{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"world","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/insight-truth-and-the-troll-factory-1-4617294","id":"1.4617294","articleHeadline": "Insight: Truth and the Troll Factory","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511046423000 ,"articleLead": "

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Chris Marshall"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617291.1511043485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617291.1511043485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Graffiti of Putin in Crimea. Picture: Yuri Lashov/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Graffiti of Putin in Crimea. Picture: Yuri Lashov/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617291.1511043485!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617292.1511043492!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617292.1511043492!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Carolyn Scott and Jack Foster on air on Sputnik radio.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Carolyn Scott and Jack Foster on air on Sputnik radio.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617292.1511043492!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4617293.1511043493!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4617293.1511043493!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alex Salmond hosts his new show on RT","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alex Salmond hosts his new show on RT","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4617293.1511043493!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/thousands-take-to-streets-in-final-push-to-remove-mugabe-1-4616824","id":"1.4616824","articleHeadline": "Thousands take to streets in final push to remove Mugabe","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1511003471000 ,"articleLead": "

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marchers handed flags to soldiers, who accepted and waved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616823.1511003464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616823.1511003464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Protesters hold posters asking President Mugabe to step down. Picture; AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Protesters hold posters asking President Mugabe to step down. Picture; AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616823.1511003464!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/jane-bradley-how-the-myth-of-bad-british-food-was-born-1-4616594","id":"1.4616594","articleHeadline": "Jane Bradley: How the myth of bad British food was born","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510984800000 ,"articleLead": "

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jane Bradley"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616593.1510948244!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616593.1510948244!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scots have a reputation for having a bad diet, but this country has some of the finest produce (Picture: Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scots have a reputation for having a bad diet, but this country has some of the finest produce (Picture: Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616593.1510948244!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/huge-number-of-parasites-found-in-north-korea-defector-1-4616424","id":"1.4616424","articleHeadline": "Huge number of parasites found in North Korea defector","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510933946000 ,"articleLead": "

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

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

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

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

READ MORE: North Korea fires second missile over Japan

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

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

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

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

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

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4616423.1510933940!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4616423.1510933940!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dr Lee Cook-jong. Picture: Getty.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dr Lee Cook-jong. Picture: Getty.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4616423.1510933940!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/boris-johnson-to-discuss-global-issues-with-ireland-s-foreign-minister-1-4615882","id":"1.4615882","articleHeadline": "Boris Johnson to discuss global issues with Ireland’s foreign minister","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510909674000 ,"articleLead": "

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will hold talks on Friday with Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4615881.1510909837!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, right, meets with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney at Iveagh House in Dublin. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

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

The pair will discuss global issues and human rights at a breakfast meeting in Dublin as part of Mr Johnson’s day trip to the city.

It is expected that Brexit will be raised although the issue is not on the formal talks agenda as there are ongoing contacts between the two governments, including with Brexit Secretary David Davis.

The priorities for the discussions are global affairs that Ireland and the UK cooperate on and how those relations will look in the future.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said: “It is a meeting about bilateral affairs and international relations including Africa and the Middle East.”

It is understood Mr Coveney will be keen to stress the need to maintain the uniquely close economic, political, cultural and people-to-people links Britain and Ireland share and the practical ways in which these relations can be developed.

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

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "RUSSELL JACKSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4615881.1510909837!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4615881.1510909837!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, right, meets with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney at Iveagh House in Dublin. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, right, meets with Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney at Iveagh House in Dublin. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4615881.1510909837!/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/british-explorer-who-went-missing-safe-well-and-healthy-1-4615723","id":"1.4615723","articleHeadline": "British explorer who went missing ‘safe, well and healthy’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510867785000 ,"articleLead": "

A British explorer who went missing on an expedition to reach a remote tribe in Papua New Guinea is “safe, well and healthy”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4615722.1510867781!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Benedict Allen has been found "safe, well and healthy". Picture: Martin Hartley/Jo Sarsby"} ,"articleBody": "

Benedict Allen, 57, who has no mobile phone or GPS device with him, was dropped by helicopter in the remote jungle three weeks ago.

He was hoping to reach the Yaifo, a tribe thought to be one of the last on Earth to have no contact with the outside world.

In a statement, his agent Jo Sarsby said: “At 5pm local time (PNG) Mr Keith Copley, the Coordinating Director for New Tribe Mission in Papua New Guinea confirmed in writing that Benedict Allen was safe, well and healthy and is presently located at a remote airstrip 20 miles northwest of Porgera, Enga Province.

“Confirmation on exact location coordinates are now being confirmed in order to arrange evacuation as soon as possible.”

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said Mr Allen had tracked “huge distances” to reach the remote airstrip.

“He’s requested rescue and efforts are under way to try and get him out,” Mr Gardner told BBC Breakfast.

Mr Gardner, who has joined Mr Allen on some of his expeditions, said he was “quite annoyed with him as a friend” for leaving without a plan.

“I’m sure he’s come back with an incredible story to tell which will be fascinating and he’ll regale audiences at the National Geographic Society and elsewhere but we could have done without this worry on his behalf,” he said.

It is likely that a helicopter will have to be sent to rescue Mr Allen as there is no proper runway for a light aircraft to land, he added.

Concerns were raised when Mr Allen, who was expected to begin his journey home at the weekend, failed to make a flight home via Hong Kong.

His wife, Lenka Allen, previously told the Daily Mail that their children - 10-year-old Natalya, Freddie, seven, and two-year-old Beatrice - were asking: “When’s Daddy coming home?”

In a blog post on his website in September, Mr Allen described the Yaifo as “one of the last people on the entire planet who are out of contact with our interconnected world”.

“Just like the good old days, I won’t be taking a sat phone, GPS or companion. Or anything else much,” he wrote.

“Because this is how I do my journeys of exploration. I grow older but no wiser, it seems.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Russell Jackson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4615722.1510867781!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4615722.1510867781!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Benedict Allen has been found "safe, well and healthy". Picture: Martin Hartley/Jo Sarsby","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Benedict Allen has been found "safe, well and healthy". Picture: Martin Hartley/Jo Sarsby","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4615722.1510867781!/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/cambodia-opposition-party-to-be-dissolved-in-blow-to-democracy-1-4615644","id":"1.4615644","articleHeadline": "Cambodia opposition party to be dissolved in blow to democracy","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510861142000 ,"articleLead": "

Cambodia’s Supreme Court ordered the main opposition party to be dissolved yesterday, dealing a crushing blow to democratic aspirations in the increasingly oppressive Southeast Asian state. The decision clears the way for the nation’s authoritarian leader to remain in power for years to come.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4615643.1510861137!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Security personnel guard the Supreme Court during its hearing in the crucial case to dissolve the country's main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party. Picture: AP Photo/Heng Sinith"} ,"articleBody": "

The verdict, which was widely expected, comes amid a growing push by the administration of Prime Minister Hun Sen to neutralize political opponents and silence critics ahead of elections due in July 2018.

Chief Judge Dith Munty, who is a senior ruling party member, announced the nine-member court’s unanimous ruling.

He said 118 opposition party members would also be banned from politics for the next five years, and the verdict could not be appealed. The government accuses the Cambodia National Rescue Party of plotting a coup and has called for its dissolution for weeks. The opposition staunchly denies the allegations and says they are politically motivated - a position backed by international rights groups and independent analysts who say no credible evidence has emerged to back the claims.

The party had been expected to pose a serious challenge in next year’s polls. During the last vote in 2013, it scored major gains in a tense race that saw Hun Sen narrowly retain office.

Since then, the opposition’s fortunes have ebbed dramatically.

Sam Rainsy, who led the party during that vote, went into exile in 2016 and faces a jail term for a criminal defamation conviction if he returns. The party’s current leader, Kem Sokha, has been imprisoned since September, charged with treason.

