{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"uk","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/mcdonald-s-apologises-after-refusing-to-serve-free-drinks-to-firefighters-battling-blaze-1-4815142","id":"1.4815142","articleHeadline": "McDonald’s apologises after refusing to serve free drinks to firefighters battling blaze","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539610472000 ,"articleLead": "

Fast food giant McDonald’s has apologised after knocking back a request to serve free drinks to firefighters who had been battling a blaze at a branch of retailer B&M.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4815141.1539610467!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The fire at the B&M store in York. Photo: North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service"} ,"articleBody": "

Crews from across Yorkshire in England spent hours tackling the fire at the Clifton Moor retail park in York on Saturday.

Some of the firefighters are reported to have at one stage popped into a nearby McDonald’s while taking a break from their exhausting work at the scene.

They are said to have asked if the restaurant could supply them with free refreshments as they were not carrying any cash.

But their request was reportedly refused, prompting members of the public to step in and buy the firefighters the drinks out of their own pockets.

A spokesman for McDonald’s said this evening: “We value the fantastic work of our emergency services and thank the individuals that dedicate their lives to protecting our local community.

“On this occasion, we would like to apologise to the firefighters who bravely tackled last night’s fire.

“They should have been provided with free refreshments on the night as a small recognition for their efforts.”

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the fire, which left the B&M building a “burnt-out shell”.

Police officers were forced to close roads due to hazardous driving conditions caused by smoke billowing from the scene.

North Yorkshire Police said the fire started in B&M’s storage yard, with 10 engines and two aerial ladder platforms being used to bring it under control.

No-one was hurt in the incident.

This story first appeared on our sister site The Yorkshire Post.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4815141.1539610467!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4815141.1539610467!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The fire at the B&M store in York. Photo: North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The fire at the B&M store in York. Photo: North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4815141.1539610467!/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/uk/the-house-of-commons-has-allowed-a-culture-of-bullying-to-develop-1-4815109","id":"1.4815109","articleHeadline": "The House of Commons has allowed a ‘culture of bullying’ to develop","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539605242000 ,"articleLead": "

The House of Commons has allowed a culture to develop of “deference, subservience, acquiescence and silence” in which the bullying and harassment of staff has been able to thrive, an official report has found.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4815108.1539605238!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dame Laura, a former high court judge, was appointed by the House of Commons Commission to conduct an inquiry after BBC2's Newsnight highlighted a series of allegations of bullying and harassment by MPs. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Dame Laura Cox QC, who was appointed by the House authorities to investigate claims of bullying and harassment of staff, said there were “urgent and serious problems” in the procedures for dealing with such issues.

However, in a damning report she said it was “difficult to envisage” how solutions could be delivered under the current senior House administration.

“Amongst current and former staff alike there is an obvious pride and affection for the House and its status. Working there is, for many, a privilege - whether as a member of House staff or as an elected Member of Parliament - and there is an expectation of loyalty to the institution they serve,” she said.

“But that sense of loyalty has been tested to breaking point by a culture, cascading from the top down, of deference, subservience, acquiescence and silence, in which bullying, harassment and sexual harassment have been able to thrive and have long been tolerated and concealed.

“This is not to demonise the entire institution, but unacceptable behaviour by some, whether elected Members or House staff, inflicts damage on everyone and undermines the legitimacy and authority of the House of Commons. Parliament is diminished.”

Dame Laura, a former high court judge, was appointed by the House of Commons Commission to conduct an inquiry after BBC2’s Newsnight highlighted a series of allegations of bullying and harassment by MPs, including claims Speaker John Bercow bullied his former private secretary which he denied.

In her report, she said there was a need for a “broad cultural change” to restore the confidence of the staff and the wider public, which would require “a focus and a genuine commitment” by the House leadership.

“Having commissioned this inquiry, I fear that the House may fail those it is trying to help and sustain further damage to its reputation and to its credibility as an employer if this report leads only to another series of initiatives and process changes,” she said.

“A significant number of those members of House staff who came forward regard the status quo as untenable and express the view that ‘it will take several generations until the senior administration are capable of delivering the necessary changes’.

“On this basis, I find it difficult to envisage how the necessary changes can be successfully delivered, and the confidence of the staff restored, under the current senior House administration.”

Dame Laura said that she had been presented with a series of serious allegations of abusive conduct by both MPs and House staff, some of whom were referred to as “serial offenders”.

In line with her terms of reference, she did not name any of the individuals involved.

However she noted: “When reading this report some people may privately recognise their own behaviours in some of the alleged abusive conduct I have described.

“I would hope that a process of reflection leads them to consider what, if anything, they should now do in the best interests of the House.”

A spokesman for the Commons said: “Bullying and harassment have no place in the House of Commons, and the well-being of our people will always be our top priority.

“Staff must be confident that unacceptable behaviour will be dealt with seriously, independently and with effective sanctions.

“Urgent work has already been undertaken to improve internal processes - including the introduction of new confidential support services and helplines run by external, independent specialist providers and a clear pathway for the investigation of allegations.

“The findings of this inquiry will be taken into careful account”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4815108.1539605238!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4815108.1539605238!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dame Laura, a former high court judge, was appointed by the House of Commons Commission to conduct an inquiry after BBC2's Newsnight highlighted a series of allegations of bullying and harassment by MPs. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dame Laura, a former high court judge, was appointed by the House of Commons Commission to conduct an inquiry after BBC2's Newsnight highlighted a series of allegations of bullying and harassment by MPs. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4815108.1539605238!/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/christine-jardine-we-need-to-talk-more-about-grief-of-losing-a-baby-1-4814515","id":"1.4814515","articleHeadline": "Christine Jardine: We need to talk more about grief of losing a baby","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539601425000 ,"articleLead": "

It’s probably quite unusual for a politician to use their column to write about a television programme, and one that had nothing whatsoever to do with politics.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814514.1539583384!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Parents who lose a baby can experience post-traumatic stress (Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA)"} ,"articleBody": "

But this was so much more than a television programme. This was public broadcasting which really did serve a purpose.

For the first time in longer than I care to remember, I was desperate to watch something at the first available opportunity that wasn’t about baking, or a comedy or a political show.

BBC Alba’s Labour of Love’opened a window on a subject that for too long society has shied away from talking about. And, by hiding away, we denied generations of parents the support and recognition of their grief that they need when they lose their baby.

So while at first glance some people might question whether this is an appropriate subject for a politician to comment on, surely this is where we have a responsibility to nurture an understanding and compassion not just in individual cases, but in society.

Last week was Baby Loss Awareness Week. At both Westminster and Holyrood, politicians recognised and debated the topic, with a genuine desire to offer support and empathy and, where possible, foster change.

Many of those at the parliamentary events had personal experiences that they shared.

Although I have been close to family and friends whose baby has died I still can’t imagine how painful it must have been for them. Or the strength it took for the parents in the programme to relive the trauma they had been through.

READ MORE: Dr Sureshini Sanders: We need to talk about death and grief

And they did it with a purpose which was completely altruistic. After watching Labour of Love’ I called one of the mothers who had taken part. Annie Lundon is an old friend.

I was her tutor at university, my late husband worked with her and we knew what she and her family were going through at the time.

But watching the programme – partly because I knew she would be in it – brought home to me, and possibly many others watching, really for the first time, how little I had appreciated what she had been through when she lost Grace.

In the programme, she talked about being told, some years after, that she had been suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome and how that felt “like a weight being lifted from me when someone said that what you’ve been through is a terrible thing”.

That made me realise how much more we as a society have to do to help. How much we haven’t yet done.

We still need a taking of responsibility and recognition by care services of the support that’s needed.

And an understanding that every individual may need something different and for more than just the immediate aftermath.

More importantly, Annie told me that talking about it had not only helped all of those who took part, and brought them together, but that it had helped so many others.

Quite a lot of older women had, she told me, been in touch since the programme to say how pleased they were that it had been made.

I’m glad they had the courage and foresight to do it too.

READ MORE: Richard Meade: Time to get over our hang-ups about death and bereavement

By sharing their personal experiences with us, they have created a public awareness and desire for action. And it is up to those of us in elected positions to ensure that action is carried out.

During my career as a journalist, I remember so many issues like this one where an initial opening up led to a change in attitude.

It’s not so long ago that we did not talk about mental health issues. We have made progress there, although we have a long way to go yet.

Sexuality too was a taboo that is now openly acknowledged and respected.

And while it might seem strange to reference them in the same space as the loss of a child, those issues are also personal, traumatic and something we shied away from talking about both as a society and individuals.

One of the things that has struck me throughout this week has been that it is those who have not faced the trauma of losing a child who are less willing to talk about it.

We don’t quite know how to broach the subject and yet, as my friend told me, it made such a difference to her when they did.

So what now? The danger is that, with Baby Loss Awareness Week behind us, we now move on.

We don’t think about it until this time next year. We should not forget that we do not have that luxury.

For those it has affected, it will always be there. So please, let’s take that on board. Let’s recognise that there are people in all of our lives who have been through a trauma we cannot appreciate and do what we can to lessen the trauma for those who, heartbreakingly, will have to face it in future.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Christine Jardine"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814514.1539583384!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814514.1539583384!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Parents who lose a baby can experience post-traumatic stress (Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Parents who lose a baby can experience post-traumatic stress (Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814514.1539583384!/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/three-quarters-of-workers-now-experience-fluctuating-monthly-pay-packets-1-4815024","id":"1.4815024","articleHeadline": "Three-quarters of workers now experience fluctuating monthly pay packets","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539597613000 ,"articleLead": "

Three-quarters of workers experience fluctuating monthly pay packets, posing a particular challenge to low earners, a think tank has found.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4815023.1539597609!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The report finds that more than four in five low-paid workers experience pay volatility. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Analysis of anonymised data from millions of bank accounts revealed the average notable upward change in pay in 2016-17 was 22 per cent, with the average decrease 20 per cent - more than a typical £250 monthly grocery bill.

Living standards think tank the Resolution Foundation called on firms and the Government to do more to mitigate the effect of irregular pay and support families’ ability to cope by reducing zero-hours contracts use and reforming Universal Credit.

The research, part-funded by the Nuffield Foundation, examined data from seven million Lloyds Banking Group accounts and found that pay volatility is the norm rather than the exception.

While pay increases - as a result of a pay rise, promotion or overtime - provide a boost, a sudden drop in income can be hard to cope with.

The report finds that more than four in five low-paid workers - those earning around £10,000 - experience pay volatility, compared with just two in three higher paid workers earning around £35,000.

And while a quarter of higher paid workers only ever experience upward changes in their monthly pay, pay volatility is more likely to go both up and down for low earners.

