{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"world","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/democracy-moves-slowly-as-china-steals-march-in-malawi-susan-dalgety-1-4934028","id":"1.4934028","articleHeadline": "Democracy moves slowly as China steals march in Malawi – Susan Dalgety","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558709434000 ,"articleLead": "

Chinese influence is strong in Africa, finds Susan Dalgety as she and the people of Malawi await the results of a general election.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4934027.1558709432!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A woman casts her vote at Masasa Primary School polling station in Mzuzu on 21 May (Picture: Patrick Meinhardt/AFP/Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

Patience is a necessity, if not a virtue, here in Malawi. Phlegmatic queues are the order of the day, whether in an Airtel shop, waiting for 20 minutes to buy a voucher for internet access, or at the not-so fast food outlet, where chips can take an inordinately long time to fry.

No-one seems to mind, not even congenitally impatient souls like myself. Waiting is a way of life. Waiting for the rains to give life to the maize. Waiting for an international NGO to build a bore-hole in a village. Waiting to find out who will lead the country for the next five years. Waiting.

Malawi went to the polls on Tuesday, 21 May. As I write, on Friday morning, the final result has still to be declared.

Dr Jane Ansah, chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), has become something of a folk hero. Her twice daily updates on live television are eagerly awaited by a nation desperate for news.

None more so than her scheduled 9pm broadcast on Thursday night. “This is it,” said everyone, “the result is about to be declared.”

Except it wasn’t. Several complaints about the voting process had been lodged, from accusations of vote-rigging to tally sheets not adding up.

“We have to dedicate a great deal of our time to address alleged irregularities and to investigate and resolve some of these complaints according to the Commission’s mandate to ensure that the results brought to you are accurate,” declared Dr Ansah.

“I appeal to my fellow Malawians to exercise patience ...” and with that she was gone, leaving an expectant nation waiting.

The next update is in a few hours’ time, and I suspect we will learn that the sitting President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, will have scraped back in for another five years.

His strategy of focusing on his base, the millions of rural poor, seems to have paid off, much to the frustration of urban Malawians crying out for change.

READ MORE: The country with problems that make Brexit seem trivial – Susan Dalgety

Their desperation is understandable. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. A respected American publication, Global Finance Magazine, declared last month that it was the fourth poorest, worse off even than countries such as Mozambique, South Sudan and Liberia which have endured terrible conflict in recent years.

Malawi’s continued poverty confounds many development experts. The country is peaceful, the land fertile, and its people hard-working. International donors, including the UK and Scottish governments, invest around £1.2 billion a year in aid, ranging from humanitarian aid at times of crisis, such as the recent floods, to longer-term interventions in health, education and climate change.

There is support for anti-corruption work, private sector development and tackling HIV/Aids. There are plentiful five-year plans, national and local, linked to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Conferences and workshops abound, and yet for the overwhelming majority of Malawians, the millions living in rural villages hidden in the country’s interior, miles from the main roads, life is essentially unchanged since before colonialism.

There have been some notable successes, however. Malawi has one of the highest prevalences of HIV in the world, with one million people affected, nearly ten per cent of the adult population. But it has made remarkable progress in tacking the epidemic and is on track to achieve UNAIDS’s 90-90-90 target by next year. This means that 90 per cent of people with HIV will know their status, 90 per cent will get anti-retro viral treatment (ARVs) and 90 per cent of those on ARVs will be well.

Quite an achievement for a country that causes many people to shrug and say: “Oh Malawi, what can be done?”

READ MORE: Scotland’s unique friendship with ‘the warm heart of Africa’ – Susan Dalgety

Standing in one of Malawi’s oldest fabric shops earlier this week, the scale of the challenges facing the country became chillingly clear. I was with Debra, an old friend and an accomplished dressmaker, eager to choose fabric for some summer dresses.

“The Malawian fabric is poor quality,” said the shop-owner, “You need Kenyan or Nigerian cloth, but the real stuff is hard to get,” he added, shrugging with obvious boredom at yet another white woman looking for “authenticity”.

Twenty minutes later, in the heat of the market across the road, I found out why “the real stuff” is hard to get. The colourful cotton fabric that is so redolent of sub-Saharan Africa now comes stamped “Made in China”.

Chinese “real-fake” African cloth has flooded the market, both in East and West Africa, and the chitenjes worn by women everywhere across Malawi are now more likely to have been manufactured 6,000 miles away in China than in Malawi or Tanzania.

Chinese influence is everywhere in Malawi. The new national parliament building, opened in 2010, was financed by a grant from the Chinese government and built by a Chinese construction firm.

As was the national football stadium, opened in 2017, the new road in the north of the country, from Karonga to Chitipa, and several luxury hotels.

Chinese shops, which sell everything from penis-enlarging gel for men (“last longer, larger size” boasts the garish packaging) to fake Louis Vuitton handbags, have sprung up, distorting the traditional retail market dominated by Asian-Malawians. And last September, at a conference in Beijing, China’s leader-for-life, President Xi Jinping, promised 40 African countries, including Malawi, a share of $60 billion in aid and loans over the next three years.

The money comes with “no political strings attached”, promised Xi. “China does not interfere in Africa’s internal affairs, and does not impose its own will on Africa,” he added, with a not-so subtle dig at countries like Britain and USA which energetically promote good governance along with their humanitarian aid.

China does not care if Malawi’s elections are fair and free, or if its markets are properly regulated, or its citizens educated. China sees only a market of 18 million people and growing. The USA gets its iPhones made in China. Malawi gets its chitenjes.

President Xi sees, too, a vote at the UN, an ally in years to come when the global economy – and therefore global politics – is dominated by China.

The long-term fate of Malawi will depend not as much on who wins the election this week, but who wins the trade war between China and the USA. As will ours.

NEWSFLASH: Malawi is still waiting. MEC chairperson Dr Ansah, said on Friday afternoon “we’re almost there”, but added that the Presidential election was too close to call and all complaints must be investigated.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4934027.1558709432!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4934027.1558709432!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A woman casts her vote at Masasa Primary School polling station in Mzuzu on 21 May (Picture: Patrick Meinhardt/AFP/Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A woman casts her vote at Masasa Primary School polling station in Mzuzu on 21 May (Picture: Patrick Meinhardt/AFP/Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4934027.1558709432!/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/donald-trump-to-skip-scotland-during-uk-visit-1-4934411","id":"1.4934411","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump to skip Scotland during UK visit","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558721300696 ,"articleLead": "US president Donald Trump will not visit Scotland when he makes a three-day trip to the UK next month.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4934410.1558716738!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "US president Donald Trump will not visit Scotland next month"} ,"articleBody": "

Buckingham Palace has released details of Mr Trump's State Visit to the UK, which will include having a private lunch at Buckingham Palace with the Queen.

Tea with the the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House, along with a visit to Downing Street for talks with Prime Minister Theresa May, are also on the agenda.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: Theresa May's departure enhances case for Indyref2

However, unlike last year when Mr Trump travelled north of the Border during a separate UK trip, the American president will not venture to Scotland to tour any of his golfing or property assets.

The American head of state, and his wife Melania, will have a private lunch with the Queen when he arrives in Britain on Monday week.

Mr Trump's first trip to the UK as president sparked controversy last year and critics have said he should not have been given the honour of an official state visit.

The Queen, Charles, and the Duchess of Cornwall, will officially welcome Mr Trump, and his wife to Buckingham Palace on the first day of his visit.

READ MORE: Is Theresa May plotting revenge on Donald Trump? – leader comment

Accompanied by Charles, the US president will inspect a guard of honour at Buckingham Palace and royal gun salutes will be fired in Green Park and at the Tower of London in the capital.

After lunch, the Queen will invite the Trumps to view a special exhibition in the picture gallery at Buckingham Palace which will showcase items of historical significance to the United States from the royal collection.

Afterwards, the US president and his wife, accompanied by the Duke of York, will visit Westminster Abbey, where Mr Trump will lay a wreath at the grave of the unknown warrior.

The president and first lady will then have a short tour of Westminster Abbey.

This will be followed by tea at Clarence House with Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

That evening the Queen will give a state banquet at Buckingham Palace for the president at which both heads of state will make speeches.

On Tuesday 4 June, Mrs May and the US president will co-host a business breakfast meeting, attended by the Duke of York, at St James's Palace.

The US president will then visit Downing Street to hold talks with the Prime Minister.

The PM and president will then hold a joint press conference in Downing Street.

That evening the Trumps will host a return dinner at Winfield House, the residence of the US ambassador, which Charles and Camilla will attend on behalf of the Queen.

On Wednesday 5 June, the Queen and Charles will attend the national commemorative event for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Southsea Common, Portsmouth.

More than 300 Day veterans will be at the ceremony, which aims to tell the story of D-Day through musical performance, testimonial readings and military displays, including a fly-past of 25 modern and historical aircraft.

The Queen will then formally bid farewell to the Trumps in Portsmouth.

The visit comes after Mrs May announced she would resign as Tory leader on 7 June.

" ,"byline": {"email": "dale.miller@jpimedia.co.uk" ,"author": "Dale Miller"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4934410.1558716738!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4934410.1558716738!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "US president Donald Trump will not visit Scotland next month","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "US president Donald Trump will not visit Scotland next month","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4934410.1558716738!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"3000000001995727"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/joyce-mcmillan-srebrenica-massacre-a-warning-against-attacks-on-liberalism-1-4933542","id":"1.4933542","articleHeadline": "Joyce McMillan: Srebrenica massacre a warning against attacks on liberalism","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558674000000 ,"articleLead": "

The Srebrenica massacre of 1995 shows political ideology is not just a game for intellectuals and politicians, writes Joyce McMillan.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4933541.1558637733!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bosnian Muslim refugees from Srebrenica seek refuge at a UN base in Potocari in July 1995 (Picture: AP)"} ,"articleBody": "

Places are just places; but then something horrific happens there, and a particular place becomes something much more than a field, or a street, or a riverbank. The old battery factory at Potocari, which I visited earlier this week along with a group from the charity Remembering Srebrenica Scotland, lies on the road between the two small Bosnian towns of Bratunac and Srebrenica, near the country’s eastern border. To all appearances, it’s just an old 1970s-style factory shed, standing in a field by an ordinary roadside amid the rolling, heavily wooded hills and mountains that are typical of most of Bosnia.

Images of the factory and its workers from the 1970s and 80s show a community of working-class European people enjoying a time of peace and relative prosperity; they could be of Linwood, or Dagenham. Little cars pass through the entry gates, the factory social club thrives, and families grow up on the pay of the plant’s workers, who come from all of the republics and ethnic groups in the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia – including the Croatians and Slovenians to the north west, the Serbs to the east, and the mainly Muslim Bosnians in the middle.

