{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"world","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/world/beijing-agrees-to-import-more-american-goods-as-tensions-ease-1-4742266","id":"1.4742266","articleHeadline": "Beijing agrees to import more American goods as tensions ease","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526846580000 ,"articleLead": "

The United States and China have agreed to take measures to “substantially reduce” America’s massive trade deficit with China, but the Trump administration has failed to get Beijing to commit to a specific numerical goal.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742265.1526846576!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "United States trade representative Robert Lighthizer,second from left, on his way to meet Chinese officials in Beijing earlier this month. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The talks ended on Saturday and led to a joint statement being issued that may have helped to ease tensions between the world’s two biggest economic powers.

The two nations have in recent months threatened to impose punitive tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s exports.

But Beijing has committed to “significantly increase” its purchases of American goods and services, saying the rise would “meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese 
people and the need for high-quality economic development”.

The two countries also agreed on “meaningful increases” of US agriculture and energy exports and greater efforts to increase trade in manufactured goods and services.

The US said it would send a team to China to work out the details. However, the statement provided no dollar amounts on how much China might boost its purchases of American products.

But Lawrence Kudlow, head of the president’s National Economic Council, said a reduction in the trade gap of at least $US200 billion (£148bn) by 2020 was a “good number”.

Last year, the US had a record deficit with China in merchandise trade of $US375bn (£278bn) – the largest with any nation.

The statement also offered no clarity over whether the talks had made progress in easing a developing tit-for-tat trade war in which each nation threatened to impose punitive tariffs.

Trade analysts said it was highly unlikely China would ever agree to a numerical target for cutting the trade gap between the two nations, but said the discussions likely were more successful in de-escalating recent trade tensions.

Eswar Prasad, an economist and trade expert at Cornell University, said: “It is likely that this agreement, weak and vague though it is, will serve as grounds to at least delay the imposition of tariffs.”

Referring to the meeting to be held on 12 June between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, Mr Prasad said: “The Trump administration seems eager to engineer at minimum a temporary peace with China to ensure a smooth run-up to the Kim-Trump summit.”

The Washington talks, which followed a high-level meeting last month in Beijing, were led on the Chinese side by vice premier Liu He and on the American side by treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin. The US delegation included US trade representative Robert Lighthizer.

Mr Trump campaigned in 2016 on a pledge to get tough on China and other US trading partners. He has spoken of viewing the US trade deficit with China as evidence Beijing was engaged in abusive trading practices.

Mr Lighthizer started an investigation in August into Beijing’s strong-arm tactics to challenge US technological dominance. These include cyber theft of US companies’ trade secrets and China’s demands that American corporations hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese markets.

Last month, the administration proposed tariffs on $US50bn (£37bn) of Chinese imports to protest the forced technology transfers. Mr Trump later ordered Mr Lighthizer to seek up to an additional $US100bn (£74bn) in Chinese products to tax.

China responded by targeting $US50bn (£37bn) in US products, including soybeans – a shot aimed squarely at Mr Trump supporters in America’s heartland. The prospect of an escalating trade war has shaken financial markets and alarmed business leaders.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4742265.1526846576!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742265.1526846576!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "United States trade representative Robert Lighthizer,second from left, on his way to meet Chinese officials in Beijing earlier this month. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "United States trade representative Robert Lighthizer,second from left, on his way to meet Chinese officials in Beijing earlier this month. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4742265.1526846576!/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/secret-post-brexit-trade-deal-could-threaten-scotch-whisky-1-4742164","id":"1.4742164","articleHeadline": "Secret post-Brexit trade deal ‘could threaten Scotch whisky’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526813449000 ,"articleLead": "

A post-Brexit trade deal with the US could signal bad news for the scotch whisky industry, with distillers warned the number of American imports could soar if trade barriers come down once the UK exits the EU.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742162.1526813445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Discussions over the current EU requirement that any product labelled whisky, or whiskey, has to have been aged for at least three years have formed part of the talks. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

Trade groups in the US want any deal signed between the two countries to scrap current EU guidelines centred on the ageing of whisky, which would allow American producers to promote their younger spirits as “whiskey”.

Talks between the UK and the US aimed at thrashing out what can and can’t be included in any potential trade agreement are being held in secret, transparency campaigners claim.

• READ MORE - US lobbying for UK to drop food name protections to sell ‘Scotch whisky’

The Guardian reports that a Greenpeace unit last year found that the UK and US offices involved in the talks had signed an agreement that information, documents and negotiations relating to the discussions should be seen as “confidential” or “sensitive”.

However, elements of the document have already been made public - such as calls for an end to prohibitions on cholrinated chicken - while an analysis report created by the Office of the United States Trade Representative reveals other key issues.

• READ MORE - Whisky industry demands zero tariffs on sales of Scotch to Europe

According to the paper, the US is likely to push the UK to relax its stance on GM foods and biotech seeds, while also lifting bans on chemical flavourings and exportation of live cattle.

America is also likely to demand an end to the protected designation of origin scheme, which safeguards foods such as Melton Mowbray pork pies, or Cornish pasties. The US claims the protection “undermines access” for American producers.

Also included in the analysis is a discussion over the current EU requirement that any product labelled whisky, or whiskey, has to have been aged for at least three years.

The report states: “The United States has a long history of quality whiskey production, particularly by micro-distillers, which has not entailed minimum aging requirements, and views a mandatory three-year aging requirement for whiskey as unwarranted.

• READ MORE - UK must ‘concede everything’ for US trade deal

“Recent advances in barrel technology enable US micro- distillers to reduce the aging time for whiskey while producing a product commensurate in quality.”

Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, warned that the whisky issue was just the tip of a large iceberg.

He added: “We’re always told that international trade deals will help us sell more whisky – but this latest information from the US trade representative shows a trade deal with the US could actually be a threat to this iconic drink.

“The US government don’t like our food standards, and they repeatedly tell us that abandoning these standards for imports is essential if they’re going to sign a deal, which could mean changing the standard on the production of whisky and allowing iconic products like stilton to be made in the US.”

• READ MORE - Karen Betts: Brexit raises questions for Scotch whisky industry

A spokesperson for the Scotch Whisky Association told The Guardian that the organisation would campaign for EU food standards to be included in any trade deal with the US.

The spokesperson said: “We are opposed to the sale of any whisky in the UK that does not comply with the legal requirements for whisky under EU law.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "AMY WATSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4742162.1526813445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742162.1526813445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Discussions over the current EU requirement that any product labelled whisky, or whiskey, has to have been aged for at least three years have formed part of the talks. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Discussions over the current EU requirement that any product labelled whisky, or whiskey, has to have been aged for at least three years have formed part of the talks. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4742162.1526813445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5773872462001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/world/three-survivors-critical-after-crash-of-cuba-jet-carrying-110-1-4742107","id":"1.4742107","articleHeadline": "Three survivors ‘critical’ after crash of Cuba jet carrying 110","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526760981000 ,"articleLead": "

Three people have survived after an aging Boeing 737 with 110 people aboard crashed and burned shortly after taking off from Havana airport.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742106.1526760977!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture taken at the scene of the accident. Picture: AFP/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

It was Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in three decades and its third major air accident since 2010.

Skies were overcast and rainy at the airport at the time of Friday’s disaster and Cuban state television said the 39-year-old jet veered sharply to the right after departing on a domestic flight to the eastern city of Holguin.

“The only thing we heard, when we were checking in, an explosion, the lights went out in the airport and we looked out and saw black smoke rising and they told us a plane had crashed,” Argentine tourist Brian Horanbuena said.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said a special commission had been formed to find the cause of the crash.

The plane had 104 mainly Cuban passengers and six crew members.

“Things have been organised, the fire has been put out, and the remains are being identified,” he said.

State airline Cubana, which operated the flight, has generally had a good safety record but is notorious for delays and cancellations and has taken many of its planes out of service because of maintenance problems in recent months, prompting it to hire charter aircraft from other companies.

READ MORE: Plane with 113 on board crashes shortly after takeoff in Cuba

Mexican officials said the Boeing 737-201 was built in 1979 and rented by Cubana from Aerolineas Damojh, a small charter company that also goes by the name Global Air.

Cubana Flight 972 went down just after noon a short distance from the end of the runway at Jose Marti International Airport.

Firefighters rushed to extinguish the flames that engulfed the debris left where the jet hit the ground in a cassava field.

Four crash survivors were taken to a Havana hospital, and three remained alive as of late Friday.

State media reports stopped short of openly declaring that the rest on board were dead, but there was no word of other survivors by Friday night.

Relatives of those aboard were ushered into a private area at the terminal to await word on their loved ones.

“My daughter is 24, my God, she’s only 24!” cried Beatriz Pantoja, whose daughter Leticia was on the plane.

A statement from Mexico’s Transportation Department identified the pilot and co-pilot as Captain Jorge Luis Nunez Santos and first officer Miguel Angel Arreola Ramirez.

It said the flight attendants were Maria Daniela Rios, Abigail Hernandez Garcia and Beatriz Limon. Global Air said maintenance worker Marco Antonio Lopez Perez was also aboard.

Outside the company’s Mexico City offices, former Global Air flight attendant Ana Marlen Covarrubias said she had worked for the company for over seven years and knows nearly all the crew members.

“I don’t have the words. I’m very sad. We’re in mourning,” she said in tears. “It was something really, really, really terrible; a tragedy for us.”

In addition to the Mexican crew, Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma reported that the passengers were mostly Cubans plus five foreigners from countries it did not identify.

Argentina’s Foreign Ministry said two of its citizens had died in the crash.

In November 2010 a Global Air flight originating in Mexico City made an emergency landing in Puerto Vallarta because its front landing gear did not deploy. The fire was quickly extinguished, and none of the 104 people aboard were injured. That plane was a 737 first put into service in 1975.

Mexican aviation authorities said a team of experts would fly to Cuba on Saturday to take part in the investigation.

First Vice President Salvador Valdes Mesa had met with Cubana officials on Thursday to discuss improvements to its service.

The airline blames its spotty record on a lack of parts and airplanes because of the US trade embargo against the communist-run country.

Last year a Cuban military plane crashed into a hillside in the western province of Artemisa, killing eight soldiers.