Amid deepening fears over the nation’s fate, more than 20 opposition politicians - about half of those with seats in Parliament - have also fled the country.

Mu Sochua, an opposition party vice president who is among those who have left, said the struggle for democracy was not over in Cambodia. Speaking in London just before the verdict, she said there were no plans to launch demonstrations immediately. “But in the heart, in our hearts, in our minds, in our spirits, in our souls, the fight for democracy will continue. It will not die.”

Amnesty International blasted the decision, calling it “a blatant act of political repression.” “This is yet more evidence of how the judiciary in Cambodia is essentially used as an arm of the executive and as a political tool to silence dissent,” said James Gomez, Amnesty International’s director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SOPHENG CHEANG"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4615643.1510861137!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4615643.1510861137!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Security personnel guard the Supreme Court during its hearing in the crucial case to dissolve the country's main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party. Picture: AP Photo/Heng Sinith","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Security personnel guard the Supreme Court during its hearing in the crucial case to dissolve the country's main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party. Picture: AP Photo/Heng Sinith","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4615643.1510861137!/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/lebanon-s-prime-minister-will-travel-to-france-after-resignation-1-4615638","id":"1.4615638","articleHeadline": "Lebanon’s prime minister will travel to France after resignation","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510860307000 ,"articleLead": "

Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri has accepted an invitation to come to France after his surprise resignation from Saudi Arabia nearly two weeks ago that stunned Lebanon and rattled the region, the French president’s office announced yesterday.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4615637.1510861180!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (L) during a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the latter's residence in the Saudi capital Riyadh. Picture: RANIA SANJAR/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

An official in President Emmanuel Macron’s office said Mr Hariri is expected in France in the coming days.

Lebanon’s president, Michel Aoun, welcomed Hariri’s decision to accept the invite, saying he hoped it “opened the door for a resolution” of the crisis.

“I wait for the return of president (of the council of ministers) Hariri to decide the next move regarding the government,” Mr Aoun said during a meeting with journalists.

Aoun had refused to accept Hariri’s resignation and accused the Saudis of holding him against his will. In his strongest statements yet about the crisis, Aoun said there was no reason for the prime minister not to return to Lebanon.

In Riyadh, Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir said the kingdom “rejected” allegations that it is holding Mr Hariri against his will.

“The accusation that the kingdom would hold a prime minister or a former prime minister is not true, especially a political ally like Saad Hariri,” Mr al-Jubeir said during a press conference with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian who is visiting Saudi Arabia. Mr Le Drian is expected to meet with Hariri later.

“I don’t know the source of these accusations. But they are rejected and are baseless and untrue,” Mr al-Jubeir said.

He said Mr Hariri is in Saudi Arabia according to his own will. “He leaves when he wants to,” he said.

Mr Hariri is a dual Saudi-Lebanese citizen.

Mr Hariri announced his resignation from Saudi Arabia nearly two weeks ago, citing concerns over the meddling of Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah in regional affairs. He also said he fears for his life.

Saudi Arabia is locked in a feud with Iran over regional influence. Both countries support different groups in Lebanon.

The resignation of Saudi-aligned Mr Hariri was seen as engineered by Saudi Arabia and raised concerns that it would drag Lebanon, with its delicate sectarian-based political system, into the battle for regional supremacy.

Hezbollah accused the kingdom of seeking to sow chaos in Lebanon.

Mr Al-Jubeir railed against Hezbollah, calling it a “first-class terrorist organisation” that should lay down its arms and respect Lebanon’s sovereignty.

“Hezbollah has kidnapped the Lebanese system,” he said.

France, Lebanon’s onetime colonial ruler, has been trying to mediate the crisis.

On Wednesday, Mr Macron invited Mr Hariri and his family to come to France, apparently as a way to put an end to allegations that the prime minister is being held against his will.

The announcement that Mr Hariri will head to France came after Mr Le Drian met the Saudi crown prince and the Saudi king. He also metMr Hariri at his home in the Saudi capital Riyadh yesterday.

On Wednesday, the front page of the daily Lebanese Al-Akhbar boasted: “Saudi loses,’ hailing the French for their proposal to end the deadlock.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGELA CHARLTON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4615637.1510861180!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4615637.1510861180!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (L) during a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the latter's residence in the Saudi capital Riyadh. Picture: RANIA SANJAR/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (L) during a meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the latter's residence in the Saudi capital Riyadh. Picture: RANIA SANJAR/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4615637.1510861180!/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/robert-mugabe-meets-south-africa-delegation-for-resolution-1-4615616","id":"1.4615616","articleHeadline": "Robert Mugabe meets South Africa delegation for resolution","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510857289000 ,"articleLead": "

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is meeting a South African delegation at his state house as negotiations pushed for a resolution to the political turmoil and the likely end to his decades-long rule.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4615614.1510857283!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe introduces his cabinet minister during his meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma. Picture: AP Photo/Themba Hadebe"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Robert Mugabe ‘fine’ as tanks on streets of Harare

South Africa President Jacob Zuma, speaking in parliament, said the political situation “very shortly will be becoming clear” but that it was too early to take any firm decision.

The talks include the military and, reportedly, the Catholic Church.

Seizing on the political limbo to speak out, civil society groups and opposition leaders urged Mr Mugabe to step aside after 37 years in power and for the country to transition into free and fair elections.

Mr Mugabe has been in military custody, reportedly with his wife, and there was no sign of the recently-fired deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, who fled the country last week.

The military remained in the streets of capital city Harare. Southern African regional officials were meeting in neighbouring Botswana on the crisis.

A joint statement by more than 100 civil society groups urged Mr Mugabe, 93, to peacefully step aside and asked the military to quickly restore order and respect the constitution.

One analyst said he believed the negotiations “have pretty much reached an end point” to get Mr Mugabe to step aside and that it was a “matter of hours or days”.

Knox Chitiyo, associate fellow with the Africa programme at Chatham House, warned speculation remains high but the aim was a peaceful, managed transition.

He said the military wants a dignified exit for Mr Mugabe, who has ruled since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who shared power with Mr Mugabe between 2009 and 2013, said the president must resign and that his party would participate in talks on a transitional mechanism if approached.

Joice Mujuru, a vice president who was fired in 2014, called for “free, fair and credible elections” following a transition arrangement that draws from a range of communities.

Evan Mawarire, the pastor whose #ThisFlag social media campaign last year led to the largest anti-government protests in a decade, asked: “Should we just sit and wait or shall we at least be part of this transition process?”

Across the country, Zimbabweans were enjoying freedoms they have not had in years.

Soldiers manning the few checkpoints on roads leading into downtown Harare greeted motorists with a smile, searching cars without hostilities and wishing motorists a safe journey.

Amid questions about the whereabouts of first lady Grace Mugabe, one Namibian newspaper, the New Era, reported that the country’s foreign minister denied she had fled there.

The US Embassy advised citizens in Zimbabwe to “limit unnecessary movements” as political uncertainty continues.

The UK Government also urged its citizens to avoid large gatherings and any demonstrations.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Russell Jackson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4615614.1510857283!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4615614.1510857283!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe introduces his cabinet minister during his meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma. Picture: AP Photo/Themba Hadebe","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe introduces his cabinet minister during his meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma. Picture: AP Photo/Themba Hadebe","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4615614.1510857283!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5649006310001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/mass-murderer-charles-manson-only-has-matter-of-time-to-live-1-4615611","id":"1.4615611","articleHeadline": "Mass murderer Charles Manson only has ‘matter of time’ to live","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510856219000 ,"articleLead": "

Infamous cult leader Charles Manson only has a ‘matter of time’ before he dies it has been reported.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4615610.1510856215!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Charles Manson only has a "matter of time" to live according to reports in America. Picture: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Charles Manson: Old and grey but the eyes betray a mass killer

The 83-year-old was rushed to Bakersfield hospital three days ago for emergency medical treatment.

