{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"world","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/retail/mcdonald-s-moving-non-us-tax-base-to-uk-amid-eu-row-1-4312912","id":"1.4312912","articleHeadline": "McDonald’s moving non-US tax base to UK amid EU row","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481268387000 ,"articleLead": "

Fast food giant McDonald’s is moving its non-US tax base to Britain from Luxembourg as it battles European Union regulators over its tax affairs.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312911.1481268411!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "McDonald's said it chose the UK because of its large workforce in London. Picture: Phil Wilkinson"} ,"articleBody": "

The group will create a UK-based holding company through which its non-US ­royalties will be routed.

“McDonald’s selected the UK for the location of its new international holding structure because of significant number of staff based in London working on our international business, language, and connections to other markets,” it said.

READ MORE: Burger giant McDonald’s to create thousands of UK jobs

McDonald’s said it will pay UK corporation tax on its overseas profits. The group has come under fire from EU officials who are investigating claims that it avoided more than €1 billion (£844 million) in tax through the use of a royalties loophole in Luxembourg.

Last year, the European Commission said the European arm of McDonald’s had paid virtually no corporation tax in Luxembourg or the US since 2009.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARTIN FLANAGAN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4312911.1481268411!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312911.1481268411!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "McDonald's said it chose the UK because of its large workforce in London. Picture: Phil Wilkinson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "McDonald's said it chose the UK because of its large workforce in London. Picture: Phil Wilkinson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4312911.1481268411!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/joyce-mcmillan-only-defiant-political-activism-can-save-us-now-1-4312774","id":"1.4312774","articleHeadline": "Joyce McMillan: Only defiant political activism can save us now","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481263200000 ,"articleLead": "

The world has failed Aleppo, and our leaders will not take action unless a grassroots uprising forces them says Joyce McMillan

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312773.1481231414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A member of the government forces pushes an injured woman in a wheelchair as civilians are evacuated from Aleppo's al-Shaar neighbourhood. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

And then, everywhere on the media, there are the pictures of Aleppo now: whole neighbourhoods reduced to rubble, the dome of the great mosque destroyed, ancient sites shattered by war, hospitals and essential public services deliberately targeted, and the city’s people struggling to survive without food, water, or medicine. The population is officially listed as having declined by almost a quarter since 2012; the truth is probably much worse, particularly since the intensification of the Syrian-Russian assault on rebel areas three months ago. And the world looks on, apparently helpless – so much so that one cartoonist wryly portrayed the arrival of a lorryload of Facebook “likes” on the devastated streets of the city, as if people could somehow eat or drink those little blue symbols of online concern.

When we study historic man-made disasters, we are trained to think in terms of immediate causes and underlying causes; and if the world has failed Aleppo, then the immediate cause is clearly the presence on the UN Security Council of Russia, one of the main combatants in the devastating attack on the city. For the Assad regime and its Russian allies, Aleppo is a nest of Islamist rebels that has to be retaken at any price; there is therefore no chance, under its present charter, of the United Nations doing anything at all, except to attempt some humanitarian aid.

When it comes to long-term causes, though, the situation is much more complex. The truth is that if Russia now seems bent on acquiring a murderous reputation in the region, most ordinary people in the Middle East and around the East Mediterranean have long since regarded the other main regional foreign powers – the United States, Britain, France – in very much the same light. This very week, Prime Minister Theresa May was in the Gulf, emphasising the closeness of Britain’s alliance with Saudi Arabia, which is openly complicit in the bombardment and shelling of civilian populations now taking place in Yemen; when Boris Johnson uttered a few home truths about Saudi Arabia’s regional role at a recent meeting in Rome, Theresa May’s office moved at lightning speed to distance the British government from her own Foreign Secretary’s remarks.

And as for the United States – well, its conduct during recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has made its name, and those of its closest allies, a byword for illegal and lethal intervention across the entire Islamic world, and beyond; so that when it comes to Russia’s conduct in Syria, the position of the rest of the UN Security Council is now as weak as the late foreign secretary Robin Cook once predicted it would be, if we failed to adopt the kind of ethical foreign policy he advocated back in 1997, as a clear practical necessity in creating a sustainable new world order.

So where do we stand now, in a world where our international institutions have been so gravely weakened? It’s clear that we cannot expect much from the emerging group of self-styled “anti-establishment” politicians in Europe and America, the Trumps and Johnsons, the Farages and Le Pens. They may be more willing than their predecessors to abandon diplomatic language when it comes to pointing out the obvious about Saudi foreign policy, or noising up the Chinese government, but the tide of blinkered xenophobia and petulant self-pity on which they have risen to power renders them worse than useless in any effort to promote a peaceful and sustainable future at global level, where their “straight talking” is more likely to lead to a new age of violent confrontation. Both Britain’s Brexiters and the American president-elect, for example, seem to regard undermining and ignoring the UN as some kind of enjoyable political sport rather than as an act of near-criminal political irresponsibility, given the colossal global challenges humanity now faces.

And here in the West, there is only one answer, now, to any of this; and that is for those ordinary voters who disagree to stop shouting at the telly, get off the couch, and start compelling their politicians on to a wiser and more sustainable path. Because what we have learned, over the last dispiriting decade, is that our national leaders – even the relatively well-intentioned ones – no longer have the strength to do the right thing by themselves. They need us, the people, to stand by them when they try to act with wisdom and compassion, to reject the manipulative lies of the powerful delivered to us through an ever-expanding range of hate-mongering media, and to give our political leaders what they now struggle to articulate themselves: a vision of a sustainable and peaceful future.

We need, in other words, a new age of defiant political activism, aimed at expressing values of justice, humanity and survival at every level, from the local to the global. And if it fails to materialise – why then, the game is over, certainly for most of our grandchildren, and perhaps for human life on Earth. These are the stakes for which we are now playing; and there is no sign that any of our politicians will be able to rise to that challenge without massive support and lifting-power from us, the people, who now need to start fighting for our own future, from the grassroots up.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JOYCE McMILLAN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4312773.1481231414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312773.1481231414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A member of the government forces pushes an injured woman in a wheelchair as civilians are evacuated from Aleppo's al-Shaar neighbourhood. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A member of the government forces pushes an injured woman in a wheelchair as civilians are evacuated from Aleppo's al-Shaar neighbourhood. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4312773.1481231414!/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-slapped-down-by-downing-st-over-saudi-comments-1-4312808","id":"1.4312808","articleHeadline": "Boris Johnson slapped down by Downing St over Saudi comments","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481235118000 ,"articleLead": "

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has been slapped down by Downing Street over his claim that British ally Saudi Arabia has been “playing proxy wars” in the Middle East.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312807.1481235040!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Boris Johnson meets Saudi Arabias foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir earlier in the year. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Theresa May’s official spokeswoman said the Prime Minister had “full confidence” in Mr Johnson, but that his comments at a conference in Italy were his own personal view and did not reflect government policy.

And she pointedly noted that Mr Johnson will have the opportunity to set out official policy – of Britain’s desire to strengthen its ties with Saudi Arabia and support for its military involvement in Yemen –when he travels to the desert kingdom for talks on Sunday.

Mrs May spoke with King Salman during her visit to the Persian Gulf this week, when he was able to hear the Prime Minister assure him of “her commitment and that of her government to enhancing and strengthening this relationship”, said the spokeswoman.

A national newspaper published footage of Mr Johnson’s comments to the Med2 conference in Rome last week, in which he lumped Saudi Arabia in with Iran when he raised concerns about “puppeteering” in the region.

Mr Johnson said: “There are politicians who are twisting and abusing religion and different strains of the same religion in order to further their own political objectives. That’s one of the biggest political problems in the whole region.

“And the tragedy for me –and that’s why you have these proxy wars being fought the whole time in that area – is that there is not strong enough leadership in the countries themselves.”

The Foreign Secretary said there were not enough “big characters” in the region willing to “reach out beyond their Sunni or Shia” group.

He told the conference: “That’s why you’ve got the Saudis, Iran, everybody, moving in and puppeteering and playing proxy wars.”

