{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"news","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk-government-deeply-concerned-by-iran-seizure-of-british-oil-tanker-1-4968340","id":"1.4968340","articleHeadline": "UK Government 'deeply concerned' by Iran seizure of British oil tanker","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563609730455 ,"articleLead": "

The Government said it remains \"deeply concerned\" by the \"unacceptable\" seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker by Iranian authorities in the Persian Gulf.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4968339.1563610027!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Undated handout photo issued by Stena Bulk of the British oil tanker Stena Impero which is believed to have been captured in Iranian waters whilst en route to Saudi Arabia. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The Stena Impero, which is registered in the UK, was seized by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in the Strait of Hormuz for \"violating international maritime rules\", according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

Stena Bulk, which owns the Stena Impero, said the ship was in \"full compliance with all navigation and international regulations\".

READ MORE: British oil tanker with 23 onboard 'seized by Iran'

A second oil tanker, the Liberian-flagged Mesdar, which is managed by Norbulk Shipping UK, veered off course towards the Iranian coast after it was boarded by armed guards at around 5.30pm on Friday.

The Mesdar's Glasgow-based operator said communication had since been re-established with the ship and the crew were unharmed.

The Government's emergency committee Cobra met on Friday night to discuss the situation.

\"We remain deeply concerned about Iran's unacceptable actions which represent a clear challenge to international freedom of navigation,\" a Government spokesman said.

UK vessels have been advised to \"stay out of the area\" of the Strait of Hormuz for an \"interim period\", the spokesman said, adding: \"As the Foreign Secretary has said, our response will be considered and robust and there will be serious consequences if the situation is not resolved.\"

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency reported on Saturday that the seizure was due to a collision with an Iranian fishing boat.

The report said the British tanker caused damage to the fishing boat, then did not respond to calls from the smaller craft.

The fishing boat informed Iran's Ports and Maritime Organisation, which notified the Revolutionary Guard.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he had spoken to US secretary of state Mike Pompeo about the situation and had tried to speak to Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, but he was on a plane.

A leading authority on British shipping said oil and gas prices will be affected if regional tensions continue.

There \"is no alternative route in and out of the Gulf\" for approximately a fifth of global oil and a third of the world's gas supply, according to Bob Sanguinetti from the UK Chamber of Shipping.

Mr Sanguinetti told the BBC: \"If this is to endure then clearly it's going to impact on trade routes, trade patterns and ultimately the price of those goods going through the Strait because they are going to have to be sourced from elsewhere.\"

A statement from Stena Bulk said ship manager Northern Marine Management had lost contact with the crew of 23 after \"unidentified small crafts and a helicopter\" approached the vessel at about 4pm on Friday.

The company said the tanker was in international waters at the time but appeared to be heading north towards Iran.

Erik Hanell, president and chief executive of Stena Bulk, said: \"There are 23 seafarers onboard of Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino nationality.

\"There have been no reported injuries and the safety and welfare of our crew remains our primary focus. We are in close contact with both the UK and Swedish government authorities to resolve this situation and we are liaising closely with our seafarers' families.\"

US president Donald Trump said America would be \"working with the UK\".

He told reporters: \"We will talk to the UK and we have no written agreement but we have an agreement. They've been a very great ally of ours.

\"So we heard about it, we heard it was one, we heard it was two, and we will be working with the UK.\"

The incident follows on from recent heightened tensions in the Gulf involving Iran, the US and UK.

Last week, the Royal Navy warship frigate HMS Montrose drove off three Iranian vessels which tried to stop the commercial ship British Heritage as it sailed through the Strait of Hormuz.

Fears were raised that the Iranian authorities were trying to seize a UK ship in retaliation for the detention of the Grace 1 tanker.

The Iranian ship was detained off the coast of Gibraltar on July 4 after it was suspected of violating EU sanctions by carrying a cargo of crude oil destined for Syria.

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the tanker's seizure an act of \"piracy\" on Tuesday and warned the UK to expect a response.

Mr Hunt offered to help release Grace 1 if Iran guaranteed it would not breach sanctions imposed on Bashar Assad's regime.

European allies to the US have been urged to take a tougher stance on Iran after Mr Trump withdrew from a nuclear deal with Tehran.

" ,"byline": {"email": "pa@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "PA Reporter"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4968339.1563610027!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4968339.1563610027!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Undated handout photo issued by Stena Bulk of the British oil tanker Stena Impero which is believed to have been captured in Iranian waters whilst en route to Saudi Arabia. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Undated handout photo issued by Stena Bulk of the British oil tanker Stena Impero which is believed to have been captured in Iranian waters whilst en route to Saudi Arabia. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4968339.1563610027!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/moon-landing-was-giant-leap-towards-becoming-an-interplanetary-species-leader-comment-1-4968245","id":"1.4968245","articleHeadline": "Moon landing was ‘giant leap’ towards becoming an interplanetary species – leader comment","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563598800000 ,"articleLead": "

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing and Neil Armstrong’s “giant leap”, it’s right to look towards Mars.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4968244.1563559937!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Apollo 11 space mission US astronaut Buzz Aldrin is seen conducting experiments on the moon's surface in a picture taken by Neil Armstrong (Picture: Neil Armstrong/Nasa via AFP/Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

Fifty years ago today, humanity took a “giant leap” forward. And since that momentous day in 1969, when Neil Armstrong first set a human foot on the Moon, there have been a number of other truly extraordinary developments in the story of our species.

Without doubt, one of the most important has been the stunning pace of technological advancements in computing. The computers used by Nasa for the Apollo 11 mission were far less powerful than those many of us carry in our pockets today. An iPhone can have about 100,000 times more processing power than Apollo 11’s computer and seven million times more storage. However, we can probably all agree we are not getting anything like seven million times the benefit. Indeed, the ability to watch a cleverly manipulated ‘deep fake’ video which claims to prove the Moon landing was staged in a film studio over lunch is a step backwards.

READ MORE: How moon landing conspiracy theories began and why they persist today – Professor Peter Knight

READ MORE: Speeding up Moon mission will bring Mars landing closer, says Nasa

Amazing technology is all very well, but it’s how we use it that really matters. Some people think spending large amounts of money on spaceflight when there are huge, pressing problems on Earth is a needless waste. But the Moon landing, even though it was born out of the Space Race between two Cold War rivals, was one of those rare moments when pretty much the whole world was united in hope. It was a sign of the great things that we can achieve when we really put our minds to it. And those kinds of signs are really important.

Perhaps, in some ways, it happened too soon because in 1969 we weren’t in a position to exploit the ability to go the Moon. The last human landing was in 1972 as our interest quickly waned. In a sense, it was a premature prelude to an even bigger leap – sending humans to Mars. So much so that Nasa plans to return to the Moon as part of its preparations for a historic mission to the Red Planet.

The difficulties of such a journey cannot be understated but, as Nasa says, it will be “an achievement recalled with awe far into humanity’s future”.

Right now, we are an Earth-bound species. At some point in the near future, we are likely to break those shackles and become an interplanetary one.

Surely, that cannot but help to give us a new perspective on life, one that will help us with more everyday concerns, just as it did for the astronauts who saw that first ‘Earth-rise’ from the surface of the Moon.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4968244.1563559937!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4968244.1563559937!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Apollo 11 space mission US astronaut Buzz Aldrin is seen conducting experiments on the moon's surface in a picture taken by Neil Armstrong (Picture: Neil Armstrong/Nasa via AFP/Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Apollo 11 space mission US astronaut Buzz Aldrin is seen conducting experiments on the moon's surface in a picture taken by Neil Armstrong (Picture: Neil Armstrong/Nasa via AFP/Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4968244.1563559937!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/here-s-how-to-get-tough-with-drunks-ruining-air-travel-stephen-jardine-1-4968241","id":"1.4968241","articleHeadline": "Here’s how to get tough with drunks ruining air travel – Stephen Jardine","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563598800000 ,"articleLead": "

Plane passengers should have to pass a breathalyser test before boarding if they show signs of being drunk at the gate, writes Stephen Jardine. Disrupting a flight should lead to a 10-year flying ban.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4968239.1563559911!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ryanair said the safety and comfort of customers was its number one priority (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

Imagine this. You’ve worked hard and saved all year for your family summer holiday only to end up fearing you will all die. This isn’t white-water rafting, swimming with sharks or being mugged in some far-flung land, in fact this is before your holiday has even started.

Last week we yet again faced holiday flight hell headlines in the papers. This time 30 drunken yobs terrorised passengers on a Ryanair flight from Edinburgh to Ibiza. Wearing T-shirts depicting a sex act, they boasted about photographing their genitalia, abused and intimidated staff and even threatened to open the doors mid flight.

A mother who was travelling with her son later said: “He was in tears. Children shouldn’t have to sit through that, nobody should. A couple of elderly people were visibly shaking. I’ve never been so disgusted and intimated in my life.”

If this was a one-off, you could put it down to the annual outing of Cretins Anonymous, released into the community to demonstrate what happens when you mix low intelligence with lots of alcohol. However this is far from a one-off incident. In fact we see more inflight booze mayhem than sunshine in Scotland during the summer. This latest incident provoked the usual response. Passengers were terrified, the culprits were met by local police and reprimanded and the airline issued a mealy-mouthed rebuke.

READ MORE: ‘Aggressive’ stag party on Ryanair Edinburgh-Ibiza flight leaves ‘boy in tears’

READ MORE: ‘Drunk’ passengers removed from plane by police at Edinburgh Airport

What will it actually take for someone to take this seriously? Tragically, the answer is probably a tragedy at 30,000ft. Then the resulting inquiry will ask, why on Earth didn’t we act sooner? I don’t really blame the drunks. Every village has an idiot and if you put 30 together you get that result. Natural selection or becoming parents and developing common sense will eventually sort them out.

Instead we need to point the finger elsewhere. Airports are no longer merely logistical hubs facilitating travel. Instead they’ve been transformed into voracious money-making machines with comfort, enjoyment and everything else sacrificed in the interests of generating income. If that means funneling booze into people about to hurtle through the air in a metal tube, that’s fine with them.

The consequences of that should be evident at the departure gate but hang on, once boarding is complete, they are someone else’s responsibility so let’s crack on. Not content with charging you for you seat, your bag and your meal, up in the sky the airline desperately want more money so that means selling booze.

In a statement on the latest incident, Ryanair said “the safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority”. Is it really? When other passengers tried to change their return seats to avoid being seated near the drunks they were charged for the privilege.

For the sake of the imbeciles causing the trouble, let’s keep the solution simple. Anyone suspected of drinking can be breathalysed at the gate. Too drunk to drive equals too drunk to fly. And anyone who disrupts an aircraft is banned from flying for 10 years.