He has since remained with sources telling American entertainment news outlet TMZ that “it’s just a matter of time” before he passes with Manson said to look “ashen”.

Manson was found guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder after he ordered members of his cult, known as the Manson Family, to commit nine murders across July and August in 1969, including pregnant actress Sharon Tate.

While not present at the murders, Manson was denied release in 2012 when he appealed for parole. He is not eligible to apply again until 2027.

Yet a source said: “It’s not going to get any better for him” with regards to his health.

In January he refused an operation after being rushed to hospital with severe intestinal bleeding and a sigmoid lesion. Even though he changed his mind he was unable because he was too weak.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Amy Watson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4615610.1510856215!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4615610.1510856215!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Charles Manson only has a "matter of time" to live according to reports in America. Picture: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Charles Manson only has a "matter of time" to live according to reports in America. Picture: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4615610.1510856215!/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/leonardo-da-vinci-painting-of-christ-sells-for-record-450m-1-4614970","id":"1.4614970","articleHeadline": "Leonardo da Vinci painting of Christ sells for record $450m","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510832806000 ,"articleLead": "

A painting of Christ by the Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci has sold for a record 450 million US dollars (£341 million) at auction, smashing previous records for artworks sold at auction or privately.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4614969.1510832802!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Leonardo da Vincis "Salvator Mundi" on display at Christie's in New York, TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The painting, called Salvator Mundi, Italian for Savior of the World, is one of fewer than 20 paintings by Leonardo known to exist and the only one in private hands. It was sold by Christie’s auction house, which did not immediately identify the buyer.

The highest price ever paid for a work of art at auction had been 179.4 million US dollars (£136 million), for Pablo Picasso’s painting Women of Algiers (Version O) in May 2015, also at Christie’s in New York.

The highest known sale price for any artwork had been 300 million US dollars (£227 million), for Willem de Kooning’s painting Interchange, sold privately in September 2015 by the David Geffen Foundation to hedge fund manager Kenneth C Griffin.

A backer of the Salvator Mundi auction had guaranteed a bid of at least 100 million dollars (£75 million), the opening bid of the auction, which ran for 19 minutes. The price hit 300 million US dollars about halfway through the bidding.

READ MORE: Leonardo Da Vinci mystery still to be solved after trial let-down, says art expert

The 26-inch-tall Leonardo painting dates from around 1500 and shows Christ dressed in Renaissance-style robes, his right hand raised in blessing as his left hand holds a crystal sphere.

Its path from Leonardo’s workshop to the auction block at Christie’s was not smooth. Once owned by King Charles I of England, it disappeared from view until 1900, when it resurfaced and was acquired by a British collector. At that time it was attributed to a Leonardo disciple, rather than to the master himself.

The painting was sold again in 1958 and then was acquired in 2005, badly damaged and partly painted-over, by a consortium of art dealers who paid less than 10,000 US dollars (£7,600). The art dealers restored the painting and documented its authenticity as a work by Leonardo.

READ MORE: Scientists to extract DNA from Leonardo da Vinci fingerprints to analyse genius

The painting was sold on Wednesday by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who bought it in 2013 for 127.5 million US dollars (£96.7 million) in a private sale that became the subject of a continuing lawsuit.

Christie’s said most scholars agree that the painting is by Leonardo, though some critics have questioned the attribution and some say the extensive restoration muddies the work’s authorship.

Christie’s capitalised on the public’s interest in Leonardo, considered one of the greatest artists of all time, with a media campaign that labelled the painting The Last Da Vinci. The work was exhibited in Hong Kong, San Francisco, London and New York before the sale.

READ MORE: Duke could be sued over Drumlanrig da Vinci theft

In New York, where no museum owns a Leonardo, art lovers lined up outside Christie’s Rockefeller Centre headquarters on Tuesday to view Salvator Mundi.

Svetla Nikolova, who is from Bulgaria but lives in New York, called the painting “spectacular”.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she said. “It should be seen. It’s wonderful it’s in New York. I’m so lucky to be in New York at this time.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4614969.1510832802!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4614969.1510832802!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Leonardo da Vincis "Salvator Mundi" on display at Christie's in New York, TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Leonardo da Vincis "Salvator Mundi" on display at Christie's in New York, TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4614969.1510832802!/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/regions/glasgow-strathclyde/protesters-call-on-boris-johnson-to-help-release-of-jagtar-singh-johal-from-india-1-4614741","id":"1.4614741","articleHeadline": "Protesters call on Boris Johnson to help release of Jagtar Singh Johal from India","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510817230000 ,"articleLead": "

Hundreds of people are due to protest outside the Foreign Office calling for Boris Johnson to intervene in the case of a British man arrested in India who campaigners say has been tortured by police.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4614571.1510817224!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jagtar Singh Johal was arrested and detained in India, accused of "influencing the youth through social media", a Sikh group said. Picture: Family handout/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Jagtar Singh Johal, from Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, was detained in Jalandhar in the state of Punjab on November 4.

The Sikh Federation UK said no official charges have yet appeared, but local media reported Mr Johal’s arrest was linked to the killing of Hindu leaders in Punjab.

READ MORE: Government ‘deeply concerned’ over Scot detained in India

Mr Johal, who got married in India in October, has told lawyers he has been tortured with “body separation techniques and electrocution to body parts”.

The federation said up to 1,000 people will protest outside the FCO building on Friday, calling for Mr Johal to be given more consular assistance.

READ MORE: Scot arrested in India being tortured by police - campaigners

They will also ask for Mr Johnson to meet with the family and “make representations to his Indian counterpart demanding his immediate release and return to the UK”.

Speaking about the case previously, an FCO spokesman said: “We are in contact with the family of a British man who has been detained in India. Our staff have requested consular access from the Indian authorities so we can be assured of his welfare.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4614571.1510817224!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4614571.1510817224!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jagtar Singh Johal was arrested and detained in India, accused of "influencing the youth through social media", a Sikh group said. Picture: Family handout/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jagtar Singh Johal was arrested and detained in India, accused of "influencing the youth through social media", a Sikh group said. Picture: Family handout/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4614571.1510817224!/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/explorer-goes-missing-in-remote-papua-new-guinea-1-4614607","id":"1.4614607","articleHeadline": "Explorer goes missing in remote Papua New Guinea","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510812039000 ,"articleLead": "

The family of a British explorer who has gone missing on an expedition to reach a remote tribe in Papua New Guinea have spoken of their concerns for his safety.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4614606.1510778556!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Benedict Allen has not been heard from for three weeks. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Benedict Allen was dropped by helicopter into the remote jungle three weeks ago and has not been heard of since.

He was hoping to reach the Yaifo, a tribe thought to be one of the last on Earth to have no contact with the outside world.

The author and TV presenter, who has made six TV series for the BBC, has no mobile phone or GPS device with him and was expected to begin his journey home at the weekend.

Mr Allen’s sister, Katie Pestille,said: “He knows all about that survival stuff. It’s just what worries me is there are bad people in these jungles.

“You would think that they were totally empty but there are people in there. I mean, I know more about the Amazon, but there are loggers and drug dealers and all sorts of bad people.”

Mr Allen’s friend, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner, who travelled to Papua New Guinea with him twice last year, said: “I would say the chances are that Benedict is going to be fine, I hope those aren’t famous last words. Benedict always expected something like this. I had supper with him just before he left and he said, ‘look, I’m quite certain I’ll probably be out of contact for quite some time and people shouldn’t worry about it’.”

