{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"world","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/leader-comment-the-great-powers-are-playing-a-dangerous-game-1-4668922","id":"1.4668922","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: The Great Powers are playing a dangerous game","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516687200000 ,"articleLead": "

Head of the British Army warns of threats posed by cyberwar, fake news and assassinations – and Russia’s “eye-watering” military capabilities.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4668921.1516655376!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chief of the General Staff General Nick Carter, seen inspecting soldiers in Winchester, has warned about the military threat posed by Russia (Picture: AFP/Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

It might be easy to dismiss a speech by General Sir Nick Carter about the risks of falling behind our “adversaries” among the world’s “Great Powers” as simply an appeal for more funds.

But, given it is highly unusual for the head of the British Army to intervene in the political realm, we should take what he has to say seriously. The UK’s Armed Forces are now smaller than they have ever been since the Napoleonic Wars with cuts of 18 per cent in the size of the Army since 2010 reducing it to 82,000. This was an understandable response to the economic crisis, particularly during a period of relative stability in the world. However, as General Carter made clear, there are troubling signs on the horizon.

Echoing US Defence Secretary James Mattis, he said the world was now in a period of “Great Power competition”, recalling the machinations in the 19th and early 20th century that culminated in the First World War. States were becoming “masters at exploiting the seams between peace and war”, using cyber attacks, assassination, fake news and intimidation to get what they want, General Carter said.

Attacks in this new Great Game are not necessarily physical. In interfering in the US election and, possibly, the Brexit referendum, Vladimir Putin may have achieved some of his strategic aims. As the Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz might have advised if he was alive today: “Cyberwar is the continuation of politics by others means.” But General Carter also spoke of the “eye-watering capability” of the Russian military. Putin clearly out-witted the West in Ukraine when he annexed the Crimea, while initially denying Russian soldiers were involved. And there are genuine fears that he may try similar tactics in the three Baltic states, all Nato members, where British troops are deployed and train to counter an invasion.

Our Nato membership could draw us into a conflict with Russia, but our defence in the direst of situations will rely on the alliance’s collective strength. The UK may have the world’s fifth-biggest defence budget, but in any military confrontation between the UK alone and Russia, we would be the loser.

The UK must ensure its military has the right equipment – a situation that cannot be said about the Iraq War – so we can play an effective part in Nato. Outdated weapons must be replaced and clearly new threats require new thinking – and perhaps more money.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4668921.1516655376!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4668921.1516655376!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Chief of the General Staff General Nick Carter, seen inspecting soldiers in Winchester, has warned about the military threat posed by Russia (Picture: AFP/Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chief of the General Staff General Nick Carter, seen inspecting soldiers in Winchester, has warned about the military threat posed by Russia (Picture: AFP/Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4668921.1516655376!/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/dani-garavelli-let-s-share-in-premier-s-joy-at-having-a-baby-on-board-1-4667406","id":"1.4667406","articleHeadline": "Dani Garavelli: Let’s share in premier’s joy at having a baby on board","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516526953000 ,"articleLead": "

When Benazir Bhutto – then prime minister of Pakistan – announced she was pregnant with her second child in 1990, the opposition leader, Syeda Abida Hussain, accused her of being “greedy”. “It is clear she wants it all – motherhood, domesticity, glamour. She is even seeking more power than she has,” she said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4667405.1516526949!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jacinda Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford, speak to the press outside their home in Auckland. Picture: Hannah Peters/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

During the last trimester of her first pregnancy two years earlier, Bhutto, then opposition leader, had been a constant on the campaign trail as the country geared up for the first open election in more than a decade. This time, scared of being overthrown in her absence, she is said to have travelled in disguise to the hospital, where she had a caesarian section before returning to her desk the following day.

The fear of military coups aside, that’s how it was for expectant career women back then. You vomited quietly in the toilets, snuck off to ante-natal appointments as if they were extra-marital trysts and hoped no-one would hold your growing girth against you. It was the age of the “Supermums”: the Nicola Horlicks and the Karren Bradys who took an almost macho pride in being back in the office before their stitches had healed.

Thirty years on, the response to New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern’s pregnancy has been largely positive. Indeed it has generated an air of national celebration, a bit like the south of England when another Royal baby has been conceived, but with less bunting.

Part of that was down to the upbeat tone in which Ardern announced it. “And we thought 2017 was a big year,” she tweeted breathlessly. “Clarke and I are really excited our team is about to expand from two to three.”

But it was also because the Labour prime minister has the potential to create a new climate in which women no longer have to hide the photographs of their babies in their desk drawer for fear of being judged.

True, Ardern kept her pregnancy secret for the first few months (when she first found out, she was in the middle of intense negotiations with eventual coalition partners New Zealand First). But now it’s public knowledge, she seems intent on turning parenthood into an asset and a key part of her legacy. Note, she didn’t say: “This pregnancy has no bearing on my ability to do my job”, but: “We will now join the many parents wearing two hats.” With these words, she not only forged a connection with ordinary working mothers, she made it clear that raising a child is an important job as opposed to something to be fitted into the corners of your day.

What made the announcement doubly remarkable was the casual way in which Ardern referred to her partner, Clarke Gayford, as the “primary care-giver”. Gayford, the presenter of a TV show about fishing, cultivates a hunter-gatherer image; his willingness to be a stay-at-home dad sends out a powerful message about what it means – and doesn’t mean – to be a man.

So how did New Zealand respond to the couple’s news? No-one appears to have batted an eyelid. TV crews interviewed everyone from punky young girls to bearded old geezers and they were universally unfazed. “Good luck to her,” was the general consensus.

Perhaps such a progressive attitude is to be expected in New Zealand, which is ahead of the curve on equality issues. In 1893, it became the first self-governing country in the world to give all women the vote.

Notwithstanding its three female prime ministers, however, New Zealand does have its flaws. Its gender pay gap – though smaller than in many countries’ – still stands at around nine per cent, and there is only one female chief executive officer among the 50 companies on its main stock market index. Ardern – at 37, the country’s youngest ever prime minister – has pledged to end the gender pay gap within four years and spoken out strongly on the need for more women in politics.

But it is on the rights of working mothers that she has been most vocal. Days after she was elected Labour leader in August, she rebuked chat-show host Mark Richardson for suggesting New Zealanders had a right to know if she was likely to be taking maternity leave while in office. “If you are an employer of a company you need to know that kind of thing,” he said.

Visibly angry, Ardern replied that while it was acceptable to ask about her own plans – because she had made it clear she was prepared to answer – it was unacceptable to ask questions of other women in the workplace.

One of the first pieces of legislation Ardern’s government introduced involved extending paid parental leave from 18 to 22 weeks from July, 2018 and to 26 weeks from July, 2020.

Such a focus on parental rights could come across as self-serving (though Ardern’s baby is due in June, so she is unlikely to benefit from the new policy). But even in 2018, her pregnancy, and subsequent baby, presents an opportunity to transform the way we view and treat working mothers.

As Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “It demonstrates to young women that holding leadership positions needn’t 
be a barrier to having children (if you want to).”

Too often, when we listen to career women reflecting on past experiences of early motherhood, they are tinged with sadness. Karren Brady has said she regrets having returned to the Birmingham City boardroom three days after giving birth. “Phrases such as work/life balance didn’t exist 16 years ago,” she said in 2013. “I put [pressure] on myself because I wanted to be the perfect mother, the perfect employee, the perfect boss.”

Harriet Harman has spoken of feeling constantly scrutinised. “I was on the defensive all the time. I thought people were thinking ‘pregnant, baby, pregnant, baby, pregnant, baby – she’s not going to be doing her job properly.’ I had to prove myself all the time.”

Ardern, who is taking six weeks’ maternity leave, has the chance to change all that, not just for herself, but for those who follow. She can embrace a new kind of working motherhood: one in which raising children while pursuing a career is a badge of pride, not a source of shame; where everyone accepts it’s difficult to juggle competing demands, instead of pretending it’s a skoosh, where society is structured in such a way that the responsibility for caring is shared out, not dumped on one (generally female) set of shoulders.

Riffing on the “it takes a village” proverb, Ardern said: “New Zealand will help us raise our child.” A naïve hope, perhaps. But last week, it certainly seemed as if the whole country was behind her. Long may that positivity endure.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4667405.1516526949!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4667405.1516526949!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jacinda Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford, speak to the press outside their home in Auckland. Picture: Hannah Peters/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jacinda Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford, speak to the press outside their home in Auckland. Picture: Hannah Peters/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4667405.1516526949!/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/world/afghan-forces-end-intercontinental-hotel-siege-1-4667382","id":"1.4667382","articleHeadline": "Afghan forces end Intercontinental Hotel siege","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516522813000 ,"articleLead": "

Gunmen stormed the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul at the start of an 11-hour siege that continued into Sunday morning, leaving at least five Afghan civilians dead, officials said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4667380.1516522808!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Afghan security personnel stand guard as black smoke rises from the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Picture; AP"} ,"articleBody": "

Six other civilians were reported wounded and more than 100 people, including 16 foreigners, have been rescued from the hotel, said Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish.