Then, though, came war; not a war that the people around Srebrenica ever thought could touch them, but a war that would nonetheless devastate tens of thousands of their lives. After the death of the country’s relatively light-touch Communist leader Marshall Tito, in 1980, the leaders of revived forms of Serbian and Croatian nationalism saw their chance, and began to pump out propaganda suggesting to their people that the other ethnic groups in Yugoslavia were the cause of their problems, inferior and untrustworthy populations who needed to be controlled or destroyed; the Serbs in particular saw the whole of Yugoslavia as theirs to dominate, and some began to draw maps showing the whole area as ‘Greater Serbia’.

READ MORE: Insight: Srebrenica, 20 years living in shadow of genocide

By the summer of 1991, when Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from a crumbling Yugoslavia, the Serbian government had taken control of the whole massive Yugoslav army, and was ready for war; and in 1991-92 they advanced far into Bosnia, claiming huge areas of the territory, clearing out non-Serb populations in what became known as “ethnic cleansing”, and laying siege to the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, a relaxed and sophisticated international city which had famously hosted the Winter Olympics in 1984.

The international community went into diplomatic overdrive, sending UN troops to secure Sarajevo airport, and declaring a no-fly zone over the country; they also declared some other areas with high Bosnian Muslim populations to be UN protected zones. One of those was Srebrenica; and in 1994, a battalion of Dutch UN troops arrived to protect the safe zone, setting up headquarters in the old battery factory.

So when, in July 1995, the Bosnian Serb army began its final assault on the town, it’s not surprising that while most of the younger men in the population – about 10,000-15,000 – formed a column and took to the hills, in an attempt to walk to relative safety in Tuzla 45 miles away, the rest of the people surged three or four miles up the road to the Dutch base at Potocari, where they thought they would be safe under UN protection. The rest is history, as the Serbian army took the deserted town, arrived at Potocari, and effectively forced the lightly-armed UN troops to stand by while they piled tens of thousands of women and children onto buses for deportation to Tuzla, then separated out the remaining men, took them to locations around the area, shot them, and piled them into mass graves; some groups of women were also taken away and systematically raped. The official death toll of the Srebrenica massacre, the worst atrocity in Europe since the Second World War, is 8,372; and that does not include all of those who died when the Serbs began to shell and gas the column of mainly unarmed men trying to walk through the hills.

So today, in the field across the road from the battery factory – now a memorial museum – there is a new graveyard with more than 6,000 headstones; and in Tuzla, a modest pathology lab in which a small and dedicated staff still work tirelessly, 24 years on, to try to reconcile the shattered remains of bodies found in the forest or in mass graves with the descriptions and DNA of bereaved relatives.

READ MORE: Srebrenica: Serbia leader apology for war massacre

And what are we to learn from all this, almost a quarter of century on? Far too many things to list here, of course. Yet in this particular week, as we face a European election that could change the face of our continent for good, we should remember this; that political ideology is not just a game for intellectuals and politicians, remote from everyday life. We should remember that political ideas can kill, even if they are promoted by people who are at first dismissed as clowns and buffoons.

And we can also remember, I think, to take a strongly sceptical view of those who argue that liberal values such as peace, tolerance, internationalism and an appreciation of diversity are essentially ‘elite’ values, now being justly rejected by an exasperated working class.

For when those values fail, it is never the “elites” who suffer most; and if you doubt that, take a trip to beautiful Bosnia, go to Potocari, and stand in that old factory space where they once lined up the coffins, reading the life-stories and looking at the belongings of the ordinary yet irreplaceable men who died. Then tell me that this is not working-class history, about a profound attack on those basic civic ideals and values which are essential if ordinary citizens without wealth or connections are to live their lives in safety and dignity; and about a desperate capitulation to those siren voices, now increasingly familiar once again, which tell us those values should be ditched in favour of something that always claims to be more democratic and more ‘popular’ – but which, if history is any guide, is more likely to kill ordinary men and women in their thousands and millions, before it is finally defeated again.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4933541.1558637733!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4933541.1558637733!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Bosnian Muslim refugees from Srebrenica seek refuge at a UN base in Potocari in July 1995 (Picture: AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Bosnian Muslim refugees from Srebrenica seek refuge at a UN base in Potocari in July 1995 (Picture: AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4933541.1558637733!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/is-theresa-may-plotting-revenge-on-donald-trump-leader-comment-1-4933533","id":"1.4933533","articleHeadline": "Is Theresa May plotting revenge on Donald Trump? – leader comment","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558674000000 ,"articleLead": "

Maybe Theresa May just really wants to meet Donald Trump, so they can hold hands again.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4933532.1558635670!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Be scared Donald Trump, be very, very scared. Okay not really (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

It’s true the last time the US President came for a visit, he said Boris Johnson would make a “great Prime Minister”, criticised May in an interview with the Sun, then dismissed its report saying “it’s called fake news and we solve a lot of problems with the good old recording instrument”, then backtracked after the Sun reporter pointed out that he had also recorded the remarks which could be heard on the paper’s website.

READ MORE: Donald Trump insists relationship with Theresa May is ‘very strong’

Some people might be offended by that sort of thing – a guest bigging up a rival, slagging you off and lying about doing so in a transparently unbelievable way – but not our Prime Minister.

Or perhaps, just perhaps, May has ‘gone rogue’ as the Americans say. Could it be that May is plotting her revenge?

However, Trump probably doesn’t need to be too worried. May is, after all, someone whose naughtiest misdemeanour to date is “running through fields of wheat”.

Trump’s naughtiest act? One wouldn’t like to speculate in a family newspaper.

READ MORE: Donald Trump lashes out at Theresa May in extraordinary interview

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4933532.1558635670!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4933532.1558635670!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Be scared Donald Trump, be very, very scared. Okay not really (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Be scared Donald Trump, be very, very scared. Okay not really (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4933532.1558635670!/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/exit-poll-hints-at-dutch-eu-election-result-1-4933612","id":"1.4933612","articleHeadline": "Exit poll hints at Dutch EU election result","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558645460000 ,"articleLead": "

Voting for the European Parliament election also took place yesterday in the Netherlands, where an exit poll published by Dutch national broadcaster NOS showed the Labor Party had won the most seats.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4905364.1558645457!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Young EU supporters. (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)"} ,"articleBody": "

The Ipsos poll published immediately after voting ended showed Labor winning five out of the country’s overall 26 seats, while the liberal VVD party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte gained one seat to win four seats.

READ MORE: Brexit: ‘Democratic disaster’ as hundreds of EU nationals denied a vote

Two Dutch populist parties won a total of four seats. Advocating a referendum on the Netherlands leaving the EU, newcomer Forum for Democracy led by charismatic intellectual Thierry Baudet won three seats in its first European election while the anti-Islam Party for Freedom dropped three seats to hold just one.

Voting in the remaining 25 EU member states takes place at various times over the next two days, with the results announced once the voting process is complete on Sunday at 10pm.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4905364.1558645457!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4905364.1558645457!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Young EU supporters. (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Young EU supporters. (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4905364.1558645457!/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/geoffrey-rush-collects-record-damages-in-actress-claim-defamation-1-4933576","id":"1.4933576","articleHeadline": "Geoffrey Rush collects record damages in actress claim defamation","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558641518000 ,"articleLead": "

Oscar-winning actor ­Geoffrey Rush has won an ­Australian record of 2.9 ­million Australian dollars (£1.6 million) damages by a Sydney judge yesterday in a defamation case against a newspaper publisher and journalist over reports that he had been accused of ­inappropriate behaviour toward an actress.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4933575.1558641516!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Geoffrey Rush arrives for the UK film premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, at the Vue Westfield in west London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 12, 2011. Photo credit: Ian West/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The 67-year-old Australian had sued the publisher of ­Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph and journalist Jonathon Moran in the Federal Court over two stories and a poster published in late 2017.

Justice Michael Wigney found in April that the publisher, News Corp.-owned Nationwide News, and Moran were reckless regarding the truth when they reported Rush had been accused of inappropriate behaviour by actress Eryn Jean Norvill.

READ MORE: Missed safety checks led to death of cinema-goer whose neck was crushed under seat

She played the daughter of Rush’s character in a Sydney theatre production of King Lear in 2015 and 2016. The judge found a poster and two articles contained several defamatory meanings, including that Rush was a pervert and a sexual predator, but the publisher had not proved the meanings were true.

READ MORE: Trump impersonator plots Fringe comedy on campaign against Scots hotel takeover bid

Wigney at the time ­awarded Rush AU$850,000 in damages plus AU$42,302 interest for non-economic loss. But he wanted to consider further special damages, including loss of earnings.

Following an agreement between the parties, the judge yesterday awarded Rush a ­further AU$1.98 million for past and future economic loss.

The publisher and journalist are appealing the verdict.

Rush’s lawyer, Sue Chrysanthou, said Rush had offered early last year to ­settle in for an apology and AU$50,000 plus costs, but Nationwide News did not respond.

Comic actress Rebel Wilson had previously won an Australian record AU$4.7 ­million damages in 2017 in a ­defamation case against a magazine publisher. But the damages were reduced by 90 per cent on appeal.

Orange Is the New Black actress Yael Stone was revealed two weeks ago as the potential witness who Wigney refused to allow to testify.

Nationwide News lost a mid-trial bid last November to amend its defence based on Stone’s evidence.

Wigney said the proposed amendment raised new ­allegations, would delay court proceedings and cause Rush “manifest and palpable” ­prejudice. The trial by then had run for 12 days and ended three days later.

The judge prohibited Stone from being publicly identified. The Netflix series actress was described in the media as ­Witness X. Stone told The New York Times in December that Rush engaged in sexually inappropriate behaviour when they starred in The Diary of a Madman on a Sydney stage in 2010.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4933575.1558641516!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4933575.1558641516!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Geoffrey Rush arrives for the UK film premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, at the Vue Westfield in west London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 12, 2011. Photo credit: Ian West/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Geoffrey Rush arrives for the UK film premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, at the Vue Westfield in west London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 12, 2011. Photo credit: Ian West/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4933575.1558641516!/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/indian-pm-wins-second-term-after-600-million-votes-counted-1-4933552","id":"1.4933552","articleHeadline": "Indian PM wins second term after 600 million votes counted","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558638613000 ,"articleLead": "

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s party claimed it had won re-election with a commanding lead in yesterday’s vote count, while the stock market soared in anticipation of another five-year term for the pro-business Hindu nationalist leader.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4933551.1558638611!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Indian Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters wearing masks of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi dance as they celebrate on the vote results day for India's general election. BIJU BORO/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Election Commission data showed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leading in contests for 299 out of 542 seats in the lower house of Parliament, with its main rival, the Indian National Congress, ahead in 50 contests.