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “As the Foreign Secretary made very clear on Sunday, we are allies with Saudi Arabia and support them in their efforts to secure their borders and protect their people.”

Mrs May’s spokeswoman said: “Those are the Foreign Secretary’s views. They are not the government’s position.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4312807.1481235040!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312807.1481235040!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Boris Johnson meets Saudi Arabias foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir earlier in the year. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Boris Johnson meets Saudi Arabias foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir earlier in the year. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4312807.1481235040!/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/first-american-astronaut-in-orbit-john-glenn-dies-aged-95-1-4312762","id":"1.4312762","articleHeadline": "First American astronaut in orbit John Glenn dies, aged 95","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481230435000 ,"articleLead": "

John Glenn - the first American to orbit the Earth - has died in Ohio, aged 95.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312761.1481229959!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former astronaut John Glenn. Picture: AP"} ,"articleBody": "

Glenn became a national hero in 1962 when he became the first American astronaut in orbit.

Hank Wilson with the John Glenn School of Public Affairs says Glenn died Thursday afternoon at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus.

Glenn was the third U.S. astronaut in space and the first of them to get into orbit. He circled the Earth three times. The Soviet Union had put a man into orbit a year earlier in 1961. Glenn then spent 24 years as a Democrat from Ohio in the Senate and briefly made a run for president in 1984. He returned to space in 1998, at age 77, aboard shuttle Discovery.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4312761.1481229959!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312761.1481229959!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Former astronaut John Glenn. Picture: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former astronaut John Glenn. Picture: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4312761.1481229959!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/donald-trump-makes-further-hardline-cabinet-picks-1-4312712","id":"1.4312712","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump makes further hardline cabinet picks","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481223133000 ,"articleLead": "

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312711.1481223055!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President-elect Donald Trump has yet to pick a secretary of state. Picture: AP"} ,"articleBody": "

Donald Trump has appointed new cabinet officers whose backgrounds suggest he is set to follow through on his tough campaign rhetoric on immigration and the environment..

Retired Marine general John Kelly has been selected to head the department of homeland security, and Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt, a climate-change denier whose policies have helped fossil fuel companies, is to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr Trump named the former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment, Linda McMahon, to head the small business administration - and may have breathed new life into the candidacy of a secretary of state contender.

Mr Trump said he planned to name his choice for the key Cabinet post next week and insisted that former rival Mitt Romney still had a chance. Mr Trump, who has met twice with the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, denied he was stringing Mr Romney along to make him pay for earlier remarks that Mr Trump was unfit to be president.

“No, it’s not about revenge. It’s about what’s good for the country, and I’m able to put this stuff behind us – and I hit him very hard also,” Mr Trump said in a telephone interview on NBC.

Three sources close to the selection process said Mr Romney’s stock is on the rise again within Mr Trump’s circle after a period in which the celebrity businessman had cooled on the candidacy of the former Massachusetts governor.

But Mr Trump has changed his mind repeatedly throughout the process and has expanded the pool of contenders beyond the previously identified final four of Mr Romney, former New York City mayor 
Rudy Giuliani, Senate foreign relations chairman Bob Corker and former CIA director David Petraeus.

Mr Trump’s long presidential campaign was in large part defined by searing rhetoric and his steadfast promises to build an impenetrable wall on the border with Mexico and crack down on immigrants living in the US illegally. But he struck a softer tone after he was named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” this week.

“We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” Mr Trump said.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jonathan Lemire"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4312711.1481223055!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312711.1481223055!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "President-elect Donald Trump has yet to pick a secretary of state. Picture: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President-elect Donald Trump has yet to pick a secretary of state. Picture: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4312711.1481223055!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/ex-french-budget-minister-jailed-for-three-years-over-tax-fraud-1-4312710","id":"1.4312710","articleHeadline": "Ex-French budget minister jailed for three years over tax fraud","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481222451000 ,"articleLead": "

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312709.1481222374!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jerome Cahuzac is escorted from court in Paris. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Former French budget minister Jerome Cahuzac has been sentenced to three years in prison in one of the biggest political scandals of president Francois Hollande’s government.

A Paris court ruled that Cahuzac was guilty of tax fraud and money-laundering for hiding his wealth in tax havens around the world.

The court said Cahuzac committed irregularities “of an extraordinary and rare seriousness”.

Cahuzac, 64, who has also been banned from running for office for five years, can appeal against the ruling and will remain free in the meantime. Cahuzac and his ex-wife Patricia Menard have acknowledged owning illegal foreign bank accounts for two decades.

They have already paid €2.3 million (£1.95m) in back taxes to French authorities.

Menard was sentenced to two years in prison for tax fraud.

As budget minister, former cosmetic surgeon Cahuzac hid his wealth at the same time as he was leading the government’s fight against tax evasion.

The hidden wealth of the couple was estimated at €3.5 min 2013, when Cahuzac was forced to resign after only ten months in office.

But the real value was probably much higher because the money helped the couple finance a lavish lifestyle over the years, prosecutors have said.

The fortune was concealed in bank accounts in Switzerland, Singapore and the Isle of Man, after transiting sometimes through dummy companies in Panama and the Seychelles, according to court documents.

During the trial in September, prosecutors blamed the former minister for making France “the laughing stock of the entire world” and called the couple “among the biggest fraudsters” of whom French authorities have been aware.

Before becoming a prominent Socialist politician, Cahuzac built his wealth on his professional activities as a plastic surgeon in the hair transplantation clinic he operated with his ex-wife, a 61-year-old dermatologist, and as a consultant for big pharmaceutical laboratories.

On trial alongside Cahuzac and his ex-wife were a banker, a legal adviser, and bank REYL, a respectable but little-known Swiss establishment, all convicted of money-laundering for helping Cahuzac conceal his assets in tax havens.

When press reports first revealed the scandal in December 2012, Cahuzac was sponsoring a bill to reinforce the fight against tax evasion and fraud.

After strongly denying any fraud for months and publicly lying to parliament, on television, to the French people and to his government colleagues, Cahuzac eventually admitted his wrongdoing in a statement in April 2013, saying he had been “trapped in a lying spiral”.

French law does not sanction perjury.

With the French presidential election less than five months away, yesterday’s verdict is sure to revive voters’ memories of the scandal that tarnished Mr Hollande’s mandate from the start of his presidency.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Philippe Sotto"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4312709.1481222374!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312709.1481222374!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jerome Cahuzac is escorted from court in Paris. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jerome Cahuzac is escorted from court in Paris. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4312709.1481222374!/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/survivors-unlikely-among-48-on-board-in-pakistan-plane-crash-1-4311775","id":"1.4311775","articleHeadline": "Survivors ‘unlikely’ among 48 on board in Pakistan plane crash","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481209795000 ,"articleLead": "

A plane belonging to Pakistan’s national carrier has crashed with 48 people on board. Survivors are “unlikely”, a government official has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312514.1481209718!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "An airport security officer at the entrance to the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad after yesterdays plane crash. Picture: AP"} ,"articleBody": "

The plane crashed in a village near the town of Havelian, about 45 miles north-west of the capital Islamabad, according to senior police officer Khurram Rasheed.

The small twin-propeller aircraft was travelling from the city of Chitral to Islamabad when it crashed shortly after take-off.

According to Daniyal Gilani, the spokesman for Pakistan International Airlines, the plane had lost touch with the control tower prior to the crash.

He said the plane was carrying 42 passengers, five crew members and a ground engineer. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear.

Civil aviation authority spokesman Pervez George said a team of experts would determine the cause after retrieving the plane’s black box recorder.

“I don’t think there is any chance of finding any survivors,” he said.

TV footage showed debris from the plane and a massive fire at the site of the crash.

The footage showed local villagers collecting the remains of the passengers and covering the bodies with cloths.

In a statement, the military said that 36 bodies had been retrieved so far.

A spokesman for the interior ministry said a team had been dispatched to help identify the bodies through DNA tests.

Authorities have released names of passengers – among them Junaid Jamshed, a famous singer-turned-Islamic preacher.

Jamshed, who had 2.8 million Facebook fans, has been named among the world’s 500 most influential Muslims. In his last Twitter post he described Chitral as “heaven on earth”.

Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his “deep grief and sorrow” over the crash.

In a statement, he said “the entire nation is deeply saddened over today’s unfortunate crash and shares the grief of the families who lost their dear ones”.

Plane crashes are not uncommon in Pakistan.

About 150 people were killed in a crash in the hills of Islamabad in 2010.

In 2015, a military helicopter carrying several diplomats also crashed in the north of the country, killing eight people.

A private plane also crashed near Islamabad due to bad weather in 2012, killing 127.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SAM SHEDDEN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4312514.1481209718!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312514.1481209718!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "An airport security officer at the entrance to the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad after yesterdays plane crash. Picture: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "An airport security officer at the entrance to the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad after yesterdays plane crash. Picture: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4312514.1481209718!/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/rebels-propose-truce-in-aleppo-as-syrian-troops-gain-ground-1-4311777","id":"1.4311777","articleHeadline": "Rebels propose truce in Aleppo as Syrian troops gain ground","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481147463000 ,"articleLead": "

Staring a punishing and brutal defeat in the face, several Syrian rebel factions proposed a five-day ceasefire in the eastern part of the city of Aleppo so the wounded, sick and other civilians can be evacuated.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311776.1481147389!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Syrian residents fleeing the violence in the eastern rebel-held parts of Aleppo evacuate their neighbourhoods. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The proposal came yesterday as Syrian government troops and allied militiamen declared they have seized control of three-quarters of the enclave that the opposition controlled since 2012.

The ceasefire proposal was signed by the Aleppo command centre, apparently a ­reference to the collection of factions fighting inside the eastern enclave.

A rebel spokesman said al-Qaeda-linked group Fatah al-Sham Front, which has a limited presence in the enclave, will abide by the proposal. The offer made no mention of a rebel pullout from Aleppo, though the proposal said the fate of the city is to be negotiated after the humanitarian crisis eases.

The Syrian government and its ally Russia had previously rejected a ceasefire for the war-torn city, keeping up the military offensive that has forced rebel retreats and massive displacement of Aleppo civilians. Yesterday, US secretary of state John Kerry and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov were meeting for talks on Syria in Germany.

Earlier, Syrian government troops and allied militiamen seized more ground in Aleppo’s ancient quarters, further widening their control over an enclave in the divided city, Syria’s state media and a monitoring group said.

With the latest gains, the endgame for Aleppo, which has been carved up between the government and the rebel side for the past four years, appears to draw even closer. If Aleppo - the country’s former commercial hub – is captured by government troops, it would be a turning point in the conflict, putting the four largest cities in Syria and the coastal region back under state control.

A statement by the rebel Aleppo Leadership Council said civilians were still in great danger, and it would support any initiative to ease their suffering.

“Civilians should be either protected or evacuated to a safe area where they will not be under the mercy of Assad and his henchmen,”

The US, UK, France, Canada, Germany and Italy again yesterday called jointly for an immediate ceasefire to allow the UN “to get humanitarian assistance to people in eastern Aleppo”.

Meanwhile, the state news agency said that Israel fired several missiles that landed near an important military airport.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SARAH EL DEEB"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4311776.1481147389!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311776.1481147389!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Syrian residents fleeing the violence in the eastern rebel-held parts of Aleppo evacuate their neighbourhoods. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Syrian residents fleeing the violence in the eastern rebel-held parts of Aleppo evacuate their neighbourhoods. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4311776.1481147389!/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/major-undersea-earthquake-hits-indonesia-s-aceh-region-1-4311774","id":"1.4311774","articleHeadline": "Major undersea earthquake hits Indonesia’s Aceh region","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481147070000 ,"articleLead": "

A strong undersea earthquake rocked Indonesia’s Aceh province early yesterday, killing dozens of people and sparking a frantic rescue effort in the rubble of dozens of collapsed and damaged buildings.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311773.1481146994!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Indonesian soldiers and a search and rescue team look for survivors amongst the rubble yesterday in Lueng Putu town, Aceh province. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Major General Tatang Sulaiman, chief of the army in Aceh province, said at least 97 people had died while four others were pulled from the rubble alive. Another four or five were still believed to be buried, but it was not known if they were dead or alive.

“Hopefully we would be able to finish the evacuation from the rubble before sunset,” said Major General Sulaiman.

The rescue effort involving thousands of villagers, soldiers and police was concentrated on Meureudu, a severely affected town in Pidie Jaya district. Excavators were trying to remove debris from shop houses and other buildings where people were believed to have been buried. TV footage showed rescuers in orange uniforms shining torches inside broken buildings as they searched for signs of life.

The National Disaster Mitigation Agency said 273 people were injured, about a quarter of them seriously.

Some 245 buildings were seriously damaged or destroyed, mostly in Pidie Jaya, including 14 mosques. The remainder were largely dwellings and shops. Roads also cracked and power poles toppled over.

Aiyub Abbas, the chief of Pidie Jaya district, which is 11 miles south-west of the epicentre, said there was urgent need for excavation equipment to move heavy debris and emergency supplies. Footage showed rescue personnel taking bodies in black bags away from the rubble.

The US Geological Survey said the shallow 6.5 magnitude earthquake which struck at 5:03am local time was centred about 12 miles south-east of Sigli, a town on the northern tip of Aceh, at a depth of 11 miles. It did not generate a tsunami.

For Acehnese, the quake was a terrifying reminder of their region’s vulnerability to natural disasters. More than 100,000 died in Aceh after the earthquake on 26 December, 2004 triggered a devastating tsunami.

“It was very bad, the tremors felt even stronger than 2004 earthquake,” said Musman Aziz, a Meureudu resident. “I was so scared the tsunami was coming.”

In the capital, Jakarta, president Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said he has ordered all government agencies to take part in the rescue efforts. The Red Cross Indonesia has deployed emergency response teams and advertised bank accounts for donations. The International Organisation for Migration said it had sent an assessment team to Aceh.

Seaside resident Fitri Abidin in Pidie Jaya said she fled with her husband and children to a nearby hill after the quake jolted the family awake early in the morning.

They stayed there for several hours until authorities reassured them there was no tsunami risk.

“It terrified me. I was having difficulty breathing or walking,” said Ms Abidin.

She said her husband grabbed hold of her and carried her out of the house.

The family’s home did not collapse but some neighbours’ properties did and Ms Abidin is afraid that three friends were buried in building collapses.

In Pidie Jaya’s neighbouring district of Bireuen, a teacher at an Islamic building school died after being hit by falling debris, said health worker Achmad Taufiq.

Residents of the nearby town of Lhokseumawe ran out of their houses in panic during the quake and many people fled to higher ground.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4311773.1481146994!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311773.1481146994!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Indonesian soldiers and a search and rescue team look for survivors amongst the rubble yesterday in Lueng Putu town, Aceh province. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Indonesian soldiers and a search and rescue team look for survivors amongst the rubble yesterday in Lueng Putu town, Aceh province. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4311773.1481146994!/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/martyn-mclaughlin-the-media-is-duty-bound-to-scrutinise-trump-not-ignore-him-1-4310636","id":"1.4310636","articleHeadline": "Martyn McLaughlin: The media is duty bound to scrutinise Trump, not ignore him","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481119864000 ,"articleLead": "

The president-elect’s thorny tweets are part of a ploy, but the press must not turn away, says Martyn McLaughlin

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310635.1481119789!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Twitter will play a crucial role in Donald Trump's campaigning presidential style. Picture: Ralph Freso/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

It is an observation which, like so many conventions of democratic political discourse, looks set to be turned on its head come January, when President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

In the past fortnight, the victor of the US election has been especially prolific on Twitter, exhibiting the unique staccato bluster with which he speaks unto the nation.

Over a series of posts, few of which have sought to make good his promise to “bind the wounds of division”, he has levelled numerous unsubstantiated allegations. Variously, they include: claiming millions of fraudulent votes were cast in the election; warning of “serious” fraud across three states; inviting a stairheid rammy with China; and suggesting anyone who burns the American flag should have their citizenship revoked, or be imprisoned.

The sequence of missives has reignited discussion amongst journalists, particularly those in the US, about how, if at all, the media should report Mr Trump’s remarks on the social networking site.

