{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"world","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/world/donald-trump-and-nancy-pelosi-s-tit-for-tat-antics-as-shutdown-continues-1-4859080","id":"1.4859080","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi’s tit-for-tat antics as shutdown continues","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1547877640000 ,"articleLead": "

She imperilled his State of the Union address. He denied her a plane to visit troops abroad.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4859079.1547840502!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nancy Pelosi was scheduled to visit US troops in warzones. Picture: Alex Wong/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The shutdown battle between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is playing out as a surreal game of constitutional brinkmanship, with both flexing political powers from opposite ends of Pennsylvania Avenue as the negotiations to end the monthlong partial US government shutdown remain stalled.

In dramatic fashion, Trump issued a letter to Pelosi, just before she and other lawmakers were set to depart on the previously undisclosed trip to Afghanistan and Brussels. Trump belittled the trip as a “public relations event” – even though he had just made a similar warzone stop – and said it would be best if Pelosi remained in Washington to negotiate to reopen the government.

“Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative,” wrote Trump, who had been smarting since Pelosi, the day before, called on him to postpone his State of the Union address on 29 January due to the shutdown.

Denying military aircraft to a senior politician – let alone the speaker, who is second in line to the White House, travelling to a combat region – is very rare.

The political tit-for-tat between Trump and Pelosi laid bare how the government-wide crisis has devolved into an intensely pointed clash between two leaders determined to prevail. It took place as hundreds of thousands of federal workers go without pay and Washington’s routine protocols – a president’s speech to Congress, a politician’s official trip – became collateral damage.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said the speaker planned to travel to Afghanistan and Brussels to thank service members and obtain briefings on national security and intelligence “from those on the front lines.”

Trump’s move was the latest example of his extraordinary willingness to tether US government resources to his political needs. He has publicly urged the justice department to investigate political opponents and threatened to cut disaster aid to Puerto Rico amid a spat with the island territory’s leaders.

For security reasons, Pelosi would normally make such a trip on a military aircraft supplied by the Pentagon. According to a defence official, Pelosi did request defence department support for overseas travel and it was initially approved. The official said the president does have the authority to cancel the use of military aircraft.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump wanted Pelosi to stay in Washington before Tuesday, a deadline to prepare the next round of paychecks for federal workers. “We want to keep her in Washington,” Sanders said. “The president wants her here to negotiate.”

Trump was taken by surprise by Pelosi’s move to postpone his address and told one adviser it was the sort of disruptive move he would make himself, according to one Republican.While he maintained a public silence, Trump reiterated fears that he was being outmaneuvered in the public eye.

Trump was delighted at the idea of cancelling Pelosi’s trip, believing the focus on the resources needed would highlight her hypocrisy for cancelling his speech, according to the Republican source.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4859079.1547840502!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4859079.1547840502!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nancy Pelosi was scheduled to visit US troops in warzones. Picture: Alex Wong/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nancy Pelosi was scheduled to visit US troops in warzones. Picture: Alex Wong/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4859079.1547840502!/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/the-country-with-more-reasons-to-quit-eu-than-uk-which-is-staying-paris-gourtsoyannis-1-4858332","id":"1.4858332","articleHeadline": "The country with more reasons to quit EU than UK which is staying – Paris Gourtsoyannis","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1547791200000 ,"articleLead": "

Theresa May wasn’t the only European leader sweating a confidence vote on Wednesday night. In fact, her margin of victory (52-48 in percentage terms, believe it or not) was comfortable compared to the result in Athens, writes Paris Gourtsoyannis

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4858331.1547750879!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Pro-European Union protesters take part in a rally in front of the Greek parliament. Picture: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Alexis Tsipras avoided a snap election by winning the support of 151 MPs in the 300-seat Greek parliament. His coalition partners the Independent Greeks pulled out over a treaty resolving the decades-old row with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia about the name the country shares with a region of northern Greece, and Tsipras’ minority government only survived with the backing of a handful of MPs from other parties. That’s why May clings to the DUP.

READ MORE: Brexit: Theresa May meets other parties as Labour insists she rule out no-deal

While Tsipras will now stay on until scheduled elections in October, his left-wing Syriza party looks set to be ousted by the centre right New Democracy. It will close a circle a decade in the drawing, reversing the first big political shock of the Great Recession – a series that includes Brexit.

It’s worth reflecting on what happened in Greece in the intervening years. The most left-wing government in modern Greek history grudgingly accepted the punishing bailout from the EU that kept the country in the euro. Public pain has bought a balanced budget, at the cost of a quarter of Greece’s economy. Swastikas returned to the streets, this time carried by Greeks. Tsipras, who angrily condemned Angela Merkel before his election, warmly welcomed her to Athens this month. In all that time, despite a readiness four years ago to tumble out of the European currency, there has never been a plurality of opinion in favour of leaving the EU.

Greek anger was tempered by the knowledge that their country had no unbroken tradition of parliamentary democracy before joining the EU. How much has changed since 1981 was proven when the leader of the Independent Greeks resigned as defence secretary: the head of the armed forces was named as an emergency appointment. Half a century ago, his predecessors were imprisoning Tsipras’ political forefathers on a barren leper colony in the Aegean.

READ MORE: Brian Wilson: No-deal Brexit optimists should look to Greece

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4858331.1547750879!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4858331.1547750879!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Pro-European Union protesters take part in a rally in front of the Greek parliament. Picture: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Pro-European Union protesters take part in a rally in front of the Greek parliament. Picture: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4858331.1547750879!/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/cruise-ships-are-getting-bigger-and-fancier-but-i-just-don-t-like-them-jim-duffy-1-4858336","id":"1.4858336","articleHeadline": "Cruise ships are getting bigger and fancier, but I just don’t like them – Jim Duffy","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1547791200000 ,"articleLead": "

For a moment, Jim Duffy contemplates booking a cruise, then remembers he can’t imagine anything worse.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4858335.1547750890!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Oasis of the Seas is returning to port early after an outbreak of norovirus (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

Never say never! But you will not get me on a cruise ship in month of Sundays. I could not imagine anything worse than spending seven days confined on a floating tenement being carried from port to port, while I am nudged into recreational activity with my new shipmates, one of whom may be carrying the lurgy.

Despite this, in a week when the First Minister would probably love to escape for a quiet, anonymous cruise where the chances of her bumping into her old boss are slim to none, I almost considered booking a cruise holiday.

Well, I considered the crazy notion for five minutes then swiftly moved on once I had read, yet again, about another cruise-liner having to come back to port early. It seems that the Royal Caribbean ship Oasis of the Seas is not living up to its name. The liner is coming home early after more than 270 crew and passengers fell ill.

It seems a norovirus bug has incapacitated so many that people have been confined to their rooms. Fair play to Royal Caribbean though who have stated that all passengers will receive full refunds. A generous gesture that others in the travel industry could do well tocopy. But, I still can’t get my head around why anyone would want to be confined on a floating holiday camp for long periods of time, particularly as it costs a small fortune.

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

The whole concept of taking a large block of flats, turning it on its side, then attaching it to a ship’s hull confuses me somewhat. If you have a look at the big cruise ships these days, they are mammoth beasts. Mini horizontal skyscrapers – planted on several thousand tonnes of steel, bobbing up and down in the ocean – feel a bit daunting to me. Rows and rows of windows stacked up on floor upon floor of cabin levels. Trying to find your room on one of these things after a night in the bar must be like spinning a Rubik’s Cube and hoping for the one side to come out yellow. Add to this the complexity of stairwells, lifts and galleries and it seems it will take passengers a week just get to grips with their bearings.

Then we have the activities on board. Many of you might remember Butlins holiday camps when you were younger. Or maybe even Su Pollard as Peggy Ollerenshaw beaming out “Hi de hi” over the tannoy in the BBC fictional portrayal of a holiday camp. It was organised fun at different times of the day with some theatre, some disco and some shows thrown in. And let’s not forget the bingo and the fun in the pool. Yes, these are all available on board your luxury cruise in the 21st century. Of course, all looking a whole lot swankier. There are casinos, slot machines, video game booths for the kids and big water chutes to have fun on. Nothing has really changed here, except the price!

READ MORE: Jim Duffy: How you can hop to it – with hi-tech home brew

Then there is the dining experience. Depending on how much you want to pay, you can queue up with the rest of your shipmates or get a slot for dinner trussed up in black tie outfits hoping for a picture with the captain. Liners these days have multiple restaurants. But, they need them as the huge amount of people requiring grub every four hours is a gigantic undertaking. And there will always be those shipmates who like to get there early to get the best seats. Eating and drinking on cruise liners appears to be a big focus on the offering. But, it is here that human weakness comes to the fore as bugs, mites and germs love a good feast in a closed environment.

So, inevitably throughout the cruise industry there are outbreaks of illnesses like norovirus. In 2018, there were 12 serious outbreaks of gastrointestinal intestinal illness on big cruise ships. And, with thousands of crew and passengers on the biggest ships, these viruses can spread like wildfire. It seems hand sanitizer dispensers are everywhere on these ships. That sounds like a local NHS hospital to me.

Combine all of this with the fact that I need to go through all the palaver of getting on a plane simply to get to my cruise ship and it adds to my reticence to go cruising. Let’s not forget the weather. Whether you head to the Caribbean or the Med, there are always days when the sea is a bit bumpy. This must make sitting in the ship’s cinema interesting!