The bodies of four attackers were recovered as security forces continued to clear the landmark building, he said.

“The security forces are going room-by-room to make sure that there is no any other attacker in the building,” he said.

As the fighting raged, a fire erupted in the building.

Live TV footage showed people trying to escape through windows on the fourth and fifth floors.

Capt Tom Gresback, spokesman for NATO-led forces, said in a statement that Afghan forces were leading the response efforts. He said that according to initial reports, no foreign troops were hurt in the attack.

The Intercontinental Hotel is located on a hilltop in Bagh-e Bala area of the city and is heavily guarded because it hosts both Afghan and foreign guests as well as official conferences. It was last attacked by Taliban insurgents in 2011.

An Afghan official says insurgents have killed 18 members of a pro-government militia in northern Afghanistan, in an attack claimed by the Taliban.

Gen. Abdul Razeq Qaderi, the deputy police chief of Balkh province, says the insurgents burst into a home where several members of the Local Uprising Forces were gathered late Saturday. He says the attackers led them outside and shot them dead. One of those killed was a tribal elder who served as the local police commander.

The Local Uprising Forces operate under the Interior Ministry.

Gen. Mahruf Folad, the police chief of the western Farah province, meanwhile said a roadside bomb killed a deputy police chief and wounded four other police early Sunday.

In the northern Balkh province, insurgents burst into a home where several members of a local pro-government militia were gathered late Saturday, leading them outside and killing 18 of them, said Gen. Abdul Razeq Qaderi, the deputy provincial police chief. Among those killed was a tribal leader who served as the local police commander, he said.

The Taliban claimed both attacks.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4667380.1516522808!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4667380.1516522808!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Afghan security personnel stand guard as black smoke rises from the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Picture; AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Afghan security personnel stand guard as black smoke rises from the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Picture; AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4667380.1516522808!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4667381.1516522811!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4667381.1516522811!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "U.S. forces' vehicle arrives s smoke rises from the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan,","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "U.S. forces' vehicle arrives s smoke rises from the Intercontinental Hotel after an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan,","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4667381.1516522811!/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/world/us-government-shutdown-now-what-1-4666860","id":"1.4666860","articleHeadline": "US Government shutdown - now what?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516444393000 ,"articleLead": "

The US government has shutdown as Democrats and Republicans failed to resolve a standoff over immigration and spending.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4628900.1516444387!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Donald Trump has blamed the shutdown on the Democrats. (Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

Here’s a look at what the parties are fighting over and what it means to shut down the government.


Since the end of the fiscal year in September, the US government has been operating on temporary funding measures. The current one expired at midnight. Republicans and Democrats have not been able to agree on spending levels for the rest of the year, so another short-term measure is the most likely solution.

The House has passed a four-week bill Thursday that also extends funding for a children’s health insurance program.

But Democrats have been saying for weeks they want a funding measure to be tied to an immigration deal that protects the thousands of young immigrants facing deportation. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is set to expire 5 March, and members of both parties have been working on an extension that would also beef up border protection.

That deal has not come together, and Democrats have decided to dig in. They blocked the House-passed bill. Both sides were still negotiating early Saturday.


The government begins to shut down. But not all of the government.

The air traffic control system, food inspection, Medicare, veterans’ health care and many other essential government programs will run as usual. The Social Security Administration will not only send out benefits but will also continue to take applications - though replacements for lost Social Security cards could have to wait. The Postal Service, which is self-funded, will keep delivering the mail. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will continue to respond to last year’s spate of disasters.

The Interior Department says national parks and other public lands will remain as accessible as possible. The stance is a change from previous shutdowns when most parks were closed and became high-profile symbols.

Spokeswoman Heather Swifts says the American public - especially veterans who come to the nation’s capital - should find war memorials and open-air parks open to visitors. Swift says many national parks and wildlife refuges nationwide will also be open with limited access when possible.

The Smithsonian museums and the National zoo will stay open through the weekend but close Monday.


While they can be kept on the job, federal workers can’t get paid for days worked during a lapse in funding. 
In the past, however, they have been repaid retroactively even if they were ordered to stay home.

Rush hour in downtown Washington, meanwhile, becomes a breeze. Tens of thousands of federal workers are off the roads.


Way back in the day, shutdowns usually weren’t that big a deal. They happened every year when Jimmy Carter was president, averaging 11 days each. During Ronald Reagan’s two terms, there were six shutdowns, typically just one or two days apiece. Deals got cut. Everybody moved on.

The last one was a 16-day partial shuttering of the government in 2013, which came as tea party conservatives, cheered on by outside groups like Heritage Action, demanded that language to block implementation of President Barack Obama’s health care law be added to a must-do funding bill.


In a 1995-96 political battle, President Bill Clinton bested House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his band of budget-slashing conservatives, who were determined to use a shutdown to force Clinton to sign onto a balanced budget agreement. Republicans were saddled with the blame, but most Americans suffered relatively minor inconveniences like closed parks and delays in processing passport applications. The fight bolstered Clinton’s popularity and he sailed to re-election that November.

In 2013, the tea party Republicans forced the shutdown over the better judgment of GOP leaders like then-Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Republicans tried to fund the government piecemeal - for example, by forcing through legislation to ensure military service members got paid. But a broader effort faltered, and Republicans eventually backed down and supported a round of budget talks led by Paul Ryan, R-Wis., then chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Republicans are calling the current standoff the “Schumer Shutdown,” arguing that there’s nothing in the bill that Democrats oppose, while a short-term extension would give lawmakers time to work out differences on issues like protecting young immigrants and disaster assistance. Schumer says the GOP’s unwillingness to compromise has brought Congress to this point.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted earlier this week found 48 percent view Trump and congressional Republicans as mainly responsible for the situation while 28 percent fault Democrats. If the

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4628900.1516444387!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4628900.1516444387!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "President Donald Trump has blamed the shutdown on the Democrats. (Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Donald Trump has blamed the shutdown on the Democrats. (Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4628900.1516444387!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5681869768001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/main-players/nicola-sturgeon-congratulates-new-zealand-pm-over-pregnancy-1-4666297","id":"1.4666297","articleHeadline": "Nicola Sturgeon congratulates New Zealand PM over pregnancy","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516372783981 ,"articleLead": "Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has congratulated New Zealand's prime minister after sheannounced that she is expecting her first child in June.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4666296.1516372850!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jacinda Ardern. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Jacinda Ardern, 37, wrote on Twitter that she and her partner Clarke Gayford were expecting a child, and that Mr Gayford would become a stay-at-home father.

Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "Congrats to New Zealand’s PM @jacindaardern. This is first and foremost a personal moment for her - but it also helps demonstrate to young women that holding leadership positions needn’t be a barrier to having children (if you want to). An important first (as far as I know)."

The couple discovered she was pregnant on October 13 - two weeks before she was sworn in as national leader.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon says Scots could go it alone on Brexit deals

Jacinda said: "We thought 2017 was a big year! This year we'll join the many parents who wear two hats. I'll be PM & a mum while Clarke will be 'first man of fishing' & stay at home dad," she tweeted.
She said in a statement that she had asked Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters on Thursday to act as prime minister for six weeks after the birth.
"I fully intend to be contactable and available throughout the six-week period when needed," she said. "I will make arrangements for appropriate ministers to act in my other portfolios over the six weeks I am away from Parliament."
After the six weeks, she will resume all her prime ministerial duties.
"Clarke and I are privileged to be in the position where Clarke can stay home to be our primary care-giver. Knowing that so many parents juggle the care of their new babies, we consider ourselves to be very lucky," she said.
"Clarke and I have always been clear we wanted to be parents but had been told we would need help for that to happen. That's made this news a fantastic surprise," she added.
Within a day of Ms Ardern becoming Labour Party leader, seven weeks before the election, she was twice asked by television hosts about her plans for children.
One host, Mark Richardson, questioned whether it was acceptable for the country's leader to take maternity leave while in office, and said most employers would want to know the maternity plans of their workers.
Ms Ardern, who has previously talked about the difficulties of juggling political life while also wanting to start a family, said she was happy to answer such questions, but others should not feel compelled.
"For other women, it is totally unacceptable in 2017 to say that women should have to answer that question in the workplace," she responded, while pointing her finger at Mr Richardson. "That is unacceptable."
Her answers seemed to resonate with many people, some of whom pointed out that under New Zealand law, workplace discrimination on the basis of pregnancy is illegal.

READ MORE: Sturgeon says councils could get power to police Airbnb

" ,"byline": {"email": "stephen.emerson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Stephen Emerson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4666296.1516372850!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4666296.1516372850!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jacinda Ardern. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jacinda Ardern. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4666296.1516372850!/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/what-are-the-odds-of-trump-surviving-2018-in-office-an-expert-crunches-the-numbers-1-4665945","id":"1.4665945","articleHeadline": "What are the odds of Trump surviving 2018 in office? An expert crunches the numbers","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516358768000 ,"articleLead": "

Donald Trump has been under constant fire from critics since he began his campaign in the summer of 2015, and his presidency has so far been perhaps the most chaotic and bizarre in recent decades, writes Christoph Siemroth.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4665944.1516358765!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "What are the odds of Donald Trump staying in office. Picture: AP"} ,"articleBody": "

But as he approaches the first anniversary of his inauguration, the pressure is only getting more intense.