Daniel Tomlinson, research and policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Much of Britain, from our bills to our welfare state, is built around a steady monthly pay cheque.

“But our research shows this is not the reality of working life for many of us.

“Around three in four workers experience big upward and downward changes in their monthly take-home pay.

“This volatility is a particular challenge for low-paid workers, who are less likely to have savings to fall back on when their pay packets shrink, and yet are more likely to have big falls in monthly pay.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "David Hughes"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4815023.1539597609!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4815023.1539597609!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The report finds that more than four in five low-paid workers experience pay volatility. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The report finds that more than four in five low-paid workers experience pay volatility. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4815023.1539597609!/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/uk/royal-baby-when-is-prince-harry-and-meghan-markle-s-baby-due-what-will-it-be-called-and-what-will-the-baby-s-title-be-1-4814952","id":"1.4814952","articleHeadline": "Royal Baby: When is Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby due, what will it be called and what will the baby’s title be?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539595217000 ,"articleLead": "

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle today announced they are expecting a child.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814955.1539591908!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

When is the Royal baby due?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex say they are expecting a baby in spring 2019, Kensington Palace has announced.

In a statement, Kensington Palace said: “Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019.

“Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.”

Harry and Meghan were wed at Windsor Castle in May and the news was announced on the eve of their first tour outside the UK and Ireland.

The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are said to be “delighted” for the couple.

Doria Ragland, the mother of the duchess, is “very happy about this lovely news” and “looks forward to welcoming her first grandchild”.

READ MORE: Royal Baby: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle expecting baby

Baby names

There will be much suspense amid the royal baby fever as to what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will call their baby.

On the one hand, the youngster will be born into the British royal family, where tradition is an intrinsic part of the Windsors’ lives.

If Harry and Meghan go classic, something like Alice, Mary, Elizabeth or Victoria for a girl, and Philip, Frederick, Charles, Arthur, Edward or James for a boy are possibilities.

Meghan has immersed herself in the royal way of life, ending her career as an actress, and becoming a full-time royal.

But the pair are also forward-thinking royals, and the duchess has her own American upbringing to draw on.

They may decide to surprise everyone when naming their first child.

Canadian-born Autumn Phillips, and husband Peter Phillips, opted for a non-traditional name for their daughter Savannah - the Queen’s first great-grandchild - in 2010.

In the US, the most popular name for a baby girl is Emma and Liam for a baby boy.

In the UK, the most popular name for a girl born in 2017 was Olivia, and for a boy Oliver.

Diana for a girl?

One option - considered a favourite for a girl - is Diana in honour of Harry’s late beloved mother.

William and Kate paid tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales in 2015 by choosing it as one of Charlotte’s middle names.

Harry, who adored Diana, was just 12 when the princess was killed suddenly in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

Charles would honour Harry’s father, while Elizabeth, another of Charlotte’s middle names, would be out of respect for Harry’s grandmother the Queen.

Meghan’s mother, to whom she is close, is called Doria, and the ex-Suits star may want to pay tribute to her as well.

Thomas is a popular family name for the duchess. Her father is Thomas Markle, as is her half brother.

But relations with her relatives have proved troublesome after her father’s absence from her wedding, his comments to the press, and the lack of invites extended to the rest of the family.

Meghan, who is the first mixed-race person in modern history to marry a senior British royal, has written about the significance of choosing names within her own family.


The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby will not be a prince nor a princess unless the Queen steps in.

King George V - Harry’s great great grandfather - limited titles within the royal family in 1917.

This means Harry and Meghan’s first born, as a great-grandchild of the sovereign, is too far down the line of succession to be an HRH (his/her Royal Highness).

George V declared that: “the grandchildren of the sons of any such Sovereign in the direct male line (save only the eldest living son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales) shall have and enjoy in all occasions the style and title enjoyed by the children of Dukes of these Our Realms.”

The eldest son and heir apparent of a duke can use one of his father’s lesser grade peerage titles by courtesy, according to Debrett’s.

Earl of Dumbarton

So a first son of Harry’s would become Earl of Dumbarton - one of the subsidiary titles Harry received from the Queen on the morning of his wedding.

A daughter would be Lady (first name) Mountbatten-Windsor, and any subsequent sons Lord (first name) Mounbatten-Windsor.

But the Queen could make changes to allow Harry and Meghan’s children to be HRHs and princes and princesses.

Ahead of Prince George’s birth, the monarch issued a Letters Patent to ensure the Cambridge children had fitting titles.

Without this Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis would have been a Lady and a Lord instead, but Prince George, as the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales, would still have been a prince.

The Queen could decide to do the same for Harry and Meghan’s baby.

But this royal infant is unlikely ever to accede to the throne.

If Harry had a son who had a son - Harry’s grandchild - he would be Lord Kilkeel, taken from Harry’s third title Baron Kilkeel.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814955.1539591908!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814955.1539591908!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814955.1539591908!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814956.1539591911!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814956.1539591911!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Meghan and Prince Harry kiss during the presentation ceremony for the Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup.(AP Photo/Matt Dunham, FILE)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Meghan and Prince Harry kiss during the presentation ceremony for the Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup.(AP Photo/Matt Dunham, FILE)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814956.1539591911!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5848865022001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/royal-baby-prince-harry-and-meghan-markle-expecting-baby-1-4814944","id":"1.4814944","articleHeadline": "Royal Baby: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle expecting baby","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539592211000 ,"articleLead": "

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are “very pleased” that Meghan is expecting a baby in the spring of 2019, Kensington Palace has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814945.1539591856!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are "very pleased" that Meghan is expecting a baby Picture: Chris Jackson/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Kensington Palace said in a statement: “Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019.

READ MORE: Royal Baby: When is Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby due, what will it be called and what will the baby’s title be?

“Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public.”

The exciting news comes just hours after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex touched down in Sydney for their first international tour.

Meghan told The Queen and the rest of the Royal Family the happy news at Princess Eugenie’s wedding, it was reported.

READ MORE: Royal Wedding: What does Princess Eugenie do for a living, where is she in line to the throne and what is her title?

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814945.1539591856!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814945.1539591856!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are "very pleased" that Meghan is expecting a baby Picture: Chris Jackson/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are "very pleased" that Meghan is expecting a baby Picture: Chris Jackson/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814945.1539591856!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5848865022001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/general-election/brexit-talks-hit-significant-problem-over-irish-border-1-4814951","id":"1.4814951","articleHeadline": "Brexit talks hit ‘significant problem’ over irish border","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539591434000 ,"articleLead": "

The Brexit talks have run into a “significant problem” over the fraught issue of the Northern Ireland border, Government sources have said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814950.1539591429!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Negotiations are on a knife-edge after a hastily-arranged meeting on Sunday between EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab broke up without a breakthrough. Picture: AP Photo/Olivier Matthys"} ,"articleBody": "

Negotiations are on a knife-edge after a hastily-arranged meeting on Sunday between EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab broke up without a breakthrough.

Discussions were said to have broken down after EU negotiators demanded a “backstop to the backstop” to prevent a return of a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Theresa May has proposed the backstop - which would effectively keep Northern Ireland in the single market while a permanent solution is found - should apply to the whole of the UK.

However it is understood the EU is insisting it should be backed up by the original Northern Ireland-only backstop as it first proposed.

That could lead to customs checks on goods travelling between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK - effectively imposing a “border in the Irish Sea” - something Mrs May has said is unacceptable.

• READ MORE: Scottish Tories issue threat over Northern Ireland Brexit plan

The impasse threatens to throw into disarray carefully choreographed plans which would have seen EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Wednesday give the green light to a special summit in November to finalise the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the bloc.

Following Sunday’s meeting in Brussels, Mr Barnier said that, despite “intense efforts”, there had been a failure to reach agreement on the border issue.

The Government said there were still “unresolved issues” relating to the backstop but that it remained committed to making progress at the European Council meeting.

But with Mrs May under siege from Tory Eurosceptics and her DUP parliamentary allies, her room for manoeuvre is severely restricted.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, the DUP’s Westminster leader, Nigel Dodds, said: “One part of the UK cannot be left behind, bound to rules set in Brussels. The constitutional and economic consequences of such an approach would be catastrophic in the long run.”

For Labour, Sir Keir Starmer said the Government must now publish details of its revised proposals for the Irish border.

“At the moment we don’t even know what the proposal is that everybody has fallen out about over the weekend,” the shadow Brexit secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

• READ MORE: Lesley Riddoch: Will Universal Credit trip up Theresa May?

“That needs to be looked at and scrutinised in Parliament.”

Ireland’s ambassador to the UK, Adrian O’Neill, said events in Brussels were a “setback” and could increase the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour: “Time is running out, there is no doubt about that. In all member states, preparation for all eventualities are ramping up quite significantly.”

The special EU summit pencilled in for November to sign off a Brexit agreement could instead end up being used as an emergency meeting to discuss “no-deal” plans.

Talks will take place on Monday between DUP leader Arlene Foster and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, while Mrs May will meet Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald in Westminster.

The febrile atmosphere in the Tory ranks has seen former Brexit secretary David Davis emerge as a potential successor to Mrs May.

Tory MP Nadine Dorries publicly suggested he could be the leader to deliver the kind of Brexit sought by Eurosceptics.

The Prime Minister’s critics believe the threshold of 48 Tory MPs calling for a no-confidence vote could be passed by Wednesday, depending on events in Brussels.

Allies of Mr Davis said he has been contacted by several Tory MPs urging him to run for the leadership and he is understood to be prepared to take part in a contest.

Ms Dorries backed Mr Davis for the top job, saying: “Getting May out and him becoming an interim leader may be the only way to deliver Brexit and FTA (a free-trade agreement).”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Gavin Cordon"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814950.1539591429!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814950.1539591429!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Negotiations are on a knife-edge after a hastily-arranged meeting on Sunday between EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab broke up without a breakthrough. Picture: AP Photo/Olivier Matthys","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Negotiations are on a knife-edge after a hastily-arranged meeting on Sunday between EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab broke up without a breakthrough. Picture: AP Photo/Olivier Matthys","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814950.1539591429!/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/general-election/brexit-dup-warns-theresa-may-not-to-accept-dodgy-eu-deal-1-4814649","id":"1.4814649","articleHeadline": "Brexit: DUP warns Theresa May not to accept ‘dodgy’ EU deal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539444071000 ,"articleLead": "

Theresa May has been warned not to accept a “dodgy” deal from Brussels by the leader of her Democratic Unionist Party allies.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814648.1539444067!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May and Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP, on a visit to Northern Ireland. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Ahead of a crunch Brussels summit on Wednesday, Arlene Foster told the Prime Minister not to accept a plan that would “effectively cut Northern Ireland adrift”.