Mr Allen’s agent Joanna Sarsby said his wife Lenka was “very worried”.

She added: “He is a highly experienced explorer, very clever and resourceful and adept at surviving in the most hostile places on Earth, and he would never give up. He may not be a young man any more but he is very fit.

“He was trying to reach the Yaifo people, a very remote and reclusive tribe – possibly headhunters, quite a scary bunch. Goodness knows what has happened.

“I just imagine he might have been taken ill or is lying injured somewhere, perhaps with a broken leg, and maybe being helped by locals.

“He never takes a phone with him – he believes in living like the locals. For him not to come back is really odd.”

In a blog post on his website, Mr Allen wrote in September: “The Yaifo are one of the last people on the entire planet who are out of contact with our interconnected world.

“In October I’m hiring a helicopter to drop me off at the abandoned mission station, Bisorio – a forlorn place.”

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “Our staff are assisting the family of a British man who has been reported missing in Papua New Guinea, and are contacting the local authorities.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Angus Howarth"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4614606.1510778556!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4614606.1510778556!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Benedict Allen has not been heard from for three weeks. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Benedict Allen has not been heard from for three weeks. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4614606.1510778556!/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/two-men-swept-to-their-deaths-as-athens-hit-by-flash-flooding-1-4614603","id":"1.4614603","articleHeadline": "Two men swept to their deaths as Athens hit by flash flooding","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510777945000 ,"articleLead": "

Flash floods in the western outskirts of Athens have turned roads into raging torrents of mud and debris, killing a number of people and knocking out a section of a motorway.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4614602.1510777941!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Flash flooding caused havoc in Athens. Picture: AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris"} ,"articleBody": "

The coastguard said it recovered two bodies from the sea near the area of flooding.

Authorities said they believed the two men, one aged in his mid-50s and the other around 80, had been swept into the sea by the flash flood. If confirmed, it would put the death toll at seven.

The fire department said it is searching for at least a further three people who were reported missing by their families.

The flooding came after severe weather overnight, with a storm bringing driving rain to the area.

Roads turned into muddy torrents that carried away vehicles, tossing them into piles on roadsides and against fences and buildings.

Several walls from gardens and low buildings collapsed, filling roads with rubble.

A section of the motorway between Athens and Corinth was completely knocked out, with floodwaters inundating an underpass, trapping cars, trucks and buses.

Firefighters using ropes rescued passengers from a bus and from cars trapped on the road.

Judicial authorities ordered an immediate investigation into the deaths and material damage caused by the flooding.

Investigators would be looking into whether factors such as shoddy or illegal construction might have contributed to the severity of the flooding.

Several people were transported to a local hospital for treatment of injuries, including two women suffering from hypothermia and a driver injured as he escaped his truck, which had become trapped by rising waters.

The five initial fatalities - two women and three men - occurred in the Mandra area in separate incidents.

The bodies of a woman and a man were initially found in their flooded homes while later two more men and one woman were found dead, two in the yards of local businesses and one near a road.

Firefighters received at least 340 calls for help to pump water from flooded buildings and rescue people trapped by the rising waters.

Local authorities shut schools in the areas of Mandra, Nea Peramos and Megara, while the fire department appealed to the public to avoid heading to the area unless absolutely necessary in an effort to reduce traffic.

More bad weather was predicted for large parts of Greece on Wednesday and in the coming days, with storms predicted for western areas and for parts of the Greek capital.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Elena Becatoros"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4614602.1510777941!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4614602.1510777941!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Flash flooding caused havoc in Athens. Picture: AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Flash flooding caused havoc in Athens. Picture: AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4614602.1510777941!/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/robert-mugabe-fine-as-tanks-on-streets-of-harare-1-4614601","id":"1.4614601","articleHeadline": "Robert Mugabe ‘fine’ as tanks on streets of Harare","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510777624000 ,"articleLead": "

Robert Mugabe is “fine” but is confined to his home after a night of unrest in Zimbabwe that included a military takeover of the state broadcaster, South African president Jacob Zuma has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4614599.1510777620!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The military were out in force on the streets of the Zimbabwean capital Harare after what they termed a bloodless correction. Picture: AP"} ,"articleBody": "

Mr Zuma said he had spoken with 93-year-old Mr Mugabe, who he continues to refer to as president of Zimbabwe.

South Africa’s ministers of defence and state security are being sent to Zimbabwe to meet Mr Mugabe and the military, Mr Zuma said.

Zimbabwe’s army said it has Mr Mugabe and his wife in custody and is securing government offices following a night of unrest.

The night’s action triggered speculation of a coup but the military’s supporters praised it as a “bloodless correction”.

For the first time, the southern African nation is seeing the military oppose Mr Mugabe, the world’s oldest head of state and one of the longest-serving authoritarian rulers.

Mr Mugabe has been in power since Zimbabwe’s independence from white minority rule in 1980.

The move comes after Mr Mugabe last week fired vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mr Mnangagwa – who enjoyed the military’s backing – fled Zimbabwe last week but said he would return to lead the country.

More than 100 senior officials allegedly supporting him have been listed for disciplinary measures by a faction associated with Mr Mugabe’s wife Grace.

The first lady appeared positioned to replace Mr Mnangagwa as one of the country’s two vice-presidents at a special conference of the ruling party in December, leading many in Zimbabwe to suspect she could succeed her husband.

Grace Mugabe is unpopular with some Zimbabweans because of lavish spending as many struggle and four people accused of booing her at a recent rally were arrested.

Armed soldiers in armoured personnel carriers stationed themselves at key points in capital Harare while Zimbabweans formed long lines at banks in order to draw the limited cash available, a routine chore in the country’s ongoing financial crisis.

In an address to the nation after taking control of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Major General Sibusiso Moyo said yesterday that the military is targeting “criminals” around Mr Mugabe and sought to reassure the country that order will be restored. It was not clear where Mr Mugabe, 93, and his wife were yesterday but it seems they are in the custody of the military.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Farai Mutsaka"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4614599.1510777620!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4614599.1510777620!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The military were out in force on the streets of the Zimbabwean capital Harare after what they termed a bloodless correction. Picture: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The military were out in force on the streets of the Zimbabwean capital Harare after what they termed a bloodless correction. Picture: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4614599.1510777620!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5647209864001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/regions/glasgow-strathclyde/government-deeply-concerned-over-scot-detained-in-india-1-4614572","id":"1.4614572","articleHeadline": "Government ‘deeply concerned’ over Scot detained in India","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510775309000 ,"articleLead": "

The Scottish Government is “deeply concerned” about the detention of a Scottish man in India who campaigners say has been tortured by police.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4614571.1510817224!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jagtar Singh Johal was arrested and detained in India, accused of "influencing the youth through social media", a Sikh group said. Picture: Family handout/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Scot arrested in India being tortured by police - campaigners

Jagtar Singh Johal, from Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, was detained in Jalandhar in the state of Punjab on November 4.

The Sikh Federation UK said no official charges have yet appeared, but local media reported Mr Johal’s arrest was linked to the killing of Hindu leaders in Punjab.

Mr Johal, who got married in India in October, has told lawyers he has been tortured with ‘’body separation techniques and electrocution’’.

As the federation raise concerns with the Foreign Office, the leader of Glasgow Gurdwara has written to Scotland’s First Minister in a bid for support.

Charandeep Singh wrote: “I write to you as general secretary of the Glasgow Gurdwara to express the concerns and worries of the Glasgow Sikh community and the wider Scottish Sikh community, regarding the abduction and detention of Mr Jagtar Singh Johal.

“We are concerned that the authorities may be using methods of torture against Jagtar, and this is highly likely given the history of the Punjab police and by the fact that no family member, legal representative or British Government representative has been able to meet Jagtar and vouch for his location or his physical and mental wellbeing.

