had “really been fantastic”, but when asked how Republicans could face voters after their failure to make good on years of promises, he quietly said: “It’s a really good question. I wish I had a better answer for you.”

In the autumn, Republicans used the issue to gain and keep control of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives.

During previous years, they cast dozens of votes to repeal Mr Obama’s law in full or in part, but when they finally got the chance to pass a repeal version that actually had a chance to become law, they could not deliver.

Democrats could hardly contain their satisfaction.

“Today is a great day for our country, what happened on the floor is a victory for the American people,” said House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, who as speaker helped Mr Obama pass his Affordable Care Act in the first place.

“Let’s just for a moment breathe a sigh of relief for the American people.”

The outcome leaves both Mr Ryan and Mr Trump weakened politically.

For the president, this piles a big early congressional defeat on to the continuing inquiries into his presidential campaign’s Russia connections and his unfounded wiretapping allegations against Mr Obama.

Mr Ryan was not able to corral the House Freedom Caucus, the restive band of conservatives that ousted the previous speaker.

Those Republicans wanted the bill to go much further, while some moderates felt it went too far.

Instead of picking up support as Friday wore on, the bill went the in other direction, with several key politicians coming out in opposition.

Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, who chairs a major committee, Appropriations, said the bill would raise costs unacceptably on his constituents.

The Republican bill would have eliminated the Obama statute’s unpopular fines on people who do not obtain coverage and would have also removed the often-generous subsidies for those who bought insurance.

Republican tax credits would have been based on age, not income like Mr Obama’s, and the tax increases Mr Obama imposed on higher-earning people and health care companies would have been repealed.

The bill would have ended Mr Obama’s Medicaid expansion and trimmed future government financing for the national programme, letting individual states impose work requirements on some of the 70 million beneficiaries.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4403281.1490438395!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4403281.1490438395!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The defeat was seen as a humiliating loss for the President. Picture; Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The defeat was seen as a humiliating loss for the President. Picture; Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4403281.1490438395!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4403282.1490438399!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4403282.1490438399!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan delivers remarks at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol after President Trump's healthcare bill was pulled from the floor of the House of Representatives. Picture; Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan delivers remarks at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol after President Trump's healthcare bill was pulled from the floor of the House of Representatives. Picture; Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4403282.1490438399!/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/frank-bruni-trump-is-tweeting-towards-oblivion-1-4403120","id":"1.4403120","articleHeadline": "Frank Bruni: Trump is tweeting towards oblivion","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490421600000 ,"articleLead": "

Social media teases out the worst traits of this vindictive and impulsive president, writes Frank Bruni

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4403119.1490383671!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Trump has found it difficult to exercise restraint on Twitter, making wild accusations."} ,"articleBody": "

Donald Trump faces a stark choice. He can tweet, or he can govern.

He can indulge his persecution complex, firing off missives that compare Barack Obama to Joseph McCarthy and U.S. intelligence officers to Nazis, or he can recognise it as a gateway to disgrace and irrelevance.

He can make his presidency about his own viscera, or he can make it about the country’s welfare. He can do what feels cathartic in the moment, or he can do what’s constructive in the long run. He can dabble in bright colours and shiny objects, or he can deal in durable truths.

I’m focusing on Twitter because it teases out his worst traits. It’s the theatre for vainglorious, vindictive, impulsive Trump, and it was the realm in which he made the wild accusations that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower. On Monday, James Comey debunked those charges, certifying them as the gaseous fulminations we more or less knew they were.

And through much of Tuesday, Trump’s personal Twitter account essentially went dark. There was nothing from the hours around dawn, which is when he typically visits with his darkest vapors. There was only anodyne stuff later on: a shout-out to the scientists at Nasa, a salute to U.S. farmers.

Either someone in his orbit convinced him, at least briefly, of the damage he was doing and the miserable situation he’s in, or Trump himself summoned some wisdom and restraint. He must be capable of that. Can he continue it?

It could be argued that every presidency is a tug of war between private demons and the public interest, between the commander in chief’s indulgence of his own psychological needs and his attentiveness to the hard work of America. With Trump it’s a furiously pitched battle, and the demons are way out ahead.

One of them hasn’t received the attention it warrants. With all our condemnations of Trump the bully, we’ve overlooked Trump the bullied, which is the version more likely to bring him down. I mean the Trump who’s hell-bent on believing that he’s up against ruthless enemies; the Trump who must amplify every stride by casting it as a triumph over formidable odds; the Trump who’s throwing a pity party for himself the likes of which few of his predecessors ever attempted. His election somehow brought this Trump to the fore. In a paradox as strange as everything else about him, victory played handmaiden to a feeling of victimization: his own and the country’s.

It’s precisely that feeling — “a sense of persecution bordering on faith,” as Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman wrote on Monday - that brought about the wiretapping tweets.

But it has also brought about many other ill-advised tweets and ill-considered public statements, enveloping Trump in a foul air of grievance.

If it’s not the Mexicans taking advantage of him and of us, it’s the Australians or the Germans or the Chinese. Take your pick.

The “deep state” is out to get him. The leaks are a plot against him. Sometimes his mewling has an obvious prompt. When your approval ratings have sunk as low as his - a recent Gallup tracking poll showed that only 37 per cent of Americans were pleased with his performance - you have an obvious investment in calling such surveys rigged and wrong, as Trump is still doing.

But other whimpering is absurdly conceived and needlessly divisive. During Angela Merkel’s visit to Washington last week, he ranted about an unjust trade imbalance between Germany and the United States, crediting Germany with smarter negotiators. But there are no such negotiators. We trade not specifically with Germany but with the European Union as a whole.

It’s possible that he doesn’t know that. It’s also possible that he chose to disregard a detail that would have complicated and maybe nullified his complaint. Why let the facts get in the way of a tantrum that he then transferred to Twitter, where he bellowed that Germany owed money for its defence to the United States and Nato?

It’s funny: Comey’s testimony on Monday made clear that someone does have a right to feel put upon. That someone is Hillary Clinton. He stressed how “hated” she was by Vladimir Putin. He also confirmed that before Election Day, intelligence officers were looking into whether Putin and the Russians were meddling in the election because of that hatred. At the time Comey said nothing about that, even as he announced that the FBI was taking a fresh look at newly discovered Clinton emails.

Trump is no victim. He’s the luckiest man alive - or has been, until now.

But his allies “have begun to wonder if his need for self-expression, often on social media, will exceed his instinct for self-preservation,” Thrush and Haberman wrote. He can vent his emotions or exercise his responsibilities. The decision belongs to him, the consequences to all of us.

© 2017 New York Times News Service

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "FRANK BRUNI"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4403119.1490383671!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4403119.1490383671!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "President Trump has found it difficult to exercise restraint on Twitter, making wild accusations.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Trump has found it difficult to exercise restraint on Twitter, making wild accusations.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4403119.1490383671!/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/5-scottish-castles-built-around-the-world-1-4402127","id":"1.4402127","articleHeadline": "5 ‘Scottish’ castles built around the world","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490369834000 ,"articleLead": "

For those who left Scotland to make their fortune, nothing said they had made it more than building a castle just like those found at home.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4402123.1490292552!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Larnach Castle, Dunedin, New Zealand. PIC: Contributed."} ,"articleBody": "

Here we look at five Scottish-style castles around the world, from expressions of wealth forged in the New World to a granite pile in China and a Harry Potter-style hideaway that was built on a father’s promise over 30 years.

Bannerman’s Castle, Pollepel Island, New York

This crumbling pile on a private island in the Hudson River is a reminder of the success of Francis Bannerman from Dundee, who left Scotland for Brooklyn when just three-years-old.

Bannerman, who arrived in the United States in 1854, was to become a wealthy trader in surplus military ammunition and artillery.

He spotted Pollepel Island while out canoeing on the Hudson and bought it from the Taft family in 1900.

Bannerman, as part of the purchase deal, had to promise in writing that the island would not revert to its past as a haven for illegal alcohol and prostitution.

The castle was built as a series of fortified warehouses to store his stock after he procured a particularly large consignment of weaponry following the Spanish Civil War.