In 2010, an AeroCaribbean flight from Santiago to Havana went down in bad weather, killing all 68 people on board, including 28 foreigners, in what was the country’s worst air disaster in more than two decades.

The last deadly accident involving a Cubana-operated plane was in 1989, when a charter flight from Havana to Milan, Italy, crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 126 people on board and at least two dozen on the ground.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4742106.1526760977!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742106.1526760977!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Picture taken at the scene of the accident. Picture: AFP/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture taken at the scene of the accident. Picture: AFP/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4742106.1526760977!/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/susan-dalgety-the-city-that-celebrates-72-hours-without-a-fatal-shooting-1-4741607","id":"1.4741607","articleHeadline": "Susan Dalgety: The city that celebrates 72 hours without a fatal shooting","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526706000000 ,"articleLead": "

A group of mothers in Baltimore is determined to ‘will this city toward peace’, finds Susan Dalgety.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741606.1526656073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "With the police considered ineffectual, a grassroots campaign aims to reduce the tragic rate of homicides in Baltimore (Picture: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)"} ,"articleBody": "

Baltimore describes itself as “The Greatest City in America”. It probably was, once.

Sitting on the mid-Atlantic coast, a short train ride from Washington DC, the city is now more famous as the setting for The Wire, a gritty crime drama which, over 50 episodes, tells the story of American urban life in relentless, gory detail.

Baltimore’s founding fathers were Scots-Irish immigrants. They built a great port where hundreds of thousands of Europeans disembarked to start their new life. They created a major industrial city which helped power the United States.

The city was home to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allan Poe and Dashiell Hammett. And it is where Frederick Douglass, civil rights pioneer and adviser to Abraham Lincoln, grew up.

“We don’t have as much history as you guys,” remarked Michael, our waiter at Phillips Seafood, which has been serving up crab cakes since 1956. “But we still got a ton of stuff,” he added quickly. He’s right. This city of neighbourhoods is overflowing with history.

We are here for a few days, waiting for our campervan to arrive from its uneventful journey across the Atlantic. From our temporary home, a modest, if not downright seedy, hotel in the city’s downtown area, we have explored most of what historic Baltimore has to offer.

Magnificent Edwardian skyscrapers, hewn it seems from single blocks of granite and marble, sit alongside shiny 1960s high-rise towers, punctuated by neat rows of red-brick ‘rowhouses’ which mimic traditional English terraces.

The inner harbour, which once traded in America’s most terrible cargo, Africans stolen from their land, is now a handsome tourist spot, with Maryland’s famous crabs and oysters on sale in every bar and restaurant, except McDonalds.

The city boasts the Baltimore Basilica, America’s first cathedral, the internationally renowned Johns Hopkins University and hospital, and the Peabody Institute conservatory, the country’s first school for professional musicians.

And it is fast becoming a must-visit destination for a new generation of tourists, looking for somewhere a bit edgier than Boston.

READ MORE: Susan Dalgety: Trump town is a city of dreams – and nightmares

It is most certainly edgy, but probably not in the way that the millennial hipsters in search of craft cocktails and Chesapeake Bay oysters envisage.

Walk a few blocks past the famous Lexington Market, where people were once sold as slaves, and you are smack in the heart of the real Baltimore.

Not the hip, historic city with its internationally renowned art collection, symphony orchestra and convention centre.

This Baltimore has one of the worst drug problems in America. As many as 10 per cent of the city’s population is addicted to a deadly cocktail of heroin and opioids.

These lost souls wander the streets, downtown as well as in the projects, weaving in and out of the traffic, sometimes begging, more often mumbling to themselves.

A skeletal woman, who could have been aged anywhere between 25 and 60, stands, shaking uncontrollably, inside the 7-Eleven.

She can’t even ask us for cash and simply sticks her hand out in desperate expectation. She takes the dollar bill without a word, her eyes dead.

Muscled young men, dressed in immaculate white vests and wearing heavy silver jewellery, saunter down the street, shouting out their wares. They are selling smack, not craft beer.

We eventually find the statue of Billie Holiday we had been looking for. The incomparable blues singer grew up in Baltimore and a motif of her most haunting song, Strange Fruit, which tells the story of a lynching, is carved into her monument.

“Black bodies swing in the Southern breeze”, she sang in 1939 at the height of America’s apartheid.

READ MORE: Susan Dalgety: After a year-long tour of Europe, the desire for shared future is clear

Black bodies still scar Baltimore, technically a Southern city as it sits below the Mason-Dixon line, the traditional border between the North and South. Only these black bodies are not victims of the Ku Klux Klan. They are the casualties of Baltimore’s war against itself.

Last year there were 343 homicides, the worst year yet. Last month alone there were 34 deaths, more than one a day.

The city has twice the per-capita homicide rate of Chicago and more murders than New York City, which has a population of 8.5 million to Baltimore’s 680,000. Most – 90 per cent – of the victims are black.

Perhaps not surprising, given that Baltimore is a black city – nearly two thirds of its residents are African American. As the city’s economy began to shrink in the 1950s, white residents moved to the suburbs, or new cities.

Poor, mostly black, people didn’t have an escape route. They were helplessly trapped as drugs and guns took the place of work and hope.

But now a group of mothers are fighting back against the bloodshed that is destroying their children’s future.

Monday morning saw the end of the city’s fourth ‘Ceasefire Weekend’ since August last year, a 72-hour gun-free period when residents are asked to “avoid having any murders”.

The first two failed, but, like the February event, this one worked. The city centre news tickertape boasted, “Fourth Baltimore ceasefire weekend ends with no fatal shootings”, alongside news that Bishop Michael Curry, a former Baltimore minister, will preach at the Royal Wedding.

The women behind the Ceasefire campaign want nothing less than an end to murder in Baltimore. Full stop.

Their home-grown solution may seem naive, but their determination that all lives matter has captured the city’s imagination.

Monday’s editorial in the Baltimore Sun read: “There can be no denying the power of thousands of Baltimore residents gathering at events, large and small, simply to will this city toward peace.”

And they can’t do any worse than the Baltimore police. The city’s police chief resigned earlier this week after only weeks in office. His crime? He “forgot” to file his tax returns for three years in a row.

His predecessor Kevin Davis was sacked in January for his failure to tackle the city’s culture of violence. And members of the Gun Trace Task Force were recently convicted of stealing and reselling guns and drugs on the very streets they were supposed to protect.

Meanwhile, 40 miles down the road, in the la-la-land that is the nation’s capital, the bizarre headlines just keep on coming.

“Testimony confirms Trump campaign efforts to obtain Russian dirt on Clinton” is today’s breaking news.

“There is no Collusion,” tweets the President. In Baltimore, I doubt anyone cares.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Susan Dalgety"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741606.1526656073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741606.1526656073!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "With the police considered ineffectual, a grassroots campaign aims to reduce the tragic rate of homicides in Baltimore (Picture: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "With the police considered ineffectual, a grassroots campaign aims to reduce the tragic rate of homicides in Baltimore (Picture: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741606.1526656073!/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/gail-collins-sex-scandals-and-an-all-american-sexual-revolution-1-4741701","id":"1.4741701","articleHeadline": "Gail Collins: Sex scandals and an all-American sexual revolution","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526706000000 ,"articleLead": "

November’s mid-term elections in the US could see something of a sexual revolution in politics, writes Gail Collins.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741700.1526661541!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Patrick Meehan resigned after he used taxpayer money to pay off a former aide who accused him of sexual harassment"} ,"articleBody": "

As a public service, today we are going to discuss the latest primary elections. And I promise there will be some sex scandals.

But first — wow, women are on the move. The big election story on Tuesday was in Pennsylvania, whose 18-member delegation to the US House of Representatives is currently composed of 18 men. (Well, OK, 16 men and two vacancies due to men who abruptly left town. As we will see, Pennsylvania is having some trouble hanging on to its representatives.)

Next year there could conceivably be seven women.

In the past, if I told you the Democrats had nominated seven women for Congress you might have cynically assumed Pennsylvania had seven districts where the party was so outnumbered the Republicans would triumph if they nominated a collie. But no, four of these are likely Democratic wins.

And whatever happens, the state is guaranteed to get at least one congresswoman — there’s a Philadelphia area district with female nominees on both sides.

Meanwhile, incumbent Republicans are falling like flies. Rep. Patrick Meehan resigned recently after he used taxpayer money to pay off a former aide who accused him of sexual harassment. He claimed he was a faithful husband who simply regarded the staffer as a “soul mate”. Pick your response:

A) Interesting job title.

B) First rule of the #MeToo movement is that bosses do not get to be soul mates with their underlings.

C) Hahahahahaha

Meehan was the second Pennsylvania Republican House member to fall to the forces of testosterone recently.

You may remember that Tim Murphy, an avid anti-abortion crusader, had to resign from his seat after word got out that he’d urged his former mistress to consider terminating a possible pregnancy.

When the ex-lover complained about his lack of consistency, she got a text from Murphy’s cellphone saying: “I get what you say about my March for Life messages. I’ve never written them. Staff does them.”

READ MORE: Joyce McMillan: Trump’s hate-mongering remarks chill to the bone

Murphy’s seat then went to Democrat Conor Lamb in a super-dramatic special election. Lamb is still in office. (I know it’s only been a month, but the way things go in this state I thought you’d need some reassurance.)

He’s running this fall in a new district drawn by court order. The redistricting story is super-important, but we’re going to skip the details — you already have enough on your mind about Pennsylvania today.

Suffice it to say that the combination of those new districts and Donald Trump has sent still more House Republicans slinking off in despair.

“Whether it’s Stormy Daniels, or passing an omnibus spending bill that the president threatens to veto after promising to sign, it’s very difficult to move forward in a constructive way today,” Republican Ryan Costello told a local newspaper, signaling his departure.

Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican, had already been planning to retire at the end of the year. But suddenly, he was leaving right away. And off he went.

Dent didn’t really offer an explanation. But use your imagination. Do you think he’d have said it was because:

A) “Pennsylvanians have started to treat Republicans like bark beetles.”

B) “New district bad.”

C) “Just tired. So very, very tired.”

My guess is C. If you’re a person like Dent, who brags about giving “voice to the sensible centre”, it’s easy to understand feeling that this might not really be your moment.

