{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"world","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/niharika-lal-only-one-third-of-the-world-s-population-can-access-safe-surgery-1-4374093","id":"1.4374093","articleHeadline": "Niharika Lal: Only one third of the world’s population can access safe surgery","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487829600000 ,"articleLead": "

Having worked as a doctor for seven years, I have always had a keen awareness that not everyone has the luxury of a free, world-class healthcare system at their doorstep; that there were less fortunate people living in remote areas of the world where access to quality healthcare is woefully limited.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4374092.1487792980!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "In Zambia, there is only one anaesthetist per one million people. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

This led me to temporarily leave my training programme to become a consultant anaesthetist and apply to volunteer with Zambia Anaesthesia Development Project (ZADP). Along with three other anaesthetists, I have dedicated six months to developing anaesthetic services in Zambia, leaving paid work, career progression, family and friends behind.

Only two out of the six billion people on this earth have access to safe surgery. The need for surgery in Zambia is great; but the complications that occur are common, often resulting in death. There is a plethora of reasons for this, but the most relevant one that I can help with is the fact that there are only a handful of trained anaesthetists, around one per million people. This is in sharp contrast with the UK where there are around one per 10,000. Surgery is mostly being carried out with inadequate anaesthetic support (in some cases, none at all), meaning that patients have procedures with little pain relief, minimal monitoring and anaesthesia delivered by unskilled hands in remote areas with poor facilities and sterility.

The aim of ZADP is to empower local doctors, to train them to become fully qualified anaesthetists and to develop anaesthesia as a specialty. The hope is that the training will be taken over by local doctors. We aim to make ourselves obsolete; there is no point in a project that aims to be anything other than sustainable. ZADP’s aim is being achieved by firstly creating a training programme (running since 2012) which produces anaesthetists. Secondly, we aim to improve the academic development of the trainees with involvement in research projects which could improve healthcare in their setting and be published in prestigious medical journals. Thirdly, we chair teaching sessions aiding in professional development. And lastly, we supervise trainees in theatre. We teach new clinical techniques and give tips on improvement, not only in the administration of anaesthesia, but in the general safe, clean and efficient running of an operating theatre.

The funding for this worthwhile project is running out. While we are here of our own accord, it costs money to run research projects crucial to the improvement of healthcare, buy medical equipment, and train doctors to become anaesthetists. The anaesthetic programme has recently seen its first graduates who are now senior anaesthetists working independently - we have seen the benefit of running this programme and the improvements it will make in Zambia so need to ensure that it continues. Progress is slow but sure. Given time and resources, this project could vastly improve the surgical management of patients.

Patients die because of unsafe anaesthesia. This is a situation beyond belief in privileged countries such as the UK. The difference between the two settings seems to me like two separate worlds: one in which patients wake up blissfully unaware and comfortable following their surgical procedure, and one in which even children have to grit their teeth through simple yet unsafe surgery that could cost them their lives. Is it fair there should be such a discrepancy? No, but this is the situation in which we find ourselves, which is why it is essential that the work of projects such ZADP is continued.

Niharika Lal has lived in Glasgow since 1998 and works as an anaesthetist with the Zambia Anaesthesia Development Project. For more information go to www.zadp.org

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4374092.1487792980!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4374092.1487792980!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "In Zambia, there is only one anaesthetist per one million people. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "In Zambia, there is only one anaesthetist per one million people. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4374092.1487792980!/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/uk-strengthens-ties-with-india-as-investment-soars-1-4373300","id":"1.4373300","articleHeadline": "UK strengthens ties with India as investment soars","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487756628000 ,"articleLead": "

The UK has strengthened its position as the single largest G20 investor in India, supporting close to 800,000 jobs, according to a new report.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4373299.1487756605!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The UK is the G20's largest investor in India. Picture: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Between 2000 and 2016, the UK invested some $24.1 billion (£19.4bn) in India – increasing its investment by almost $1.9bn between 2015 and last year – representing 8 per cent of all foreign direct business investment into the country, the study by the CBI reveals.

The UK also managed to see off tough competition from Japan to remain the largest of all foreign investors into India after Mauritius and Singapore, and significantly ahead of the US.

READ MORE: Tennent’s owner agrees tie-up to take IPA to India

British business interests in India span a broad spectrum, both in terms of size and sector, with the country attracting investment from industry to services. The chemicals sector receives the lion’s share of UK investment at $6.1bn, followed by drugs and pharmaceuticals at $4.1bn and food processing at $3.2bn, according to the CBI’s second Sterling Assets India report, supported by PwC and the UK India Business Council.

The top reasons British firms invest there are the size and growth potential of the market, the easy availability of talented workers and the stable political system, today’s research notes.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Carolyn Fairbairn, the CBI’s director-general, said: “It’s really encouraging to see the vibrant economic relationship between India and the UK continues to flourish.

“From strengthening the UK’s leading position as the largest G20 investor in India to being the biggest Indian job creator through direct investment, it’s clear the country is a magnet for British firms.”

She added: “As UK companies grow, they also create jobs and drive prosperity here at home.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4373299.1487756605!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4373299.1487756605!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The UK is the G20's largest investor in India. Picture: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The UK is the G20's largest investor in India. Picture: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4373299.1487756605!/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-proud-tradition-of-satire-is-now-a-toothless-irrelevance-1-4372941","id":"1.4372941","articleHeadline": "Martyn McLaughlin: The proud tradition of satire is now a toothless irrelevance","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487750037000 ,"articleLead": "

At a time when US comedy is thriving on upheaval, why are Britain’s offerings so meek, asks Martyn McLaughlin

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4372940.1487750015!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Actor Alec Baldwin impersonates Donald Trump at a rally. Baldwin regularly impersonates Trump on TV show Saturday Night Live. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

It is hard to keep track of how many times the last rites have been administered to British satire, a patient that has been in parlous health for the best part of a generation. Somehow it has limped on, offering up infrequent bouts of tittering as evidence of life, when cadaveric spasms seem the likelier explanation.

The last great example – Christopher Morris’s Brass Eye – turned 20 years old this month. Instead of surveying the legacy of a television series which dissected its age, culture, and medium with unflinching precision, we are sustained by memories and retrospectives of a time when comedy grew out of genuine anger.

A few years after Brass Eye aired, Barry Humphries warned the marriage of satire to mass media would produce a pervasive “frivolity, cynicism, and finally a vacuousness”. Our comedy now inhabits that void.

At a time when the world appears to be teetering on its axis, our response is ragbag of toothless panel shows, fearful of straying beyond glib barbs. For a country that gave the world Beyond the Fringe and That Was the Week That Was, it is a dispiriting situation, especially given the resurgence in US satire sparked by the Trump administration.

There can be no better example of this revival than Saturday Night Live. A 42-year-old institution whose alumni includes Bill Murray, Tina Fey, and Will Ferrell, the late night sketch show has long felt a rudderless shadow of its former self, lacking emphasis and bite.

In large part, that was due to the moderate politics and decency of Barack Obama, but even when Mr Trump emerged as his potential successor, it took the programme’s writers and performers time to readjust, with Alec Baldwin’s impressions of the Republican candidate never quite amounting to more than diverting burlesques.

This uncertainty among comedians over how to tackle Mr Trump was understandable. As a candidate, he wielded power without responsibility, free to make fanciful proclamations and slurs. He robbed satirists of what they depend on most of all – the power of exaggeration.

Now that he is president, however, the satire trade’s appetite has been whetted thanks to a steady catastrophe of ill-conceived policies and a backroom team that would look more at home manning the ghost train at an out-of-town carnival than it does in the White House.

One recent segment featuring the comedian Melissa McCarthy is a case in point. In it she offers up a character assassination disguised as an impersonation, ferociously deconstructing the seething, scattergun alpha male bluster of the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer.

Since it was uploaded to YouTube on 5 February, the clip has been viewed nearly 24 million times, and according to journalists in Washington, it has ruffled feathers in an administration that has little patience for weakness – perceived or otherwise – amongst its staff. This is satire at its best – mercilessly funny, yes, but also a corrective with which to expose folly and arrogance.

It remains to be seen if Saturday Night Live will live up to its newfound promise. Even if it loses its way, those with an appetite for satire are already well catered for in the US. The best of the lot, HBO’s Last Week Tonight, combines savage polemic with an investigatory zeal, often devoting 20-minute segments to target the grand institutions of American life.

It is an unorthodox approach which has routinely been misinterpreted as journalism. In fact, the show acts as an aggregator for existing news reports, assembling them into an argument before adding a liberal pinch of vitriol thanks to its British host, John Oliver.

A comedian from the West Midlands, his early forays to the Edinburgh Festival were met with a distinctly tepid critical response. “John Oliver has based his debut Edinburgh show on death,” began one 2002 review. “It is a concept he can be no stranger to, given the lukewarm reception his obscure observations receive.”

Nowadays, Mr Oliver has put such caustic reviews behind him and is at work on the fourth series of his multiple Emmy award-winning show. His unlikely ascension to stardom no doubt owes a debt to the way he has evolved his craft, but the most decisive factor was surely his decision to emigrate to a country unafraid of using humour as a weapon.

Had he stayed in Britain, it is all too predictable how Mr Oliver’s career would have panned out. He would, by now, be a veteran of Have I Got News For You, Mock the Week, and Radio 4’s The News Quiz. All are the comedic equivalent of hot water bottles; on occasion, they are capable of scolding, but by design they are intended to be warm, familiar and comfortable.

There is a slavish adherence to well-worn formats and well-kent faces in what passes for British satire. Where is our response to Mr Trump, the shockwaves of Brexit or an almost uniquely malicious Conservative government?

It is not for the want of new voices – Tom Walker’s left-wing fictional television reporter character, Jonathan Pie, has mustered over 12 million views online by riffing on all three issues, yet he remains a stranger to the viewing public.

Is it institutional cowardice and compliance issues that stop broadcasters from putting the boot in, or are we the viewers actually content with our blunt offering? Either way, it seems we are missing out not only on brave comedy, but an essential public service.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARTYN McLAUGHLIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4372940.1487750015!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4372940.1487750015!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Actor Alec Baldwin impersonates Donald Trump at a rally. Baldwin regularly impersonates Trump on TV show Saturday Night Live. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Actor Alec Baldwin impersonates Donald Trump at a rally. Baldwin regularly impersonates Trump on TV show Saturday Night Live. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4372940.1487750015!/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/let-scotland-take-more-child-migrants-mps-to-be-told-1-4373183","id":"1.4373183","articleHeadline": "Let Scotland take more child migrants, MPs to be told","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487748384000 ,"articleLead": "

Scottish local authorities want to take more unaccompanied child refugees from camps in Europe, the children’s commissioner for Scotland will tell MPs today.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4373182.1487748360!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scotland's children's commissioner Tam Baillie has criticised the Home Office decision to cap the number of lone children brought to the UK. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Tam Baillie criticised the Home Office decision to cap the number of lone children brought to the UK from camps across Europe at 350, saying the government let people believe 3,000 would be allowed in.

Ministers are under intense pressure to re-open the Dubs scheme, named for the Labour peer and Kindertransport refugee who championed an amendment to legislation last year that opened the channel for unaccompanied minors without family in the UK.