READ MORE: Missed safety checks led to death of cinema-goer whose neck was crushed under seat

The data didn’t indicate what percentage of the estimated 600 million votes cast over the six-week election had been counted. Although the final tally was not expected until last night at the earliest, BJP president Amit Shah claimed a victory, crediting Modi’s “leadership”.

Mr Modi himself tweeted: “India wins yet again.”

READ MORE: Trump impersonator plots Fringe comedy on campaign against Scots hotel takeover bid

The election has been seen as a referendum on India’s 68-year-old prime minister, whose economic reforms have had mixed results but whose popularity as a social underdog in India’s highly stratified society has endured. Critics have said his Hindu-first platform risks exacerbating social tensions in the country of 1.3 billion people.

On the campaign trail, Mr Modi presented himself as a self-made man with the confidence to cut red tape and unleash India’s economic potential, and labeled Congress party president Rahul Gandhi, the scion of a political dynasty that lost power in 2014, as an out-of-touch elite.

The BJP’s performance “is absolutely stunning. Modi is the predominant leader in India today. He has pushed everybody else aside. Nobody in the opposition is a match for him,” said political commentator Arti Jerath.

Half a dozen exit polls released after voting concluded on Sunday showed Mr Modi and the BJP winning. A party or coalition needs a simple majority of 272 seats to govern.

“Mr Modi’s going to be the next prime minister, we are very assured of that,” said Meenakshi Lekhi, anMP running for re-election in New Delhi. Shortly after officials began tabulating the votes, India’s Sensex jumped 2.3 per cent to an all-time high over 40,000.

If BJP’s lead holds, it won’t need a coalition partner to stay in power and could even improve its position compared to 2014, when it won 282 seats. This election may mark the first time in the party’s history that it has two consecutive elections on its own.

World leaders, including Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Chinese president Xi Jinping and Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena, congratulated Mr Modi on Twitter.

Trends in the election data suggest that BJP’s strategy of pursuing an aggressive campaign in eastern India paid off, with the party breaking into the citadels of the Trinamool Congress Party in West Bengal state and the Biju Janata Dal in Odisha state. Picking up seats in these two states would compensate for projected losses in Uttar Pradesh in northern India.

The biggest losers appear to be the communists who ruled West Bengal for 34 years until they were ousted by Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress Party in 2011. Coalition partners of the Congress-led government in New Delhi between 2004 and 2008, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) was leading in only three constituencies and the Communist party of India in two constituencies.

Outside BJP headquarters in New Delhi, hundreds of people cheered and shouted party slogans, lifting cardboard cut-outs of Modi as others played drums and set off fireworks.

Voters cast ballots on some 40 million electronic voting machines, a method India began using 15 years ago after complaints that the manual count of paper ballots was tainted by fraud and abuse.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4933551.1558638611!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4933551.1558638611!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Indian Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters wearing masks of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi dance as they celebrate on the vote results day for India's general election. BIJU BORO/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Indian Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) supporters wearing masks of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi dance as they celebrate on the vote results day for India's general election. BIJU BORO/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4933551.1558638611!/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/health/chiara-cotronei-scotland-malawi-partnership-means-finding-long-term-solutions-together-1-4932179","id":"1.4932179","articleHeadline": "Chiara Cotronei: Scotland-Malawi partnership means finding long-term solutions together","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558608523000 ,"articleLead": "

There are some trips that stay with you forever. For me, it will always be my first visit to Malawi.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4932175.1558608518!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chiara Cotronei and Nicola Goldmann, both SMP youth committee members, holding signs in Chichewa, saying . Muli Bwanji meaning 'how are you' and Ndili Bwino meaning 'I am well, thank you'. It is a very friendly greeting that you will hear used a lot in many parts in Malawi."} ,"articleBody": "

Since starting at university as a medical student, I developed a passion for global health so I was very excited to travel to Malawi to learn about health systems outside of Scotland. During my six weeks there, I shadowed local staff in hospitals and interned with a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

For a number of years, I have been attracted to the question of how cooperation between countries can improve equity in health and opportunities worldwide, so I was unbelievably excited about this trip. I wanted to better understand how hospitals and clinics deal with the challenge of scarce resources and to explore how international aid supports healthcare.

It became apparent to me how important two-way respectful dialogue and decision-making between international charities and Malawians is in achieving collaborative goals. It made me question whether the root causes of the disparities were being tackled.

I returned home full of doubt. What was the point of international development if only small gaps in inequality were being addressed without any long-term solutions? Was it sustainable to leave systematic development in the hands of charities and NGOs without putting locals at the heart of important decision-making processes? What could be done from Scotland to address inequalities in a fair, sustainable and just way?

These were the questions I found myself asking and ones I wanted to discuss with anyone who would listen. My longing to find answers extended to the desire of involving more young people in the conversation.

The opportunity for this came when I heard about the Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP) Youth Committee. The Youth Committee was launched during the 2018 Year of Young People thanks to a grant by the Year of Young People National Lottery Fund. Run by the SMP, it was set up to give young people a platform to plan and coordinate a series of events and competitions and help promote and develop the historic links between young people here in Scotland and in Malawi.

Joining the SMP Youth Committee has been an incredible opportunity for me to try and answer these questions and involve more people in the conversation on how to develop the partnerships between Scotland and Malawi that date back 160 years to Dr David Livingstone.

At SMP-hosted events, I’ve met people who have spent decades working in grassroots movements and initiating sustainable projects. Their work and high standards of reflection on what they have done has shown me that it is possible for two countries to progress as partners, providing each other support and inspiration.

I’ve also been a part of a team which has helped to plan events such as the 2019 Youth Congress, a day full of workshops and activities for over 200 young people across Scotland which focused on celebrating the heritage and cultural links between young people in Scotland and Malawi. Importantly for me, we were involved in every stage of the planning process alongside the staff at the SMP so I truly had input into how the event was planned and delivered.

The event highlighted why cultural exchange is important as a way of developing and deepening the partnership between Scotland and Malawi. It was a fantastic success with young people discussing what this longstanding relationship between the two countries means to them, learning about the language and culture, and thinking about how to develop their own links in the future.

Now halfway through the Youth Committee project, our goal is to continue making the partnership accessible to young people. We’ve brought new ideas and promoted engagement between young people here and in Malawi. I believe we have enticed young Scots to work with Malawi and invited them to see and explore the impacts and complexities of a globalised world and hope this will set about change in the future.

And who is better than young people in continuing a partnership? Young people who are not afraid to dream and change the way things have been done before and who can pioneer innovation.

Although I have not yet found answers to all my questions, I have had the opportunity to engage with my generation around issues I feel so strongly about and continued to grow long after my travels were over. Some trips are unforgettable because they extend beyond a summer experience, and joining the SMP Youth Committee has been an incredible start to an exciting new journey.

Chiara Cotronei, Scotland Malawi Partnership Youth Committee 

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4932175.1558608518!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4932175.1558608518!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Chiara Cotronei and Nicola Goldmann, both SMP youth committee members, holding signs in Chichewa, saying . Muli Bwanji meaning 'how are you' and Ndili Bwino meaning 'I am well, thank you'. It is a very friendly greeting that you will hear used a lot in many parts in Malawi.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chiara Cotronei and Nicola Goldmann, both SMP youth committee members, holding signs in Chichewa, saying . Muli Bwanji meaning 'how are you' and Ndili Bwino meaning 'I am well, thank you'. It is a very friendly greeting that you will hear used a lot in many parts in Malawi.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4932175.1558608518!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4932178.1558608521!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4932178.1558608521!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Chiara Cotronei, Scotland Malawi Partnership Youth Committee member","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chiara Cotronei, Scotland Malawi Partnership Youth Committee member","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4932178.1558608521!/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/arts-and-culture/entertainment/johnny-depp-accuses-ex-wife-of-having-painted-on-bruises-1-4931969","id":"1.4931969","articleHeadline": "Johnny Depp accuses ex-wife of having ‘painted on bruises’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558505656000 ,"articleLead": "

Johnny Depp has accused ex-wife Amber Heard of having “painted-on bruises”, as he denied being physically abusive in newly filed court documents.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4931968.1558505652!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hollywood actor Johnny Depp. Picture: Patrick Baz"} ,"articleBody": "

Hollywood actors Depp and Heard married in 2015 before an acrimonious divorce two years later, with both sides accusing the other of violence.

After Aquaman star Heard wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post in December last year, describing herself as a victim of domestic abuse, Depp launched a $50 million (£39m) defamation lawsuit against her.

Heard asked a judge in Virginia to dismiss the lawsuit, drawing a new response from Depp. The 55-year-old Pirates Of The Caribbean star wrote in a declaration: “I have denied Ms Heard’s allegations vehemently since she first made them in May 2016 when she walked into court to obtain a temporary restraining order with painted-on bruises that witnesses and surveillance footage show she did not possess each day of the preceding week. I will continue to deny them for the rest of my life.”

Depp added: “I never abused Ms Heard or any other woman.” He then went on to allege Heard was the aggressor in the relationship.

He said: “She was the perpetrator, and I was the victim. While mixing prescription amphetamines and non-prescription drugs with alcohol, Ms Heard committed innumerable acts of domestic violence against me, often in the presence of a third-party witness, which in some instances caused me serious bodily harm.”

A lawyer for Heard, 33, denied the allegations and alluded to other legal actions Depp is involved in, with former lawyers and managers. In a statement to People magazine, Eric George said: “The evidence in this case is clear: Johnny Depp repeatedly beat Amber Heard.

“The increasingly desperate attempts by Mr Depp and his enablers to revive his career by initiating baseless litigation against so many people once close to him – his former lawyers, former managers, and his former spouse – are not fooling anyone.”

Mr George added: “In light of the important work done by the #TimesUp movement highlighting the tactics abusers use to continue to traumatise survivors, neither the creative community nor the public will be gaslit by Mr Depp’s baseless blame-the-victim conspiracy theories.”

Depp and Heard started dating after meeting on the set of 2011 comedy The Rum Diary.

They married in Los Angeles in February 2015. In May 2016 Heard obtained a restraining order against Depp after accusing him of abuse, which he denied.