Bannerman led the design of the castle with particular attention paid to the

family shields and sigils.

He died in 1918 with the properties slowly falling into ruin since then. The Bannerman Castle Trust is fundraising to secure the buildings. The family believe they should be “preserved as proof of people’s and imagination” in America during that time.

Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, British Columbia

Craigdarroch has been hailed as the ultimate “bonanza castle” - the type of oversized mansion built by 19th and early 20th industrialists to illustrate their spiralling wealth.

Ayrshire-born miner Robert Dunsmuir created Craigdarroch after amassing his fortune from Vancouver Island coal. He left Scotland in 1850 to take up a position with the Hudson Bay company.

Dunsmuir and his architect died before Craigdarroch was finished but his family ensured no expense was spared in executing their vision of Victorian opulence. Italian marble, Californian terracotta and British Columbia sandstone were used to flamboyant effect.

Nothing like Craigdarroch had been seen in Victoria before and the building, which was used as a school and is now a museum after being sold by the family, remains a prominent landmark on the west side of the city.

Treaty Port Castle and Vineyard, Shandong, China

Businessman Chris Raffles built the faux-Scottish castle in Shandong province to compliment his new vineyard which the investment banker built to take advantage of the growing Chinese market for fine wine.

Designed by Scottish architect Ian Begg, the castle is built using local granite although Raffles has imported several period pieces to give it a noble look.

They include a 17th Century collection of paintings and an AGA cooker, which was installed by an engineer who travelled from New Zealand. Dinner is served in the Great Hall.

‘There were moments when I thought it wasn’t worth it but in the end determination brings its own rewards,” said Yorkshireman Raffles.

Larnach Castle, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand

New Zealand’s only castle was built in 1871 by William Larnach, a merchant baron and politician, whose father hailed from Auchengill in Caithness.

The pile was created for Larnach’s first wife, Eliza, with the project taking 200 workmen more than three years to build the castle shell. A team of master European craftsmen spent a further 12 years embellishing the interior.

The fine property belied a tragic demise for Larnach, whose business dealings left him insolvent and insular. He died in 1898 in his parliamentary office, where he shot himself.

The castle is still privately owned and cared for by the Barker family who purchased it in 1967.

Highlands Castle, Bolton Landing, New York State

This is truly the stuff of fairy tales with businessman John Lavender building this impressive pile after promising his son that one day “he would live in a castle.”

The pledge was made as Mr Lavender lived in a flat with five other men following his divorce.

For 30 years, Mr Lavender stuck to his word and constructed a house that he later hand-clad in stone.

Sitting on a mountain top overlooking Lake George and Adirondack Mountains the house has since hosted the weddings of both father and son.

It is now on the market for the equivalent of around £10.4m.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4402123.1490292552!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4402123.1490292552!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Larnach Castle, Dunedin, New Zealand. PIC: Contributed.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Larnach Castle, Dunedin, New Zealand. PIC: Contributed.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4402123.1490292552!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4402124.1490292553!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4402124.1490292553!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Bannerman's Castle, Pollepel Island, New York State. PIC Creartive Commpnons/Flickr","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bannerman's Castle, Pollepel Island, New York State. PIC Creartive Commpnons/Flickr","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4402124.1490292553!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4402125.1490292554!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4402125.1490292554!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, British Columbia, former home of Ayrshire coal trader Robert Dunsmuir. PIC: Wikimedia.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, British Columbia, former home of Ayrshire coal trader Robert Dunsmuir. PIC: Wikimedia.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4402125.1490292554!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4402126.1490292555!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4402126.1490292555!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Highlands Castle, Bolton Landin, New York State, is for sale for around �10.4m. PIC: Contributed.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Highlands Castle, Bolton Landin, New York State, is for sale for around �10.4m. PIC: Contributed.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4402126.1490292555!/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/westminster-attack-brandenburg-gate-lights-up-in-solidarity-1-4402156","id":"1.4402156","articleHeadline": "Westminster attack: Brandenburg Gate lights up in solidarity","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490365475000 ,"articleLead": "

Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate has become the latest global landmark to be lit in the colours of the Union flag in solidarity with London.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4402154.1490365467!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate is illuminated in the colours of the Union flag. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Images of the iconic landmark - a symbol of unity in Germany - were broadcast around the world on Thursday evening.

On Wednesday, one side of Tel Aviv’s town hall was decked out in red, white and blue with the Israeli flag on the other in a show of solidarity with London.

The Eiffel Tower also went dark in tribute to the three victims of the terror attack in Westminster.

The attack comes three months after a similar attack in Berlin when a terrorist drove a lorry through the Christmas markets in the city’s Breitscheidplatz, killing 12 people and injuring 56.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Russell Jackson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4402154.1490365467!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4402154.1490365467!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate is illuminated in the colours of the Union flag. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate is illuminated in the colours of the Union flag. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4402154.1490365467!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4402155.1490365470!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4402155.1490365470!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Brandenburg Gate is illuminated to pay tribute to the victims of an attack in London. Picture: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Brandenburg Gate is illuminated to pay tribute to the victims of an attack in London. Picture: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4402155.1490365470!/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/ukrainian-mp-gunned-down-by-kremlin-agent-kiev-claims-1-4402637","id":"1.4402637","articleHeadline": "Ukrainian MP ‘gunned down by Kremlin agent’, Kiev claims","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490365302000 ,"articleLead": "

A senior Ukrainian official said the killer of an outspoken Kremlin critic Denis Voronenko, who was gunned down in Kiev, was a Russian agent.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4402636.1490365297!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Forensic experts and police officers work at the scene following the killing of Denis Voronenko in Kiev, Ukraine (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)"} ,"articleBody": "

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, identified the man who shot Voronenko on Thursday as 28-year old Pavel Parshov and said he had been trained in Russia by Russian security services.

“He underwent a special course at a school for saboteurs,” Gerashchenko wrote Friday in a Facebook post.

Voronenko, a former Russian lawmaker who became a vociferous critic of Moscow following his recent move to Ukraine, was shot dead near the entrance of an upscale hotel in the center of the Ukrainian capital.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the murder was an “act of state terrorism,” a charge angrily denied by Russian officials.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4402636.1490365297!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4402636.1490365297!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Forensic experts and police officers work at the scene following the killing of Denis Voronenko in Kiev, Ukraine (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Forensic experts and police officers work at the scene following the killing of Denis Voronenko in Kiev, Ukraine (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4402636.1490365297!/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/hundreds-of-migrants-drown-as-boats-capsize-off-libya-coast-1-4402684","id":"1.4402684","articleHeadline": "Hundreds of migrants drown as boats capsize off Libya coast","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490360109000 ,"articleLead": "

A Spanish aid organisation says it fears hundreds of migrants may have died off the coast of Libya after five bodies were found near two capsized boats while the search for a third vessel reported missing has so far proved futile.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4402683.1490360104!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A sunken rubber boat discovered in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast (Proactiva Open Arms via AP)"} ,"articleBody": "

Proactiva Open Arms spokeswoman Laura Lanuza said their vessel was heading north Friday to the Italian port of Catania to hand over the bodies of the five young men found a day earlier.

She said other NGOs are continuing the search for possible victims off the coast of Libya.

The U.N. refugee agency said it was “deeply alarmed” by the reports. Both it and Proactiva said they feared the death toll may be much higher as migrant dinghies are normally crammed with some 120 people each.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4402683.1490360104!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4402683.1490360104!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A sunken rubber boat discovered in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast (Proactiva Open Arms via AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A sunken rubber boat discovered in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast (Proactiva Open Arms via AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4402683.1490360104!/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/frenchman-charged-with-driving-car-into-antwerp-crowd-1-4402603","id":"1.4402603","articleHeadline": "Frenchman charged with driving car into Antwerp crowd","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490355881000 ,"articleLead": "

Belgian authorities have charged the Frenchman who drove his car at high speed through a busy shopping area in Antwerp with terror-related offences.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4402602.1490355876!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A police inspector searches around a car near the river in Antwerp. (Joris Herregods via AP)"} ,"articleBody": "

The Federal prosecutor’s office said today that Mohamed R., 39, was charged with “attempted murder in a terror context,” and infractions against the gun law.