“They should be held to account on what is already a very weak position the government has taken. We should be taking the lead,” said Mr Baillie, who appears before an emergency session of the Commons home affairs committee today.

“You witness the outrage when children are being washed up on beaches, and progressively our response to that has become weaker and weaker.”

Mr Baillie added that Scottish local authorities “want to play their part”, but said more funding was needed, as well as better coordination between the Home Office, the Scottish government and councils.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PARIS GOURTSOYANNIS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4373182.1487748360!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4373182.1487748360!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scotland's children's commissioner Tam Baillie has criticised the Home Office decision to cap the number of lone children brought to the UK. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scotland's children's commissioner Tam Baillie has criticised the Home Office decision to cap the number of lone children brought to the UK. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4373182.1487748360!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/trump-presidency-could-disrupt-flow-of-scientific-ideas-1-4373045","id":"1.4373045","articleHeadline": "Trump presidency could ‘disrupt flow of scientific ideas’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487721600000 ,"articleLead": "

US President Donald Trump’s immigration policies could “disrupt the flow of scientific ideas and knowledge”, according to an article in a leading medical journal.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4373044.1487713181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trumps policies could hit scientific work hard. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The authors say the first few weeks of Mr Trump’s presidency have raised “worrying questions about its likely impact on science and health policy”.

Many of the new administration’s pronouncements seem “lacking in careful consideration of the consequences for biomedical research, healthcare, and ultimately the health of people in the US and the rest of the world”, according to the paper published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Ashish Jha KT Li, professor of health policy at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Policy, Jose Merino, the US clinical research editor for the BMJ, the journal’s executive editor Kamran Abbasi and Elizabeth Loder, its head of research, said the Trump administration’s policies “risk head-on collision with the scientific and health communities”. They wrote that they were concerned that the administration was “acting in ways that will suppress research and limit communication on scientific topics that it deems politically inconvenient”.

“Restricted” departmental communications to the public, accessibility of scientific information on government websites and changes proposed to the US Food and Drug Administration were highlighted as other areas of concern.

The authors added: “His immigration policy will disrupt the flow of scientific ideas and knowledge, hinder recruitment of scientists to American institutions, limit training opportunities for international physicians, and worsen national shortages of healthcare workers.”

The repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, could prove damaging without a viable alternative, they added, and funding cuts to international health organisations and global health projects “will harm women and worsen the health of vulnerable populations”.

“Any president of the United States is entitled to implement policies that reflect personal ideology and political beliefs,” the authors wrote.

“The public may disagree on the merits and drawbacks of these policies, but as long as the supporting arguments are based on facts and comply with constitutional principles then so be it.

“In its first weeks, however, Donald Trump’s presidency has raised worrying questions about its likely impact on science and health policy.

“Many of the new administration’s pronouncements seem to place little value on facts or analysis.”

The authors concluded: “They also seem lacking in careful consideration of the consequences for biomedical research, healthcare, and ultimately the health of people in the US and rest of the world.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "KEVAN CHRISTIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4373044.1487713181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4373044.1487713181!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Donald Trumps policies could hit scientific work hard. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trumps policies could hit scientific work hard. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4373044.1487713181!/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/israeli-court-gives-soldier-18-months-for-fatal-shooting-1-4373024","id":"1.4373024","articleHeadline": "Israeli court gives soldier 18 months for fatal shooting","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487709401000 ,"articleLead": "

An Israeli military court on sentenced a soldier to 18 months in prison for shooting dead a Palestinian attacker who lay wounded on the ground, capping a nearly year-long saga that has deeply divided the country.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4373023.1487709378!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Israeli soldier Elor Azaria is embraced by his mother Oshra before his sentencing session at a Tel Aviv military court. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Yesterday’s sentence, which included a year’s probation and a demotion in rank, was lighter than expected. Prosecutors had asked for a prison term of three to five years. Palestinians dismissed the sentence as a “joke”.

Yet it still triggered disappointment from several hundred protesters who had gathered outside the Tel Aviv court and had hoped to see the soldier walk free. Sgt Elor Azaria is to start serving his term on 5 March, and politicians immediately called for him to be pardoned. “Even if he erred, Elor should not sit in prison. We will all pay the price,” said education minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the nationalist Jewish Home Party and an early supporter of the soldier.

The Palestinians, meanwhile, said the light sentencing only encouraged Israeli soldiers to use excessive force.

“This sentence is a joke, and it shows how much discrimination Israeli courts practice against Palestinians,” said Issa Karaka, Palestinian government minister for prisoners.

Azaria was convicted of manslaughter last month in a rare case of a military court ruling against a soldier for lethal action taken in the field.

The verdict marked a victory for commanders who said Azaria had violated the army’s code of ethics. But the soldier himself generated great support among the public, many of whom see him as a scapegoat for a misguided elite that has sought to harshly punish a soldier who they say responded to an armed attacker trying to kill other soldiers.

Azaria, an army medic, was caught on a cellphone video last March as he fatally shot the wounded Palestinian, just after the man stabbed a soldier in the West Bank city of Hebron. The Palestinian, Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, was lying on the ground badly wounded and already unarmed when Azaria shot him in the head.

The dead Palestinian’s father, Yousri al-Sharif, said the light sentence made a mockery of justice. “If one of us killed an animal they would have put him in jail for God knows how long. They are only making fun of us,” he said.

Fathi al-Sharif, an uncle of the slain attacker, said the sentence was too light. “It’s not a punishment,” he said. “This will encourage other soldiers to do the same.”

The shooting occurred at the height of what has become more than a yearlong wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence. Since September 2015, Palestinian attackers have carried out numerous stabbing and shooting attacks that have killing 41 Israelis and two visiting Americans. During the same time, Israeli forces have killed 235 Palestinians, most of them attackers.

Palestinians and human rights groups have accused Israeli forces of using excessive force in some of the cases and even harming innocent people mistaken for attackers. But in the absence of concrete evidence, they have been unable to prove these claims. The video of the Azaria shooting, taken by a Palestinian human rights activist, was the strongest evidence to date to support the Palestinian claims.

“Sending Elor Azaria to prison for his crime sends an important message about reigning in excessive use of force,” said Sari Bashi, Israel and Palestine advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “But senior Israeli officials should also repudiate the shoot-to-kill rhetoric that too many of them have promoted, even when there is no imminent threat of death. Pardoning Azaria or reducing his punishment would only encourage impunity for unlawfully taking the life of another person.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "AMI BENTOV and ARON HELLER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4373023.1487709378!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4373023.1487709378!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Israeli soldier Elor Azaria is embraced by his mother Oshra before his sentencing session at a Tel Aviv military court. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Israeli soldier Elor Azaria is embraced by his mother Oshra before his sentencing session at a Tel Aviv military court. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4373023.1487709378!/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/dominic-hinde-beware-the-right-wing-version-of-mythical-sweden-1-4372667","id":"1.4372667","articleHeadline": "Dominic Hinde: Beware the right-wing version of mythical Sweden","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487690811000 ,"articleLead": "

Under-researched clickbait is not just the vice of the far right, but what happens when journalists fill in the gaps, asks Dominic Hinde

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4372665.1487690789!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The city of Malmo - 'rape capital of the world' according to Nigel Farage. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

I was more than a bit surprised when I got off a plane on Saturday and switched on my phone to find that Donald Trump had seemingly made reference to a terror attack in Sweden.

As someone whose job involves keeping tabs on the Nordic countries, if something had happened I should probably have heard about it.

How then, did the US President come to say something so easily disprovable?

For a great many people, Sweden is a paradise, albeit one they know nothing about.

The internet is full of spuriously sourced stories claiming that Sweden is introducing six hour days, has got rid of carbon emissions, or has transcended the boundaries of corporeal existence.

Under-researched clickbait is not just the vice of the far right.

The right-wing version of the mythical Sweden that only exists on the internet is though a far more insidious phenomenon.

For every feel-good click story about feminist fathers and climate change action, there are two or three pieces reporting on terminal decline in Swedish society, usually connected to the actions of Muslims, women, or socialism.

There are a few surefire headlines doing the rounds, including that Sweden is the rape capital of Europe, that crime has skyrocketed since the country took in over 130,000 people during the Syrian refugee crisis, and that there are ‘no-go zones’ where white people fear to tread populated by immigrant welfare freeriders.

The far-right Sweden Democrats party are more than happy to put on respectable suits and play expert commentator for international broadcasters looking for soundbites in English.

The anti-immigration and anti-EU party are the subject of regular puff pieces by Breitbart, the hard right news site connected to Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon.

A network of right wing sites, including Breitbart, The Gatestone Institute, and others have realised that dystopian ideas about Sweden mean ad income.

This network of alt-right sites take stories from and interview one another, meaning that stories become ‘verified’ through duplication and internal systems of citation.

They also have an uneasy alliance with Sputnik, the Kremlin-run news service which claims that Sweden has been playing down crime by immigrants and regularly pushes out stories on the failure of the Swedish project.

Earlier this year Sweden had to issue media guidance to its diplomats around the world to combat increasingly lopsided portrayals of the country, particularly in the US press.

Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter recently tracked one fake news story about Muslim refugees desecrating a church to its source - a basement flat in Macedonia that makes money punting made up news stories to angry demographics of Americans.

In reality the Church was vandalised by some local drug addicts and the Islamic angle entirely fabricated.

Until Dagens Nyheter’s journalist investigated, nobody had bothered trying to establish the real facts of the situation.

Some of the fake news punted around about Sweden is cynically commercial, other stories merely willingly disingenuous.

To right wing Americans, Sweden is the new Soviet Union, everything America shouldn’t be.

Never mind the fact that Forbes Magazine, hardly a socialist Pravda, recently named it as one of the best places to do business in the world.

Famously The Spectator published a cover story last year on Sweden’s refugee policies featuring a hand grenade in the colours of the Swedish flag.

The Daily Mail and the Express also joined it. The portrayal of Sweden as a country under siege is not just the work of people on fringe click sites and forums but newspapers and editors who know that hate brings in revenue.

Most concerningly, Donald Trump claimed to have based his views on Sweden on the decidedly mainstream Fox News.

Sweden is like any other country. If you don’t report it properly then someone else can come along and fill in the gaps. It is when journalism leaves these gaps that things get dangerous.

• Dominic Hinde is a European and environmental journalist, and the author of the book ‘A Utopia like Any Other: Inside the Swedish Model’

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4372665.1487690789!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4372665.1487690789!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The city of Malmo - 'rape capital of the world' according to Nigel Farage. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The city of Malmo - 'rape capital of the world' according to Nigel Farage. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4372665.1487690789!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4372666.1487690791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4372666.1487690791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "People celebrate at the election night party of the far-right Sweden Democrats in Stockholm, in September 2014. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "People celebrate at the election night party of the far-right Sweden Democrats in Stockholm, in September 2014. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4372666.1487690791!/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/business/companies/retail/unilever-looks-inward-again-after-kraft-diversion-1-4372235","id":"1.4372235","articleHeadline": "Unilever looks inward again after Kraft diversion","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487671987000 ,"articleLead": "

The British food giant is likely to accelerate its own streamlining plan after rejecting an audacious takeover approach from its US rival, writes Martin Flanagan.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4372234.1487672027!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kraft Heinz and Unilever have hundreds of household brands around the world. Picture: AP"} ,"articleBody": "

Well, that was the phantom leviathan bid that wasn’t, and in little more than 48 hours.