The couple settled their divorce out of court in 2017, with Heard donating her $7m settlement to charity.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4931968.1558505652!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4931968.1558505652!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hollywood actor Johnny Depp. Picture: Patrick Baz","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hollywood actor Johnny Depp. Picture: Patrick Baz","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4931968.1558505652!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/despite-brexit-scotland-is-taking-steps-to-remain-true-friend-of-eu-richard-lochhead-1-4931590","id":"1.4931590","articleHeadline": "Despite Brexit, Scotland is taking steps to remain true friend of EU – Richard Lochhead","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558501200000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland’s firm commitment to internationalism and cultural and intellectual exchange is demonstrated by proportionally more Scottish students going on the Erasmus exchange than from any other country in the UK, writes Scottish Government Minister Richard Lochhead.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4931589.1558448535!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A 'One Europe For All' march in Berlin last weekend showed the strength of pro-EU feeling (Picture: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

We can forget sometimes just how high Scotland’s international reputation can be.

In my previous ministerial job, I found that out at first hand as I promoted our world-class food-and-drink sector in Europe and across the globe.

Now I am acutely aware of the value of our university sector both here at home and on the international stage. In fact, we have more top universities per head of population than any other country, bar Switzerland.

With the turmoil at Westminster and the growing prospect of a hard-line, isolationist Brexiteer taking over as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister, it is more important than ever to proclaim and protect Scotland’s internationalist values.

In many ways, our university sector exemplifies our wider vision of Scotland’s place in Europe. We have benefited enormously from the EU students and staff who have chosen to study and work in Scotland. But equally we have made a major contribution to other European countries and the common good through collaborative research and other projects.

It’s one of the reasons the Scottish Government believes so strongly that EU membership is good for Scotland and why people should be given the opportunity to stop Brexit.

Last week I led a delegation from Scotland’s universities to Berlin to deepen vital research, education, innovation and alumni connections with Germany under the banner of “Connected Scotland”.

Flying the flag abroad for Scottish education and research is crucial in the face of a Brexit that Scotland did not vote for. We must do all we can to ensure our fellow EU citizens who come to Scotland know we value their positive contribution to our economy and society, and that they are respected, appreciated and welcome here.

READ MORE: Independent Scotland welcomed by EU with ‘open arms’: Sturgeon

We have already confirmed that eligible EU students starting courses in academic year 2020-21 will benefit from free tuition for the duration of their courses.

Since 2000, the proportion of international students in Scotland has more than doubled – from 10 per cent to 22 per cent – and now come from 180 countries. Almost 3,000 German students are at Scottish universities – the largest single group from the EU, and the third largest in Scotland after China and the United States. And there are currently over 20,000 Germans living in Scotland.

So we have an increasing number of alumni who will return home after study and could act as strong ambassadors for Scotland.

As an outward-looking, pro-European nation, we have long valued the place of education and research partnerships with other nations – none more so than with organisations and people in Germany. Make no mistake, people in Germany value their connections with Scotland just as much. Germany is Scotland’s fourth highest export country and sixth highest inward-investing country.

German-Scottish links go back a long way. From Scottish merchants trading with Hamburg, to the influence of Goethe on 19th century philosophers like Thomas Carlyle, and our endeavours through the Enlightenment period, ours is a shared history. It lives on today in the huge range of international research and innovation collaborations involving Scottish and German researchers and organisations in areas such as data, wind energy and mapping the human brain.

READ MORE: Mark Lazarowicz fails to back Labour for Euro elections

Scottish universities and others know that collaboration with German partners is a key factor for success. The University of Glasgow is home to the first International Max Planck Partnership in the UK, bringing together physicists from five Scottish universities and five German Max Planck Institutes to establish collaborations in quantum science. Since 2012, the University of Strathclyde has hosted the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics, the only one of its kind in the UK.

In the uncertain environment created by Brexit, Scottish universities are stepping up their engagement with German organisations, saying loudly and clearly that they do not want to lose these vital partnerships. The European Centre for Advanced Studies in Lüneburg, launched by the universities of Glasgow and Leuphana in April this year, will provide joint courses and deepen research collaboration. The University of St Andrews has recently reached a strategic agreement with Bonn University to exchange staff and students, including opportunities for research, teaching and study.

And Prof Sir Anton Muscatelli, as chair of the UK Russell Group of universities including Glasgow and Edinburgh, signed a memorandum of understanding with the German U15 group of universities last year.

Scotland’s firm commitment to internationalism and cultural and intellectual exchange is demonstrated by proportionally more Scottish students going on the Erasmus exchange than from any other country in the UK.

And Germany is Scotland’s top partner in the EU for collaboration under the Horizon 2020 flagship research and innovation programme, generating impact and excellence for both countries.

The German people I met, from alumni of our universities to those who had been on Erasmus schemes to those involved in research collaboration, displayed a huge amount of goodwill to further collaborate with Scotland. I intend to ensure that we will be able to capitalise on that.

During one of the sessions in Berlin, there was a comment that Scotland should think about leading not just a new scientific wave of opportunity, but also a thought leadership one – a new Enlightenment.

We can only do so if we remain in attitude, thought and action a true partner and friend of Europe. And that is exactly what Scotland wants to continue to be.

Richard Lochhead is Minister for Further, Higher Education and Science and SNP MSP for Moray

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Richard Lochhead"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4931589.1558448535!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4931589.1558448535!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A 'One Europe For All' march in Berlin last weekend showed the strength of pro-EU feeling (Picture: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A 'One Europe For All' march in Berlin last weekend showed the strength of pro-EU feeling (Picture: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4931589.1558448535!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/brexit-party-must-be-open-about-finances-amid-kremlin-interference-leader-comment-1-4931055","id":"1.4931055","articleHeadline": "Brexit Party must be open about finances amid Kremlin interference – leader comment","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558414800000 ,"articleLead": "

All UK political parties must be transparent about their funding to avoid suspicions of support from the Kremlin, given its track record of interfering in other countries’ democratic elections.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4931053.1558371311!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nigel Farage has what appears to be milkshake thrown on him in Newcastle (Picture: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and this Thursday’s European Parliament elections may seem like two rather distant events.

The connection is Moscow’s attempts to stop the spread of the European Union into what it viewed as its backyard and to weaken its global rival by sowing internal dissent. Just as the Kremlin interfered in the US elections to help elect Donald Trump, who last year described the EU as a “foe”, there are now suggestions it has been trying to do manipulate the EU elections.

In a report for the Electoral Reform Society, called Reining in the Political ‘Wild West’, Conservative MP Cheryl Gillan warned that “democracy is at a critical juncture”.

The UK’s current election rules, she pointed out, were outdated, having been written in 2000 before the dawn of the social media age.

“We live in a time when our democratic processes face considerable threats from a range of sources – from ‘dark ads’ and fake news, to foreign interference and the misuse of personal data on a monumental scale,” she said.

It is in this context that Gordon Brown asked the Electoral Commission to investigate Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party for allegedly receiving a large number of donations in the form of “undeclared, untraceable payments”.

READ MORE: Gordon Brown calls for probe into Nigel Farage and Brexit Party finances

According to our outdated rules, payments of less than £500 do not have to be declared. The former Prime Minister pointed out that the Brexit Party’s use of PayPal for donations meant there was no way to tell who was making the payments, so a single source could give more in instalments.

“You can pay to this party in Russian roubles or American dollars,” Brown added, pointedly. Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice’s response – “I don’t sit in front of the PayPal account all day so I don’t know what currencies people are paying in” – is simply not good enough. If democracy in the UK is to survive this “critical juncture”, it needs rules that ensure the transparency of large political donations and politicians willing to assist in that process.

What it does not need, however, is people throwing milkshakes as some misguided fools have taken to doing at political figures like Nigel Farage and Tommy Robinson. It is all too easy for a food fight to turn into a real fight – the kind of unrest that would play into the hands of the Kremlin and other enemies of Europe’s liberal democracies.

READ MORE: Watch as Nigel Farage hit by milkshake during Brexit Party campaign

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4931053.1558371311!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4931053.1558371311!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nigel Farage has what appears to be milkshake thrown on him in Newcastle (Picture: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nigel Farage has what appears to be milkshake thrown on him in Newcastle (Picture: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4931053.1558371311!/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/trump-warns-iran-will-face-its-official-end-if-it-threatens-us-1-4931147","id":"1.4931147","articleHeadline": "Trump warns Iran will face its ‘official end’ if it threatens US","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558382431000 ,"articleLead": "

US president Donald Trump has warned Iran not to threaten America again, or it will face its “official end”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4931146.1558382429!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Iranian protestors gesture towards a man in a Donald Trump mask during a demonstration in Tehran. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Trump tweeted the warning shortly after a rocket landed near the US embassy in Baghdad.

Relations between the US and Iran have been worsening since Mr Trump’s decision a year ago to pull America out of Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

The US leader tweeted: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!”

White House officials did not elaborated on the tweet, but the message came after a rocket landed less than a mile from the sprawling US embassy in Baghdad in the Iraqi capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone on Sunday night.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the rocket launch.

Iran’s foreign minister responded with a tweet of his own in English. Mohammad Javad Zarif posted his own message on Twitter, saying Mr Trump had been “goaded” into “genocidal taunts”.

Mr Zarif wrote that Mr Trump “hopes to achieve what Alexander (the Great), Genghis (Khan) & other aggressors failed to do.”

He added: “Iranians have stood tall for a millennia while aggressors all gone.”

He ended his tweet with #neverthreatenaniranian and: “Try respect - it works!”

Trump had seemingly softened his tone on Iran following days of heightened tension sparked by a sudden deployment of bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf over still-unspecified threats.

In the time since, officials in the United Arab Emirates alleged four oil tankers have been sabotaged. Yemeni rebels allied with Iran also launched a drone attack on an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia.

And US diplomats relayed a warning that commercial airlines could be misidentified by Iran and attacked, something dismissed by Tehran.

While both Washington and Tehran say they do not seek war, many worry that any miscalculation at this moment could spiral out of control.

Trump campaigned on pulling the US from the 2015 nuclear accord, which saw Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

Since the withdrawal, the US has re-imposed previous sanctions and come up with new ones, as well as warning nations around the world they would also be subject to sanctions if they import Iranian oil.

Iran has announced it will begin backing away from the terms of the deal, setting a 60-day deadline for Europe to come up with new terms or it will begin enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels.

Tehran long has insisted it does not seek nuclear weapons, though the West fears its programme could allow it to build atomic bombs.

In an interview aired on the Fox News Channel, Mr Trump called the nuclear deal a “horror show”.

“I just don’t want them to have nuclear weapons and they can’t be threatening us,” Mr Trump said.

However, the nuclear deal had kept Iran from being able to acquire enough highly enriched uranium for a bomb. UN inspectors repeatedly certified that Iran was in compliance with the accord.