The latter question, focusing on whether a tweet is news, is one that has had tied the media in knots for too long and without good reason. The answer is obvious: not necessarily in isolation, but it is as valid a form of communication as an ad lib or a prepared press statement, and should be granted the same consideration, context and analysis. Yet since Mr Trump’s win, there have been growing calls to cease such basic journalistic duties. The historian Fred Kaplan is among a sizeable band of commentators who believe that the media’s coverage of the Trump administration over the next four years will require new ground rules, chief among them the decision to “ignore his tweets”.

In Mr Kaplan’s opinion, the billionaire’s remarks on Twitter – which, as seen above, routinely take the form of a tapestry of self-promotion, provocation and erroneous proclamations – are tantamount to trolling and therefore unworthy of being reported at all. The scattergun messages, he suggested, are “subterfuge to distract us from real scandals”.

Jack Shafer, a journalist for Politico, has made a similar plea. In a widely circulated opinion piece, he warned of Mr Trump’s “bait and switch” strategy and implored his colleagues and the wider public to resist the temptation of engaging with him. “Know that Trump wants you to tweet back at him the first thing that comes to your offended brain,” he said.

His advice against impetuous replies is wise, but the crux of his argument assumes the press and ordinary readers are like a dog chasing its tail, incapable of simultaneously focusing on Mr Trump’s social media output and his policy proposals. Increasingly, the two are intertwined. While most presidents in waiting would have issued a statement or convened a news event to answer questions about conflicts of interest, Mr Trump saw fit to address the issue over four tweets, while deftly avoiding minor inconveniences such as details.

Astonishingly, it has been 133 days since he last held a press conference, and his calculated hostility towards the fourth estate is as prominent in this transition period as it was throughout the campaign.

Only on Monday did Mr Trump, apropos of nothing, send out a tweet which read: “If the press would cover me accurately & honorably, I would have far less reason to ‘tweet.’ Sadly, I don’t know if that will ever happen!”

The construct he has created is self-serving and will remain firmly in place. When he is able to use Twitter in the same way Franklin D Roosevelt controlled key messages via his cosy fireside chat radio broadcasts, what motivation is there for him to change tact?

There is no great intellectual breakthrough in acknowledging that Mr Trump’s belligerent Twitter persona, the one he employed so successfully in his campaign, is a tactic to avoid scrutiny of the myriad controversies surrounding his administration, of which more will doubtless follow. But it is more than that. It is morphing into a governing strategy for a unique blend of leadership.

Even ensconced in power, Mr Trump’s will be a campaigning presidency. It cannot be anything but, given the cabinet he is assembling spans a divergent and controversial spectrum of views from the right, with a figurehead who is politically elusive, ideologically fickle, and in thrall to popularism.

Whatever unity exists come the New Year will be sorely tested and cracks will eventually appear, an especially wounding prospect for only the fifth president in history to have lost the popular vote.

In this scenario, waging a perpetual attack on common enemies on Twitter should not be dismissed as a distraction technique alone, it is also a means of shoring up support and projecting consensus.

The prose will be disjointed and there will be precious little poetry, but journalists must end their collective mea culpa and focus on essential evidence-based reporting.

Instead of repeating Mr Trump’s tweets verbatim, that means assessing their veracity as well as their intent.

Whatever its failings in the campaign, the media is now scrutinising a president, not a candidate. His words, however unpalatable, matter more than ever.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARTYN McLAUGHLIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310635.1481119789!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310635.1481119789!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Twitter will play a crucial role in Donald Trump's campaigning presidential style. Picture: Ralph Freso/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Twitter will play a crucial role in Donald Trump's campaigning presidential style. Picture: Ralph Freso/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310635.1481119789!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/donald-trump-is-time-s-person-of-the-year-1-4311301","id":"1.4311301","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump is Time’s Person of the Year","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481116358000 ,"articleLead": "

Time magazine has named US President-elect Donald Trump its Person of the Year.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311300.1481116384!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "US President-elect Donald Trump is Time's Person of the Year. Picture: AP/Evan Vucci"} ,"articleBody": "

“It’s a great honour. It means a lot,” Trump said in a telephone interview on NBC’s “Today” show.

The magazine’s managing editor, Nancy Gibbs, said on the programme that Democrat Hillary Clinton was the runner up. Gibbs said the choice of Trump this year was “straightforward.”

The Manhattan real estate magnate went from fiery underdog in the race for the Republican presidential nomination to president-elect when he defeated Clinton in last month’s election.

Trump won 306 electoral votes, easily enough to make him president when the electors meet on December 19. Clinton won the popular vote.

Trump has begun the process of preparing for his presidency and filling Cabinet posts.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4311300.1481116384!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311300.1481116384!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "US President-elect Donald Trump is Time's Person of the Year. Picture: AP/Evan Vucci","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "US President-elect Donald Trump is Time's Person of the Year. Picture: AP/Evan Vucci","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4311300.1481116384!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/financial/banks-slapped-with-485m-penalty-for-interest-rate-cartel-1-4311297","id":"1.4311297","articleHeadline": "Banks slapped with €485m penalty for interest rate cartel","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481116064000 ,"articleLead": "

The European Commission has fined Credit Agricole, HSBC and JPMorgan and a total of €485 million (£413m) for their role as part of a cartel that conspired to rig interest rate derivatives.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311296.1481116096!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "HSBC denied being part of an 'anti-competitive cartel'. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The EU’s competition watchdog said the banks colluded on manipulating euro interest rate derivative pricing elements and exchanged sensitive information “to distort the normal course of pricing”.

HSBC was fined €33.6m, Credit Agricole €114.7m and JPMorgan €337.2m for breaching regulation.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: “A sound and competitive financial sector is essential for investment and growth. Banks have to respect EU competition rules just like any other company operating in the single market.”

The case covers manipulation of financial contracts linked to the benchmark Euribor interest rate in the period between 2005 and 2008.

READ MORE: RBS fined £325m for rigging interest rates

In 2013, antitrust regulators reached a settlement with Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Societe Generale as part of the same case.

The Commission added: “The participating traders of the banks were in regular contact through corporate chat-rooms or instant messaging services.

“The traders’ aim was to distort the normal course of pricing components for euro interest rate derivatives.

“They did this by telling each other their desired or intended Euribor submissions and by exchanging sensitive information on their trading positions or on their trading or pricing strategies.”

For its part, HSBC said it was considering its legal options and denied that it belonged to a cartel.

“The European Commission’s decision relates to allegations of Euribor manipulation and related purported conduct during the course of one month in early 2007,” the bank said.

“We believe we did not participate in an anti-competitive cartel. We are reviewing the European Commission’s decision and considering our legal options.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "RAVENDER SEMBHY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4311296.1481116096!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311296.1481116096!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "HSBC denied being part of an 'anti-competitive cartel'. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "HSBC denied being part of an 'anti-competitive cartel'. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4311296.1481116096!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/markets-economy/martin-flanagan-eu-upheaval-weighs-on-takeover-deals-1-4310832","id":"1.4310832","articleHeadline": "Martin Flanagan: EU upheaval weighs on takeover deals","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481094050000 ,"articleLead": "

There has been much evidence that UK businesses have put investment on hold following the landscape-shifting Brexit vote.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310831.1481093973!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Flanagan says the resignation of Italian premier Matteo Renzi will do little to improve the landscape for M&A deals. Picture: Gregorio Borgia/AP"} ,"articleBody": "

But that has now been mirrored in the latest data for acquisition activity as well, showing a distinct slowdown since that historic decision. One suspects that the latest seismic event throwing prime minister Matteo Renzi out of office in Italy will do nothing to reverse this new caution.

Political stability is always a desirable backdrop for a major acquisitive move, usually secondary to the commercial arithmetic but an important corporate comfort blanket, nevertheless.

Latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows that UK merger and acquisition (M&A) activity nearly halved between July and September, with 140 deals worth £1 million or more – against 278 in the three months leading up to the UK’s European Union referendum.

M&A by overseas businesses for UK companies fell more than 40 per cent to 41 in Q3 from 71 between April and June. These figures are too stark to be purely coincidence.