“I would strongly welcome your intervention in this case and support Jagtar Singh Johal and the wider Scottish Sikh community, as we campaign to secure Jagtar’s release and safe return to Scotland.”

External Affairs Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, said: “We are deeply concerned to learn about the detention of Jagtar Singh Johal.

“Scottish Government officials have contacted the Foreign Commonwealth Office about this case - they have assured us they are aware of the situation and are currently attempting to gain access to Mr Johal.

“The First Minister has asked to be kept informed of any further developments.”

The Foreign Office (FCO) said on Tuesday that it takes allegations of torture ‘’very seriously’’ and is taking action to check on Mr Johal’s welfare.

A spokesman said: ‘’When considering how to act, we will avoid any action that might put the individual in question or any other person that may be affected at risk.’’

The Sikh Federation said the 30-year-old should be enjoying married life, but ‘’finds himself the subject of some sort of conspiracy hatched by the Punjab police and leading politicians’’.

A rally calling for his release is to be held by the federation outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London at midday on Thursday.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Amy Watson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4614571.1510817224!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4614571.1510817224!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jagtar Singh Johal was arrested and detained in India, accused of "influencing the youth through social media", a Sikh group said. Picture: Family handout/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jagtar Singh Johal was arrested and detained in India, accused of "influencing the youth through social media", a Sikh group said. Picture: Family handout/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4614571.1510817224!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/odd/cards-against-humanity-buys-us-border-land-to-save-america-1-4614442","id":"1.4614442","articleHeadline": "Cards Against Humanity buys US border land to ‘save America’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510765730000 ,"articleLead": "

A popular game has taken it into its own hands to prevent Donald Trump from building a wall along the US Mexico border.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4614441.1510765954!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Cards Against Humanity have bought land on the US Mexico Border. Picture: GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Donald Trump still dogged by Russia questions as trip concludes

Cards Against Humanity, the party game for horrible people, has purchased land on the border in a bid to “save America”.

Having procured the vacant land, Cards Against Humanity, which sees people try to put together the most offensive statement from cards, is now appealing for donations of $15 (around £12) to save American from “Injustice, lies, racism, the whole enchilada.”

The company said: “It’s 2017, and the government is being run by a toilet. We have no choice: Cards Against Humanity is going to save America.

“There’s no time for questions—now is the time to act. You give us $15, and we’ll send six America-saving surprises right to your doorstep. It will be fun, it will be weird, and if you voted for Trump, you might want to sit this one out.”

• READ MORE: Calls for Greggs boycott after sausage roll replaced Jesus

The company hit out at Trump and plan to make it as difficult as possible for the US government to obtain the land.

“Donald Trump is a preposterous golem who is afraid of Mexicans,” it said. “He is so afraid that he wants to build a twenty-billion dollar wall that everyone knows will accomplish nothing. So we’ve purchased a plot of vacant land on the border and retained a law firm specializing in eminent domain to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible for the wall to get built.”

Prototypes of the wall have already been built near San Diego, while opponents have tired to sue to prevent is construction.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Russell Jackson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4614441.1510765954!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4614441.1510765954!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Cards Against Humanity have bought land on the US Mexico Border. Picture: GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Cards Against Humanity have bought land on the US Mexico Border. Picture: GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4614441.1510765954!/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/australia-overwhelmingly-supports-same-sex-marriage-in-referendum-1-4614132","id":"1.4614132","articleHeadline": "Australia overwhelmingly supports same-sex marriage in referendum","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510754961000 ,"articleLead": "

Almost two-thirds of Australians supported gay marriage in a postal referendum that ensures the country’s parliament will consider legalising same-sex weddings this year.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4614152.1510754957!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Crowds supporting the Same Sex Marriage Survey party in Sydney (Photo by James Alcock/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said that 62 per cent of registered voters who responded in the unprecedented mail survey favored reform. The conservative government promised to allow a bill creating marriage equality to be considered in Parliament in the final two-week session that is due to end on Dec. 7.

A “no” vote in the survey would have taken marriage equality off the political agenda, perhaps for years. Thousands of marriage equality supporters waving rainbow flags gathered anxiously in city parks around the country and cheered when the results was announced.

The mood was relief rather than exhilaration when the result was announced in a park in the national capital, said Tanna Winter, 30. Canberra demonstrated Australia’s highest level of support for same-sex marriage, with only one in four responses opposing it.

“The polls said that Brexit wouldn’t happen, the polls said that Hillary would win and I sort of thought this felt like Australia’s time to show everyone that we’re backward too,” Winter said hours later over a celebratory beer.

READ MORE: Australian senator resigns over Scottish ancestry

“We didn’t do it and we didn’t do it in pretty good fashion. That’s a nice relief, a nice moment to be proven wrong,” he added.

Referencing Russia’s suspected meddling in the US presidential election, his friend Sam James, 31, said: “It’s hard for the Russians to interfere with a paper survey.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a vocal advocate of marriage equality, called on lawmakers to heed the “overwhelming” result and to commit to legislate for gay marriage by next month.

“They voted `yes’ for fairness, they voted `yes’ for commitment, they voted `yes’ for love,” Turnbull told reporters. “Now it is up to us here in the Parliament of Australia to get on with it, to get on with the job the Australian people have tasked us to do and get this done this year before Christmas - that must be our commitment.”

Some government lawmakers have vowed to vote down gay marriage regardless of the survey’s outcome. But the survey found a majority of voters in 133 of the 150 districts in the House of Representatives wanted reform.

Lawmakers opposed to gay marriage are already moving to wind back anti-discrimination laws, with debate in Australia intensifying over the possibility of gay wedding boycotts and refusals to provide a celebrant, venue, flowers or a cake.

Several government lawmakers on Monday released a draft gay marriage bill, proposed by senator James Paterson, that critics argue would diminish current protections for gays against discrimination on the grounds of sexuality.

READ MORE: How the Scots built Sydney

Government senator Dean Smith on Wednesday introduced a separate bill to the Senate favored by Turnbull that ruled out any compromise that would cost people their existing protections against discrimination. Smith’s bill permits only churches and ministers of religion to boycott same-sex weddings.

“If there are amendments, let’s see them, but let’s be clear about this: Australians did not participate in a survey to have one discrimination plank removed, to have other planks of discrimination piled upon them,” Smith said.

Fiona McLeod, president of the Law Council Of Australia, the nation’s peak lawyers group, said Paterson’s bill “would encroach on Australia’s long-established anti-discrimination protections in a dangerous and unprecedented way.”

Lyle Shelton, spokesman for Coalition for Marriage which lobbied against the reform, said his group favored Paterson’s bill.

“I don’t think anyone who voted in this postal survey wants to see their fellow Australians put up on hate speech charges,” Shelton said. “We need to protect freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and also freedom of religion.”

READ MORE: Climbing famous Australian rock formation will be banned in 2019

“Yes” voter Peter Kensey, 36, said while he was celebrating the win with Winter and James in Canberra tonight, there was apprehension in the gay community about what form the law would take.

“I think that’s why today hasn’t been a huge celebration,” Kensey said. “You wonder if you’re going to be screwed over at the very last stage.”

Ireland is the only other country to put same-sex marriage to a popular vote, but that referendum was binding. Irish voters in 2015 changed their constitution to allow marriage equality.

In Australia, voting in elections and referenda is compulsory, but the Senate refused to fund a binding vote. Almost 80 percent of more than 16 million registered voters posted ballots in the voluntary survey, which gay marriage advocates opposed as an unnecessary obstacle and opponents derided as being about a boutique issue of little public interest.