Who was that masked corporate? US food and household products giant Kraft Heinz tabled a bombshell $143 billion (£115bn) takeover offer approach for British/Dutch rival Unilever on Friday, proving that no company is too big for merger attention.

READ MORE: Kraft Heinz withdraws £115bn merger bid for Unilever

But the American company, backed by Brazilian private equity group 3G Capital and investment guru Warren Buffett, was surprised at the strength of the rebuff. Unilever branded the offer lowball, devoid of strategic logic and insisted there was nothing worth discussing. That was compounded by a whirlwind of pundit comment saying that the proposed marriage of the food giants would be vigorously scrutinised by regulators given their big market shares and geographical reach.

Of course, Kraft Heinz, with a phalanx of investment banking advisors, would have factored in regulatory scrutiny as inevitable, but it was probably counselled that it could be largely defused by stressing Kraft’s main footprint was in America, while Unilever is strongest in the UK, mainland Europe and Asia.

Some brand divestments might well have been identified to sweeten regulators as well. The two companies would have been spoilt for choice.

Kraft Heinz has a panoply of household names including Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Philadelphia Cheese, Planter’s nuts and Heinz Baked Beans. Unilever has a bundle of its own, ranging from Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Dove soap to Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Marmite, Pot Noodle and Knorr soups. The merger would have been the ultimate “comfort brand” marriage.

But I think, perhaps a bit belatedly, Kraft realised there may be a political dimension to the opposition as well that, even more than usual, would have made a hostile move on Unilever absolutely fraught with risk. Prime Minister Theresa May is said to have ordered officials to look at the deal before it was embarrassingly binned on Sunday (a joint statement from Kraft and Unilever saying they “hold each other in high regard”, which seemed a tad resonant of celebrity divorcees saying they retain respect for each other and love the children (I suppose the kids being the brands in this case).

The Prime Minister promised what seemed like an in interventionist approach last year when she unveiled what she said would be a “proper industrial strategy”. Many took this to imply a “picking industrial winners” approach, and a more protective stance when foreign buyers tried to pick off big British companies.

Politically, it also would have been ticklish that Kraft blotted its copybook with Whitehall in 2010 when, after pledging to keep a Cadbury factory open in Somerdale, near Bath, it did a U-turn after securing a £11.5bn hostile takeover of the UK chocolate business.

This was compounded by Kraft’s then chief executive Irene Rosenfeld declining to appear before the Treasury select committee to be quizzed about the Cadbury takeover. Some MPs raged that it verged on showing legal “contempt” for Parliament.

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The City’s Takeover Panel reviewed the laws and, in September 2011, strengthened the hand of target companies, and demanded more information from bidders about their intentions after purchases, particularly in areas such as factory closures and job cuts.

So the latest fast-moving-consumer-goods juggernault, which would have been the second biggest ever takeover after Vodafone’s €190bn purchase of German telecomms group Mannesmann in 2000. is stillborn. The target’s shares jumped 13 per cent when the bid was made public on Friday, but gave up more than 6 per cent yesterday. Where now?

Whenever a major business has had a takeover approach, it usually leads others to sniff the water, but that doesn’t mean it is “in play”. Unilever is a big mouthful to swallow, only a handful in the world would be contenders.

And they would face the same regulatory and political complications as Kraft Heinz did. The upshot, say analysts, is that Unilever boss Paul Polman is expected to redouble efforts to take costs out of the organisation, mainly in back office, manufacturing and distribution.

It says it all about Unilever’s size that one previous chief executive once talked about focusing on the group’s 400 core products, and getting out of non-essentials.

Some believe Unilever will also focus more on household products as it moves forward – a trademark of Kraft Heinz in the past few years – as the likes of detergent and toilet cleaner have better profit margins that most food products.

The “offer” gave us transient, if illusory, excitement, though.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "mflanagan@scotsman.com" ,"author": "MARTIN FLANAGAN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4372234.1487672027!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4372234.1487672027!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kraft Heinz and Unilever have hundreds of household brands around the world. Picture: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kraft Heinz and Unilever have hundreds of household brands around the world. Picture: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4372234.1487672027!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/donald-trump-has-put-r-a-in-uncharted-territory-1-4371987","id":"1.4371987","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump has put R&A in ‘uncharted territory’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487628493000 ,"articleLead": "

Donald Trump has put the R&A in “uncharted territory” since becoming US President but that will not stop Turnberry being considered for the Open Championship, the organisation’s chief executive has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4371959.1487628471!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump at Turnberry, one of the courses on the Open Championship rota. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

Martin Slumbers said it would be “foolhardy” for the St Andrews-based organisation not to work with Mr Trump if the Ayrshire venue, which is owned by the American’s family, is selected to stage golf’s oldest major during his spell in the White House.

That would probably need to involve Mr Trump serving a second term as the Open Championship venues through until 2021 have now been largely finalised following an announcement that the 2020 event, the next one that was up for grabs, will be staged at Royal St George’s in Kent.

While still to be confirmed, it means the event’s 150th anniversary in 2021 will almost certainly be staged at St Andrews, meaning that 2022 is the earliest available opportunity for Turnberry to welcome it back for the first time since 2009.

“I was very clear last year when I said that we were focused on Turnberry as a golf course, and there has been nothing that’s happened in the last year to change that,” said Mr Slumbers.

“Turnberry remains one of our nine golf courses (for the Open Championship). I also said last year that Turnberry wasn’t involved in the discussion for ’20 and ’21, and we will not be thinking about ’22 for at least another year.

“We are clearly now in uncharted territory as we’ve never had this in our game. Sitting presidents have attended US Opens, but we have not had a sitting President of the United States at an Open Championship. We’ve had royalty, but for all of us in the game, we are in uncharted territory here with the president’s family owning golf courses. We’re all learning as we go through this.

“But we are talking about the President of the United States, and, with all senior people in the world, I think it’s polite and respectful to listen to them and work with them. It’s very important that we work with the president if Turnberry did come back on. That would just be foolhardy not to.”

Golf’s most influential organisations had previously distanced itself from Mr Trump in the wake of his views on Mexican immigrants and his vow to build a wall on the US-Mexico border.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Martin Dempster"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4371959.1487628471!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4371959.1487628471!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Donald Trump at Turnberry, one of the courses on the Open Championship rota. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump at Turnberry, one of the courses on the Open Championship rota. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4371959.1487628471!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/donald-trump-state-visit-will-be-debated-in-parliament-1-4371153","id":"1.4371153","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump state visit will be debated in Parliament","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487579534000 ,"articleLead": "

The state visit by Donald Trump will be debated in Parliament as protests take place across the UK against the US president.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4371152.1487579503!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Donald Trump gestures during the "Make America Great Again Rally" at Orlando-Melbourne International Airport. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)"} ,"articleBody": "

MPs will consider Theresa May’s decision to extend the invitation to Mr Trump in a debate being held in response to petitions signed by millions of Britons.

Meanwhile demonstrations will take place across the country in support of migrants and protesting against Mr Trump, while thousands are expected to gather for a rally outside Parliament.

In Westminster Hall on Monday, MPs will debate a petition, signed by more than 1.85 million people calling for the visit to be stripped of the trappings of a state occasion in order to avoid causing “embarrassment” to the Queen.

They will also consider an alternative petition, backed by almost 312,000 signatories, demanding the state visit goes ahead.

In its official response to the petitions, the Government stressed ministers believe “the President of the United States should be extended the full courtesy of a State Visit”.

“We look forward to welcoming President Trump once dates and arrangements are finalised,” the response said.

The Stop Trump coalition has called a nationwide day of action and dozens of protests have been coordinated by the One Day Without Us movement celebrating the contribution of immigrants to British society.

The rally in Parliament Square, which organisers claim will attract more than 20,000 people, will be addressed by speakers including joint Green Party leader Caroline Lucas and comic Shappi Khorsandi.

Celebrities backing the action include singer Paloma Faith, who said: “I’m backing the protests because I believe in human rights and compassion and Trump evidently does not.”

Calls for the state visit to be cancelled have been backed by London mayor Sadiq Khan, who hit out at the president’s “cruel and shameful” policies.

Mr Khan said the controversial tycoon’s travel ban aimed at people from seven Muslim-majority countries, which has run into trouble in the US courts, and the suspension of refugee admissions were reasons not to be “rolling out the red carpet”.

Mr Khan, who is a Muslim, told ITV’s Peston On Sunday: “I love America, I love Americans and I believe the special relationship is a good one and one that’s here to stay.

“But when you’re mates with somebody, when you’ve got a special relationship, of course you are side-by-side with them in times of adversity but when they are wrong you call them out.”

He added: “I think this ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, ending the refugee programme is cruel and it’s shameful.

“In those circumstances we shouldn’t be rolling out the red carpet.”

Mrs May has been criticised for offering Mr Trump a state visit too soon in his already highly controversial presidency.

Barack Obama only received an invitation after 758 days, while it took 978 days before his predecessor, George W. Bush, was offered a state visit, compared with seven days for Mr Trump.

Commons Speaker John Bercow has also become embroiled in the row after effectively banning Mr Trump from addressing MPs and peers during his visit.

A motion of no confidence in the Commons Speaker was tabled as MPs left for the February recess, but with Parliament returning on Monday both Mr Bercow’s critics and supporters will be seeking allies.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Amy Watson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4371152.1487579503!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4371152.1487579503!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "President Donald Trump gestures during the "Make America Great Again Rally" at Orlando-Melbourne International Airport. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Donald Trump gestures during the "Make America Great Again Rally" at Orlando-Melbourne International Airport. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4371152.1487579503!/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/topsy-turvy-times-for-investors-dividend-payouts-1-4371121","id":"1.4371121","articleHeadline": "Topsy turvy times for investors’ dividend payouts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487577470000 ,"articleLead": "

Shareholders endured a disappointing 2016 with collective global dividend payments only inching ahead, although the outlook is a little brighter, a report today notes.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4371120.1487577532!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Global dividends edged up just 0.1% last year on a headline basis. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Global dividends edged up just 0.1 per cent on a headline basis last year, reaching $1.154 trillion (£930 billion), while underlying growth was 0.6 per cent, according to the latest Henderson Global Dividend Index.

READ MORE: Investors enjoy record fourth quarter for UK dividends

It cited a number of factors, including a slowdown in the US, sharp falls in Australia, the UK and emerging markets, plus lower special dividends and a stronger dollar.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Alex Crooke, head of global equity income at Henderson Global Investors, said: “For the year ahead, the outlook for global economic growth appears brighter. With a new administration in the White House promising greater spending and tax cuts for business, corporate earnings in the US could benefit, even as they contend with the effects of the strong dollar.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4371120.1487577532!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4371120.1487577532!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Global dividends edged up just 0.1% last year on a headline basis. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Global dividends edged up just 0.1% last year on a headline basis. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4371120.1487577532!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/donald-trump-leaves-swedes-stumped-over-terror-plot-claims-1-4370982","id":"1.4370982","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump leaves Swedes stumped over terror plot claims","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487538669000 ,"articleLead": "

Swedes have been scratching their heads and ridiculing President Donald Trump’s remarks that suggested a major terror incident had happened in their country.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370981.1487538649!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "People in Sweden are non-plussed at Donald Trump's suggestiion their country suffered a terror attack. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)"} ,"articleBody": "

During a downright surreal rally in Florida on Saturday, Trump told the audience: “You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden… Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden… They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”

But it wasn’t clear what he was referring to and there were no high-profile situations reported in Sweden on Friday night.