Meanwhile, the US Navy’s 5th Fleet has announced it will begin “enhanced security patrols” in international waters with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge and others are in the Arabian Sea, close to the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a third of all oil traded at sea passes.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4931146.1558382429!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4931146.1558382429!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Iranian protestors gesture towards a man in a Donald Trump mask during a demonstration in Tehran. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Iranian protestors gesture towards a man in a Donald Trump mask during a demonstration in Tehran. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4931146.1558382429!/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/hundreds-march-against-alabama-abortion-ban-1-4931110","id":"1.4931110","articleHeadline": "Hundreds march against Alabama abortion ban","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558376891000 ,"articleLead": "

Hundreds of demonstrators have marched on the Alabama state legislature to protest against a newly-approved abortion ban.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4931109.1558376889!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The demonstration in Montgomery came days after governor Kay Ivey signed the most stringent abortion law in America. Picture: AP"} ,"articleBody": "

The demonstration in Montgomery came days after governor Kay Ivey signed the most stringent abortion law in America.

It will make performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases unless it is necessary for the mother’s health. The law provides no exception for rape and incest.

Staci Fox, president of Planned Parenthood Southeast, told the crowd outside the Alabama capitol: “Banning abortion does not stop abortion. It stops safe abortion.”

Alabama is part of a wave of conservative states seeking to mount new legal challenges to Roe v Wade, the 1973 US supreme court decision that legalised abortion nationwide.

Governors in Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have approved bans on abortion once a foetal heartbeat is detected, which can happen as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.

None of the laws have actually taken effect, and all are expected to be blocked by the courts as the legal challenges play out with an ultimate eye on the US supreme court.

Marchers said the measures have energised supporters of legalised abortion, and they say they are digging in for a legal and political fight. Along the route they took, the protesters passed by scattered counter-demonstrators raising signs against abortion.

Two speakers at the rally on the capitol steps shared their stories, including a woman who described the abortion she had after being raped at a party when she was 18.

Carrying an orange sign with a coat hanger and the caption “No Never Again”, 69-year-old Deborah Hall of Montgomery said she remembers life before Roe and cannot believe the drive to return there.

“I had friends who had illegal abortions and barely survived,” said Ms Hall, who for a time ran a clinic in Montgomery that provided abortion, birth control and other services.

“I still cannot believe it. It’s really a scary time for everybody.”

Similar demonstrations were held in Birmingham and Huntsville on Sunday.

Amanda Reyes, who runs Yellowhammer Fund, a non-profit body that provides funding to help low-income women obtain abortions, said donations have begun streaming in since passage of the Alabama bill.

Groups this week paid for a small plane carrying a banner “Abortion is Okay!” to circle the capitol and the governor’s mansion.

The Alabama law would make it a felony, punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison to perform an abortion. There would be no punishment for the woman receiving the abortion.

But the protest outside the capitol comes in a state where a majority of voters recently agreed to put anti-abortion language in the Alabama Constitution.

Fifty-nine per cent of state voters in November approved the constitutional amendment saying the state recognises the rights of the “unborn”.

Ms Ivey said in a statement after signing the ban into law: “To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply-held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.”

The Alabama law has also been criticised by some conservatives who have expressed discomfort over the lack of exceptions for cases of rape and incest.

President Donald Trump, while not mentioning Alabama’s law, wrote in a weekend tweet that he is strongly “pro-life”, but favours exceptions.

He wrote: “As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly Pro-Life, with the three exceptions - Rape, Incest and protecting the Life of the mother - the same position taken by Ronald Reagan.”

Terri Collins, the sponsor of the Alabama law, said the purpose is to challenge Roe and added that Alabama legislators can add exemptions if states regain control of abortion access.

For all the latest Scottish news, sport and features click here, or head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4931109.1558376889!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4931109.1558376889!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The demonstration in Montgomery came days after governor Kay Ivey signed the most stringent abortion law in America. Picture: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The demonstration in Montgomery came days after governor Kay Ivey signed the most stringent abortion law in America. Picture: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4931109.1558376889!/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/eiffel-tower-closed-after-person-is-spotted-trying-to-scale-it-1-4930948","id":"1.4930948","articleHeadline": "Eiffel Tower closed after person is spotted trying to scale it","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558364358000 ,"articleLead": "

France’s Eiffel Tower has been closed to visitors after a person has tried to scale it.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4930947.1558364355!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A rescue worker, top in red, climbs the Eiffel Tower while a climber is seen below him between two iron columns. Picture: AP Photo/Michel Euler"} ,"articleBody": "

The Paris monument’s media office said the unidentified individual tried to climb up the tourist attraction on Monday afternoon.

But it was not clear how high the trespasser managed to get.

A Paris police spokeswoman said a team of firefighters including a climbing specialist is on the scene and in touch with the intruder, whose motivations remain unclear.

Officials have not immediately provided further information about the incident, and it is not known when the Eiffel Tower will reopen.

It is not the first time a daredevil has attempted the feat.

In 2015, British “freerunner” James Kingston climbed the edifice without safety ropes and without permission, dodging security cameras as he went.

For all the latest Scottish news, sport and features click here, or head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4930947.1558364355!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4930947.1558364355!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A rescue worker, top in red, climbs the Eiffel Tower while a climber is seen below him between two iron columns. Picture: AP Photo/Michel Euler","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A rescue worker, top in red, climbs the Eiffel Tower while a climber is seen below him between two iron columns. Picture: AP Photo/Michel Euler","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4930947.1558364355!/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/tourists-injured-in-egypt-as-bomb-hits-bus-near-giza-pyramids-1-4930236","id":"1.4930236","articleHeadline": "Tourists injured in Egypt as bomb hits bus near Giza Pyramids","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558287087672 ,"articleLead": "

A roadside bomb has hit a tourist bus near the Giza Pyramids, Egyptian officials have said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4930235.1558287265!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Around 25 tourists were on the bus at the time of the bomb attack, which took place close to the Giza Pyramids. PIC: AFP/Getty."} ,"articleBody": "

The blast on Sunday wounded at least 17 people, including tourists, officials confirmed.

The officials said the bus was travelling on a road close to the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is under construction and located adjacent to the Giza Pyramids. It is not yet open to tourists.

The bus was carrying at least 25 people, mostly from South Africa, officials added.

Security forces cordoned off the site of the explosion and the wounded were taken to a nearby hospital, they said.

READ MORE: Egypt warns National Museum of Scotland that pyramid stone exhibit 'could be illegal'
Officials reported the explosion damaging the windshield of another car. Footage circulated online showed shattered windows on the bus.

In a statement issued by the antiquities ministry, Atif Moftah, general supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum, confirmed the explosion had not caused any damage to the site.

No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

READ MORE: German WWII bomb detonated after being caught in fishing net
Egypt has battled Islamic militants for years in the Sinai Peninsula in an insurgency that has occasionally spilled over to the mainland, hitting minority Christians or tourists.

The attack comes as Egypt's vital tourism industry is showing signs of recovery after years in the doldrums because of the political turmoil and violence that followed a 2011 uprising that toppled former leader Hosni Mubarak.

It is the second to target foreign tourists near the famed pyramids in less than six months.

In December, a bus carrying 15 Vietnamese tourists was hit by a roadside bomb, killing at least three of them.

The Foreign Office said terrorists are \"very likely\" to carry out attacks in Egypt.

A statement said there have been threats to western nationals, institutions and businesses posted on websites and social media. The main threat to foreigners is from extremists linked to Daesh-Sinai.

" ,"byline": {"email": "alison.campsie@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Alison Campsie"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4930235.1558287265!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4930235.1558287265!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Around 25 tourists were on the bus at the time of the bomb attack, which took place close to the Giza Pyramids. PIC: AFP/Getty.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Around 25 tourists were on the bus at the time of the bomb attack, which took place close to the Giza Pyramids. PIC: AFP/Getty.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4930235.1558287265!/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/people/video-arnold-schwarzenegger-drop-kicked-in-random-attack-during-south-african-event-1-4930008","id":"1.4930008","articleHeadline": "Video: Arnold Schwarzenegger drop-kicked in random attack during South African event","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558199173000 ,"articleLead": "

Arnold Schwarzenegger has reassured fans after a video emerged showing him being drop-kicked in the back during an event in South Africa.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4930007.1558199170!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Schwarzenegger, 71, the former governor of California, was in South Africa attending the Arnold Classic Africa sporting event. Picture: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

The Hollywood actor-turned-politician was recording a Snapchat video inside a gymnasium when someone attacked him from behind.

The attacker was quickly detained by security, organisers said.

Schwarzenegger, 71, the former governor of California, was in South Africa attending the Arnold Classic Africa sporting event.

The attack happened at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, according to the Sandton Chronicle.

Schwarzenegger, known for starring in films such as Twins, Commando and The Terminator, tweeted to say he was fine.

He said: “Thanks for your concerns, but there is nothing to worry about. I thought I was just jostled by the crowd, which happens a lot.

“I only realized I was kicked when I saw the video like all of you.”

Schwarzenegger added: “I’m just glad the idiot didn’t interrupt my Snapchat.”

The Arnold Classic Africa said the man had been handed over to police.

Schwarzenegger was born in Austria and first rose to prominence as a bodybuilder, winning the Mr Universe title aged 20.

After moving to Hollywood, he achieved worldwide fame in 1982 action film Conan The Barbarian, which launched his film career.

Schwarzenegger served as the 38th governor of California from 2003 to 2011.

For all the latest Scottish news, sport and features click here, or head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4930007.1558199170!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4930007.1558199170!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Schwarzenegger, 71, the former governor of California, was in South Africa attending the Arnold Classic Africa sporting event. Picture: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Schwarzenegger, 71, the former governor of California, was in South Africa attending the Arnold Classic Africa sporting event. Picture: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4930007.1558199170!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/the-country-with-problems-that-make-brexit-seem-trivial-susan-dalgety-1-4929392","id":"1.4929392","articleHeadline": "The country with problems that make Brexit seem trivial – Susan Dalgety","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558155600000 ,"articleLead": "

Malawi, a multi-party democracy since 1994, is about to hold elections for president, national parliament and local councils, writes Susan Dalgety.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4929391.1558095142!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Councillor Issa Jafali, right, with supporters at his local campaign rally"} ,"articleBody": "

Scotland is not the only country to enjoy an election in a few days’ time. Malawians are gearing themselves up for only the sixth multi-party election in their history.