Anyhow, Dent’s gone and Democrats have great hopes that his successor will be Susan Wild, an attorney. And that Costello’s district will be taken by Chrissy Houlahan, a businesswoman and former Air Force engineer.

Houlahan, who has no political background, was one of the thousands of women who responded to Donald Trump’s victory by desperately seeking a way to get involved.

“She called us the day after the march and said she’d decided to run for office,” recalled Stephanie Schriock, the head of Emily’s List. At the time, Houlahan didn’t even know what office that might be. And now here she is.

Pennsylvania wasn’t the only state nominating congressional candidates this week.

READ MORE: Donald Trump’s ‘working visit’ to UK confirmed for July

The Democratic establishment was disappointed when primary voters in Nebraska picked Kara Eastman, a nonprofit executive, over former Rep. Brad Ashford, who was regarded as more salable even though he seems to have switched parties as often as he changed socks.

I can see where you’d like voters to think strategically, but gee.

Over in Idaho, Paulette Jordan won the Democratic nomination for governor to replace the departing Butch Otter. If she wins — and no Democrat has done that since the year “Driving Miss Daisy” won the Best Picture award — she’d become the first Native American governor.

On the other side, Rep. Raúl Labrador lost the race for the Republican governor’s nomination.

This is not going to make any impact on your life, but I just wanted to point out, sadly, that we will probably never again have a chance to use “Raúl Labrador” and “Butch Otter” in the same sentence.

© 2018 New York Times News Service

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Gail Collins"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741700.1526661541!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741700.1526661541!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Patrick Meehan resigned after he used taxpayer money to pay off a former aide who accused him of sexual harassment","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Patrick Meehan resigned after he used taxpayer money to pay off a former aide who accused him of sexual harassment","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741700.1526661541!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/leader-comment-unsurprising-but-important-news-about-trump-and-women-1-4741723","id":"1.4741723","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: Unsurprising but important news about Trump and women","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526706000000 ,"articleLead": "

It’s not massively surprising really, is it? The fact that Trump Turnberry employs four times as many male executives as female ones and that women received bonuses worth less than half of those given to the men.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741722.1526665798!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump seems an unlikely person to champion gender equality in the workplace (Picture: AP)"} ,"articleBody": "

Donald Trump may have boasted about the number of female executives in his business empire, but the US President can hardly strike anyone with an ounce of common sense as a campaigner for gender equality and women’s rights. Much of the golfing world’s record on such issues is almost equally lamentable.

READ MORE: Joyce McMillan: Trump’s hate-mongering remarks chill to the bone

So some might shrug their shoulders at our exclusive report today about the gender pay gap at Turnberry. What else would anyone expect?

But the point is that, if our society is to finally achieve equality of the sexes, it needs leaders in politics and business who will be agents of change, who are committed to the kind of values that the vast majority of us share.

Of course Trump lauds he own achievements. “I have been very, very good for women,” he once said, predictably.

Well, he now has an opportunity to prove that at Turnberry.

READ MORE: Donald Trump bans Irn-Bru from his Turnberry golf course

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741722.1526665798!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741722.1526665798!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Donald Trump seems an unlikely person to champion gender equality in the workplace (Picture: AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump seems an unlikely person to champion gender equality in the workplace (Picture: AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741722.1526665798!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/jane-bradley-the-struggle-to-build-futuristic-cities-that-people-like-1-4741716","id":"1.4741716","articleHeadline": "Jane Bradley: The struggle to build futuristic cities that people like","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526706000000 ,"articleLead": "

Disney World started out as a plan to build a futuristic city, but such grand visions can go astray, writes Jane Bradley

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741715.1526664064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mickey Mouse and friends may live Disney World but originally it was hoped ordinary people would inhabit what ultimately became the 'Magic Kingdom' (Picture: Disney Parks via Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

I have a number of friends who have recently moved to large new-build estates in towns close to Edinburgh in a bid to assuage the demand for housing outside of Scotland’s main cities.

Although the comfortable housing on the outskirts of places such as Ratho and North Berwick is arguably less characterful than the draughty Victorian flats my mates previously inhabited in the city centre, they argue that the community is actually stronger. “It is like being back in first year at university,” one of them tells me. “Everyone is new as they have just moved in – most of them from the city – and they all want to make friends.”

Although these estates have attached themselves to existing towns or villages, the idea of creating entirely new communities, even cities, from scratch is growing across the world. Last week, the Philippines government announced plans to create a “twin city” to its capital Manila, to help relieve congestion in a place said to have one of the worst pollution problems in the world.

New Clark, which will be constructed over the next 30 years, will be a city of the future, including drones, driverless cars, technologies that will reduce buildings’ water and energy usage, and a giant sports complex. Two thirds of the footprint of the city is to be dedicated to green space in a bid to reduce carbon emissions, while all parking will be underground. It sounds like something out of a sci-fi film and a way of living which residents of ancient cities such as Edinburgh would find it hard to envisage.

It is not a new idea. Bizarrely, Walt Disney had a similar plan in the early 20th century. Worried about the future of the world his children and grandchildren would inhabit, he unveiled a blueprint for a “experimental prototype community of tomorrow”: a city of 20,000 residents with a central business district and futuristic public transport.

But it was not to be. After his death in 1966, the idea was abandoned and the site subsequently turned into part of Disney World. The company has since created a utopian small town, somewhat cheesily called Celebration, in Florida, which boasts, among other things, the “Great American Pie Festival” and Independence day fireworks in the mode of Gilmore Girls’s Stars Hollow – as well as, reportedly, leaky roofs and mouldy walls. Another utopian community, Golden Oak, actually built on the Walt Disney park, has attracted so-called “Disney-philes”, both as holiday home owners and permanent residents.

READ MORE: Jane Bradley: How dads can make a more equal world for their daughters

However, old Mr Disney’s idea of a full-scale city of the future is living on today. It has to – thousands of new cities are needed to house the increasing global population – which is projected by the United Nations to reach 9.8 billion in 2050. Hundreds of entirely new cities have been sprouting up across Asia and Africa since the early 2000s.

In Malaysia, a controversial “eco city” is under construction, which, its makers claim, will be so smart that “they’ll keep your orchid perfectly watered without human intervention, that a window broken by local children kicking around a football will be fixed before you return home”. Houses will be covered in plants, while 700,000 people are eventually expected to live there.

In Lagos, Nigeria, Eko-Atlantic is under construction on land reclaimed from the sea. It is touted to bring 250,000 new jobs and transform living for the 70 per cent of Lagos’s 22 million residents who live in poverty.

Meanwhile, in China, a replica of the Unesco-protected city of Hallstatt in Austria, has recreated everything – from the parish church to the town fountain of the 16th century town near Luoyang – on the Dong river. It is dubbed a “clone village”.

Yet what many of these cities are lacking so far is people. Some are still under construction, others, like Hallstatt China, are struggling to attract people to relocate into the unknown. While we in Scotland are not at the forefront of the smart city revolution, we have already had our own versions. New towns, such as Livingston and Cumbernauld, were built in the 1960s and 1970s as an answer to the slum problems in our biggest cities. In an interview in 2012, to mark the 50th anniversary of the foundation of Livingston, teacher Peter Johnston remembered the fast pace at which the town sprang up. “It was like a frontier town,” he said. And for many, it was. For people crammed into tiny, dark tenement flats in Glasgow, the three bedroom homes with garden which Livingston offered seemed like a dream and something so far removed from what they had previously had.

READ MORE: Jane Bradley: The weird world of ice skating’s obsessed fans

The new towns, while still not the most aesthetically pleasing of Scotland’s connurbations, worked. They had family homes and gardens, creating a sense of community among residents who enjoyed the space after decades of cramped living. Smart cities, however, run on a concept which entirely belies the concept of community. Instead, they embody a way of life which is based around residential skyscrapers, where people live independently in tiny boxes, travel quickly and efficiently to their jobs in technology companies and return home.

What the creators of these new cities are forgetting is that people need community. Humans like interacting with other humans – most of them, anyway. In the blurb for the real estate in these new connurbations, there is a lot of talk of luxury apartments, smart living and Silicon-valley style enterprise.

Yet, we are not robots. And if the smart city creators want their cities of the future to work, they need to remember that.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jane Bradley"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741715.1526664064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741715.1526664064!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mickey Mouse and friends may live Disney World but originally it was hoped ordinary people would inhabit what ultimately became the 'Magic Kingdom' (Picture: Disney Parks via Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mickey Mouse and friends may live Disney World but originally it was hoped ordinary people would inhabit what ultimately became the 'Magic Kingdom' (Picture: Disney Parks via Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741715.1526664064!/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/ten-killed-after-school-shooting-in-texas-1-4741565","id":"1.4741565","articleHeadline": "Ten killed after school shooting in Texas","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526675198000 ,"articleLead": "

Ten people have been killed and at least ten others are injured after a shooting by a student at a Texas high school, according to the state governor.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741751.1526675195!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The High School in Santa Fe. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Police said explosive devices, including a including a molotov cocktail, were found in the grounds of the school around 40 miles south of Houston.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters the majority of the dead at Santa Fe High School were students, but a teenager had been remanded in custody over the incident.

READ MORE: 19-year-old charged with Florida shooting

Santa Fe school police officer John Barnes has been named among the injured.

Officer Barnes is in a critical condition and underwent surgery on Friday afternoon, according to local media.

CBS News sources named the suspect as 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who reportedly told authorities he intended to kill himself but gave up because he did not have the courage to take his own life.

A second person, who has not yet been named, has also been detained by police.

Governor Greg Abbott said the suspect used a shotgun and a .38 revolver that he appeared to have taken from his father, who legally owned the weapons.

A bomb squad was sent to the scene, and several helicopter ambulances flew victims to hospital.

Mr Abbott added the attack was “one of the most heinous attacks that we’ve ever seen in the history of Texas schools.”

Students said the shooter entered an art class and started shooting shortly before 08:00 local time.

Michael Farina, 17, said he was on the other side of campus when the shooting began and thought it was a fire drill. He was holding a door open for special education students in wheelchairs when a principal came bounding down the hall and telling everyone to run. Another teacher yelled out, “It is real!”

Students were led to take cover behind a car shop across the street from the school. Some still did not feel safe and began jumping the fence behind the shop to run even farther away, Farina said.