After driving through the busy Meir shopping road on Thursday, he was arrested at the port docks. No one was injured.

In the car, authorities found knives, a shotgun and a gas can with an unknown liquid.

An official at the prosecutor’s office said the suspect “was under the influence” but refused to elaborate whether it was drugs or alcohol.

Authorities immediately raised security in the centre of Antwerp.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4402602.1490355876!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4402602.1490355876!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A police inspector searches around a car near the river in Antwerp. (Joris Herregods via AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A police inspector searches around a car near the river in Antwerp. (Joris Herregods via AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4402602.1490355876!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/campaigners-call-for-trump-rival-to-rethink-highland-course-1-4402224","id":"1.4402224","articleHeadline": "Campaigners call for Trump rival to rethink Highland course","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490313601000 ,"articleLead": "

Conservationists are calling for a rethink of plans by a US billionaire business rival of Donald Trump to turn “an irreplaceable natural jewel” in the Highlands into a world-class championship golf course.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4402223.1490305445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Caryocolum blandelloides moth is threatened by the development of Coul Links golf course say campaigners. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

They say creating an 18-hole course at Coul Links in Sutherland, near 400-year-old Royal Dornoch, will destroy pristine sand dune habitat and threaten rare species.

Golf impresario Mike Keiser and American entrepreneur Todd Warnock are behind the new course, which will be designed by acclaimed golf course architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.

It has been estimated it could generate around £7.5 million a year for the local economy and around £14.8m across the Highlands as a whole within the next ten years. It could also support around 250 local jobs and 450 across the region.

Other golf clubs in Sutherland have backed the plans.

But environmentalists fear the project will jeopardise plants and wildlife at Coul Links, which is protected and a designated site of special scientific interest.

Butterfly Conservation Scotland has joined organisations including the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) and RSPB Scotland in opposing the multi-million-pound development.

The group has raised concern over internationally important populations of insects living on the seaside site, including a moth found nowhere else in the UK and the rare Fonseca’s seed-fly.

“Our records indicate that Coul Links is a very special place,” said the charity’s Dr Tom Prescott .

“Turning Coul Links into a golf course would be a tragedy and would permanently damage a place that is home to many rare species.

“I urge the developers to think again. There must be more appropriate locations to develop a golf course than an irreplaceable natural jewel like Coul Links.”

Bruce Wilson, senior policy officer for SWT, added: “It will be almost impossible to construct a golf course on Coul Links without causing unacceptable damage to internationally important sites.”

The developers insist there will be no hotel or residential buildings at the course, stressing that the scheme will be sensitive to nature.

Mr Keiser, who owns Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon, said: “Our golf course developments aim for minimal intrusion on the landscape and the utmost care and respect for the environment. Our team of environmental advisors is ensuring complete sensitivity to the land, and its location.”

It’s thought a formal application for planning permission will be lodged with Highland Council shortly.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ilona Amos"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4402223.1490305445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4402223.1490305445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Caryocolum blandelloides moth is threatened by the development of Coul Links golf course say campaigners. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Caryocolum blandelloides moth is threatened by the development of Coul Links golf course say campaigners. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4402223.1490305445!/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/edinburgh/edinburgh-oap-on-trial-in-canada-accused-of-murder-1-4401277","id":"1.4401277","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh OAP on trial in Canada accused of murder","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490261737000 ,"articleLead": "

A PENSIONER who emigrated from the Capital has gone on trial in Canada accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend and hiding her body.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4401276.1490261734!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police continue their search for the body of Lise Fredette. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Andrew Watson, 78, was arrested by detectives probing the disappearance of Lise Fredette, whose body has never been found.

Prosecutors told jurors at the Peterborough Superior Court of Justice in Ontario that Watson was a “jilted and controlling” ex-boyfriend and he had killed 74-year-old Miss Fredette as the “final act of harassing her”.

Watson, originally from Edinburgh, was arrested ten days after Fredette was last seen leaving her job at Walmart on November 12, 2014.

Her glasses and keys were found next to her car at home and there was blood in her driveway.

Detectives searched a number of areas using dogs, heat-seeking equipment, divers and a ground-penetrating radar but have found no trace of the pensioner, who was declared dead days after she went missing.

The court heard that Watson and Fredette met at a dance in 2011 and dated on and off for a few years before their relationship ended for good in April 2014.

Fredette started dating another man a few months later but prosecutors allege Watson would sit outside her home and bombard her with letters.

In one letter read to jurors, Watson wrote: “I’m very worried about you going to bed at 1am.

“I keep wondering how you can have sex with someone you don’t love. Perhaps you should sit down and consider how you’re going to pay for this lifestyle.”

Fredette contacted police about Watson’s behaviour in September 2014 and again in November 2014 just days before she went missing.

Her daughter Natalie Leclerc said she was aware that Watson, who is believed to have emigrated in the 1960s, was harassing her mother and watching her.

She told the court her mother had gone to Watson’s house to ask him again to leave her alone and saw a piece of paper where Watson had recorded her whereabouts. She said: “My mom told me she could see him from her place.

“We want to find my mom and put her to rest – we know she’s dead.”

Giving evidence, Fredette’s friend Catherine Lockwood said: “He was controlling and possessive.

“I told her I felt he was stalking her and that she should tell her kids. He wasn’t stopping.”

The court also heard DNA testing revealed the two pools of blood in the driveway belonged to Fredette and one on the pavement was Watson’s.

The jury also heard police searched Watson’s basement – finding a shovel sitting in a bucket filled with liquid believed to be bleach. A mixture of Fredette’s and Watson’s blood was on the handle and Fredette’s blood was on the metal.

Watson denies charges of first-degree murder and criminal harassment. The trial continues.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4401276.1490261734!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4401276.1490261734!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Police continue their search for the body of Lise Fredette. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police continue their search for the body of Lise Fredette. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4401276.1490261734!/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/westminster-attack-donald-trump-offers-full-co-operation-and-support-1-4401019","id":"1.4401019","articleHeadline": "Westminster attack: Donald Trump offers ‘full co-operation and support’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490210586000 ,"articleLead": "

Donald Trump has offered the “full co-operation and support” of the United States in responding to the Westminster terror attack and “bringing those responsible to justice”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4401018.1490210582!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

The White House said the US president offered his condolences to Theresa May in a phone call following the bloody events in London.

Mr Trump had earlier described the apparent terror attack as “big news” as world leaders were shocked by the incident.

READ MORE: Four dead and 20 injured in Westminster attack
A White House spokesman said: “President Donald J. Trump spoke today with Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom to offer his condolences on today’s terror attack in London and his praise for the effective response of security forces and first responders.

“He pledged the full co-operation and support of the United States government in responding to the attack and bringing those responsible to justice.”

According to US network NBC, President Trump told reporters shortly after the attack: “I was just getting an update on London.

“Some big news having to do with London just happened.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “Our thoughts are with the victims of today’s attack in London and their families.

“Canadians remain united with the people of the UK.”

Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said: “Shocked at attack on London. Yesterday I spent the day at Westminster. Luckily not today.

“London’s Parliament is the mother of democracy!”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4401018.1490210582!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4401018.1490210582!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4401018.1490210582!/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/trump-campaign-chief-worked-for-russian-billionaire-1-4400359","id":"1.4400359","articleHeadline": "Trump campaign chief ‘worked for Russian billionaire’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490183653000 ,"articleLead": "

President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has claimed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4400358.1490183650!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman secretly worked for a Russian billionaire, according to reports. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)"} ,"articleBody": "

The work appears to contradict assertions by the Trump administration and Manafort himself that he never worked for Russian interests.

Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government, even as US-Russian relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse.

Manafort pitched the plans to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, a close Putin ally with whom Manafort eventually signed a $10 million annual contract beginning in 2006, according to interviews with several people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP. Manafort and Deripaska maintained a business relationship until at least 2009, according to one person familiar with the work.

“We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success,” Manafort wrote in the 2005 memo to Deripaska. The effort, Manafort wrote, “will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government.”