READ MORE: US companies splash out £2bn on Scots takeovers

As one leading UK business figure told me during the summer, following Brexit the very least likely to happen was that UK and foreign businesses would “scratch their heads” before embarking on strategic acquisitions.

An interesting fact is that the value of acquisitions has gone up in Q3 even if the number has fallen. For instance, Japanese firm SoftBank bid a stonking £24 billion to take over Arm Holdings, the UK microchip designer for Apple.

The value of deals in the third quarter was £34bn, up from £33.1bn in the previous three months. What does this tell us? Probably that most companies, particular the minnows and mid-ranking, have been chastened in their M&A ambitions by Brexit. But the big boys with the big pockets have been readier to look above and beyond Brexit to the wider strategic horizon in their purchases.

Even so, the populist anti-elite earthquake that is happening on the bigger political stage has gained significant momentum and I think it will now lead even the biggest players to lower their sights on deals in the UK and Europe.

We are in cataclysmic times. An overly acquisitive CEO may currently be seen not as a visionary, but as not plugged in.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "mflanagan@scotsman.com" ,"author": "MARTIN FLANAGAN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310831.1481093973!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310831.1481093973!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Martin Flanagan says the resignation of Italian premier Matteo Renzi will do little to improve the landscape for M&A deals. Picture: Gregorio Borgia/AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Flanagan says the resignation of Italian premier Matteo Renzi will do little to improve the landscape for M&A deals. Picture: Gregorio Borgia/AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310831.1481093973!/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/at-least-54-dead-and-dozens-injured-in-indonesian-earthquake-1-4310830","id":"1.4310830","articleHeadline": "At least 54 dead and dozens injured in Indonesian earthquake","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481093603000 ,"articleLead": "

A strong undersea earthquake rocked Indonesia’s Aceh province today, killing at least 54 people and sparking a frantic rescue effort in the rubble of dozens of collapsed and damaged buildings.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310829.1481093529!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Indonesian search and rescue personnel retrieve a body from the rubble of a collapsed building following an earthquake in Pidie, Aceh province. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Major General Tatang Sulaiman, chief of the army in Aceh province, said 52 people have died in Pidie Jaya, the district closest to the epicentre. Another two people died in neighbouring Bireuen district. The national disaster mitigation agency said 78 people have suffered serious injuries.

The rescue effort involving villagers, soldiers and police is concentrated on Meureudu, a severely affected town in Pidie Jaya district. Excavators were trying to remove debris from shop houses and other buildings where people were believed buried.

More than 40 buildings including several mosques were flattened in the district located 11 miles southwest of the epicenter, according to Aiyub Abbas, the district chief. Roads also cracked and power poles toppled over.

Abbas said there is an urgent need for excavation equipment to move heavy debris and emergency supplies. TV footage showed rescue personnel taking bodies in black bags away from the rubble.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the shallow 6.5-magnitude earthquake that struck at 5:03 a.m. (2203 GMT Tuesday) was centered about 6 miles north of Reuleut, a town in northern Aceh, at a depth of 11 miles. It did not generate a tsunami.

For Acehnese, the quake was another terrifying reminder of their region’s vulnerability to natural disasters. More than 100,000 died in Aceh after the December 26, 2004, earthquake triggered a devastating tsunami.

“It was very bad, the tremors felt even stronger than 2004 earthquake,” said Musman Aziz, a Meureudu resident. “I was so scared the tsunami was coming.”

In the capital Jakarta, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said he has ordered all government agencies to take part in the rescue efforts.

Seaside resident Fitri Abidin in Pidie Jaya said she fled with her husband and wailing children to a nearby hill after the quake jolted the family awake early in the morning. They stayed there for several hours until authorities reassured them there was no tsunami risk.

“It terrified me. I was having difficulty breathing or walking,” said Abidin.

She said her husband grabbed hold of her and carried her out of the house.

The family’s house didn’t collapse but the homes of some neighbors did and Abidin is afraid three friends were buried in building collapses.

In Pidie Jaya’s neighboring district of Bireuen, a teacher at an Islamic building school died after being hit by falling debris, said health worker Achmad Taufiq.

About 20 people were being treated at a health center and one person was moved to a hospital because of broken bones and a head injury, said Taufiq.

Residents of the nearby town of Lhokseumawe ran out of their houses in panic during the quake and many people fled to higher ground.

The world’s largest archipelago, Indonesia is prone to earthquakes due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin. The 2004 quake and tsunami killed a total of 230,000 people in a dozen countries, most of them in Aceh.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Zian Mustakin and Niniek Karmini"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310829.1481093529!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310829.1481093529!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Indonesian search and rescue personnel retrieve a body from the rubble of a collapsed building following an earthquake in Pidie, Aceh province. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Indonesian search and rescue personnel retrieve a body from the rubble of a collapsed building following an earthquake in Pidie, Aceh province. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310829.1481093529!/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/tributes-paid-to-scots-woman-stabbed-to-death-in-lapland-1-4309396","id":"1.4309396","articleHeadline": "Tributes paid to Scots woman ‘stabbed to death’ in Lapland","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481062335000 ,"articleLead": "

Tributes have been paid to a British tour guide who was stabbed to death in Lapland.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309907.1481031084!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rebecca Johnson, who was working as a tour guide in Lapland. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

The victim was named locally as Rebecca Johnson, 26, from Burntisland in Fife.

Her body was discovered in the Finnish village of Kuttanen on Saturday.

She was a member of the Santa Safari team which works with Oxford-based tour operator Transun Travel to organise Christmas-themed excursions to Lapland.

Ms Johnson’s great-aunt Val Laing, who stays in Burntisland, said her great-niece would be greatly missed.

She said: “Rebecca was a beautiful girl. I had come home from Edinburgh when her grandad was on the phone to tell me what had happened. I couldn’t take it in at first.

“For her parents and grandparents to lose her just before Christmas is devastating. I’ll be there for them but I don’t know how they are going to cope.”

It is understood Ms Johnson’s parents have travelled to Lapland.

Billy Allen, the owner of Bonzos The Dog Shop in Kirkcaldy, used to help Ms Johnson purchase dog equipment for expedition work.

He said: “She used to come round and see my dogs and bring her mum round and her sister and that kind of thing. And we helped her get her first dog.

“I heard that she was going out there [Finland] to do her thing and live her dream. That was what she always wanted to do.”

In a post on the dog shop’s Facebook page, Mr Allen said that the incident was “very sad news”.

He said she set up “a good little business selling mushing equipment”.

Mr Allen added: “Her trip to Finland should have been the happiest days of her life... It was what she always talked of doing.”

Her 36-year-old Czech boyfriend has been arrested and is in police custody on suspicion of the killing following a police manhunt in Arctic conditions in temperatures of minus 30C (minus 22F).

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ben Philip"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4309907.1481031084!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309907.1481031084!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Rebecca Johnson, who was working as a tour guide in Lapland. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rebecca Johnson, who was working as a tour guide in Lapland. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4309907.1481031084!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4309395.1481014653!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309395.1481014653!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Finnish police attend the scene following the arrest of a man suspected of stabbing a Scottish tour worker to death in Lapland. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Finnish police attend the scene following the arrest of a man suspected of stabbing a Scottish tour worker to death in Lapland. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4309395.1481014653!/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/man-found-guilty-of-handing-cash-to-brussels-terror-suspect-1-4310730","id":"1.4310730","articleHeadline": "Man found guilty of handing cash to Brussels terror suspect","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481060522000 ,"articleLead": "

A Belgian national has been found guilty of helping to fund terrorism by giving cash from overpaid benefits to Brussels bombing suspect Mohamed Abrini during a secret rendezvous in a Birmingham park.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310729.1481060446!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Zakaria Boufassil, left, and Mohamed Ali Ahmed gave �3,000 to the Brussels bombing suspect. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Zakaria Boufassil, together with Mohammed Ali Ahmed, supplied £3,000 to Abrini, dubbed “the man in the hat” after he was caught on CCTV at Brussels airport just before the bombing in March this year. A jury of six men and six women at south-west London’s Kingston Crown Court found Boufassil, 26, from Birmingham, guilty of engaging in conduct in preparation of acts of terrorism.