“I debated doing that myself,” he said.

Another student, Paige Curry, also 17, told reporters “it’s been happening everywhere,” adding she “always felt like that eventually it was going to happen here too.”

President Donald Trump, speaking at a prison reform event at the White House, described the attack as “absolutely horrific”.

He added: “My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools, and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves, and to others”.

It is the deadliest such attack on American soil since the shooting at a Florida high school in February that gave rise to a campaign by teenagers for gun control.

In a Tweet shortly after the incident, the ‘March for Our Lives’ movement wrote: “We are deeply saddened by the tragedy in Santa Fe and send our love and support to the families affected as well as the entire community.”

“This is the most fatal shooting since the one at our school and tragedies like this will continue to happen unless action is taken.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741751.1526675195!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741751.1526675195!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The High School in Santa Fe. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The High School in Santa Fe. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741751.1526675195!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/world/plane-with-113-on-board-crashes-shortly-after-takeoff-in-cuba-1-4741739","id":"1.4741739","articleHeadline": "Plane with 113 on board crashes shortly after takeoff in Cuba","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526668539000 ,"articleLead": "

A plane on a domestic flight in Cuba has crashed soon after takeoff in the capital Havana, with indications that there were few survivors among the 113 passengers and crew.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741738.1526668535!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Cubana de Avacion plane."} ,"articleBody": "

The Boeing 737 operated by state airline Cubana crashed on takeoff from Jose Marti International Airport in Havana on Friday with 104 passengers and nine crew aboard, coming to rest in a farm field where firefighters sprayed the charred fuselage with hoses.

There was no immediate word on casualties.

READ MORE: Seaplane destroyed in crash rebuilt

Officials said the plane was headed to the eastern city of Holguin when it crashed between the airport in southern Havana and the nearby town of Santiago de las Vegas.

The plane lay in a field of yuca-root plants and appeared heavily damaged and burnt. Firefighters were trying to extinguish its smoldering remains.

Government officials including President Miguel Diaz-Canel rushed to the site, along with a large number of emergency medical workers and ambulances.

READ MORE: 71 feared dead after plane crash in Russia

Residents of the rural area said they had seen some survivors being taken away in ambulances.

A military officer who declined to provide his name to reporters said that there appeared to have been only three survivors in critical condition, but other officials declined to confirm that figure.

The plane was rented by Cubana, which has taken many of its aging planes out of service in recent months due to mechanical problems. Cuba’s First Vice-President, Salvador Valdes Mesa, met Thursday with Cubana officials to discuss improvements in its heavily criticized service.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741738.1526668535!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741738.1526668535!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A Cubana de Avacion plane.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Cubana de Avacion plane.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741738.1526668535!/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/sport/football/michel-platini-trickery-used-to-ensure-france-brazil-world-cup-final-1-4741563","id":"1.4741563","articleHeadline": "Michel Platini: ‘Trickery’ used to ensure France-Brazil World Cup final","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526652458000 ,"articleLead": "

Former UEFA president Michel Platini has claimed “a little trickery” was used in the 1998 World Cup draw to increase the chances of France and Brazil meeting in the final.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741562.1526652455!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Michel Platini claimed a 'little trickery' was used to increase the chances of a France-Brazil final. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Platini is currently serving a four-year ban from involvement in football - reduced twice from an original eight-year sanction - after he was found guilty of receiving a “disloyal payment” from then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

The former France and Juventus playmaker was a co-president of the organising committee at France 98 and admitted the group allocations for seeded teams were made with an eye on a “dream” final.

Brazil were placed in Group A, as was the standard practice at the time for the defending champions, with France then allocated to Group C - meaning if both teams won their groups, they could not meet before the final.

That was how it turned out, with France triumphing 3-0 at the Stade de France with two goals from Zinedine Zidane.

“France-Brazil in the final, it was the dream of everyone,” Platini told radio station France Bleu Sport in an interview to be broadcast in full on Sunday.

The 62-year-old was laughing as he added: “There was a little trickery.

“We did not spend six years organising the World Cup to not do some little shenanigans. Do you think other World Cup hosts did not?”

While teams had been allocated to specific groups at previous tournaments, it had typically been to keep countries from the same confederation separate while at Italia 90, the six top seeds were assigned to groups A to F in order.

England were placed in the “London group” at both the 1966 World Cup and Euro 96, ensuring they would play all their games at Wembley.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741562.1526652455!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741562.1526652455!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Michel Platini claimed a 'little trickery' was used to increase the chances of a France-Brazil final. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Michel Platini claimed a 'little trickery' was used to increase the chances of a France-Brazil final. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741562.1526652455!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/joyce-mcmillan-trump-s-hate-mongering-remarks-chill-to-the-bone-1-4741219","id":"1.4741219","articleHeadline": "Joyce McMillan: Trump’s hate-mongering remarks chill to the bone","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526619600000 ,"articleLead": "

Donald Trump’s attempt to dehumanise migrants is a chilling example of how the world is heading towards barbarity, says Joyce McMillan

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741218.1526582487!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump has become the subject of angry demonstrations around the world for a variety of reasons (Picture: AFP/Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

This month, the 3,000-seat Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh is doing terrific business with the blockbuster musical Wicked. As keen observers of popular culture will know, Wicked is a 21st century prequel to the 1930s film classic The Wizard Of Oz; and despite some overblown songs, it tells a subtle and unconventional tale, built around the complex friendship between two female leading characters, the green-hued Elphaba – who becomes the Wicked Witch Of The West – and the lovely blonde Glinda, who becomes Glinda the Good.

The point of the story is that Elphaba is not really wicked at all, but a dissident who won’t tolerate the noisy but morally empty rule of the Wizard of Oz. For her, the breaking-point comes when she realises that he is bolstering his power by whipping up hate and violence against a vulnerable group, Oz’s kindly speaking animals; whereas her friend Glinda takes a more conventional path, into the high places of political power.

Like the original Wizard of Oz film, in other words, Wicked is a show full of messages about contemporary politics; not least a forceful reminder of how third-rate leaders tend to reinforce their own power by inciting hate against some enemy group or other. If any student of history can outline the theory of hate-mongering, though, it’s rare to see any leader putting it into practice more clearly and shamelessly than Donald Trump, who this week told a discussion session in Washington that in his view, some illegal migrants in the United States, now allegedly being hunted down and deported, were “not human beings. They’re animals.”

READ MORE: Donald Trump denies ‘hate-filled’ immigration comments

This is language to which we are accustomed, of course, from some sections of the media. From the foul-mouthed British columnist Katie Hopkins, infamous for describing all refugees in the Mediterranean as “cockroaches”, to the shrieking headlines about “animals” and “monsters” that often accompany reports of violent crime, we know this line of argument well. And we are likely to hear more of it in Scotland in coming weeks, as the Scottish Parliament considers how to comply with the European Court of Human Rights ruling which suggests that in general, convicted prisoners serving their sentences should be allowed to vote.

Yet still, to hear such language from the elected President of a once-great democracy is chilling. It’s not the first time President Trump has used similar language, of course. Both on the campaign trail and elsewhere, he has taken visible pleasure in reading aloud with great relish the lyrics of Al Wilson’s 1968 song The Snake, about a “silly woman” who takes in a snake, and is surprised when it bites her. For Trump, the snake of the song represents migrants seeking a home in the US; and he uses Wilson’s lines ruthlessly to arouse fear and hatred against them.

Now admittedly, it takes some nerve to use such a vicious analogy in a nation almost entirely composed of migrants and descendants of migrants; by any rational measure, Trump’s anti-migrant rhetoric is ridiculous. Once the bandwagon of hate starts to roll, though, all those who object to it on any grounds – rational or otherwise – can easily be dismissed as enemies of the people; and this is the fate of Elphaba, scapegoated and cast out as Wicked Witch of the West, as it has been the real-life fate of thousands throughout history who have tried to stand up for justice, truth, and the basic dignity of persons, against the juggernaut of hate-filled group-think.

For of course, we do know where this kind of movement ends. The young Israeli soldiers guarding the Gaza border could not raise their powerful weapons against poorly armed crowds including women, children and disabled people, if they had not become convinced, in some part of themselves, that these demonstrators are not fully human. The state of Israel itself is founded on the backlash against the fascist idea that the Jews of Europe were somehow less than human, and had no legitimate rights – a fact which adds an extra layer of bitter irony to Israel’s current policy towards the Palestinian people.

And here in relatively genteel Britain, a Commons Committee sat in shamed silence this week, as it listened to the testimony of two Windrush-generation migrants, people in their 70s whose basic human rights in the UK had all but vanished thanks to Theresa May’s “hostile environment” towards those suspected of being illegal migrants. Manhandled from their homes, dismissed as liars by immigration officials paid to bully and abuse, and imprisoned in one of the UK’s notorious immigration detention centres, these two people had felt on their skin, in Britain today, the danger that lies behind the dehumanising rhetoric of hate, and its insistent demands for migrants to be summarily deported, without any due process at all.

READ MORE: Review: Wicked – musical casts spell despite lack of magical chemistry

What is ever clearer, in other words, is that any fool can accord full human rights to someone he or she likes, or empathises with, or does not perceive as a problem. The test of civilisation has always lain in our ability to accord fundamental human dignity and basic rights to those whose presence we fear, and whom we even suspect of serious crimes. The law is there to protect us against those moments when empathy fails; and when governments begin to breach or ignore the law, then nothing much stands between us and the complete barbarity of a survival-of-the-fittest world where might is right, and the weak go to the wall.

Eventually, of course, such savage injustice always breeds its own fierce and implacable backlash, as it has done in Gaza and the West Bank. But for now, the brutal language of Donald Trump holds sway, and is not even denounced by his own party in Congress; we are to admire brute strength, and spit on the law which would accord equal rights to all. It remains true, though, that the politics of hate represents a short, familiar path to a bloody destination; and it’s to be hoped that each time we walk that path, a larger number of us will recognise the landscape, and set about campaigning for a change in direction, before it is too late.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Joyce McMillan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741218.1526582487!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741218.1526582487!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Donald Trump has become the subject of angry demonstrations around the world for a variety of reasons (Picture: AFP/Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump has become the subject of angry demonstrations around the world for a variety of reasons (Picture: AFP/Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741218.1526582487!/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/oxfam-chief-executive-resigns-in-wake-of-haiti-sex-scandal-1-4740868","id":"1.4740868","articleHeadline": "Oxfam chief executive resigns in wake of Haiti sex scandal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526556011000 ,"articleLead": "

Oxfam’s chief executive has resigned from the charity in the wake of its sex scandal in Haiti.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740867.1526556009!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Oxfam's chief executive has resigned from the charity. Picture: PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Mark Goldring announced on Wednesday he would stand down from Oxfam GB at the end of the year in order to allow fresh leadership to navigate past recent criticism.