No, I can safely say that my mind is closed to jumping into a giant sardine can that is all at sea for a seven-day cruise. But, unlike me, there is an astonishing number of people who just love it.

Perhaps it takes a certain type to want to mix at such close quarters with 6,000 people on a floating hotel that has a 24-hour promenade – a bit like Blackpool. I admire those happy wanderers who are willing to queue to get on, queue to eat then queue to get off. Maybe the open-air laser tag range or the go karting at sea is what gets them all fired up. But, having queued up for so much, I’d want to lie down and sunbathe – if I can get my towel on a sun bed. After all, there is some big competition here with so many shipmates to contend with.

This industry is booming with new bigger and fancier ships on order and coming on stream. But, I’ll be happy to say “bon voyage” from the pier as they sail off into the distance.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jim Duffy"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4858335.1547750890!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4858335.1547750890!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Oasis of the Seas is returning to port early after an outbreak of norovirus (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Oasis of the Seas is returning to port early after an outbreak of norovirus (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4858335.1547750890!/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/coffee-extinction-how-will-we-cope-leader-comment-1-4857676","id":"1.4857676","articleHeadline": "Coffee extinction: how will we cope? – leader comment","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1547704800000 ,"articleLead": "

Wake up and smell the coffee! The need for the people who run the country to get real has perhaps never been more pressing and important.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4857674.1547669882!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Drinking coffee has soared in popularity in recent years"} ,"articleBody": "

However, just at a moment when they – and indeed we – need all the help we can get, there is even more trouble on the horizon.

People in Britain apparently love coffee so much that they drink an astonishing 95 million cups of the stuff every day. But scientists are now warning that climate change, increased levels of fungal disease and pests, and the loss of forests mean that 75 of the world’s 124 wild coffee species are at risk of extinction, including wild Arabica. The cultivated version of this species provides about 60 per cent of the coffee that we drink around the world.

READ MORE: Coffee’s health risks and benefits explored and debunked

Coffee growers have already warned their crops are being adversely affected by changes to weather patterns, and it was hoped that wild species might help provide alternatives better able to cope with the new conditions.

For some of us, perhaps many of us, a world without coffee hardly bears thinking about.

READ MORE: 7 of the best hidden coffee shops in Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4857674.1547669882!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4857674.1547669882!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Drinking coffee has soared in popularity in recent years","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Drinking coffee has soared in popularity in recent years","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4857674.1547669882!/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/british-charity-worker-among-14-dead-in-nairobi-militant-attack-1-4857323","id":"1.4857323","articleHeadline": "British charity worker among 14 dead in Nairobi militant attack","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1547654482000 ,"articleLead": "

A British charity worker is among at least 14 people killed in a militant attack at a luxury hotel complex in Nairobi has been named.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4857322.1547641772!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A member of Kenyan special forces shouts at the media to go back after his wounded colleague was carried into an ambulance. Picture: AP Photo/Ben Curtis"} ,"articleBody": "

International development charity Gatsby Africa said the organisation was “shocked and saddened” following the death of its Africa programmes director Luke Potter.

In a statement, the charity said Mr Potter had devoted the past ten years of his career to “helping some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world”.

He had worked for the charity for three-and-a-half years in east Africa.

READ MORE: Donald Trump’s wealth is no reason to denounce him - Alastair Stewart

“Luke was instrumental in establishing our forestry programme and team in Kenya and provided crucial leadership, guidance and support to our Tanzanian forestry programme and our tea programmes in Rwanda and Tanzania,” a statement said.

“He was deeply committed to his work, to his teams, to Gatsby and to development in Africa. He was our colleague and our friend.

“We share the grief of his family, partner, daughter and friends. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with them. “

Another Briton was wounded as gunmen stormed the DusitD2 complex in the Westlands district of the Kenyan capital on Tuesday afternoon, setting off explosions and shooting people.

Announcing the end of the operation to secure the area today, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta said: “All the terrorists have been eliminated.”

It is understood a member of the SAS was involved in the mission, although the MoD said it does not comment on special forces.

Images showed a heavily-armed man with a military vest and balaclava working with local forces and helping victims leave the complex.

It was reported the lone SAS member was involved in the operation, along with US Navy seals, having been in the country to train Kenyan special forces.

In a video posted on Twitter, the UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, confirmed at least one British national was killed in the attack.

“Our team at the High Commission was working through the night to support the Kenyan authorities as they responded to this attack and offer all the help we can to all the British nationals who may have been caught up in it,” he said.

“I am very sad to confirm that at least one British national has been killed in the attack.

“We are providing our support to his family and friends at this very difficult time and our thoughts are with them.”

READ MORE: Met Office issues yellow weather warning for Scotland as snow and ice set to hit

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of a British man killed in the recent terrorist attack in Kenya.

“We are also supporting a British person who was wounded during the attack and is receiving medical attention.

“We stand ready to help any other British people affected.”

The San Francisco-based company, I-DEV International, confirmed American Jason Spindler, the firm’s co-founder and managing director, was killed, while nine others were safely evacuated from its Nairobi office.

London-based firm Adam Smith International said two of its employees were shot dead in a cafe during the attack.

A statement released by the company said Abdalla Dahir, 33, and Feisal Ahmed, 31, who were both Somali-Kenyans, were killed on the terrace of a restaurant in the complex where the firm has an office.

Another 50 staff and consultants were safely evacuated, the statement added.

Special forces were sent into the hotel to flush out the gunmen believed to be holed up inside and the interior ministry said the area had been secured last night.

However, gunfire and another explosion were later reportedly heard at the scene.

This morning the National Police Service said the area remained “under an active security operation” and ordered people to stay away “until it is declared safe”.

In a televised address later, Mr Kenyatta said more than 700 people were evacuated during the security operation and urged Kenyans to “go back to work without fear”, saying the country was safe for citizens and visitors.

The president said he did not know how many attackers were involved.

Al-Shabab – the Somalia-based group that carried out the 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi in which 67 people died – has claimed responsibility for the atrocity.

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter: “Really tragic news from Kenya – my thoughts are with the families and friends who have lost loved ones in this attack, including one British citizen.

“UK stands with Kenya at this difficult time. Our team in Nairobi are supporting all Brits affected.”

The Kenya Red Cross said it was helping families searching for loved ones missing since the attack began.

The British Army Training Unit in Kenya (BATUK) has a permanent base in Nanyuki, around 120 miles from Nairobi, with a smaller element in the country’s capital.

The unit consists of around 100 permanent staff and a short tour cohort of 280 personnel, according to the MoD.

Under an agreement with the Kenyan government, up to six infantry battalions per year carry out eight-week exercises in the country, along with Royal Engineer exercises and medical deployments.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4857322.1547641772!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4857322.1547641772!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A member of Kenyan special forces shouts at the media to go back after his wounded colleague was carried into an ambulance. Picture: AP Photo/Ben Curtis","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A member of Kenyan special forces shouts at the media to go back after his wounded colleague was carried into an ambulance. Picture: AP Photo/Ben Curtis","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4857322.1547641772!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4857512.1547654730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4857512.1547654730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Luke Potter worked for international development charity Gatsby Africa","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Luke Potter worked for international development charity Gatsby Africa","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4857512.1547654730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/donald-trump-s-wealth-is-no-reason-to-denounce-him-alastair-stewart-1-4856805","id":"1.4856805","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump’s wealth is no reason to denounce him – Alastair Stewart","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1547562857000 ,"articleLead": "

There’s a silent beauty to the way President Donald Trump speaks. I’m serious. If you watch enough of his public speeches, they take on a musical life of their own, writes Alastair Stewart.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4856804.1547562853!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump is said to be America's richest ever president but almost all of them were wealthy (Picture: Carlos Barria/pool photo via AP)"} ,"articleBody": "

He begins with some prepared remarks, gradually throws in a personal aside and then hits the chorus, an entirely off-script diatribe about how great he is, how rich he is and how he (or whatever the subject of his ‘speech’) is the best thing that ever existed.

“Any man who must say ‘I am the King’ is no true king,” declared Tywin Lannister in TV series Game of Thrones. Watch any video of Trump speaking and you soon see that there is a painfully obvious chip in his psychological make-up. Most interviews contain at least five or six qualifications as to his intelligence, wealth or abilities. Much has been made of Trump’s reputed ignorance, particularly by White House insiders and writers like Michael Wolff in Fire and Fury and Bob Woodward in Fear: Trump in the White House.

There is a quiet inference, of course, that Trump is woefully unqualified to be president but has somehow accrued great wealth; Forbes places the estimate at $3.1 billion, and the Trump White House refuses to release his tax returns.

To his detractors, the President is a snake-oil salesman and who doesn’t know what he’s selling. To Trump’s acolytes, his treasure chest is evidence enough that there must be something behind the eyes, a grand plan forming to explain the verbal deluge, surely, right?

Trump seems to exist because of his money and he himself has propagated myths about it for years. The Trump name, plastered over property across the world, is a going concern alongside his luxury real estate. And he has licensed his name to a range of novel items – Trump Steaks, Trump Vodka and Trump: The Game (all went the way you might have predicted) – and a plethora of retail projects.

As Michael Wolff notes, there’s a pretence that the “Trump brand stood for power, wealth, arrival” and no one has been more gobbled up by the myth than its namesake.