Boufassil, who looked stunned as the verdict was delivered, told the court he was a cannabis user and a “moderate and tolerant” 
Sufi Muslim and described members of the so-called Islamic State as “worse than animals”.

On 8 April this year, Abrini, 31, was arrested in Belgium and accused of “participating in terrorist acts” linked to 
the Brussels Zaventem Airport suicide bombing on 22 March.

The Belgian Moroccan is also wanted by French authorities for the 13 November, 2015 attacks in Paris in which 130 people died.

In a transcript of an interview with Abrini by Belgian investigators, which was read to the court during the trial, he said that while visiting the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa in Syria, a man called Abdelhamid Abaaoud had asked him to collect the cash in the UK as a “favour”.

He also revealed it had been “Zakaria” who had handed him the bag of money in the “forest”, but that he had not been told by Abaaoud who it was from or how much he was to collect.

During his UK visit, in July 2015, Abrini also visited casinos in Birmingham and Manchester, Old Trafford football stadium, the Arndale Shopping Centre in Manchester and the Bullring in Birmingham, after travelling to Britain from Syria via Turkey.

Despite this, Abrini claimed that “neither in London, nor in Birmingham, nor in Manchester” had he been on any “reconnaissance trips in relation to preparatory terrorist attacks”.

Abrini said there was no plan to attack England because the country has a “more developed secret service”.

The pair will be sentenced on 12 December.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Georgina Stubbs"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310729.1481060446!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310729.1481060446!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Zakaria Boufassil, left, and Mohamed Ali Ahmed gave �3,000 to the Brussels bombing suspect. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Zakaria Boufassil, left, and Mohamed Ali Ahmed gave �3,000 to the Brussels bombing suspect. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310729.1481060446!/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/french-pm-valls-steps-down-to-focus-on-presidential-election-1-4310726","id":"1.4310726","articleHeadline": "French PM Valls steps down to focus on presidential election","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481059663000 ,"articleLead": "

French prime minister Manuel Valls stepped down yesterday to focus on running for president in next year’s election and was replaced by interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve, a man who embodies the fight against Islamic extremism.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310725.1481059590!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bernard Cazeneuve takes over as prime minister of France. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Mr Valls resigned a day after announcing his candidacy in the wake of French president François Hollande’s decision not to run for a second term.

Mr Valls said: “I want to give everything for France.

“My candidacy is one of conciliation, of reconciliation. I have a responsibility today to unite.”

He hopes to unite Socialists and give the left a chance to stay at the Elysee Palace despite current opinion polls suggesting the second round of the April-May election could pit Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Front, against conservative François Fillon.

Mr Cazeneuve, 53, is a close ally of Mr Hollande and became a popular figure as the champion of measures tackling extremism.

Mr Cazeneuve, appointed interior minister in 2014, faced a series of attacks in France that have claimed more than 200 lives since January 2015.

In total, he championed three counter-terrorism laws and one intelligence law. He has also been in charge of implementing France’s state of emergency following the Paris attacks that killed 130 people in November 2015.

Earlier this year, he handled the dismantlement of the migrant camp in Calais on the French side of the English Channel, and the relocation of thousands of people to temporary reception centres across the country.

Mr Hollande said yesterday he has entrusted Mr Cazeneuve with protecting the French people.

“But protecting is not enough, we must prepare the future,” Mr Hollande said.

Bruno Le Roux, the head of the Socialist group in Parliament’s lower house, was appointed as France’s new interior minister. He is ­another close ally of Mr Hollande.

Mr Valls is the top contender in the primary next month for Socialist candidates and their allies before France’s two-part presidential election but he will face tough competition.

A leading yet divisive party figure, Mr Valls is known for his outspoken, authoritarian style and tough views on immigration and security. He has been criticised by other party members after championing tough labour reforms and endorsing a controversial ban last summer on the Islamic “burkini” swimsuit.

Former economy minister Arnaud Montebourg and former education minister Benoit Hamon, who back more left-leaning policies, are also serious contenders in the Socialist primary.

After a brief meeting with Mr Valls at the Elysee, Mr Hollande posted a brief message on Twitter announcing Mr Cazeneuve’s appointment, which was also confirmed by the presidential palace press office.

Mr Cazeneuve is a lawyer by training, has been an MP since 1997 and was mayor of Cherbourg between 2001 and 2012, when he gave up the position to join the government. He has two children.

Several French media outlets noted that Mr Cazeneuve is regarded very much as a safe pair of hands by Mr Hollande, who has come to rely heavily on his loyalty.

Le Monde, Liberation and Le Parisien all mentioned Mr Cazeneuve’s nickname “the Swiss army knife” – implying that he is Mr Hollande’s reliable assistant.

Le Monde also added that over the past few years, Mr Cazeneuve “has established himself as one of the key ­pieces on Hollande’s chessboard”.

Several pundits predict that Mr Cazeneuve is likely to spend only a record-breaking short term of five months in his new role before the election.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SYLVIE CORBET"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310725.1481059590!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310725.1481059590!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Bernard Cazeneuve takes over as prime minister of France. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bernard Cazeneuve takes over as prime minister of France. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310725.1481059590!/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/poland-s-supreme-court-upholds-refusal-to-extradite-polanski-1-4310724","id":"1.4310724","articleHeadline": "Poland’s Supreme Court upholds refusal to extradite Polanski","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481059312000 ,"articleLead": "

Poland’s Supreme Court confirmed a refusal to detain and extradite filmmaker Roman Polanski to the US if he enters Poland.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310723.1481059239!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Roman Polanski is wanted in the US over underage sex case. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The ruling upholds the decision of a lower court that was challenged by the justice minister, and closes the matter in Poland.

“Game over,” said Jan Olszewski, one of Polanski’s lawyers. “The case is definitively closed. We won in a fair struggle. We feel satisfaction.”

Mr Polanski, 83, is wanted in the US in a case involving sex with a minor that has haunted him for almost 40 years and he is subject to an Interpol warrant in 188 countries.

He has avoided extradition by travelling only between three countries. He lives in France, where he was born, and also has a home in Switzerland, which in 2011 rejected a US request to extradite him. He has often visited Poland, where he grew up and studied at a film academy.

The three-judge panel rejected a request by justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro to overturn the extradition refusal, and upheld the procedure and decision taken by a lower court in Krakow in 2015.

The director pleaded guilty in 1977 to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl during a photo shoot in Los Angeles. In a deal with the judge, he served 42 days in prison, but then fled the US, fearing the judge would have him imprisoned again for much longer.

The US, which has been seeking to bring Mr Polanski back before a court, asked Poland last year to extradite him.

Mr Olszewski said Mr Polanski has paid dearly for what he has done, with all the films that he was not able to make in Hollywood and the 40 years of stigma.

“You can hardly imagine a heavier punishment” for a filmmaker, Mr Olszewski said.

Mr Polanski was preparing to make a film in Poland, but canceled his plans after Mr Ziobro’s move. His lawyers said this was also the reason why Mr Polanski did not travel to Poland to attend the funeral of another leading film director, Andrzej Wajda, in October.

Mr Polanski would not comment on the decision, his lawyer in France, Herve Termime, said.

The justice minister argued that Mr Polanski should be punished and his celebrity status was the only thing shielding the Oscar-winning director from being extradited.

The lower court had argued that Mr Polanski had served over 350 days of prison terms and house arrest in the US and Switzerland, which was more than the original US verdict. It also said he would probably not get a fair trial in the US.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MONIKA SCISLOWSKA"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310723.1481059239!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310723.1481059239!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Roman Polanski is wanted in the US over underage sex case. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Roman Polanski is wanted in the US over underage sex case. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310723.1481059239!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/thousands-on-streets-of-chennai-to-mourn-india-s-iron-lady-1-4310722","id":"1.4310722","articleHeadline": "Thousands on streets of Chennai to mourn India’s ‘iron lady’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481058689000 ,"articleLead": "

Hundreds of thousands of people thronged the southern Indian city of Chennai yesterday to honour their late beloved leader, Jayaram Jayalalithaa, a former film actress who became a popular politician.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310721.1481058613!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former chief minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa's coffin is seen wrapped in the Indian national flag. Picture: AP"} ,"articleBody": "

Ms Jayalalithaa, chief minister of Tamil Nadu state, died overnight following a heart attack a day earlier.