It really is that easy but don’t expect that to happen while revenues remain more important than ruined holidays.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4968239.1563559911!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4968239.1563559911!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ryanair said the safety and comfort of customers was its number one priority (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ryanair said the safety and comfort of customers was its number one priority (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4968239.1563559911!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/no-place-for-trump-racism-on-isle-of-lewis-or-in-woody-guthrie-s-songbook-brian-wilson-1-4968237","id":"1.4968237","articleHeadline": "No place for Trump racism on Isle of Lewis or in Woody Guthrie’s songbook – Brian Wilson","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563598800000 ,"articleLead": "

It is to the eternal credit of the Isle of Lewis that it has shown not the slightest interest in acknowledging, far less exploiting, the exceptionally close familial links with Donald Trump.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4968236.1563559897!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Woody Guthrie sang about the racism of the current US President's father Fred (Picture: AP)"} ,"articleBody": "

One can only wish that same sense of discernment had occurred to his over-eager political facilitators at Menie Sands, with local people trampled into the rough. And credit to Robert Gordon University for ditching him as an honorary graduand four years ago.

There is no Trump Trail in Lewis and never will be. I suspect it would have been rather different in Ireland, no matter how villainous the individual, if a fraction of the same connection could have been established.

READ MORE: All UK politicians must fight Donald Trump’s foul racism – leader comment

READ MORE: Leader comment: A denunciation of Donald Trump

The key to Trump and the vile racism that is now laid bare for the world to see lies not in his mother but in his father. For decades, Fred Trump pretended to be of Swedish rather than German extraction, while rubbing shoulders with the American far-right.

As late as the 1980s Donald Trump biography, The Art of the Deal, the “Swedish” lie was maintained.

However, the dad’s inherent racism had been chronicled by an unlikely witness. Woody Guthrie, the great American balladeer of the 20th century, was one of his tenants and wrote a song:

‘I suppose that Old Man Trump knows just how much racial hate

He stirred up in that bloodpot of human hearts

When he drawed that color line

Here at his 1800 Family Project’

Like father, like son. They both knew their markets.

The current Trump’s numbers people will have decided he is on a winner – the more racist, the more electable.

The truly frightening thought is that they might be right.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4968236.1563559897!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4968236.1563559897!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Woody Guthrie sang about the racism of the current US President's father Fred (Picture: AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Woody Guthrie sang about the racism of the current US President's father Fred (Picture: AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4968236.1563559897!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/an-insincere-handshake-gives-a-clue-to-boris-johnson-s-first-big-mistake-john-mclellan-1-4968068","id":"1.4968068","articleHeadline": "An insincere handshake gives a clue to Boris Johnson’s first big mistake – John McLellan","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563598800000 ,"articleLead": "

Boris Johnson should keep Jeremy Hunt in his Cabinet, but the signs don’t look good, writes John McLellan.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4956732.1563546369!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Boris Johnson is set to become the UK's next Prime Minister (Picture: Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

It’s nearly over and, after the hustings and the TV set-pieces, a new Prime Minister will be in place next week. In truth, it has been over since the very first ballot way back on 13 June when Boris Johnson polled 114 votes from 313 MPs.

This last week has just been about finishing the roster of hustings, and gathering in the remaining few votes which hadn’t been cast last by last weekend, or at least I think that‘s what the last week has been about because as you read this I’ve just got back from a week’s climate emergency in Greece where the best preparation for what’s about to happen politically has been to try to think of anything but.

While Conservative holiday reading might be something along the lines of We’ve Got to Talk About Boris, I plumped for the much-praised Vietnam by the PM-in-waiting’s old boss Max Hastings who has left no anecdote untold about his former employee’s shortcomings. This got me thinking about what our political rivals might be enjoying on the beach this summer, perhaps Bonfire of the Vanities for Nationalists, but they might also seek inspiration and indeed instruction from another highly praised new release, Thomas Grant’s Court Number One: The Old Bailey Trials that Defined Modern Britain and prepare a bang-up-to-date Scottish version in time for next summer’s holiday market.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson could force Queen into huge Brexit decision – John McLellan

READ MORE: The sinister theory about Boris Johnson’s model bus story – John McLellan

After the Panorama expose of anti-semitism at the top of the Labour Party, Corbynistas could do worse than Leon Uris’s QBVII or Thomas Keneally’s Schindler’s Ark, but what about Lib Dems? For such fans of European integration, there is Peter Wilson’s magnificent history of the Holy Roman Empire, but on a trawl through Amazon I stumbled across Edward de Bono’s How to be More Interesting, which would be much more useful. In the case of new SRU director and soon to be ex-Shetland Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott, Rugby Union for Dummies is a must.

Whatever breather that elected representatives and activists have managed to take this summer, the drama of March – through the knife-edge votes, the double postponement of Brexit and the demise of Theresa May’s premiership – may well just have been the warm-up for what is about to unfold in the next five months. One or more of the suspension of parliament, a no-deal Brexit, a second EU referendum, the calling of a second independence referendum, a General Election, another hung Commons and the shortest Prime Ministership in history are very real possibilities by Christmas.

As I wrote here a few weeks back, one upside of having Mr Johnson in Number 10 is that whatever compromise he has to make – and I still expect him to come back with something almost identical to the May deal – he is in a better position to dress it up in new clothing and sell it to the Brexiteers and the DUP because there is no question about his commitment to their cause. They will take from him what they might reject from Mr Hunt.

His challenge is to ensure he sells it to enough on the other side too, which is why a vengeful omission of Jeremy Hunt from his team would be counter-productive. As Lord Ashcroft pointed out last week, Mr Johnson has a track record of finishing off other people’s work, not of original delivery himself and he needs good people around him to make things happen. Mr Hunt, said Lord Ashcroft, has displayed “calm assurance and attention to detail”.

Sadly, from what I’ve seen, Mr Hunt is likely to be the first casualty of the Johnson premiership, but it will also be its first mistake. Mr Johnson’s lack of eye-contact, uneasy glances, the insincere football manager handshake at the end of the TV debates and the angry shouting down indicated real animosity.

The failure to support an ambassador who had done no wrong has been widely criticised, but in contrast Mr Hunt has kept his chin up in the midst of an increasingly bitter campaign he knew he was losing. At the same time, he handled the US ambassador fall-out with integrity, deftly managed the Iranian tanker incidents and fronted an international Press freedom conference in which he pointedly criticised Saudi Arabia for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Grace under pressure is what the public expects from the occupant of Number 10 and Mr Hunt has a surplus.

How to survive the population explosion

You read it here first. Last month I wrote that a growing body of expert opinion on global population trends believed that numbers would peak towards the end of the century and begin to decline as more people became urbanised and moved away from subsistence farming.

The United Nations published a climate change report which suggested that modernisation was at the heart of the problem, which conflicted with the view that urban living was a necessity to limit population growth and therefore reduce pressure on the environment.

While some experts believe the best way to halt the explosion is through better contraception and family planning, others, like the late Factfulness author and international health professor Hans Rosling, insisted that breaking the reliance on subsistence farming was the key.

Now the UN is beginning to move on population and a report published last week by its Department of Economic and Social Affairs estimated the world population would increase by two billion in the next 30 years to 9.7 billion, peaking by 2100 at “nearly 11 billion,” compared to its 2017 forecast of 9.8 billion people by 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100.

The most advanced countries are already wrestling with the problems of an ageing population and falling birth rates, and growth will soon be confined to a handful of big and still largely under-developed counties, particularly Nigeria which is expected to accelerate from around 186m today to overtake the US which is predicted to reach about 400m by 2050. But even sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing a slight dip in fertility from 4.7 to 4.6 children each and in 2060 Kenya is expected to reach 2.1, the point at which populations sustain themselves, ten years earlier than predicted in 2017. This month The Economist magazine reported South Korea’s population is set to drop from 51m to 30m by 2100.

Population explosion is the biggest factor in the consumption of natural resources, yet economic prosperity, urbanisation and birth control doesn’t fit the revolutionary narrative agenda of climate change extremists whose sights remain firmly fixed on Western governments and corporations.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4956732.1563546369!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4956732.1563546369!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Boris Johnson is set to become the UK's next Prime Minister (Picture: Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Boris Johnson is set to become the UK's next Prime Minister (Picture: Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4956732.1563546369!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/in-a-country-where-1-in-34-babies-die-at-birth-this-clinic-hasn-t-had-a-death-in-10-years-susan-dalgety-1-4968072","id":"1.4968072","articleHeadline": "In a country where 1 in 34 babies die at birth, this clinic hasn’t had a death in 10 years – Susan Dalgety","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563598800000 ,"articleLead": "

Malawi has one of highest maternal mortality rates in the world, but Susan Dalgety visits a clinic that is doing extraordinary work despite scant resources.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4968071.1563546374!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Acting High Commissioner Gary Leslie presents a Commonwealth Point of Light award to Charity Salima (Picture: British High Commmission, Malawi, @UKinMalawi)"} ,"articleBody": "

Charity stopped. She bent down and firmly pulled out the young woman’s breast from under her chitenje.

Speaking softly, but firmly, she explained to her how the tiny baby in her arms needed to latch on to her engorged nipple. “Like this,” smiled Charity, pushing the mother’s breast closer.

And just like that, mother and baby bonded.

The young woman visibly relaxed as her first born began to feed, and Charity stepped back, satisfied.

“She gave birth in the hospital, not here in my clinic,” explained Charity. “They don’t have time to properly explain how breastfeeding works, so often women will come to me when their baby is crying, because they are not feeding well. Now, let me show you the labour ward, another baby girl has just been born, only 30 minutes ago.”

And she took me to meet Evelyn, a healthy, calm infant, weighing 3.4kg and already the apple of her grandmother’s eye, who was sitting proudly with the baby swaddled on her lap.

Evelyn’s mother, Marvellous, who had given birth less than an hour ago, said a faint hello from under a warm blanket, apparently not the least fazed that a stranger had interrupted this most private of moments. “It’s okay,” laughed Charity. “You’re a woman. You are welcome here.”

Mama Salima, as she is known in the community, is a force of nature. Ten years ago, she gave up a secure job as a senior research nurse to open her own community clinic in Area 23, one of Lilongwe’s most crowded townships.

“My family were confused,” she laughed, remembering their reaction. “How will you eat?” they asked. “I told them, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ and look, he has provided.”

Charity and her team of staff and volunteers have delivered 8,000 babies in a decade. All survived, a remarkable record in a country with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. The latest figures from USAID show that one in 174 mothers die giving birth, and one in 34 babies die at birth, usually from asphyxiation, low birth weight or infection.

What is Charity’s secret? “Experience,” she says. “I know how long a labour should last. And if there are any signs of distress, in the mother or the baby, then we send her to Bwaila, the maternity unit at the central hospital.”

READ MORE: Malawi turns to peaceful protest and powerful theatre – Susan Dalgety

READ MORE: Susan Dalgety: A country of 18 million – and just 39 dentists to treat them

She might also have added expertise. Walking round the small but perfectly appointed clinic with Charity, it is clear she is at the top of her profession, despite very limited resources.

There is none of the high-tech, eye-wateringly expensive equipment we take for granted in our labour wards. No birthing pools, no baby boxes, and no anxious fathers. “We encourage men to come,” says Charity. “In our culture, childbirth is only for women, but it is changing. And I expect the man to come when we have family planning sessions. A woman does not get pregnant alone ...” she guffaws.