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Manafort’s plans were laid out in documents obtained by the AP that included strategy memoranda and records showing international wire transfers for millions of dollars. How much work Manafort performed under the contract was unclear. The disclosure comes as Trump campaign advisers are the subject of an FBI probe and two congressional investigations. Investigators are reviewing whether the Trump campaign and its associates coordinated with Moscow to meddle in the 2016 campaign. Manafort has dismissed the investigations as politically motivated and misguided, and said he never worked for Russian interests. The documents obtained by AP show Manafort’s ties to Russia were closer than previously revealed.

In a statement to the AP, Manafort confirmed that he worked for Deripaska in various countries but said the work was being unfairly cast as “inappropriate or nefarious” as part of a “smear campaign.”

“I worked with Oleg Deripaska almost a decade ago representing him on business and personal matters in countries where he had investments,” Manafort said. “My work for Mr. Deripaska did not involve representing Russian political interests.”

Deripaska became one of Russia’s wealthiest men under Putin, buying assets abroad in ways widely perceived to benefit the Kremlin’s interests. US diplomatic cables from 2006 described Deripaska as “among the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis” and “a more-or-less permanent fixture on Putin’s trips abroad.”

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In response to questions about Manafort’s consulting firm, a spokesman for Deripaska in 2008 - at least three years after they began working together - said Deripaska had never hired the firm. Another Deripaska spokesman in Moscow last week declined to answer AP’s questions.

Manafort worked as Trump’s unpaid campaign chairman last year from March until August. Trump asked Manafort to resign after AP revealed that Manafort had orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation until 2014 on behalf of Ukraine’s ruling pro-Russian political party.

The newly obtained business records link Manafort more directly to Putin’s interests in the region. According to those records and people with direct knowledge of Manafort’s work for Deripaska, Manafort made plans to open an office in Moscow, and at least some of Manafort’s work in Ukraine was directed by Deripaska, not local political interests there. The Moscow office never opened.

Manafort has been a leading focus of the US intelligence investigation of Trump’s associates and Russia, according to a US official. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the investigation were confidential. Meanwhile, federal criminal prosecutors became interested in Manafort’s activities years ago as part of a broad investigation to recover stolen Ukraine assets after the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych there in early 2014. No U.S. criminal charges have ever been filed in the case.

FBI Director James Comey, in confirming to Congress the federal intelligence investigation this week, declined to say whether Manafort was a target. Manafort’s name was mentioned 28 times during the hearing of the House Intelligence Committee, mostly about his work in Ukraine. No one mentioned Deripaska.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday that Manafort “played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time” in the campaign, even though as Trump’s presidential campaign chairman he led it during the crucial run-up to the Republican National Convention.

Manafort and his associates remain in Trump’s orbit. Manafort told a colleague this year that he continues to speak with Trump by telephone. Manafort’s former business partner in eastern Europe, Rick Gates, has been seen inside the White House on a number of occasions. Gates has since helped plan Trump’s inauguration and now runs a nonprofit organization, America First Policies, to back the White House agenda.

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Gates, whose name does not appear in the documents, told the AP that he joined Manafort’s firm in 2006 and was aware Manafort had a relationship with Deripaska, but he was not aware of the work described in the memos. Gates said his work was focused on domestic US lobbying and political consulting in Ukraine at the time. He said he stopped working for Manafort’s firm in March 2016 when he joined Trump’s presidential campaign.

Manafort told Deripaska in 2005 that he was pushing policies as part of his work in Ukraine “at the highest levels of the U.S. government - the White House, Capitol Hill and the State Department,” according to the documents. He also said he had hired a “leading international law firm with close ties to President Bush to support our client’s interests,” but he did not identify the firm. Manafort also said he was employing unidentified legal experts for the effort at leading universities and think tanks, including Duke University, New York University and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Manafort did not disclose details about the lobbying work to the Justice Department during the period the contract was in place.

Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, people who lobby in the US on behalf of foreign political leaders or political parties must provide detailed reports about their actions to the department. Willfully failing to register is a felony and can result in up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, though the government rarely files criminal charges.

Deripaska owns Basic Element Co, which employs 200,000 people worldwide in the agriculture, aviation, construction, energy, financial services, insurance and manufacturing industries, and he runs one of the world’s largest aluminum companies. Forbes estimated his net worth at $5.2 billion. How much Deripaska paid Manafort in total is not clear, but people familiar with the relationship said money transfers to Manafort amounted to tens of millions of dollars and continued through at least 2009. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the secret payments publicly.

In strategy memos, Manafort proposed that Deripaska and Putin would benefit from lobbying Western governments, especially the US, to allow oligarchs to keep possession of formerly state-owned assets in Ukraine. He proposed building “long term relationships” with Western journalists and a variety of measures to improve recruitment, communications and financial planning by pro-Russian parties in the region.

Manafort proposed extending his existing work in eastern Europe to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Georgia, where he pledged to bolster the legitimacy of governments friendly to Putin and undercut anti-Russian figures through political campaigns, nonprofit front groups and media operations.

For the $10 million contract, Manafort did not use his public-facing consulting firm, Davis Manafort. Instead, he used a company, LOAV Ltd., that he had registered in Delaware in 1992. He listed LOAV as having the same address of his lobbying and consulting firms in Alexandria, Virginia. In other records, LOAV’s address was listed as Manafort’s home, also in Alexandria. Manafort sold the home in July 2015 for $1.4 million. He now owns an apartment in Trump Tower in New York, as well as other properties in Florida and New York.

One strategy memo to Deripaska was written by Manafort and Rick Davis, his business partner at the time. In written responses to the AP, Davis said he did not know that his firm had proposed a plan to covertly promote the interests of the Russian government.

Davis said he believes Manafort used his name without his permission on the strategy memo. “My name was on every piece of stationery used by the company and in every memo prior to 2006. It does not mean I had anything to do with the memo described,” Davis said. He took a leave of absence from the firm in late 2006 to work on John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Manafort’s work with Deripaska continued for years, though they had a falling out laid bare in 2014 in a Cayman Islands bankruptcy court. The billionaire gave Manafort nearly $19 million to invest in a Ukrainian TV company called Black Sea Cable, according to legal filings by Deripaska’s representatives. It said that after taking the money, Manafort and his associates stopped responding to Deripaska’s queries about how the funds had been used.

Early in the 2016 presidential campaign, Deripaska’s representatives openly accused Manafort of fraud and pledged to recover the money from him. After Trump earned the nomination, Deripaska’s representatives said they would no longer discuss the case.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JEFF HORWITZ and CHAD DAY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4400358.1490183650!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4400358.1490183650!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman secretly worked for a Russian billionaire, according to reports. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman secretly worked for a Russian billionaire, according to reports. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4400358.1490183650!/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/charlie-bevan-eat-into-poverty-with-malawi-rice-1-4397670","id":"1.4397670","articleHeadline": "Charlie Bevan: Eat into poverty with Malawi rice","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490054726000 ,"articleLead": "

As the Malawian proverb goes, “wali na charo wali na moyo” (the one who has land has life). Across Malawi, smallholder farmers proudly and ­diligently work their land, seeking a living for themselves and their ­children. However, low prices, lack of access to markets and unpredictable weather leave farmers vulnerable to food insecurity, with limited opportunities to make a living.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4397668.1490010227!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Smallholder farmers tending their fields in Malawi"} ,"articleBody": "

The Scotland Malawi Partnership’s #BuyMalawian2017 ­campaign is raising awareness of great tasting Malawian products, opening up ­Scottish markets to Malawian ­producers and, in turn, helping to support Malawian farmers, entrepreneurs and businesses.

As a country of smallholder farmers, a strong agricultural economy in Malawi is key to its development. Malawi has a population of around 17 million people, 80 per cent of them farmers. With roughly half the population living on less than £1 a day, it remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

While improvements in basic services such as health and education are required, for any such developments to be sustained there is an urgent need for Malawi to grow and diversify its own economy.