The U.N. Human Rights Committee last week criticized Australia for putting gays and lesbians “through an unnecessary and divisive public opinion poll.” The committee called on Australia to legislate for marriage equality regardless of the survey’s outcome.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4614152.1510754957!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4614152.1510754957!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Crowds supporting the Same Sex Marriage Survey party in Sydney (Photo by James Alcock/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Crowds supporting the Same Sex Marriage Survey party in Sydney (Photo by James Alcock/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4614152.1510754957!/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/zimbabwe-crisis-robert-mugabe-detained-as-army-takes-control-1-4613705","id":"1.4613705","articleHeadline": "Zimbabwe Crisis: Robert Mugabe detained as army takes control","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510737971000 ,"articleLead": "

Zimbabwe’s army has said it has President Robert Mugabe and his wife in custody and is securing government offices and patrolling the capital’s streets following a night of unrest that included a military takeover of the state broadcaster.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4613703.1510737961!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Armed soldiers patrol a street in Harare, Zimbabwe (AP Photo)"} ,"articleBody": "

The night’s action triggered speculation of a coup, but the military’s supporters praised it as a “bloodless correction”.

Armed soldiers in armoured personnel carriers stationed themselves at key points in Harare, while Zimbabweans formed long lines at banks in order to withdraw the limited cash available, a routine chore in the country’s ongoing financial crisis.

People looked at their phones to read about the army takeover and others went to work or to shops.

In an address to the nation after taking control of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, an army spokesman said early on Wednesday that the military was targeting “criminals” around Mugabe, and sought to reassure the country that order would be restored.

It was not clear where Mugabe, 93, and his wife were on Wednesday, but it seems they are in the custody of the military. “Their security is guaranteed,” the army spokesman said.

“We wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover,” the army statement said. “We are only targeting criminals around (Mugabe) who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice.”

READ MORE: Zimbabwean tourist is eighth victim of crocodiles

The spokesman added that “as soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy”.

The army spokesman called on churches to pray for the nation. He urged other security forces to “cooperate for the good of our country,” warning that “any provocation will be met with an appropriate response”.

The statement called on troops to return to barracks immediately, with all leave cancelled.

Overnight, at least three explosions were heard in the capital, Harare, and military vehicles were seen in the streets.

The military actions appear to put the army in control of the country.

READ MORE: ‘Goblins’ force four Zimbabwe schools to close

Army commander Constantino Chiwenga had threatened on Monday to “step in” to calm political tensions.

Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party responded by accusing the general of “treasonable conduct”. But now Chiwenga appears to be in control.

The army has been praised by the nation’s war veterans for carrying out “a bloodless correction of gross abuse of power”.

Chris Mutsvangwa, chairman of the war veterans’ association, told The Associated Press in Johannesburg that the military will return Zimbabwe to “genuine democracy” and make the country a “modern model nation”.

Mutsvangwa and the war veterans are staunch allies of Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was fired from his post of vice president by Mugabe last week. Mnangagwa fled Zimbabwe last week but said he would return to lead the country.

The US Embassy closed to the public on Wednesday and encouraged citizens to shelter in place, citing “the ongoing political uncertainty through the night”.

The British Embassy issued a similar warning, citing “reports of unusual military activity”.

For the first time, this southern African nation is seeing an open rift between the military and Mugabe, the world’s oldest head of state who has ruled since independence from white minority rule in 1980. The military has been a key pillar of his power.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4613703.1510737961!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4613703.1510737961!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Armed soldiers patrol a street in Harare, Zimbabwe (AP Photo)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Armed soldiers patrol a street in Harare, Zimbabwe (AP Photo)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4613703.1510737961!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4613702.1510737964!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4613702.1510737964!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Major Gen. S.B. Moyo, Spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Defense Forces (Picture: ZBC via AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Major Gen. S.B. Moyo, Spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Defense Forces (Picture: ZBC via AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4613702.1510737964!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4613704.1510737967!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4613704.1510737967!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "An armed soldier patrols a street in Harare, Zimbabwe (AP Photo)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "An armed soldier patrols a street in Harare, Zimbabwe (AP Photo)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4613704.1510737967!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5647209864001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/struan-stevenson-smug-complacent-gaffes-by-johnson-and-gove-put-life-of-british-woman-in-iran-prison-at-risk-1-4613451","id":"1.4613451","articleHeadline": "Struan Stevenson: Smug, complacent gaffes by Johnson and Gove put life of British woman in Iran prison at risk","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510725600000 ,"articleLead": "

Boris Johnson and Michael Gove’s smug, complacent remarks have put the life of British woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, currently jailed in Iran, at risk, writes Struan Stevenson.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4613450.1510689603!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Ratcliffe and his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on holiday in Isfahan, Iran. (Picture: via PA)"} ,"articleBody": "

It seems incredible that yet another Cabinet Minister can commit a gaffe that could further endanger the life of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the 38-year-old British-Iranian woman, unjustly caged in Tehran’s hellhole Evin Prison.

Michael Gove’s comments on the BBC Andrew Marr Show that he didn’t know what Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been doing in Iran when she was arrested, has compounded the gaffe by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who told the Foreign Affairs Select Committee that she was in Iran ‘teaching journalists’.

Despite the Foreign Secretary’s subsequent grovelling explanation to the House of Commons, in which he said the British Government was quite clear that she had simply been in Iran on holiday and visiting her relatives, it seems that Gove could not bring himself to repeat this. Obsessed with Brexit and consumed by plots to undermine Prime Minister Theresa May, Johnson and Gove seem to care little for the plight of a young mother held by the murderous Iranian regime.

Quick to seize on the comments by Johnson to justify their farcical imprisonment of Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the Iranian government has trumpeted Johnson’s earlier statement, claiming that this proved her guilt in being

involved in propaganda, espionage and attempts to overthrow the regime.

Gove’s comments to Andrew Marr will have reinforced their decision to haul the innocent charity worker before another court to add to her sentence. Her husband Richard Ratcliffe has made frantic efforts to have his wife freed, disclosing that she is now desperately ill and suffering from extreme stress.

Their baby daughter Gabriella, who is a British citizen, has been forced to stay with her grandparents in Tehran since Zaghari-Ratcliffe was jailed.

Gabriella now can only speak Farsi, having forgotten all but a few English words.

Gove and Johnson should wake up to the predicament in which their smug, complacent remarks have placed Zaghari-Ratcliffe. Many women have been executed in Iran for lesser offences. Earlier this year Amnesty International published a 94-page report entitled “Caught in a web of repression: Iran’s human rights defenders under attack”.

It detailed 45 specific instances of what the organisation has described as a “vicious crackdown” coinciding with the supposedly moderate presidency of Hassan Rouhani. The report detailed how the Iranian authorities have repeatedly diminished the standards by which they accuse and convict people for alleged national security crimes, while also increasing the severity of punishments that are meted out to those same people.

The abusive nature of those punishments was reinforced by new revelations that emerged alongside the Amnesty International report, mainly regarding the Islamic Republic’s notorious overuse of the death penalty.

Iran has long maintained world-leading rates of execution, and the violence and repression of the past few years have been reflected in a pattern of hangings that includes periodic spikes during which dozens of people are put to death in a single month.

Many of the hangings take place inside Evin Prison where Zaghari-Ratcliffe is being held. This is the real Iran under the theocratic and fascist rule of the mullahs, whose so-called ‘moderate’ president Rouhani the West believes it can do deals with.

Rouhani is in charge of a venally corrupt government, which has executed more than 3,500 people since he took office in 2013, with in excess of 350 so far this year.

Gove and Johnson should also understand the true nature of the so-called justice system in Iran, where the current Justice Minister, Alireza Avaie, has been listed on EU and UK terrorist lists since 2011 for human rights violations.