In an effort to find a way to avoid a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit reports have suggested the UK could remain tied to Brussels’ rules beyond the end of 2020 to give negotiators more time to finalise a trade deal.

The potential extension of the transition period, which could see the UK stay in the EU single market and customs union, accept continued free movement and make further payments to Brussels, is being considered as intensive negotiations continue ahead of the European Council summit.

• READ MORE: No-deal Brexit would wipe out trade deals with 70 countries

Under the current plans, if there is a Brexit deal the transition period will last until the end of 2020, during which the UK will accept Brussels’ rules without having a seat at the table when they are decided.

But the Guardian and Daily Telegraph reported that the option of a potential extension was being considered by negotiators in Brussels to allow extra time to drawn up a deal on the future UK-EU relationship - and avoid the need to use a controversial “backstop” arrangement to prevent a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The Department for Exiting the European Union said it would not comment on speculation.

The need to resolve the backstop issue is a political headache for the Prime Minister, who depends on the votes of the 10 DUP MPs to prop up her administration in Westminster.

The European Union’s version, which would see just Northern Ireland remain aligned with Brussels’ rules, has been called unacceptable by Mrs May and is loathed by the DUP.

Mrs May’s counter-proposal, set out in June, was for a “temporary customs arrangement” for the whole UK, but Tory Brexiteers are suspicious this could turn into a permanent situation - restricting the freedom to strike trade deals around the world.

In a strongly-worded article in the Belfast Telegraph, Mrs Foster warned against the EU’s backstop proposal and also stressed that she would not accept any measure that resulted in extra checks for goods travelling between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Stressing that her party - which has threatened to cause a political crisis by voting down Philip Hammond’s Budget if Mrs May gives way to Brussels - was serious, she said: “The DUP’s actions this week are not as some have suggested about ‘flexing muscle’.

“This is no game. Anyone engaging in this in a light-hearted way foolishly fails to grasp the gravity of the decisions we will make in the coming weeks.”

She added: “This backstop arrangement would not be temporary. It would be the permanent annexation of Northern Ireland away from the rest of the United Kingdom and forever leave us subject to rules made in a place where we have no say.”

• READ MORE: Scots academics back People’s Vote to avoid ‘damaging’ Brexit

In a direct message to Mrs May, she urged her not to follow Margaret Thatcher in accepting a deal she later regretted - referring to the former prime minister’s part in the Anglo-Irish agreement.

“She later deeply regretted the choice she had made. However, we do not want nor need the regrets of another prime minister.

“We want the right choices made. We want her to stand by her principles and instincts rather than accepting a dodgy deal foisted on her by others.”

Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said that a provision on customs which was not “finite” would fail to deliver the result of the 2016 referendum.

And Downing Street insisted that Mrs May would never agree a Brexit deal with the EU which “traps” the UK permanently in a customs union.

The pledge came amid continued speculation over possible ministerial resignations if the Prime Minister gives too much ground ahead of the Brussels summit next week.

Stewart Jackson, who was chief of staff to former Brexit secretary David Davis, said it was “quite possible” that another Cabinet minister could follow the example of his former boss and resign.

He told BBC’s Newsnight: “Political resignations are part of the landscape.”

Brexit was a “fundamental, existential issue” and “on that basis maybe some people will obviously consider their position”, he said.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814648.1539444067!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814648.1539444067!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Theresa May and Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP, on a visit to Northern Ireland. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May and Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP, on a visit to Northern Ireland. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814648.1539444067!/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/jane-bradley-how-fussy-eaters-are-putting-lives-at-risk-1-4814521","id":"1.4814521","articleHeadline": "Jane Bradley: How fussy eaters are putting lives at risk","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539406800000 ,"articleLead": "

People who demand dairy-free food then tuck into ice cream are putting the lives of those with genuine allergies in danger, writes Jane Bradley.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814520.1539369210!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celia Marsh died after eating a sandwich bought at this branch of Pret A Manger in Bath (Tom Wren/SWNS)"} ,"articleBody": "

Allergies are deadly. That is something which has been hammered home in the past days: initially with the heartbreaking inquest into the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, then with the tragic news of a second victim of food bought at a branch of Pret a Manger, Celia Marsh.

Both of these deaths could have been avoided had the victims been aware of what they were actually eating. Both knew they had potentially fatal allergies and were said to be generally very careful about what they ate.

In the case of the 15-year-old Ms Ednan-Laperouse, who had a sesame allergy, the allergen was baked into the product.

As a society, we are not taking allergies seriously enough. Earlier this week, the professional body for environmental health workers warned that a loophole needs to be closed in order to prevent more deaths occurring as a result of poor food labelling. Pret, they say, “did nothing wrong”; instead the regulations surrounding food labelling are not fit for purpose.

Consumers are also not taking the issue seriously. It’s fun to play around at being what is perceived as healthier by cutting things out. If you don’t have an actual allergy, stopping eating gluten or dairy can make you feel rather smug – not that there is actually any evidence to suggest it does you any real good, unless you have an existing problem with the stuff.

READ MORE: Jane Bradley: Pioneer of AI will be turning in his grave

For people with real allergies, however, the problem is acute. The tiniest trace of the allergen can cause a potentially life-threatening reaction. In the case of Mrs Marsh, the yoghurt the company says she ate was thought to be dairy-free. Pret alleged the problem was that the supplier, coconut yoghurt provider CoYo, had not taken precautions to make sure that no dairy could enter the manufacturing process and there were traces of dairy protein.

Whether Mrs Marsh actually did die after eating the yoghurt, which had been used to make the “super-veg rainbow flatbread” she had consumed, is still a matter of debate. CoYo has denied its product is to blame and said the “true cause” of Mrs Marsh’s death has not been established.

It is still not clear exactly what happened in this case, but often when traces of a known allergen are found in a supposedly ‘free-from’ food, it is because the same factory is used for non-allergen-free production and something has not been cleaned properly in between.

Dairy allergies, like nut or shellfish allergies, are anaphylactic. Dairy ‘intolerances’ aren’t. There are people whose reaction to lactose – or the A1 protein found in milk – makes them uncomfortable, bloated or gassy. But it is not life-threatening.

The problem is that it is a case of the boy who cried wolf. It has become so fashionable to have an intolerance, or complicated dietary requirements, that there are fears the food industry is starting to take real allergies less seriously.

READ MORE: Jane Bradley: I’ve had it up to here with memes

For people who have coeliac disease – like my friend’s eight-year-old – contamination will not have an immediate life-threatening reaction, but they will suffer highly unpleasant side effects, potentially for days. Meanwhile, continuous exposure to gluten will permanently damage their bowel, causing them major health problems in the future.

Restaurant owners have told me of customers who claim to have an allergy to, for example, dairy, meaning that the chefs have to prepare their food in a separate part of the kitchen, away from where any dairy products could potentially contaminate the dishes – only to find that the customer orders ordinary ice cream for pudding.

“Ohhh ... a little bit won’t hurt me,” they say, salivating over the creamy dessert, when the diligent waiters check that they do, actually, realise that ice cream contains dairy?

You see, if you have a real dairy allergy, a little bit of dairy could most definitely hurt you. It could kill you, in fact, as it may have in Mrs Marsh’s case.

Most restaurants have dairy-free menus, or an option of foods they can produce without dairy, or gluten, or nuts. Yet chefs tell me that the cost of producing a truly allergy-free meal is huge. If they do it properly, staff have to work specifically on the allergy-free meal and only that – at risk of cross contamination if they have been handling other foods.

Some restaurant workers admit that each time they have an experience as described above, it makes them just that little bit less sympathetic to those who desperately need them to be so.

Pret announced last week that it will begin including full ingredient labelling on all of its products. This is welcome – and no less than many other chains do – but it is too late for Ms Ednan-Laperouse and her family.

People with allergies often rely on chains because they expect them to have sweeping policies in place to protect them, proper labelling being the least of it. The fear is that the public – and that includes restaurant workers, they are only human – are becoming over-exposed to people’s dietary choices and the line between intolerance and proper allergies is becoming blurred, with potentially deadly consequences.

Quite frankly, if I had a severe allergy, or a child with one, I’d be terrified to leave the house. Allergy education needs to be improved – and fast.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814520.1539369210!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814520.1539369210!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Celia Marsh died after eating a sandwich bought at this branch of Pret A Manger in Bath (Tom Wren/SWNS)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Celia Marsh died after eating a sandwich bought at this branch of Pret A Manger in Bath (Tom Wren/SWNS)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814520.1539369210!/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/princess-eugenie-shares-a-shy-kiss-at-end-of-star-studded-wedding-1-4814551","id":"1.4814551","articleHeadline": "Princess Eugenie shares a shy kiss at end of star-studded wedding","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539406800000 ,"articleLead": "

Royal bride Princess Eugenie shared two shy kisses with her new husband Jack Brooksbank as they celebrated after their lavish royal wedding ceremony.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814550.1539375667!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Princess Eugenie walks back down the aisle with husband Jack Brooksbank. Picture: Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

On the West Steps of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, newlyweds Eugenie and Jack tentatively performed the kisses for the cameras yesterday before waving at onlookers.

The Queen’s 28-year-old granddaughter, who is ninth in line to the throne, and tequila brand ambassador Jack said their vows in front of a congregation of 800 people.

A further 1,200 people chosen by ballot followed proceedings from the grounds.

The Duke of York had earlier declared his daughter’s wedding had more guests than Harry and Meghan’s – because she had so many friends.

Security was estimated to have cost taxpayers £2 million.

Watching in the historic 15th-century chapel of the castle were the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and more than 40 members of the royal family, including the Prince of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

But the Duchess of Cornwall missed the service after choosing to attend engagements in Scotland, including a display of Highland dancing near the royal family’s Balmoral 

Celebrities included Hollywood actresses Liv Tyler and Demi Moore, supermodel Kate Moss, and pop star Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field. Blustery conditions led to some guests losing their hats as they arrived.

Eugenie wore the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara loaned to her by the Queen. Bridesmaid Princess Charlotte took a tumble as she arrived before the ceremony.

Eugenie and Jack left the chapel in the covered horse-drawn Scottish State Coach for their short carriage ride to the evening reception at the York family home Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park

Mother of the bride Sarah, Duchess of York was seated in the row in front of her former father-in-law the Duke of Edinburgh. It is the first time the pair are believed to have been pictured together for 26 years after Sarah was outcast from the royals following the famous “toe-sucking scandal”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814550.1539375667!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814550.1539375667!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Princess Eugenie walks back down the aisle with husband Jack Brooksbank. Picture: Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Princess Eugenie walks back down the aisle with husband Jack Brooksbank. Picture: Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814550.1539375667!/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/leader-comment-it-s-time-for-hollywood-treatment-of-bash-street-kids-1-4814530","id":"1.4814530","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: It’s time for Hollywood treatment of Bash Street Kids","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539406800000 ,"articleLead": "

There’s been a lot of good news about Dundee of late – the opening of the V&A museum, being dubbed Scotland’ “coolest” city and listed as one of the hottest tourist attractions in the world by the likes of The Wall Street Journal. And, well, guess what, here’s some more!