He rejoined Oxfam in 2013, about three years after the scandal, and the charity denied his exit is related to his handling of the fallout.

Mr Goldring said: “Following the very public exposure of Oxfam’s past failings, we have redoubled our efforts to ensure that Oxfam is a safe and respectful place for all who have contact with us. We are now laying strong foundations for recovery.

“I think that this journey will best be led by someone bringing fresh vision and energy and making a long-term commitment to see it through.”

READ MORE: Pressure on Oxfam over sex allegations

Oxfam chairwoman Caroline Thomson said it was with “great sadness” she accepted the resignation of the man who battled the “test of a lifetime” at the charity.

Asked if the resignation is related to how he dealt with the crisis, an Oxfam spokeswoman said: “No, it’s absolutely not to do with his handling at all.”

Oxfam was plunged into crisis in February when it emerged some of its workers engaged in “sex parties” with prostitutes in the aftermath of 2010’s earthquake in the Caribbean country.

Mr Goldring apologised for the actions of charity staff when he appeared before MPs and also for his own comment to the Guardian that the charity was being attacked as if it had “murdered babies in their cots”.

Intense criticism over reports of sexual misconduct quickly led to the resignation of Oxfam’s then deputy chief executive, Penny Lawrence.

At that point, Mr Goldring said he would not step down unless the charity’s board lost faith in his leadership.

Mr Goldring, who first worked for Oxfam as Bangladesh country director in the 1990s, will continue to lead the charity until a successor is found.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4740867.1526556009!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740867.1526556009!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Oxfam's chief executive has resigned from the charity. Picture: PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Oxfam's chief executive has resigned from the charity. Picture: PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4740867.1526556009!/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/watchdog-confirms-chlorine-gas-used-in-attack-on-syrian-town-1-4740668","id":"1.4740668","articleHeadline": "Watchdog confirms chlorine gas used in attack on Syrian town","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526542102000 ,"articleLead": "

Chlorine was probably used as a weapon in the Syrian town of Saraqeb in early February, according to the international chemical weapons watchdog.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740667.1526542100!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "People were treated for breathing difficulties after the attack. Picture: AFP/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons released details in its latest report on poison gas being unleashed in Syria’s civil war. However, the OPCW is not mandated to apportion blame for the attack.

The organisation said its fact-finding mission investigating alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria “determined that chlorine was released from cylinders by mechanical impact in the Al Talil neighbourhood of Saraqib”.

The mission is also investigating allegations that poison gas was used in Douma, near the capital Damascus, in a deadly 7 April attack. It has not yet issued a report on that incident.

On 4 February, the White Helmets search and rescue group and a medical charity reported that several people suffered breathing difficulties after a suspected chlorine gas attack on Saraqeb, days after the Trump administration accused Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s government of producing and using “new kinds of weapons” to deliver poisonous gases.

Damascus denied the White House’s charges.

The White Helmets said three of its rescuers and six other people suffered breathing problems. The Syrian American Medical Society said its hospitals in Idlib treated 11 patients for suspected chlorine gas poisoning.

OPCW director-general Ahmet Uzumcu harshly ­criticised the chemical attack, saying: “I strongly condemn the continued use of toxic chemicals as weapons by anyone, for any reason, and in any circumstances.

“Such acts contradict the unequivocal prohibition against chemical weapons enshrined in the Chemical Weapons Convention.”

The OPCW said its team based its findings on evidence including “the presence of two cylinders, which were determined as previously containing chlorine; witness testimony; environmental samples that demonstrated the unusual presence of chlorine in the local environment; and the number of patients at medical facilities shortly after the incident who showed signs and symptoms consistent with exposure to chlorine and other toxic chemicals”.

Saraqeb is in the northern Idlib province, a stronghold for rebels and opposition to Mr Assad’s government. The province is also home to militants linked to al-Qaeda.

The town has come under suspected chemical attacks at least twice before, in 2016 and in 2013.

An attack on Douma last month led to the US, France and Britain blaming the Syrian government and launching joint punitive air strikes targeting suspected Syrian chemical weapons facilities on 15 April. The organisation has not yet issued a report on that attack.

Mr Assad’s forces have repeatedly been accused of using chemical weapons in the long-running civil war. His regime denies the allegations.

Rebels have also been accused of using poison gas.

Meanwhile, two people were killed and 19 others injured when a shell fell in the heart of the Syrian capital, Syrian state TV reported yesterday, stating it was fired by “terrorist groups”.

Damascus police said the shell – which landed near Victoria bridge in central Damascus – also caused damage.

Even though government troops have nearly gained full control of areas surrounding the capital from rebel forces, they are still battling remnants of Islamic State militants south of Damascus.

For years, the capital has seen repeated shelling from Damascus suburbs.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4740667.1526542100!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740667.1526542100!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "People were treated for breathing difficulties after the attack. Picture: AFP/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "People were treated for breathing difficulties after the attack. Picture: AFP/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4740667.1526542100!/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/kenny-macaskill-under-boris-uk-now-has-an-unethical-foreign-policy-1-4740482","id":"1.4740482","articleHeadline": "Kenny MacAskill: Under Boris, UK now has an ‘unethical foreign policy’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526533200000 ,"articleLead": "

Robin Cook became Foreign Secretary in 1997 amid much fanfare about an ethical foreign policy. That lasted a matter of weeks before arms sales to Indonesia intervened and a muting of the sound was required.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740481.1526482304!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Yemeni worker saves bags of food as fire engulfs a United Nations warehouse in the coastal town of Hodeida (Picture: AFP/Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

To be fair, Cook was a good man who tried to do the right thing and showed his mettle and his principles by resigning from office over the Iraq War. However, it also showed how difficult it can be to abide by ethical values when the needs of a state intrude.

Interventions in Sierra Leone and Afghanistan were perhaps justifiable or misguided. But even if the latter became a proven folly, at least there were good intentions and attempts to abide by them. However, New Labour gave up any pretence of an ethical foreign policy after Tony Blair rode shotgun for George W Bush on the invasion of Iraq. It was without any ethical basis and predicated on a lie. Having supped with the devil, Blair seemed to lose any moral scruples on foreign policy, as shown by the shameless behaviour over Libya.

When news of a UK and Libya ‘Prisoner Transfer Agreement’ first broke, Jack Straw sallied north to appease the new SNP administration’s concerns about its effect on Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. The UK Justice Secretary seemingly genuinely willing to remove Scotland’s only Libyan prisoner from the document until overruled by the Treasury and Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which made clear the demands of Libya and the needs of the British state.

READ MORE: Kenny MacAskill: Lockerbie bomber’s conviction may well collapse

Straw was no innocent on Libyan affairs as shown by the parliamentary apology tendered last week over the case of Abdel Belhaj, a Libyan dissident rendered into the Gadhafi regime’s hands by the US with the complicity of the UK. That not quite unprecedented but still highly unusual action was needed by a Tory Minister to dig a former Labour Foreign Secretary and Director of MI6 out of a huge hole they’d dug for the country by their appalling actions. Had an apology not been made then further litigation would have been embarrassing and costly to not just the reputations of major governmental institutions but potentially the liberty of former senior figures.

Belhaj and his pregnant wife weren’t the only prisoners rendered to Gadhafi’s Libya by the CIA and UK’s security services. There were others and they were returned to a despot that the UK was imposing international sanctions on and rightly condemned. To be fair to Cook, his initial involvement with Libya was simply to seek the release of the Lockerbie suspects for the trial that took place at Camp Zeist. His successors though discarded all pretence at justice and policy was dictated by the shameless pursuit of UK economic interests, irrespective of the welfare of innocents.

When Blair made his deal in the desert and embraced Gadhafi, other connected events quickly followed. First was the signing of a huge oil deal and second the commencement of the prisoner renditions. For the deal was a two-way street with benefits for the Libyan regime as much as the UK. It wasn’t just a lessening of sanctions but also involved the supply of arms and even the training of Gadhafi’s elite troops by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

That was exposed in an Amnesty International report shortly after I made the decision to release Megrahi on compassionate grounds – and not because of the Prisoner Transfer Agreement. Individuals are entitled to their view on that, but the criticism of it by Labour was brazen given the actions they were involved in. America was equally Brazen with Clinton and Obama pursuing commercial deals with Libya, as well as courting him as an ally against Islamism. They embraced the Gadhafi family before Megrahi was even released but were equally craven in their denunciations.

READ MORE: Kenny MacAskill: Lockerbie conspiracy theories ‘absurd’

The great irony is that when the West realised that Gadhafi was neither going to change nor be reliable they turned on him once more. Many rendered by the CIA and tortured by the regime were then supported, yet faced a military trained and supplied by the West. In a further twist, some of them have since been bombed in turn as the post-Gadhafi Libya disintegrated and warlordism surfaced.

Whilst the UK and USA were in the lead, other nations were complicit with Berlusconi’s Italy and Sarkozy’s France having close links with a Libyan regime which was supposedly a world pariah, as did other European countries including Germany – which only shows how prevalent it is that the needs of the state trump ethical values.

Now of course New Labour’s fanfare of an ethical foreign policy has been replaced by the delusions of the Brexiters and whilst Cook was a decent man that cannot be said about the current incumbent. Boris Johnson is as shameless and unprincipled an individual as the UK policy position taken under his command. There’s little pretence of having any moral basis, just a desire for Britannia to rule the waves once more and the desperation for post-EU trade deals with anyone irrespective of their actions. Hence why the Saudis are courted despite the horror they’re perpetrating in the Yemen, Turkey’s Erdogan is feted despite his crackdown in his own country and Israel’s atrocities in Gaza are only half-heartedly criticised.