The comment prompted a barrage of social media reaction, including from former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt, who tweeted: “Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound.”

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Catarina Axelsson said that the government wasn’t aware of any “terror-linked major incidents”.

Meanwhile, Sweden’s security police said it had no reason to change the terror threat level. “Nothing has occurred which would cause us to raise that level,” agency spokesman Karl Melin said.

Axelsson told reporters that the Swedish Embassy in Washington has since contacted the state department to request clarification of Trump’s remarks and was waiting for an answer.

And mocking Trump in an article yesterday, the Gothenburg-based Aftonbladet newspaper wrote, “This happened in Sweden Friday night, Mr President,” and then listed in English some events that included a man being treated for severe burns, an avalanche warning and police chasing a drunken driver.

One Twitter user said: “After the terrible events #lastnightinSweden, Ikea have sold out of this” and posted a mock manual on how to build a “Border Wall”.

Sweden, which has a long reputation for welcoming refugees and migrants, had a record 163,000 asylum applications in 2015. It has since cut back on the number it accepts.

Its most recent attack linked to extremism happened in the capital, Stockholm, in December 2010. An Iraqi-born Swede detonated two explosive devices, including one that killed him but no-one else.

Some commentators have speculated that Trump may have been referring to a segment on Fox News’s Tucker Carlson show broadcast on Thursday about a documentary on Swedish immigration.

The documentary by Ami Horowitz claimed Sweden’s generous immigration policy is linked to a rise in crime, and alleges the government was attempting to cover up the link.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370981.1487538649!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370981.1487538649!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "People in Sweden are non-plussed at Donald Trump's suggestiion their country suffered a terror attack. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "People in Sweden are non-plussed at Donald Trump's suggestiion their country suffered a terror attack. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370981.1487538649!/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/deadly-weather-bomb-wreaks-havoc-in-california-1-4370624","id":"1.4370624","articleHeadline": "Deadly weather bomb wreaks havoc in California","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487493609000 ,"articleLead": "

One of the most powerful storms to strike California in years has left two people dead and seen flash floods and torrential rain hit the state.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370623.1487493590!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Firefighters rescue a woman after her car was caught in flooding in Sun Valley, California, on Friday. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Hundreds of householders have been told to evacuate their homes due to fears of landslides caused by the “bombogenesis” or “weather bomb”.

More than 300 arriving and departing flights were delayed or cancelled at Los Angeles International Airport, and major roads have been closed.

The powerful Pacific storm – which spread from the south of the state, around Los Angeles up to San Francisco on Friday, bringing gusts of up to 70mph – has also caused power cuts and car-swallowing sinkholes.

One man was killed after a tree fell and pulled a power line onto his car in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles. Police and fire officials confirmed that a 55-year-old man had been electrocuted and pronounced dead at hospital.

Later, in the same neighbourhood, a sinkhole swallowed two cars, the second on live television as viewers watched it teeter on the edge before plunging in. Firefighters rescued one person from the first car, and the driver got out of the second before it fell. No-one was injured.

Erik Scott from the Los Angeles Fire Department said the sinkhole rescue was “a very unique and dangerous situation”.

He said the driver in the fallen car was forced to stand on top of her vehicle, underground and amid rushing water, until a ladder could be passed down to her, 10ft below the street.

A second motorist was found dead in a submerged vehicle in the town of Victorville.

A helicopter had been able to rescue one person from the roof of a car in the same area, said Eric Sherwin, San Bernardino county fire spokesman.

Mud sloshed over concrete rail barriers and about two dozen vehicles, including big-rigs and a school bus, were either mired in mud or became unable to turn around on the closed road and some were abandoned, Sherwin added.

Two people in a car were rescued and four students on the bus were removed and taken to a school office.

Another road in the area was covered by 2ft of mud.

In Sun Valley, ten cars were trapped in swift-moving water on a road and eight people had to be rescued, the fire department reported.

Firefighters used ropes and inflatable boats to rescue seven people and two dogs from the Sepulveda basin, a recreation and flood-control area along the Los Angeles River. One person was taken to hospital with a non life-threatening injury.

The storm started in southern California but also spread north into the San Joaquin Valley and up to San Francisco.

It was not expected to bring significant rain in the far north, where damage to spillways of the Lake Oroville dam forced the evacuation of 188,000 people last weekend.

Officials monitoring the stricken dam on the Feather River said they were confident the reservoir would be able to handle any runoff from expected storms because ongoing releases have been lowering the lake’s level since its spillways were damaged last week.

The National Weather Service said it could end up being the strongest storm to hit Southern California since January 1995.

Rain and wind wiped out play in golf’s Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.

Joe Sirard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said the storm system was moving “very slowly” eastward.

Hundreds of trees and dozens of power lines were toppled in the Los Angeles area and at one point more than 60,000 city power customers were without electricity.

A 75ft tree fell onto an apartment building near the University of California, Los Angeles, narrowly missing a householder who was in bed, fire officials said.

Four of the six apartments have been declared unsafe to enter, prompting the evacuation of 16 college students.

“I was just sitting in bed trying to enjoy a Friday morning of no class,” one resident told KCAL-TV.

“I heard a giant, like thunder, popping sound and then next thing I knew a branch was coming through the ceiling.”

The falling debris caused scratches to her leg.

She said: “I was covered in sawdust. I thought ‘Where am I going to live?’”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370623.1487493590!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370623.1487493590!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Firefighters rescue a woman after her car was caught in flooding in Sun Valley, California, on Friday. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Firefighters rescue a woman after her car was caught in flooding in Sun Valley, California, on Friday. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370623.1487493590!/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/north-korea-on-the-trail-of-dear-brother-s-assassins-1-4370465","id":"1.4370465","articleHeadline": "North Korea: On the trail of Dear Brother’s assassins","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487458939000 ,"articleLead": "

When North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il died in 2011, layers of ice were said to have ruptured at Chon Lake and snowstorms to have enveloped the sacred peak of Mount Paektu. As his funeral cortège moved through Pyongyang, the crowds engaged in ostentatious displays of grief. Escorting his hearse was his son, Kim Jong-un – the country’s new leader – and Jong-il’s brother-in-law, Jang Song-thaek, who was expected to take the inexperienced young man under his wing. Conspicuous by his absence was Jong-un’s older half-brother Kim Jong-nam, the once favoured scion who had fallen from grace a decade earlier.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370459.1487442612!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kim Jong-un inspects the construction of housing blocks in Pyongyang. Picture: STR/AFP/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

If – by his non-attendance – Jong-nam hoped to signal a relinquishing of any claim to power, and therefore to secure a future free from assassination attempts, he seems to have underestimated the ruthlessness and paranoia of a regime which would go on to execute more than a hundred state or military officials. Or, alternatively, the will of one of its enemies to undermine it.

Last week, Jong-nam died after being ambushed in Kuala Lumpur International Airport as he prepared to board a flight to the Chinese territory of Macau. Like many events involving North Korea, the killing had all the drama and intrigue of a James Bond movie: a false identity (Jong-nam was travelling under the alias Kim Chol); a group of shady assassins – thought to include at least two women – and a lethal dose of chemicals, rumoured to be deadly pufferfish toxins. The sense of the surreal was completed when the blurry photo of the first suspect – a young woman wearing a T- shirt bearing the slogan “LOL” – became a viral hit, and opportunists cashed in by flogging copies on the back of the murder.

Since capturing the “LOL” suspect – Doan Thi Huong, 28, who was travelling on a Vietnamese passport – Malaysian detectives have arrested three more people: Siti Aisyah, 25, from Banten in Indonesia, her boyfriend, Muhammad Farid Bin Jalaluddin, 26, from Malaysia, and a North Korean named Ri Jong Chol, 46. But there is still confusion over who ordered the attack and why, with each new rumour bringing more questions than answers.

For example, if Jong-nam truly feared for his life – and wrote, begging to be spared after a failed assassination attempt in 2012 – why was he so casual about his use of Facebook and emails? And is there any connection between his killing and North Korea’s ballistic missile test last Sunday, or the birthday of the late Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il, which was celebrated in the usual, understated way (dancing, treats, flowers laid at the feet of statues) on Thursday?

Establishing the “truth” in North Korea is made more difficult by the secrecy in which the hermit kingdom is cloaked, by the wild speculation such secrecy breeds, and by the number of countries with an axe to grind. Lee Cheol-woo, the chairman of South Korea’s National Assembly Intelligence Committee, insists Jong-nam was murdered by North Korean agents, but it is not clear on what evidence he is basing his claim. As of Friday night, it was still unclear whether the poison was administered via a spray, a rag over the mouth or a hypodermic needle, never mind on whose orders the attack was carried out. With Malaysian police refusing to hand over the body to North Korea or release autopsy details until they are given DNA from his family, “facts” are proving hard to come by.

Given the family rifts and the regime’s history of bumping off “troublesome priests”, however, it is unsurprising the finger of blame is being pointed at Kim Jong-un. For years Jong-nam – Kim Jong-il’s oldest son, born to former actress Sung Hye-rim – was his favourite. He was sent off to study in Geneva and then Moscow and was trusted to travel with his father to Shanghai to meet senior officials in information technology. But in the early 2000s his life began to veer off course. Having travelled abroad, he appeared to feel stifled by life in North Korea and to be looking for a means of escape. A gambler with playboy tendencies, he started making secret trips to Tokyo, where he frequented a $350-an-hour bathhouse in Yoshiwara, the city’s red light district. Back home, he began to advocate reform. Then, in 2001, came the moment of ignominy that was to turn him into an outcast: his arrest at Narita Airport in Tokyo. Caught travelling on a false passport bearing the Chinese alias Pang Xiong – or “fat bear” – he told officials he had been trying to visit Disneyland.

From then on, his star began to wane. North Korea has a strict tradition of primogeniture, but the Korean People’s Army waged a campaign to cast Jong-il’s latest consort, Ko Yong-hui, a former dancer, as “the Respected Mother”, and her sons, Kim Jong-chul and Jong-un as his rightful heirs. In the end, Jong-il decided Jong-chul was too “effeminate” for the role and chose Jong-un to succeed him.

Since 2003, Jong-nam had lived in exile, in Macau and Beijing, raising, it is rumoured, separate families in each city. Overweight and louche-looking, he is said to have feared for his life, despite being afforded a degree of protection and financial assistance by China. From time to time, he criticised the regime.

The murder of Jong-nam certainly bears some of the hallmarks of Kim Jong-un’s bloody reign. For the past five years, the new leader has ruled through fear, consolidating his power by arbitrarily executing government officials and military leaders, often for minor infractions. Defence minister Hyon Yong-choi, for example, was taken out with an anti-aircraft gun in front of hundreds of spectators after falling asleep at a public event, while vice-premier Kim Yong-jin was killed by firing squad supposedly for slouching.