Charity has won many accolades. She is dubbed Malawi’s Florence Nightingale, her work has been featured on CNN, and only last week, she was presented with a Commonwealth Point of Light Award for her work by Britain’s acting High Commissioner, Gary Leslie, another Scot in Malawi.

Handing over the Queen’s award, he acknowledged that maternal and newborn health is still a big challenge across many Commonwealth countries, and pointed to Charity as a role model.

“I hope Charity’s life of service and this award will inspire others to contribute towards tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time,” he said.

But even the indomitable Charity cannot work miracles on her own. “We need support all the time, Sue,” she told me, as I was getting ready to leave. “We are very grateful for our partnership with Freedom from Fistula (founded by Scot Ann Gloag). We get support from George Watson’s College, in Edinburgh. And you know Linda McDonald, she is a Scottish midwife. She helped us tremendously, but there is always a worry. We always need new equipment.”

Top of Charity’s wish list is a £1,000 machine that will help deliver oxygen to new born babies in distress. Even a few minutes of oxygen deprivation at birth can cause life-changing conditions such as cerebral palsy, or even death.

The health of all the nation’s children has been the focus of the government’s work this week. While politicians and civil society continue to argue over the election results, the Ministry of Health has been holding a week-long campaign, known as Child Health Days.

Health workers across the country have set up temporary clinics in rural areas – where over 80 per cent of the population live – to offer basic, preventative healthcare to under-fives and new mothers.

Children have received doses of Albendazole to get rid of intestinal worms, vitamin A to promote their immune system and protect their eye-sight, and micronutrient powders to tackle malnutrition. And mothers are being encouraged to breastfeed for the first two years of their baby’s life.

Health experts say about 1.4 million children in Malawi suffer from stunted growth because of lack of proper nutrition, and it is not just their height and weight that suffers. Poor nutrition can also affect a child’s cognitive development, making schooling even more difficult. It is easy to become despondent about Malawi’s future. The scale of the challenges, in maternal health and for under-fives alone, is daunting. Throw in a million people living with HIV/Aids, the impact of climate change, inflation running at nine per cent, and a national government that has the same resources for 18 million people that Glasgow City Council has for 600,000, and the future looks bleak.

Some Malawi friends shrug and say, “it is hopeless.” Others, like Charity, point to God and smile confidently, “He will provide”.

After three months in this beautiful, welcoming, at times infuriating, but always fascinating country, I am more optimistic than I was when I landed at Kamuzu International Airport.

In recent years, Malawi has cut the number of children deficient in vitamin A from 51 per cent to three per cent, a feat described by Unicef as “remarkable”, and better than any other country.

It has made significant strides in tacking HIV/Aids, with the annual death toll dropping from 64,000 in 2005 to 12,000 last year.

And there are countless Malawians like Charity, doing what they can to build their country. All they need is a little help from their friends across the globe.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4968071.1563546374!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4968071.1563546374!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Acting High Commissioner Gary Leslie presents a Commonwealth Point of Light award to Charity Salima (Picture: British High Commmission, Malawi, @UKinMalawi)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Acting High Commissioner Gary Leslie presents a Commonwealth Point of Light award to Charity Salima (Picture: British High Commmission, Malawi, @UKinMalawi)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4968071.1563546374!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/musicians-to-perform-on-peak-in-honour-of-frightened-rabbit-frontman-1-4968185","id":"1.4968185","articleHeadline": "Musicians to perform on peak in honour of Frightened Rabbit frontman","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563554874562 ,"articleLead": "

A group of musicians are trekking up Britain's highest peak this weekend to perform - in memory of former Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4968183.1563555726!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A group of musicians are trekking up Britain's highest peak this weekend to perform - in memory of former Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison."} ,"articleBody": "

The five friends, all from Oban, Argyll and Bute, are big fans of the indie rock band and are fundraising for three mental health charities.

Andrew Duncan, Kevin Smith, Kevin Irvine, Andy Bruce and Paul Storr will play an acoustic cover of the song Head Rolls Off tomorrow (Sat) when they reach the top of 4,413 feet high Ben Nevis in the Highlands.

Scott took his own life last year and after meeting him in person and experiencing his own struggles, organiser Kevin Smith, 30, said he wanted to make \"tiny changes to earth\", in reference to the song they will play.

The group has raised £2,500 so far of their £3,000 target and will donate the money to Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), Martyn's Monday Club and Tiny Changes, which was set up by Scott's brother after his death.

Kevin said: \"We all grew up together and all met through music. We were huge fans of Scott and some of us met him.

\"We're all individual artists; I'm a singer-songwriter and an acoustic guitarist and there's a rapper. The fundraiser was my idea. It initially start that it'd just be me walking up Ben Nevis.

\"I've suffered from depression and anxiety for ten years and thought there's something I'd need to do. To get me out of a hole I decided I wanted to do something in memory of Scott Hutchison.

\"There's a line in the chorus that says 'while I'm alive, I'll make tiny changes to earth'. Scott did and it's a good way for us to move forward as well.

\"We're wanting to end the stigma behind mental health that you're not allowed to talk. Word got around town and a few other guys asked to get involved - it's kind of just snowballed.\"

The group has been training to prepare themselves for Ben Nevis by hiking hills and munros, including recently trekking up Ben Lomond.

They will leave Oban for Fort William on Saturday and are hoping to reach the top of Ben Nevis by around 1pm.

Looking forward to the occasion, Kevin said: \"We'll be fine if we pace ourselves. We've had a lot of messages from people saying they'll try and make it and it's great what we're doing.

\"If there's people there it will make it more special. We're hoping it'll be a good reception, and good weather.\"

" ,"byline": {"email": "newsen@edinburghnews.com" ,"author": "Paul Rodger"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4968183.1563555726!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4968183.1563555726!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A group of musicians are trekking up Britain's highest peak this weekend to perform - in memory of former Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A group of musicians are trekking up Britain's highest peak this weekend to perform - in memory of former Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4968183.1563555726!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4968184.1563555728!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4968184.1563555728!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kevin Smith with former Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison (right).","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kevin Smith with former Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison (right).","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4968184.1563555728!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/brexit-sending-queen-to-eu-to-request-extension-is-a-ridiculous-idea-1-4967865","id":"1.4967865","articleHeadline": "Brexit: Sending Queen to EU to request extension 'is a ridiculous idea'","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563538276142 ,"articleLead": "

Sending the Queen to the EU to request an extension to Brexit and prevent a no-deal being forced through by the next prime minister is a \"ridiculous idea\", a former Supreme Court justice has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967864.1563538745!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Newsnight reported that the Queen could be asked to travel to the next EU summit and seek a delay to Brexit if the next PM ignored a vote rejecting no-deal."} ,"articleBody": "

Lord Sumption criticised the notion after it was reported that senior Tories have touted using a parliamentary device known as a humble address to get the monarch to act.

The suggestion is an example of the extraordinary resistance front-runner Boris Johnson may face if he attempts to force through a deal-less departure against the will of MPs.

Newsnight reported that the Queen could be asked to exercise her right as head of state to travel to the next EU summit and seek a delay to Brexit if the next PM ignored a vote rejecting no-deal.

Lord Sumption told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: \"I agree, it's a ridiculous idea.

\"I think, first of all, that MPs putting forward a particular point of view should pipe down on the question of bringing the Queen in because that very fact puts her in an awkward position and makes it more difficult for her and reduces her options.\"

He also called for the Queen to have a source of advice independent of the Government on the limits of ministers' powers.

Lord Sumption, who has retired from the top court, said the constitutional basis on which the Queen must listen to the Privy Council is that the Government commands a majority in the Commons, which it does not.

\"So, using the powers of the crown to defeat the majority is a very strange idea. But we're in an entirely new territory,\" he said.

The reported manoeuvrings against a potential Johnson premiership are the latest apparent attempts to thwart his authority.

He has refused to rule out suspending Parliament in order to ram home a no-deal exit unlike the Tory leadership race underdog, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

But the scale of the task was exposed in the Commons on Thursday when Cabinet ministers expecting to return to the backbenches under his leadership sent a firm signal.

MPs voted by a majority of 41 to back a measure that could prevent Mr Johnson suspending Parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit, with 17 Tories rebelling.

Crucially, Chancellor Philip Hammond, Justice Secretary David Gauke, Business Secretary Greg Clark and International Development Secretary Rory Stewart did not take part in the vote.

The quartet could be a thorn in Mr Johnson's side as he struggles with an administration propped up by the DUP.

The majority could be reduced to just three if the Conservatives fail to hold Brecon and Radnorshire in the August 1 by-election.

" ,"byline": {"email": "sean.murphy@jpimedia.co.uk" ,"author": "PA Reporter"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4967864.1563538745!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967864.1563538745!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Newsnight reported that the Queen could be asked to travel to the next EU summit and seek a delay to Brexit if the next PM ignored a vote rejecting no-deal.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Newsnight reported that the Queen could be asked to travel to the next EU summit and seek a delay to Brexit if the next PM ignored a vote rejecting no-deal.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4967864.1563538745!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/why-matthew-parris-is-so-wrong-about-donald-trump-s-go-home-tweet-paris-gourtsoyannis-1-4967490","id":"1.4967490","articleHeadline": "Why Matthew Parris is so wrong about Donald Trump’s ‘go home’ tweet – Paris Gourtsoyannis","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563531555000 ,"articleLead": "

It doesn’t matter which immigrants are targeted – Donald Trump’s ‘go home’ rhetoric opens the door to violence, writes Paris Gourtsoyannis.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967489.1563531551!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Times columnist Matthew Parris has denied the US President is 'dabbling in racist politics' (Picture: Chip Somodevilla/Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

Since the last few days of US political rhetoric will be studied by historians for some time, here a some snapshots from the past: In 1844, the city of Philadelphia was convulsed by race riots over three months, resulting in at least 20 deaths and requiring 1,000 troops to stop the violence.

In 1891, after a jury acquitted some of the defendants in a trial for the murder of a police officer, a mob of thousands stormed a New Orleans courtroom and shot dead 11 of them.

And in 1909, in Omaha, Nebraska, a young man was arrested while taking an English lesson from a woman. On the way to jail, he pulled out a gun and shot the officer who arrested him. Local politicians held a public meeting, whipping up a mob of at least 900 men who nearly lynched the gunman, then attacked and burnt down his neighbourhood, beating women and children and reportedly killing a boy. The entire community was driven out of the city.

These accounts sound like they belong to the hateful past of America’s Deep South, and slavery’s legacy of racism. But the communities targeted weren’t African American. In Philadelphia, it was Irish Catholics; in New Orleans, Italians; and in Omaha, the pogrom was aimed at Greeks.