When Dr David Livingstone first arrived in what became Malawi more than 150 years ago, beginning the Scotland-Malawi friendship, he aimed to help support sustainable economic development by opening new trade routes and fighting against the slave trade.

The slave trade in Malawi may, thankfully, be largely consigned to history but the need for a strong Malawian economy is more important than ever. We in Scotland look to continue this mission in 2017 by helping build Scottish markets for Malawian products.

The University of Edinburgh ­estimates that there are more than 94,000 Scots involved in civic links with Malawi and these benefit 4 million Malawians and 300,000 Scots annually. Separate research ­suggests 46 per cent of Scots can name a friend or family member with a connection to Malawi. With such strong links the benefits go both ways.

Some of the producers set to gain from a growing Scottish market are the rice farmers of northern Malawi. Since 2009, Just Trading Scotland, a Scotland Malawi Partnership ­member, has been working hard to connect Malawian producers with the Scottish market through the importing of Kilombero rice. Kilombero rice is one of Africa’s premium products. In 2015 it won a Good Taste Award and has been ­commended for its richness of taste and absorbency of flavour.

By working in partnership with smallholder farmer associations in Malawi, by buying their rice at a fair price and selling to ­consumers in Scotland, JTS has ­enabled the farmers to invest in their land and in their families.

Howard Msukwa, Vice-Chairperson of Kaporo Smallholder Farmers Association, Karonga, said: “Before we started participating in fair trade, through JTS, prices of rice were very, very low.

“After we started dealing with JTS we can see some improvements…we were able to get some sort of premium from the sales of the rice in Scotland…pay for secondary education for some orphans…if the market can expand we can do even more!”

While rice farming is still very tough work, especially in the absence of farming machinery, assurance of a fair premium enables the farmers to invest in the futures of their families and the wider community. This year, for example, representatives from one farming association in Malawi have raised enough income to be able to invest in building their very own community school.

Buying Malawi’s Kilombero rice has never been so easy. Last year the Co-op in Scotland became the first national retailer to stock Kilombero rice in more than 200 stores.

If the opportunity to do good while enjoying great tasting food isn’t enough to convince you to Buy Malawian, perhaps the chance to ­visit “the warm heart of Africa” might? The Scotland Malawi Partnership is running a photo competition with a grand prize of a free holiday for two to Malawi, including return flights with Kenya Airways.

Visit the Scotland Malawi Partnership website for ­further details. The competition closes on 9 April. So, please join in with the Scotland ­Malawi Partnership and Buy Malawian. The way we choose to spend our money really does change lives.

Charlie Bevan, Scotland Malawi Partnership.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4397668.1490010227!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4397668.1490010227!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Smallholder farmers tending their fields in Malawi","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Smallholder farmers tending their fields in Malawi","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4397668.1490010227!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4397669.1490010233!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4397669.1490010233!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Charlie Bevan, Scotland Malawi Partnership.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Charlie Bevan, Scotland Malawi Partnership.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4397669.1490010233!/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/fbi-reveals-investigation-into-trump-s-links-with-russia-1-4398341","id":"1.4398341","articleHeadline": "FBI reveals investigation into Trump’s links with Russia","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1490048160000 ,"articleLead": "

FBI director James Comey has confirmed an investigation is under way into possible links between Russia and associates of US president Donald Trump, as part of a wider probe into Russian interference in the presidential election.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4398340.1490048158!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "FBI director James Comey, left, and National Security Agency director Michael Rogers at the Congressional hearing. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The announcement yesterday was the first public confirmation of an investigation which began last summer, and it comes at the outset of Mr Comey’s opening statement to a congressional hearing examining Russian meddling and possible connections between Moscow and Mr Trump’s campaign.

The director acknowledged that the FBI does not ordinarily discuss ongoing investigations, but said he has been authorised to do so given the extreme public interest in this case.

He told the House intelligence committee: “This work is very complex, and there is no way for me to give you a timetable for when it will be done.”

Under questioning from the committee’s top Democrat, Adam Schiff, he also publicly contradicted a series of tweets from Mr Trump which declared the Republican candidate’s phones had been ordered tapped by then-president Barack Obama during the campaign.

Mr Comey said: “I have no confirmation that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI.”

The same was true, he added, of the US justice department.

He also disputed allegations that British intelligence services were involved in the wiretapping.

Mr Comey was the latest US government official to reject Mr Trump’s claims, made without any evidence, that Mr Obama had wiretapped his New York skyscraper during the campaign.

Devin Nunes, a California Republican and chairman of the House intelligence committee, also rejected the assertion earlier in the hearing.

Mr Comey was testifying along with National Security Agency director Michael Rogers.

Mr Trump took to Twitter before the hearing began, accusing Democrats of making up allegations about his campaign associates’ contact with Russia during the election.

He said Congress and the FBI should be going after media leaks – and maybe even Hillary Clinton – instead.

“The real story that Congress, the FBI and others should be looking into is the leaking of Classified information. Must find leaker now!” Mr Trump tweeted early yesterday as news coverage on the Russia allegations dominated news bulletins.

Mr Trump also suggested that Mrs Clinton’s campaign was in contact with Russia and had possibly thwarted a federal investigation.

US intelligence officials have not publicly raised the possibility of contacts between the Clintons and Moscow.

Officials investigating the matter have said they believe Moscow had hacked into Democrats’ computers in a bid to help Mr Trump’s election bid.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Margaret Neighbour"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4398340.1490048158!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4398340.1490048158!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "FBI director James Comey, left, and National Security Agency director Michael Rogers at the Congressional hearing. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "FBI director James Comey, left, and National Security Agency director Michael Rogers at the Congressional hearing. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4398340.1490048158!/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/kim-kardashian-west-feared-paris-robbers-would-rape-and-kill-her-1-4397405","id":"1.4397405","articleHeadline": "Kim Kardashian West feared Paris robbers would rape and kill her","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1489992571000 ,"articleLead": "

Kim Kardashian West said she thought she was going to be raped and killed by armed robbers when she was held at gunpoint in Paris.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4397404.1489992563!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kim Kardashian West who has recalled the harrowing moment she tried to call her bodyguard for help as robbers broke into her flat in Paris. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The reality TV star said she “mentally prepped” herself after fearing she would be sexually assaulted as she spoke about her ordeal on Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

The 36-year-old, who is married to rapper Kanye West, was alone in a private residence in the French capital when she was robbed of jewellery worth several million dollars by a group of masked men in October.

On the latest episode of the reality show, which aired in the US on Sunday, a tearful Kardashian West said she was in bed when robbers dressed in police uniforms broke into the property.

“He duck tapes my face and my mouth to get me to not yell or anything,” she said.

“He grabs my legs and I had no clothes on under.

“He pulled me towards him at the front of the bed and I thought: ‘OK this is the moment they’re going to rape me.’

“I fully mentally prepped myself, and then he didn’t and he duck-tapped my legs together.

“Then he had the gun up to me and I just knew that was the moment they’re totally going to shoot me in the head.”

The mother-of-two said she prayed that her sister Kourtney would have “a normal life after she sees my dead body on the bed”.

“I have a family, I have my kids, my husband, my mum,” she added.

“I’m not going to make it out of here. I know how these things go.

Kardashian West said she pleaded “let me live” to the robbers as the hotel concierge, who was also held at gunpoint, acted as an interpreter.

“Tell them I have babies at home. Please I have a family, let me live.”

After the gang demanded she hand over her four million dollar (£3.2 million) ring, Kardashian West said they wanted money but she told them: “I don’t have any money.”

“They dragged me out on to the hallway on top of the stairs,” she added.

“That’s when I saw the gun, like clear as day.

“I was kind of looking at the gun, looking down back at the stairs.”

Speaking to her sisters Khloe and Kourtney, Kardashian West she had a “split second” to decide whether to try to escape.

“Am I going to run down the stairs and either be shot in the back? It makes me so upset to think about it,” she said.

“Either they’re going to shoot me in the back, or if I make it and they don’t, if the elevator does not open in time, or the stairs are locked, then like I’m f*****.

“There’s no way out.”

Kardashian West said the robbers, who she believed had been following her actions on social media, put her in a bathroom and ran off.