One of the victims of Jong-un’s purges was Jang Song-thaek, the uncle who stood with him at Jong-il’s hearse. Jang and his wife (Jong-il’s sister Kyung-hee) had helped to raise Jong-nam after his mother was rejected and packed off to Moscow. Jang was executed in 2014, though not, as was originally reported, after being stripped naked and ripped apart by dogs.

North Korea also has a long tradition of using female agents. Jong-il’s father Kim Il-sung started recruiting pretty girls from high schools and universities after his original plan to abduct businessmen from Japan, South Korea and Thailand and turn them into spies failed when they proved resistant to brainwashing. The girls were trained in the arts of espionage and sex, and sent out to seduce politicians, journalists and other figures who might have access to secrets. Some would get pregnant and use the babies to blackmail their victims.

The most notorious female agent is Kim Hyon-hui who – together with a male accomplice – planted a bomb on Korean Air Flight 858, killing 115 people in 1987, in an attempt to dissuade people from attending the Olympics in Seoul the following year. Kim Hyon-hui took cyanide on her arrest, but didn’t die. She was pardoned by the South Korean government in exchange for telling them everything she knew, and still lives there under protection.

All this seems to point to North Korea’s involvement in Jong-nam’s death. Yet, there are doubts over how much of a threat he really posed to the country. He neither expressed nor demonstrated any ambition to lead, and had kept his head down in recent years, so the timing is a puzzle. Did China still look to him as a realistic alternative to a leader hell-bent on enhancing his country’s nuclear capabilities? Or was Jong-un in the grip of the kind of paranoia that sees enemies lurking everywhere?

Expert on North Korea, Aidan Foster-Carter, suggests it’s possible Jong-nam was planning to defect to South Korea. Perhaps Jong-un was rattled by a recent South Korean newspaper report suggesting his half-brother had tried to do so several years ago. North Korea does not believe hostilities between the two nations have been resolved, and any suggestion Jong-nam was moving to the affluent democracy would have been an affront to the dictator’s dignity.

But Foster-Carter also moots another possibility. “What if the killing was not ordered by Kim Jong-un, but rather done to impress him?” he asks. “In personalised tyrannies, agencies vie to show their loyalty to the leader by going above and beyond.” In January, Jong-un sacked his chief henchman, Kim Won-hong, who as minister of state security headed the feared political police, or Bowibu. “What better way for the Bowibu to prove their fealty and regain the young leader’s favour than the spectacular elimination of his disloyal sibling? Timed, moreover, as a gift for 16 February: the birthday of their father, Kim Jong-il.”

All of this, however, assumes the impetus for Jong-nam’s killing did indeed come from North Korea. Dr Chris Ogden, senior lecturer in Asian Security at St Andrews University’s School of International Relations, believes it would be a mistake to jump to this conclusion given how little we know about what goes on in the country.

“It is very difficult to tell what’s happening inside. There are very few reports other than hearsay,” says Ogden. “We put characteristics on the leader as if we understand him, but we really don’t. It seems amazing Jong-nam died in the morning, but by the afternoon, other countries were already saying they knew who had done it.”

And there are aspects of Jong-nam’s murder which don’t fit the North Korean MO. The woman with the “LOL” T-shirt, for instance, does not come across as a highly trained operative, but as a naive amateur who may have been duped into taking part in what she thought was a prank. That she appears to have made no attempt to kill herself when captured, and that her female accomplice has been confirmed as Indonesian, has also raised doubts.

Ogden says there are other theories as to who might be behind the killing, with some reports hinting at Chinese involvement. “I don’t think that’s true because they’re not interested and it would create instability for them,” he says. “But it’s possible it could be the South Koreans or the Japanese. North Korea has tried to act against them in the past by assassinating their officials and they could, in turn, be trying to put some pressure on [Jong-un].”

Ogden says the timing must also be taken into account. “I can’t get past the coincidence: they test the ballistic missile and then, suddenly, two days later, Jong-un’s half-brother is assassinated. This suggests it’s not the North Koreans, it’s somebody else,” he says.

“I would say it’s not China or Russia, because they are both too close to the North Koreans. But I think it’s likely to be some other [country] maybe as some kind of response to the missile test or a way of showing ‘if you want to threaten us, we can threaten you’.”

If Chinese officials believe Jong-un is behind the killing they will be angry as it strips them of leverage (in the form of an asset) and could be interpreted as a personal insult. Tensions between the two countries, whose current leaders have never met, worsened after the execution of Jang Song-thaek, an advocate of Chinese-style economic reform and the go-to person for officials in Beijing.

More recently, China has been under pressure to do more to stop North Korea’s nuclear and missile testing. According to Yonhap News Agency, Beijing rejected a $1 million shipment a day after North Korea’s latest missile test.

The death of Jong-nam will cause further friction, according to Daniel Pinkston, a lecturer in international relations at Troy University in Seoul, although China may be reluctant to punish an allied government whose stability is paramount to its regional interests.

Global Times columnist Ding Gang warned the killing had made the task of reining in North Korea’s nuclear programme more difficult.

“North Korea’s nuclear facilities and missile bases are located near China’s border,” he wrote. “Once the situation in the Korean Peninsula spirals out of control, the facilities will be primary targets or the final fortress of North Korea’s defence. Either way, the effects on China will be severe.”

He said Jong-nam’s death could even reinforce destabilising calls for tougher action to force “regime change” in Pyongyang.

Whoever is responsible, the curious killing of Kim Jong-nam has lobbed another grenade into an already volatile region, and reminded the world – once again – of North Korea’s terrifying unknowability.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Dani Garavelli"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370459.1487442612!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370459.1487442612!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kim Jong-un inspects the construction of housing blocks in Pyongyang. Picture: STR/AFP/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kim Jong-un inspects the construction of housing blocks in Pyongyang. Picture: STR/AFP/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370459.1487442612!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370463.1487442620!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370463.1487442620!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kim Jong-nam in 2010: Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kim Jong-nam in 2010: Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370463.1487442620!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370464.1487442623!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370464.1487442623!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Favoured son Jong-nam in a family portrait with his father, Kim Jong-il, in 1981. Picture: AFP/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Favoured son Jong-nam in a family portrait with his father, Kim Jong-il, in 1981. Picture: AFP/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370464.1487442623!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/we-re-committed-to-nato-us-vice-president-mike-pence-tells-europe-1-4370452","id":"1.4370452","articleHeadline": "We’re committed to Nato, US vice-president Mike Pence tells Europe","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487441850000 ,"articleLead": "

American vice-president Mike Pence vowed yesterday that the United States will “hold Russia accountable” even as President Donald Trump searches for new common ground with Moscow at the start of his presidency.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370451.1487441830!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US vice-president Mike Pence arrive at the Munich Security Conference yesterday. Picture: AFP/Thomas Kienzle/Getty Images."} ,"articleBody": "

In an address to the Munich Security Conference, Pence also offered assurances to European allies that the US “strongly supports” Nato and would be “unwavering” in its commitment to it.

In his first overseas trip as vice-president, Pence sought to calm nervous European allies who remain concerned about Russian aggression and have been alarmed by Trump’s positive statements about Russian President Vladimir Putin. The address to foreign diplomats and security officials also sought to reassure international partners who worry that Trump may pursue isolationist tendencies.

Pence said the US would demand that Russia honour a 2015 peace deal to end violence in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russian-backed separatists.

“Know this: the United States will continue to hold Russia accountable, even as we search for new common ground which as you know President Trump believes can be found,” Pence said.

Pence later met German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who addressed the conference just before he did. She stressed the need to maintain international alliances and told the audience, with Pence seated a few feet away, that Nato is “in the American interest”.

European countries along Russia’s border are rattled by the prospect of deeper US-Russia ties after Trump suggested sanctions imposed after Russia’s annexation of Crimea could be eased in exchange for a nuclear weapons deal, and after the president referred to Nato as “obsolete” in an interview before his inauguration. Trump has since stressed the importance of the alliance in his phone conversations with foreign leaders.

Pence also had meetings yesterday with the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. He also planned to meet Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

The visit, which includes a stop in Brussels today comes amid worries in Europe about Russian aggression, Trump’s relationship with Putin and whether the new president may promote isolationist tendencies through his “America First” mantra.

Pence is also expected to meet the leaders of Iraq and Afghanistan, where the US is embroiled in two separate wars. Trump has said the US may get a second chance to take Iraqi oil as compensation for its efforts in the war-torn country, a notion rebuffed by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who will be meeting the vice president.

Trump’s immigration and refugee ban has angered a number of Muslim-majority countries affected by the order currently tied up in court, including Iraq – a key ally in the fight against so-called Islamic State.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ken Thomas"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370451.1487441830!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370451.1487441830!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US vice-president Mike Pence arrive at the Munich Security Conference yesterday. Picture: AFP/Thomas Kienzle/Getty Images.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US vice-president Mike Pence arrive at the Munich Security Conference yesterday. Picture: AFP/Thomas Kienzle/Getty Images.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370451.1487441830!/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/scientists-find-60-000-year-old-life-form-trapped-underground-1-4370386","id":"1.4370386","articleHeadline": "Scientists find 60,000 year old life form trapped underground","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487439602000 ,"articleLead": "

They come from Hell, are tens of thousands of years old, and scientists have not seen anything quite like them before.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370383.1487439576!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "An extraordinary population of microbes has been discovered trapped in crystal (Picture: Penelope J. Boston/PA Wire)"} ,"articleBody": "

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

An extraordinary population of microbes has been discovered trapped in crystal in a volcanically heated Mexican cave system where temperatures reach 60C (140F).

Some of them had been there for 60,000 years, shut off from light or oxygen and obtaining energy from minerals.

Attempts to classify the bugs showed that 90% could not be matched with any other micro-organisms catalogued in available databases.

They were also highly diverse, including around 100 different strains made up both of bacteria and other microbes known as archaea.

Five cave chambers, ranging from the size of an average room to a cathedral-like cavern, were explored at the Naica mine in Chihuahua.

The microbes were contained in small water-filled pockets within the sparkling white crystals, some of which were five metres long and a metre wide.

Dr Penelope Boston, director of Nasa’s Astrobiology Institute, who led the first expedition in 2008, said: “The deepest part we accessed was a place called Hell, very evocatively. That chamber is at the 800 metre level.

“It was a transformative experience...it really felt strange. It was a very hard environment to work in, but tear-inducingly beautiful. It’s like being inside a geode.”

To protect them from the heat and allow them to breathe, the scientists wore all-covering “space suits”.

Experiments conducted in situ so see if the weird bugs could be cultured were partly successful.

“Much to my surprise we got the things to grow,” said Dr Boston, who was speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

“It was laborious. We lost some of them - that’s just the game. They’ve got needs we can’t fulfill. That part of it was really like zoo keeping.”

She said the bugs were as different to known micro-organisms as humans and fungi.

Dr Boston added: “They’re really showing us what our kind of life can do in terms of manipulating materials.

“These guys are living in an environment where there’s not organic food as we understand it.