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814529.1539370597!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

An American student has discovered a trove of rare comics dating from the 19th century in the vaults of Dundee University.

It includes early issues of Punch magazine and first issues of comics produced by DC and Marvel, currently enjoying considerable success with their Hollywood incarnations.

The find was made by Hailey Austin, 24, who is currently for a PhD in ‘Comics Studies’.

READ MORE: ‘Scotland’s coolest city’: Dundee named top global travel destination

Now, there are some who might think this sounds like a joke subject. But, according to Dundee University, the city is “one of the great powerhouses of comics production, not just in the UK, but internationally”. So it’s not just about good fun, but an example of Dundonian ‘soft power’.

Okay, so maybe not quite as powerful as Hollywood but, who knows, perhaps a script has just landed on a big-shot producer’s desk for ‘Bash Street Kids: Infinity War’ or ‘Minnie the Minx vs Wonder Woman’.

READ MORE: Beano accuses Jacob Rees-Mogg of impersonating Walter the Softy

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814529.1539370597!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814529.1539370597!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814529.1539370597!/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/brian-wilson-it-s-live-and-let-live-in-lewis-not-fire-and-brimstone-1-4814485","id":"1.4814485","articleHeadline": "Brian Wilson: It’s live-and-let-live in Lewis, not fire-and-brimstone","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539406800000 ,"articleLead": "

The concept of “otherness” applies, more or less, when a social group which regards its own norms as superior looks down its nose at those who represent difference.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814484.1539363487!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hardly anyone batted an eyelid when a Pride march was held in Stornoway, says Brian Wilson"} ,"articleBody": "

Hebrideans have long been “othered”, mainly from within Scotland. The island of Lewis, where I live, has been particularly susceptible because it is also identified as the last bastion of Presbyterianism. And what could be more “other” than that?

Last weekend, there was a small Gay Pride march in Stornoway. Hardly anyone locally batted an eyelid. Live and let live is a more common sentiment than fire and brimstone. There will always be a quotable dog-collar if you look hard enough but that is true anywhere.

READ MORE: Stornoway stages first Pride event as thousands also attend Inverness march

A conversation I had with a Lewis woman whose son was coming home last weekend could have happened anywhere in Scotland. He wanted to be there to “bring closure to the bullying I suffered at school”.

Yet the media coverage was staggering in proportion to the event’s significance. The “others”, yet again, had to be scrutinised for the curiosity of metropolitan smarties. The worst example was the Andrew Marr Show under the guise of a newspaper review.

The host marveled at such happenings on a “Free Presbyterian island”. (Not much research there). Defrocked Nationalist MP, John Nicolson, went into patronising overdrive. “Tartan Taliban ... dour Presbyterians ... tinged with intolerance”. We had the same drivel recently when a mosque opened with a warmer welcome than would have been available in most places.

If such commentators are so interested in islands, maybe they could pay the same attention to issues like depopulation, transport, the fight for a culture. Or perhaps the real “other” are in the studios. Normality is closer to home.

READ MORE: Rainbow flag to fly at council HQ amid gay pride event

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Brian Wilson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814484.1539363487!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814484.1539363487!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hardly anyone batted an eyelid when a Pride march was held in Stornoway, says Brian Wilson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hardly anyone batted an eyelid when a Pride march was held in Stornoway, says Brian Wilson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814484.1539363487!/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/leader-comment-liberal-democracy-is-a-life-and-death-issue-1-4814538","id":"1.4814538","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: Liberal democracy is a life-and-death issue","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539406800000 ,"articleLead": "

The alleged murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his country’s consulate in Istanbul shows why liberal democracy is so important. But, all over the world, it is in decline.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814537.1539372183!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is feared to have been murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. (Picture: Hasan Jamali, AP)"} ,"articleBody": "

A man walks into a consulate of his native country and is never seen again. If ever there was an argument for liberal democracy, the rule of law and free speech, it is the presumed fate of Jamal Khashoggi.

According to Saudi Arabia, the Washington Post columnist visited its diplomatic outpost in Istanbul to get a document certifying his divorce so he could remarry, and then left unharmed. If this is true, it is strange he then decided to abandon his fiancee, who was waiting outside, and disappeared off the face of the Earth.

The Turkish authorities have offered a different account, telling US officials they have evidence that Khashoggi was tortured and killed inside the building.

As a critic of the Saudi royal family, Khashoggi had decided to live in self-imposed exile. Last year, he wrote a column in which he spoke of the “fear, intimidation, arrests and public shaming of intellectuals and religious leaders who dare to speak their minds”. He said he could be detained if he returned home, pointing to a recent “wave of arrests”. The Saudi government had also banned him from Twitter after he “cautioned against an overly enthusiastic embrace of then-President-elect Donald Trump”.

READ MORE: Turkish media show images of writer’s ‘assassination squad’

The article was actually quite mild but, if Turkey is correct, it may have cost him his life.

The first duty of any state should be to protect its citizens, not murder them. In a genuine democracy, such a killing is much less likely to happen because an election could lead to the transfer of power and the exposure of the crime. And public criticism and ridicule of political leaders is part of everyday life.

In a dictatorship, the people in charge don’t have a genuine mandate from the people they rule and there is no peaceful way for a transference of power. Allowing public criticism is therefore dangerous to the lives of the kings, queens and presidents concerned.

So it is hard to work out why it is that democracy is under threat the world over. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, less than five per cent of the world’s population lives in a full democracy with nearly a third under authoritarian rule. More than half of 167 countries assessed received a lower score on the index than the year before. The Scotsman can write this article confident that no one here will get killed because the UK is a liberal democracy. And that’s a precious thing.

READ MORE: Ruth Davidson: Putin-sycophant Trump will never destroy Western democracy

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814537.1539372183!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814537.1539372183!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is feared to have been murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. (Picture: Hasan Jamali, AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is feared to have been murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. (Picture: Hasan Jamali, AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814537.1539372183!/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/brian-wilson-nicola-sturgeon-ends-kidology-about-second-independence-referendum-1-4814477","id":"1.4814477","articleHeadline": "Brian Wilson: Nicola Sturgeon ends kidology about second independence referendum","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539369764000 ,"articleLead": "

Nicola Sturgeon has admitted what has long been clear – there is no appetite for a second Scottish independence referendum, writes Brian Wilson

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814476.1539362696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nicola Sturgeon urged SNP members to be patient, saying the goal of independence was in sight (Picture: John Devlin)"} ,"articleBody": "

Among the clichés of Scottish life, none is more irritating than “the new Highland Clearances” when applied by the intellectually challenged to circumstances bearing no relationship to the original.

No surprise then that Christina McKelvie MSP regards Brexit as “the new Highland Clearances” on grounds so convoluted as to be not worth repeating. So far as I am aware, not even Jacob Rees-Mogg plans to burn us out our homes for voting to Remain.

Ms McKelvie last came to this column’s attention when she tweeted that “unionists will be a right miserable bunch tonight” after Scotland’s momentous rugby victory over England. I suggested she should be sacked as convener of Holyrood’s Equalities Committee on grounds that she clearly held some Scots to be more equal than others.

Instead, in recognition of her wit and wisdom, she was elevated to become Minister for Older People, whatever that entails. Some saw this as compensation for the redeployment of her domestic partner, Keith Brown, who is now in charge of addressing flag-waving rabbles in the public parks of Scotland.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: Brexit makes Scottish independence ‘inevitable’

I do not subscribe to this theory and accept that Ms McKelvie was appointed on her merits since that tells us a lot more about the available talent pool. At least it is to her credit that she said something worth reporting at the SNP conference, even if it was on grounds of risibility.

What of the rest? In terms of debate, it made rallies of the Tory faithful look like hotbeds of dissent. No debate was allowed on either “Indyref2” or the economic masterplan drawn up by Andrew Wilson which promises an additional decade of austerity in the event of independence. And that was his good news.

The role of the SNP faithful is to provide patriotic applause but what exactly were they applauding? The dismal record on education? The ruthless treatment of local government? The crisis in Scottish health boards? The stagnant state of our economy? None of these was challenged. Just a procession of empty boasts and set-piece speeches.

If a Labour government was doing a fraction of the damage to council services that is being inflicted by Ms Sturgeon and her colleagues, there would be so much fire and fury from party members and trade unionists that retreat would follow. That’s what should make political activism matter – but not for those whose sole focus is the constitution.

READ MORE: Letters: Avoid tartan blindness, Scotland can’t afford independence

Behind the bravura and soft interviews, there was one substantive revelation – that “IndyRef2” is officially a mirage until “the fog of Brexit clears”. How they all clapped, spurred on by appeals to “patience” and “vision”, apparently oblivious to the fact that four years of kidology had just been declared null and void.

The “fog of Brexit” will not clear any time soon. Withdrawal is scheduled for next year with a minimum of two years’ transition, probably longer. By then, I guess, some things will be better, some worse and none apocalyptic. The “new Highland Clearances” will not have occurred nor indeed – in deference to Sir Thomas Devine – the Lowland ones either.

Ms Sturgeon has acknowledged out of necessity what has long been apparent – there is no appetite for a second referendum, no conceivable justification for it in the midst of negotiations that will affect every aspect of Scottish life, as much as the rest of the UK, and no prospect of any Prime Minister in his or her right mind agreeing to it.

So it has all been one big, ongoing publicity stunt. That begs a question, which is largely for Scotland’s broacasters to answer. If the same nonsense kicks off again, manoeuvring for the now officially distant objective of a second referendum, while Scotland’s interests in the Brexit negotiations and much else play second fiddle, will Ms Sturgeon be treated with the same deference?

Meanwhile, great to be reminded there is still a place for grown-up politics capable of good outcomes. If a change of policy is forced on the foolish underfunding of Universal Credit, to protect those who would suffer, that will be worth waving a flag for.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Brian Wilson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814476.1539362696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814476.1539362696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nicola Sturgeon urged SNP members to be patient, saying the goal of independence was in sight (Picture: John Devlin)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nicola Sturgeon urged SNP members to be patient, saying the goal of independence was in sight (Picture: John Devlin)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814476.1539362696!/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/uk/royal-wedding-princess-eugenie-marries-jack-brooksbank-1-4814183","id":"1.4814183","articleHeadline": "Royal Wedding: Princess Eugenie marries Jack Brooksbank","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539351214000 ,"articleLead": "

Royal bride Princess Eugenie made her entrance in a Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos wedding dress as she arrived at St George’s Chapel to marry Jack Brooksbank.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814230.1539346650!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank today. Pictures; AFP/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The Queen’s granddaughter, who was accompanied by her proud father the Duke of York, waved to crowds as she arrived at the West Steps in the 1977 Rolls Royce Phantom VI, which belongs to the Queen.

