News Opinion

Online challenge could be a game changer when it comes to saving trees

Computer games that save trees: is that even possible? That’s the aim of scientists involved in the Protree project funded by the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative, and they face a big challenge. With new threats to tree health arising all the time, the game-plan is to switch-on youngsters to the need for action and foster a new generation of tree health professionals.

Sheep grazing with forestry - photo GWCT

We need to be sure of the lynx effect

The choice by the Lynx (UK) Trust of Kielder Forest, Northumberland, as its preferred site for a trial introduction of the Eurasian Lynx has once again brought the rewilding debate back into focus. As yet no formal application has been made for a trial. There has been no official consultation by Natural England – or for that matter Scottish Natural Heritage, as the range of any adult lynx would bring it across the border. The Lynx (UK) Trust has staged its own meeting at Kielder, which at 250 square miles is England’s largest forest, to gauge opinion on what such a reintroduction might entail, sell the benefits, and hear what other interested parties, not least the farming community, have to say.

Mock Up of windfarm proposed by Coriolis Energy on the Cairngorms on the hills above Loch Ness - which would see new tracks being created on the Monadhliath Mountains - which are described as amongst the most scenic in the world by the Mountaineering Council for Scotland
Alistair Munro story

Give us better access 
to environmental justice

On 4 October, Holyrood Magazine, in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh’s Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability, is hosting a conference under the title Securing Access to Environmental Justice.

Activists say that justice minister Michael Matheson's announcement of a review into controversial undercover policing practices fell well short of what had been expected. Picture: Michael Gillen

Chris Marshall: Undercover policing review doesn’t go far enough

When justice secretary Michael Matheson last week announced a review into controversial undercover policing practices, it should have been regarded as a victory for campaigners.

American shows like Mr Ed with his talking horse were far more appealing than homegrown TV for kids in the 1960s, says Aidan Smith. Picture: Rex

Aidan Smith: Why Scottish TV must get bolder

TV dramas should be bolder, but please don’t bring back Garnock Way where it always seemed to be rain and mince, says Aidan Smith

Opinion 4
Theresa May reckons Brexit offers Scotland "an exciting chance to forge a new role in the world". Picture: PA

Leader comment: PM’s ‘Brexit is good for you’ spin is kidding no-one

Theresa May gave a convincing impression of a Prime Minister embarking on a charm offensive with Scotland when she met with Nicola Sturgeon at Bute House in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote.

Opinion 11
Many parts of Scotland have been hit by flooding caused by increasingly wet weather.  Picture: Getty Images

Ilona Amos: Scotland must step up climate change preparation

Scotland has much still to do to get ready for climate change, writes Ilona Amos

Opinion 6
Callum Skinner won Olympic gold and silver medals in Rio. Picture: Getty Images

Leader comment: Smearing of Skinner a disgrace

Olympic cycling hero Callum Skinner has gone to considerable lengths to demonstrate his innocence after a leak of confidential medical records showed he had taken a banned substance to treat asthma.

FILE - Pope John Paul II smiles from his papal throne, in this May 16, 1990 file photo, during his weekly general audience, two days prior to his 70th birthday on May 18th. Pope John Paul II died on Saturday, April 2, 2005. (AP Photo/Giulio Broglio)

Is faith the missing ingredient that can make western democracy work?

In a small book published in 2005, The Cube and the Cathedral, I raised a question that is even more urgent today than when the book was first published: Can a culture without agreed moral reference points to guide its public life sustain democratic self-governance over time?

Opinion 1
Four of the seven hair salon workers who won almost �3million in last Wednesday's Lotto, (left to right) Natalie McDonald, Wendy Brown, Michelle Donald and Lorna Alexander, celebrate their win at the salon in Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 6, 2007. The winners work at the Smile Hair and Beauty Salon in Glasgow. See PA story SCOTLAND Lottery. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Here’s hoping you have something 
to live for

Humans can live for weeks without food, days without water and minutes without air – but no one can live for seconds without hope. Hope is that almost indefinable quality which all of us need to live and not just merely exist. As the suicide rate in Scotland continues to increase, perhaps we need to ask what makes someone so despair that they despair of life itself? Why, when we live longer than ever before, when we are healthier and wealthier than any other generation in Scottish history, do so many people feel so hopeless?