In nearly every interview with Trump up to the beginning of the Apprentice TV show in 2004, you’ll find a multitude of discussions with the likes of Oprah Winfrey and David Letterman about money or his bucketfull of co-written books on wealth creation.

READ MORE: Churchill once defended ‘Scottish nationalism’ at Ibrox stadium – Alastair Stewart

This was the raison d’etre behind The Apprentice in the first place – Trump is famous for being rich, and rich because he’s famous.

Fame because of money might seem vacuous, but Trump’s ‘rich man’ persona is ignoring an obvious fact about American presidents. According to 24/7 Wall St, all but nine of America’s 45 presidents were millionaires (adjusted for inflation to 2018 dollars). President Trump might be America’s first billionaire leader, but George Washington would have a net worth of half a billion in today’s money.

Typical sells for American presidential candidates include their business, military, political or legal credentials. Nearly all candidates are independently wealthy, as the American political system virtually mandates. No nominee has ever been brazen enough to come out and say “hey, I can make you rich just like me. If I can manage a big business, I can manage a country” – or certainly no serious contender until Donald J Trump.

Money makes the world go round, and that’s been the implicit covenant between elected officials and the American public for centuries.

A rudimentary defence of Trump argues that you can think he’s stupid, but he’s still a billionaire and you’re not. That logic might be thought to justify his anti-establishment credentials but it just solidifies Trump as an old norm.

READ MORE: Alastair Stewart: North Macedonia? Don’t you ‘North Briton’ me!

For all Trump’s “drain the swamp” rhetoric, he’s still one of Forbes’ 400 richest Americans. The wealthiest one per cent now owns more of America’s wealth than at any time in the past 50 years. The US presidency can’t belong to anyone, it never could. Show me a poor man elected to the office, and I’ll be more impressed at the elevating power of American politics.

Pundits and rivals like to argue that because he’s wealthy and a political schizophrenic, it follows that Trump’s views the presidency as the proverbial codpiece; the crowning achievement in a life of significant material gain.

There can be no defending Trump’s extreme positions but presuming his money is a key reason for his political extremism is the wrong route to denouncing him. Ronald Reagan was laughed at because he was a millionaire actor and yet he has gone down in history as the man who won the Cold War and created the neoliberal consensus. Trump is remarkably consistent in his ghastly garnish of the hyperbolic and the political. If the President’s speeches are a homage to every populist conceit, it’s a grand celebration to be sure.

Extreme personal wealth is the rule and not the exception with the American presidency, even if Trump’s team were the first to complain the disclosure forms were too short “for a man of Mr Trump’s massive wealth”.

If anything President Trump is symptomatic of the US political system and, at some stage, Americans will need to address why so many of their leader are so lavishly rich.

Alastair Stewart is a freelance writer and journalist. He writes regular features on politics and history with a particular interest in nationalism and the life of Sir Winston Churchill. Read more from Alastair at www.agjstewart.com and follow him on Twitter @agjstewart

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Alastair Stewart"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4856804.1547562853!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4856804.1547562853!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Donald Trump is said to be America's richest ever president but almost all of them were wealthy (Picture: Carlos Barria/pool photo via AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump is said to be America's richest ever president but almost all of them were wealthy (Picture: Carlos Barria/pool photo via AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4856804.1547562853!/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/two-dead-multiple-injured-after-huge-gas-explosion-rocks-central-paris-1-4855617","id":"1.4855617","articleHeadline": "Two dead, multiple injured after huge ‘gas explosion’ rocks central Paris","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1547287949000 ,"articleLead": "

Two people have died and dozens have been left wounded following an explosion and fire at a bakery in central Paris, believed to have been caused by a gas leak.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4855614.1547289310!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Firefighters extinguish a fire after the explosion of a bakery on the corner of the streets Saint-Cecile and Rue de Trevise in central Paris. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Firefighters pulled injured victims from windows and evacuated residents as smoke billowed over Rue de Trevise in the 9th arrondissement of north-central Paris.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said that two firefighters have been killed in the bakery blast, correcting the overall figure of four dead given earlier by France’s interior minister.

Authorities said 10 people were in critical condition and 37 others less seriously injured.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters at the scene “unfortunately the human toll is particularly serious.” He paid homage to the courage of rescuers who notably saved the life of one firefighter who was buried under the rubble for two and a half hours.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who was also at the scene, extended a “message of affection and solidarity” to the victims.

She said many residents and tourists have been evacuated from neighbouring buildings and hotels. Paris authorities will help provide temporary accommodation, the mayor said.

Paris prosecutor Remy Heitz said that the cause appears to be an accidental gas leak. He said that Paris firefighters were already at the scene to investigate a suspected gas leak at the bakery when the explosion happened.

He told The Associated Press that “the judicial police have started investigating, the scientific police as well. The origin of the explosion seems accidental. We are at the beginning of the investigation everything will be made to establish the exact origin of the explosion as soon as possible.”

Witnesses described the overwhelming sound of the blast and people trapped inside nearby buildings. Charred debris and broken glass covered the pavement around the apartment building housing the bakery, which resembled a blackened carcass.

Authorities said around 200 firefighters and police were involved in the operation.

A helicopter landed in the area to evacuate the wounded. Silver-helmeted firefighters and red fire engines filled the street and inspected adjoining courtyards. A vehicle from gas company GRDF was stationed nearby.

Pedro Goncalves, an employee at the Hotel Mercure opposite the bakery, said he saw firefighters enter the bakery in the morning but he and his co-workers “thought maybe it’s a joke, a false alarm” and they went back to work. About an hour later, he said a blast rocked the surrounding streets.

“In the middle of nothing, I heard one big explosion and then a lot of pressure came at me (and) a lot of black smoke and glass,” he said. “And I had just enough time to get down and cover myself and protect my head.”

Goncalves said he “felt a lot of things fall on me” and that he was struck by shattered glass. He had a few cuts on his head, and spots of blood on his sweater and undershirt.

“Thank god I’m OK,” he said, saying that the blast was so powerful that he heard whistling in his ears in the aftermath. Goncalves said that he ran for the exit and then went to check on the hotel’s clients, adding that some of them had head injuries and were bleeding. He said that the hotel was “destroyed” in the blast.

Another witness told the AP that she was awakened by the blast, and feared it was another terrorist attack.

The bakery is around the corner from the Folies-Bergere theatre and not far from the shopping district that includes the famed headquarters of Galeries Lafayette.

The explosion came as the French capital is on edge and under heavy security for yellow vest protests around the country.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4855614.1547289310!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4855614.1547289310!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Firefighters extinguish a fire after the explosion of a bakery on the corner of the streets Saint-Cecile and Rue de Trevise in central Paris. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Firefighters extinguish a fire after the explosion of a bakery on the corner of the streets Saint-Cecile and Rue de Trevise in central Paris. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4855614.1547289310!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4855615.1547289314!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4855615.1547289314!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A woman is evacuated by firefighters from an apartment after the explosion of a bakery on the corner of the streets Saint-Cecile and Rue de Trevise in central Paris. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A woman is evacuated by firefighters from an apartment after the explosion of a bakery on the corner of the streets Saint-Cecile and Rue de Trevise in central Paris. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4855615.1547289314!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4855616.1547289318!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4855616.1547289318!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Firefighters intervene after the explosion of a bakery on the corner of the streets Saint-Cecile and Rue de Trevise in central Paris. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Firefighters intervene after the explosion of a bakery on the corner of the streets Saint-Cecile and Rue de Trevise in central Paris. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4855616.1547289318!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/general-election/brexit-japan-s-pm-offers-total-support-to-theresa-may-s-deal-1-4854776","id":"1.4854776","articleHeadline": "Brexit: Japan’s PM offers ‘total support’ to Theresa May’s deal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1547143679000 ,"articleLead": "

The Japanese Prime Minister has given his “total support” to Theresa May’s Brexit deal, warning that “the whole world” was opposed to a no-deal exit from the EU.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4854775.1547143600!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Picture: David Mareuil"} ,"articleBody": "

On a visit to the UK, Shinzo Abe gave Mrs May a much-needed boost ahead of next week’s crucial vote on the deal, which the government is expected to lose heavily.

“Japan and the UK have been building a very strong partnership, not only in the political arena but also the economic arena,” said Mr Abe.

“For Japan, the UK is the gateway to the European market - Japanese businesses have created 1,000 bases in the UK offering more than 150,000 jobs.

READ MORE: Brexit: No-deal ‘disaster’ warning as carmaker axes 5,000 jobs

“It is the strong will of Japan to further develop this strong partnership with the UK, to invest more into your country and to enjoy further economic growth with the UK.

“That is why we truly hope that a no-deal Brexit will be avoided, and in fact that is the whole wish of the whole world.

“Japan is in total support of the draft Withdrawal Agreement worked out between the EU and Prime Minister May which provides for transition to ensure legal stability for businesses that have invested into this country.”

The British Prime Minister said Mr Abe’s visit came “at a crucial time”.

“As the UK prepares to leave the EU and raise our horizons towards the rest of the world, our relationship with countries such as Japan will be increasingly important, and your Presidency of this year’s G20 allows us to work together towards our shared goals on the global stage,” Mrs May said.

Japan is the UK’s second-largest source of non-EU foreign direct investment and Britain’s largest export market outside the EU, US and China.