It’s not easy to have an ethical foreign policy – as Cook discovered – but efforts can be made even if from time to time real-politik enters into it, and that applies to countries large and small. Ireland was neutral but during the Iraq War but it was hard to know that given the American military use of Shannon Airport. Needs must for the Irish economy as otherwise action would have been taken by the USA. Likewise, Scottish Governments of all political hues since devolution have sought to abide by a certain moral code even if the requirements of some business deals and the training of some unpleasant associates has taken place. After all, even Scandinavian countries held up as models of probity have economic necessities as arms sales show.

Jobs and trade matter, and ethics have limits, but shamefully this Tory Government seems entirely devoid of any values and decency in foreign affairs.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Kenny MacAskill"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4740481.1526482304!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740481.1526482304!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A Yemeni worker saves bags of food as fire engulfs a United Nations warehouse in the coastal town of Hodeida (Picture: AFP/Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Yemeni worker saves bags of food as fire engulfs a United Nations warehouse in the coastal town of Hodeida (Picture: AFP/Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4740481.1526482304!/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/china-urges-north-korea-to-proceed-with-donald-trump-summit-1-4740272","id":"1.4740272","articleHeadline": "China urges North Korea to proceed with Donald Trump summit","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526471789000 ,"articleLead": "

China has urged its ally North Korea to proceed with a historic summit between its leader, Kim Jong Un, and US president Donald Trump amid threats from Pyongyang to scrap the meeting.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740271.1526471786!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump are due to meet in Singapore on June 12. Picture: AFP/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the sides should ensure the meeting runs as planned and yields “substantial outcomes”.

Mr Kim and Mr Trump are due to meet in Singapore on June 12, but Pyongyang has threatened to withdraw, saying it has no interest in a “one-sided” affair meant to pressure it into abandoning its nuclear weapons.

Mr Lu said the meeting was crucial to reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and maintaining regional peace and stability.

The North’s warning came hours after it abruptly cancelled a high-level meeting with South Korea, in protest over US-South Korean military exercises.

A senior Japanese official said Tokyo considers the US-South Korean joint exercise, along with those between the three allies, as key pillars of deterrence in the region.

Deputy chief cabinet secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura said Japan is moving ahead with the preparation for planned talks between the North’s leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump in the hopes they would provide a momentum toward comprehensively resolving North Korea’s problems.

READ MORE: North Korea to suspend South Korea talks over US military drills

Mr Nishimura said Japan will continue to cooperate with the US and South Korea and they agree on the need to maintain sanctions until the North changes its current policy.

He said: “We believe that steady implementation of the US-South Korea joint military exercise is important to maintain the regional peace and safety.”

South Korea’s defence ministry said the exercises will go on.

Spokeswoman Choi Hyunsoo said the Max Thunder drills are chiefly about improving the skills of pilots, and are not attack exercises.

The drills, which began on Monday and reportedly include some 100 aircraft, will continue until May 25.

The North has long denounced the military exercises between the rivals as invasion rehearsals.

Earlier, the US said it is going ahead with plans for the meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Kim.

US state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the US has not heard anything directly from Pyongyang or Seoul that would change that.

She said Mr Kim had previously indicated he understood the need and purpose of the US continuing its long-planned joint exercises with South Korea.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4740271.1526471786!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740271.1526471786!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump are due to meet in Singapore on June 12. Picture: AFP/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump are due to meet in Singapore on June 12. Picture: AFP/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4740271.1526471786!/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/mps-accuse-israel-of-targeting-civilians-1-4739951","id":"1.4739951","articleHeadline": "MPs accuse Israel of targeting civilians","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526446834000 ,"articleLead": "

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739950.1526416768!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Palestinian protesters carry an injured man who was shot by Israeli troops. Picture: AP Photo/Khalil Hamra"} ,"articleBody": "

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson claimed that peaceful Gaza protests have been “exploited by extremists” as MPs from all parties yesterday condemned Israel’s use of force against civilians that has seen 58 people killed and thousands injured.

Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry accused Israel of a “calculated and deliberate policy to kill and maim unarmed protesters”.

But Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Mark Regev, insisted Israeli soldiers used live fire in a “measured” and “surgical” way, and claimed that militant group Hamas instigated the protests to “breach the border, to get inside Israel and to kill Israeli citizens”.

On Monday, Israeli forces killed 58 Palestinians and injured more than 2,700 during protests along the border – while a few miles away US president Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka was taking part in a ceremony in Jerusalem for the opening of the controversial new US embassy.

Following the weekly Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said ministers were “extremely concerned” by the scale of the violence, describing the loss of life and injuries to the Palestinians as “tragic”.

Addressing the Commons over the growing crisis in Gaza, the Foreign Secretary insisted the UK remains committed to a two-state Israel-Palestine solution, with Jerusalem as the shared capital.

Middle East minister Alistair Burt said the UK has so far received “no information” to suggest that UK-supplied equipment has been used against protesters, amid calls from opposition MPs to suspend arms sales to Israel.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Johnson told MPs: “I am deeply saddened by the loss of life in Gaza, where peaceful protests are being exploited by extremists. I urge Israel to show restraint in the use of live fire and I take this opportunity to repeat the UK’s commitment to a two-state solution with Jerusalem as the shared ­capital.”

Putting an urgent question to the Foreign Secretary, Ms Thornberry said many Palestinians had been “shot in the back … hundreds of metres from the border”, with children among those killed and injured.

Conservative Sir Nicholas Soames said Israel’s actions were a “wholly unacceptable and excessive use of force” and called for “a little less limp response” from the Foreign Office.

SNP MP Stephen Gethins said the conflict was not helped by the “reckless move” of the US embassy to Jerusalem. However, a number of Conservative MPs defended Israel, with Ross Thomson accusing Hamas of “using civilians as a cover to incite violence”.

The Aberdeen South MP said: “We have seen Hamas officials actively encouraging protesters to be martyrs, bussing rioters to the border for them to sling Molotov cocktails and fire bombs.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4739950.1526416768!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739950.1526416768!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Palestinian protesters carry an injured man who was shot by Israeli troops. Picture: AP Photo/Khalil Hamra","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Palestinian protesters carry an injured man who was shot by Israeli troops. Picture: AP Photo/Khalil Hamra","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4739950.1526416768!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/leader-comment-israel-must-stop-killing-palestinians-1-4739924","id":"1.4739924","articleHeadline": "Leader comment: Israel must stop killing Palestinians","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526446800000 ,"articleLead": "

The Israeli Government insists it has the right, as any nation does, to protect its borders; many of the 58 Palestinians shot dead by its security forces were “terrorists”, it insists; and Hamas was planning to send armed fighters through a breach in the fence around Gaza to “massacre” Israelis, according to the Israeli Defence Force (IDF).

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739922.1526410868!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Palestinian protesters carry a man shot by Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis. (Picture: AP/Khalil Hamra)"} ,"articleBody": "

But, for many onlookers, there was only one massacre and it was of Palestinians by Israelis. Writing in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, Ilene Prusher, a US journalist and academic, asked a pointed question: “Hamas may as well be sending young demonstrators into a firing squad. But does that mean Israel has no choice but to keep pulling the trigger?”

READ MORE: More than 50 killed in Gaza as US embassy opens in Jerusalem

She agreed protesters who threw Molotov cocktails or who tried to cut the border fence were “far from the textbook definition of ‘peaceful protesters’ engaging in civil disobedience”, but added “neither do they present a lethal threat to 13 battalions of Israel army forces. Indeed, to call every teenage protester a terrorist recruited by Hamas bent on murdering Israelis flies in the face of truth.”

In the UK, Stephen Pollard, editor of The Jewish Chronicle, wrote of a “shameful day”. “Yes, Hamas exploited – even organised – much of the protests. Yes, no one would have been killed if they’d not been charging at the border. But no one can tell me that the correct response was to fire live ammunition at unarmed Palestinians.”

A few decades ago, public opinion in much of the world was solidly behind Israel, but attitudes have changed largely because of the military action it has taken against Palestinians.

Labour’s Emily Thornberry yesterday claimed Israel had a “deliberate policy to kill and maim unarmed protesters”, while Conservative MP Sir Nicholas Soames spoke of a “wholly unacceptable and excessive use of force”. Israel may complain such views are formed at a safe distance, too far from the actual events to understand them properly, but the world can hardly do anything else.

READ MORE: Tommy Sheppard: Israel is killing unarmed Palestinian protesters

And, from a distance, it looks like Israel has carried out a massacre of unarmed protesters. Whatever repercussions result from this tragedy, Israel, for its own sake, must ensure its soldiers fire only when they have no alternative because currently it is losing the battle for the world’s hearts and minds. And that, in the long run, may be the most important struggle.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4739922.1526410868!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739922.1526410868!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Palestinian protesters carry a man shot by Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis. (Picture: AP/Khalil Hamra)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Palestinian protesters carry a man shot by Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis. (Picture: AP/Khalil Hamra)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4739922.1526410868!/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/north-korea-to-suspend-south-korea-talks-over-us-military-drills-1-4739927","id":"1.4739927","articleHeadline": "North Korea to suspend South Korea talks over US military drills","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526412556000 ,"articleLead": "

Reports say that North Korea has announced that it will be suspending the scheduled talks with South Korea over claims US military drills in the country are “intentional provocation”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739926.1526412554!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were due to meet on June 12th. Picture: AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)"} ,"articleBody": "

The news comes after tensions seemed to be easing in the region last month when North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss denuclearization in the peninsula.

Recent reports stated that recent satellite imagery had even showed that North Korea had begun dismantling facilities at its nuclear test site.

Now however, the recent joint exercises between the US and South Korea have been cited as a rehearsal for a “potential invasion of the country”, according to KCNA, North Korea’s state media outlet.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4739926.1526412554!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739926.1526412554!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were due to meet on June 12th. Picture: AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were due to meet on June 12th. Picture: AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4739926.1526412554!/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/63-windrush-migrants-deported-from-the-uk-javid-admits-1-4739848","id":"1.4739848","articleHeadline": "63 Windrush migrants deported from the UK, Javid admits","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526401560000 ,"articleLead": "

At least 63 Windrush generation immigrants have been deported from the UK, Sajid Javid has revealed, with at least three of them now being told they can remain in the UK.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739847.1526401559!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Home Secretary Sajid Javid arrives in Downing Street for a meeting of Cabinet (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

In his first appearance before a Commons committee since becoming Home Secretary, Mr Javid said Home Office officials were urgently trying to establish how many Windrush immigrants may have been deported from the UK, and how many of them were wrongly removed.