Ninth in line to the throne Eugenie’s gown features a neckline that folds around the shoulders to a low back that drapes into a flowing full length train.

READ MORE: Royal Wedding: What does Princess Eugenie do for a living, where is she in line to the throne and what is her title?

The low back feature was specifically requested by Eugenie, who had surgery aged 12 to correct scoliosis, Buckingham Palace said.

The dress also includes a number of symbols that are meaningful to the bride as motifs, including a thistle for Scotland acknowledging the couple’s fondness for Balmoral, a Shamrock for Ireland as a nod to the bride’s Ferguson family, and the York Rose and ivy representing the couple’s home.

Eugenie is also wearing the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, made in 1919 in the fashionable “kokoshnik” style popularised in the Russian Imperial Court, which was lent to her by the Queen, along with diamond and emerald drop ear-rings, a wedding gift from the groom, and satin peep-toe heels by Charlotte Olympia.

Her husband-to-be Jack was waiting at the altar, alongside his best man and brother Tom Brooksbank.

Princess Charlotte waved to the crowds as she arrived with Eugenie’s gaggle of bridesmaids and pageboys, who also included Prince George and Theodora Williams - daughter of pop star Robbie Williams and Ayda Field.

The others were Zara and Mike Tindall’s spirited four-year-old Mia, Peter and Autumn Phillips’s daughters Savannah and Isla, Eugenie’s goddaughter Maud Windsor, and family friend Louis de Givenchy.

The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were among more than 40 royals gathered in the chapel’s Quire to witness the ceremony.

A star-studded congregation of 800 guests included Hollywood actresses Liv Tyler and Demi Moore, supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell, singers Ricky Martin, Ellie Goulding and James Blunt, actor Stephen Fry, and artist Tracey Emin, as well as Williams and Field.

Meghan, dressed in a navy dress and coat by her wedding dress designer Givenchy, and Harry were returning to the chapel just five months after they pledged their love for one another in the same Windsor Castle venue.

Two of Harry’s exes, Cressida Bonas and Chelsy Davy, are also attending.

Eugenie hinted in an ITV interview that she would show the scars from the operation she underwent as a child.

She said: “I think you can change the way beauty is, and you can show people your scars and I think it’s really special to stand up for that.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814230.1539346650!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814230.1539346650!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank today. Pictures; AFP/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank today. Pictures; AFP/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814230.1539346650!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814231.1539346654!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814231.1539346654!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Princess Eugenie of York (R) and Jack Brooksbank (L) walk back down the aisle. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Princess Eugenie of York (R) and Jack Brooksbank (L) walk back down the aisle. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814231.1539346654!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814179.1539346457!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814179.1539346457!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Princess Eugenie of York passes her bouquet to bridesmaid Savannah Phillips during her wedding to Jack Brooksbank at St. George's Chapel on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Princess Eugenie of York passes her bouquet to bridesmaid Savannah Phillips during her wedding to Jack Brooksbank at St. George's Chapel on October 12, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814179.1539346457!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814180.1539346462!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814180.1539346462!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank during their wedding ceremony at St George's Chapel. (Photo by Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank during their wedding ceremony at St George's Chapel. (Photo by Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814180.1539346462!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814181.1539346467!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814181.1539346467!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Meghan, Duchess of Sussex speaks to Princess Anne (Owen Humphreys, Pool via AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Meghan, Duchess of Sussex speaks to Princess Anne (Owen Humphreys, Pool via AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814181.1539346467!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814182.1539346472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814182.1539346472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Prince William, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, from left, attend the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank. (Owen Humphreys, Pool via AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Prince William, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, from left, attend the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank. (Owen Humphreys, Pool via AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814182.1539346472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5847993375001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/royal-wedding-what-does-princess-eugenie-do-for-a-living-where-is-she-in-line-to-the-throne-and-what-is-her-title-1-4814216","id":"1.4814216","articleHeadline": "Royal Wedding: What does Princess Eugenie do for a living, where is she in line to the throne and what is her title?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539346810000 ,"articleLead": "

Princess Eugenie today walked down the aisle at Windsor Castle months after her cousin Prince Harry married Meghan Markle at the same venue in May.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814229.1539346806!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Princess Eugenie arrives for her wedding to Jack Brooksbank(Andrew Matthews, Pool via AP)"} ,"articleBody": "

But while Prince Harry carries out official royal duties, Princess Eugenie – who is the youngest daughter of Prince Andrew and the Duchess of York – is not a “working royal”. 
As ninth in line to the throne, this means she is not financially supported by the Queen in an official capacity.

READ MORE: Royal Wedding: Princess Eugenie marries Jack Brooksbank

Princess Eugenie and her older sister Princess Beatrice do carry out some public engagements, but these are minimal. 
However, the royal family has agreed to pay for private aspects of Princess Eugenie’s wedding to Jack Brooksbank including the flowers, entertainment and the dress

READ MORE: Princess Eugenie wedding to cost taxpayers £2m

So what does Princess Eugenie actually do?

Princess Eugenie has a job of her own, working as the director of the Mayfair art gallery Hauser & Wirth. 
She chose to follow a career in the art world after studying art history, English literature and politics at Newcastle University. 
After graduating in 2012, she moved to New York to work for the online auction firm Paddle8 as a benefit auctions manager.

In 2015, she moved back to London to start working for Hauser & Wirth as an associate director. She was promoted to director of the Mayfair gallery in 2017.

Charity Work

The 28-year-old supports a number of charities and carries out work on their behalf. She co-founded the Anti-Slavery Collective to combat modern day slavery, and spoke at the UN earlier this year about the work the charity does.

Other charities she supports include the Teenager Cancer Trust, Children in Crisis, The Soldiers’ Charity and The Royal National Orthopedic Hospital Charity.

Where is she in line to the throne?

As ninth in line to the throne, Princess Eugenie is known as a “minor royal”.

She stands behind Princess Beatrice, her father Prince Andrew, her cousin Prince Harry, the three children of Prince William: Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George; Prince William and Prince Charles to succeed the throne. In 2016, rumours of a rift between Prince Andrew and Prince Charles over the future roles of Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice were widely reported in the media.

Prince Andrew dismissed the reports publicly as a “complete fabrication”.

He was reported to have wanted his daughters to play a greater role in the British Monarchy, amid rumours Prince Charles wanted to slim-down “the Firm” when he became King.

What is Princess Eugenie’s title?

Known officially as “Princess Eugenie of York”, she was born Eugenie Victoria Helena in 1990.

After a royal wedding, it is custom for the Queen to give a new royal title to the couple as a wedding gift.

However, unlike Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – who became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank will not receive a new title.

Her fiance is rumoured to have opted to remain a Mr rather than an Earl. Eugenie is expected to keep her royal title but take her husband’s name as well, becoming HRH Princess Eugenie, Mrs Jack Brooksbank.

This story also featured on our sister website iNews.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Daisy Wyatt"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814229.1539346806!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814229.1539346806!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Princess Eugenie arrives for her wedding to Jack Brooksbank(Andrew Matthews, Pool via AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Princess Eugenie arrives for her wedding to Jack Brooksbank(Andrew Matthews, Pool via AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814229.1539346806!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4814215.1539346434!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4814215.1539346434!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank. Picture: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Princess Eugenie and husband Jack Brooksbank. Picture: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4814215.1539346434!/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/uk/tributes-to-scottish-couple-killed-during-flash-floods-in-majorca-1-4813647","id":"1.4813647","articleHeadline": "Tributes to Scottish couple killed during flash floods in Majorca","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539334851000 ,"articleLead": "

Tributes have been paid to two elderly Britons killed when the taxi they were travelling in got caught up in raging flash floods on Majorca.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813658.1539279248!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Delia Green, died along with her husband, Anthony during flash floods in Majorca. Picture: Handout"} ,"articleBody": "

The couple, named locally as Anthony and Delia Green from the south of Scotland, are understood to have died along with taxi driver Juan Sillero when their car was swept away by a torrent of water near the coastal resort of S’Illot.

Authorities on the popular tourist island said 10 people, three of them foreigners, died when torrential rain deluged the region around the town of Sant Llorenc, about 40 miles east of the capital Palma.

In a statement issued through the Foreign Office, the family of Delia and Tony Green, who were among 12 people who died in flash flooding in Majorca, said: “We are deeply shocked by the sudden passing of our parents Delia and Tony Green in the tragic events in Majorca.

“They were travelling out to Majorca for a two-week holiday when they were caught up in the flooding.

READ MORE: Europeans flock to Scotland to take advantage of weak pound

“Delia and Tony were a loving, kind and caring couple. They were at their happiest when they were with their family and friends.

“They recently celebrated 55 years of marriage. Originally from Atherton, Greater Manchester, they retired to Moffat fourteen years ago.

“Tony, a retired head teacher from Lancashire, worked in Germany and later in Grantham.

“Delia and Tony got a taste for travel with Cala Bona recently becoming a regular destination. They were looking forward to their latest adventure abroad.

“The family take some solace from the knowledge that they died together.

READ MORE: Scotland now in spaceport race with Europe

“Our thoughts also go out to their taxi driver and his family who are coming to terms with their loss as well. They will all be missed by everyone who knew them.

“We would like to thank everyone for the love and support shown to our family as we come to terms with losing our parents. We would very much appreciate privacy at this most difficult of times.”

Friend Emilio Dicerbo said everyone in Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway, where the couple lived for more than 10 years, would be “devastated” by their deaths.

The 84-year-old retired ice cream merchant said: “They were a very friendly, lovely couple.

“Tony would always get out a bit to the shops most mornings and we would have a blether.

“He liked to go have a game of pool, he loved his wee bit of potted plants outside his front door - he did tend his plants, very neat and tidy.

“He was a (retired) publican and head teacher.

“When Delia was out she would always have a blether, but she was very limited (due to bad health).

“They were a very friendly couple, just normal.

“Everyone will be devastated. Just the kind of characters they were - very friendly.”

He said the couple, who were aged in their 70s and originally from England, were visiting the Spanish island for a holiday.

Some parts of the island received up to 9in (23cm) of rainfall in a matter of hours on Tuesday evening.