A sea of weeping mourners surged toward the steps of a public hall where Ms Jayalalithaa’s body, draped in the Indian flag, was kept on a raised platform.

Thousands of police officers formed chains to stop the heaving crowd from surging up the steps. Men and women wept, some breaking into loud wails. Several mourners fainted from the heat and dehydration. Police said some had been keeping vigil outside the Apollo Hospital since Sunday and then walked to Rajaji Hall at daybreak.

In the evening, hundreds of thousands of people followed a slow-moving military truck carrying her body in a glass coffin to a beachside burial ground.

In New Delhi, MPs observed a minute’s silence yesterday before both houses of Parliament were adjourned for the day in respect for the woman whom many referred to as “Amma”, or mother.

Prime minister Narendra Modi said Ms Jayalalithaa’s death left a “huge void in Indian politics”. He flew to Chennai, where he placed a wreath on the body.

Roads leading to Chennai were clogged as people from remote villages poured into Tamil Nadu’s capital to catch a last glimpse of their leader.

The Tamil Nadu government declared seven days of mourning for Ms Jayalalithaa, who was a five-time chief minister of the state. Schools and offices were closed after authorities declared public holidays in the state for three days.

Within hours of Ms Jayalalithaa’s death, her trusted lieutenant, O Panneerselvam, was sworn in as chief minister.

Hundreds of political leaders and film celebrities travelled to Chennai to attend Ms Jayalalithaa’s funeral.

Ms Jayalalithaa, 68, had been hospitalised since September, suffering from a fever, dehydration and a respiratory infection.

At the time, thousands of people prayed and fasted outside the hospital for her recovery. Doctors barred visitors, sparking rumours that they were withholding bad news out of fear it could trigger the same outpouring of grief, riots and suicides that followed the death of Ms Jayalalithaa’s political and acting mentor, MG Ramachandran.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "AIJAZ RAHI and NIRMALA GEORGE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310721.1481058613!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310721.1481058613!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Former chief minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa's coffin is seen wrapped in the Indian national flag. Picture: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former chief minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa's coffin is seen wrapped in the Indian national flag. Picture: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310721.1481058613!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/angela-merkel-to-seek-new-term-as-chancellor-amid-asylum-row-1-4310231","id":"1.4310231","articleHeadline": "Angela Merkel to seek new term as chancellor amid asylum row","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481033745000 ,"articleLead": "

German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed her determination to ensure there is no repeat of last year’s huge migrant influx as she seeks a new term in charge of her conservative party.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310230.1481033672!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel will seek a new term in office. (Photo: JOERG KOCH/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

Germany saw about 890,000 asylum-seekers arrive last year, many after Ms Merkel decided in September 2015 to let in migrants who were stuck in Hungary.

Numbers have since declined sharply, but Ms Merkel’s approach to the migrant crisis has provoked discord within her Christian Democratic Union party, which has seen a string of poor state election results this year.

“A situation like the one in the late summer of 2015 cannot, should not and must not be repeated,” Ms Merkel told party delegates at a congress in the western city of Essen.

“That was and is our, and my, declared political aim,” she said. Ms Merkel’s government has moved to declare several countries “safe” - meaning people from there cannot expect to get refuge in Germany.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310230.1481033672!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310230.1481033672!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel will seek a new term in office. (Photo: JOERG KOCH/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "German Chancellor and leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Angela Merkel will seek a new term in office. (Photo: JOERG KOCH/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310230.1481033672!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/law/catriona-munro-new-rules-let-small-firms-sue-cartels-1-4309889","id":"1.4309889","articleHeadline": "Catriona Munro: New rules let small firms sue cartels","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481017686000 ,"articleLead": "

Cartels and anti-competitive behaviour harm the economy and competition authorities have long been trying to stamp them out but, until recently, consumers and small businesses who lost out from unfair practices had little chance of claiming redress.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310190.1481028469!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Catriona Munro says the new rules are expected to bring more claims for competition damages. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

New rules coming into force this month will boost the position of claimants and make indulging in any kind of anti-competitive behaviour riskier still for companies.

Anti-competitive behaviour can already lead to large fines: a group of major European truck manufacturers was fined almost €3 billion this summer for collusion dating back more than a decade. And it has long been possible – in theory – to bring claims for damages, but these were expensive and faced high hurdles, especially for actions involving large numbers of consumers, each of whom suffered only a small loss. Small businesses, too, have seldom sought compensation because doing so has been expensive and risky.

However, from 27 December, new EU rules will make these types of actions easier to bring. Of course, there is uncertainty surrounding EU legislation since the referendum, but for now it stands and is expected to apply even after the UK leaves the EU.

The new rules are expected to increase claims made by those who suffer loss as a result of anticompetitive behaviour by others. They will allow claimants to obtain disclosure documents from defendants in competition claims in other EU countries.

Actions for damages to compensate for overcharges by cartelists can now be brought on an “opt-out” basis, where those who have suffered loss are automatically party to the action. This law has already resulted in claims previously prohibitively difficult to bring. The new rules are expected to increase competition damages claims, presenting ever-greater risk to firms that infringe competition law.

Ultimately, the EU system looks to achieve a balance, where fair compensation is available to incentivise good corporate behaviour, but without going overboard as in the US. For all businesses, however, the message is clear: ensure your staff know what is and isn’t permitted under competition law, both so they can comply with the law, and so they can enforce their rights against others.

• Catriona Munro is a partner in the EU competition and regulatory practice at law firm Maclay Murray & Spens

Click here to ‘Like’ The Scotsman Business on Facebook

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CATRIONA MUNRO"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310190.1481028469!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310190.1481028469!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Catriona Munro says the new rules are expected to bring more claims for competition damages. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Catriona Munro says the new rules are expected to bring more claims for competition damages. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310190.1481028469!/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/joe-biden-hints-at-us-presidential-bid-in-2020-1-4309844","id":"1.4309844","articleHeadline": "Joe Biden hints at US presidential bid in 2020","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481012655000 ,"articleLead": "

Joe Biden has refused to rule out running for president in 2020 - more than a month before president-elect Donald Trump enters the White House.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309843.1481012581!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Could Joe Biden run for president in 2020? Picture: AFP/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The 74-year-old departing vice-president was speaking to reporters on Monday after presiding over the Senate as it cleared away procedural hurdles to a biomedical research bill he is supporting.

With a slight smile on his face, Biden told reporters: “I’m going to run in 2020. For president. So, uh, what the hell, man.”

When asked if he was joking, Biden responded: “I’m not committing not to run. I’m not committing to anything. I learned a long time ago, fate has a strange way of intervening.”

Biden, who will turn 78 shortly after the 2020 election, would be the oldest person to serve as president if he did run and was elected.

Ronald Reagan was just shy of turning 78 when he left office in January 1989.

Biden decided not to run for the White House in 2015, instead backing Hillary Clinton. In 2008 he was unsuccessful in gaininig the Democratic presidential nomination but entered the White House as Barack Obama’s running mate.

The outgoing vice-president also made an unsuccessful bid in 1988.

Since Trump’s victory last month, Biden has become a rather popular internet meme.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4309843.1481012581!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309843.1481012581!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Could Joe Biden run for president in 2020? Picture: AFP/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Could Joe Biden run for president in 2020? Picture: AFP/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4309843.1481012581!/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/eu-in-crisis-as-italy-s-pm-quits-after-referendum-defeat-1-4308958","id":"1.4308958","articleHeadline": "EU in crisis as Italy’s PM quits after referendum defeat","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480970355000 ,"articleLead": "

Italian voters have dealt premier Matteo Renzi a resounding rebuke by rejecting his proposed constitutional reforms, plunging Europe’s fourth-largest economy into political and economic uncertainty.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308957.1480928409!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigns a speech after the results of the referendum. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

Mr Renzi announced he would quit following the referendum vote, in which 60 per cent of voters rejected his proposals and signalled they wanted a change in political direction.