First came the revelations in the bestseller Fire and Fury, which reports on various White House aides’ concerns about the president’s mental capacity. Then came Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s request to question Trump about the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russia, and his decision to subpoena the president’s ostracised former ally, Steve Bannon.

This article first appeared on TheConversation.com
So as Trump prepares to celebrate a year since his inauguration, what are the chances he’ll still be president when 2018 is over?

There are plenty of guesses and estimates out there, informed and otherwise. Bannon for one is quoted in Fire and Fury as saying Trump only has a 33.3% chance of making it to the end of his term in January 2021. But while many experts and insiders have opinions on the matter, when it comes to forecasting future events, betting and prediction markets have been shown to be rather more reliable.

A prediction market is a simple financial market that allows everyone to bet on an uncertain future outcome. The market most interesting for us asks: “Will Donald Trump be president at year-end 2018?” The yes-asset will pay 100 cents if Trump is still in office at midnight December 31, 2018, and 0 cents if he is not. Because an asset is worth at most 100 cents and at least 0 cents, the asset price is between 0 and 100 – just like a probability.

Since anyone can trade in these markets and adjust the prices, prediction markets have been characterised as a market-based form of the wisdom of the crowd. If the crowd thinks the asset is underpriced – that is, that the implied probability is too low – then people can buy the asset at an expected profit and thereby adjust the price upwards. If the asset is seen as overpriced, then traders can sell to bring the price down.

And indeed, research shows that the prices in these markets are a good predictor of the probabilities. Whenever the asset price is 60 cents, then in 60% of the cases the underlying outcome does in fact happen. If the price is 70 cents, then the underlying outcome happens in 70% of the cases, and so on. That means prices are “well calibrated”; on average, they correspond to probabilities.

Another study finds that assets set to expire more than half a year in the future can exhibit slight biases. Prices above 50 cents tend to be slightly larger than the true probabilities – so looking at the odds on Trump’s future, it’s important to regard the prices as optimistic estimates.

What the crowd says

Currently, the yes-asset trades at 77 cents, implying a 77% or less probability that Trump survives 2018 in office. So the market thinks that while the threats to his presidency are many – the Mueller investigation, rumours of early stage dementia, former staffers with axes to grind – Trump is considerably more likely to survive than be ousted.

Still, of the 57 US presidential terms served prior to Trump, only nine ended prematurely, meaning 84% of terms were fulfilled. The market expectation of Trump making it through the next year (not even the entire term) is therefore significantly below this historical average.

Another market asks: Will Trump be president at year-end 2019? Certainly the probability must be lower here, since Trump cannot resume office in 2019 if ousted in 2018. And indeed, the yes-asset in this market is currently trading at 62 cents, indicating only a 62% probability or less that Trump survives the next two years in office.

But despite the shockwaves generated by Fire and Fury, the prices in both markets have not changed much in the ensuing weeks. Indeed, if anything, they went slightly up around the book’s release, only to revert again a few days later. It seems the markets may have considered the book’s “revelations” just another episode of Trump melodrama.

However, while the odds didn’t change much, the trading volume (i.e. the number of assets bought and sold) started to explode on January 1, around the time newspapers first started discussing the book. These numbers indicate that, while the book did create a lot of interest, it did not considerably affect people’s estimation of Trump’s chances of staying in office.

The last time we saw such large trading numbers on these markets was on December 1, 2017 – the day Michael Flynn (Trump’s former National Security Advisor) pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in its Russia investigation. With new twists in the administration’s various scandals coming thick and fast, it seems safe to say there are other spikes to come – but whether they will shift the odds is another matter.

This article first appeared on TheConversation.com
Christoph Siemroth is a lecturer in Economics, University of Essex

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Christoph Siemroth"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4665944.1516358765!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4665944.1516358765!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "What are the odds of Donald Trump staying in office. Picture: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "What are the odds of Donald Trump staying in office. Picture: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4665944.1516358765!/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/independence-push-surges-ahead-as-catalonia-parliament-elects-speaker-1-4664204","id":"1.4664204","articleHeadline": "Independence push surges ahead as Catalonia parliament elects speaker","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516207392000 ,"articleLead": "

Catalonia’s new parliament has elected a pro-secession speaker, virtually guaranteeing the push for independence for Spain’s northeastern region will go ahead.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4644775.1516207390!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Catalonia's new parliament has elected a speaker. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The opening session of the new Catalan assembly came amid looming questions about the role that fugitive and jailed politicians will play within the chamber’s separatist majority and the future regional government.

Ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium in October to dodge a Spanish judicial probe, wants to be reinstated to his old job.

But he faces arrest if he returns to Spain and legal hurdles if he wants to be voted in from abroad by the regional assembly.

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Mr Puigdemont’s seat and other empty seats in the parliament were adorned with a yellow ribbon today.

Four ex-Cabinet members sought by Spain’s Supreme Court are also in Brussels and three more elected lawmakers, including former Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras, have been jailed on provisional charges of rebellion or sedition.

Other former Cabinet members and parliamentary officials have been released from jail, but remain under investigation.

Spanish central authorities took direct control of Catalonia following the unilateral declaration of independence by separatist lawmakers on 27 October.

Under special powers, Spain fired Mr Puigdemont’s government, dissolved parliament and forced a new regional election on 21 December in the hope of halting the secession drive.

But contrary to Madrid’s hopes, separatists regained their slim parliamentary majority despite receiving less than half of the votes, although Ciutadans (Citizens) – a party that fiercely opposes independence – gained the most seats.

Several hundred people rallied near the parliament in central Barcelona, waving separatist flags as they watched the new house speaker’s election on a large outdoor screen.

Roger Torrent, a lawmaker with the left-republican ERC party, was elected to head the assembly’s governing committee that plays a key role in deciding what issues are debated and voted on in parliament.

“I want democracy and coexistence to be the foundations of this term,” Mr Torrent told fellow lawmakers from the speaker’s podium as he vowed to restore the self-government of Catalonia that is now in the hands of Madrid.

He also said, as speaker, he would defend the right of “all 135 voices in the chamber”, including those fugitive or in jail.

But Ciutadans leader Ines Arrimadas criticised the inaugural session, saying, “We start the legislature as we finished the last one, with a parliament speaker who is going to work only for independence.”

However, Ms Arrimadas pointed out things had changed in the parliament because the secessionist bloc now had fewer seats and votes and the independence stance had no international support.

“No matter what happens, we are going to be the guarantors for Catalonia not to make any independence declaration,” she said.

Although Ms Arrimadas’ party won the most seats – 36 – unlike the secessionist bloc, she lacks enough support to form a government.

Mr Torrent is tasked with choosing a candidate to try to form a government by the end of the month.

The two secessionist parties back the candidacy of Mr Puigdemont, but the former president would first have to get approval from Mr Torrent’s committee to vote and be elected from abroad.

Elsa Artadi, spokeswoman for Mr Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia), said the separatists were “working to explore all the tools in the parliament’s rules to see what will be the formula”.

Parliamentary legal advisers said in a report this week Mr Puigdemont could not be sworn in via video link or by having a proxy candidate as he must debate his candidacy in person in parliament.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has also vowed to maintain direct rule over Catalonia if the fugitive separatist politician tries to resume office from Brussels.

The parties that promote Catalan independence jointly hold 66 seats in Catalonia’s parliament and also have support from four pro-independence, anti-establishment lawmakers.

Polls consistently show that most Catalans want the right to decide the region’s future, but are evenly divided over splitting from Spain.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4644775.1516207390!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4644775.1516207390!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Catalonia's new parliament has elected a speaker. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Catalonia's new parliament has elected a speaker. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4644775.1516207390!/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/bayeux-tapestry-could-be-put-on-display-in-britain-1-4663672","id":"1.4663672","articleHeadline": "Bayeux Tapestry could be put on display in Britain","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516189092000 ,"articleLead": "

The Bayeux Tapestry could be put on display in Britain following reports French president Emmanuel Macron has agreed to allow the artwork to leave France for the first time in 950 years.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4663671.1516189088!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Bayeux Tapestry could be displayed in Britain after France agreed in principle to the historic artwork leaving the country for the first time in 950 years. Picture: AFP/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

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The tapestry, nearly 70 metres (230ft) long, depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England by William the Conqueror against his opponent Harold, Earl of Wessex, and culminates in the Battle of Hastings.

According to The Times, Mr Macron is expected to announce the loan of the artwork when he meets Theresa May at Sandhurst on Thursday.

The paper said the director of the Bayeux Museum in Normandy - where the tapestry is currently based - confirmed preparations were under way for the embroidery to be re-located, but said tests would need to be carried out to make sure it could be moved without being damaged.

The location for the display in Britain is not thought to have been decided and it could take five years before it reaches British shores.

The tapestry last left Normandy to be put on display in Paris in 1804 and briefly at the Louvre in 1944 before being returned to Bayeux.