“It’s too close to call,” says everyone I ask to predict the result. “This time we don’t know what will happen,” confirms Lewis, a political consultant and long-time friend, who is, much to our mutual amusement, a big fan of Jeremy Corbyn.

“Let democracy thrive,” commands the leader column in The Nation, one of the country’s two main newspapers, while congratulating the Malawi Electoral Commission for building confidence in the electoral process.

It is no mean feat to organise a tri-partite election – for president, parliament and local government – in a country where many of the 5,000 polling places are in remote, rural areas, and where the concept of voting is still relatively new.

Multi-party democracy was introduced here in 1994, 30 years after Malawi gained its independence from Britain, and after three decades of one-party rule.

This time there are three main contenders for the Presidency and control of the parliament: the current incumbents, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP); the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the party that won independence, but lost the confidence of the people after 30 years of authoritarian rule; and the new kids on the block, the United Transformation Movement (UTM).

Saulos Chilima, the leader of the UTM, is an interesting character. He was chief executive of Malawi’s leading telecoms company, Airtel, before entering politics, and received his PhD in knowledge management from the University of Bolton.

At 48, he is much younger than the sitting President, the DPP’s Peter Mutharika, who is nudging 80. A few days ago, Mutharika was forced to declare that he was not dead, after rumours of his demise began circulating on social media.

“Some people are speculating I am dead,” he boomed at a rally in Salima, near the shores of Lake Malawi. “You have seen me. Am I dead? Are you seeing a corpse? It is them who will die first...” he added with a rhetorical flourish.

READ MORE: The country where nothing goes to waste – Susan Dalgety

Chilima is standing on a platform of economic transformation, better public services and tackling corruption, and his red-shirted supporters wear the party’s slogan – Tsogolo Lathu (Our Future) – with obvious pride.

Campaigning is much more colourful here in Malawi. Women wear traditional chitenjes emblazoned with their party’s logo, and campaign t-shirts are much sought after. Even the candidates ditch their business suits for jackets or dresses bearing their party’s message. Standing in the grounds of a community centre earlier this week, I found myself dancing along to the beat of the drums as a candidate for the council elections, Issa Jafali, another friend of mine, gave a passionate speech to his supporters. I had no idea what Issa was saying – my Chichewa extends to around 20 words – but the rhythm of the drums was unmistakable. It is the sound of Africa, the beat that drives our popular music, from R&B to pop. It makes everyone, even Theresa May, want to dance. And it transforms a dull political event into a party.

Earlier that day, I visited a remote village with Issa, where I met a woman whose home had been destroyed in the recent storms and floods.

Patumo Kandulo grabbed my hand and pointed to the remains of her modest home. “Gone,” she said, with a fatalism that was startling. I can’t begin to imagine how I would feel if my tenement flat was raised to the ground, and I had no insurance to rebuild my home.

“Where do you live now?” I ask, and Patumo points to a tiny, red-brick outbuilding a few yards away. “Kitchen,” she says, matter of factly.

Patumo has no husband. No paid work, beyond growing maize to eat. And she still has two children at school.

“How does she survive?” I ask Issa as we walk back to the car, through pumpkin gardens alive with scarlet butterflies. “People look after each other,” he replies, as if it is the most natural thing in the world.

It is in Malawi. It has to be. Most of the 18 million population live in extreme poverty, in villages where there is no electricity, water is pumped from a communal bore-hole, and a family’s very survival depends on the weather.

READ MORE: Scotland’s unique friendship with ‘the warm heart of Africa’ – Susan Dalgety

But even in the towns and cities, where there are jobs, and Wi-Fi, and shops selling big screen televisions, family is paramount.

“Family is very important, and the home is the centre of that,” explains Busiwese as she stands outside her grandmother’s home on the outskirts of Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial heart.

She is refurbishing the home that her granny, Homba, built in the early 1960s, in the wake of independence. Homba, now 91, is still alive, but her lively mind and wicked sense of humour is trapped in a body all but destroyed by a series of strokes. The house, once a magnificent five-bedroom bungalow, had fallen into serious disrepair over recent years. “I had to fix it,” said Busiwese, who moved from the capital city, Lilongwe, to care for her grandmother.

“It will be very slow, by phases. First the roof, then the electricity, and finally the plastering. The timing depends on my resources,” she explains. “But we need to secure the family’s future.

“You can deal with the bad things that happen to you in the world if you know you have the shelter of your family to return to for protection, and this house is that place.”

On Tuesday, nearly seven million Malawians – more than half of them under 35 and the majority women – will vote for a new government, in the hope that the politicians they choose will offer them some degree of protection from the harsh reality of a global economy that favours the rich.

A world order that regards women like Patumo or Homba as nothing more than collateral damage in the drive for even more riches for a favoured few, like Trump or Putin.

No matter who wins, they will face a complex set of economic and social challenges that make Brexit seem inconsequential. Even the most thoughtful of politicians, an Obama or a Merkel, would struggle here in Malawi.

But change is possible, hope is alive, and on Tuesday, the young people and the women of Malawi, will decide the next phase of their country’s future.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4929391.1558095142!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4929391.1558095142!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Councillor Issa Jafali, right, with supporters at his local campaign rally","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Councillor Issa Jafali, right, with supporters at his local campaign rally","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4929391.1558095142!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/humans-getting-ready-for-a-second-giant-leap-leader-comment-1-4928899","id":"1.4928899","articleHeadline": "Humans getting ready for a ‘second giant leap’ – leader comment","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558069200000 ,"articleLead": "

The 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing in July is a chance to reflect on that event’s significance and the prospect of a mission to Mars.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928898.1558030091!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Humans are due to return to the Moon by 2024 with the ultimate aim of getting to Mars (Picture: SWNS)"} ,"articleBody": "

On 20 July, 1969, there was a moment in human history unlike any other.

For the first time, humans set foot on an extra-terrestrial land as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent two-and-a-half hours on the surface of the Moon.

It had been a touch-and-go landing. Armstrong manually piloted the Eagle lander to avoid a boulder field in the Sea of Tranquillity and it touched down with just 30 seconds of fuel left.

READ MORE: Psychologist reflects on Apollo moon landing

In the final seconds of the descent, a number of alarms went off as the onboard computer struggled to cope. “Houston. Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed,” said Armstrong over the radio to wild celebrations on Earth.

Ahead of the 50th anniversary, people across the UK are being asked to share their memories of the moon landing because it was such an extraordinary landmark event. It was, as Armstrong famously said, “a giant leap for mankind”.

Nasa is now aiming to return to the Moon by 2024 and plans a mission to Mars by 2033. If and when that most exciting event happens, it will truly be a second great leap forward.

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

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4928898.1558030091!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928898.1558030091!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Humans are due to return to the Moon by 2024 with the ultimate aim of getting to Mars (Picture: SWNS)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Humans are due to return to the Moon by 2024 with the ultimate aim of getting to Mars (Picture: SWNS)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4928898.1558030091!/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/what-were-you-doing-during-moon-landing-nasa-wants-to-know-1-4928979","id":"1.4928979","articleHeadline": "What were you doing during moon landing? Nasa wants to know","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558069200000 ,"articleLead": "

People across the UK are being urged to share their memories and photographs of the Apollo 11 Moon landing ahead of the historic event’s 50th anniversary in July.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928978.1558041126!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "060280 01: Astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin poses next to the U.S. flag July 20, 1969 on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. (Photo by NASA/Liaison)"} ,"articleBody": "

The public are being asked to submit their personal accounts of the occasion, which saw Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first astronauts to walk on the Moon on 21 July, 1969.

Memories are being collected by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the UK Space Agency, which will curate and share a selection on 20 July, the day Mr Armstrong and Mr Aldrin landed on the Moon.

READ MORE: ‘Faulty’ sensors on Clutha helicopter not replaced

“The 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landing was not just a pivotal moment in space exploration, but a defining moment for humanity,” British astronaut Tim Peake said yesterday.

“Whether you were too young to witness the first footsteps on the Moon, or old enough to see it for yourself, the Moon landing has inspired so many people over the past 50 years.”

People are welcome to upload anything from written accounts of how the moment inspired them, to photographs of families gathered around the TV, and news cuttings.

UK science minister Chris Skidmore said: “Landing on the Moon was unthinkable at the beginning of the 20th century, so when Neil Armstrong heralded the moment as ‘one giant leap for mankind’, those words rightly have echoed through the ages.

READ MORE: Sir Andy Murray expresses his pride as he receives knighthood at Buckingham Palace

“Through our modern industrial strategy, we are backing the UK’s thriving space sector so that the young people inspired by this great event of the past will have opportunities to work in the industry’s highly skilled, well-paid jobs of the future.”

American space agency Nasa recently launched a similar initiative, asking people to send voice recordings of their memories for an audio series about Apollo 11.

Sue Horne, head of space exploration at the UK Space Agency, said: “As a young child I was, like millions of people around the world, fascinated watching the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

“I remember our headmistress, who disapproved of television, insisted that the school television was on at lunchtime so we could watch the latest news on this historic event.

“The Moon landing was an inspiration to me and it’s exciting to think that young people today will be part of the next chapter of lunar exploration, with the UK playing an important role.

“I am looking forward to sharing in people’s memories of this iconic moment in space exploration and hearing how those small steps are still having a huge impact 50 years on.”

People have until 18 June to submit their memories at moonlandingmemories.com.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4928978.1558041126!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928978.1558041126!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "060280 01: Astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin poses next to the U.S. flag July 20, 1969 on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. (Photo by NASA/Liaison)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "060280 01: Astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin poses next to the U.S. flag July 20, 1969 on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. (Photo by NASA/Liaison)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4928978.1558041126!/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/trump-ramps-up-china-confrontation-with-huawei-ban-1-4928935","id":"1.4928935","articleHeadline": "Trump ramps up China confrontation with Huawei ban","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558035170000 ,"articleLead": "

The Trump administration has issued an executive order apparently aimed at banning Huawei’s equipment from US networks and said it was subjecting the Chinese company to strict export controls.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928934.1558514230!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "US president Donald Trump. Picture: Drew Angerer/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Huawei would be the largest business ever subjected to the controls, a law enforcement measure that requires it to obtain US government approval on purchases of American technology.

The executive order declares a national economic emergency that empowers the US government to ban the technology and services of “foreign adversaries” deemed to pose “unacceptable risks” to national security.

READ MORE: Lewis Capaldi given own emoji on day face appears on Duke statue

While it does not name specific countries or companies, it follows months of US pressure on Huawei. The US commerce department now 150 days to come up with regulations.

It comes as Washington and Beijing are locked in a trade war that partly reflects a struggle for global economic and technological dominance.