READ MORE: Theresa May finally stands up to Donald Trump (without saying his name) – leader comment

READ MORE: Donald Trump is a racist but the US is better than him – Kenny MacAskill

‘Anti-Greek hatred’ just looks strange written down. But one of Canada’s worst race riots took place in 1918, when anger at Greece’s official neutrality in WWI spilled out into the streets of Toronto. There were similar wartime riots in the Australian city of Perth, as well as outback mining towns. Of course, the point isn’t to make a comparison with the appalling, continuing toll of racism on visible, non-white communities – rather that whenever minorities and outsiders are told to go home, it opens the door to violence. The history of ‘go home’ rhetoric confirms: it’s profoundly racist and always has been.

And even when integration over generations brings violence to an end, bigotry survives for decades more. ‘No Greeks’ and ‘no Italians’ could be found outside boarding houses and in newspaper classified ads in the first half of the 20th Century, just like the ‘no blacks’ and ‘no Irish’ that lasted into the second half.

As a masters student in 1970s Montreal, my mother – born and raised in Canada as a third-generation immigrant – was told by professors not to study French because “this course is too difficult for a Greek girl”. Immigrants almost always start at the bottom of the economic ladder, with little or no power and influence. Historically, they were used as strikebreakers, often without their knowledge; today, they continue to be accused of taking housing and jobs away from established communities, driving down wages, and are vilified for their religion or held accountable for the actions of governments they leave behind – or even flee.

That’s why Times columnist Matthew Parris’ claim that President Trump’s comments would “strike a chord among millions who should not be called racists” is so wrong. He denied the US President was “dabbling in racist politics”, explaining: “There is such a thing as courtesy to a host country, even if it’s now theirs too. If in earlier centuries the many Irish and Italian (white) immigrants to the US had seemed to attack too fiercely and too early the beliefs and values of the country that had taken them or their parents in, they would have attracted irritation. ‘Why did they come there, then?’ is a question that, like it or not, would be asked.”

In a free, democratic society, participating in peaceful political debate is, in fact, a courtesy; and a place you live in – let alone somewhere you were born – ceases to become a ‘host’ once you call it your home. It is deeply sinister to talk about second and third generation immigrants as ‘guests’ – or even, as Parris wouldn’t but some do, ‘parasites’.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4967489.1563531551!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967489.1563531551!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Times columnist Matthew Parris has denied the US President is 'dabbling in racist politics' (Picture: Chip Somodevilla/Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Times columnist Matthew Parris has denied the US President is 'dabbling in racist politics' (Picture: Chip Somodevilla/Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4967489.1563531551!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6061421974001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/brexit-descends-into-an-undemocratic-farce-starring-a-kipper-leader-comment-1-4967553","id":"1.4967553","articleHeadline": "Brexit descends into an undemocratic farce starring a kipper – leader comment","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563530416000 ,"articleLead": "

It would be undemocratic and irresponsible for any UK Government to suspend Parliament to avoid losing a vote of MPs and a subsequent general election in order to force through a no-deal Brexit that will plunge Britain into a recession.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967551.1563530412!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Forget the recession and spiralling public debt caused by a no-deal Brexit, Boris Johnson has a probably inaccurate point to make about a kipper (Picture: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

As rebellions go, it was an odd one, played out with a touch of farce, a row over a kipper and a dire economic warning.

It pitted current UK Government against MPs who want to ensure the next Government cannot shut down Parliament between the dates of 9 October and 18 December.

The rebels fear this will happen if the new Prime Minister – ie Boris Johnson – is unable to muster enough votes from MPs to allow a no-deal Brexit, which is what will happen unless there is a breakthrough in the EU talks or a further delay.

That’s the same no deal which, according to the Government’s own advisors, the Office for Budget Responsibility, will push the UK into a recession and force the Government to almost double public borrowing next year to £60 billion, with an even bigger debt mountain to follow in 2020-21.

READ MORE: Brexit: MPs vote to block suspension of parliament to force through no-deal

The rebels don’t want Parliament to be suspended because this would mean they would be unable to bring down the Government, forcing a general election at which the people of Britain would be able to vote for candidates who support or oppose a monumentally foolish no-deal Brexit.

A Government suspending democracy to avoid losing a vote in the Commons and a vote by the country, so that it can force through a policy that will trash the UK economy?


This rebellion was odd only because it was necessary.

But Jeremy Hunt, the other candidate in the one-horse race to be next Conservative leader, managed to add an extra touch of the surreal when he accidentally failed to vote – while stressing he would have voted with the Government because it would be wrong, he claimed, for Parliament to “restrict the hand of an incoming Government in this way”.

Just to be clear, his stated position is that it would be wrong to suspend Parliament and he wouldn’t do that if elected leader.

So Hunt would have voted to allow something he doesn’t approve of, but didn’t.

Four other Cabinet ministers, including the Chancellor Philip Hammond, also didn’t vote, but appear to have not done so deliberately, helping the rebels to win a vote that blocks suspension of Parliament – although only while there is no devolved government in Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile, Johnson waved a kipper about to make a probably inaccurate point about EU regulations.

Ever feel we’re all being stitched up like one?

READ MORE: Brian Monteith: It’s Brussels which is driving a hard Brexit

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4967551.1563530412!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967551.1563530412!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Forget the recession and spiralling public debt caused by a no-deal Brexit, Boris Johnson has a probably inaccurate point to make about a kipper (Picture: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Forget the recession and spiralling public debt caused by a no-deal Brexit, Boris Johnson has a probably inaccurate point to make about a kipper (Picture: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4967551.1563530412!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6055840485001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/arts-and-culture/theatre/james-mcavoy-calls-out-london-critic-for-whining-scottish-accents-remark-in-review-1-4967720","id":"1.4967720","articleHeadline": "James McAvoy calls out London critic for 'whining Scottish accents' remark in review","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563526546590 ,"articleLead": "Scottish actor James McAvoy has taken to social media to call out English theatre critic Quentin Letts over his review of a major theatre production in which he describes Scottish accents as \"whining\".","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967718.1563526721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The star made the video while in San Diego for Comic Con."} ,"articleBody": "

The Hollywood star took to Instagram to ask his followers to share a video with the critic on Twitter - a platform the actor himself doesn't use - after Letts wrote in his review of Peter Gynt that "the fruity purr of veteran thesp Oliver Ford Davies and the button moulder brings a welcome calm to proceedings, and relief at last from the whining Scottish accents".

McAvoy, who highlighted the passage in the Sunday Times review, jumped to the defence of fellow Scots, including fellow actors James McArdle and Dani Herron who star in the play, by posting a lengthy video on the social media site while in San Diego.

In it, he said: "Quentin I would love to have a conversation with you, maybe we could have a discussion why you think it is ok to label the sound of an entire nation in such a derogatory fashion.

"Where the person with an English accent is referred to by his name, as an individual with fruity superlatives, whereas the people who are 'whining' just get referred to as Scottish, not individuals, not as actors, just an entire nation."

He then goes on to add that perhaps they could invite people with both Scottish and English accents, as well as the cast of Peter Gynt to join them, before joking that the "fruity burrs of Oliver Ford Davies" could even mediate.

The critic himself has yet to respond to the invitation but McAvoy's followers flocked to comment on the post with it quickly gaining over 130,000 likes.

Singer KT Tunstall wrote: "There are certain words that acquire immeasurably more power when delivered with a Scottish accent. You know the ones. Appropriate."

Another user simply added: "The Scottish accent is one of the best in the world."

While others thanked him for his "incredibly eloquent and measured response".

" ,"byline": {"email": "sean.murphy@jpimedia.co.uk" ,"author": "Sean Murphy"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4967718.1563526721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967718.1563526721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The star made the video while in San Diego for Comic Con.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The star made the video while in San Diego for Comic Con.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4967718.1563526721!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4967719.1563526722!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967719.1563526722!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The star's post on Instagram highlighting the text.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The star's post on Instagram highlighting the text.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4967719.1563526722!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/why-boris-johnson-is-like-a-tory-jeremy-corbyn-ayesha-hazarika-1-4967486","id":"1.4967486","articleHeadline": "Why Boris Johnson is like a Tory Jeremy Corbyn – Ayesha Hazarika","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563522621000 ,"articleLead": "

Tory party members’ dreams are about to come true, but the PM-in-waiting will have to feed them what they want – or he’ll lose their faith, writes Ayesha Hazarika.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4952694.1563522617!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Some see Boris Johnson as a liberal internationalist, others believe he is a British version of Donald Trump"} ,"articleBody": "

They’re about to get their man, Boris Johnson. He excites, thrills and delights them. He can make them squeal with laughter just by reading out the phone book.

He’s the – preferably non-taxed – sugar-high they’ve been craving after three years of thin gruel. They feel they’ve waited a long time and they will leap with joy when his name is read out.

I know how that feels because I was there when Jeremy Corbyn was announced as the winner of the 2015 Labour leadership contest when he beat the other contenders by a county mile.

The atmosphere was electric. Yes, there were some stony faces, but the room was packed with party members who were besides themselves when he won.

There was a carnival atmosphere. Members felt euphoric because they got their man and they got their party back.

Almost four years on, for many, that sweetness has soured into something rather rotten.

It’s good to have a decisive win. As we know from Brexit, too narrow a result can lead to a lack of leadership and an inability to have a clear view.

But too big a win – while at first it may feel like a nice problem to have – can produce unintended consequences.

READ MORE: Gordon Brown launches think tank with warning Boris Johnson could end Union

READ MORE: Boris Johnson to make Scotland ‘first official visit as prime minister’

Power should never be unfettered. That’s a touchstone of modern governance. We have separation of power spread across the executive, parliament and the judiciary to provide checks and balances.

Yet it seems odd that we don’t apply that principle to our political parties. We have structures which allow one man to control the party, lock, stock and barrel.

We have that in the Labour party and that’s about to happen in the Conservative party, especially as we see Tory MPs falling over themselves to suck up to Johnson, flinging all their red lines and principles out the window as they jostle for jobs.

That’s not just unhealthy, it’s dangerous. A lack of internal competition and accountability which stops the leadership and their team from riding roughshod over the party on policy and culture leads to deeply unhappy circumstances.

Our party leaders shouldn’t be autocrats.

Politics has always been a giant, dysfunctional popularity contest but the cult of the leader has become heightened in recent years because people, particularly those who are interested in politics, have become so polarised.

There’s no room for nuance and there’s certainly no room for a nuanced leader.

In this new climate, we are seeing unusually big wins. Compare Corbyn’s decisive win against Ed Miliband’s cigarette paper victory over his brother.

But to win this big, you have to follow a Trumpian model. First you build your base and play to them. Then to keep them, you have to feed them regularly. And they’re pretty clear about their tastes.

Johnson is, of course, playing the Trump playbook faultlessly – embracing a toxic right-wing economic and cultural agenda, which will secure a stunning victory next week.

But he will then have to show his base that he is delivering for them and honouring that agenda – because it will be as much theirs as his. The rallies are going to be wild.