The French President will hold talks with the Prime Minister at the UK-France summit, which a spokesman said would highlight cross-Channel co-operation on issues such as climate change, air pollution, cyber threats and the human genome.

Dr Alex Woolf, from the School of History at University of St Andrews, welcomed the news.

He said: “The Bayeux Tapestry was stitched by Englishwomen within a few years of the Norman conquest at the behest of either Queen Edith, the widow of Edward the Confessor, or more likely, William the Conqueror’s brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, who had been made Earl of Kent after the Conquest.

“It is far and away the largest and most famous example of English art surviving from the eleventh century and has been of unparalleled importance to historians and art historians of the period.

“To have it back in its country of origin, accessible to a far wider public, is a wonderful opportunity.”

Returning the Bayeux Tapestry to the UK could allow British historians to finally study the back of the work.

It is understood that PM Theresa May will discuss loaning the tapestry to the UK when she meets French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday.

The 230ft long creation depicts events leading up to the Norman conquest of England by William the Conqueror against Harold, Earl of Wessex, and culminates in the Battle of Hastings.

The famous arrow-in-the-eye scene apparently depicting the death of Harold at Hastings in 1066 is believed to have been added in Victorian times.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, scholar Maggie Kneen said until now, experts have only been provided with footage and photographs of the back of the piece.

She said: “When you get to know it as I have been able to do you realise what a treasure house of information it is about what was going on at the time.

“It was made in Canterbury, it’s more or less been proven by art historical means - it’s such a marvellous piece of news. It’s just going to be so important for children to learn from it.”

Although called a tapestry, it is an embroidery stitched in nine different panels.

The first record of the piece is in Bayeux Cathedral’s inventory of treasures in 1476, but it is believed it was stitched in England by nuns at St Augustine’s Abbey.

“The stitching is as beautiful on the back as it is on the front,” Ms Kneen said.

“From what I believe, the actual arrow was a Victorian addition. The actual arrow that was stitched on to the tapestry was added on later on.”

“Really to see the back of it rather than a CD of images would be tremendous for scholars.”

Levi Roach, medieval historian at the University of Exeter, said: “As Britain seeks to renegotiate its relationship with France, there could scarcely be a better symbol of the close yet fraught ties that have bound the two nations together.

“Probably made in England for William the Conqueror’s half-brother Odo of Bayeux, the Bayeux Tapestry - or more accurately embroidery - depicts events from a Norman perspective, but with real sympathy for the fate of the English.

“During the French Revolution it was confiscated for military use, for covering wagons, and was only saved from this fate by a local lawyer.”

The tapestry is currently on display in a darkened room in the Bayeux Museum in Normandy.

Napoleon put it on display in Paris in 1804 and it was briefly exhibited at the city’s Louvre in 1944.

The Times reported that tests would need to be carried out to make sure the tapestry could be moved without being damaged.

The location for the display in Britain is not thought to have been decided, but staff at the British Museum are hopeful it might be chosen.

Hartwig Fischer, director of the museum, said: “This would be a major loan, probably the most significant ever from France to the UK.

“It is a gesture of extraordinary generosity and proof of the deep ties that link our countries.

“The Bayeux Tapestry is of huge importance, as it recounts a crucial moment in British and French history, 1066.

“We would be honoured and delighted to display it at the British Museum, the UK’s most visited and internationally respected institution.

“Here it would be seen by the widest UK and international audience in the context of a museum of world cultures.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Charlotte Birch"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4663671.1516189088!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4663671.1516189088!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Bayeux Tapestry could be displayed in Britain after France agreed in principle to the historic artwork leaving the country for the first time in 950 years. Picture: AFP/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Bayeux Tapestry could be displayed in Britain after France agreed in principle to the historic artwork leaving the country for the first time in 950 years. Picture: AFP/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4663671.1516189088!/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/world/siblings-rescued-after-being-found-chained-to-beds-1-4662866","id":"1.4662866","articleHeadline": "Siblings rescued after being found chained to beds","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1516128448000 ,"articleLead": "

Thirteen siblings have been rescued by police after a number of them were found chained to beds in “foul-smelling surroundings”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4663133.1516128445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin with their children. Picture: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

A 17-year-old girl called police after escaping from her family’s California home where she and her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up - some so malnourished officers at first believed all were children even though seven are adults.

The girl, who was so small officers initially believed she was only 10, called 911 and was met by police who interviewed her and then went to the family home in Perris, about 70 miles south-east of Los Angeles.

They found several children shackled to their beds with chains and padlocks in the dark, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

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The children, ages two to 29, “appeared to be malnourished and very dirty”, according to officers who arrested the parents.

David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, each were held on 9 million dollar (£6.5 million) bail and could face charges including torture and child endangerment.

It was not immediately known if they had lawyers.

Neighbours said they were stunned by the arrests. Andrew Santillan, who lives around the corner, heard about the case from a friend.

“I had no idea this was going on,” he told the Press-Enterprise of Riverside. “I didn’t know there were kids in the house.”

Other neighbours described the family as intensely private.

A few years ago, Robert Perkins said he and his mother saw a few family members constructing a Nativity scene in the Turpins’ front yard. Mr Perkins said he complimented them on it.

“They didn’t say a word,” he said.

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The Turpins filed for bankruptcy in 2011, stating in court documents that they owed between 100,000 dollars (£72,500) and 500,000 dollars (£362,000), The New York Times reported.

At that time, Mr Turpin worked as an engineer at Northrop Grumman and earned 140,000 dollars (£100,000) annually and his wife was a homemaker, records showed.

Their bankruptcy lawyer, Ivan Trahan, told the Times he never met the children but the couple “spoke about them highly”.

“We remember them as a very nice couple,” Mr Trahan said, adding that Louise Turpin told him the family loved Disneyland and visited often.

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

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARGARET NEIGHBOUR"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4663133.1516128445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4663133.1516128445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin with their children. Picture: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "David Allen and Louise Anna Turpin with their children. Picture: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4663133.1516128445!/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/world/salmonella-risk-forces-french-firm-to-recall-12m-baby-milk-boxes-1-4661310","id":"1.4661310","articleHeadline": "Salmonella risk forces French firm to recall 12m baby milk boxes","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515960397000 ,"articleLead": "

The head of French dairy giant Lactalis has declared that a recall of baby milk products because of a salmonella scare has been extended to 83 countries.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661309.1515960394!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Quentin Guillemain, president of the victim's association of the Lactalis baby milk products contaminated with Salmonella. Lactalis will recall all the baby milk products manufactured in Craon factory. Picture: CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Lactalis president Emmanuel Besnier said more than 12 million boxes of infant milk products are now affected.

They represent all lots from the Lactalis factory in Craon, north-west France, where the salmonella bacteria was discovered last month.

The move comes after Mr Besnier met on Friday with France’s economy minister amid a bungled recall operation where the responsibility remained unclear.

Thirty-five babies have been diagnosed with salmonella in France along with one in Spain and a possible case in Greece.

Mr Besnier said all Lactalis products from its Craon factory were being recalled, regardless of the date of manufacture.

“We must take account of the scale of this operation – more than 12 million boxes are affected,” he said.

“They know that everything has to be removed from the shelves.”

The move comes after accusations that the company sought to hide the discovery of salmonella at the factory and bungled handling of the subsequent crisis, which Mr Besnier has denied.

The French authorities have also come under fire for their handling of the health scare.

Salmonella infections can be life-threatening.

The families of almost three dozen children who have fallen sick in France as a result of the contaminated baby milk have announced a raft of lawsuits.

A victims’ association said the reported cases was the tip of the iceberg and warned authorities that they were underestimating the number of cases.

After meeting, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said: “The aim of this radical step is simple; to avoid delays, problems in sorting batches and the risk of human error.”

He added: “I cannot guarantee that right now there isn’t a single tin of baby milk left on a shelf in a giant warehouse or in a pharmacy. I think this (further recall) is the strongest guarantee we can give.”

Traces of salmonella bacteria had been discovered on a broom and a tile near drying equipment at the Craon factory in August and again in November.

However, Mr Besnier said no general alarm had been raised “because we had no element showing our products were affected”.

The company is only obliged to flag up reports of contamination if its products are affected under European law.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "angus howarth"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4661309.1515960394!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661309.1515960394!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Quentin Guillemain, president of the victim's association of the Lactalis baby milk products contaminated with Salmonella. Lactalis will recall all the baby milk products manufactured in Craon factory. Picture: CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Quentin Guillemain, president of the victim's association of the Lactalis baby milk products contaminated with Salmonella. Lactalis will recall all the baby milk products manufactured in Craon factory. Picture: CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4661309.1515960394!/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/world/hawaii-missile-false-alarm-sparks-shock-anger-and-lots-of-apologies-1-4661308","id":"1.4661308","articleHeadline": "Hawaii missile false alarm sparks shock, anger and lots of apologies","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515960333000 ,"articleLead": "

Hawaii residents were left shaken by the second recent blunder in Hawaii’s planning for a possible North Korean nuclear attack.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661307.1515960328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A push alert that warned of an incoming ballistic missile to Hawaii and sent residents into a full-blown panic was a mistake, state emergency officials said. Picture: George F. Lee /The Star-Advertiser via AP"} ,"articleBody": "

Islanders received an emergency alert warning of an imminent strike, with the message sent to hundreds of thousands of mobile phones.