Witnesses described having minutes to find safety as the water levels rose, inundating houses and catching motorists off guard.

The floodwaters tore down trees, swept numerous cars and trucks into piles of twisted metal and buried streets under mud.

Mr Green, 77, and his wife, 75, were being driven to a hotel in Cala Bona when the taxi was caught in the floodwaters, Diario de Mallorca reported.

Rescue workers reportedly found the car submerged and on its side at the mouth of the torrent in S’Illot at 2am (1am BST) on Wednesday.

Military divers found the couple’s bodies still inside, while Mr Sillero was later found lifeless nearby, the paper said.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of two British people following their deaths in Spain, and will do all we can to assist them at this deeply difficult time.

“Our staff remain in contact with the Spanish authorities who are responsible for responding to the floods, and are ready to assist any other British people who require our help.”

Spanish authorities said 80 soldiers and seven vehicles from the military’s emergency unit had joined more than 100 rescuers deployed in the area on Wednesday.

Meanwhile tennis star Rafael Nadal, who is from the island, was seen joining in with the clean-up effort.

The world number one invited locals to take shelter at his tennis academy in nearby Manacor and then donned boots to join other volunteers.

“Sad day in Majorca,” the 30-year-old said on Twitter.

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez called news of the flooding “devastating” as he visited the area on Wednesday.

He said: “My solidarity and support goes out to the families and friends of victims and all the affected by these tragic floods,” he said.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4813658.1539279248!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813658.1539279248!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Delia Green, died along with her husband, Anthony during flash floods in Majorca. Picture: Handout","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Delia Green, died along with her husband, Anthony during flash floods in Majorca. Picture: Handout","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4813658.1539279248!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4813646.1539262097!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813646.1539262097!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Wreckage of cars and debris lay on a street in Sant Llorenc des Cardassar, on the Spanish Balearic island of Majorca, on October 10, 2018. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Wreckage of cars and debris lay on a street in Sant Llorenc des Cardassar, on the Spanish Balearic island of Majorca, on October 10, 2018. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4813646.1539262097!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4813858.1539334846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813858.1539334846!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Family Handout of Delia and Tony Green, who died in Majorca when the taxi they were travelling in got caught up in raging flash floods. Picture PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Family Handout of Delia and Tony Green, who died in Majorca when the taxi they were travelling in got caught up in raging flash floods. Picture PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4813858.1539334846!/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/sarah-stone-if-you-want-people-to-value-your-business-get-involved-in-what-s-good-for-society-1-4813654","id":"1.4813654","articleHeadline": "Sarah Stone: If you want people to value your business, get involved in what’s good for society","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539320410000 ,"articleLead": "

What is social value? It’s a timely question, because we’re hearing about social value more and more – and seeing the emergence of a new sector that could generate billions of pounds of sustainable economic growth for the UK.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813652.1539262452!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sarah Stone is Founder and Director of social value agency Samtaler"} ,"articleBody": "

In an age when humanity is facing enormous challenges and governments are trying to do more with less, social value is a way for businesses to take a lead in solving some of the world’s biggest problems.

Think climate change, inequality, poverty, pollution, population displacement, and competition for the world’s rapidly shrinking supply of natural resources. These are all big issues that aren’t going to be solved by governments in isolation. It will take strategic partnerships and a joint approach between the public, private and third sector to make any kind of headway. As Chancellor Philip Hammond said in his address to the Conservative Party Conference last week – the capitalism of the 21st century will look nothing like it did in the 1800s.

The Scottish and UK governments are playing no small part in driving the social value agenda through their use of legislation governing public sector procurement. The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 and UK Government’s Public Services (Social Value) Act 2013 both require public bodies tendering contracts to consider how these contracts can provide enhanced benefits for the communities and areas they’re being delivered in.

In other words, we’re increasingly seeing public sector buyers no longer making purchasing decisions solely on the basis of value for money. They are now choosing their suppliers on the basis of whether they also provide value for society.

In order to win these contracts, ­suppliers need to understand how to create social value and community benefit offers that truly benefit society.

I set up my own social value agency in 2017 after a career in government helping to design and communicate policies to tackle some of the UK’s most fundamental problems.

As a former member of the policy unit and external relations adviser to then Prime Minister David Cameron, we worked to develop policy commitments that would deliver long-term, sustainable benefit to society and the economy. The starting point was identifying the most pressing issues, researching them and then proposing workable solutions.

It was a process that involved ­consulting many experts and talking to multiple stakeholders to understand both the big picture and the grassroots issues. This inspired the name of my agency, Samtaler – the Danish word for ‘conversation’ – because speaking to people and ­having conversations is a fundamental part of my approach.

I believe that businesses should take the same approach to creating social value that policy makers take to creating policy. For any corporation considering social value, the trick is finding the right projects to invest in, delivering what you promise, and then reporting back on the benefits.

Once you’ve identified the key social issues facing your industry, sector or local community, talk to the public and third sector organisations working in those communities to address these issues. Ask them what they need and then think about how your business might be able to help them.

For example, if you’re a heating ­supplier, could you support a ­charity that helps members of the community who are struggling with fuel poverty? If logistics is your business, could you incorporate more social enterprises into your supply chain? Food manufacturers can support charities working to combat obesity. And recruitment agencies can partner with organisations helping to tackle unemployment – and the skills gap amongst the most disadvantaged.

Getting your social value offer right will inevitably require investment – but the payback in terms of ­winning contracts, credibility and positive public perception is potentially huge.

The reverse is also true – businesses that fail to embrace social value risk damaging their reputation and ­losing out to competitors. Especially in a world where news is instant – and even people who have no intention of ever buying your products can have a significant impact on your organisation.

If businesses as a group can work together to take on this mantle, there’s another big win – avoiding costly legislation when governments inevitably wade in to tackle problems by force.

Think the sugar tax, minimum alcohol pricing and the landfill tax (to name just a few).

Social value has the power to transform the relationship between businesses, communities and the third sector. And when it is well thought-out and carefully delivered, everyone – suppliers, buyers, communities and consumers – can benefit.

Sarah Stone is founder and ­director of social value agency Samtaler, www.samtaler.co.uk.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Sarah Stone"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4813652.1539262452!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813652.1539262452!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sarah Stone is Founder and Director of social value agency Samtaler","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sarah Stone is Founder and Director of social value agency Samtaler","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4813652.1539262452!/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/leader-comment-humans-sent-a-timely-reminder-from-the-real-world-1-4813878","id":"1.4813878","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: Humans sent a timely reminder from the ‘real world’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539320400000 ,"articleLead": "

Academics are sometimes accused of living in an ivory tower, divorced from the everyday concerns of the ‘real world’. But, in truth, they are not alone. Many of us spend much of our time in the virtual reality of the internet and children growing up in cities sometimes take a while to realise that food doesn’t actually grow on supermarket shelves.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813877.1539283774!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Planet Earth seen from the Moon"} ,"articleBody": "

So it’s probably not a bad thing to be reminded, every so often, that human beings’ survival is largely dependant on a thin layer of topsoil and the weather.

READ MORE: Doctors want Scots pupils to get free fruit and vegetables

Vegetable growers yesterday warned of possible shortages following this year’s unusual weather, with the ‘Beast from the East’ in the spring being followed by heavy rain and then a scorching hot, dry summer. Carrots, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes and leeks are likely to be smaller than usual and yields may also be lower.

Scientists have warned that climate change is likely to lead to more extreme weather events, the consequences of which could be far more serious than the usual storm damage and a few snow days off work. A view from an ivory tower, to some, but perhaps such heights help them see further.

READ MORE: Richard Dixon: Weather warns that time’s running out on climate change

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4813877.1539283774!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813877.1539283774!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Planet Earth seen from the Moon","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Planet Earth seen from the Moon","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4813877.1539283774!/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/joyce-mcmillan-why-politicians-are-failing-to-tackle-climate-change-1-4813882","id":"1.4813882","articleHeadline": "Joyce McMillan: Why politicians are failing to tackle climate change","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539320400000 ,"articleLead": "

The growing problems being caused by global warming show the need to curb our elaborate Western lifestyles, but politicians can’t seem to stop talking about economic growth in old-fashioned material terms, writes Joyce McMillan

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813881.1539283831!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A house smashed by a fallen tree after Hurricane Michael blew through Columbia, South Carolina (Picture: Sean Rayford/Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

It has been a bad week for those who hope – or ardently believe – that climate breakdown caused by human activity is not really happening. Just a month after hurricane Florence administered a savage battering to the coast and inland areas of North Carolina, hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida panhandle on Tuesday, while in north-east India, 300,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in Odisha state because of a massive approaching cyclone. Ten people died in Majorca after unusually intense October rainstorms swept the western Mediterranean.

And here in Scotland, we are bracing ourselves again, just three weeks after storm Ali, for a new storm called Callum, which is expected to wreak some havoc down the western side of the country today. And comfort ourselves as we may with tales of dramatic weather events gone by, and of humanity’s perpetual tendency to imagine that the world is coming to an end, the story told by climate science, and emphatically repeated in this week’s latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is implacable, and profoundly alarming. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere warms the planet, and we have been pumping out Co2 at unprecedented rates for almost two centuries now, creating a rapid change in the Earth’s fine climate balance which is evident in recent disrupted weather patterns, and will soon reach a level that our familiar ecosphere cannot withstand.

READ MORE: Ruth Davidson: Real Conservatives fight climate change

So if we set the natural impulse of denial to one side for a moment – along with the politically motivated denial of right-wing environment-wreckers like Donald Trump – and accept that the IPCC’s dire predictions are accurate, what should we be doing to try to stabilise our climate? The answer, according to the IPCC, is simple. We need to stop using carbon-based fuels almost entirely over the next generation, and drastically reduce their consumption within the next 12 years; otherwise global warming will rise beyond 1.5 degrees centigrade, setting in motion feedback mechanisms that will lead to runaway change.

Nor are we short of technologies which can replace fossil fuels; it has been repeatedly demonstrated that we now have the ability to supply all the energy needs of the current global human population from solar and wind power alone. The forces stopping our rapid transition to a low-carbon and no-carbon economy are not technical or practical, in other words; they are psychological, and profoundly political.

And this is where the story becomes interesting, although not less frightening; for the truth is that even those governments which are fully signed up to the carbon reduction are still not moving at anything like the necessary pace. The Scottish Government, for example, is something of an international poster-child in tackling climate change, praised by the UN as “exemplary” in its approach to carbon reduction.