The cases are now being investigated in detail, with officials trawling through 8,000 records dating back to 2002 following fears that people who had been in the country lawfully for decades may have been forced to leave.

Mr Javid told the Home Affairs Select Committee that the exercise has so far found 63 people who may have arrived in the UK from the Caribbean before 1973 and have been removed or deported.

Of this number, 32 have been convicted of a crime, while 31 had been subject to “administrative” removals for an unspecified other reason.

The Home Secretary emphasised that the figures are not final and are subject to change.

He said: “I’ve asked officials to be absolutely certain and thorough and check over every record and make sure.”

Mr Javid added: “So far we have found – and I would preface these are not final numbers, they are subject to change because the work is still ongoing – we have found 63 cases where individuals could have entered the UK before 1973, so these are Caribbean Commonwealth [citizens], who could have entered before 1973.

“The reason we use the word ‘could’ – it means of the 8,000 records that came up of deportation removals there’s so far a focus on the 63 where there’s something in their records that indicates they could have been in the UK before 73 who have been removed or deported.”

According to a letter sent to MPs on the committee by Home Office permanent Secretary Sir Philip Rutnam, there have been 17 cases where deported Windrush immigrants have returned to the UK since 2015.

Of these, five have since been found to have no legal status and nine cases are still under examination, while three have established their right to be in the UK.

Mr Rutnam’s letter also reveals that a helpline set up to resolve Windrush generation cases has so far received 11,500 calls.

From that number, over 4,482 individuals have been referred to Home Office caseworkers, resulting in over 1,482 appointments being booked. So far, 526 people have been issued documents confirming their legal right to live in the UK.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Paris Gourtsoyannis"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4739847.1526401559!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739847.1526401559!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Home Secretary Sajid Javid arrives in Downing Street for a meeting of Cabinet (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Home Secretary Sajid Javid arrives in Downing Street for a meeting of Cabinet (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4739847.1526401559!/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/british-mother-jailed-in-iran-could-be-sent-back-to-court-on-fresh-charge-1-4739457","id":"1.4739457","articleHeadline": "British mother jailed in Iran could be sent back to court on fresh charge","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526370012000 ,"articleLead": "

A British mother jailed in Iran on spying claims faces being sent back to court on a fresh charge, her husband has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739456.1526370009!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard Ratcliffe and their daughter Gabriella. Picture: PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Richard Ratcliffe fears Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was arrested in 2016 while on holiday with her daughter Gabriella, could be taken back to court “within a week or so” on a resurrected charge of spreading propaganda against the regime.

Mr Ratcliffe believes a case is being opened against her as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson prepares to meet his French and German counterparts and EU high representative Federica Mogherini for talks on Iran in Brussels.

It comes after members of her family visited prosecutors for an update on her case, according to Mr Ratcliffe, who says she is being used as a “bargaining chip”.

He said she told him of the development in a 5.30am phone call on May 14, and added: “I have no clue why they have started all this nonsense again. They know Boris is coming.

“Please take me out of this, please. My parents have had enough. I want my daughter back. She needs both of us. So tell the world. Enough of this nonsense.”

READ MORE: Iran authorities have signalled British exile’s release

Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested during a visit to show her baby daughter Gabriella to her parents.

The 39-year-old mother, from Hampstead, north London, is serving a five-year sentence over allegations, which she denies, of plotting to overthrow the Tehran government.

She said in a statement released through the campaign to free her: “Sometimes when I come back from the visit with Gabriella, after saying goodbye to her, I feel like I cannot live without her, I want to go back and hold her.

“She kisses me so hard. It is hard to say goodbye to her. She blows kisses all the way as she goes up the stairs, and everyone stands there watching.

“After the news of a new court case again, yesterday was one of those days. I kept thinking, how did I survive without her for 26 months?”

Mr Ratcliffe said: “The UK needs to do better by British Iranians - at the moment it is failing to protect them.

“UK policy is not making it safe for British citizens. Iranian policy is not making it safe for Iranian citizens.”

He urged Mr Johnson to have “Nazanin and the cases of all the other British citizens taken at the top of his priority list” during his meetings in Brussels.

He said: “A deal that protects people is one that can work. Failure to make it safe for people to be free from being held arbitrarily, free to visit their families in peace, will make any deal impossible to sustain. Governments should not downplay the significance of this fact.

“We hope the Foreign Secretary visits Iran as soon as possible, for the safety of all British citizens. We hope this time a way can be found for him not to return again empty-handed.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4739456.1526370009!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739456.1526370009!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard Ratcliffe and their daughter Gabriella. Picture: PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her husband Richard Ratcliffe and their daughter Gabriella. Picture: PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4739456.1526370009!/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/josephine-mpango-fountain-of-youth-ready-to-take-its-place-in-politics-and-change-the-world-1-4739098","id":"1.4739098","articleHeadline": "Josephine Mpango: Fountain of youth ready to take its place in politics – and change the world","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526360451000 ,"articleLead": "

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) brought ­together leaders from all 53 ­member states to discuss and take action on issues of social, economic and ­political importance across the ­Commonwealth.

" ,"articleBody": "

I was attending the CHOGM Youth Forum to represent Scotland-Malawi links but also with a specific ­interest in discussions around gender ­equality and tackling gender-based violence. As a young person that has experienced gender-based violence, I was keen that CHOGM sought to address this issue.

I was overjoyed when, for the first time in the history of the Commonwealth Youth Council (CYC) General Assembly, more women than men were voted onto the Executive Committee. This was a great start to CHOGM and I was inspired to see this trend continue throughout the week.

Also, in an outstanding adoption by the CYC General Assembly, a motion to support the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 was passed.

The resolution “urges member states to give youth a greater voice in decision-making at the local, national, regional and international levels and to consider setting up ­mechanisms that would enable young ­people to participate meaningfully in peace processes.” It is easy to assume that the resolution is ­exclusive to war-torn countries in conflict; however this applies to all countries, demanding the prevention and protection of youth from all forms of gender-based violence.

This ensures a more secure future for the Commonwealth’s one billion young people; particularly its young ­women and girls who are disproportionately affected.

The Commonwealth agenda is only the beginning. At the end of CHOGM, the 53 heads of government declared that youth empowerment, as well as gender equality, were critical in ­realising the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the ­aspirations of the Commonwealth Charter.

But what does this mean for you and me, and for the young people of the Commonwealth?

I believe we are entering into what I would like to call “the decade of young people”. Soon we will be counting down the final ten years of the UN’s sustainable development goals as well as the commitments of the Commonwealth Agenda. At the end of this decade, young ­people (then, not so young) will be what we have to show for from all these international commitments and global investments.

These young people are all around us: our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. Many countries have either been overconfident or in ­denial about ‘preparing’ young people for the profound change that is about to happen over the next ­decade. I am really keen to see that the promises made at CHOGM are carried through not only in Malawi and Scotland, but throughout the Commonwealth.

As much as we, as young ­people, are the beneficiaries, we are also the machinery; illustrated in the ­Commonwealth Youth Forum’s ­central theme Powering Our Common Future.

For too long, young people have been seen as solely the recipients of this work. Over the past few years, we have seen young people rise up and do amazing things.

Scotland’s Year of Young People is already showcasing their great ­talents, diversity and strengths of young people and how they are contributing to both their country and the wider world.

Engaging in two-way, dignified partnerships is a ­powerful way for both Scotland and Malawi’s younger generation to be an important part of their Commonwealth. We are ­moving forward with ­boldness and ensuring that the promises made to us will be carried through.

Personally, I am excited that I am about to begin a journey of empowerment and liberation; not only for myself, but for the fellow young ­people I meet and work with. My purpose is clear: to ensure that young women and girls live a healthy life free from violence and find a ­common future in the ­Commonwealth. Is this too ­ambitious? Only the decade of young people will decide.

Josephine Mpango is a Malawian ­student studying global health at the University of Edinburgh as a ­MasterCard Foundation Scholar. She attended the Commonwealth Heads of ­Government Meeting (CHOGM) in ­London in April as the Scotland ­Malawi Partnership’s Youth Ambassador.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/world/more-than-50-killed-in-gaza-as-us-embassy-opens-in-jerusalem-1-4739416","id":"1.4739416","articleHeadline": "More than 50 killed in Gaza as US embassy opens in Jerusalem","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526330344000 ,"articleLead": "

Israeli soldiers have shot and killed at least 52 Palestinians and left another 1,200 injured during mass protests along the Gaza border, health officials said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739415.1526330341!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A wounded Palestinian man is rushed to an ambulance at the border fence with Israel as mass demonstrations continue in Gaza. Picture: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

It was the deadliest day in the region since a devastating 2014 cross-border war, and cast a shadow over the inauguration of the new US embassy in Jerusalem.

In a show of anger fuelled by the embassy move, Palestinian protesters set tyres on fire and hurled firebombs and stones toward Israeli troops across the border. Later, Israeli forces opened fire from tanks, sending protesters fleeing for cover.

The military said its troops came under fire in some areas, and claimed protesters had been attempting to break through the border fence. It said troops shot and killed three Palestinians who were trying to plant a bomb.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, decried the “shocking killing of dozens” and the injury of hundreds by Israeli forces in the Palestinian areas.

Mr Zeid, a Jordanian prince who is leaving his post in August after a single term, said the international community needs to ensure justice for the victims. He added on the UN human rights office’s Twitter feed that perpetrators of “outrageous human rights violations” must be held to account.

US president Donald Trump said in a video message played at the new US embassy inauguration – which took place just 45 miles from the bloodshed on the Gaza border – that he remains committed to “facilitating a lasting peace agreement” between Israelis and Palestinians.

“A great day for Israel!” Mr Trump tweeted earlier.

However, yesterday’s steadily climbing death toll and wall-to-wall condemnation of the embassy move by the Arab world raised new doubts about Mr Trump’s ambitions to broker what he once said would be the Middle East “deal of the century”,

At least 52 Palestinians, including five minors, were killed, the Gaza health ministry said. A total of 1,204 were wounded by Israeli gunfire.