People waited for nearly 40 minutes.

Then came the second mobile alert; someone had hit the wrong button and there was no missile.

Some people abandoned cars on the highway and others gathered in the interiors of their homes to wait for what seemed like the inevitable blast that would cause widespread death and destruction.

The message sent statewide just after 6pm GMT on Saturday read: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency’s administrator, Vern Miyagi, said he took responsibility for the mistake.

He said officials would study the error to make sure it did not happen again.

Major General Joe Logan said a written report would be prepared. State lawmakers announced they would hold a hearing this Friday and Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai said on social media the panel would launch an investigation.

The backlash from lawmakers was swift.

Hawaii House Speaker Scott Saiki said the system residents had been told to rely on failed miserably.

“Clearly government agencies are not prepared and lack the capacity to deal with emergency situations,” he said in a statement.

Hawaii US Senator Brian Schatz tweeted the false alarm was “totally inexcusable”.

“There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process,” he wrote.

The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency tweeted there was no threat about 10 minutes after the initial alert, but that did not reach people who were not on the social media platform. A mobile alert informing of the false alarm did not reach cellphones until about 40 minutes later.

Many people said they were resigned to the fact there was little they could actually do if a missile was to be launched toward the remote island chain, especially with only about 15 minutes of warning time for a strike from North Korea.

Joseph Kira was home with his kids when the alert came. His wife was at the gym.

“My wife was going ballistic,” he said. “At that point, you just pray and find God.”

With the threat of missiles from North Korea on people’s minds, the state reintroduced the Cold War-era warning siren tests last month.

Even though the state says nearly 93 per cent of the islands’ 386 sirens worked properly during last month’s test, a dozen mistakenly played an ambulance siren.

The sirens were barely audible in the tourist hub of Waikiki, prompting officials to add more sirens and reposition the ones already in place.

Hawaii officials apologised repeatedly for Saturday’s error and said the alert was sent when someone hit the live alert button instead of an internal test button during a shift change.

“Today is a day that most of us will never forget,” said Hawaii Governor David Ige.

“A day when many in our community thought that our worst nightmare might actually be happening. A day when many frantically tried to think about the things that they would do if a ballistic missile launch would happen.”

The agency did not have a plan for a false alarm in place, officials said.

Mr Ige called the mistake unacceptable “I am sorry for the pain and confusion it caused,” he said. “I, too, am extremely upset about this.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CALEB JONES and AUDREY McAVOY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4661307.1515960328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661307.1515960328!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A push alert that warned of an incoming ballistic missile to Hawaii and sent residents into a full-blown panic was a mistake, state emergency officials said. Picture: George F. Lee /The Star-Advertiser via AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A push alert that warned of an incoming ballistic missile to Hawaii and sent residents into a full-blown panic was a mistake, state emergency officials said. Picture: George F. Lee /The Star-Advertiser via AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4661307.1515960328!/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/world/plane-skids-off-tarmac-and-dangles-off-a-cliff-in-turkey-1-4661166","id":"1.4661166","articleHeadline": "Plane skids off tarmac and dangles off a cliff in Turkey","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515941212000 ,"articleLead": "

A jet that skidded off a runway after landing in northern Turkey dangled precariously off a muddy cliff with its nose only a few feet from the sea.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661164.1515941203!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Pegasus Airlines Boing 737 passenger plane is seen struck in mud on an embankment, a day after skidding off the airstrip. Picture: OUTSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Hawaii residents left terrified after false missile alert

Images show the Boeing 737-800 on its belly and at an acute angle just above the water.

If it had stopped any further along the slope, the plane would have probably plunged into the Black Sea in the Turkish province of Trabzon.

The incident late on Saturday created panic among the 162 passengers and crew on board the Pegasus Airlines flight, but they were all evacuated safely.

Trabzon Governor Yucel Yavuz said on Sunday that investigators were trying to determine why the plane had left the runway.

The flight originated in the capital, Ankara.

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

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4661164.1515941203!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661164.1515941203!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A Pegasus Airlines Boing 737 passenger plane is seen struck in mud on an embankment, a day after skidding off the airstrip. Picture: OUTSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Pegasus Airlines Boing 737 passenger plane is seen struck in mud on an embankment, a day after skidding off the airstrip. Picture: OUTSTRINGER/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4661164.1515941203!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4661165.1515941208!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4661165.1515941208!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "All 162 passengers and crew on board were evacuated and safe early Sunday. The cause of the accident was not yet known. Picture: DHA-Depo Photos via AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "All 162 passengers and crew on board were evacuated and safe early Sunday. The cause of the accident was not yet known. Picture: DHA-Depo Photos via AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4661165.1515941208!/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/hawaii-residents-left-terrified-after-false-missile-alert-1-4660831","id":"1.4660831","articleHeadline": "Hawaii residents left terrified after false missile alert","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515873789000 ,"articleLead": "

A push alert that warned of an incoming ballistic missile to Hawaii and sent residents into a full-blown panic earlier was a mistake, state emergency officials said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660830.1515873786!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hawaii's largest island from the air. Picture: Wikimedia Commons."} ,"articleBody": "

The emergency alert, which was sent to mobile phones, said in all caps, “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill.”

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Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Richard Repoza said it was a false alarm and the agency is trying to determine what happened.

The alert caused a tizzy on the island and across social media.

Jamie Malapit, owner of a Honolulu hair salon, texted his clients that he was cancelling their appointments and was closing his shop for the day. He said he was still in bed when the phone started going off “like crazy.” He thought it was a tsunami warning at first.

READ MORE: Where the UK stands on North Korea nuclear tests

“I woke up and saw missile warning and thought no way. I thought `No, this is not happening today,”’ Malapit said.

He was still “a little freaked out” and feeling paranoid even after hearing it was a false alarm.

“I went from panic to semi panic and `Are we sure?”’ he said.

Tensions have already been high on the Island as rhetoric between Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-Un in recent months.

A White House Official said that President Trump had been briefed on the issues with the emergency alert.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4660830.1515873786!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660830.1515873786!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hawaii's largest island from the air. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hawaii's largest island from the air. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4660830.1515873786!/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/liam-neeson-sexual-harassment-scandal-has-caused-witch-hunt-1-4660741","id":"1.4660741","articleHeadline": "Liam Neeson: Sexual harassment scandal has caused witch hunt","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515868285000 ,"articleLead": "

Liam Neeson says that the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal has sparked “a bit of a witch hunt”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660740.1515868281!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Liam Neeson."} ,"articleBody": "

His comments came after screen legend Catherine Deneuve said that men are being unfairly targeted by sexual misconduct allegations and should be free to hit on women.

Asked about the issue, Neeson, 65, told The Late Late Show on RTE: “There is a bit of a witch hunt happening too.

“There’s some people, famous people, being suddenly accused of touching some girl’s knee or something and suddenly they’re being dropped from their programme....”

READ MORE: Anti-Harassment campaign in spotlight at the Golden Globes

He said that he was “on the fence” about allegations levelled at Dustin Hoffman.

“When you’re doing a play and you’re with your family, other actors and technicians, you do silly things. You do silly things and it becomes superstitious. If you don’t do it every night you think it’s going to jinx the show,” the Irish star said.

“I think Dustin Hoffman... I’m not saying I’ve done similar things like what he did. Apparently he touched a girl’s breast and stuff, but it’s childhood stuff.”

Last year, actress Anna Graham Hunter alleged Hoffman groped her and made inappropriate comments when she was a 17-year-old intern on the set of the 1985 TV movie Death Of A Salesman.

Playwright Cori Thomas accused him of exposing himself to her in a New York hotel room in 1980, when she was 16.

In response to Hunter’s allegations, Hoffman issued a statement saying the incident “is not reflective of who I am”.

On the Irish chat show, Neeson also defended US radio presenter and writer Garrison Keillor, who was dropped by Minnesota Public Radio last year over an allegation of “inappropriate behaviour”.

READ MORE: Would President Oprah bridge the gender gap?

Hollywood has been hit by a wave of sexual harassment and assault allegations following the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Neeson said of the #MeToo movement: “There is a movement happening and it’s healthy and it’s across every industry. The focus seems to be on Hollywood at the minute, but it’s across every industry.”

His comments sparked criticism on Twitter.

@DrMMcMahonEP wrote: “Disappointed by Liam Neeson’s comments. Reinforcing the idea that inappropriately touching women was the norm and therefore OK. The reference to a ‘witch hunt’ also irked me.”

@infinityonhi wrote: “I can’t believe this Liam Neeson was a national treasure and now....he’s over”

But @RealSarahFlynn wrote: “You mightn’t like it but at least he’s authentic and I don’t think calling elements of it a witch hunt is that terribly untrue.”

And @ToastHawk1 added: “Everybody is so quick to condemn Liam Neeson. It’s a radical way of thinking, but what if he’s right. Think of the Salem Witch Trials and the Red Scare. People were falsely accused for others’ personal gain. We can’t instantly shun someone when they’ve only been accused.”