READ MORE: Lesley Riddoch: Scotland can lead the way on climate change if it acts now

Yet while Nicola Sturgeon once again trumpeted Scotland’s environmental credentials in her SNP conference speech on Tuesday – and while Scotland is undoubtedly one of the nations on Earth best placed to move rapidly to an economy based on renewable energy – she devoted only three lines of her 50-minute speech to the subject, and simply avoided any mention of what Scotland would actually have to do, in order to meet the IPCC’s climate schedule.

And this, as she has occasionally acknowledged herself, is because almost all of the easy, low-hanging fruit in carbon reduction has gone, with the closure of old coal-fired power stations. This week, a powerful report from the London-based Carbon Disclosure Project argued that just 100 large transnational corporations are now responsible for 71 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions; and that suggests that we are now entering a time-frame where saving the planet is no longer about individuals making tiny voluntary lifestyle changes, but about massive co-ordinated government action to confront those corporations, and to restructure our society so that climate-wrecking lifestyles are simply no longer available.

And of course, it is extremely unlikely that any government seriously seeking re-election will walk into the political hurricane involved in that task. Challenge Western voters’ right to drive around at will, or to eat a diet of meaty junk-burgers if they choose, and you run the risk of simply handing their vote to the next opportunistic climate-change denying populist. And any government that commits to confronting major corporations about their role in climate breakdown will not only risk a serious loss of investment and jobs, but will also be challenging more than a generation of dogmatic belief, across the West, that business knows better than government, and that the way to a bright future for us all is for government to stand clear, and leave corporations and consumers to get on with it.

Scotland’s Government is almost as good as they get when it comes to climate change, in other words. Yet it still cannot stop talking about economic growth, measured in old-fashioned material terms, as an unquestioned good; it cannot stop building roads, in which it invests far more than in public transport; it does not confront Britain’s archaic landholding system, which sells off the very life-sustaining fabric of the country on a global open market; and it dare not, in most areas, confront the big corporations which are trashing our world for short-term profit.

So of course, I am not optimistic about the chance of Scotland, far less the world community as a whole, making the decisions on climate change that now have to be made, to avert disaster. What I know, though, is that our hope of finding our way through this crisis-point in human history will depend first on our ability to name the obstacles we face, and to confront them honestly and squarely. The brute fact is that our elaborate Western lifestyles probably cannot survive this crisis in their present form; and that the current imbalance of power between government and a turbo-charged form of global capitalism makes the necessary change impossible within the time-frame before us. And once we fully acknowledge that – well, there is just a chance that the tectonic plates of our society can begin to shift, and that the juggernaut of the economic system we have built can be halted and re-engineered, before it crushes us all.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joyce McMillan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4813881.1539283831!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813881.1539283831!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A house smashed by a fallen tree after Hurricane Michael blew through Columbia, South Carolina (Picture: Sean Rayford/Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A house smashed by a fallen tree after Hurricane Michael blew through Columbia, South Carolina (Picture: Sean Rayford/Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4813881.1539283831!/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/jim-duffy-yoga-makes-me-feel-the-way-i-want-to-be-on-my-deathbed-1-4813885","id":"1.4813885","articleHeadline": "Jim Duffy: Yoga makes me feel the way I want to be on my deathbed","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539320400000 ,"articleLead": "

It is so easy to live your life in the future. Always thinking about what is ahead. Always planning and organising. Whether it’s making appointments for this or that or worrying about things that have not yet happened, we frequently live our lives in a future state. The problem with this is that we lose out on what is going on around us now. We fail to get to grips with our own the emotions and thoughts as we experience them.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813880.1539283791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Yoga isn't all about flower power, ringing bells and svelte beautiful people adopting knee-crushing poses"} ,"articleBody": "

It is so easy to live your life in the future. Always thinking about what is ahead. Always planning and organising. Whether it’s making appointments for this or that or worrying about things that have not yet happened, we frequently live our lives in a future state. The problem with this is that we lose out on what is going on around us now. We fail to get to grips with our own the emotions and thoughts as we experience them.

Hours can go past and we have lost them forever as we live for tomorrow, next week or next year in our heads. I am hugely guilty of this.

So, I decided to do something about it. Something radical. I decided to try yoga.

For many of us, the thought of yoga turns our stomachs. It’s all just flower power and ringing bells, while sitting in a knee-crushing pose with our eyes closed humming “Ommmm”. Or even worse, it is standing on one leg with another held backwards with our torso leaning forwards and our hands out like wings. In short, a pose only a gymnast could do.

And finally, all the pictures of yoga that we see are of svelte, beautiful people with blemish-free skin, ice-white teeth and perfect bone structure. Gwyneth Paltrow has a lot to answer for. But forget all that clap-trap and myth. Yoga is far from this mystical “marketeered” picture and a lot more like you and me – ordinary people with muffin tops and bingo wings. Not to mention the odd varicose vein and beer belly. And not a lotus pose in sight.

I rocked up for my first “simple” yoga experience a little apprehensively. I had tried Bikram yoga in Glasgow a few years back. It was really good, but I started to find the poses a bit too stressful and my competitive spirit started to shine through as I wanted to get better and better at holding the poses. And this is not what yoga is all about.

READ MORE: Ross Deuchar: ‘Tough guys’ can learn to be real men through yoga

I said hello to the other five or six folks that were there and I stood over a mat. Then the teacher sat us down and we started. That was five weeks ago. And I have been practising my yoga twice a week at class in that time. So, has it helped me stop living in the future and grounded me any? Yes and no.

Tuning the mind, the body and the spirit into each other is not easy. But when it happens it feels great. Simply looking ahead, while sitting cross-legged and breathing in gently is just the start of it. Monitoring the breath as it fills my lungs, then holding it briefly, gives me that power and control over my breathing again. I am taking charge of what is coming into my bloodstream. Then exhaling and focusing on how I feel brings me closer and more in touch with me.

Feeling what is going on in my body as I do this grounds me in the moment. My right knee is a little sore. My right hip and groin are not quite right and have been bothering me for years now. My back feels good and my bowels feel good. And all this is taking place more consciously then ever before. This is what yoga is doing for me.

As each class progresses, we execute some easy poses that involve using a cushion to sit on and a wall to help with purchase to aid in stretching out our backs. We rest in positions like the “pose of the child” to bring us back into steady breathing after gently stressing our bodies in a stretch. And all the time I’m focusing on what each hand is doing, how my toes are gripping the mat and how strong I can make my knees as I pull in all the muscles around them.

READ MORE: Jim Duffy: I’d prefer my own ‘moon flag’ to a Scottish saltire

At no time am I thinking about booking dinner next week or the currency exchange rate after Brexit. It is all about gearing my muscles, my back, my pelvis and my core into my mind and my breathing.

And, before anyone can say “Shazam”, an hour has passed and we are lying in the final rest position. In this moment, having stretched and worked my body at a pace that suits me, I am 100 per cent relaxed. It is a funny feeling.

It’s not like post-coital emotion. It’s not like warming down after a 10K run. No, it is very different. It feels atavistic and natural. It feels like I would want to feel on the hour of my death bed. Very calm. Very confident. Just me and my being ... my humanity.

And that is yoga for me. Can I say that it will be the same for you? No idea. I don’t even know how it feels for the regular yogis that come to class each week. But, something is working for them.

Certainly, we can all stretch that bit further and are becoming more flexible and pliable as we go into basic poses. I get to tease out those fast-twitch muscles that I use playing other sports. I also get my back strengthened to boot. But, it is the mindfulness of that 60 minutes that fuels me for the days that follow.

My visits to the yoga mat are helping my psychology and physiology. It’s not something I get from 60 minutes of aerobics. Yoga is slowing me down a bit.

It is making me think about me in a different way. I feel more positive and content.

So forget worrying about next week or thinking about how amazing Holly Willoughby looks and just spend an hour doing some yoga - for you. Ommmmmmmm...

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4813880.1539283791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813880.1539283791!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Yoga isn't all about flower power, ringing bells and svelte beautiful people adopting knee-crushing poses","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Yoga isn't all about flower power, ringing bells and svelte beautiful people adopting knee-crushing poses","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4813880.1539283791!/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/general-election/uk-left-with-policing-gap-if-europol-status-ends-1-4813893","id":"1.4813893","articleHeadline": "UK left with policing ‘gap’ if Europol status ends","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539288495000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland’s leading European jurist has warned of the impact to cross-border justice from the UK failing to retain membership of Europol and participation in the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) after Brexit.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813903.1539288490!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

Judge Ian Forrester, who sits as a member of the general court of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, said police forces in the UK would face a “gap” in their capabilities if they were no longer able to co-operate with European counterparts on the same basis as now.

While London and Brussels have said they are committed to working closely on policing and security after Brexit, uncertainty surrounds UK participation in Europol – the European policing agency – and use of the EAW, which allows speedy extradition of suspects within the EU.

A total of 1,101 suspects were apprehended and 956 were extradited to Britain from the EU through the EAW from 2010 to 2016.

However, the UK is expected to leave the agreement as several EU member states have a constitutional ban against extradition outside the bloc.

Mr Forrester said on Europol: “When you are talking criminal enforcement, criminal investigation, there needs to be a legal framework.

“It can’t be done on the basis of friendly, cordial understanding.

“If those mechanisms were to cease to apply in the United Kingdom, then something new has to take their place ... one would assume there’s a gap.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4813903.1539288490!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813903.1539288490!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Police. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4813903.1539288490!/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/general-election/dup-put-theresa-may-on-notice-to-change-brexit-tact-or-risk-collapse-1-4813892","id":"1.4813892","articleHeadline": "DUP put Theresa May on notice to change Brexit tact or risk collapse","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539285494000 ,"articleLead": "

Theresa May has been put on notice by her allies in the Democratic Unionist Party to change course on Brexit or risk the collapse of her government.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813891.1539285489!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May on Brexit talks Picture: File"} ,"articleBody": "

DUP leader Arlene Foster warned ministers they “could not in good conscience” proceed with plans believed to have been agreed between EU and UK negotiators to beef up regulators checks between Northern Ireland and Britain.

It came as Mrs May’s ‘inner cabinet’ was briefed last night on plans for a no-deal Brexit amid reports that progress ahead of a crucial EU summit next week had been slower than hoped.

In Brussels, a spokesman for the European Commission dampened speculation about a breakthrough, saying “we’re not there yet”.

READ MORE: Final cash plea could be icing on the cake for chain collapse

The deal believed to be on the table involves keeping the whole UK in an ‘arrangement’ that effectively preserves the existing EU customs union, ensuring the goods continue to move freely over the Irish land border regardless of the future trade relationship between London and Brussels. Brussels has rejected any time limit to this ‘backstop’ to maintain the status quo at the border, prompting anger from Brexiteers who believe the plan would keep the UK in limbo under EU trading rules.