The export restriction is “a grave escalation with China that at minimum plunges the prospect of continued trade negotiations into doubt,” said Eurasia Group analysts in a report.

“Unless handled carefully, this situation is likely to place US and Chinese companies at new risk,” the report said.

READ MORE: No Theresa May departure date as Boris Johnson announces leader bid

The law invoked in Wednesday’s executive order, the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act, has routinely been used to freeze the assets of designated terrorists and drug traffickers.

The order addresses US government concerns that equipment from Chinese suppliers could pose an espionage threat to US internet and telecommunications infrastructure.

US justice and intelligence officials have presented no evidence, however, of any Huawei equipment in the US or elsewhere being compromised by backdoors installed by the manufacturer to facilitate espionage by Beijing.

Huawei vehemently denies involvement in Chinese spying, and said blocking it from doing business in the United States would hamper the introduction of next-generation communicaions technology.

“We are ready and willing to engage with the US government and come up with effective measures to ensure product security,” the company said in a statement.

Early this year, the US justice department unsealed criminal charges against Huawei, a top company executive and several subsidiaries, alleging the company stole trade secrets, misled banks about its business and violated US sanctions on Iran.

The executive charged is Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the company’s founder.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4928934.1558514230!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928934.1558514230!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "US president Donald Trump. Picture: Drew Angerer/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "US president Donald Trump. Picture: Drew Angerer/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4928934.1558514230!/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/close-result-predicted-ahead-of-australia-s-weekend-election-1-4928931","id":"1.4928931","articleHeadline": "Close result predicted ahead of Australia’s weekend election","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558034950000 ,"articleLead": "

Australia’s conservative prime minister has predicted a close result at elections tomorrow as his rival used a campaign rally to revel in the memory of one of his centre-left party’s greatest victories 47 years ago.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928930.1558034947!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 28, 2012, former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke arrives to listen to the release of the Australian Government's White Paper on "Australia in the Asian Century" in Sydney. - Australia's longest-serving Labor prime minister Bob Hawke, died on May 16, 2019 aged 89, his wife announced. (Photo by Greg Wood / AFP)GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made his final major speech of the campaign at the National Press Club in Canberra on Thursday with a recurring theme that now was not the time to elect a Labour Party government.

READ MORE: ‘Faulty’ sensors on Clutha helicopter not replaced

Labour leader Bill Shorten chose to make his final campaign pitch in the same western Sydney venue where party hero Gough Whitlam gave what has been remembered as his “It’s Time” speech in 1972.

“It’s Time” was also the campaign slogan. Weeks after his speech, Labour won its first federal election victory since 1946 and Whitlam became a reforming prime minister.

Morrison accused Labour of indulging in self-congratulation with the reminder of the Whitlam victory.

READ MORE: Sir Andy Murray expresses his pride as he receives knighthood at Buckingham Palace

“This will be a close election,” Morrison said. “That is not something, I think, anyone was writing two months ago, six months ago, eight months ago.”

“Don’t let anyone tell you that this election is run and done,” Morrison added.

Opinion polls have consistently put Labour ahead of Morrison’s Liberal Party-led coalition for the past two years.

Shorten was cheered by hundreds of supporters wearing T-shirts with the slogan “Vote for change. Vote for Labour,” in a raucous hall in the working-class suburb of Blacktown.

“Never has the case for change been more clear or more urgent,” Shorten told the gathering. “Because just as Blacktown tells us the story of the change that Australia voted for back then, it also speaks for why our country should vote for change now.”

Whitlam, who died in 2014, is remembered for sweeping reforms including government-funded universal health care and free university education. But he is also remembered for financial mismanagement that led to his government being fired in 1975 by the Australian governor-general, who represents the Queen, Australia’s head of state.

Shorten is the man most likely to become Australia’s prime minister and has the solid support of his centre-left Labour Party behind him. But the Australian public isn’t so sure.

Shorten first found the public spotlight as a miners’ union boss in 2006 when the world media was transfixed on a gold mine collapse drama that ended with the rescue of two miners who had been trapped underground for two weeks. He is still contending with accolades and condemnation for saying three years ago that some of then-presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s views were “barking mad”.

While the party he leads is popular, Australians have not warmed to the idea of Shorten becoming their next prime minister.

Even though the ruling conservative Liberal Party-led coalition has lagged behind Labour in opinion polls for the past two years, Shorten has been rated a less popular leader than Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

But despite an apparent lack of charisma, most experts expect that the 52-year-old Shorten will lead his party into power for the first time in six years.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4928930.1558034947!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928930.1558034947!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 28, 2012, former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke arrives to listen to the release of the Australian Government's White Paper on "Australia in the Asian Century" in Sydney. - Australia's longest-serving Labor prime minister Bob Hawke, died on May 16, 2019 aged 89, his wife announced. (Photo by Greg Wood / AFP)GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 28, 2012, former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke arrives to listen to the release of the Australian Government's White Paper on "Australia in the Asian Century" in Sydney. - Australia's longest-serving Labor prime minister Bob Hawke, died on May 16, 2019 aged 89, his wife announced. (Photo by Greg Wood / AFP)GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4928930.1558034947!/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/brits-among-four-killed-in-dubai-plane-crash-1-4928927","id":"1.4928927","articleHeadline": "Brits among four killed in Dubai plane crash","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558034236000 ,"articleLead": "

Three Britons have died after a UK-registered light aircraft crashed in Dubai, authorities said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928716.1558038867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dubai"} ,"articleBody": "

The four-seat plane plummeted to the ground around three miles south of Dubai International Airport, killing all four people on board, according to the United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

Three UK citizens and one South African died, it added in a statement.

READ MORE: ‘Faulty’ sensors on Clutha helicopter not replaced

The crash happened as the DA42 aircraft was “on a mission to calibrate terrestrial navigation systems at the airport”, said the GCAA.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “We are working closely with the Emirati authorities following reports of a small aircraft crash in Dubai.”

The Diamond DA42 aircraft is described as having a “high degree of crashworthiness” and being “easy to fly and burns fuel like a single, but with the added safety of a second engine” on the Diamond website.

READ MORE: Lewis Capaldi given own emoji on day face appears on Duke statue

It added: “Diamond’s industry-leading safety record is the result of our commitment to protecting you and your passengers with a long list of active and passive safety features.

“Active safety features help to avoid accidents in the first place, the first and most important line of defence.

“Passive safety features are designed to minimize the probability and degree of injury, in case the unexpected happens.

“The DA42 offers the ultimate in handling, stability and control, ease of operation and structural, system and propulsion redundancies, all coupled with a high degree of crashworthiness.”

The aircraft, which has an all-carbon airframe, has a maximum speed of 226mph, can operate at a maximum altitude of 18,000ft and weighs 1,410kg, the site added.

Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest by international passenger traffic, was closed between 7.36pm and 8.22pm local time before reopening, said Dubai Airports.

The aircraft was owned by Honeywell, a US-based multinational involved in engineering and aerospace systems, according to the Government of Dubai media office.

Investigations are under way and the airport is operating as normal.

For all the latest Scottish news, sport and features click here, or head to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4928716.1558038867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928716.1558038867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dubai","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dubai","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4928716.1558038867!/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/travel-dubai-makes-for-a-surprisingly-affordable-city-break-1-4928744","id":"1.4928744","articleHeadline": "Travel: Dubai makes for a surprisingly affordable city break","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1558024453000 ,"articleLead": "

More striking even than Dubai’s modernity is the contrast it offers with a Bedouin heritage as enduring as the desert sands, writes Chris McCall

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928705.1558019599!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Skyscrapers in downtown Dubai, a city of constant development"} ,"articleBody": "

Many of us will have preconceptions of what Dubai is like, whether or not we have ever visited the bustling centre of the United Arab Emirates. It’s a city that people from around the world feel they know.

Before my first visit, I presumed everything would be brand new, as if the place had been built from scratch in the past 20 years. In some ways, that’s not far from the truth.

Much of downtown Dubai and its business district has a pristine feel. Skyscrapers line the horizon. The other dominant feature of the landscape is the number of giant cranes, a sign of just how much construction is still under way. Offices, shops, apartments – development never seems to stop here.

But Dubai is much more than that. Many visitors don’t realise the city boasts a charming Old Town, complete with the kind of thriving souks you find in places more renowned for their heritage, such as Marrakesh.

These are not just markets for Western tourists. Dubai has been a hub for the gold and jewellery trade for generations. There are strong links with the Indian subcontinent, with many families making the journey across the Arabian Sea to buy and sell precious items.

Perhaps the single biggest misconception about Dubai is that it is a city for the rich. Of course, there is a lot of wealth here. Those skyscrapers don’t build themselves. But the same could be said of London, New York, or any other major urban hub in the world.

In reality, Dubai makes for a surprisingly affordable city break. And when you realise just how much there is to see and do, you wonder why more people don’t make the effort to explore this jewel on the Arabian Peninsula.

We flew direct from Edinburgh Airport to Dubai on the new regular Emirates service which departs the Scottish capital at 7.05pm. With the flight taking around seven hours, there’s ample time to enjoy the consistently high standard of service offered. Pretty much everything – from your seat to your evening meal – is a cut above the usual European flag carriers.

A short taxi ride from the gleaming Dubai airport took us to our hotel, the Rove Trade Centre, which is just 10 minutes from the centre of town. This laid-back modern hotel is adjacent to the Dubai Trade Centre, but is popular with young travellers and families as well as those visiting on business.

With a bright and spacious ground floor restaurant and a rooftop sun deck and pool, it makes the ideal base for exploring the city.

After freshening up, we were keen to get an overview of the ever-growing city. There’s no better place to do just that than the Dubai Frame – an architectural landmark in the nearby Zabeel public park.

Standing 150m tall, the Frame opened to the public in 2018 and can be seen from miles around. Encrusted with swirling golden motifs that glimmer in the desert sun, the landmark is part museum and part viewing platform. A brisk elevator ride takes you to the enclosed top deck, which has spectacular views of the city and its coast.

From here you begin to get an idea of how Dubai developed from a modest port and fishing community into a 21st century global gateway.

In 1822, fewer than 1,000 members of the Bani Yas tribe lived in a village along the Dubai Creek, the river which flows through the modern city. The first development boom came in 1901 when the settlement was declared a free port and incentives given to merchants to move there.

Oil was discovered off the coast in 1966, and five years later seven emirates, of which Dubai is one, signed the treaty of union which created the modern UAE state.

The story of Dubai and its people is fascinating. We were privileged to find out more about local customs at a lunch held at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, a non-profit organisation in the Old Town which promotes Emirati traditions.