Neeson’s comments came after stars wore black at the Golden Globes to protest against sexual misconduct in Hollywood.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4660740.1515868281!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660740.1515868281!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Liam Neeson.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Liam Neeson.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4660740.1515868281!/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-some-fake-news-about-donald-trump-1-4660220","id":"1.4660220","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: Some ‘fake’ news about Donald Trump","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515823200000 ,"articleLead": "

I had that Donald Trump in the front of my cab the other day. “US embassy please,” I said, but he turned and said in an accent part Mockney, part Queens: “Saff of the river? No chance, mate, I ain’t going to that s***hole”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660219.1515791057!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "US President Donald Trump. Picture: AP"} ,"articleBody": "

But, as he sped off and I hurriedly closed the door, he told me not to worry, he’d let me off on Lambeth Bridge just because he was “the best cabbie in the world”. “Look at the magazine, see, even Time agrees,” he said.

Sure enough, there was a framed Time cover story glued to the underside of one of those fold-down seats black cabs have. “Trump is hitting on all fronts … even TV!” it proclaimed.

“You were on TV?” I asked. “Get smart!” he snapped back. “I’m the biggest world’s biggest reality TV star … everybody says so.”

“Isn’t Vauxhall Bridge closer?” I asked, but he confidently assured me no one knew “the Knowledge” like he did. “I’m actually a genius.”

A hint of scepticism flicked across my face.

“A very stable genius!” he roared, swerving suddenly to avoid a rapidly approaching lamppost on the pavement.

At the new US embassy, I approached the front desk. “Hello, I’ve come to protest.”

READ MORE: Donald Trump ‘will not visit UK if it leads to large demos’

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4660219.1515791057!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4660219.1515791057!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "US President Donald Trump. Picture: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "US President Donald Trump. Picture: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4660219.1515791057!/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-the-issue-that-s-uniting-the-tories-and-the-snp-1-4659404","id":"1.4659404","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: The issue that’s uniting the Tories and the SNP","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515740400000 ,"articleLead": "

We have always had an instinctive idea that there was something slightly unpleasant about plastic. One definition of the word in Chambers dictionary is “artificial, lacking genuine substance”, which has a certain irony given its ability to wreak havoc in the natural world for millennia.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4658698.1515782818!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Scottish Government plans to ban plastic-stemmed cotton buds"} ,"articleBody": "

Plastic waste has reached almost every corner of the world’s oceans, with some predicting there could be more of the stuff than fish in the sea by the middle of the century. Its effects have been fatal for countless marine animals which have been choked, starved, poisoned and entangled. While it may be nasty, it is also cheap, which has helped make plastic an almost inescapable part of modern life, used to produce everything from bottles and straws to suntan cream and make-up to fleeces and ‘technical’ sports clothes.

READ MORE: Theresa May pledges to eliminate avoidable plastic waste within 25 years

But the tide of political opinion is shifting – and its new direction is crystal clear.

Yesterday Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham announced plans to ban plastic cotton buds in a move that environmentalists said would cut this country’s contribution to marine plastic pollution in half. And Theresa May revealed the UK Government would work to end all avoidable plastic litter by 2042, saying plastic waste was “one of the great environmental scourges of our time”. The only real criticism she faced was for not taking tougher, more urgent action.

This comes after the United Nations decided to “declare war” on ocean plastic last year with an “unprecedented global campaign to eliminate sources of marine litter – microplastics in cosmetics and the excessive, wasteful usage of single-use plastic – by the year 2022”.

READ MORE: Scotland’s bid to ban plastic-stemmed cotton buds

As useful as plastic can be, there is little doubt we could easily do without many of the things we have made with it. Few people have a genuine need for a straw; toothbrushes can be made of wood – they did, after all, exist before plastic was invented. Clothing is a major, but often unrecognised, source of plastic pollution as synthetic microfibres are small enough to escape from washing machines, through sewage works, and into the sea. But, as Brian Wilson points out in his column today, people are starting to put greater value on natural materials like Harris Tweed.

We are, it seems, finally realising the importance of that word “natural” and embarking on what may be a long process of creating a less artificial world.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4658698.1515782818!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4658698.1515782818!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Scottish Government plans to ban plastic-stemmed cotton buds","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Scottish Government plans to ban plastic-stemmed cotton buds","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4658698.1515782818!/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/meryl-streep-says-oprah-winfrey-has-the-qualities-to-become-us-president-1-4659430","id":"1.4659430","articleHeadline": "Meryl Streep says Oprah Winfrey has the ‘qualities’ to become US president","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515704939000 ,"articleLead": "

Meryl Streep has declared Oprah Winfrey “sets the bar pretty high” and has displayed the qualities needed by a presidential candidate.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4659429.1515704936!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

The American actress said the talk show host, who has sparked speculation she could run for US president following her speech about equality at the Golden Globes, could help inspire other potential candidates.

Streep, 68, told a press conference for her film The Post: “I think Oprah showed what a presidential candidate should talk like, what language and passion and principle they should have, what rhetoric can rouse in people and how important it is to people to feel that and get that encouragement.

“That’s the voice of a leader. Whether she’s leading us to the candidate we need or whether she is the candidate, she sets the bar pretty high.”

Streep and her The Post co-star Tom Hanks have already shared their backing of Winfrey, 63, to succeed Donald Trump in the White House.

Speaking to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Streep praised Winfrey’s business acumen, saying: “She’s run a major corporation that didn’t go bankrupt three of four or however many times.

“Yeah, I think she’s more than qualified. Intellectually she’s qualified. Her energy, her stamina, her passion. I think she’s more than qualified.”

Hanks joked he would take the role of Winfrey’s vice-president, adding: “I just hope President Winfrey gives me occasional rides on Air Force One.”

Asked about the future of the Time’s Up campaign – a movement against sexual harassment – Streep told the press conference it was a “global seismic change that is happening”.

She added: “Somebody said it’s like an airplane being put together as we are going down the runway to take off.

“It’s a growing thing and most heartening is that it doesn’t feel like a one-off. It hasn’t gone away and I don’t think it will.

“I don’t think we will go backwards.”

Streep was among a large number of stars dressing in black at Sunday’s Golden Globes to support the Time’s Up initiative and she also took activist Ai-jen Poo to the ceremony as her guest.

Streep stars as the former publisher of The Washington Post Katharine Graham opposite Hanks as its editor Ben Bradlee in Steven Spielberg’s new film The Post, about the newspaper’s publishing of the Pentagon Papers in 1971.

The Post is released in UK cinemas tomorrow week.

Hollywood star James Franco facing more sexual behaviour allegations

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4659429.1515704936!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4659429.1515704936!/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/1.4659429.1515704936!/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/world/ecuador-grants-nationality-to-wikileaks-founder-julian-assange-1-4659415","id":"1.4659415","articleHeadline": "Ecuador grants nationality to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515702675000 ,"articleLead": "

Ecuador has confirmed it has granted citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4659414.1515702673!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Wikileaks founder Julian Assange raises his fist prior to addressing the media on the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in London in May last year. Picture: Justin Tallis"} ,"articleBody": "

Foreign affairs minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa confirmed the government of Ecuador granted “naturalisation” to Mr Assange last December after he made a request in September.

Mr Assange, 46, has been living in the London embassy of the South American country for five-and-a-half years after being granted political asylum as he fought sex-related claims in Sweden.

The Ecuadorian government said earlier this week that it was seeking mediation to resolve the impasse - while Mr Assange posted a picture of himself on Twitter wearing an Ecuadorian football shirt on Wednesday.

The foreign minister said: “Everything is being done in accordance with the law. We regret the distortion of the facts, we are working to protect the country and the interests of Ecuador.”

She added that action has been taken “in defence of the guarantee of human rights and in strict adherence to the law, the constitution and international instruments”.

An official said the South American country “maintains with the United Kingdom the best bilateral relations and co-operation”.

The minister said other ways of solving the impasse are being explored, in dialogue with the UK, as a possible mediation “that can facilitate a just, definitive and dignified solution for all the parties involved, within the framework of international law”.

The Foreign Office said on Wednesday it turned down a request from the Ecuadorian government to grant Mr Assange diplomatic status.

An FCO spokesman said: “Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4659414.1515702673!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4659414.1515702673!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Wikileaks founder Julian Assange raises his fist prior to addressing the media on the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in London in May last year. Picture: Justin Tallis","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Wikileaks founder Julian Assange raises his fist prior to addressing the media on the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in London in May last year. Picture: Justin Tallis","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4659414.1515702673!/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/hollywood-star-james-franco-facing-more-sexual-behaviour-allegations-1-4659389","id":"1.4659389","articleHeadline": "Hollywood star James Franco facing more sexual behaviour allegations","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515699366000 ,"articleLead": "

James Franco is facing further claims of inappropriate sexual behaviour.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4659388.1515699360!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "James Franco, left, is facing fresh sexual behaviour allegations following his Golden Globes win earlier this week"} ,"articleBody": "

The Spier-Man actor, 39, had previously said that allegations made on social media after his Golden Globes win were “not accurate”.