I understand the excitement of Conservative colleagues at this new dawn. But, be careful for what you wish.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4952694.1563522617!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4952694.1563522617!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Some see Boris Johnson as a liberal internationalist, others believe he is a British version of Donald Trump","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Some see Boris Johnson as a liberal internationalist, others believe he is a British version of Donald Trump","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4952694.1563522617!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/why-independence-for-scotland-and-wales-is-only-a-matter-of-time-plaid-cymru-leader-adam-price-1-4967131","id":"1.4967131","articleHeadline": "Why independence for Scotland and Wales is only a matter of time – Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563512400000 ,"articleLead": "

Brexit is the wrong answer to the right question, which is ‘why are our voices not being heard by the powers that be?’, writes Adam Price.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967130.1563449360!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mark Drakeford, Labour's First Minister of Wales, has said his support for union is not 'unconditional' (Picture: Simon Galloway/PA)"} ,"articleBody": "

Under questioning in the Senedd from my party’s Brexit spokesperson earlier this month, the Labour First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, conceded that his support for the British state is not “unconditional”.

That admission was itself a significant moment: a sitting First Minister publicly recognising that independence for Wales could be seriously considered as offering the best future for Wales.

Just as remarkable was the fact that, in the moment, the significance of what he was saying didn’t seem to register with Mr Drakeford.

Nevertheless, during the next day’s First Minister’s Questions, he tried to row back on his comments, claiming that his is a “devolutionist party” while mine stands “unambiguously for independence”.

As I said at the time, we’re unambiguously in favour of independence, and he’s ambiguously in favour of it. It’s a definite maybe from the First Minister!

Notwithstanding his attempt to eat his words, he had been caught off guard, and had said what a growing number of people believe to be true: independence is a question of when, not if.

Since the European referendum in 2016, people across Wales have seen the Westminster parties tie themselves in knots over what version of Brexit they want to push through.

READ MORE: Gordon Brown launches think tank with warning Boris Johnson could end Union

READ MORE: Benelux could be model for Scotland, Wales and England after independence, says Plaid Cymru leader

This chaos has been a plague on the houses of both Labour and the Tories, and more and more people are looking on in horror, questioning whether this really is as good as it gets.

But of course, the truth is this didn’t start in June 2016. It started long before then, with a depressing democratic deficit which sees the interests of both Wales and Scotland side-lined.

That the interests of the peoples of our two nations, and indeed the wills of our respective parliaments, can be ignored in favour of Westminster’s own interests is no new phenomenon.

It is, sadly, a part of life in this United Kingdom.

Indeed, it was the democratic deficit itself which drove Brexit itself. The result of the first European referendum was, in my view, the wrong answer to the right question. The question being: why are our voices not being heard by the powers that be?

What the past three years have shown is that the land of milk and honey promised by the leaders of the Leave campaign was never possible. Indeed, any version of Brexit would wreak unimaginable damage on Wales and Scotland, risking thousands of jobs and crucial investment in our communities.

That risk increases exponentially when the next British Prime Minister takes office next week. If, as expected, Boris Johnson does indeed become Prime Minister, the occupant of 10 Downing Street will be a man who relishes the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

He is a man who has talked openly about cutting Scottish spending and seizing control of regional economic policy – rather than allowing spending decisions affecting Wales and Scotland to be made in our respective countries.

Let us be in no doubt that these are very serious times which require all of us to think very seriously and soberly about the kind of future we want for our nations.

The choice we face has rarely been starker. On the one hand, the insular, narrow nationalism of the British establishment and its obsession with delivering a nightmare Brexit come hell or high water. And on the other, a bright, prosperous future as independent nations at the heart of Europe.

I know what I would prefer.

More and more people are realising the sad truth that the current set up of the United Kingdom is incapable of serving either of our nations well.

One such person is, of course, the de facto Deputy Prime Minister David Lidington, who penned a memo which said that Wales feels “failed” by Westminster. Indeed, he said that “we cannot be complacent about Wales’s attitude to the Union and independence”.

His answer? To improve the “branding” on the few projects in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland that are funded by the UK Government.

He sees that Westminster has failed us. He sees the series of infrastructure projects cancelled. He sees the fiscal gap. And yet he fails to do anything to remedy the situation.

His shallow response exposes the contempt in which the British establishment holds our two nations. ‘Slap a union flag on it,’ he might as well have said, ‘that’ll pacify them’.

Post-independence, our closest friends and allies will always be the other nations of the former UK, but let us not be fooled into thinking that the UK as it stands is a partnership of equals. It isn’t.

In a speech in Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago, I proposed that the independent nations of Wales, Scotland and England adopt a model of cooperation based on the Benelux countries.

That would be a kind of post-independence union – a voluntary association of sovereign nations, sitting above each independent nation. It could include shared institutions such as a parliament, council of ministers, and court, all in addition to the respective national institutions.

Such a model would foster a more equal and congenial partnership between our nations than could ever be possible within the United Kingdom.

When Wales and Scotland do choose an independent future – and it is only a matter of when – I also happen to believe England would benefit from an equal partnership as much as our two countries.

This ongoing Brexit psychodrama has put the UK on hold: standing still, rudderless, without effective government. It is fraying, not just at the edges, but right through its body politic. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is moving on.

This won’t go on much longer. People can only take so much before they choose a different, better path. For both our countries, that path can only lead to one future: independence. It’s just a matter of a time, but it’s coming very, very quickly. It’s time the British establishment realised it.

Adam Price is a Welsh Assembly Member and leader of Plaid Cymru

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Adam Price"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4967130.1563449360!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967130.1563449360!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mark Drakeford, Labour's First Minister of Wales, has said his support for union is not 'unconditional' (Picture: Simon Galloway/PA)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mark Drakeford, Labour's First Minister of Wales, has said his support for union is not 'unconditional' (Picture: Simon Galloway/PA)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4967130.1563449360!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/i-m-no-aoc-fan-but-donald-trump-should-apologise-jim-duffy-1-4967488","id":"1.4967488","articleHeadline": "I’m no AOC fan but Donald Trump should apologise – Jim Duffy","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563512400000 ,"articleLead": "

I’m no fan of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s politics – which seem to be from the Jeremy Corbyn school of economics – but Donald Trump has gone too far this time, writes Jim Duffy.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967487.1563466327!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gerard Butler and co battle to save the US President from external enemies in the film Olympus Has Fallen"} ,"articleBody": "

Our very own Gerard Butler stars in the Hollywood hit movie, Olympus Has Fallen. Alongside the great Morgan Freeman and few other secret service personnel, they do pretty well against some awful baddies. Gerard Butler, aka Mike Banning, is that one brave man who is not afraid to mix it up with bad people and give it right back to them where it hurts. I won’t tell you the full plot in case you go to watch it online, but suffice to say, it is as good, if not better, than any Bruce Willis Die Hard movie. But, the title of the movie made me think deeper about the White House.

Olympus is the term given to the White House, no doubt at some point by the American Secret Service to identify it. It is a specific handle that makes the building and all that it represents stand out as a big deal.

And I guess we may all agree that the White House is a “big deal”. What it signifies as a signifier to the world is freedom, integrity, virtue, discretion and democracy.

It is the pinnacle of power and honour in the West. This was why it was no doubt targeted in the 9/11 planning and execution.

But, I’m afraid not even Gerard Butler could save the current White House from a new baddie. One that lurks within. No, Donald Trump is single-handedly bringing down the White House with his behaviour.

I’m afraid to say it, but Olympus has fallen.

READ MORE: Donald Trump is a racist but the US is better than him – Kenny MacAskill

READ MORE: Will UK laugh along with Boris Johnson if he goes full Donald Trump? – Laura Waddell

How ironic that the threat to the White House has not come from outside its gates and walls. The secret service agents guard it day in and day out, 24/7, but they have their sights trained on external events that may harm those inside those hallowed grounds. The guard dogs and their handlers are alert to what may be going on at the perimeter fences all around the building as tourists shuffle on the pavements taking selfies and more. But, as they guard the inhabitants inside, the threat has grown there in a place where dignity and professionalism were once watchwords for all. It seems to me and many that Donald Trump is the enemy within.

But let me give some perspective to be fair to the 45th President of the United States. I do not particularly care for the policies and mantras of his adversaries, Nancy Pelosi or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC).

Ocasio-Cortez feels to me to be very much from the Jeremy Corbyn school of economics. Almost the antithesis of Donald Trumponomics.

But, this immensely smart and articulate young Democrat who serves as the US Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district is a rising star who is afraid of nothing. She wants to redistribute wealth in the USA like Bernie Sanders.

Many see her policies as fiscally naive. But, if one were to think about some of her and her associates’ ideas, one may think – hold on a minute, that ain’t half bad. For example, why has America got so many billionaires? Do they really need all that wealth? And if one took the cash from billionaires, still leaving them plenty, it could build a better health system and so on...

One of her policy advisors, Dan Riffle, has as his handle on Twitter – “Every Billionaire is a Policy Failure”. Says it all and paints a vivid picture of where AOC’s economics come from. But, that does not mean she should be abused.

President Trump singled her and three of her colleagues out this week. You can read it everywhere. He has been duly chastised and his comments categorised as “racist”. I’m not 100 per cent convinced that he truly meant them to be racist. The media reported heavily on him suggesting the four women could go back to where they came from, but failed on several occasions, to mention that Mr Trump wanted them to to come back.

Nonetheless when you screw about with Twitter in a world of fake news, be prepared for what comes your way. To even suggest something like this, especially in the USA which prides itself on the exploits of its immigrants, hard work and the American dream, is political suicide. Or at least it should be.

I didn’t care for Barack Obama. He seems more like a Harvard professor than a President. But, under his leadership and stewardship, I don’t think we have ever had such a more dignified, respectful and professionally run White House. And we know now and probably guessed at the time, that he had a wonderful lady in his wife Michelle, guiding him and helping him live up to his values. Does anyone have any idea what Melanie Trump is saying to Donald just now? I’m not hopeful here that she will be chastising him or directing him. No, she is no Michelle Obama. Mr Obama, all that you did in finessing the image of the White House is being systematically and brutishly dismantled. It is time you got back to politics and forgot the after-dinner speaking – for now.

Olympus has fallen – hard. The good grace and political prowess of the likes of Obama has been shattered by the thuggish and “racist” outbursts of Trump. Politicians will have views, debates and policies that are diametrically opposed to their adversaries on many occasions. This is plain to see when we look at the Tories and Labour in the UK. But, when senior politicians start the debate about their foe’s race, ethnicity and country of birth, then we are on very unsafe ground. Mr Trump should apologise. His ratings would rocket. But that ain’t gonna happen. We will all look back in ten or 20 years at this time when the White House and all it stood for was attacked – from within.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4967487.1563466327!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967487.1563466327!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Gerard Butler and co battle to save the US President from external enemies in the film Olympus Has Fallen","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gerard Butler and co battle to save the US President from external enemies in the film Olympus Has Fallen","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4967487.1563466327!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/why-float-like-a-butterfly-should-have-a-whole-new-meaning-leader-comment-1-4967492","id":"1.4967492","articleHeadline": "Why ‘float like a butterfly’ should have a whole new meaning – leader comment","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563512400000 ,"articleLead": "

The painted lady butterfly passes through the UK on an extraordinary migration from Africa to the Arctic.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967491.1563466354!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Painted ladies butterflies take a break from their epic journey to the Arctic (Picutre: Butterfly Conservation/PA Wire)"} ,"articleBody": "

Flying at speeds of up to 30mph and reaching a height of 1,000 metres in the sky, the painted lady butterfly’s annual 7,500-mile migration from tropical Africa to the Arctic Circle and back again truly is “one of the wonders of the natural world” - as Chris Packham said.