“They’re an example, at very high temperatures, of organisms making their living essentially by munching down inorganic minerals and compounds. This is maybe the deep history of our life here.”

The bugs may be a foretaste of what to expect if alien microbes are found on Mars or Jupiter’s moon Europa, which has a global ice-covered ocean.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "By John von Radowitz"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370383.1487439576!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370383.1487439576!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "An extraordinary population of microbes has been discovered trapped in crystal (Picture: Penelope J. Boston/PA Wire)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "An extraordinary population of microbes has been discovered trapped in crystal (Picture: Penelope J. Boston/PA Wire)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370383.1487439576!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370384.1487439579!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370384.1487439579!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The bizarre and ancient microbes were found dormant in caves in Naica, Mexico.(Mike Spilde via AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The bizarre and ancient microbes were found dormant in caves in Naica, Mexico.(Mike Spilde via AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370384.1487439579!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370385.1487439582!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370385.1487439582!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nasa believe the life forms could be a hint at alien life. Picture: (Penelope J. Boston/PA Wire)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nasa believe the life forms could be a hint at alien life. Picture: (Penelope J. Boston/PA Wire)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370385.1487439582!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/jane-bradley-travelling-with-trepidation-on-return-to-serbia-1-4369853","id":"1.4369853","articleHeadline": "Jane Bradley: Travelling with trepidation on return to Serbia","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487397600000 ,"articleLead": "

One year on from her last visit to the scene of a refugee crisis, Jane Bradley is braced to witness a situation that has deteriorated significantly

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369852.1487355356!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Migrants and refugees wait for security checks after crossing the Macedonian border into Serbia, a year ago. This route has now been closed off, leaving many stranded. Picture: AFP/Getty."} ,"articleBody": "

This time tomorrow, I will be on my way to Serbia.

It is almost exactly a year since my last visit there, when I was sent to report on the refugees making their way through what is known as the Western Balkans route.

When I went last year, I did not know what to expect - but I was pleasantly surprised. Conditions were obviously not great, but the situation was a lot better than I had feared.

This year, I know things have changed dramatically - and very much for the worse.

I am bracing myself for what we might find there tomorrow.

Last February, the refugees were very much in transit through Serbia. Many of them had endured gruelling and treacherous journeys from Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq, and had walked across Turkey and into Macedonia. Many of them had survived terrifying boat rides in tiny rubber dinghies captained by people smugglers. But once they reached Europe, the beginnings of what was a fairly slick transportation system to Germany kicked in.

Travelling by a specially-chartered bus or train, they moved through Macedonia, stopping briefly - sometimes overnight - at the Serbian border, where a well-organised group of international aid agencies handed out a clean set of clothes, blankets and a warm meal before officials checked their papers. The youngsters had a place to play and the mothers of young children had somewhere quiet to feed at the “child friendly spaces” set up in the one-stop centres on the borders.

After that they would, perhaps after spending a night in specially-created dormitories, board another train and go onwards to the north of Serbia, where the same would happen again and they would continue their onward journey through Croatia to Germany, where they would be placed in refugee camps and begin the process of claiming asylum.

It was, at times, unimaginably frustrating for them as they queued at stations, toddlers crying at their feet, with little idea of when exactly they would be moved on - although they displayed only the utmost patience and calmness.

Many of the refugees were exhausted. I met one family ranging in age from a one-year-old baby to a grandmother in her 90s - all of whom had travelled on foot across Turkey together.

Bizarrely, there was a nominal fee for the bus and train services, meaning that refugees who had been unable to bring money with them when they fled persecution in their homelands had an extra problem to deal with.

Heartbreakingly, many of them had no idea if they would be able to find - and reunite with - their families who were already living in camps in Germany. Some appeared to have no idea how big Germany was, or how many different camps their relatives could have been placed in. I was at a loss to reassure them.

But, sad though it was to see on an individual basis, the system, relatively speaking, worked.

Most had hopes of a future once they reached Germany, The children harboured ambitions to start school: to study to be architects, or doctors. Their parents could see a glimmer of hope of a normal life once more. Maybe not right now, maybe not that year - but in the foreseeable future.

Then a couple of weeks after my visit, the Macedonian and Croatian governments closed their borders. The Western Balkans route was shut. The refugees could no longer travel through their countries, they said.

Those already on their way through Serbia were stuck. Many of those who were there at that moment are still trapped, living long-term in camps which were designed to house groups of refugees for not more than a night or two.

Other sites, such as an army barracks in Belgrade, have sprung up to house more refugees, with over a hundred estimated to be travelling to the Serbian capital every day.

People who have volunteered out there over the winter have told me that the conditions are horrific.

A volunteer working with aid from Edinburgh-based charity Re-Act Scotland recently recounted stories of families living in a disused school in the north of Serbia, burning anything they could get their hands on in toxic metal drums which had previously contained chemicals - just to survive the freexing temperatures.

UNHCR, the United Nations’s refugee arm, believes there are around 7,000 refugees now in Serbia. As well as those who were trapped when the borders closed, others have come into the country through Bulgaria, and have been unable to move on.

Pictures I have seen from the country in recent months, as the temperatures plummeted to minus sixteen Celcius, are like nothing anyone could have ever imagined - just two short years ago - would be witnessed in Europe.

Lines of refugees, draped in just thin grey blankets, stand outside in the snow to queue for a meagre bowl of soup. The scenes are, to be quite frank, reminiscient of the Holocaust.

The refugees who are in the asylum system are mainly in camps, albeit with very basic facilities.

However others, whether they have slipped through the official net or who cannot find a space in a camp, are suffering even worse conditions.

In Belgrade, around 2,000 people are believed to be living in an abandoned warehouse, close to the main train station - a building with no heating, where the biting wind, snow and sleet whistles in through the broken windows.

Aid organisations have described the situation as not just a refugee situation, but a long-term crisis of thousands of permanently homeless people with no future and no hope.

Tomorrow, I will be travelling with trepedation. I am expecting to be horrified by what I will see. I hope my reporting - backed by charity Christian Aid, which will be on hand to show me the invaluable work that aid agencies are doing all over Europe - helps to explain to people the horror of what is happening on our doorsteps.

But, however difficult the next week may be, unlike the refugees, I am lucky. I can leave again. They have no idea when - or even if - they ever can.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JANE BRADLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369852.1487355356!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369852.1487355356!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Migrants and refugees wait for security checks after crossing the Macedonian border into Serbia, a year ago. This route has now been closed off, leaving many stranded. Picture: AFP/Getty.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Migrants and refugees wait for security checks after crossing the Macedonian border into Serbia, a year ago. This route has now been closed off, leaving many stranded. Picture: AFP/Getty.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369852.1487355356!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/david-brooks-this-is-what-a-failed-administration-looks-like-1-4369849","id":"1.4369849","articleHeadline": "David Brooks: This is what a failed administration looks like","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487397600000 ,"articleLead": "

Trump’s administration is more like a medieval monarchy than a modern nation-state says David Brooks

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369848.1487354862!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Donald Trump speaks at a lengthy and rambling press conference on Thursday. Picture: Getty."} ,"articleBody": "

I still have trouble seeing how the Trump administration survives a full term. Judging by his Thursday press conference, President Donald Trump’s mental state is like a train that long ago left freewheeling and iconoclastic, has raced through indulgent, chaotic and unnerving, and is now careening past unhinged, unmoored and unglued.

Trump’s White House staff is at war with itself. His poll ratings are falling at unprecedented speed. His policy agenda is stalled. FBI investigations are just beginning. This does not feel like a sustainable operation.

On the other hand, I have trouble seeing exactly how this administration ends. Many of the institutions that would normally ease out or remove a failing president no longer exist.

There are no longer moral arbiters in Congress like Howard Baker and Sam Ervin to lead a resignation or impeachment process. There is no longer a single media establishment that shapes how the country sees the president. This is no longer a country in which everybody experiences the same reality.

Everything about Trump that appalls 65 percent of America strengthens him with the other 35 percent, and he can ride that group for a while. Even after these horrible four weeks, Republicans on Capitol Hill are not close to abandoning their man.

The likelihood is this: We’re going to have an administration that has morally and politically collapsed, without actually going away.

What does that look like?

First, it means an administration that is passive, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing. To get anything done, a president depends on the vast machinery of the U.S. government. But Trump doesn’t mesh with that machinery. He is personality-based while it is rule-based. Furthermore, he’s declared war on it. And when you declare war on the establishment, it declares war on you.

The Civil Service has a thousand ways to ignore or sit on any presidential order. The court system has given itself carte blanche to overturn any Trump initiative, even on the flimsiest legal grounds. The intelligence community has only just begun to undermine this president.

Trump can push all the pretty buttons on the command deck of the Starship Enterprise, but don’t expect anything to actually happen, because they are not attached.

Second, this will probably become a more insular administration. Usually when administrations stumble, they fire a few people and bring in the grown-ups — the James Baker or the David Gergen types. But Trump is anti-grown-up so it’s hard to imagine Chief of Staff Haley Barbour. Instead, the circle of trust seems to be shrinking to his daughter, her husband and Stephen Bannon.

Bannon has a coherent worldview, which is a huge advantage when all is chaos. It’s interesting how many of Bannon’s rivals have woken up with knives in their backs. Michael Flynn is gone. Reince Priebus has been unmanned by a thousand White House leaks. Rex Tillerson had the potential to be an effective secretary of state, but Bannon neutered him last week by denying him the ability to even select his own deputy.

In an administration in which “promoted beyond his capacity” takes on new meaning, Bannon looms. With each passing day, Trump talks more like Bannon without the background reading.

Third, we are about to enter a decentralized world. For the past 70 years most nations have instinctively looked to the U.S. for leadership, either to follow or oppose. But in capitals around the world, intelligence agencies are drafting memos with advice on how to play Donald Trump.

The first conclusion is obvious. This administration is more like a medieval monarchy than a modern nation-state. It’s more “The Madness of King George” than “The Missiles of October.” The key currency is not power, it’s flattery.

The corollary is that Trump is ripe to be played. Give the boy a lollipop and he won’t notice if you steal his lunch. The Japanese gave Trump a new jobs announcement he could take to the Midwest, and in return they got presidential attention and coddling that other governments would have died for.

If you want to roll the Trump administration, you’ve got to get in line. The Israelis got a possible one-state solution. The Chinese got Trump to flip-flop on the “One China” policy. The Europeans got him to do a 180 on undoing the Iran nuclear deal.

Vladimir Putin was born for a moment such as this. He is always pushing the envelope. After gifting Team Trump with a little campaign help, the Russian state media has suddenly turned on Trump and Russian planes are buzzing U.S. ships. The bear is going to grab what it can.

We’re about to enter a moment in which U.S. economic and military might is strong but U.S. political might is weak. Imagine the Roman Empire governed by Monaco.

That’s scary. The only saving thought is this: The human imagination is vast, 
but it is not nearly vast enough to encompass the infinitely multitudinous ways Donald Trump can find to get himself disgraced.