The far-eastern giant has more to fear than most from a disorderly UK withdrawal, with around 1,000 Japanese companies operating in the country, and many using it as a gateway to European markets.

Major manufacturers like Nissan, Toyota and Honda have warned a no-deal Brexit could cost their UK operations millions in additional tariffs and disrupt the “just-in-time” supply chains on which they rely, sparking concerns they might reconsider their presence in the country.

After talks with Mrs May at the G20 summit in Argentina last month, Mr Abe urged her to avoid no-deal and ensure “transparency, predictability [and] legal stability in the Brexit process”.

READ MORE: Brexit is a means to an end, not a magic wand - Bill Jamieson

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4854775.1547143600!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4854775.1547143600!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Picture: David Mareuil","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Picture: David Mareuil","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4854775.1547143600!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5987894120001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/lady-gaga-apologises-for-r-kelly-duet-and-plans-to-remove-song-1-4854737","id":"1.4854737","articleHeadline": "Lady Gaga apologises for R Kelly duet and plans to remove song","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1547139370000 ,"articleLead": "

Lady Gaga has apologised for working with R Kelly and promised to remove the song they made together from streaming services amid fresh allegations of sexual assault against the R&B singer.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4854736.1547139366!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lady Gaga at the Golden Globes awards. Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

A documentary aired in the US last week in which several women came forward to allege Kelly had sexually assaulted them.

The singer has previously been the subject of sexual impropriety allegations and, in 2008, stood trial on child pornography charges of which he was acquitted.

READ MORE: Katie Price banned from driving, but unable to pay £1,100 fine

Kelly has not been charged with any offence in relation to the latest accusations. He denies any wrongdoing.

Gaga worked on the song Do What U Want with Kelly in 2013, but has now condemned the singer, saying she stands “behind these women 1000%” and that the allegations are “horrifying and indefensible”.

The actress, whose latest film A Star Is Born is tipped for Oscar success next month, said “as a victim of sexual assault myself” she was at a “dark time in my life” when she collaborated with Kelly.

Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, said she wanted to “create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life”.

Writing on Twitter, she said: “The song is called ‘Do What U Want (With My Body)’. I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time.

“If I could go back and have a talk with my younger self, I’d tell her to go through the therapy I have since then, so that I could understand the confused, post-traumatic state that I was in – or if therapy was not available to me or anyone in my situation to seek help and speak as openly and honestly as possible about what we’ve been through.

“I can’t go back, but I can go forward and continue to support women, men and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault.”

Gaga, 32, won a Golden Globe for A Star Is Born on Sunday. She had been criticised for not breaking her silence over Kelly.

In her Twitter post, which was captioned “I stand by anyone who has ever been the victim of sexual assault”, she promised to remove Do What U Want from streaming services.

She said: “I have demonstrated my stance on this issue and others many times throughout my career. I share this not to make excuses for myself, but to explain. Til it happens to you, you don’t know how it feels. But I do know how I feel now.

“I intend to remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with him again.

“I’m sorry, both for my poor judgement when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner. I love you.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4854736.1547139366!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4854736.1547139366!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lady Gaga at the Golden Globes awards. Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lady Gaga at the Golden Globes awards. Picture: Kevin Winter/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4854736.1547139366!/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/man-caught-licking-doorbell-for-hours-is-arrested-1-4854245","id":"1.4854245","articleHeadline": "Man caught licking doorbell for hours is arrested","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1547066428000 ,"articleLead": "

Police in California have arrested a man after he was caught on camera licking a doorbell in the middle of the night.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4854244.1547066424!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A 33-year-old man was caught on camera licking a home's intercom system in California"} ,"articleBody": "

Horrified homeowners in Salinas, south of San Francisco, called police after surveillance footage showed the man, 33-year-old Roberto Daniel Arroyo, approach and then begin lapping at the intercom of their front door at 2am last Saturday.

Sharing the video on the Neighbors app by Ring, which supplies the surveillance camera, they wrote: “This weirdo showed up at our front porch last night about 2am. He continued taunting our household until 5am.”

READ MORE: Ex-footballer threatened with jail over repeated suicide attempts

Miguel Cabrera, public information officer at the Salinas Police Department, said Arroyo was in the area for “an extended period of time”, but had not been licking the intercom for three hours, as reported by some media outlets.

The homeowners continued: “Toward the end of his visit, he started coiling up our electric extension cord, which I’m assuming he was stealing.

“Later the next morning, we found the extension cord next door at our neighbour’s house. She told us she had heard some knocking at her door about 2 in the morning sometime.

“This individual is quite disturbing. In other videos, it is hard to see if he was peeing or doing some other perverted stuff.”

Mr Cabrera said: “He is within the area for an extended period of time and he was also heard by at least one other neighbour as they heard someone banging on their door.

“The camera is within the doorbell and the residents had installed the system recently. When someone is a certain distance from the doorbell the camera is activated.”

The camera was activated several times during the three-hour period, he added.

Local news organisation KION546 named the homeowner as Sylvia Dungan.

“You kind of laugh about it afterwards because technically he didn’t do anything,” Dungan is reported to have said.

Officer Cabrera said police had contacted Arroyo and charged him with prowling, theft and a breach of his probation for a previous crime.

Arroyo refused to make a statement, he added.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4854244.1547066424!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4854244.1547066424!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A 33-year-old man was caught on camera licking a home's intercom system in California","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A 33-year-old man was caught on camera licking a home's intercom system in California","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4854244.1547066424!/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/video-federal-shutdown-passes-three-weeks-1-4853936","id":"1.4853936","articleHeadline": "Video: Federal shutdown passes three weeks","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1547044986000 ,"articleLead": "

During his live address, Trump called border immigration a ‘crisis of the heart and soul’.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4853934.1547044982!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump addresses the nation on the government shutdown. Pic: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The United States is days away from enduring the longest government shutdown in the country’s history.

It has already run longer than the previous second-longest shutdown of 1978, when President Jimmy Carter vetoed public works legislation including a nuclear powered aircraft, labelling it wasteful.

The longest on record occurred during the Clinton administration, shutting down parts of the government between December 16 1995 and January 6 1996.

The current partial shutdown began on December 22. Neither the White House or Congress show any sign of backing down over the budget request to fund the President’s wall. Republicans and Democrats are digging in for a long winter while 800,000 federal workers face the possibility of no pay.

Read more: Donald Trump may spark new space race with China – Martyn McLaughlin

At the heart of the issue, Congress has blocked the funding proposal for President Trump’s barrier running along the border with Mexico.

In a television address from The White House, Trump told the American people he was proud to take responsibility for the shutdown, threatening it could last “months or even years”.

Congress is currently denying his request for $5.7bn of taxpayer money to fund the wall, but should the shutdown continue much longer, the president has the power to declare a National Emergency,granting him powers to bypass Congressional approval altogether.

" ,"byline": {"email": "tony.mcguire@jpimedia.co.uk" ,"author": "Tony McGuire"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4853934.1547044982!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4853934.1547044982!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Donald Trump addresses the nation on the government shutdown. Pic: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump addresses the nation on the government shutdown. Pic: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4853934.1547044982!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5987506551001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/donald-trump-may-spark-new-space-race-with-china-martyn-mclaughlin-1-4853576","id":"1.4853576","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump may spark new space race with China – Martyn McLaughlin","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1547013600000 ,"articleLead": "

The US may feel compelled to match China’s ambitions after it lands a rover on the far side of the moon, but it would be folly, writes Martyn McLaughlin.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4853575.1546977073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Yutu-2, a lunar rover, leaves the Chinese spacecraft that touched down on the surface of the far side of the moon (Picture: China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP_"} ,"articleBody": "

For all that we may grasp at a renewed sense of purpose and optimism at the changing of the calendar, the news cycle of the first week of a maiden year is usually enough to beat such hankerings out of us.

Hikes to rail fares, increased hospital waiting times, and the prospect of a meaningful Commons vote on Brexit that now has as much meaning as the Greatest Moment category in the British Soap Awards have all conspired to lay the January funk on thick in 2019.

Amongst it all, however, China’s successful moon landing offered a rare moment of respite. A breakthrough for mankind was announced with the customary photographs of the moon’s surface resembling an underproofed morning roll, accompanied by a flurry of statistics and facts rendered impressive by their impenetrability.

Its greatest legacy, however, was skittishly paranoid headlines such as, “What does China want with the moon?”, a question akin to suspecting your dog of harbouring ambitions to become director-general of the BBC whenever it seizes the remote between its jaws.

Such talk was, in fairness, to be expected, given China’s relations with the US. The very notion of a space race feels like a relic from the 1960s, when diametrically opposed superpowers viewed the vast, black canopy overhanging Earth as a frontier to be conquered.

READ MORE: Chinese spacecraft makes first landing on moon’s ‘dark side’

The first decade of space exploration represented an opportunity for the US and the Soviet Union to showcase scientific, engineering, and military prowess, yet the motive was always brazen: gaining a foothold in an uncharted expanse allowed them to strike a psychological blow against one another.

It is easy to forget – more than 60 years on from the launch of Sputnik and nearly as long since Yuri Gagarin, the son of a bricklayer and a milkmaid, became the first man to orbit the Earth – how the early advances of the Soviet Union’s space programme cast a long shadow over the US psyche.