Franco was earlier this week awarded a Golden Globes trophy for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his role in The Disaster Artist.

The Los Angeles Times reported that five women, including four who studied under Franco, accused him of sexually inappropriate behaviour.

After meeting at Playhouse West in North Hollywood, two former student actresses said he became hostile and stormed off when they did not volunteer to remove their clothes during a scene at a strip club, the paper said.

Another student, Sarah Tither-Kaplan, 26, alleged that Franco removed protective guards covering other actresses’ vaginas while stimulating oral sex on them during filming of The Long Home in May 2015.

Franco’s lawyer Michael Plonsker told the Times “the allegations about the protective guards are not accurate”.

Cynthia Huffman, the film’s casting director, said: “All actresses were aware of the nudity scenes ahead of time. I personally checked on all the actresses constantly to make sure they were OK and comfortable.

“I did not receive any complaints.

“I feel horrible that anyone was made to feel uncomfortable but we went to great lengths to make sure all the actresses in the nude scenes felt comfortable and safe.”

Actress Violet Paley, 23, told the paper that during a consensual relationship with Franco, he pressured her into performing oral sex while they were in a car.

Franco told The Late Show With Stephen Colbert this week: “The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate, but I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice because they didn’t have a voice for so long.

“So, I don’t want to shut them down in any way. It’s, I think, a good thing and I support it.”

Franco apologised in 2014 after flirting with Briton Lucy Clode. She was 17 when he flirted with her online after they met outside a Broadway theatre in New York.

He said he had used “bad judgment” and had “learned my lesson”.

Anti-harassment campaign in the spotlight at Golden Globes

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4659388.1515699360!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4659388.1515699360!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "James Franco, left, is facing fresh sexual behaviour allegations following his Golden Globes win earlier this week","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "James Franco, left, is facing fresh sexual behaviour allegations following his Golden Globes win earlier this week","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4659388.1515699360!/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/world/japanese-striker-50-set-for-33rd-season-as-a-player-1-4658865","id":"1.4658865","articleHeadline": "Japanese striker, 50, set for 33rd season as a player","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515677075000 ,"articleLead": "

Fifty-year-old former Japan forward Kazuyoshi Miura is set for a 33rd season as a player.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4658864.1515677073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kazuyoshi Miura in action. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Lazio track Celtic defender | Hibs turn down bids | Hearts eye Dutch striker

Miura, who won 89 senior national team caps, has been given a contract for 2018 by second-tier club Yokohama FC.

The club announced the news on their website on Thursday.

Miura joined Yokohama in 2005 at the age of 38, having earlier in his career played for Italian side Genoa and Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb.

He moved to Brazil as a 15-year-old and signed his first professional contract with Santos.

He played in the inaugural J.League season in 1993 for Verdy Kawasaki when he beat foreign imports Gary Lineker and Zico to the Most Valuable Player of the season prize.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MASSIMO MARZOCCHI"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4658864.1515677073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4658864.1515677073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kazuyoshi Miura in action. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kazuyoshi Miura in action. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4658864.1515677073!/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/armed-robbers-steal-millions-worth-of-jewels-in-ritz-hotel-raid-in-paris-1-4658354","id":"1.4658354","articleHeadline": "Armed robbers steal millions worth of jewels in Ritz Hotel raid in Paris","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515618308000 ,"articleLead": "

Armed robbers have carried out a daring raid at the luxury Ritz Hotel in Paris, seizing millions worth of jewels.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4658353.1515618305!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The famous Ritz Hotel in Paris"} ,"articleBody": "

French police said five thieves, some of them armed, have stolen goods from a jewellery shop worth “an important sum”.

The French TV station BFM reported that £4.19 million worth of jewels had been taken.

It was not clear whether any of the loot has been recovered.

The men armed with axes smashed a window at the shop inside the hotel about 6pm GMT.

No-one was injured in the heist. Three robbers have been arrested, with the other two escaping.

The luxurious five-star Ritz is located in Place Vendôme, in Paris’ historical first district on the right bank of the river Seine. The ministry of justice lies next door.

The hotel includes a gallery shopping area near its rear entrance, which it says hosts five shops and 95 “showcases”, selling jewellery, watches and luxury clothing.

READ MORE: Ayesha Hazarika: Would President Winfrey save us from gender inequality?

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4658353.1515618305!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4658353.1515618305!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The famous Ritz Hotel in Paris","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The famous Ritz Hotel in Paris","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4658353.1515618305!/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/ayesha-hazarika-would-president-winfrey-save-us-from-gender-inequality-1-4657383","id":"1.4657383","articleHeadline": "Ayesha Hazarika: Would President Winfrey save us from gender inequality?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515564000000 ,"articleLead": "

As usual, on Monday we woke up to headlines dominated by a power hungry American reality television star, but thankfully it wasn’t the Donald.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4657382.1515525818!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Oprah Winfrey is facing calls to run for the US presidency (Picture: Invision/AP)"} ,"articleBody": "

Oprah Winfrey absolutely killed it at the Golden Globes when she received the Cecil B DeMille award on Sunday night. She electrified the audience and the world with a speech which beamed with lyrical beauty, intelligence, values, history and hope. She nailed every public speaking lesson there is to learn. I mean, it wasn’t as good as yelling “I am a stable genius” and I’m not sure how big her button is, but you can’t have it all.

After we watched her speech on our tablets or phones, we all took a wee moment to dare to dream “Hello Ms President” and, before you knew it, #Oprah2020 was trending. Now, that would make ­America great again. Winfrey stole the show at the Golden Globes in terms of stardust but the big talking point was the fact that most of the ­attendees chose to wear black to demonstrate solidarity with ­women who have been harassed in the film industry and other walks of life and to highlight the successor to the highly successful #MeToo ­campaign called #Timesup.

I know. There’s a lot of hashtags going on. But the gesture worked. It reminded the world that the issue hasn’t gone away and, given that the Golden Globes were the first major glossy awards ceremony since the Weinstein allegations exploded, it would have been odd and wrong to have not marked the scandal in some way. And everyone looks good in black, so all the stylists were ­happy. Even I donned a black dress on my regular CNN talk show in ­solidarity – although everything else needed a visit to the dry cleaner.

READ MORE: Donald Trump wants to ‘Trumpalise’ the Queen during UK visit

But, the gesture worked, because commentators and journalists were talking about harassment and ­gender equality again. And you can never talk about this issue too much. Star after star fell over themselves to rush to a ­camera gushing about #Timesup and declared that a new dawn had ­broken for women.

But has it really? I don’t feel so sure. I am glad the issue was raised. But a fashion statement which becomes a useful and important PR exercise feels small when you look at what’s happening in real life. Women are still paid less than men. We know that from Carrie Gracie’s resignation as China editor of the BBC. She discovered that she was being paid less than men doing exactly the same job. In fact, you can argue that because China is so important and demanding – given the language and political climate – she should be paid a bit more than, let’s say, the US editor.

The Brussels editor – quite a big gig right now with that small issue called Brexit – is also paid way less than her male colleagues.

READ MORE: BBC’s China editor resigns in gender pay row

This ­completely lances the nonsense argument from people who refuse to believe unequal pay exists, that men and women get paid the same for doing the same work. They don’t. Even in one of the most recognised, trusted brands on Earth. We also have a slew of companies starting to report on gender pay.

Again, a lot of critics of equal pay whinge that these figures are meaningless because they are an ­average and if you want the truth it’s because all the men are at the top of the ­company and all the women are well below. Well, that’s okay is it?

It’s acceptable in 2017 to run ­organisations and companies – like lifestyle store Olvier Bonas, many of whose customers are mainly female – where the chaps tend to have have the well-paid jobs in ‘‘ead office’ and the girls work on the shop floor. Clearly the message is: Women! Know Your Place – and it ain’t on a board or in senior management.

That’s why pay transparency ­matters, because it tells you where the pay and the power lies. Only ­having white men in positions of power not only excludes valuable and vital talent but can create a ­culture where ­sexual harassment and bullying occurs. Power is a huge part of the story and women still don’t have enough of it.

Just look at our Prime Minister – although that is largely her own fault, it pains me to say. This week’s reshuffle – or kerfuffle – is proving to be as painful as a bikini wax but is taking much, much longer. It was meant to be the girl-power reshuffle designed to boost women into the Cabinet and yet it’s more a case of Girls Not Allowed. All the useless men got to stay in post, including Boris Johnson who has been madly disloyal and has been proved to be an actual international liability. Yet it’s poor Justine Greening, the former Education Secretary, who got the boot for ­having the temerity to ­challenge May at Cabinet meetings and halting her absurd plans to bring back ­grammar schools.

I may not have always agreed with Greening but she’s a decent woman, who recently came out, and ­probably did more to appeal to young people than the rest of the Cabinet put together.

The fact that she lost her job while the dangerous disaster of a Health Secretary got to keep his – and bagged a promotion – tells you ­everything you need to know about May’s sense of fairness and how absolutely useless she is.

Apparently, Jeremy Hunt just stood his ground and refused to go. Next time your boss calls you in to sack you, just refuse to leave without a bigger title … simples! One rule for the chaps and all that. At the time of writing this, the post of ­Women and Equality was still vacant. One can only assume that now that Toby Young has resigned from the board of the university regulator, his appointment will be imminent.