Opinion 2
Kezia Dugdale has made a strong challenge to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over autonomy for the party in Scotland.

Paris Gourtsoyannis: Corbyn brings down the shutters in Scotland

A pact with the SNP will be irresistible to a Labour leader with little regard for Scotland, says Paris Gourtsoyannis

Opinion 25
Douglas White, head of advocacy at the Carnegie UK Trust. Picture: Contributed

Douglas White: We must all tackle the digital divide

One of the top challenges of this digital century is how we harness technology to create a more equal society.

Picture: John Devlin

Brian Ferguson: Scottish television industry has bright future

Three events in the space of 36 hours offered an intriguing, yet far from reassuring, snapshot into the state of Scotland’s television industry.

News 2
Iain Duncan Smith. Picture: PA

Leader comment: Damning indictment of politicians in EU campaign

Indyref’s ‘vibrant and well-informed’ debates were in stark contrast to the ‘dire’ standards plumbed during June referendum

Opinion 26
A man picking coffee beans, in a coffee and cocoa plantation, in Divo. Picture: Getty

Brian Monteith: Opening up UK market would give poor nations a chance

While much attention is being given to the travails of the Labour Party the most important decisions to be fought over will play out at the end of the week when the annual Conservative Party conference gets under way. Pick away at the scab that had apparently healed over the scars of Tory division on the European Union and you will see a still suppurating wound as competing camps try to decide what shape Brexit will take.

UK 6
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale speaks during Labour's Women's conference in Liverpool. Picture: Getty

Lesley Riddoch: Why Scottish Labour must back independence

Another day another car crash of an 
interview for Kezia Dugdale. After repeating her view that Jeremy Corbyn couldn’t win a general election straight after his re-election, Dugdale told BBC’s Sunday Politics that Corbyn could re-unite the party “if he really wants to,” and that unity matters more than negative opinions uttered previously, because “only a united Labour Party can defeat the Conservatives at the next elections”.

UK 95
Ian Frazer (from Glasgow, but now living in Australia) and the deceased Jian Zhou, winners of the European Inventor Award 2015 in the category Non-European Countries

Frazer invented the HPV vaccine - which protects against cervical cancer

It’s going to get easier to protect your valuable patents

Working with SMEs (Small and medium-sized enterprises) and start-ups on their intellectual property (IP) strategy, I often find clients are concerned about the prospect of large corporations stealing and exploiting their ideas. With stories of significant patent disputes between tech giants regularly in the headlines, many ask me why they should protect their IP if they cannot afford to enforce it against a large corporation?

'Second Steppers' case study
Laura and Robert Carroll - and their second home
Edinburgh is the least affordable city for second steppers, with the average price difference of 124.7% between flat and first house.

Where there’s a will, there’s a new tax to pay

On 1 April 2016, Land and Buildings Transactions Tax (LBTT), the Scottish version of Stamp Duty Land Tax which was introduced in England and Wales a year earlier, was amended so that the purchase of an additional property attracted a supplement of 3 per cent of the purchase price, payable by the purchaser.

File photo dated 14/08/2007 showing a large number of For Sale and To Let signs stand outside residential property in York. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday November 26, 2007. House prices fell for the second month in a row during November as higher interest rates continued to hit the market, figures showed today. See PA story MONEY House. Photo credit should read: John Giles/PA Wire

A spot of rainfall on the buy-to-let dream

Our ever-changing tax system provides plenty of unwelcome opportunities to slip up. Take the buy-to-let 
market, which in recent years has been a booming part of the property sector, attracting many individuals looking to generate income or 
provide a pension.

Over a quarter of households face unexpected energy bill shocks by not supplying regular meter readings.

Climate of change where older properties are sold

Since the introduction of the Climate Charge (Scotland) Act 2009, the Scottish Government has been a global leader in tackling climate change. The Act introduced the statutory framework for greenhouse gas emissions reductions in Scotland by setting an interim reductions target of 42 per cent by 2020 and an 80 per cent reductions target by 2050. Since the Act was passed the Scottish Government has successfully implemented secondary legislation to achieve their objectives, including the introduction of EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) and other legislation, such as the 
carrier bag charge.

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