This extraordinary, epic journey is almost twice as long as the famous migration of the monarch butterfly in North America. This year the UK could experience what is known as a ‘painted lady summer’, an event that only happens about once every ten years, in which millions of the beautiful, fragile winged insects arrive on these shores. Sometimes the natural world does things on a simply breathtaking scale.

READ MORE: Butterfly that vanished from Scotland makes comeback after 150 years

As the world’s largest ‘citizen science’ survey of insects, the Big Butterfly Count is another sizeable endeavour and TV naturalist Packham is encouraging people to take part.

It will help researchers studying the health of butterfly population and could also help the health of the humans who take part, with growing evidence of the hugely beneficial effects of spending time in the natural world.

If a butterfly can travel 7,500 miles, a trip to the local park seems the least we can do.

READ MORE: Charity: More to moths than just destroying clothes

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4967491.1563466354!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967491.1563466354!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Painted ladies butterflies take a break from their epic journey to the Arctic (Picutre: Butterfly Conservation/PA Wire)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Painted ladies butterflies take a break from their epic journey to the Arctic (Picutre: Butterfly Conservation/PA Wire)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4967491.1563466354!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/aoc-is-an-american-superhero-who-can-send-toddler-trump-for-timeout-hayley-matthews-1-4967115","id":"1.4967115","articleHeadline": "AOC is an American superhero who can send Toddler Trump for timeout – Hayley Matthews","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563512400000 ,"articleLead": "

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, known as AOC, was one of the politicians Donald Trump told to ‘go home’ to another country even thought she was born in the US. Hayley Matthews says she should be seen as superhero for her positivity in bleak times.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967114.1563448088!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Born in the USA: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Picture: Alex Wroblewski/Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

I like to think that I’m the kind of person who doesn’t get too easily offended. I have quite a thick skin and wouldn’t class myself as being in the snowflake generation. Just in case you’re wondering what a snowflake is, the term “snowflake generation” was one of Collins English Dictionary’s 2016 words of the year. Collins defines the term as “the young adults of the 2010s, viewed as being less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations”.

I think we can take offence far too easily these days and some people really need to lighten up on social media. This struck me recently on reading a post online about the superheroes at Ocean Terminal being all male. There were quite a few comments and people being incredibly upset and offended, probably too much.

One comment stood out to me which said “who cares, if it offends you, don’t go”. That summed it up for many, however the feminist in me couldn’t help but pine for a female superhero mannequin standing proud in Ocean Terminal.

READ MORE: Will UK laugh along with Boris Johnson if he goes full Donald Trump? – Laura Waddell

READ MORE: Donald Trump is a racist but the US is better than him – Kenny MacAskill

I couldn’t help leaving a wee comment myself saying “All the female superheroes are busy taking their kids to Ocean Terminal!” And that’s the beauty of the internet, the free speech certainly flows – unless the digits bashing away on the keypad belong to Donald Trump. Should he be allowed free speech online like the rest of us? Well, when every second hashtag seems to be #MAGA2020 and you’re hoping to come out trumps in the 2020 presidential election, I’d maybe be thinking about bringing it down a notch or two.

The orange-faced keyboard warrior’s harsh comments, normally divisive and the kind you certainly wouldn’t expect to come from a president, seem to shock us less and less as he tests the boundaries of what’s socially acceptable to the average human.

He reminds me of a toddler pushing their parents to see what they can get away with and it scares me that we’ve reached a point where he can make flyaway comments and not be held accountable.

Asking for Donald Trump to be impeached in recent times is a phase that probably has the same standing as “would you like to supersize that meal?” Now, by no means am I going all snowflake on you here, but his comments made to the four congresswomen earlier in the week have shocked me to the core.

How have we gotten to a point where we have come to expect it from him? Launching a tirade on a group of Democrat congresswomen, telling them to “go back” to the places they came from – as his administration launched a nationwide crackdown on illegal immigration – has surely got to be the last straw before he gets a lifetime ban from Twitter.

The sheer lack of respect that he has for these women has left me wanting to reply to every tweet he’s ever posted telling him to shut up! These women (bar one) were born in America! Take, for instance, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who was a waitress only a year ago, and is now at the top of her political game, serving her community to help make affordable housing and the basics accessible to all.

She is the real superhero if you ask me. Her personality and social media pages radiate positivity, love and equality with not a snowflake comment in sight. Alexandria for 2020, oh and a mannequin with her wearing a cape in Ocean Terminal too please!

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4967114.1563448088!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967114.1563448088!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Born in the USA: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Picture: Alex Wroblewski/Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Born in the USA: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Picture: Alex Wroblewski/Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4967114.1563448088!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/astronauts-to-test-asteroid-mining-kits-devised-by-edinburgh-university-scientists-1-4967514","id":"1.4967514","articleHeadline": "Astronauts to test asteroid mining kits devised by Edinburgh University scientists","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563468600302 ,"articleLead": "Astronauts are to test the world’s first asteroid mining devices, developed in Scotland, in an advance that could open up a new frontier in space exploration.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967513.1563468846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Professor Charles Cockell, University of Edinburgh."} ,"articleBody": "

Astronauts are to test the world’s first asteroid mining devices, developed in Scotland, in an advance that could open up a new frontier in space exploration.
Prototype kits devised by scientists at the University of Edinburgh, are being sent to the International Space Station (ISS) to study how microscopic organisms could be used to recover minerals and metals from space rocks.
The groundbreaking study could aid efforts to establish manned settlements on distant worlds by helping develop ways to source minerals essential for survival in space.
Tests will reveal how low gravity affects bacteria’s natural ability to extract useful materials – such as iron, calcium and magnesium – from rocks, researchers say.
Their findings could also help improve the process – known as biomining – which has numerous applications on Earth, including in the recovery of metals from ores.
Astrobiologists from the UK centre for astrobiology at the university developed the matchbox-sized prototypes – called biomining reactors – over a 10-year period.
Eighteen of the devices will be transported to the ISS aboard a SpaceX rocket, which is scheduled to launch on Sunday from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Upon arrival at the space station, small pieces of basalt rock – which makes up the surface of most asteroids – will be loaded into each device and submerged in bacterial solution.
Tests will be conducted in low gravity to find out how conditions on asteroids and planets such as Mars might affect the ability of bacteria to mine minerals from rocks found there.
The experiment will also study how microbes grow and form layers – known as biofilms – on natural surfaces in space.
As well as providing insights into how low gravity affects biofilms, the findings will also improve understanding of how microbes grow on Earth.
The rocks will be sent back to Earth after the three-week experiment, to be analysed by the Edinburgh team in a lab at Stanford University.
The project is led by the university, with the European Space Agency and the UK Space Agency and funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council
Professor Charles Cockell, of the university’s school of physics and astronomy, who is leading the project, said: “This experiment will give us new fundamental insights into the behaviour of microbes in space, their applications in space exploration and how they might be used more effectively on Earth in all the myriad way that microbes affect our lives.”
Dr Rosa Santomartino, also of the university’s school of physics and astronomy, who is leading the study of the rocks when they return, said: “Microbes are everywhere, and this experiment is giving us new ideas about how they grow on surfaces and how we might use them to explore space.”
Professor Cockell, has been involved in a number of pioneering studies.
An earlier study conducted by Professor Cockell involving the ISS involved taking some rocks from a cliff in Devon and flying them on the outside of the manned space laboratory for 18 months to determine whether any microbes survived in space. The research found that one species survived.
Further studies found this was partly due to it forming bio films. It was also very resistant to ionizing radiation.

" ,"byline": {"email": "shan.ross@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Shan Ross"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4967513.1563468846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967513.1563468846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Professor Charles Cockell, University of Edinburgh.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Professor Charles Cockell, University of Edinburgh.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4967513.1563468846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/crime/this-is-not-the-wild-west-judge-tells-scottish-mum-who-fired-airgun-at-daughter-s-bullies-1-4967129","id":"1.4967129","articleHeadline": "'This is not the Wild West,' judge tells Scottish mum who fired airgun at daughter's bullies","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563449123060 ,"articleLead": "A trigger-happy mum shot at a group of schoolchildren with an airgun after they bullied her daughter, but was spared jail when a judge told her 'This is not the Wild West'.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967127.1563449191!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The incident took place in Old Avenue, Auchinleck. Pictures: Google Map"} ,"articleBody": "

Angry Anne Carson, from Auchinleck, East Ayrshire, climbed out a window at her home in the village's Old Avenue and fired shots at kids as they walked past on their lunch break.

Two 14-year-olds were struck by the gun's plastic pellets as they tried to escape Carson's potshots on May 21 last year.

Ayr Sheriff Court heard Carson, 40, kept the gun in a cupboard next to her cereal box and decided to take matters into her own hands because she thought her daughter's school were not dealing adequately with bullies

Procurator fiscal Mr Sheeran said: "On Monday, May 21, 2018, the two school pupils were returning to school on their lunch break.

"They were walking along Old Avenue in Auchinleck.

"They saw the accused hanging out the window of her home shouting she was coming to get them."

Mr Sheeran described Carson using the gun to fire at the kids, with pellets striking one of the children on the arm and another on the leg.

He added: "She climbed out the window and started running after them.

"Once in the school it was reported to staff."

The court heard police attended Carson's home and she showed officers the gun.

Defence counsel Tony Currie told the court: "This background has been going on for a number of years.

"She has a daughter ages with the pupils involved.

"Half way through primary her child was subject of bullying.

"She moved school for the last two years of primary but she was in high school with the pupils again.

"The bullying involved assaults. When she reported it it caused issues within the school.

"She was regularly assaulted in her street.

"As far as Ms Carson was concerned nothing was getting done about this.

"A group came past, verbally abused her and she reacted in the most inappropriate way."

Carson at the time was ordered not to leave her house during the day in order to avoid any conflict with school kids.

Mr Currie added: "She has since moved and her daughter now lives in Ipswich with her father to get away from the problems.

Sheriff Desmond Leslie ordered Carson to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and told her: "This is not the Wild West."

He said: "Quite rightly you anticipated a custodial sentence with what have been the consequences of your actions.

"If you arm yourself of any weapon and fire projectiles at children there needs to be significant consequences.

"Having heard all the facts now I think I can step back from a custodial sentence.

"You are a woman who has had problems and continue to deal with issues but not terribly successfully I have to say.

"This is not the Wild West we live in.

"Fortunately this problem you encountered looks to have terminated because you moved away but you cannot lose your composure in such a way that you arm yourself and fire at children."