Indeed Avaie, only appointed in July this year as Justice Minister by Rouhani, is notorious for his well-known role as public prosecutor in the city of Dezful in Iran’s Khuzestan Province in the late 1980s, when he was personally responsible for ordering the hanging of countless political prisoners, including many teenagers and students, for alleged opposition to the oppressive rule of the mullahs.

Johnson says that he now intends to travel to Tehran to make a case for the immediate release of Zaghari-Ratcliffe. He should first seek a comprehensive brief on the murderers and despots he will be dealing with in the Iranian government.

But there is little point in asking his officials in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for this brief.

Their policy of cringing appeasement of the mullah’s regime is why successive British governments have always placed trade and lucrative commercial contracts ahead of human rights.

Their arrogant and complacent approach to one of the world’s most cruel and tyrannical regimes is the main reason why Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been allowed to languish in Evin Prison for 19 months and also the main reason why successive Cabinet Ministers seem to be woefully ignorant of her plight.

Struan Stevenson, a former Conservative MEP for Scotland and ex-chairman of the Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup, is president of the European Iraqi Freedom Association.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Struan Stevenson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4613450.1510689603!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4613450.1510689603!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Richard Ratcliffe and his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on holiday in Isfahan, Iran. (Picture: via PA)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Ratcliffe and his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on holiday in Isfahan, Iran. (Picture: via PA)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4613450.1510689603!/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/hyderabad-clears-its-streets-of-beggars-before-ivanka-visit-1-4613473","id":"1.4613473","articleHeadline": "Hyderabad clears its streets of beggars before Ivanka visit","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510690538000 ,"articleLead": "

Authorities in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad are rounding up beggars ahead of a visit by Ivanka Trump for an international conference.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4613472.1510690532!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Over the past week, more than 200 beggars have been transported to separate male and female shelter homes located on the grounds of two city prisons. Picture: AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A."} ,"articleBody": "

Over the past week, more than 200 beggars have been transported to separate male and female shelter homes located in the grounds of two city prisons. Officials have been strictly enforcing a begging ban on the city’s streets and in other public places.

The crackdown seems to be having the desired effect, with most of Hyderabad’s thousands of beggars vanishing from sight.

Ms Trump is a senior adviser to her father, US President Donald Trump. Later this month, she is scheduled to be a featured speaker at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad, which will also be attended by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

Officials said the drive against begging was launched because two forthcoming international events are taking place in the city – the entrepreneurship summit and the World Telugu Conference in December.

Begging is a criminal offence in India and can be punished by as much as ten years in prison, although the law is rarely enforced.

“We will complete the clearing of beggars from the city roads by the end of the month,” said VK Singh, a top police officer.

The beggars have been rounded up from road junctions, bus stations and railway stations and transported by van to the shelters, where they often find themselves separated from their family members.

They are being offered clean clothes, a shower and a bed. But they are also being fingerprinted before they are allowed to leave and told they could be jailed if they are found begging again. More than 20 per cent of India’s 1.3 billion people live on less than $2 (about £1.50) a day. For many, begging offers a last resort to stay alive.

Beggars tend to crowd around cars at traffic signals, knocking on windows and asking for food and money.

They include children as young as five, who weave through dangerous traffic and often perform small acrobatic acts.

A human rights group that runs the two Hyderabad homeless shelters in the grounds of the Chanchalguda and Charalapally jails where the beggars are being taken estimates the city has 13,000 beggars.

About half of them are begging because they are living in poverty while the other half want money for alcohol and drugs, said Gattu Giri, an official with the Amma Nanna Ananda Ashram organisation.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Omer Farooq"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4613472.1510690532!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4613472.1510690532!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Over the past week, more than 200 beggars have been transported to separate male and female shelter homes located on the grounds of two city prisons. Picture: AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Over the past week, more than 200 beggars have been transported to separate male and female shelter homes located on the grounds of two city prisons. Picture: AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4613472.1510690532!/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/women-call-out-for-god-as-dead-pulled-from-earthquake-rubble-1-4613459","id":"1.4613459","articleHeadline": "Women call out for God as dead pulled from earthquake rubble","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510690193000 ,"articleLead": "

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4613458.1510690190!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rescuers are digging through the debris of buildings felled by the Sunday earthquake that killed more than four hundreds of people in the border region of Iran and Iraq. Picture: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi"} ,"articleBody": "

Rescuers have used backhoes and heavy equipment to dig through the debris of buildings toppled by a powerful earthquake on the border between Iran and Iraq that killed more than 530 people, with weeping women crying out to God as aid workers found new bodies.

The grim work started in earnest yesterday at dawn in the Kurdish town of Sarpol-e-Zahab in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah, which appears to be the hardest hit by the magnitude 7.3 earthquake.

Kermanshah, an almost entirely Kurdish province nestled in the Zagros Mountains running along the border with Iraq, suffered all of Iran’s fatalities from the disaster Sunday night that shook 14 of the country’s 31 provinces. Both rescuers and residents alike stood atop the remains of apartment complexes looking through the rubble. They used heavy blankets to carry away corpses.

The hospital in Sarpol-e-Zahab was heavily damaged. The army set up field hospitals, although many of the injured were moved to other cities, including Tehran.

The quake also damaged an army garrison and buildings in the border city and killed an unspecified number of soldiers.

There were fears more dead could be found in the rubble in Sarpol-e-Zahab and other rural villages of Kermanshah province.

Mohammad Ali Monshizadeh, a spokesman for the provincial forensic department, said as many as 150 people had been buried by family members after the earthquake in remote villages who had not been counted in the official death toll.

President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Kermanshah province yesterday to see the damage for himself.

“This was a pain for all Iranians,” Mr Rouhani said. “Representing the nation of Iran, I offer my condolences to the people of Kermanshah and tell them that all of us are behind Kermanshah.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif offered his thanks to foreign countries offering to help, but wrote on Twitter: “For now, we are able to manage with our own resources.”

Cleric Abdolhossein Moezi said there was a need for more relief material and “security.” That sentiment was echoed by Nazar Barani, the mayor of the town of Ezgeleh. He told state TV his constituency still had a “deep need” for food, medicine and tents. Mr Barani said 80 per cent of the buildings in the town had been damaged by the quake.

Many of the heavily damaged complexes in Sarpol-e-Zahab were part of construction projects under former hard-line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The newly homeless slept outside in the cold, huddled around makeshift fires for warmth. An estimated 7,460 people were also injured in Iran.

Most of the injuries were minor with fewer than 1,000 still hospitalised.

The quake was centred about 19 miles outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja and struck 14 miles below the surface, a somewhat shallow depth that can cause broader damage. The quake caused Dubai’s skyscrapers to sway and could be felt 660 miles away on the Mediterranean coast.

Seven deaths occurred in Iraq and 535 people were injured, all in the country’s northern Kurdish region. The disparity in casualty tolls immediately drew questions from Iranians, especially because so much of the town was new.

Sarpol-e-Zahab fell to the troops of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during his 1980 invasion of Iran, which sparked the eight-year war between the two countries that killed one million people. The area was clawed back by Iran, but remained a war zone that suffered through Saddam’s missile attacks.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "NASSER KARIMI and MOHAMMAD NASIRI"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4613458.1510690190!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4613458.1510690190!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Rescuers are digging through the debris of buildings felled by the Sunday earthquake that killed more than four hundreds of people in the border region of Iran and Iraq. Picture: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rescuers are digging through the debris of buildings felled by the Sunday earthquake that killed more than four hundreds of people in the border region of Iran and Iraq. Picture: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4613458.1510690190!/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/scot-arrested-in-india-being-tortured-by-police-campaigners-1-4613369","id":"1.4613369","articleHeadline": "Scot arrested in India being tortured by police - campaigners","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510681518000 ,"articleLead": "

Campaigners for a Scottish man arrested in India say he has been tortured by police.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4613368.1510681515!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jagtar Singh Johal has been arrested and detained in India, with campaigners saying he is being tortured by police. Picture: Family handout/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Scot forced into back of a van and held in India

Jagtar Singh Johal from Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, was detained in Jalandhar in the state of Punjab on November 4.