Only eight days after Gagarin’s return to terra firma, a despairing JFK sent a memo to his vice-president, Lyndon Johnson, demanding miracles. “Do we have a chance of beating the Soviets by putting a laboratory in space, or by a trip around the moon, or by a rocket to go to the moon and back with a man?” he asked. “Is there any other space program which promises dramatic results in which we could win?”

The president had answered his own question, although it took eight years and an injection of more than £130 billion for him to realise it, salving a nation’s wounded pride and assuring US pre-eminence in the incipient space race along the way.

It was, in truth, a short-lived victory. The advent of the Apollo–Soyuz test project, the most high profile manifestation of détente, paved the way for future co-operation between the two nations.

That led to extraordinary technological breakthroughs, but it also dampened the public’s enthusiasm for space missions. An uncomplicated narrative with clearly defined winners and losers was replaced with something more enriching, if less dramatic.

READ MORE: The inside story of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space

And yet, decades later, the leaps and bounds being made by Beijing may herald a return to the days when space served as an arena for superpowers to compete.

The landing of the Chinese probe at the South Pole-Aitken basin, the oldest and deepest crater on the planet, is not astounding in isolation. Other nations had the means to do so years, if not decades, previously.

But the breakthrough came just 16 years after China sent its first astronaut into space. In a year’s time, it expects to complete the rollout of its BeiDou satellite system, a competitor to the global positioning system which plays an integral role in our day-to-day lives. In time, it plans to site astronauts in a lunar base.

In all of this, China, is blazing its own trail, intent on humbling the US, Russia, and the rest of Europe with its unilateral ambitions.

It will take time to determine the fallout from all this, but one this seems clear: it will not sit easily with the current incumbent of the White House. President Donald Trump’s approach to business and politics is uncompromisingly black and white. Even the threat that he might be perceived as weak in the face of Xi Jinping’s enterprise will likely prove a sufficient force to jolt him into action.

The Trump administration, lest we forget, has already signalled its intention to create the US Space Force, a £10bn plan to militarise outer space, overseen by a four-star general.

In the event that any invading alien forces rebuff Mr Trump’s attempts to make them pay for a roof around the Earth’s exosphere, this might seem like prudent planning. Should no such scenario come to pass, however, the idea barely deserves its place in a Michael Bay movie, let alone the US Congress. But the global publicity surrounding China’s space push all but guarantees Mr Trump already has the crayons out, designing the uniforms.

This reboot of the winners and losers narrative is in no one’s interests. It has been clear for some years now that the real race to the stars is being waged by commercial interests, such as Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, with governments and space agencies mere facilitators or, at best, partners along for the ride. China’s success may change all that. After all, wouldn’t it be something to beat the People’s Republic to build the first luxury golf resort overlooking the Sea of Tranquillity?

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4853575.1546977073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4853575.1546977073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Yutu-2, a lunar rover, leaves the Chinese spacecraft that touched down on the surface of the far side of the moon (Picture: China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP_","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Yutu-2, a lunar rover, leaves the Chinese spacecraft that touched down on the surface of the far side of the moon (Picture: China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via AP_","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4853575.1546977073!/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/kevin-spacey-ordered-to-stay-away-from-the-young-man-he-allegedly-groped-1-4853008","id":"1.4853008","articleHeadline": "Kevin Spacey ordered to stay away from the young man he allegedly groped","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1546927250000 ,"articleLead": "

Kevin Spacey must stay away from the young man who accused the actor of groping him at a Massachusetts bar in 2016, a judge has ordered.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4853007.1546896346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kevin Spacey arrives at Nantucket District Court yesterday where his legal team entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The 59-year-old faced a charge of indecent assault and battery during a hearing at Nantucket District Court.

The actor’s legal team entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and the judge set another hearing for 4 March.

Spacey does not have to appear, the judge ruled, but said he needs to be available by phone.

The judge granted a request by Spacey’s lawyers to preserve the alleged victim’s mobile phone data for six months after the alleged assault.

Spacey lawyer Alan Jackson said there is data that is “likely exculpatory” for Spacey.

The actor and his lawyers declined to comment as they left the courthouse amid a crush of reporters .The hearing comes more than a year after a former Boston TV anchor accused the former House Of Cards star of sexually assaulting her son, then 18, in the crowded bar at the Club Car, where the teenager worked.

Mr Jackson has sought to poke holes in the case, noting that the teenager did not immediately report the allegations.

If convicted, Spacey faces as many as five years in prison.

Spacey has said he intends to plead not guilty.

Media trucks lined the street before dawn, and locals on the island, which teems with tourists in the summer but quietens down in the winter, drove by slowly to take photos of reporters standing in line in the cold.

When the doors opened, more than two dozen journalists packed the courtroom hours before Spacey was scheduled to appear.

It is the first criminal case brought against Spacey since other allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against him in 2017.

A judge denied Spacey’s bid to avoid appearing in person on Monday.

Spacey had argued his presence would “amplify the negative publicity already generated” by the case.

Television anchor Heather Unruh told reporters in November 2017 that Spacey got her son drunk and then grabbed his genitals during the alleged incident.

She claimed her son fled the restaurant when Spacey went to the toilet.

After the charge was announced last month, Spacey released a video in the voice of Frank Underwood, his character on Netflix’s House Of Cards, in which he said: “I’m certainly not going to pay the price for the thing I didn’t do.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4853007.1546896346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4853007.1546896346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kevin Spacey arrives at Nantucket District Court yesterday where his legal team entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kevin Spacey arrives at Nantucket District Court yesterday where his legal team entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4853007.1546896346!/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/future-scotland/tech/bread-baking-robot-tops-us-show-billing-1-4852998","id":"1.4852998","articleHeadline": "Bread-baking robot tops US show billing","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1546927202000 ,"articleLead": "

An autonomous robot that can mix, proof and bake bread on its own is among the gadgets on show at the world’s biggest technology show.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4852997.1546894451!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The UK is set to be represented at the event by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The BreadBot, made by US firm the Wilkinson Baking Company, can produce a loaf every six minutes once up to full speed.

It appeared at the CES Unveiled preview show, which offered an early glimpse of the gadgets going on display when the conference opens in Las Vegas today.

The show has not been without its issues, having been hit by the US government shutdown which has led to several government speakers cancelling their appearances at the annual event.

Organisers the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) confirmed that multiple government officials, including those from the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Homeland Security would not be at the event.

The convention is expected to draw more than 180,000 visitors and is one of the biggest dates in the tech industry calendar, where new gadgets from the likes of Sony and Samsung are unveiled alongside discussions around key subjects such as artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous vehicles.

On the US government withdrawals, CTA president Gary Shapiro said: “Because of the government shutdown, some of our scheduled government speakers at CES 2019 have alerted us that they must cancel their travel to the show.

“As a result, some of our scheduled CES 2019 programming and speakers will change. We urge attendees who planned to hear US federal government speakers to check the sessions on the website to ensure those individuals are still speaking.”

The UK is set to be represented at the event by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, where he is leading a delegation of 100 British companies, the largest UK presence at the show to date.

He will use his time at the show to promote the UK as a leader in technology and a destination for inward investment.

Ahead of the show, Samsung sprung a surprise by announcing a new TV partnership with long-standing rivals, Apple.

The iPhone maker’s iTunes Movies and TV Shows app is to be introduced on Samsung smart TVs later in 2019, the first time the two companies have co-operated in such a manner in the TV market.

Support for Apple’s wireless AirPlay 2 connection is also to be introduced, meaning Apple iPhone and iPad users will be able to stream content to their Samsung smart TVs.

The two companies have long been rivals in smartphone, tablet and other markets. The Korean firm’s executive vice-president for its visual display business, Won-Jin Lee, said: “Bringing more content, value and open platform functionality to Samsung TV owners and Apple customers through iTunes and AirPlay is ideal for everyone.”

Apple’s Eddy Cue said of the announcement: “We look forward to bringing the iTunes and AirPlay 2 experience to even more customers around the world through Samsung Smart TVs.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4852997.1546894451!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4852997.1546894451!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The UK is set to be represented at the event by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The UK is set to be represented at the event by International Trade Secretary Liam Fox. Picture: John Stillwell/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4852997.1546894451!/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/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-s-dancing-heralds-new-politics-paris-gourtsoyannis-1-4852972","id":"1.4852972","articleHeadline": "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s dancing heralds new politics – Paris Gourtsoyannis","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1546927200000 ,"articleLead": "

Dance like nobody’s watching, they say. The young university student must have had that on her mind as she and a couple of friends filmed themselves re-enacting a famous scene from a movie.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4852970.1546890796!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, centre, poses for a selfie ahead of the start of the 116th Congress on the floor of the US House of Representatives (Picture: Brendan Smialowski /AFP/Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

Now Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a US Congresswoman, the unofficial leader of the American left, and probably the highest profile millennial politician in the world.

Millions have seen the clip, dug out by right-wing online trolls in a spectacularly ill-judged attempt to shame her. Millions more have seen AOC’s perfect response, dancing through the door of her Capitol Hill office.

Millennials are already the most closely observed subspecies in the Western world, regarded with anything from morbid curiosity to outright hostility. Generations have always struggled to understand one another, but Ocasio-Cortez’s moves sum up the gulf between established institutions and the people now requisitioning them.