Don’t let the grand title put you off – this was an informal and fun sit-down meal which attracts tourists from around the world. Everyone sits cross-legged in the internal courtyard to enjoy lunch in the traditional Bedouin way.

While acknowledging its past, Dubai’s embrace of the present is what attracts most of its visitors. The retail offering really does take some beating. The Dubai Mall is to shopping centres what Orson Welles was to cinema – it’s simply bigger and better than anything else.

It may not strictly be the world’s largest mall – it ranks second by one estimate – but who is counting when there are more than 1,200 shops to explore?

There’s a Bloomingdale’s, a Galeries Lafayette, an Olympic-sized ice rink, as well as an incredible aquarium. If you’ve never seen sharks swimming above you while you window shop you’ve never been to Dubai.

The complex also offers a range of children’s entertainment, meaning kids can have fun while you get down to some serious retail therapy.

The dining experience is also top class, catering for all tastes. We enjoyed lunch at a Lebanese restaurant al fresco. Late winter and spring is an ideal time to visit Dubai, with temperatures in the high 20s.

On the second day of our stay we took the chance to get outside the city. The Sundowner Dune Dinner Safari offers a remarkable opportunity to drive through the shifting sands of the Arabian desert. With a guide at the wheel, we were whisked off-road in a sturdy 4x4 to a traditional Bedouin-style camp where a delicious dinner awaited.

Talking of preconceptions, we can all imagine what a desert looks like. But until you’ve stood on a dune and gazed over an Arabian sunset, it’s difficult to describe just how magical such surroundings can be.

Dubai is a city of contrasts – old and new, desert and skyscrapers. It’s a place that challenges your assumptions and invites you to return again and again.

Emirates flights from Edinburgh to Dubai begin at £359 travelling in Economy and £2,509 in Business. Visit Emirates.com for more information.

Rooms at the Rove Trade Centre start at £59 per night for bed and breakfast, based on two people sharing. For more information or to book, visit rovehotels.com/hotel/rove-trade-centre

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CHRIS McCALL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4928705.1558019599!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928705.1558019599!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Skyscrapers in downtown Dubai, a city of constant development","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Skyscrapers in downtown Dubai, a city of constant development","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4928705.1558019599!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4928708.1558019601!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928708.1558019601!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Traditional spices at the souk make their way into the local cuisine","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Traditional spices at the souk make their way into the local cuisine","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4928708.1558019601!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4928710.1558019606!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928710.1558019606!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Dubai Mall has an aquarium as well as 1,200 shops and an Olympic-sized ice rink","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Dubai Mall has an aquarium as well as 1,200 shops and an Olympic-sized ice rink","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4928710.1558019606!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4928716.1558038867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928716.1558038867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dubai","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dubai","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4928716.1558038867!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/johnny-cash-wasn-t-the-only-poet-in-san-quentin-prison-steve-cardownie-1-4926898","id":"1.4926898","articleHeadline": "Johnny Cash wasn’t the only poet in San Quentin prison – Steve Cardownie","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1557843641000 ,"articleLead": "

Johnny Cash played a concert in San Quentin prison to rapturous acclaim from the inmates. Steve Cardownie tells the story of how the poetry of one inmate, Ed ‘Foots’ Lipman inspired an Edinburgh man to compile a book of his verse.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4926897.1557843638!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Johnny Cash ' no stranger to trouble himself ' often entertained inmates. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

‘San Quentin, I hate every inch of you/You’ve cut me and you’ve scarred me through and thru/And I’ll walk out a wiser, weaker man/Mr Congressman, why can’t you understand?’

So sang the legendary Johnny Cash at his concert in that famous penal establishment in 1969 on a bleak February night. The inmates met this song with rapturous acclaim and applause as they ­immediately ­identified with the sentiment expressed in the lyrics.

Fast forward to a conversation in a local hostelry last Sunday where a ­fellow patron, Scott Lawrie, told me that he had recently sent a cheque for more than 1000 dollars to the charity that supports the creative writing class at San Quentin.

This was generated from the ­proceeds of a book Scott had ­compiled called Only by Flashlight, which ­featured the poetic works of a former San Quentin inmate Ed ‘Foots’ ­Lipman, who had spent nearly half of his 34 years behind bars before dying of natural causes in 1975.

Lipman committed his first offence at the age of 17 when he stole a ’57 Buick Sedan from the Iron and Coal Company in Wichita Falls.

He drove it 6000 miles across country, narrowly evading capture on no less than eight occasions. After further run-ins with the law, including ­robbery and several escape attempts, he was finally granted parole from San Quentin in March 1975 and he died later that year in September.

Lipman began writing poetry in prison and Scott revealed that “I have never been so affected by poetry . . . I looked up his name on the internet, found little to nothing, and felt compelled to change that”, which he did by publishing Only By Flashlight which features 55 poems written by Lipman and which was reviewed in an edition of the San Quentin News.

“I knew that I could never profit from another man’s work and that sales from the book, however small, should go to a good cause of which Lipman would hopefully have approved so I arranged for the monies to be paid to the creative writing class at San Quentin and Folsom Prison,” said Scott “where I am sure that it will be put to good use as funding ­cutbacks are taking their toll.”

Scott originally hails from ­Dunfermline but now lives in the Broughton area of Edinburgh with his wife, Laura, who shares his ­passion for literature. At 32, he has a good number of years ahead of him to continue ­working on his poetry and short stories. Although he has not been published in his own right so far he is hopeful that that day will not be too far off.

Scott is actively seeking ­funding for a proposed trip to San Quentin, where he hopes to give a reading, not only of his and other Scottish poets’ works, but those of ‘Foots’ Lipman, to the 3500-plus inmates who are ­currently incarcerated in that Californian establishment.

“May all the world forget you ever stood/And may all the world regret you did no good” sang Johnny Cash about the prison.

Scott is relishing the prospect of playing some part, however small, in shedding a little light on Lipman, the inmate and poet, who would have endorsed Cash’s lyrics.

Council has taken its foot off the pedal

A couple of columns ago I wrote that the City of Edinburgh Council was right to adopt a bold approach when dealing with traffic pollution in the city and commended the initiatives that it was deploying to meet the very real challenges that it presented.

What a pity then that the council administration looks set to step back from this strategy as it prepares to advocate a two-tier Low Emission Zone (LEZ) for the city.

While motorists will be given five years to meet the demands of the city centre LEZ they will be free to drive air-polluting cars elsewhere in the city and no pollution restrictions will apply.

Not only that, but the city centre LEZ will not even cover Tollcross, Haymarket or Queen Street. The plans will be put out for public consultation so pedestrians, drivers, businesses and other interested parties will all have an opportunity to express an opinion.

But it would appear that this is a missed opportunity and that the bold leadership that is needed to make an impact and drive the whole issue of city traffic management forward has, unfortunately, taken a back seat.

Birds of a feather...

A penguin walks into a bar in Leith and says to the barman “My brother’s no’ been in the day, has he?” The barman looks at him and says “Ah dinnae ken, what does he look like?”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "STEVE CARDOWNIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4926897.1557843638!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4926897.1557843638!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Johnny Cash ' no stranger to trouble himself ' often entertained inmates. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Johnny Cash ' no stranger to trouble himself ' often entertained inmates. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4926897.1557843638!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/my-aunt-had-a-life-well-lived-serving-strangers-and-friends-alike-ewan-aitken-1-4928051","id":"1.4928051","articleHeadline": "My aunt had a life well-lived, serving strangers and friends alike – Ewan Aitken","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1557982803000 ,"articleLead": "

On Tuesday this week I learnt my Aunt Ishbel had died aged 88. She was an extraordinary woman who managed to both break the rules and yet be in many ways still a stickler for traditions.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928455.1558005669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ishbel Ritchie lived simply and served deeply"} ,"articleBody": "

She died in the home she had been in since a fall 18 months ago from which she never really recovered. The last few months were like she was slowly shutting down, which was tough to see, particularly for my mother with whom she was very close. I wasn’t at her side when she died but knowing my brother was there had a greater significance to me than I expected. I doubt she knew he was there at her final breath but we did and for that I am grateful.

Ishbel Ritchie was a woman who put time and effort into her relationships. They mattered to her and she worked hard at them; professional and personal. This was perhaps because she was single, perhaps also because she spent 40 plus of her 88 years in India, a long way from the family and friends. She became a missionary, because the Church wouldn’t allow women to be ordained when she was seeking to serve. She had to make lots of new friends in a radically different culture to the Fife culture she grew up in. The number of Indian visitors she received once she retired to Scotland suggests she was good at bridging cultural divides.

She overcame distance long before the internet created the global village by writing every week, without fail, to her parents and her sister, my mother. Every week a blue aerogramme – a cleverly designed three fold ultra-lightweight sheet of blue paper with gummed wings for international post – would appear in both our house and my grandmother’s, addresses written in my aunt’s neat copperplate but inside tightly typed lines full of her week’s activity. As well as weekly missives to family she wrote regularly to friends; determined that distance would not damage her relationships. When she returned to Scotland in retirement her dedication paid dividends as she came home to a ready-made network of friends despite not living in the same country for 40-plus years.

For 30 of those 40 years she lived in Gangtok, capital of Sikkim, a largely Buddhist former principality now ruled by India on the India/Tibet border. Gangtok is in the foothills of the Himalayas; 5400 ft above sea level, higher than Ben Nevis. It’s perched almost precariously on a steep slope with the most amazing views. When the weather allowed for a clear enough sky you could see Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, from Aunt Ishbel’s front room. I saw it myself when I visited her in the mid 1990s; it was an utterly awe-inspiring sight.

As headmistress of Paljor Namgyal Girls High School she oversaw the education of thousands of young women in this remote place. She believed we flourish through education. She was most proud when one of her former pupils became her successor. When Tibetan refugees came over the hills she worked out how to make sure they too could get the education they needed in ways which would preserve their culture including their Buddhism; she knew what she believed but respected the beliefs of others; not always the view of missionary folk. She was the honorary British Consul in a city where there was only one other European resident. She lived simply and served deeply. When I visited I was struck by how comfortable she was in the company of people from all backgrounds.

She was awarded an MBE for services to education but her true gift was her authenticity. She was never anything other than “Miss Ritchie, the Scottish woman”. She was always herself, true to her faith and committed to serving her neighbour and the stranger even when she was in truth the real stranger.

Ewan Aitken is CEO of Cyrenians Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ewan Aitken"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4928455.1558005669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4928455.1558005669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ishbel Ritchie lived simply and served deeply","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ishbel Ritchie lived simply and served deeply","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4928455.1558005669!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}