During the show, West told his wife: “If anything happened to you, I wouldn’t have stopped until they were dead.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4397404.1489992563!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4397404.1489992563!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kim Kardashian West who has recalled the harrowing moment she tried to call her bodyguard for help as robbers broke into her flat in Paris. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kim Kardashian West who has recalled the harrowing moment she tried to call her bodyguard for help as robbers broke into her flat in Paris. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4397404.1489992563!/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/drugs-and-alcohol-found-in-blood-of-paris-attacker-1-4397403","id":"1.4397403","articleHeadline": "Drugs and alcohol found in blood of Paris attacker","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1489992051000 ,"articleLead": "

A suspected Islamic extremist took drugs and drank alcohol before he took a soldier hostage at Paris’ Orly Airport and was shot dead by her fellow patrolmen.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4397402.1489992043!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "French Red Cross workers stand by as travellers are evacuated from Paris' Orly airport. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The Paris prosecutors’ office said toxicology tests conducted as part of a post-mortem found traces of cocaine and cannabis in the blood of the suspect, Ziyed Ben Belgacem.

He also had 0.93 grams of alcohol per litre of blood when he died on Saturday, the prosecutors’ office said. That is nearly twice the legal limit for driving in France.

The 39-year-old Frenchman with a long criminal record of drugs and robbery offences stopped at a bar in the early hours of Saturday morning, around four hours before he first fired bird shot at traffic police.

Then, 90 minutes later, he attacked the military patrol at Paris’ Orly Airport, causing panic and the shutdown of the French capital’s second-biggest airport.

Yelling that he wanted to kill and die for Allah, Belgacem wrestled away a soldier’s assault rifle but was shot dead by two other soldiers before he could fire the military-grade weapon in Orly’s busy South Terminal.

In an interview with French radio Europe 1, a man identified as the suspect’s father said Belgacem was not a practising Muslim and drank alcohol.

He said: “My son was never a terrorist. He never attended prayer. He drank. But under the effects of alcohol and cannabis, this is where one ends up.”

Europe 1 did not give the name of the father, who was released from police custody overnight on Saturday. Belgacem’s brother and a cousin were released later on Sunday.

Belgacem called his father and brother early on Saturday morning, minutes after he fired at a police traffic patrol, injuring an officer in the face, to say that he had made a stupid mistake, according to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins.

The man identified as Belgacem’s father said on Europe 1: “He called me at seven, eight in the morning and said: ‘There you go, Papa.’

“He was extremely angry, even his mother couldn’t understand him. He told me: ‘I ask for your forgiveness. I’ve screwed up with a gendarme.’”

A subsequent police search of Belgacem’s flat found cocaine, Mr Molins said.

Belgacem had been flagged as having been radicalised during a spell in detention in 2011-2012, the prosecutor said.

His house was among dozens searched in November 2015 in the immediate aftermath of suicide bomb-and-gun attacks that killed 130 people in Paris.

The Orly attack forced both of the airport’s terminals to shut down and evacuate, sent passengers and workers fleeing in panic and trapped hundreds of others aboard planes that had just landed.

Mr Molins said that according to the soldiers, the attacker yelled: “Put down your weapons! Put your hands on your head! I am here to die for Allah. Whatever happens, there will be deaths.”

The drama, which caused no injuries except for the light wound to the traffic police officer, further shocked France, which remains under a state of emergency after attacks in the past two years that have killed 235 people.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4397402.1489992043!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4397402.1489992043!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "French Red Cross workers stand by as travellers are evacuated from Paris' Orly airport. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "French Red Cross workers stand by as travellers are evacuated from Paris' Orly airport. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4397402.1489992043!/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/chuck-berry-rock-n-roll-great-dies-at-90-1-4396984","id":"1.4396984","articleHeadline": "Chuck Berry, rock ‘n’ roll great, dies at 90","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1489945821000 ,"articleLead": "

Rock ‘n’ roll musician Chuck Berry has died after being found unresponsive at his home, police said. He was 90.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4396982.1489945812!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chuck Berry performs during the "Rose Ball" in Monaco in 2009. Picture: AP"} ,"articleBody": "

St Charles County Police Department, in Missouri, said paramedics tried to administer “lifesaving techniques” on the singer and guitarist but he could not be revived.

Police responded to calls to a medical emergency at his home at around 12.40pm (5.40pm GMT) on Saturday.

A spokeswoman said: “Inside the home, first responders observed an unresponsive man and immediately administered lifesaving techniques. Unfortunately, the 90-year-old man could not be revived and was pronounced deceased at 1.26pm.

“The St Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr, better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry.

“The family requests privacy during this time of bereavement.”

The music industry reacted with sadness.

The Jacksons said on Twitter: “Chuck Berry merged blues & swing into the phenomenon of early rock ‘n’ roll. In music, he cast one of the longest shadows. Thank You Chuck.”

Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale said: “So sad to share the news of the exceptional Chuck Berry’s passing...RIP Chuck...”

Epic Records chairman LA Reid said: “Music was changed forever by Chuck Berry’s indescribable impact. What a great life in music.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4396982.1489945812!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4396982.1489945812!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Chuck Berry performs during the "Rose Ball" in Monaco in 2009. Picture: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chuck Berry performs during the "Rose Ball" in Monaco in 2009. Picture: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4396982.1489945812!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4396983.1489945815!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4396983.1489945815!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Chuck Berry performs during a concert celebration for his 60th birthday at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chuck Berry performs during a concert celebration for his 60th birthday at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4396983.1489945815!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1489945472134"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/north-korea-conduct-rocket-test-in-space-programme-breakthrough-1-4397036","id":"1.4397036","articleHeadline": "North Korea conduct rocket test in ‘space programme’ breakthrough","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1489915222000 ,"articleLead": "

North Korea has tested a new type of high-thrust engine to propel its rockets.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4397035.1489915216!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "North Korea has conducted a ground test of a new type of high-thrust rocket engine that leader Kim Jong Un is calling a revolutionary breakthrough for the country's space program. Picture; AP"} ,"articleBody": "

Leader Kim Jong Un attended the test at the Sohae launch site, according to a report by the Korean Central News Agency.

It said the test was intended to confirm the engine’s thrust power and gauge the reliability of its control system and structural safety.

The report on Sunday said the test was a success.

It provided little detail but indicated the engine is to be used for North Korea’s space and satellite-launching programme.

North Korea is banned by the United Nations from conducting long-range missile tests.

But it claims its satellite programme is for peaceful use, a claim many in the US and elsewhere believe is questionable.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ERIC TALMADGE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4397035.1489915216!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4397035.1489915216!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "North Korea has conducted a ground test of a new type of high-thrust rocket engine that leader Kim Jong Un is calling a revolutionary breakthrough for the country's space program. Picture; AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "North Korea has conducted a ground test of a new type of high-thrust rocket engine that leader Kim Jong Un is calling a revolutionary breakthrough for the country's space program. Picture; AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4397035.1489915216!/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/man-shot-and-killed-trying-to-grab-soldier-s-gun-at-paris-airport-1-4396544","id":"1.4396544","articleHeadline": "Man shot and killed trying to grab soldier’s gun at Paris airport","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1489861423000 ,"articleLead": "

French soldiers have shot and killed a man who wrestled a colleague to the ground and tried to steal her rifle at Orly Airport in Paris.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4396861.1489861417!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Travellers wait outside the Orly airport, south of Paris, as the airport was put on lockdown."} ,"articleBody": "

The incident forced the busy terminals to close and evacuate. Hundreds of passengers were trapped aboard flights that had just landed.

The 39-year-old Frenchman killed first fired bird shot at police during an early morning traffic stop before speeding away and heading for the airport south of Paris.

Authorities say he had a long criminal record and was previously flagged for possible radicalism.

In the public area of the airport’s South Terminal, the man wrestled the soldier, on foot patrol, and tried to snatch away her rifle, authorities said.

The French defence minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said the patrol’s other two members opened fire. He said the soldier managed to keep hold of her weapon.

“Her two comrades thought it was necessary - and they were right - to open fire to protect her and especially to protect all the people who were around,” Mr Le Drian said.