" ,"byline": {"email": "sam.shedden@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Scotsman Reporter"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4967127.1563449191!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967127.1563449191!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The incident took place in Old Avenue, Auchinleck. Pictures: Google Map","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The incident took place in Old Avenue, Auchinleck. Pictures: Google Map","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4967127.1563449191!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"3000000011098242"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/huge-delays-at-heathrow-airport-as-baggage-system-breaks-down-1-4967120","id":"1.4967120","articleHeadline": "Huge delays at Heathrow Airport as baggage system breaks down","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563448484585 ,"articleLead": "

Thousands of British Airways passengers were forced to wait in long lines at Heathrow Airport due to a baggage system fault.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967119.1563448649!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Heathrow Airport. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The problem, which began at around 8am today, meant the airline had to check in items of luggage manually, which takes longer than the usual automatic procedure.

Terminal 5 was the worst affected, with queues lasting several hours, although the fault also occurred at Terminal 3 and Gatwick Airport.

READ MORE: Staff on Scotland to Northern Ireland ferry fail drug and alcohol tests

Comedian Eddie Izzard, who was was among the passengers caught up in the disruption, posted on Twitter: \"Luggage belts down at Heathrow Terminal 5. I hope BA can get this moving soon as passengers have been waiting a long time now.\"

Cancer nurse Mary Tanay wrote that the chaos caused her to miss her flight and she will be \"spending a few hours of my holiday at T5\" waiting for the next one.

She added: \"What a truly stressful morning for all - staff and passengers alike.\"

Another passenger, Emily, posted on Twitter that there were lots of staff looking at bags but \"no one taking them to planes\".

A BA spokesman said: \"We are working hard to minimise disruption after a baggage system issue has slowed down customers dropping off their bags.

\"We apologise for the inconvenience to our customers.\"

" ,"byline": {"email": "catherine.salmond@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Neil Lancefield"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4967119.1563448649!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4967119.1563448649!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Heathrow Airport. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Heathrow Airport. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4967119.1563448649!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/apollo-11-moon-landing-anniversary-is-a-time-to-remember-unsung-heroes-martyn-mclaughlin-1-4965802","id":"1.4965802","articleHeadline": "Apollo 11 moon landing anniversary is a time to remember unsung heroes – Martyn McLaughlin","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563446869000 ,"articleLead": "

The success of the Moon landing is down to geeks as much as all-American heroes, writes Martyn McLaughlin.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4965801.1563446867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nasa trailblazer JoAnn Morgan watches the launch of Apollo 11 at Cape Canaveral (NASA via AP)"} ,"articleBody": "

In the roll call of characters who wrote Apollo 11’s nationhood-transcending history, the top billing is understandably reserved for astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. It is they, after all, who made history as ambassadors of humankind, setting foot onto a ­­
far-flung celestial body.

Michael Collins, Apollo 11’s ­command module pilot, who watched on, fearful that catastrophe would intervene to ensure he would make the return to Earth alone, played an integral part in the mission.

So too did the many pioneers whose names occupy a mere footnote of history, despite the fact that without their expertise and composure, the disaster Collins feared – or much worse – would have almost inevitably come to pass.

The semicentennial celebrations of the Moon landing is an occasion to remember those who occupy the foothills of the credits. One of the statistics surrounding Project Apollo, which seems to me both remarkable and entirely rational, is that around 400,000 people were involved in rendering the impossible possible.

This army of engineers, scientists, programmers, mathematicians, and technicians defied technological limitations and bureaucratic wrangling to produce approximately five-and-a-half million parts which, working in unison, spirited Apollo’s crew to the Moon and back.

READ MORE: How moon landing conspiracy theories began and why they persist today – Professor Peter Knight

READ MORE: 50 years since the moon landing: why Scotland is the true home of astronaut Neil Armstrong

In any other corporate environment, the prospect of workers on the ground feeling disconnected from the mission’s overall goal would barely warrant concern. But Project Apollo’s programme ­manager, George Müller, knew fine well the risks of letting such apathy go unchecked. He ensured the astronauts toured factories across America tasked with manufacturing the spacecraft components. This was no mere public relations exercise. It reminded workers that a single oversight on their part could kill the men standing before them, and it forged a sense of collective responsibility.

Nowhere was this esprit de corps more evident than Building 30 of Nasa’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas, home to the Apollo mission operations control centre (MOCR), where the spacecraft’s ­navigation, propulsion, life support, and communications systems were monitored with unflinching ­scrutiny.

At any given time, between 20 and 30 men – and one trailblazing woman, JoAnn Morgan, the instrumentation controller – held in their hands the lives of three men a ­quarter of a million miles away.

Their number included Stephen Bales, the son of a janitor and a ­beautician, who less than five years previously had moved from the farming community of Fremont, Iowa, to join Nasa as an intern, responsible for guided tours.

In an interview with 13 Minutes to the Moon, a superb BBC World Service podcast detailing the graft, ingenuity, and composure which underpinned the final descent to the lunar surface, Bales recently reflected on the mission that would define his career. Without him, it would have probably ended in failure.

As the Eagle craft neared the Moon, an alarm code known as 1202 flashed on its on-board computer display. It was the only moment in the entire mission when a degree of urgency, if not fear, could be heard in Armstrong’s voice.

Bales, by then one of Apollo 11’s guidance officers, saw the alarm four seconds later. Initially unsure of its significance, he remembered the last simulation he and the flight controllers had carried out before the landing proper.

Back then a similar code, known as 1210, had appeared, prompting Bales to call an abort. In the subsequent debriefing, he immersed himself in the myriad alarms that could be triggered, working with Jack Garman, a computer specialist, to understand their meaning.

In doing so, they realised a 1202 referred to a software reboot which cancelled all the processes that the computer was running; crucially, it happened so fast, no vital guidance or navigation data would be lost.

So when the code appeared for real, Bales knew the mission could continue. It was a decision made in the space of 16 seconds – “an eternity,” said Bales – but it saved Apollo 11. There are countless other stories like his. Take that of John Aaron from Oklahoma, the son of a cattle rancher and a minister, recruited by Nasa at 22 without an interview.

He felt as if he had walked into a foreign country where people spoke another language, on account of the dizzying number of acronyms being hurled around. After just six weeks, he contemplated jacking it all in. Fortunately for him, and the Apollo programme, he knuckled down.

Only a few months later, his split-second decision making was credited with saving Apollo 12 after its rocket was struck by lightning.

It is difficult to conceive of the pressure these men worked under, as they analysed the spaceflight while listening to three, if not four conversations simultaneously on communication channels known as ‘loops’.

The average age of those inside MOCR was just 26, and as Gerry Griffin, the flight director during Apollo 11’s fraught re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, has pointed out, their youth counted in their favour. “It was the lack of fear,” he explained. “It wasn’t the lack of knowing it was risky.”

It also means that, half a century on, many of them are still with us, able to reflect on an epoch-defining moment and receive our thanks for the part they played in it.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4965801.1563446867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4965801.1563446867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nasa trailblazer JoAnn Morgan watches the launch of Apollo 11 at Cape Canaveral (NASA via AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nasa trailblazer JoAnn Morgan watches the launch of Apollo 11 at Cape Canaveral (NASA via AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4965801.1563446867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6057385830001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/will-uk-laugh-along-with-boris-johnson-if-he-goes-full-donald-trump-laura-waddell-1-4966598","id":"1.4966598","articleHeadline": "Will UK laugh along with Boris Johnson if he goes full Donald Trump? – Laura Waddell","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563446745000 ,"articleLead": "

Will UK still laugh at Boris Johnson’s antics if he continues to liken Muslim women to letter boxes as Prime Minister, asks Laura Waddell.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4966597.1563446741!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May holds hands with Donald Trump in January 2017 shortly after he took office as US President (Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

Donald Trump has always been a racist, and other -ists beside. Every time there is a new event that would topple any ordinary president – were these ordinary times, and not, as it sometimes feels, like weird, weather-warped end of times – Trump carries on unperturbed by consequences. Opposition from fellow Republicans, where it exists, like the smattering of resignations when he was sworn in, has barely registered. Republicans didn’t abandon Trump during the ‘pussy grabbing’ or Charlottesville episodes, which now feel like previous eras, because so much has happened since. He’s held fast during increasing public horror at the dawning reality of Concentration Camps.

Why now does it feel like his most recent stunt – telling four congresswoman, born in America, to ‘go home’ – is finally causing a mild ripple in his support, not least with world leaders who’ve condemned it, even if, like May, they’ve previously held his hand?

READ MORE: Scottish Tories ‘ready to declare loyalty’ to Boris Johnson

READ MORE: All UK politicians must fight Donald Trump’s foul racism – leader comment

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed an unusual resolution to condemn Trump’s “racist comments that have legitimised fear and hatred”, with support from only four Republicans. But others among his base appear less keen to vocally defend Trump than before – although many do with the fervour of televangelists. Quieter Republicans haven’t suddenly developed conscience. Standing with the administration and backing Trump’s grotesque campaign is a failed test. But with legal webs tightening around figures who have been close to Trump, like personal friend Jeffrey Epstein, and as 2020 elections loom, perhaps reality is sinking in that there will, one way or another, be a post-Trump era. If it’s too late for their souls, perhaps it’s not too late for them to follow the direction of power wherever it surges next, for pay-off in this lifetime at least.

With a new Prime Minister coming in the UK, we might get our own mini-Trump soon, the shadow self of the blimp across the Atlantic. While May has submerged the true catastrophe of Brexit under surface of stern respectability, frontrunner Boris Johnson has of course always traded on clown antics. If he wins the two-horse race, it will be a new challenge for Conservatives to stand under him.

In the circus, who follows a clown? Only other clowns, who pile into the clown car, inevitably going on fire. For all the UK has felt like the wheels have come off entirely in recent years, there has been the feeling that things are even worse stateside. It will be less easy to pretend things are just about holding together, with Johnson leading the charge, tripping over his untied shoes.

Scottish Conservatives have had a fairly easy ride distancing themselves from difficult-to-swallow policy established by Conservatives in the south, particularly when clashing with outwardly progressive credentials. May’s legacy will not be remembered as friendly to women, nor the policies she inherited. In this time, Ruth Davidson published her book Yes She Can, billed as a “rallying call for generations to come”, telling the stories of some high achievers. (At the time, my request for a review copy was not answered, but I’ve subsequently had a good flick through it.)

Banal ‘yas queen’ platitudes do little for those who’ve borne the brunt of Tory policy – thousands of people who died after being found fit to work, the rape clause, sanctions, widening gap between rich and poor, rising numbers of children in poverty... But a book is a nice feather in the cap for personal profile, which helps when spinning a public face at odds with reality of systemic Tory cruelty.