© 2017 New York Times News Service

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID BROOKS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369848.1487354862!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369848.1487354862!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "President Donald Trump speaks at a lengthy and rambling press conference on Thursday. Picture: Getty.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Donald Trump speaks at a lengthy and rambling press conference on Thursday. Picture: Getty.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369848.1487354862!/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-and-uk-politicians-what-they-said-then-v-now-1-4369935","id":"1.4369935","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump and UK politicians: What they said then v now","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487363975000 ,"articleLead": "

To say that Donald Trump is a controversial politician is perhaps to win the prize for understatement of the century.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369930.1487363953!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Donald Trump. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The brash billionaire who bullied a succession of infinitely more-qualified politicians to the Republican nomination for President, has never been shy to cause shock with his comments.

After seeing off “Crooked Hillary” Clinton, the New Yorker with a Scottish mother found himself where so few people predicted he would end up – the Oval Office.

That left politicians in America and closer to home having to re-evaluate the manifold ways in which they had cast aspersions on Trump’s suitability (or otherwise) for one of the most important and powerful jobs in the world.

Some politicians have remained admirably true to their words on Trump even as he starts enacting his more outlandish plans. Others have performed screeching u-turns. Here are just some examples of what they said then, and what they say.

Ruth Davidson

Perhaps the most linguistically impressive takedown of Trump back when he was just one of over a dozen candidates from the Scottish Conservative Leader.

Never knowingly undersold, in 2015 Davidson tweeted: “So, twitter, we’re all agreed? Trump’s a clay-brained guts, knotty-pated fool, whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch, right?”

Poetic it may have seemed, and rightly so, because it’s a quote from Shakespear. Henry IV, Part 1, to be exact.

Cliff notes tell us that Hal, who hit his pal Falstaff with that volley of insults, planned to convey that he was simultaneously fat, stupid, a coward, and the son of a whore.

Davidson tempered her language once Trump pulled off the upset win, saying: ““Mr Trump tapped into the disaffection we are seeing across the world right now due to economic uncertainty. That’s not something we can ignore.”

Nicola Sturgeon

It might not be the most diplomatic choice of words to say that you are going to ‘dingy’ the leader of the free world, but that was how Nicola Sturgeon described Donald Trump less than a year ago.

The First Minister used the Scots phrase, to mean ignore, in an unconventional pre-election interview with comedy character Gary Tank Commander on the BBC.

Sturgeon also confidently predicted that the American people would ensure that Trump never reached the dizzy heights of the Presidency.

Even in the immediate aftermath of the election, Sturgeon stuck to her guns, telling Holyrood that she couldn’t maintain “diplomatic silence in the face of attitudes of racism, sexism, misogyny or intolerance.”

But mere days later she wrote to Trump congratulating him on his win and wishing him success in the role that she never thought he would have.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Theresa May

Perhaps the biggest volte-face came from Britain’s Prime Minister. When she was merely Home Secretary, May took issue with the way Trump characterised Britain.

As Trump parroted familiar lines from his favourite news outlets Fox News and Breitbart that parts of Britain were no-go areas for non Muslims, May went on the attack.

She told a select committee in late 2015 than Trump’s comments were ‘nonsense’ and that Britain would not acquiesce to his plans for a ‘Muslim ban’ as the then-candidate had mooted.

May also echoed her then boss David Cameron, who caused his own stir when he said that Trump’s comments were ‘stupid, divisive, and completely wrong’.

But now that Cameron has resigned and Trump is in power, May’s tune has decidedly changed and she is now working quite literally hand-in-hand with the President.

The Prime Minister is working overtime to ensure that post-Brexit, Britain can still rely on America as our greatest ally.

A cloyingly collegiate press conference should just how much May was more than willing to risk tricky domestic questions and take a ride on the ‘Trump Train’.

May has also failed to come to the defence of Commons Speaker John Bercow as Tories seek to oust him from his role over anti-Trump comments.

Nigel Farage

As consistent as he is opportunistic, the perennial UKIP leader jumped on the Trump Train early, recognising the potential links that could help his then nascent Brexit campaign.

Though he scoffed at some early comparisons between the two (he modestly told the Guardian in 2015 he preferred to be thought of as Henry VIII), Farage has been Trump’s most prominent British backer.

Farage and Trump were speaking the same (some argued abhorrent) language when it came to warning that the Syrian refugee crisis was an open door to inviting IS terrorists to the West.

Farage, who despised outgoing President Barack Obama for a host of largely imagined slights against Britain, said originally that you couldn’t pay him to back Hillary Clinton.

That tacit approval morphed into a full blown endorsement when Farage spoke in favour of Trump at a Republican rally.

The former banker who rails against financial elites has reaped the words of that endorsement, becoming the first UK politician to meet Trump after his win, and cashing in on a number of media appearances both at home and abroad.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ross McCafferty"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369930.1487363953!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369930.1487363953!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "President Donald Trump. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Donald Trump. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369930.1487363953!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369931.1487363956!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369931.1487363956!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ruth Davidson. Picture: SWNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ruth Davidson. Picture: SWNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369931.1487363956!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369932.1487362709!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369932.1487362709!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369932.1487362709!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369933.1487362712!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369933.1487362712!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Theresa May meeting Donald Trump in Washington. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May meeting Donald Trump in Washington. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369933.1487362712!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369934.1487362715!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369934.1487362715!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nigel Farage. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nigel Farage. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369934.1487362715!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/scots-less-likely-to-visit-us-in-wake-of-trump-election-1-4368688","id":"1.4368688","articleHeadline": "Scots \"less likely\" to visit US in wake of Trump election","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487350355000 ,"articleLead": "

Scots travellers are less likely to visit America since Donald Trump was elected as president, but remain divided on whether Brexit has made them more or less likely to travel to countries within the European Union, a poll has revealed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368777.1487350338!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nearly a third of Scots surveyed said they were less likely to visit America due to Donald Trump's election victory. /Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The presidential election has prompted 31 per cent of Scots - the third highest proportion of all UK regions - to say they would be less likely to visit the US this year compared to last year.

However, when it came to visiting the EU post-Brexit, 21 per cent of Scots say they would be less lkely to do so, while an identical number claim they would be more likely to make a European trip.

Scotland voted in favour of staying within the EU in the June referendum, with 62 per cent of people north of the border voting “remain” to the question as to whether or not Britain should leave.

However, no regions of Great Britain were net more likely to travel to the USA when compared with those who are net ‘less likely’ to travel, according to the poll, carried out by YouGov and commissioned by Airport Parking and Hotels (APH) as part of its International Quarterly Travel Report.

John Lennon, director of the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “Outbound to America from Scotland is not an enormous market, so it is not going to collapse the American economy.

“Other factors may be at play here, such as the weakness of the pound against the dollar, which has rallied fairly well since Trump’s election.”

The staycation market within the UK is set to benefit most from travellers’s reticence to visit further afield, the report said, with 33 per cent of Brits saying they were more likely to holiday at home.

Professor Lennon added: “Scotland will enjoy some positives as a result of, from both staycations and inbound tourism from Europe and the US, who are finding things cheaper here than they were.”

UK-wide, the study reveals age plays an important role in the popularity of European holidays. With the majority of younger people voting to remain in the EU, data from the survey shows these travellers enthusiastically embracing the Continent, with 44 per cent of 18-24-year-olds saying they’re ‘more likely’ to visit Europe than they were 12 months ago.

In contrast, those aged over 55 - who were more likely to vote “leave” in the referendum, were more 25 per cent less likely to travel to Europe than they were this time last year.

The report said: “Despite returning an emphatic poll-heading 62 per cent vote to remain within the EU, Scottish respondents appeared to show indifference to subsequent European travel, with the region no ‘more’ or ‘less’ likely to visit the Continent compared with this time last year.

“Both the ‘more’ and ‘less’ camps returned a 21 per cent vote, with 54 per cent saying ‘no change’.”

The report found that British women feel much ‘less likely’ to travel to the US than males – with almost one-in-three taking a negative stance compared with 12 months ago. In comparison, just under one-in-four British men said they’d now be ‘less likely’ to visit the US.

" ,"byline": {"email": "jane.bradley@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Jane Bradley"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4368777.1487350338!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368777.1487350338!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nearly a third of Scots surveyed said they were less likely to visit America due to Donald Trump's election victory. /Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nearly a third of Scots surveyed said they were less likely to visit America due to Donald Trump's election victory. /Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4368777.1487350338!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4368687.1487260527!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368687.1487260527!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scots are less likely to travel to the US since Donald Trump's election.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scots are less likely to travel to the US since Donald Trump's election.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4368687.1487260527!/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/trump-to-consider-using-100k-troops-to-round-up-immigrants-1-4369740","id":"1.4369740","articleHeadline": "Trump to consider using 100k troops to round up immigrants","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487348461000 ,"articleLead": "

The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369739.1487348443!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Donald Trump. Picture: AP"} ,"articleBody": "

The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana.

Four states that border on Mexico are included in the proposal - California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas - but it also encompasses seven states contiguous to those four - Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the AP report was “100 percent not sure” and “irresponsible.” “There is no effort at all to utilize the National Guard to round up unauthorized immigrants,” he said.

Governors in the 11 states would have a choice whether to have their guard troops participate, according to the memo, written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general.

While National Guard personnel have been used to assist with immigration-related missions on the U.S.-Mexico border before, they have never been used as broadly or as far north.

The memo is addressed to the then-acting heads of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It would serve as guidance to implement the wide-ranging executive order on immigration and border security that President Donald Trump signed Jan. 25. Such memos are routinely issued to supplement executive orders.

Also dated Jan. 25, the draft memo says participating troops would be authorized “to perform the functions of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension and detention of aliens in the United States.” It describes how the troops would be activated under a revived state-federal partnership program, and states that personnel would be authorized to conduct searches and identify and arrest any unauthorized immigrants.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Requests to the White House and the Department of Homeland Security for comment and a status report on the proposal were not answered.

The draft document has circulated among DHS staff over the last two weeks. As recently as Friday, staffers in several different offices reported discussions were underway.

If implemented, the impact could be significant. Nearly one-half of the 11.1 million people residing in the U.S. without authorization live in the 11 states, according to Pew Research Center estimates based on 2014 Census data.

Use of National Guard troops would greatly increase the number of immigrants targeted in one of Trump’s executive orders last month, which expanded the definition of who could be considered a criminal and therefore a potential target for deportation. That order also allows immigration agents to prioritize removing anyone who has “committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense.”

Under current rules, even if the proposal is implemented, there would not be immediate mass deportations. Those with existing deportation orders could be sent back to their countries of origin without additional court proceedings. But deportation orders generally would be needed for most other unauthorized immigrants.

The troops would not be nationalized, remaining under state control.

Spokespeople for the governors of Arizona, Utah, Nevada, California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon and New Mexico said they were unaware of the proposal, and either declined to comment or said it was premature to discuss whether they would participate. The other three states did not immediately respond to the AP.

The proposal would extend the federal-local partnership program that President Barack Obama’s administration began scaling back in 2012 to address complaints that it promoted racial profiling.

The 287(g) program, which Trump included in his immigration executive order, gives local police, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers the authority to assist in the detection of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally as a regular part of their law enforcement duties on the streets and in jails.

• READ MORE: Thousands back Bercow’s proposed Parliament ban for Trump

The draft memo also mentions other items included in Trump’s executive order, including the hiring of an additional 5,000 border agents, which needs financing from Congress, and his campaign promise to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

The signed order contained no mention of the possible use of state National Guard troops.