Born after the internet and raised on a diet of individualism and economic anxiety, they aren’t content like their flower-power parents to protest the mechanisms of power: they expect those forces to meet them on their own terms.

READ MORE: Paris Gourtsoyannis: ‘Socialist’ set to be elected to US Congress

It’s easy to dismiss that as entitlement, the self-absorbed narcissism of constantly uploading selfies to Instagram – but that’s an inevitable product of this generation’s technological surroundings. As defining of millennials is the scepticism borne of living with the economic and environmental consequences left by overconfident previous generations.

(Disclaimer: theoretically I am one – I don’t do Instagram, but I can smash an avocado with one hand while nervously updating my personal budgeting app with the other).

It explains why a 29 year-old, impatient with compromised political institutions, is setting the agenda for the next US presidential election. Scoff at millennials’ confidence if you want – we need their doubts about the world.

READ MORE: Pro-Corbyn activist group in US mission to topple Donald Trump

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Paris Gourtsoyannis"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4852970.1546890796!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4852970.1546890796!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, centre, poses for a selfie ahead of the start of the 116th Congress on the floor of the US House of Representatives (Picture: Brendan Smialowski /AFP/Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, centre, poses for a selfie ahead of the start of the 116th Congress on the floor of the US House of Representatives (Picture: Brendan Smialowski /AFP/Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4852970.1546890796!/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/celebrity/wayne-rooney-arrested-in-us-for-public-intoxication-1-4852448","id":"1.4852448","articleHeadline": "Wayne Rooney arrested in US for public intoxication","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1546850111000 ,"articleLead": "

Wayne Rooney was arrested in the US accused of public intoxication, police have said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4852447.1546850107!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Wayne Rooney after he was booked into the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on a charge of public intoxication stemming from an arrest by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police. Picture: Loudoun County Sheriff's Office/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The former Manchester United and England captain was taken into custody on December 16 in Virginia, officials said on Sunday.

It is believed the 33-year-old, who now places for American team DC United, was detained at Washington’s Dulles airport, which is near the club’s stadium.

A spokesman for Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said: “He was booked into the Loudoun County Adult Detention Centre on December 16 2018, on a charge of public intoxication stemming from an arrest by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police.

“He was later released on a personal recognisance bond.”

Rooney, in September 2017, admitted drink-driving on a night out when he was caught driving a woman’s Volkswagen Beetle when nearly three times the legal limit.

He was banned from driving for two years and ordered to carry out unpaid work in the community.

After a return to Everton, he transferred to DC United and made his debut on July 14 last year.

Court files state he paid a fine of 25 US dollars (£19.65) and costs of 91 dollars (£71.50) over his latest offence.

The documents also say he was charged under the Virginian law of “public swearing/intoxication”.

Two days before the arrest he posted an image online of himself in a car at the Riyadh Formula E championship race in Saudi Arabia.

Read more: England 3 - 0 USA: Future stars shine as Wayne Rooney bows out

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Sam Blewett"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4852447.1546850107!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4852447.1546850107!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Wayne Rooney after he was booked into the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on a charge of public intoxication stemming from an arrest by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police. Picture: Loudoun County Sheriff's Office/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Wayne Rooney after he was booked into the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on a charge of public intoxication stemming from an arrest by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police. Picture: Loudoun County Sheriff's Office/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4852447.1546850107!/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/russia-and-china-using-scotland-as-backdoor-to-influence-british-policy-1-4852265","id":"1.4852265","articleHeadline": "Russia and China ‘using Scotland as backdoor to influence British policy’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1546701070000 ,"articleLead": "

A foreign affairs expert has claimed China and Russia are using Scotland as a backdoor to influence British policy.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4846893.1545309607!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alex Salmond has hosted a chat show on RT since 2017"} ,"articleBody": "

John Hemmings, a director of the Asia Studies Centre at foreign policy think-tank Henry Jackson Society, said authoritarian regimes were finding a “friendlier ear” in Scotland.

The society has accused China of waging an intellectual war on Britain.

Scotland has Confucius Institutes based at the universities of Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Heriot-Watt.

Russia has meanwhile prominently featured high-profile Scottish politicians, including former First Minister Alex Salmond, on its state-run broadcasts.

Read more: Brexit: Theresa May faces battle to save deal as Commons showdown looms

“Russia and China lost the Cold War and thus still view the West as opponents,” Mr Hemmings told The Times.

“If one were to ask why Russia and China might approach Scotland, I would have to say that presumably it’s because the [independence] referendum makes Scotland appear as a back door way into influencing the UK, somewhere Russian and Chinese perspectives might find a friendlier ear than London. If there were a larger game, one might see any potential separation of Scotland from England as a way to reduce the part of the West that is most likely to defend the rules-based system both diplomatically and militarily.”

Read more: Ian Blackford: No-deal planning a ‘wake up call’ for MPs

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Scotsman Reporter"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4846893.1545309607!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4846893.1545309607!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alex Salmond has hosted a chat show on RT since 2017","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alex Salmond has hosted a chat show on RT since 2017","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4846893.1545309607!/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/three-dead-after-shooting-at-california-bowling-alley-1-4852205","id":"1.4852205","articleHeadline": "Three dead after shooting at California bowling alley","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1546686047000 ,"articleLead": "

Three people have been killed and four were injured in a shooting incident at a bowling alley in California, police said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4852204.1546686044!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The shooting happened at Gable House Bowl in the coastal town of Torrance, California. Picture: Google Maps"} ,"articleBody": "

The Torrance Police Department said officers responded to calls of “shots fired” at the Gable House Bowl shortly before midnight.

Multiple victims were found with gunshot wounds inside Gable House Bowl, which is described on its website as a gaming venue that offers bowling, laser tag and a full arcade.

Police say three men died at the scene and four male victims were injured.

Two of them were transported to a local hospital for unknown injuries and the other two sought out their own medical attention.

Torrance is a coastal city about 20 miles from Los Angeles.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4852204.1546686044!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4852204.1546686044!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The shooting happened at Gable House Bowl in the coastal town of Torrance, California. Picture: Google Maps","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The shooting happened at Gable House Bowl in the coastal town of Torrance, California. Picture: Google Maps","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4852204.1546686044!/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/jeremy-hunt-warns-russia-not-to-use-detained-uk-citizen-as-a-pawn-1-4852181","id":"1.4852181","articleHeadline": "Jeremy Hunt warns Russia not to use detained UK citizen as a ‘pawn’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1546638523000 ,"articleLead": "

Jeremy Hunt has warned ­Russia not to use UK citizens as pawns in “diplomatic chess games” after a former US Marine was arrested on spying charges.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4852180.1546638519!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul Whelan. Picture: PA/Family Handout"} ,"articleBody": "

The Foreign Secretary said that Paul Whelan, 48, who lives in Michigan but has joint UK-UK citizenship, was being given “every support that we can” after his status became clear.

It is feared Mr Whelan is being held to exert pressure on US authorities to release Maria Buttina, a Russian who has pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered foreign agent. She is alleged to have served as a “back channel” between the Kremlin and senior US Republicans during the 2016 presidential election.

Speaking in Singapore during an official visit to Asia, Mr Hunt said that “individuals should not be used as pawns of diplomatic leverage”.

He said: “We are giving [Mr Whelan] every support that we can, but we don’t agree with individuals being used in diplomatic chess games.

“It is desperately worrying, not just for the individual, but their families and we are extremely worried about him and his family as we hear this news.”

Mr Whelan was arrested in Moscow last week, apparently on espionage charges.

His twin, David Whelan, said his brother’s “innocence is undoubted and we trust that his rights will be respected”.

The incident will further strain UK-Russia relations at a time when they are already at their lowest level in recent history, following the poison attack in Salisbury blamed on Russian agents, resulting in the death of a woman.

Mr Whelan is a retired US Marine who has British citizenship through his parents. He was in Moscow to help plan the wedding of another former Marine because he had been to Russia several times, his brother said.

The US Embassy in Moscow advised the British Embassy on Thursday that a US citizen detained on 28 December informed them he also holds British citizenship.

A Foreign Office spokesman in London said: “Our staff have requested consular access to a British man detained in Russia after receiving a request for assistance from him.”

Mr Whelan’s Russian lawyer, Vladimir Zherebenkov, said he had appealed to the court against the detention of his client and requested he was released on bail.

He said: “I have sent an appeal against Whelan’s detention. In my appeal I am asking to change my client’s measure of restraint from arrest to release on bail to the sum determined by the court.”

Mr Zherebenkov said Mr Whelan, who faces a jail term of up to 20 years if convicted, remained in good spirits.

The news comes as Mr Hunt reiterated his attempts to broker the release of British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been held in Tehran since April 2016 convicted of spying.

She is part-way through a five-year jail term and maintains her innocence. Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, revealed she intends to start a hunger strike on 14 January in response to be denied a medical examination for lumps in her breast.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4852180.1546638519!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4852180.1546638519!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Paul Whelan. Picture: PA/Family Handout","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul Whelan. Picture: PA/Family Handout","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4852180.1546638519!/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/german-politicians-data-hacked-and-posted-online-1-4851830","id":"1.4851830","articleHeadline": "German politicians’ data ‘hacked and posted online’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1546603480000 ,"articleLead": "

Data and documents belonging to hundreds of German politicians have been hacked and posted on Twitter, according to reports.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4851829.1546603476!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A general view of the plenary hall of the Bundestag (lower house of parliament) in Berlin. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The leak, which saw the data posted in daily batches before Christmas on a Twitter account that has been active since mid-2017, affects all parties in parliament except the far-right Alternative for Germany, public broadcaster RBB reported.