Like overseas, the UK is now entering a new phase to test followers of shambolic leaders. The risk of embarrassment is higher. But for those who’ve willingly been led this far, it’s merely going to be a bit trickier to straddle a tank and carry on laughing next time Johnson does something on a par with likening Muslim women to letter boxes.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4966597.1563446741!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4966597.1563446741!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Theresa May holds hands with Donald Trump in January 2017 shortly after he took office as US President (Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May holds hands with Donald Trump in January 2017 shortly after he took office as US President (Picture: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4966597.1563446741!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6052109261001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/bbc-to-send-outreach-officers-to-homes-of-over-75s-to-discuss-tv-licence-payments-1-4966904","id":"1.4966904","articleHeadline": "BBC to send 'outreach officers' to homes of over-75s to discuss TV licence payments","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563438674743 ,"articleLead": "Over-75s face home visits by BBC \"outreach\" teams to ensure they pay their TV licensing fees from next year.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4966905.1563438676!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Over-75s will be visited in their homes. Picture: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

From June next year, the benefit will be restricted to over-75s who claim pension credit, with the BBC saying it cannot afford to take on the financial burden from the Government.

READ MORE: Sir Paul McCartney to bring It's A Wonderful Life to the stage

The BBC's Clare Sumner told MPs on the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee that the visits would be done "as sympathetically as possible".

"We are actually recruiting a specific group of people who will pay support visits to this group with the intention of helping them understand what the system is and how to apply," Ms Sumner said.

"Now that will be a different cohort of people to I think what's called 'enquiry officers' who are the ones who kind of enforce the licence fee."

SNP MP Brendan O'Hara then asked Ms Sumner if she thought that such visits would be "pretty traumatic" for older people.

Ms Sumner replied: "They won't be coming to your door in quite the way you imply."

She added that over-75s would first be notified in two letters that the free universal concessions were ending, with the BBC also offering telephone and face-to-face support.

Earlier, the BBC's director-general said he initially described the Government's decision to hand the corporation responsibility for free TV licences for over-75s as "nuclear".

Lord Hall told the committee on Wednesday that the BBC took on the policy "unwillingly" and had "no choice" but to end the concession.

Giving evidence, he said he first heard about the decision during a call with then-Culture Secretary John Whittingdale.

Mr Whittingdale told him he had "lost the argument over the weekend" and that the BBC would have to take over responsibility for the fee.

Lord Hall said he had replied "Well, that's nuclear", before laying out "the consequences of that decision".

The free TV licence was introduced in 2000, but the BBC agreed to take on the cost as part of the charter agreement hammered out in 2015.

Lord Hall also said he "refutes and resents" the idea the corporation is not honouring its agreement with the Government over free TV licences for the over-75s.

He said the corporation has been "completely consistent about the reforms we would need to make to live with the budget means we were set".

He stressed that from the beginning, it has been the Government which is "withdrawing the concession".

Discussing the value of the concessions the BBC was given as part of the charter agreement, including an increase to the licence fee, committee chairman Damian Collins MP suggested they were worth "about £700 million", adding "it seems you're net gainers from this process".

READ MORE: Hidden details emerge of secret underground bunker to protect Government from Cold War attack

Lord Hall added that it had been "made absolutely clear" he had "no option" but to accept the deal.

"This was coming to us whether we wanted it or not," he said.

"This was a new Conservative Government with a majority, coming in fresh with the success of that election - this was coming our way, come what may."

He added that the BBC "absolutely did not" sell over-75s "down the river".

Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Lenny Henry, actress Amanda Redman and Gogglebox star June Bernicoff are among 20 celebrities who have signed an open letter urging the next prime minister to restore free TV licences for all over-75s.

" ,"byline": {"email": "catherine.salmond@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Scotsman Reporter"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4966905.1563438676!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4966905.1563438676!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Over-75s will be visited in their homes. Picture: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Over-75s will be visited in their homes. Picture: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4966905.1563438676!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"3000000011097510"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/sir-paul-mccartney-to-bring-it-s-a-wonderful-life-to-the-stage-1-4966883","id":"1.4966883","articleHeadline": "Sir Paul McCartney to bring It's A Wonderful Life to the stage","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563436954107 ,"articleLead": "

Sir Paul McCartney is writing his first ever musical - a stage adaptation of classic film It's A Wonderful Life.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4966882.1563437130!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sir Paul McCartney. Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

In a career first, the former Beatle will bring Frank Capra's much-loved 1946 festive fantasy drama to life along with film and theatre producer Bill Kenwright and screen and playwright Lee Hall, who is responsible for the musical's book and lyrics.

READ MORE: UK holidaymaker on life support after breaking neck on Benidorm water slide

The new stage production will launch in late 2020.

Sir Paul was first asked to write the music by Kenwright three years ago.

He said: \"Like many of these things, this all started with an email. Bill had asked if it was something I might be up for.

\"Writing a musical is not something that had ever really appealed to me but Bill and I met up with Lee Hall and had a chat and I found myself thinking this could be interesting and fun.\"

Sir Paul, 77, added: \"It's A Wonderful Life is a universal story we can all relate to.\"

Starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, the film tells the story of George Bailey (Stewart), a man who has devoted his life to helping others and who is shown the value of his own life by a guardian angel to stop him killing himself.

Based on Philip Van Doren Stern's 1943 short story The Greatest Gift, the film was nominated for five Oscars and is still a seasonal staple across the world.

Kenwright, who is known for West End hit Blood Brothers and is chairman of Everton Football Club, said that working with the singer-songwriter on the musical was a \"dream realised\".

He said he knew from Sir Paul's first demo that he had made the right choice.

\"To be honest, I was hooked on first hearing him say 'one, two, three, four' on the demo of the opening number,\" Kenwright said.

\"But since then it's been an extraordinary journey, on every song I experience Paul's unique gift of melody and composition.

\"It's musical theatre, but it's always McCartney.

\"Paul, Lee and I use the word 'cherish' when we refer to our source material and that's what we intend to do, cherish Frank Capra's creation.\"

Tony and Olivier Award-winner Hall, best known for writing the films Billy Elliot and Rocketman, said: \"To give (It's A Wonderful Life) a life on the stage is an immense privilege in itself, but to do it with Paul McCartney is off the scale.

\"Paul's wit, emotional honesty and melodic brilliance brings a whole new depth and breadth to the classic tale.

\"I feel as if an angel must be looking after me.\"

READ MORE: Edinburgh man sent nearly £2,000 to fake Airbnb website for flat which didn't exist

Two years after being first approached by Kenwright, Sir Paul sent his first musical ideas to the producer.

Kenwright recalled: \"It was a Friday night and I was in the office. I suppose you could say it hadn't been the best of weeks. No real progress on multitudinous film and theatre projects, and Everton had lost the previous Saturday.

\"Out of the blue I got an email from Paul asking my thoughts on his first stab at an opening song. He wasn't sure, but wanted to know what Lee and I thought of it? I played the demo.

\"Lee and I were unanimous. Our hero was a musical theatre writer!\"

Kenwright added that, after hearing more songs from the Beatles star, he \"constantly takes my breath away\".

\"It's a privilege to watch Paul and Lee create so vibrantly together,\" he said.

Sir Paul continued to write songs for the musical with Hall in 2018 while launching a world tour and releasing his album Egypt Station, in both the UK and in New York.

Having recently completed the US leg of his Freshen Up tour, Sir Paul is in the final stages of completing the songs for his musical theatre debut.

" ,"byline": {"email": "catherine.salmond@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Scotsman Reporter"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4966882.1563437130!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4966882.1563437130!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sir Paul McCartney. Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sir Paul McCartney. Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4966882.1563437130!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/donald-trump-is-a-racist-but-the-us-is-better-than-him-kenny-macaskill-1-4966277","id":"1.4966277","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump is a racist but the US is better than him – Kenny MacAskill","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563430756000 ,"articleLead": "

Right-thinking folk were appalled by Donald Trump’s racist comments, a new low even by his contemptible standards.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4966276.1563430752!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump holds a 'Made In America' product showcase at the White House (Picture: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

The Democrat politicians he attacked embodying all that so many find admirable in the great American melting pot. A young Hispanic American and a Somali immigrant adding to the vitality of a society and bringing energy and ideas. Whereas he represents the white elite and the prejudice that so many of them exude from every pore.

Just over a year ago, I got married at New York City Hall. Every race and religion, gender and sexuality were present and the officiant was a young Sino-American lady.

All that and an old Scot with his bus pass and bride to be. A great day for us and epitomising all that’s good about America. It’s also the America of the future.

READ MORE: All UK politicians must fight Donald Trump’s foul racism – leader comment

READ MORE: Welcome Donald Trump? We’d much rather it was President John McCain – Scotsman leader comment

For the majority of those aged under 15 in the USA are now non-white. With continuing immigration, especially from Asia, that’s a trend that’s only going to increase. Even Trump’s beloved wall can’t stop it. As throughout America’s history, new migrants are spreading out and moving inland from New York and the coasts, even if no longer in covered wagons.

The country’s bigger and better than the bigot that currently presides over it.

Trump won’t last for ever and a New America is being born, more in the image of those young women than him. It’s not going to be easy for them or for us but change it will do and for the better.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4966276.1563430752!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4966276.1563430752!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Donald Trump holds a 'Made In America' product showcase at the White House (Picture: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump holds a 'Made In America' product showcase at the White House (Picture: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4966276.1563430752!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6044347161001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/this-is-what-the-area-51-meme-is-really-all-about-laura-waddell-1-4966607","id":"1.4966607","articleHeadline": "This is what the Area 51 meme is really all about – Laura Waddell","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1563426000000 ,"articleLead": "

In some ways, the recent Area 51 meme is only the latest 90s fad to come full circle and return, like tattoo necklaces and tie-dye. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, a Facebook event to storm Area 51 (“they can’t stop all of us”) has gone viral and is the current reference du jour online.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4966605.1563378249!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A sign for a motel on the Extraterrestrial Highway in Rachel, Nevada, near the mysterious Area 51 military base (AP Photo/Laura Rauch)"} ,"articleBody": "

Those who’ve clicked attend on the attempted liberation of aliens within talk about what they’re going to do with “my alien” afterwards; a cipher for reacting to current events and just chilling out with a benevolent green pal.

The top Twitter result reads “My alien who I rescued from Area 51 sitting with me as I go through my 8th breakdown of the day not knowing what to do because they don’t know what emotions are” with a gif of a confused-looking woman. It’s weird, confessional, and funny – one big in-joke.

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But the parallels between the Area 51 meme and one of the top stories in America today, migrant camps, are glaring. An attempt to storm a security facility and liberate those within?

The anti-incarceration feelings are not subtle. Aliens have always been an anti-authority interest, steeped in suspicion of what is being covered up and withheld from citizens. It’s no wonder they’re back.

It’s easier to joke about aliens than it is to confront reality. Like much of the surreal currency the internet trades in, the Area 51 meme is dissolution of real life, a fantasy thousands of people are role-playing.

Meme culture (the trading of surreal, funny images and jokes, riffing off each other and creative with language) has sprung up at a time young people feel alienated from a society where it’s more difficult to gain the financial footholds of earlier generations and current affairs are spiralling downwards.

At its bleakest, there’s the feeling, well, why not look at idiotic pictures of aliens online all night, because little else matters?

But they also contain latent feelings of freedom to live as we please, and a desire for others to do so. Go forth, Area 51-ers.

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