According to the draft memo, the militarization effort would be proactive, specifically empowering Guard troops to solely carry out immigration enforcement, not as an add-on the way local law enforcement is used in the program.

Allowing Guard troops to operate inside non-border states also would go far beyond past deployments.

In addition to responding to natural or man-made disasters or for military protection of the population or critical infrastructure, state Guard forces have been used to assist with immigration-related tasks on the U.S.-Mexico border, including the construction of fences.

In the mid-2000s, President George W. Bush twice deployed Guard troops on the border to focus on non-law enforcement duties to help augment the Border Patrol as it bolstered its ranks. And in 2010, then-Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced a border security plan that included Guard reconnaissance, aerial patrolling and military exercises.

In July 2014, then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry ordered 1,000 National Guard troops to the border when the surge of migrant children fleeing violence in Central America overwhelmed U.S. officials responsible for their care. The Guard troops’ stated role on the border at the time was to provide extra sets of eyes but not make arrests.

• READ MORE: Donald Trump presidency ‘could be second shortest in history’

Bush initiated the federal 287(g) program - named for a section of a 1996 immigration law - to allow specially trained local law enforcement officials to participate in immigration enforcement on the streets and check whether people held in local jails were in the country illegally. ICE trained and certified roughly 1,600 officers to carry out those checks from 2006 to 2015.

The memo describes the program as a “highly successful force multiplier” that identified more than 402,000 “removable aliens.”

But federal watchdogs were critical of how DHS ran the program, saying it was poorly supervised and provided insufficient training to officers, including on civil rights law. Obama phased out all the arrest power agreements in 2013 to instead focus on deporting recent border crossers and immigrants in the country illegally who posed a safety or national security threat.

Trump’s immigration strategy emerges as detentions at the nation’s southern border are down significantly from levels seen in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Last year, the arrest tally was the fifth-lowest since 1972. Deportations of people living in the U.S. illegally also increased under the Obama administration, though Republicans criticized Obama for setting prosecution guidelines that spared some groups from the threat of deportation, including those brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Last week, ICE officers arrested more than 680 people around the country in what Kelly said were routine, targeted operations; advocates called the actions stepped-up enforcement under Trump.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Garance Burke"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369739.1487348443!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369739.1487348443!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "President Donald Trump. Picture: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Donald Trump. Picture: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369739.1487348443!/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-presidency-could-be-second-shortest-in-history-1-4369153","id":"1.4369153","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump presidency ‘could be second shortest in history’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487322397000 ,"articleLead": "

A leading historian has predicted that Donald Trump’s presidency is likely to be the ‘second shortest’ in history.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369151.1487322374!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the East Room at the White House. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Professor Ronald L Feinman claims that Mr Trump’s term will last ‘between the 31 days of William Henry Harrison, who died from pneumonia in 1841’ and the ‘199 days of James A. Garfield in 1881,’ who died 79 days into his presidency after being shot.

The historian thinks it likely that Mr Trump will be forced to resign, or impeached, within a matter of weeks.

Professor Feinman predicts that, even if his time in office is ‘dragged out, Mr Trump is unlikely to equal Zachary Taylor’s term of 16 months and 5 days. Taylor died as a result of a stomach-related illness in July 1850.

In a blog, Professor Feinman - who teaches at Florida Atlantic University - highlighted the forced resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, saying it had ‘rocked’ the Trump presidency.

Professor Feinman wrote: “[Mr Trump] having a security meeting over the North Korean missile test in public space at dinner in full vision of other guests is a sign of his failure to act responsibly.

“His inconsistent message in his dealings with China... is disturbing. His inconsistency on the two-state solution in the Middle East is a major problem, as is his seeming lack of respect for Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.”

Professor Feinman also described Mr Trump’s treatment of the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a phone call as ‘alarming’.

Professor Feinman, who has authored a book titled Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama, also believes a Mike Pence presidency ‘seems inevitable’.

Referencing his 12 years in the House of Representatives and time as Governor of Indiana, Professor Feinman states that Mr Pence ‘knows how to play hard ball’, adding: “It is clear by his demeanour and body language that he is often uncomfortable with Trump’s freewheeling and careless behaviour.”

Mr Pence could invoke the 25th Amendment, Section 4 with the backing of a majority of the cabinet, making him ‘Acting President’, says Professor Feinman - even if Mr Trump vehemently opposed the move.

Prfoessor Feinman continues: “Some might call it a ‘palace coup’ but Pence could make a convincing case that it is too risky to leave Trump in power.

“Pence faces a great burden, and whether one agrees with his own agenda on domestic and foreign policy, it seems clear that the Vice President would do what he feels compelled to do if the situation further deteriorates.”

Shortest US presidential terms

1. William Henry Harrison, ninth US President - 31 days. Died after catching cold on the day of his inauguration that developed into a fatal case of pneumonia

2. James A. Garfield, 20th US President - 199 days. Died after succumbing to wounds sustained after being shot three months and 28 days into his presidency

3. Zachary Taylor, 12 US President - 491 days. Died from a stomach-related illness, possibly contracted after consuming large amounts of raw fruit and iced milk

4. Warren G. Harding, 29th US President - 881 days. Died of a cerebral haemorrhage after battling pneumonia and heart problems

5. Gerald Ford, 38th US President - 895 days. Ford served the rest of Nixon’s term but wasn’t elected to serve a full term

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "AMY WATSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369151.1487322374!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369151.1487322374!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the East Room at the White House. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the East Room at the White House. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369151.1487322374!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369152.1487322378!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369152.1487322378!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Is a Mike Pence presidency 'inevitable' as Professor Feinman believes? Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Is a Mike Pence presidency 'inevitable' as Professor Feinman believes? Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369152.1487322378!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/ruth-davidson-uk-reassessing-america-s-reliability-1-4369103","id":"1.4369103","articleHeadline": "Ruth Davidson: UK ‘reassessing’ America’s reliability","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487316489000 ,"articleLead": "

The UK Government is reassessing America’s reliability as an ally because of President Donald Trump, according to Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4342530.1487316472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has claimed that the British government is 'reassessing' America's reliability as an ally"} ,"articleBody": "

Speaking to an audience in Washington DC, Ms Davidson described the White House as “chaotic” because of a lack of a “lack of professionalism and moral seriousness”.

And she said staff at the Trump administration were one step away from “white supremacist bloggers”.

She named Steve Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist and former chairman of the far-right Breitbart News.

Ms Davidson also told audience members at the Women in the World event on Wednesday that the British government’s re-evaluation was part of a “massive, massive shock” induced across Europe by President Trump.

Referring to the UK-US relationship, she said: “We are going to want to make sure that any deals that are done he is going to honour. We have to be sure of that.”

Ms Davidson does not attend cabinet meetings but has an invitation to attend Prime Minister Theresa May’s “political cabinets”, when political strategy rather than government business is discussed.

Her comments come after the Prime Minister attempted to strike a friendly tone when she visited Mr Trump last month.

The Prime Minister also spoke to Mr Trump by phone on Valentine’s Day, and has said she “looks forward” to his state visit this summer.

The Scottish Tory leader also said caution was required with a President whose early actions should “worry us all”.

She added: “At the moment, from the UK, we have always seen America as being a very strong, a reliable ally and now, even after only 26 days or however long the tenure has been so far in Pennsylvania Avenue, we are beginning to reassess how reliable an ally the United States is.”

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS HOWARTH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4342530.1487316472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4342530.1487316472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has claimed that the British government is 'reassessing' America's reliability as an ally","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has claimed that the British government is 'reassessing' America's reliability as an ally","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4342530.1487316472!/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/blake-ross-third-child-in-state-care-to-die-this-year-1-4369005","id":"1.4369005","articleHeadline": "Blake Ross ‘third child in state care to die this year’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487280318000 ,"articleLead": "

Teenager Blake Ross, who died after running away from a foster unit, is the third young person in state care to die since the new year, a leading charity has warned.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369004.1487280301!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Blake Ross. Picture: Handout"} ,"articleBody": "

The head of a charity which speaks on behalf of children under state supervision said the 13-year-old was among several young people in the care system to have died in recent weeks.

Blake, 13, was found unwell on a bus on Monday afternoon, 48 hours after running away from the St Katharine’s Centre care home in the Howdenhall area of Edinburgh.

He was taken to the city’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children, where he died.

He had gone missing without his diabetes medication.

Duncan Dunlop, the chief executive of Who Cares? Scotland, said every month since July, a young person aged under 25 in care had died.

He said: “That is just those known to our network.

“I woke up to new statistics outlining that care-experienced people are more likely to be dead by the age of 21.

“Then followed the news that one of our 13-year-old members had died after being found unwell on a bus.

“It is the third time that I have received a call like that this year. We are thinking about all of the care experienced young people we know today who are no longer with us.

Mr Dunlop said the charity had knowledge of all three, one of whom was among the two teenagers who died in Her Majesty’s Young Offenders’ Institute Polmont last month.

The other was a young woman who took her own life over the festive period.

The charity boss added that while Blake’s death appears to have been an accident, questions need to be asked about why he felt the need to run away and why so many young people with experience of the care system feel a lack of belonging in society.

Nearly £2,000 has so far been donated to help pay for Blake’s funeral.

His former foster carers Jennifer and Jack Savage, from South Queensferry, West Lothian, described Blake as “kind and caring”.

They had to stop looking after him because of illness, Mrs Savage had said but 
Blake still kept in touch with them.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369004.1487280301!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369004.1487280301!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Blake Ross. Picture: Handout","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Blake Ross. Picture: Handout","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369004.1487280301!/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/thousands-back-bercow-s-proposed-parliament-ban-for-trump-1-4368836","id":"1.4368836","articleHeadline": "Thousands back Bercow’s proposed Parliament ban for Trump","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487265912000 ,"articleLead": "

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has received more than 4,000 letters and emails about his decision to effectively ban Donald Trump from addressing Parliament during his planned state visit.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368835.1487265896!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Commons Speaker John Bercow Picture: Dan Kitwood/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

The vast majority of the communications (3,227) were supportive of Mr Bercow’s attack on the US president, while 854 opposed his position, figures released in response to a freedom of information request reveal.

The intervention sparked criticism from Tory MPs, who questioned whether the Speaker was complying with impartiality rules.

His position has since come under increasing threat after a video emerged of him telling students that he voted Remain in last year’s EU referendum.

Tory former minister James Duddridge has tabled a “no confidence” motion in Mr Bercow and has claimed that no Cabinet ministers are likely to support the Speaker in any vote.

Mr Duddridge said new supporters for the no-confidence motion had come forward after Conservative MP for Lincoln Karl McCartney sent out an email to all MPs on Tuesday.

Downing Street has said Mr Bercow’s future is a “matter for MPs”, in a sign that ministers will not be whipped into a position in any vote of no confidence.

Parliament’s website says the Commons Speaker “must remain politically impartial at all times”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ARJ SINGH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4368835.1487265896!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368835.1487265896!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Commons Speaker John Bercow Picture: Dan Kitwood/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Commons Speaker John Bercow Picture: Dan Kitwood/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4368835.1487265896!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}