It said there appeared to be no pattern to what was posted.

READ MORE: Clinical waste firm boss insists he is ‘still fighting’ for workers left unpaid

Although it reportedly includes personal information such as mobile phone numbers, addresses, internal party communications and in some cases bills and credit card details - some of the data years old - there seem to be no politically sensitive documents.

There was no immediate information on who was responsible or on the source of the data, and whether it was all authentic.

News agency dpa reported that the information included a fax number and email address belonging to Chancellor Angela Merkel and several letters to and from her.

Alexander Dobrindt, the conservative Christian Social Union’s top legislator in Berlin, said authorities are working to establish “what data are affected and to what extent”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4851829.1546603476!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4851829.1546603476!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A general view of the plenary hall of the Bundestag (lower house of parliament) in Berlin. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A general view of the plenary hall of the Bundestag (lower house of parliament) in Berlin. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4851829.1546603476!/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/nazanin-zaghari-ratcliffe-to-go-on-hunger-strike-in-iran-jail-1-4851788","id":"1.4851788","articleHeadline": "Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to go on hunger strike in Iran jail","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1546599490000 ,"articleLead": "

A British-Iranian mother detained in Tehran is to embark on a hunger strike as a “last resort” over being denied health care, her husband said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4851787.1546599486!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "British-Iranian mother charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, detained in Tehran, i s to embark on a hunger strike over being denied health care. Picture: PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe will strike for three days in mid-January with Narges Mohammadi, an Iranian human rights defender who is also behind bars in Evin prison.

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe has suffered a catalogue of mental and physical health complaints since she was arrested at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport on April 3 2016.

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe said his wife was having medical treatment blocked for checking lumps in her breasts, neurological care over her neck pains and numbness in her arms and legs, and for seeing an outside psychiatrist.

He said her requests for treatment were being blocked “despite having been approved by the prison doctor”.

He said: “I think it’s a real last resort step, and I did not think we were at last resorts just yet.”

He added: “In fairness to her, I have been campaigning for a long time, and we will continue campaigning, but I can’t sit back and tell her that it’s worked because she’s still in prison.”

If the pair are not granted the specialist care they seek, they will continue to refuse food, they said in a joint letter, warning Iran’s authorities that they will be held responsible for the potential consequences.

READ MORE: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe sent back to prison as release are hopes dashed

The open letter was initially published in Farsi by the Defenders of Human Rights Centre.

Their translation into English said the pair’s “repeated requests” for medical treatment had been rejected.

It continued: “Therefore, in protest to this illegal, inhuman and unlawful behaviour, and to express our concerns for our health and survival at this denial of specialist treatment, despite taking daily medicines, we will go on hunger strike from 14.01.2019 to 16.01.2019.

“We are urging for an immediate action to be taken.

“We announce that in the event of the authorities’ failure to address these concerns and them further endangering our health, we will take further actions.

“The authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran are to be held responsible for the potential consequences.”

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a charity worker of Hampstead in north London, was sentenced to five years in jail after being accused of spying, a charge she strongly denies.

The British-Iranian mother spent her 40th birthday on Boxing Day in prison, where she has been detained for more than 1,000 days.

Mr Ratcliffe said his wife was concerned that time was running out to give her daughter, four-year-old Gabriella, a sibling.

READ MORE: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in hospital after suffering panic attacks in Iran jail

He said: “In terms of her wanting to have a second child, I fear that might be stolen.

“For her it’s been looming for a long time. Not only have we not been able to watch Gabriella grow up, we might not get to have another baby. She feels it viscerally.”

He has requested an urgent meeting with Iran’s UK ambassador and will next speak to his wife on Sunday.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt wrote on Twitter: “Nazanin is innocent and must be allowed to come home.

“How can the Iranian authorities allow an innocent mother to feel she needs to resort to this, simply for justice and access to medical care?”

Tulip Siddiq, Labour MP for Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s constituency, tweeted: “Nazanin has again been driven to despair because of the hopelessness of her plight.

“The cruelty of her captors + our Government’s failure to secure release means her life is at risk. What is the PM’s plan to bring her home? Quiet diplomacy has failed.”

Ellie Kennedy, an individuals at risk campaigner at Amnesty International UK, said: “It should obviously never have come to this.

“The Iranian authorities are entirely responsible for pushing these two unfairly-detained people to take such desperate measures.

“It’s shocking and unforgivable that the Iranian authorities can callously force prisoners of conscience into starving themselves in protest at their plight, and they should immediately provide full medical care to Nazanin and Narges.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "JEMMA CREW"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4851787.1546599486!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4851787.1546599486!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "British-Iranian mother charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, detained in Tehran, i s to embark on a hunger strike over being denied health care. Picture: PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "British-Iranian mother charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, detained in Tehran, i s to embark on a hunger strike over being denied health care. Picture: PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4851787.1546599486!/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/holidaymakers-urged-to-avoid-storm-hit-parts-of-thailand-1-4851745","id":"1.4851745","articleHeadline": "Holidaymakers urged to avoid storm-hit parts of Thailand","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1546593815000 ,"articleLead": "

Holidaymakers have been advised to avoid areas of southern Thailand as a tropical storm made landfall in the south-east Asian country.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4851744.1546593812!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tropical storm Pabuk is expected to bring five-metre high waves and winds up to 46mph, the Thai Met Office has warned. Picture: AFP/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Tropical storm Pabuk is expected to bring five-metre high waves and winds up to 46mph, the Thai Met Office has warned.

Britons make over one million trips to Thailand every year to visit popular islands such as Koh Phangnan, Koh Samui and Koh Tao.

Over the winter period visitor numbers increase as many head there to catch some winter sun.

The Foreign Office has advised British nationals against all but essential travel to provinces on the Thai-Malaysia border, including areas such as Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.

These areas are expected to be hit with torrential downpours and strong winds, the Thai Met Office said.

READ MORE: Staff from clinical waste firm left with no wages now ‘turning to food banks’

Forecasters have also warned of possible flash flooding in certain areas caused by “forest runoffs” from the rain.

The storm made landfall at 5.45am GMT on Friday over Pak Phanang, a district of Nakhon Si Thammarat province in the south of the country.

A spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) told the Press Association now is a popular time to visit the country for British travellers.

“Tropical Storm Pabuk has made landfall in Thailand over Pak Phanang, Nakhon Si thammarat and is moving in a northwesterly direction,” the ABTA spokesman said.

“People on holiday in the region are advised to monitor news reports and follow any advice or instructions issued by the local authorities, their travel provider and their accommodation providers.”

Paul Bains, 44, originally from Pontefract, Yorkshire, but now living in New Zealand, is currently on holiday with his family on the Thai island of Koh Sumui. He said local officials haven’t provided much information, but it is “not the worst weather” he’s seen. Mr Bains has been livestreaming the storm from his holiday resort.

Mr Bains said: “We are safe in our hotel room, it’s been wet all day and the wind has risen since lunchtime but having been in tropical storms in the Philippines and Hong Kong it’s not the worst weather by far we have been in.

“Had a couple of issues trying to get flights re-booked as Bangkok Airlines hadn’t officially cancelled the flights on a computer system. So Malaysian Airways couldn’t re-book us for free at first but a couple of phone calls sorted that out.

“We’ve felt safe the entire time and feel people have been a bit hysterical on social media.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "LIZZIE ROBERTS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4851744.1546593812!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4851744.1546593812!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tropical storm Pabuk is expected to bring five-metre high waves and winds up to 46mph, the Thai Met Office has warned. Picture: AFP/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tropical storm Pabuk is expected to bring five-metre high waves and winds up to 46mph, the Thai Met Office has warned. Picture: AFP/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4851744.1546593812!/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/iran-s-attempt-to-control-iraq-may-include-hit-squads-struan-stevenson-1-4851622","id":"1.4851622","articleHeadline": "Iran’s attempt to control Iraq may include hit squads – Struan Stevenson","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1546581600000 ,"articleLead": "

Twice last month, the Iraqi parliament blocked the appointment of key ministerial posts by Iraq’s new Prime Minister Dr Adel Abdul Mahdi. The main sticking point with certain party blocs in the parliament has been Mahdi’s insistence on the appointment of Faleh al-Fayadh as Interior Minister.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4851621.1546542026!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi's attempts to appoint an Iranian-backed Interior Minister have led to walkouts in parliament (Picture: Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

Major blocs like Saairun, supported by the firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, have walked out of the parliament, leaving it un-quorate each time Mahdi has tabled Faleh al-Fayadh’s nomination. The issue has left the government in stalemate since the elections in May, with many politicians accusing Mahdi of backtracking on his pledge to appoint a cabinet of independent technocrats.