READ MORE: Bill for thousands of police officers during Trump visit to cost £18m

In addition, Northern Ireland would remain under large parts of single market regulations, requiring enhanced checks on products arriving from Britain, particularly agricultural goods.

In a statement issued last night, Ms Foster effectively ruled out the plan, describing it as “not the best of both worlds”, but the “worst of one world”.

Blasting the proposed deal, she said: “Trade from Great Britain into Northern Ireland would be in danger of restriction. “Indeed, Northern Ireland’s access to any new UK trade deals would also be regulated by Brussels.” She added: “The Prime Minister is a Unionist. Many of her cabinet colleagues have assured me of their Unionism.

“Therefore, they could not in good conscience recommend a deal which places a trade barrier on UK businesses.”

A senior DUP MP said a Commons vote on Wednesday night that saw the party abstain on a piece of legislation for the first time since signing a pact to keep the Conservatives in power was a “warning” to the Government.

Sammy Wilson said: “It was a way of reminding the government that while our vote wasn’t important last night, it would be important some time in the future and we would have no hesitation withholding it if we thought that was a necessary sanction to impose.

“It was a warning: ‘Don’t take us for granted, we’re in an agreement with you, but it’s a two-sided agreement.”

A meeting between the UK Government and devolved administration was meanwhile witness to “heated exchanges” over Brexit and migration policy.

The SNP’s constitutional relations secretary Michael Russell said he underlined the need to stay in the EU single market to preserve Scotland’s £104 billion services industry.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4813891.1539285489!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813891.1539285489!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Theresa May on Brexit talks Picture: File","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May on Brexit talks Picture: File","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4813891.1539285489!/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/uk/trans-prisoner-jailed-after-sexually-assaulting-inmates-at-women-s-prison-1-4813696","id":"1.4813696","articleHeadline": "Trans prisoner jailed after sexually assaulting inmates at women’s prison","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539265629000 ,"articleLead": "

A transgender prisoner has been jailed for life after admitting sexually assaulting two women inmates while being held on remand and the previous rapes of two other women.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813695.1539343935!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Karen White. Picture: PA/West Yorkshire police"} ,"articleBody": "

Karen White, 52, was described as a “predator” who was a danger to women and children, Leeds Crown Court heard.

White, who was born male but now identifies as a woman and is transitioning, was jailed for two counts of rape, two sexual assaults and one offence of wounding.

The court heard she used her “transgender persona” to put herself in contact with vulnerable women.

She must serve a minimum term of nine-and-a-half years before parole can be considered.

White appeared by video link from HMP Leeds, and sat impassive during the hearing, wearing a patterned blouse and glasses with shoulder-length blond hair.

She attacked two women while at HMP New Hall, a women’s prison between September and October last year. At the time she was on remand for other offences.

READ MORE: Male transgender prisoners ‘pose danger to women’

White also had previous convictions for indecent assault, indecent exposure and gross indecency involving children, violence and dishonesty.

Passing sentence Judge Christopher Batty told the defendant: “You are a predator and highly manipulative and in my view you are a danger.

“You represent a significant risk of serious harm to children, to women and to the general public.”

Christopher Dunn, prosecuting, told the court: “She is allegedly a transgender female.

“The prosecution say allegedly because there’s smatterings of evidence in this case that the defendant’s approach to transitioning has been less than committed.

“The prosecution suggest the reason for the lack of commitment towards transitioning is so the defendant can use a transgender persona to put herself in contact with vulnerable persons she can then abuse.”

READ MORE: Bill Jamieson - Trans politics is a minefield

Mr Dunn told the court White was first arrested after attacking a 66-year-old neighbour with a steak-knife in Mytholmroyde, West Yorkshire last August 15.

She accused her victim of a sexual approach and “slobbering all over” her in the communal laundry at their accommodation then later stabbed him with the knife, saying: “I’m going to kill you.”

While on remand at HMP New Hall, White began gender re-allignment, wearing a wig, make-up and false breasts.

While there she became friendly with another female inmate, until an incident on September 13 last year while in the queue for prisoners to get medication.

Mr Dunn said: “The complainant, while waiting, felt something hard press against the small of her back. She turned around to see the defendant stood there. She could see the defendant’s penis erect and sticking out of the top of her pants, covered by her tights.”

The matter was then reported to police and another prison assault came to light.

White then grabbed her hand and put it on the defendant’s left breast with the words: “Oh look, they are not real ones.”

White admitted both offences of sexual assault.

While in jail, White had written to an earlier victim he had raped but which was not reported to police at the time. She subsequently complained to the prison authorities and police began to investigate.

The woman, in her 20s, told police White had violently raped her five or six times between January and December 2016, while they were in a relationship after meeting at a psychiatric unit in West Yorkshire.

White was described as violent and controlling, who told his victim what to wear, how to dress and even made her change her name.

“He would also fly into a violent rage for “minor infractions from his regime”.

Mr Dunn said it left his victim “vulnerable, demotivated, demoralised and terrorised”.

In a victim impact statement she said she had tried to take her own life and was worried she cannot have children due to the “internal damage” from the rapes.

The final victim dated back 15 years to August 2003, the court heard, and again came to light after police investigations following White’s arrest last year.

The defendant, who was then known as Stephen Wood and living in Manchester, had offered to help decorate a flat belonging to the wife of a friend, who was two months pregnant.

While in the flat, White secretly spiked the woman’s drink with vodka until she passed out, the court heard.

Mr Dunn continued: “The complainant woke up and felt the defendant on top of her...having sex with her.”

White was arrested but no information was given in court as to why he was not prosecuted at the time.

The victim told the court in a statement the attack had ruined her life and her husband had not believed her.

This woman had also tried to commit suicide. In a statement to the court she said: “I have no relationships with anyone. I felt very dirty as a woman. I became very depressed. Even now 15 years on I still struggle with mental health and suffer horrendous flashbacks. Until 15 years ago I was a strong woman.”

The court heard White began identifying as a woman around the time she was remanded into custody awaiting trial for attacking the neighbour last August and about to embark upon gender re-assignment.

While on remand White freely admitted to probation officers she was sexually interested in children and could abuse a child and “think nothing of it”.

Outside court, Detective Inspector David Rogerson, of West Yorkshire Police, said: “White has pleaded guilty to a number of serious sexual offences which span many years. White was originally called Stephen Wood and was from the Manchester area.

“We welcome White’s guilty pleas to these offences, which have spared the victims the ordeal of a trial. We are pleased to see White appropriately sentenced by the courts for what are very serious offences.”

A source said White is currently inside a male prison and that is where the sentence will be served.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4813695.1539343935!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813695.1539343935!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Karen White. Picture: PA/West Yorkshire police","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Karen White. Picture: PA/West Yorkshire police","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4813695.1539343935!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5847970430001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/will-mccallum-how-fishing-industry-exposes-the-dark-side-of-brexit-1-4813610","id":"1.4813610","articleHeadline": "Will McCallum: How fishing industry exposes the dark side of Brexit","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1539259989000 ,"articleLead": "

We’ve all been on a bit of a steep learning curve on the EU recently: where Westminster’s control ends and Brussels begins, and how much of that control we can “take back”. Nowhere is this discussion more heated, indeed sometimes to the point of physical, than in our fishing industry.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4813432.1539259689!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Small fishing boats employ 65 per cent of fishermen but get just four per cent of the quota (Picture: David Cheskin/PA Wire)"} ,"articleBody": "

The EU’s fishing industry is governed by the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), a regime which has improved in recent years but is still deeply unpopular amongst the largely pro-Leave fishing industry, in part due to the lack of government implementation of the reforms.

Following promises made by many pro-Leave politicians, many in the industry think that the world post-Brexit means escape from restrictions which make their jobs more difficult and, in the run-up to the referendum, fishermen formed a Brexit flotilla and sailed up the Thames in what was perhaps the most visible symbol of the campaign.

But who really controls our fisheries is something which has been assiduously hidden from the public, and from most in the industry. Today an investigation by Unearthed, Greenpeace’s investigative unit, reveals exactly who has that control and who gave it to them.

READ MORE: Five families control 33% of Scottish fishing rights

In 2012, a reform to the CFP handed control of UK fishing quota distribution to the UK Government. The EU takes advice from scientists on what the maximum sustainable catch would be of different fish in different fishing grounds, adds a bit due to political pressure, and then divides that total between the EU’s fishing fleets.

But, since then, each state gets to decide who gets how much of their national quota. In the UK that mostly means Westminster and Holyrood, as it’s a devolved issue and Scotland accounts for two-thirds of the UK’s entire fishing quota.

Fishing boats under ten metres long provide full-time employment to 65 per cent of the UK fishing industry, and yet Holyrood and Westminster have allocated them four per cent of our fishing quota. This is the central scandal of the UK fishing industry, that the sector most likely to fish sustainably and provide significant economic benefits to the UK’s struggling coastal communities is starved of quota, not by the EU, but by Westminster and Holyrood.

So where does the rest of our quota (and it is ours – UK fish are legally a public good owned by all of us) actually go? Over a quarter (29 per cent) of the UK’s fishing quota, and 45 per cent of Scotland’s, is owned or controlled by just five families on the Sunday Times Rich List.

READ MORE: Fishing industry hails Brexit bonanza

In England, around half (49 per cent) of fishing quota is held by Dutch, Icelandic and Spanish companies, with a further 30 per cent owned by English and Scottish Rich List families. Over half (55 per cent) of Northern Ireland’s quota is hoarded by one single trawler.

Despite the enormous generosity shown to these “Codfathers” by our governments, who are allowed to profit from what is, by law, a public good, over half of the UK’s 25 largest quota-holders are linked to one of the biggest criminal overfishing scams ever to reach the British courts.

Thirteen of these businesses have shareholders, directors, or vessel partners who were convicted following the “Operation Trawler” police investigation into industrial-scale landings of illegally over-quota ‘black fish’ in Scotland. And yet their grip on fishing quota remains unbroken. Despite our courts recognising fish as a public good, this backdoor privatisation shows us it is not being managed in the public interest.

People who were ordered to pay hundreds of thousands in fines and confiscation orders for their role in the black fish scam are some of the biggest quota-holders in Scotland. And other companies were among those urging Britain to leave the EU to “take back control” of an industry they themselves already controlled to an unhealthy degree.

In many ways, UK fishing quota is a perfect illustration of the darker side of Brexit. Our government colluding with vested interests to give them a bigger slice of the pie, and then telling those with less to blame foreigners.

We hope the light we’ve managed to shed on the quota racket will help Britain’s fleet see who really has control, and aid their fight for a fairer share.

Will McCallum is head of oceans at Greenpeace UK

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