The way things are going for May right now, you really couldn’t make it up. But thank goodness he did resign. After all the tweets about young women’s breasts and porn, could you imagine him at Freshers’ Week? Gross.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ayesha Hazarika"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4657382.1515525818!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4657382.1515525818!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Oprah Winfrey is facing calls to run for the US presidency (Picture: Invision/AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Oprah Winfrey is facing calls to run for the US presidency (Picture: Invision/AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4657382.1515525818!/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/ivanka-trump-mocked-for-supporting-oprah-winfrey-s-golden-globes-speech-1-4657101","id":"1.4657101","articleHeadline": "Ivanka Trump mocked for supporting Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515510253000 ,"articleLead": "

Ivanka Trump has been mocked for backing Oprah Winfrey’s “inspiring” speech praising women for speaking out against sexual harassment.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4657100.1515510248!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

Winfrey’s impassioned call for “a brighter morning even in our darkest nights” at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday had Democratic Party activists buzzing about the media superstar and the 2020 presidential race.

Republican President Donald Trump’s daughter endorsed her message – if not a political future – in a tweet saying: “Just saw @Oprah’s empowering and inspiring speech at last night’s #GoldenGlobes. Let’s all come together, women & men, & say #TIMESUP! #UNITED.”

The backlash on Twitter was swift.

Actress Alyssa Milano and others noted that Ms Trump’s father had been accused by several women of sexual harassment and was recorded bragging about sexual assault.

Milano tweeted: “Great! You can make a lofty donation to the Time’s Up Legal Defence Fund that is available to support your father’s accusers.”

For Democrats in early voting states, and perhaps for a public that largely disapproves of Mr Trump’s performance, the notion of a popular media figure as a presidential candidate is not as strange as it once seemed, given the New York real estate mogul and reality TV star now in the White House.

“Look, it’s ridiculous – and I get that,” Barack Obama’s 2012 Iowa campaign director Brad Anderson said. “At the same time, politics is ridiculous right now.”

Winfrey’s speech as she accepted the Cecil B DeMille lifetime achievement award touched on her humble upbringing and childhood wonder at civil rights heroes.

But it was her exhortation of the legions of women who have called out sexual harassers – and her dream of a day “when nobody has to say ‘me too’ again” – that got some political operatives, in early voting states such as Iowa and New Hampshire, thinking she might be just what the Democrats need.

READ MORE: Donald Trump wants to ‘Trumpalise’ the Queen during UK visit

Liz Purdy, who led Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2008 New Hampshire presidential primary campaign, said: “I think we need more role models like her that are speaking to young women and trying to restore some hope.

“The election of Donald Trump was a devastating setback for little girls.”

Mr Trump’s job approval rating was just 32 per cent last month, according to an Associated Press-NORC poll.

He is the least popular first-year president on record and has also been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, although he has vehemently denied the allegations.

Winfrey, in September and October, publicly dismissed the notion of seeking the nation’s highest office, though she noted Mr Trump’s victory made her rethink the requirements of the office.

Winfrey’s longtime partner, Stedman Graham, told the Los Angeles Times that “it’s up to the people” whether she will be president, adding: “She would absolutely do it.”

Winfrey, 64, has become a cultural phenomenon over the past 30-plus years. She was born into a poor home in Mississippi, but broke through as a television news and talk show personality in the 1980s.

Over 30 years, she became the face of television talk shows, starred and produced feature films and began her own network.

Mr Trump himself has lavished praise on her over the years, including in 2015 when he said he would consider her as a running mate on his Republican ticket.

“I like Oprah,” he told ABC News in June 2015. “I think Oprah would be great. I’d love to have Oprah. I think we’d win easily, actually.”

It echoed comments Mr Trump made in 1999 when he was weighing a presidential candidacy in the Reform Party.

“If she’d do it, she’d be fantastic. I mean, she’s popular, she’s brilliant, she’s a wonderful woman,” Mr Trump told CNN’s Larry King.

Late-night show host Jimmy Kimmel said at a press conference yesterday he thought Winfrey’s speech was “preaching to the choir” with her Hollywood audience.

“That said, given the choice between Oprah and our current president, I’m on the bus with Oprah travelling the country encouraging people to sign up and vote,” he said.

READ MORE: Anti-harassment campaign in the spotlight at Golden Globes

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4657100.1515510248!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4657100.1515510248!/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/1.4657100.1515510248!/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/lifestyle/culture/film/anti-harassment-campaign-in-the-spotlight-at-golden-globes-1-4656511","id":"1.4656511","articleHeadline": "Anti-harassment campaign in the spotlight at Golden Globes","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515443263000 ,"articleLead": "

The Golden Globes, one of the entertainment industry’s flagship award ceremonies, was dominated by the sexual harassment scandal that continues to rock Hollywood, with some of the world’s leading actresses and media figures speaking out about abuse and gender equality.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4656510.1515443246!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Laura Dern, from left, Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley pose in the press room with the award for best television limited series or motion picture made for television for "Big Little Lies" at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)"} ,"articleBody": "

The ceremony, ordinarily dominated by celebrations of the most successful film and television productions of the past year, served instead as a platform for stars to condemn abuse and urge women who have suffered as a result to speak out.

The politically-charged 75th annual ceremony – the first major Hollywood awards since the scandal broke last year – saw Oprah Winfrey, the veteran talk show host, TV executive, actress and film producer, receiving a standing ovation after her a speech on receiving the Cecil B DeMille trophy for outstanding contributions to entertainment.

She said: “Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have … For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up!”

She added: “I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon!”

The resonance of the speech saw some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including Meryl Streep, encourage Winfrey to consider running for the presidency.

It was the most rousing moment of a ceremony characterised by widespread support for campaigns Me Too and Time’s Up, which are focused on bringing about change for women not only in the entertainment industry but in all levels of occupations around the world.

Laura Dern, winner of a best supporting actress award for her role in the drama series Big Little Lies, who said: “Many of us were taught not to tattle.

“It was a culture of silencing, and that was normalised... May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new North Star.”

Nicole Kidman won the first award of the night for her role as Celeste Wright, a victim of domestic violence, in the same series.

The Oscar-winning Australian star dedicated her win to her castmates and family, citing the “power of women”. She said her mother was an advocate for the women’s movement when she was growing up.

“My achievements are her achievements,” Kidman added. “This character that I played represents something that is the centre of our conversation right now: abuse. I do believe, and I hope, we can elicit change through the stories we tell and the way we tell them.”

Barbra Streisand, who presented an award, told of her shock that she remained the only woman to win the Golden Globes’ best director award, with Yentl in 1984.

Natalie Portman underlined the issue when reading aloud the nominations for the best director gong, announcing the “all-male” nominees.

Actresses attending the event wore black gowns as a mark of solidarity with victims of sexual assault and harassment, while many men on the red carpet wore black shirts or pin badges promoting the cause of Time’s Up.

Despite the significance of the issue, the evening was shot through with moments of levity, thanks in large part to host Seth Meyers, who opened the occasion by remarking: “Good evening ladies and remaining gentlemen.”

Elsewhere, the Beverly Hills ceremony – a bellwether for what films are likely Oscar contenders – saw success for Gary Oldman, Ewan McGregor, Saoirse Ronan and Martin McDonagh.

Oldman scored the best actor in a drama prize for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, while McGregor won the best actor in a limited TV series for playing twins in Fargo. Irish actress Saoirse Ronan won best actress in a comedy film for Lady Bird, which was named best comedy film.

British-Irish playwright McDonagh won the best screenplay prize for his film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which was also named best drama film, one of five awards it secured.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARTYN McLAUGHLIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4656510.1515443246!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4656510.1515443246!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Laura Dern, from left, Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley pose in the press room with the award for best television limited series or motion picture made for television for "Big Little Lies" at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Laura Dern, from left, Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley pose in the press room with the award for best television limited series or motion picture made for television for "Big Little Lies" at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4656510.1515443246!/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/main-players/firefighters-respond-to-blaze-at-trump-tower-1-4656221","id":"1.4656221","articleHeadline": "Firefighters respond to blaze at Trump Tower","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1515422924000 ,"articleLead": "

Smoke has dwindled on the roof of Trump Tower in New York City after reports of a fire.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4656218.1515422908!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A blaze was reported on the top floor of the building at 7am local time"} ,"articleBody": "

The Fire Department of New York said it was called there at around 7am (noon GMT) after the blaze was reported on the top floor.

Smoke billowed from one corner of the high-rise for a while before most of it dissipated.

About 84 firefighters attended the scene initially. A few remained on the roof about an hour later.

There was no immediate report of injuries, or what caused the incident.

The building houses luxury apartments and a number of businesses.

READ MORE: Could Donald Trump be on his way out, asks Lesley Riddoch

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS HOWARTH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4656218.1515422908!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4656218.1515422908!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A blaze was reported on the top floor of the building at 7am local time","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A blaze was reported on the top floor of the building at 7am local time","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4656218.1515422908!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}