Opposition to al-Fayadh is not surprising. He was the brutal security advisor to former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and masterminded the military assaults on the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI) refugees in Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty, killing 168 defenceless men and women and wounding a further 1,700. His record of atrocities has earned him the accolade of an indictment by the Spanish Courts for crimes against humanity, limiting his ability to travel in Europe. Predictably, the venally corrupt and sectarian Maliki has openly rejected the Iraqi parliament’s refusal to nominate al-Fayadh as Interior Minister and has thrown his support behind the pro-Iranian blocs in the dispute. Like his former boss Maliki, Fayadh is a puppet of the Iranian regime. On the orders of the mullahs in Tehran he led the ruthless Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces during the campaign to oust Daesh (Isis) from Iraq, overseeing the almost complete destruction of the ancient cities of Fallujah, Ramadi and Mosul in the process and the genocidal ethnic cleansing of the Sunni population. Last Saturday he visited Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

READ MORE: Struan Stevenson: Why the West must not give aid to Iraq

Determined to see their candidate installed as Interior Minister, the mullahs have now sent the terrorist commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force on a diplomatic mission to Iraq to press for his appointment. The sinister General Qasem Soleimani visited Baghdad to take tea with the Mufti and to order the Iraqi Parliament’s Speaker, Mohamed al-Halbousi, to ensure the vote in favour of Fayadh was passed. The message that Tehran insisted on Fayadh’s appointment was apparently also delivered to the Prime Minister. General Soleimani then flew to Erbil in Northern Iraq, to pressurise the Kurds into backing al-Fayadh. According to British security officials that are in Baghdad to train the Iraqi military, Soleimani has also directed Iranian hit squads to assassinate critics of the mullah’s regime and opponents of al-Fayadh.

The Iranian mullahs’ malign interference in the internal affairs of Iraq has added to the growing crisis in the country, where there have been on-going public protests against the corruption of the political elite and the resulting unemployment and lack of public services. Rampant power cuts have left many Iraqi towns and cities with only a few hours of electricity daily. Water and sewerage infrastructure, destroyed during the US invasion, has never been re-built, despite Iraq’s burgeoning income from oil and gas. The country has been ranked as the 12th most corrupt in the world, according to Transparency International, with billions being pillaged annually by the criminal political class.

READ MORE: Struan Stevenson: Iran’s people are crying out for democracy

The turmoil over al-Fayadh’s appointment has paralysed the Iraqi government, where eight key posts remain unfilled. The international community must persuade Mahdi to dump the terrorist Fayadh and revert to the plan of appointing a cabinet composed on independent technocrats. Iranian interference in Iraq has cost the country dear. The blood-soaked sectarian legacy of Nouri al-Maliki and his henchman al-Fayadh should be a stark reminder that the mullah’s influence in Iraq has only ever been malevolent.

Struan Stevenson is coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change, was a member of the European Parliament representing Scotland (1999-2014), president of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-14) and chairman of Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup (2004-14). He is an international lecturer on the Middle East and is also president of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA).

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4851621.1546542026!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4851621.1546542026!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi's attempts to appoint an Iranian-backed Interior Minister have led to walkouts in parliament (Picture: Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi's attempts to appoint an Iranian-backed Interior Minister have led to walkouts in parliament (Picture: Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4851621.1546542026!/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/travel/discover-lions-elephants-and-rhino-in-amazing-kruger-safari-1-4842870","id":"1.4842870","articleHeadline": "Discover lions, elephants and rhino in amazing Kruger safari","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1546523797843 ,"articleLead": "Sneak peak: how to get up close and personal with the big five with on this glamping experience with a difference","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4842865.1546523798!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Get up close and personal with the animals"} ,"articleBody": "

Want to get as close as you can to the wilderness of Africa in 2019? The latest trend in safaris promises just that . . . with nothing between you and the magnificent flora and fauna of the bushveld but a sheet of canvas.

Glamping is the hottest thing on the savannah right now and Tydon African Safaris offers the very best in off-grid camping with the chance to experience the sounds, sights and smells of a true safari.

It has three spectacular tented camps in the Greater Kruger National Park, each offering something different, and the jewel in the crown can be found in Sabi Sands Game Reserve.

Access to this private reserve, known as the gold standard of safari experiences in South Africa, is usually restricted to guests staying in luxury safari lodges on the reserve but now intrepid travellers can stay in Tydon Bush Camp.

Sabi Sands, located in a vast conservation area renowned for its biodiversity and rich cultural history, is one of the best photographic and birding destinations in southern Africa. It’s known for its exceptional leopard sightings in particular, as safari vehicles are allowed to drive off-road to get even closer to the game.

The park is made up of 18 unfenced private game reserves that each offer high-end accommodation in stunning settings and spectacular wildlife sightings. It shares an unfenced 50km boundary with the iconic Kruger National Park and animals have free access to roam the area, which is part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region recognised under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere programme.

Along with Tydon Safari Camp and Tydon Eco Camp, the tour operator’s two other camps are nestled on the Greater Kruger’s border close to Shaw’s Gate; these stylish spots offer an ideal exclusive safari retreat that’s more affordable and just as special as traditional luxury lodges.

With so much nature right at the entrance to your tent, there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained, not least the chance to spot the big five: lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and Cape buffalo.

Run by Gavin and Vangie van der Merwe, Tydon African Safaris boasts more than 20 years of experience in hospitality and entertainment and the couple love to share their passion for the outdoors and camping with their guests. Days spent at the three Tydon safari camps revolve around stunning early morning and afternoon/evening game drives, hearty meals and complete relaxation. Their specialty is guided bush walks - the perfect way to experience the African bush.

The tented safari camps have a low environmental impact and children especially, will relish the joy of sand under their bare feet and star-gazing at night while sitting around a roaring fire.

For those keen to experience Sabi Sands, Tydon Bush Camp is tucked away in a cosy corner of the reserve. It’s an intimate camp sleeping up to eight people in four en-suite semi-luxury permanent tents set in beautiful bushveld surroundings. The bush camp is tranquil and completely private; children aged 16 and older are welcome.

The two family camps near Shaw’s Gate both sleep up to 14 people: Tydon Safari Camp offers seven en-suite semi-luxury permanent tents and at Tydon Eco Camp, which only uses solar and gas power, there are seven semi-luxury tents, each with their own private bathrooms. Children of all ages are welcome at both.

Travellers can select the self-drive option or opt for an all-inclusive safari package ranging from three to seven days with daily guided game drives, including safari tours into the Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands, night drives to spot animals under cover of darkness and visiting historical towns and sights on the famous Panorama Route.

To book a special safari with a difference, visit Tydon African Safaris.

" ,"byline": {"email": "voicelocal@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Ellie Evans"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4842865.1546523798!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4842865.1546523798!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Get up close and personal with the animals","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Get up close and personal with the animals","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4842865.1546523798!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4842866.1546523800!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4842866.1546523800!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Beautiful sunsets","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Beautiful sunsets","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4842866.1546523800!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4842867.1546523801!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4842867.1546523801!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Luxurious glamping","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Luxurious glamping","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4842867.1546523801!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4842868.1546523802!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4842868.1546523802!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Campfires under the skies","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Campfires under the skies","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4842868.1546523802!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4842869.1546523803!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4842869.1546523803!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Luxury tent village","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Luxury tent village","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4842869.1546523803!/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/future-scotland/tech/chinese-spacecraft-makes-first-landing-on-moon-s-dark-side-1-4851467","id":"1.4851467","articleHeadline": "Chinese spacecraft makes first landing on moon’s ‘dark side’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1546523299000 ,"articleLead": "

A Chinese spacecraft has made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon in the latest achievement for the country’s growing space programme.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4851466.1546523295!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The first image of the moon's far side taken by China's Chang'e-4 probe. Picture: AP"} ,"articleBody": "

A photo taken by the lunar explorer Chang’e 4 at 11.40am China time (3.40 GMT) and published online by the official Xinhua News Agency shows a small crater and a barren surface that appears to be illuminated by a light from the probe.

The relatively unexplored far side of the moon faces away from Earth and is also known as the dark side.

READ MORE: NASA release first high-resolution images of snowman-shaped Ultima Thule

Chang’e 4 had touched down on the surface just over an hour earlier at 10.26am, the China National Space Administration said.

It was announced by state broadcaster China Central Television at the top of its noon news broadcast.

The landing highlights China’s growing ambitions as a space power.

In 2013, Chang’e 3, the predecessor craft to the current mission, made the first moon landing since the then-Soviet Union’s Luna 24 in 1976. The United States is the only other country that has carried out moon landings.

The work of Chang’e 4, which is carrying a rover, includes astronomical observations and probes to determine the structure and mineral composition of the terrain.

“The far side of the moon is a rare quiet place that is free from interference of radio signals from Earth,” mission spokesman Yu Guobin said, according to Xinhua.

“This probe can fill the gap of low-frequency observation in radio astronomy and will provide important information for studying the origin of stars and nebula evolution.”

In May, a relay satellite “Queqiao,” or “Magpie Bridge”, named after an ancient Chinese folk tale, was launched to provide communications support between Chang’e 4 and Earth.

A Long March 3B rocket carrying Chang’e 4 blasted off on December 8 from Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southern China.

China plans to send its Chang’e 5 probe to the moon next year and have it return to Earth with samples - the first time that will have been done since 1976.

Chang’e is the name of a Chinese goddess who, according to legend, has lived on the moon for millennia.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4851466.1546523295!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4851466.1546523295!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The first image of the moon's far side taken by China's Chang'e-4 probe. Picture: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The first image of the moon's far side taken by China's Chang'e-4 probe. Picture: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4851466.1546523295!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}