The unexpectedly large margin of defeat, with a robust voter turnout of 68.5 per cent, appeared to rule out any chance Mr Renzi would be offered another shot at forming a government, although analysts expect President Sergio Mattarella to ask Mr Renzi to stay on long enough to pass the new budget, with a target date of 23 December.

The vote energised the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the anti-immigrant Northern League, whose leader has allied himself with far-right figures in Europe, including France’s Marine Le Pen and Norbert Hofer in Austria, who lost a presidential run-off in the country on Sunday.

While the opposition parties were joined in antipathy for Mr Renzi’s policies and reform course, they share little else in common, and have already begun vying to position themselves for new elections, although the timing of any vote remains unclear.

Analysts expect that Mr Mattarella would try to appoint a transition government to draft a new election law, with speculation centred on either Mr Renzi’s finance minister, Pier Carlo Padoan, or the president of the Senate, Pietro Grasso.

But that course is already facing opposition.

Northern League leader Matteo Salvini called for elections this winter, “because real change happens only through electoral victory”.

• READ MORE: Scottish economy to slow sharply in 2017, warns think-tank

The election law, which Mr Renzi wanted to reform, would hand a huge bonus of seats to the lower house while maintaining a proportional system for the upper house, raising the potential for parliamentary gridlock.

With much wrangling ahead, the risk facing Italy is “a prolonged muddle-through period, the emergence of an ineffective, patched-up coalition government in the post-election phase and continuously poor economic performance,” said Wolfango Piccoli, a political analyst at Teneo Intelligence consultancy.

The Milan Stock Exchange opened down 2 per cent, with many bank shares suspended due to excessive volatility, before returning to positive territory.

Investors had been anticipating Mr Renzi’s defeat for several days, and had sold off Italian stocks and bonds. Yesterday’s sanguine market reaction can also be attributed to the fact that Italy’s markets indirectly enjoy a big backstop from the European Central Bank.

The central bank for the 19-country eurozone is buying 80 billion euro (£67.5 billion) every month in bonds, including government debt, across the currency bloc.

It is expected on Thursday to decide to extend that programme beyond its current end date of March.

The bond purchases aim to boost growth and inflation but also effectively help keep low government borrowing rates. That is crucial for Italy, which has a massive public debt load of 130 per cent of GDP.

Mr Renzi swept into power two-and-a-half years ago on a pledge to dismantle the system, but his brash ways divided his own party and his confidence was widely perceived as arrogance, even in other European capitals and especially in Brussels, where he had grown increasingly bold in pressing for flexibility on the budget.

“I lost and the post that gets eliminated is mine,” Mr Renzi said. “The government’s experience is over.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said the German leader “took note with regret” of Mr Renzi’s announcement that he would resign following his defeat in the referendum.

Spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Berlin that Ms Merkel “worked very well and trustingly with Matteo Renzi, but of course the democratic decision taken by Italian citizens must be respected”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "COLLEEN BARRY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4308957.1480928409!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4308957.1480928409!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigns a speech after the results of the referendum. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigns a speech after the results of the referendum. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4308957.1480928409!/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/abe-to-become-first-serving-japanese-pm-to-visit-pearl-harbor-1-4309668","id":"1.4309668","articleHeadline": "Abe to become first serving Japanese PM to visit Pearl Harbor","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480969874000 ,"articleLead": "

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309667.1480969801!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe announced he is to visit Pearl Harbor later this month. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Japan’s leader has said he will visit Pearl Harbor with US president Barack Obama at the end of this month.

No serving Japanese prime minister has ever visited the US naval base in Hawaii that was attacked by Japan in 1941, propelling the United States into the Second World War.

Prime minister Shinzo Abe said he will visit Hawaii in late December and hold a final summit meeting there with Mr Obama before the American leader leaves office.

Earlier this year, Mr Obama became the first sitting US president to visit the memorial to victims of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima at the end of the war.

The unexpected announcement came two days before the 75th anniversary of the attack. Mr Abe, in a brief statement, said he would visit Hawaii on 26 and 27 December to pray for the war dead at Pearl Harbor.

“We must never repeat the tragedy of the war,” he said. “I would like to send this commitment. At the same time, I would like to send a message of reconciliation between Japan and the US.”

The White House confirmed a meeting on 27 December, saying “the two leaders’ visit will showcase the power of reconciliation that has turned former adversaries into the closest of allies, united by common interests and shared values”.

More than 2,300 US servicemen died in the aerial attack, which will be marked tomorrow by a remembrance ceremony on a pier overlooking the harbour. A moment of silence will be observed at 7:55am, when the Japanese planes hit their first target. In the seven decades since the end of the war, the United States and Japan have become staunch allies as Japan rebuilt itself into an economic power. It is one of the more remarkable turnarounds of former enemies in world history.

“Our talks in Hawaii will be a chance to show the rest of the world our ever stronger alliance in the future,” Mr Abe said.

The announcement of the summit comes as Japan worries about the direction of US foreign policy under Mr Obama’s successor, Donald Trump.

The president-elect said during the campaign that Japan and other allies should contribute more to the cost of stationing US troops in their countries

Mr Abe met Mr Trump in New York last month. He said Mr Trump is a leader he can have great confidence in.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "KEN MORITSUGU"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4309667.1480969801!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309667.1480969801!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe announced he is to visit Pearl Harbor later this month. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe announced he is to visit Pearl Harbor later this month. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4309667.1480969801!/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/dakota-oil-pipeline-protesters-vow-to-stay-despite-victory-1-4309666","id":"1.4309666","articleHeadline": "Dakota oil pipeline protesters vow to stay despite victory","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1480969694000 ,"articleLead": "

Protesters celebrated a major victory in their push to reroute the Dakota Access oil pipeline away from a tribal water source but pledged to remain camped on federal land in North Dakota anyway, despite yesterday’s US government deadline to leave.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309665.1480969621!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chief Arvol Looking Horse of the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota Nation during an interfaith ceremony at Oceti Sakowin Camp at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Hundreds of people at the Oceti Sakowin, or Seven Council Fires, encampment cheered and chanted “mni wichoni” – “water is life” in Lakota Sioux – after the US Army Corps of Engineers refused to grant the company permission to extend the pipeline beneath a Missouri River reservoir.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters argue that extending the project beneath Lake Oahe would threaten the tribe’s water source and cultural sites. The segment is the last major sticking point for the four-state, $3.8 billion (£6.5bn) project.

“The whole world is watching,” said Miles Allard, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux. “I’m telling all our people to stand up and not to leave until this is over.”

Despite the deadline, authorities say they won’t forcibly remove the protesters.

The company constructing the pipeline, Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, released a statement on Sunday night slamming the Army Corps’ decision as politically motivated and alleging that President Barack Obama’s administration was determined to delay the matter until he leaves office.

“The White House’s directive today to the corps for further delay is just the latest in a series of overt and transparent political actions by an administration which has abandoned the rule of law in favour of currying favour with a narrow and extreme political constituency,” the company said.

President-elect Donald Trump, a pipeline supporter, will take office in January, although it wasn’t immediately clear what steps his administration would be able to take to reverse the Army Corps’ latest decision or how quickly that could happen.

That uncertainty, Mr Allard said, is part of the reason the protesters won’t leave.

“We don’t know what Trump is going to do,” Mr Allard said.

Assistant secretary for civil works Jo-Ellen Darcy said that her decision was based on the need to consider alternative routes for the pipeline’s crossing.

“Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do,” Ms Darcy said.

North Dakota’s governor, Jack Dalrymple, criticised the decision, calling it a “serious mistake” that “prolongs the dangerous situation” of having several hundred protesters camped out on federal land during cold, wintry weather.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JAMES MACPHERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4309665.1480969621!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4309665.1480969621!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Chief Arvol Looking Horse of the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota Nation during an interfaith ceremony at Oceti Sakowin Camp at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chief Arvol Looking Horse of the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota Nation during an interfaith ceremony at Oceti Sakowin Camp at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4309665.1480969621!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}