The Sikh Federation UK said no official charges have yet appeared but local media reported Mr Johal’s arrest was linked to the killing of Hindu leaders in Punjab.

The group said the 30-year-old should be enjoying married life but “finds himself the subject of some sort of conspiracy hatched by the Punjab police and leading politicians”.

Mr Johal, who got married in India in October, has told lawyers he has been tortured with “body separation techniques and electrocution to body parts”.

At a court hearing on Tuesday to extend his remand until the end of the week, Mr Johal’s lawyer requested an independent medical examination of his injuries.

Last week, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was in contact with Mr Johal’s family and Indian authorities regarding the case.

The Sikh Federation said it has contacted more than 100 MPs who are concerned about the case.

Bhai Amrik Singh, chair of the Sikh Federation, said: “The callous actions of the Indian authorities are sickening, but the Foreign Office and the British High Commission appear to be under pressure not to act and will be accused of looking the other way.

“The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary will feel our pressure in the next seven days in Parliament via hundreds of MPs who have been contacted by constituents who are unhappy with the lack of action to secure Jagtar’s immediate release and return to the UK.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Amy Watson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4613368.1510681515!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4613368.1510681515!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jagtar Singh Johal has been arrested and detained in India, with campaigners saying he is being tortured by police. Picture: Family handout/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jagtar Singh Johal has been arrested and detained in India, with campaigners saying he is being tortured by police. Picture: Family handout/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4613368.1510681515!/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/australian-senator-resigns-over-scottish-ancestry-1-4612902","id":"1.4612902","articleHeadline": "Australian senator resigns over Scottish ancestry","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510661649000 ,"articleLead": "

An independent Australian senator who is Scottish by descent became the eighth lawmaker to leave Parliament in recent months over a 116-year-old constitutional ban on dual nationals running for office that threatens to bring down the government.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4612901.1510661647!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jacqui Lambie . Picture : Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Jacqui Lambie tearfully resigned a day after the Senate set a Dec. 1 deadline for Australia-born senators to provide documented evidence that they had not inherited the citizenship of an immigrant parent or grandparent.

Lambie said the British Home Office advised her on Tuesday that her Scottish-born grandfather had not renounced his citizenship after migrating to Australia, making her and her father British.

“It is with great regret that I have to inform you that I had been found ineligible by way of dual citizenship,” Lambie told the Senate.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s conservative coalition could lose two seats in by-elections next month after government lawmaker John Alexander resigned from Parliament last week because he had likely inherited British citizenship from his English-born father.

READ MORE: Leader comment: The perils of being unintentionally Scottish

Kristina Keneally, a Las Vegas-born former New South Wales state premier, announced on Tuesday that she would run as a candidate for the opposition Labor Party against Alexander in a Dec. 16 by-election for his Sydney-based seat, having renounced her U.S. citizenship. Alexander must shed his British citizenship by then.

Australia is rare if not unique in the world in banning dual nationals from sitting in Parliament. Pressure is growing to reform the constitution amid the growing uncertainty over how many by-elections might result from the current crisis and which party might end up forming a government.

The eight lawmakers who have lost their jobs so far were dual citizens of Britain, Canada and New Zealand. Like Australia, those countries are members of the British Commonwealth and share a head of state, Queen Elizabeth II.

When the constitution came into effect t in 1901, decades before Australian citizenship existed, any British subject was entitled to stand for the Australian Parliament.

Suvendi Perera, a professor of cultural studies at Curtin University, said the lawmakers snared by the dual citizenship ban indicated that “white people have a sense of entitlement” to stand for Parliament.

That entitlement was a “central assumption” when the constitution was drafted, she said.

An Iranian-born lawmaker spent 25,000 Australian dollars ($19,000) ridding himself of that nationality because such multicultural political candidates “couldn’t assume that they were entitled,” Perera said.

The House of Representatives is expected to also set a deadline for its lawmakers to prove they are solely Australian when it next sits from Nov. 27.

Any lawmakers who remain under a cloud after declaring their citizenship status would be referred to the High Court to decide whether they were legally elected. A series of by-elections that could change the government could be scheduled for a single weekend early next year.

The High Court last month disqualified Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce because he had inherited the citizenship of his New Zealand-born father. He immediately renounced his New Zealand citizenship and will contest his seat in a Dec. 2 by-election.

The dual citizenship ban was a rare issue until recently, but the High Court last month disqualified five lawmakers, including Joyce, in a rejection of the government’s argument that ignorance of an inherited nationality was an acceptable excuse.

Senators are usually replaced from the same party without elections, but most crucial are the fates of lawmakers in the House of Representatives, where parties need a majority to form a government.

Before losing two seats, the government held a single-seat majority of 76 in the 150-seat chamber.

Many argue that the dual citizen ban is increasingly inappropriate for a migrant nation where half the population was born overseas or has an immigrant parent. But changing the constitution requires all registered voters to cast ballots in a referendum, which rarely succeeds.

READ MORE: Australian politician facing disqualification from office - because father is Scottish

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4612901.1510661647!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4612901.1510661647!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jacqui Lambie . Picture : Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jacqui Lambie . Picture : Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4612901.1510661647!/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/harbour-vessel-to-be-named-ferry-mcferryface-in-nod-to-boaty-campaign-1-4612757","id":"1.4612757","articleHeadline": "Harbour vessel to be named Ferry McFerryface in nod to Boaty campaign","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1510659572000 ,"articleLead": "

A new habour ferry will be christened Ferry McFerryface in homage to the mow famous Mc-moniker, Boaty McBoatface.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4612756.1510659569!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Artist's drawing provided by Transport for NSW shows the design of the last ferry in a new Sydney Harbour fleet which will be christened Ferry McFerryface. Picture: Transport for NSW via AP"} ,"articleBody": "

Officials in Sydney overruled the trend-setting favourite name that was rejected by British officials last year as the name of a new polar survey vessel, New South Wales Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance said.

The British vessel was ultimately christened Sir David Attenborough in honour of the naturalist and broadcaster, although one of its remotely operated submarines was named Boaty McBoatface.

“Given ‘Boaty’ was already taken by another vessel, we’ve gone with the next most popular name nominated by Sydneysiders,” Constance said in a statement.

READ MORE: ‘Boaty McBoatface’ ship to be named after David Attenborough

“Ferry McFerryface will be the harbour’s newest icon and I hope it brings a smile to the faces of visitors and locals alike,” he added.

Ferry McFerryface joins the ranks of Trainy McTrainface, a Swedish express train, and Horsey McHorseface, a Sydney racehorse, after an international online trend started by a suggestion from a former BBC radio host.

READ MORE: Boaty McBoatface set to make maiden journey

Sydney residents have been encouraged for the past year to name the six new ferries through the Name Your Ferry website and more than 15,000 responded.

The remainder have been named after prominent Sydney Aborigines Bungaree and Pemulwuy and Australian medical doctors Victor Chan, Catherine Hamlin and Fred Hollows.

READ MORE: Brexit vote like Boaty McBoatface poll, says Labour MP

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4612756.1510659569!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4612756.1510659569!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Artist's drawing provided by Transport for NSW shows the design of the last ferry in a new Sydney Harbour fleet which will be christened Ferry McFerryface. Picture: Transport for NSW via AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Artist's drawing provided by Transport for NSW shows the design of the last ferry in a new Sydney Harbour fleet which will be christened Ferry McFerryface. Picture: Transport for NSW via AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4612756.1510659569!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}