The attack further rattled France, which remains under a state of emergency after attacks over the past two years that have killed 235 people.

Witnesses described panicked bystanders fleeing, flights halting, traffic chaos and planes under lockdown.

French authorities, however, stressed that security planning - reinforced across the country in the wake of repeated attacks - worked well.

The soldier was “psychologically shocked” but unhurt by the “rapid and violent” assault, said Colonel Benoit Brulon, a spokesman for the military force that patrols public sites in France.

“We’d already registered our bags when we saw a soldier pointing his gun at the attacker who was holding another soldier hostage,” said Pascal Menniti.

Authorities said at least 3,000 people were evacuated from the airport.

Hundreds of passengers were also confined for hours aboard 13 flights, and 15 other flights were diverted to Charles de Gaulle, the airport authority said.

An official connected to the investigation confirmed French media reports that identified the attacker as Ziyed Ben Belgacem, born in France in 1978.

After the airport attack, his father and brother were detained by police for questioning.

The anti-terrorism section of the Paris prosecutors’ office immediately took over the investigation. It said the attacker had a record of robbery and drug offences.

He did not appear in a French government database of people considered potential threats to national security but prosecutors said he had already crossed authorities’ radar for suspected Islamic extremism.

His house was among scores searched in November 2015 in the aftermath of suicide bomb-and-gun attacks that killed 130 people in Paris. Those searches targeted people with suspected radical leanings.

French president Francois Hollande said investigators will determine whether the attacker “had a terrorist plot behind him”.

He ruled out any link between the attack and the French presidential election, noting the country has been battling extremist threats for years.

About 90 minutes before the airport attack at 8.30am, the man was stopped by a police patrol in northern Paris because he was driving too fast, police said.

As he was showing his ID papers, the man pulled out a gun and fired bird shot at the three officers, injuring one of them in the face, police said.

Police fired back and the man fled in his car. That traffic stop at 6.50am was at Garges-les-Gonesse, north of Paris near Le Bourget airport.

The man later abandoned that vehicle at Vitry, south of Paris, and stole another at gunpoint, police said. That car was later found at Orly Airport.

A witness identified only as Dominque told BFM Television that the attacker held the soldier by the throat and held her arm and her weapon.

“We saw it was a serious situation, so we escaped,” he said. “We went down the stairs and right after we heard two gunshots.”

Taxi driver Youssef Mouhajra was at Orly when he heard shots, which he first thought were just a warning.

“We have become accustomed to this kind of warning, and to having the soldiers there,” he said.

Then he saw people fleeing the terminal.

“I told (the passengers) let’s get out of here,” he said. As he drove away, he saw soldiers and police rushing toward the airport.

The military patrol was part of the Sentinelle force installed around France to protect sensitive sites after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks.

Saturday was at least the fourth time that Sentinelle soldiers have been targeted since the force was created.

It was set up after the deadly attack in January 2015 on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris and reinforced after the assaults that left 130 people dead in Paris on November 13 2015.

The shooting comes after a similar incident last month at the Louvre Museum in Paris in which an Egyptian man attacked soldiers guarding the site. He was shot and wounded and taken into custody.

It also comes just days before the first anniversary of the March 22 attacks on the Brussels airport and subway that killed 32 people and wounded hundreds of others.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4396861.1489861417!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4396861.1489861417!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Travellers wait outside the Orly airport, south of Paris, as the airport was put on lockdown.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Travellers wait outside the Orly airport, south of Paris, as the airport was put on lockdown.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4396861.1489861417!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4396543.1489837566!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4396543.1489837566!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A man was shot to death Saturday after trying to seize the weapon of a soldier guarding Paris' Orly Airport, prompting a partial evacuation of the terminal, police said. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A man was shot to death Saturday after trying to seize the weapon of a soldier guarding Paris' Orly Airport, prompting a partial evacuation of the terminal, police said. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4396543.1489837566!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/huge-funeral-for-irish-coastguard-helicopter-crash-pilot-1-4396609","id":"1.4396609","articleHeadline": "Huge funeral for Irish coastguard helicopter crash pilot","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1489843509000 ,"articleLead": "

The captain of a Coast Guard helicopter that crashed into the Atlantic during a rescue mission was a brave hero, an adoring mother and a champion of the underdog, her funeral Mass has heard.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4396607.1489843937!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Members of the Coast Guard form a guard of honour as the coffin arrives for the funeral of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick (Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire)"} ,"articleBody": "

Mother-of-one Dara Fitzpatrick, 45, was among the four crew members of a Sikorsky S92 that disappeared without warning off Co Mayo, in the west of Ireland, on Tuesday.

Fr Andrew O’ Sullivan told a packed St Patrick’s Church, Glencullen, in the Dublin mountains, that few funerals were “as profoundly sad and sorrowful” as Ms Fitzpatrick’s.

“We could scarcely believe it then, we can scarcely believe it now,” he said.

“We have lost a talented young woman, who along with her colleagues lived good and generous lives and did so much in helping others in their time of need.”

He added: “How these extraordinary people put their own lives at risk in order to save others - what bravery. And they truly are heroes.”

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Draped in an Irish tricolour, Ms Fitzpatrick’s coffin was carried into the small granite church through a uniformed guard of honour amid hundreds of mourners who spilled out into the wet and windswept churchyard.

Fr O’Sullivan said everyone was praying the “nightmare of waiting may soon be over” for the families of the other crew members - Captain Mark Duffy, Winchman Ciaran Smith and Winch Operator Paul Ormsby - who remain missing.

Ms Fitzpatrick, who “adored” her three-year-old son, was remembered as an adventurer, great horsewoman and hillwalker who was “fierecly loyal” to her family. She had a “goofy” sense of humour, was fun-loving yet quite shy and loved to cook - being renowned for making “a mean chocolate roulade”.

She also loved fashion, “most especially her Gucci boots and her Tom Ford perfume”.

“She was kind to her core and a champion of the underdog,” the parish priest told the service.

“The day Dara formally adopted Fionn was one of the happiest days of her life and that of her family.

“Fionn, now embodies Dara’s characteristics of family - he loves to and often instigates the family group hug. Dara adored Fionn.”

Uniformed Coast Guard officers, Naval Service and Air Corp staff, RNLI volunteers and other rescue workers from throughout the country travelled to bid their colleague a final farewell.

Follow @thescotsman for updates throughout the day

President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin were among the mourners.

Ms Fitzpatrick’s family take consolation that she lived life to the full and packed a lot in, Fr O’Sullivan said.

He added: “When a life is torn away from us, then we see that our friends, people, life, are all that matter.”

Ms Fitzpatrick is survived by son Fionn, parents John and Mary, sisters Niamh, Orla and Emer and brother Johnny.

A major search for her missing colleagues is focusing on a “three-hour window” to find the crashed helicopter amid fierce weather conditions.

Organisers hope a critically timed operation between low tides on Sunday will lead them to the aircraft and the bodies of the three men.

The search has been narrowed to a 100 metre by 80 metre section of the ocean around Blackrock lighthouse, around 13km offshore from Blacksod, where the aircraft was to land to refuel moments before it vanished.

The detection of a black box signal in that area has raised hopes that the bulk of the wreckage can be found along with the three remaining crew members.

The Dublin-based helicopter crew was providing cover for another Coast Guard helicopter involved in an early-morning evacuation of a crewman around 240km off the west coast.

It had flown directly to the scene from the Irish capital, travelled around 16km out to sea, then turned back towards land to refuel.

There was no indication of any danger moments before it vanished, with the crew’s final transmission: “Shortly landing at Blacksod.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4396607.1489843937!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4396607.1489843937!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Members of the Coast Guard form a guard of honour as the coffin arrives for the funeral of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick (Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Members of the Coast Guard form a guard of honour as the coffin arrives for the funeral of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick (Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4396607.1489843937!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4396608.1489843940!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4396608.1489843940!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dara Fitzpatrick (photo CHC/PA)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dara Fitzpatrick (photo CHC/PA)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4396608.1489843940!/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/trump-maintains-phone-tapping-claim-as-merkel-looks-askance-1-4396558","id":"1.4396558","articleHeadline": "Trump maintains phone tapping claim as Merkel looks askance","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1489835748000 ,"articleLead": "

President Donald Trump has defiantly refused to back down from his explosive claim that Barack Obama wiretapped his phones.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4396557.1489835645!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump is standing by his claims his phones were tapped by Barack Obama (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

But he sidestepped any blame for the White House decision to highlight an unverified report that Britain helped carry out the alleged surveillance.

In brushing off the diplomatic row with perhaps America’s closest ally, Mr Trump also revived another - the Obama administration’s monitoring of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s calls.

“At least we have something in common, perhaps,” Mr Trump quipped during a joint news conference with Merkel.

Mrs Merkel, who was making her first visit to the White House since Mr Trump took office, looked surprised by the president’s comment.

The Obama administration’s spying infuriated Germany at the time and risked damaging the US relationship with one of its most important European partners.

Mr Trump’s unproven recent allegations against his predecessor have left him increasingly isolated, with fellow Republican as well as Democratic politicians saying they have seen nothing from intelligence agencies to support his claim.

But Mr Trump, who rarely admits he is wrong, has been unmoved, leaving his advisers in the untenable position of defending the president without any credible evidence.

On Thursday, spokesman Sean Spicer turned to a Fox News analyst’s contention that GCHQ, the British electronic intelligence agency, had helped Mr Obama wiretap Mr Trump.

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith said on Friday that the network could not independently verify the reports from Andrew Napolitano, a former judge and commentator who has met Mr Trump.

The GCHQ vigorously denied the charges in a rare public statement, saying the report was “utterly ridiculous and should be ignored”.

According to a Western diplomat, Britain’s ambassador to Washington, Kim Darroch, had told the White House on Tuesday that Mr Napolitano’s assertions were not true.

Still, it was among several news reports Mr Spicer referenced in his briefing on Thursday as part of an angry defence of the president’s claims.

Mr Darroch and other British officials complained directly to White House officials after the episode, and Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said it had been assured the White House would not repeat the allegations.

Mr Spicer was very apologetic when confronted by Mr Darroch at a White House dinner on Thursday, the Western diplomat said.

But Mr Trump himself offered no public apologies and suggested there was nothing wrong with the White House repeating what it had heard.

“All we did was quote a certain very talented legal mind who was the one responsible for saying that on television,” Mr Trump said during Friday’s news conference.

“You shouldn’t be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox.”

Mr Spicer was also defiant on Friday, telling reporters: “I don’t think we regret anything.”

A White House official confirmed that Mr Darroch and Mrs May’s national security adviser, Mark Lyall Grant, expressed concerns to both Mr Spicer and Mr Trump’s national security adviser, HR McMaster.

The US and UK are members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, which prohibits members from spying on each other. Australia, Canada and New Zealand are the other members.

Some Republicans in Congress said Mr Trump should retract his claims, with Charlie Dent calling the accusation against Britain “inexplicable” and Mr Trump’s accusation against Mr Obama unfounded.

He said: “A president only has so much political capital to expend and so much moral authority as well, and so any time your credibility takes a hit, I think in many ways it weakens the officeholder.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Julie Pace and Vivian Salama"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4396557.1489835645!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4396557.1489835645!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Donald Trump is standing by his claims his phones were tapped by Barack Obama (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump is standing by his claims his phones were tapped by Barack Obama (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4396557.1489835645!/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/david-leonhardt-the-original-lie-about-obamacare-1-4396479","id":"1.4396479","articleHeadline": "David Leonhardt: The original lie about Obamacare","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1489816800000 ,"articleLead": "

Republican leaders began believing their own hype and set out to solve a problem that doesn’t exist, says David Leonhardt

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4396478.1489785823!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Republicans have landed in a mess through their opposition to Obamacare, and have run out of political ground."} ,"articleBody": "

You hear it from Republicans, pundits and even some Democrats. It’s often said in a tone of regret: I wish Obama had done health reform in a bipartisan way, rather than jamming through a partisan bill.

The lament seems to have the ring of truth, given that not a single Republican in Congress voted for Obamacare. Yet it is false - demonstrably so.

That it’s nonetheless stuck helps explain how the Republicans have landed in such a mess on health care. The Congressional Budget Office released a jaw-dropping report this week estimating that the Republican health plan would take insurance from 24 million people, many of them Republican voters, and raise medical costs for 
others. The bill effectively rescinds benefits for the elderly, poor, sick and middle class, and funnels the money to the rich, via tax cuts.

The AARP doesn’t like the bill, nor do groups representing doctors, nurses, hospitals, the disabled and people with cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Other than that, Mrs Lincoln, it’s a great bill.

If Republicans still pass it, they will take political ownership of the flawed U.S. health care system - after making it much more flawed. Senator Tom Cotton has said the bill is so bad that it would “put the House majority at risk next year.” On the other hand, if Republicans fail to pass their own bill, they’ll look weak and incompetent, which is also not a good look to voters.

How did the party’s leaders put themselves in this position? The short answer is that they began believing their own hype and set out to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

Obamacare obviously has flaws. Most important, some of its insurance markets - created to sell coverage to the uninsured - aren’t functioning well enough. Alas, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump are not trying to fix that problem. They’re trying to fix a fictional one: saving America from a partisan, socialistic big-government takeover of health care.

To understand why that description is wrong, it helps to recall some history. Democratic attempts to cover the uninsured stretch back almost a century. But opposition to universal government-provided insurance was always too strong. Even Lyndon Johnson, with big congressional majorities, could pass programs only for the elderly and the poor - over intense opposition that equated Medicare with the death of capitalism.

So Democrats slowly moved their proposals to the right,relying more on private insurance rather than government programs. As they shifted, though, Republicans shifted even farther right. Bill Clinton’s plan was quite moderate but still couldn’t pass.

When Barack Obama ran for president, he faced a choice. He could continue moving the party to the centre or tack back to the left. The second option would have focused on government programs, like expanding Medicare to start at age 55.

But Obama and his team thought a plan that mixed government and markets - farther to the right of Clinton’s -could cover millions of people and had a realistic chance of passing.

They embarked on a bipartisan approach. They borrowed from Mitt Romney’s plan in Massachusetts, gave a big role to a bipartisan Senate working group, incorporated conservative ideas and won initial support from some Republicans. The bill also won over groups that had long blocked reform, like the American Medical Association.

But congressional Republicans ultimately decided that opposing any bill, regardless of its substance, was in their political interest. The consultant Frank Luntz wrote an influential memo in 2009 advising Republicans to talk positively about “reform” while also opposing actual solutions. McConnell, the Senate leader, persuaded his colleagues that they could make Obama look bad by denying him bipartisan cover.

At that point, Obama faced a second choice - between forging ahead with a substantively bipartisan bill and forgetting about covering the uninsured. The kumbaya plan for which pundits now wax nostalgic was not an option.

The reason is simple enough: Obamacare is the bipartisan version of health reform. It accomplishes a liberal end through conservative means and is much closer to the plan conservatives favored a few decades ago than the one liberals did. “It was the ultimate troll,” as Michael Anne Kyle of Harvard Business School put it, “for Obama to pass Republican health reform.”

Today’s Republican Party has moved so far to the right that it no longer supports any plan that covers the uninsured. Of course, Republican leaders are not willing to say as much, because they know how unpopular that position is. Having run out of political ground, Ryan, McConnell and Trump have had to invent the notion of a socialistic Obamacare that they will repeal and replace with ... something great! This week they were also left to pretend that the Budget Office report was something less than a disaster.

Their approach to Obamacare has worked quite nicely for them, until now. Lying can be an effective political tactic. Believing your own alternative facts, however, is usually not so smart.

© 2017 New York Times News Service

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID LEONHARDT"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4396478.1489785823!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4396478.1489785823!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Republicans have landed in a mess through their opposition to Obamacare, and have run out of political ground.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Republicans have landed in a mess through their opposition to Obamacare, and have run out of political ground.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4396478.1489785823!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}