The ministry says this total includes 116 people who were in serious or critical condition.

At the embassy ceremony in Jerusalem, Mr Trump’s son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser Jared Kushner placed the blame on the Gaza protesters. He said: “As we have seen from the protests of the last month and even today those provoking violence are part of the problem and not part of the solution.”

Mr Kushner and Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka led a high-powered American delegation that also included the treasury secretary and four Republican senators.

The new embassy will temporarily operate from an existing US consulate, until a decision has been made on a permanent location.

In Gaza, the Hamas-led protest was meant to be the biggest yet in a campaign against a decade-old blockade of the territory. The Israeli military estimated a turnout of about 40,000, saying this fell short of what Hamas had hoped for.

The march was also directed at the inauguration of the embassy.

Mr Trump added in his video address that the new embassy was opening “many, many years ahead of schedule”, adding that the US had “failed to acknowledge the obvious” for many years.

He said that he remains committed to “facilitating a lasting peace agreement”, and that he was “extending a hand of friendship to Israel, the Palestinians and to all of their neighbours”.

Moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a key Trump campaign promise – infuriated the Palestinians, who seek east Jerusalem as a future capital.

The clash is the biggest showdown in years between Israel’s military and Gaza’s Hamas rulers along the volatile border.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARGARET NEIGHBOUR"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4739415.1526330341!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739415.1526330341!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A wounded Palestinian man is rushed to an ambulance at the border fence with Israel as mass demonstrations continue in Gaza. Picture: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A wounded Palestinian man is rushed to an ambulance at the border fence with Israel as mass demonstrations continue in Gaza. Picture: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4739415.1526330341!/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/mh370-pilot-deliberately-dodged-radar-to-ensure-plane-was-never-found-1-4739276","id":"1.4739276","articleHeadline": "MH370 pilot ‘deliberately dodged radar’ to ensure plane was never found","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526311820000 ,"articleLead": "

The pilot of the missing flight MH370 deliberately dodged radar to ensure the plane was never found, aviation experts have claimed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739275.1526311817!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "9M-MRO, the aircraft that disappeared, in 2011. Picture: 'Laurent Errerea/Wikicommons"} ,"articleBody": "

A panel assembled by an Australian news programme made the bold claim after reviewing the evidence in the case of the vanished jumbo jet.

They concluded the 239 passengers and crew were the victims of a “deliberate” and “suicidal” act carried out by the jet’s Malaysian captain Zaharie Amad Shah.

The panel found evidence suggested Shah executed a careful series of manoeuvres to evade detection and ensure the plane disappeared in a remote location, including flying across Malaysian and Thai borders to avoid military radar as part of his plans to ensure the Malaysia Airline flight could not be traced.

They all agreed the probability of the disappearance being an accident was “one in a trillion” adding Shah “deliberately” ditched the plane in the Indian Ocean west of Australia.

“I think the general public can take comfort in the fact that there is a growing consensus on the plane’s final moments,” said air crash investigator Larry Vance.

He added the pilot “was killing himself” and took the passenger aircraft to the most remote place possible so it would “disappear” for ever on March 8, 2014.

“Unfortunately, he was (also) killing everybody else on board, and he did it deliberately,” he added.

The Malaysian government has so far made no comment on the question of Zaharie’s possible involvement.

A second intensive search for remains of the plane began in January this year.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS HOWARTH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4739275.1526311817!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739275.1526311817!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "9M-MRO, the aircraft that disappeared, in 2011. Picture: 'Laurent Errerea/Wikicommons","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "9M-MRO, the aircraft that disappeared, in 2011. Picture: 'Laurent Errerea/Wikicommons","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4739275.1526311817!/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/russian-state-media-telling-bare-faced-lies-mi5-chief-says-1-4739229","id":"1.4739229","articleHeadline": "Russian state media telling \"bare-faced lies\", MI5 chief says","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526305858715 ,"articleLead": "

The head of MI5 has condemned Russian state-backed media outlets for promoting \"bare-faced lies\" in a bid to destabilize the west, particularly in response to Salisbury chemical poison attack.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739228.1526305910!/image/image.png_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.png","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

It comes a day after the widow of Alexander Litvinenko, another Kremlin critic killed with radioactive poison in London, called on Alex Salmond to abandon his programme for government-funded broadcaster Russia Today (RT).

In an blistering critique, Director General of the Security Service Andrew Parker accused the Kremlin of attempting to mislead the world through \"bare-faced lies\", social media disinformation and ridicule of critics.

Russian-state media outlets and representatives promoted at least 30 \"explanations\" for the Salisbury nerve agent attack as part of a campaign to shift blame for the attempted assassination, the head of MI5 has said.

READ MORE: Litvinenko widow urges Alex Salmond to quit RT
In his first public remarks since the poisoning, Mr Parker delivered an unambiguous assessment of who was responsible. \"Whatever nonsense they conjure up, the case is clear,\" he said.

Vladimir Putin's regime has been the subject of international condemnation since the attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal in March, which saw the first use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War.

The British Government has pointed the finger at Russia but Moscow has repeatedly denied responsibility. Following the attack, Mr Salmond has come under sustained pressure from political opponents and some SNP colleagues to stop producing his programme for RT.

The channel is under investigation by broadcast regulator Ofcom over allegations that it breached impartiality rules in the wake of the Salisbury attack, although none of the incidents relates to the Alex Salmond Show.

Mr Salmond says his programme is independently produced and has the freedom to be critical of the Russian government.

Giving the first public speech outside the UK by a serving head of MI5, Mr Parker told an audience of security chiefs in Berlin that Europe faces \"age old attempts at covert influence and propaganda have been super charged in online disinformation, which can be churned out at massive scale and pace, and at little cost.

\"The aim is to sow doubt by flat denials of the truth, to dilute truth with falsehood, divert attention to fake stories, and do all they can to divide alliances.

\"Bare-faced lying seems to be the default mode, coupled with ridicule of critics.\"

Mr Parker said the Russian state has developed a \"well-practiced doctrine\" of blending media manipulation, social media disinformation and distortion, along with new and old forms of espionage, high levels of cyber attacks, military force and \"criminal thuggery\".

The Salisbury attack was \"swiftly followed by a cynical and distasteful information campaign to sow confusion and doubt\", he told the conference.

\"The Russian state's media outlets and representatives have propagated at least 30 different so-called explanations in their efforts to mislead the world and their own people.\"

Mr Parker referenced a media survey which found that two-thirds of social media output at the peak of the Salisbury crisis came from accounts controlled by the Russian government.

He did not single out specific sources but the Russian embassy in the UK has repeatedly issued statements and tweets disputing Britain's allegations about the attack.

The embassy has accused the British government of destroying evidence and denying access to the investigation, while describing findings that the Novichok chemical had originated in Russia as a \"myth\".

A large-scale investigation to identify the would-be assassin or assassins is ongoing. Mr Skripal remains in hospital, while his daughter Yulia, who was also taken ill, was released to a secure location last month.

Mr Parker condemned the \"reckless\" attack, saying it put \"numerous\" lives at risk. Mr Skripal, 66, and his daughter, 33, had only been saved thanks to \"near miraculous\" medical treatment, he added.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond: I won't be \"bullied off the air\" over RT show

" ,"byline": {"email": "paris.gourtsoyannis@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Paris Gourtsoyannis"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4739228.1526305910!/image/image.png_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.png","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739228.1526305910!/image/image.png_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.png","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4739228.1526305910!/image/image.png_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.png","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/sally-foster-fulton-christian-aid-brings-calm-after-the-storm-1-4739063","id":"1.4739063","articleHeadline": "Sally Foster-Fulton: Christian Aid brings calm after the storm","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526289493000 ,"articleLead": "

Today, more than 40 million people across the globe are forced to flee from their homes and yet remain within their own country. They outnumber ­refugees, people who flee across an international border, two to one.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739061.1526289490!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vilia Odino, 45, outside her hurricane-resistant home in Torbeck, Haiti. Seen here with her son(s). Vilia?s home, built by Christian Aid, became shelter to 54 people during Hurricane Matthew in 2016. When the hurricane hit, her neighbours quickly realised that her house was the only one in the area sturdy enough to survive. She shared food and a safe shelter to sleep for several days.Despite the ferocity of the hurricane, her house lost just one roof panel and wasn?t damaged in any other way. Many of the other homes in the area were totally destroyed. Vilia was given the home by Christian Aid Partner KORAL when she returned to the area after losing her mother and home in the 2010 earthquake in Port Au Prince. Homeless and with seven children to look after, KORAL reached out to help the family who were clearly vulnerable. Vilia said: ?I was so happy with the house, I couldn't even wait for them to turn it over to me, it wasn't even done, I went inside, blocked it with sheets and slept inside.? While her h"} ,"articleBody": "

This Christian Aid Week (13-19 May) we hear stories from Haiti, where repeated natural disasters, often exacerbated by climate change have resulted in thousands of people being forced to flee from their homes – with 38,000 people still displaced eight years after the devastating earthquake that hit the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Despite the resilience and strength of its inhabitants, the country – one of the poorest in the world – has ­struggled to recover as it continues to face relentless earthquakes, storms and hurricanes, with many living in precarious housing or temporary shelter.

When Hurricane Matthew hit in 2016, it destroyed 90 per cent of some areas. While Haiti narrowly escaped disaster when Hurricane Irma swept across the Caribbean last year, it’s only a matter of time before the next hurricane strikes.

Each time, people lose their dwellings and livelihood, making it increasingly hard to rebuild.

Ahead of Hurricane Matthew, KORAL, Christian Aid’s partner in Haiti, was able to warn local ­communities, help evacuate around 5,000 families, and saved many lives. In the immediate aftermath, Christian Aid and KORAL distributed urgently-needed shelter kits, hygiene kits, seeds and cash transfers.

Importantly though, the disaster-proof houses that KORAL had built after the earthquake were not only still standing but helped the ­community to build resilience to these storms.

One of these houses belonged to Vilia. Her home was destroyed by the earthquake that hit the country in 2010. She also lost her mother and other family members and became displaced within her own country. The new house offered a new start for Vilia, but it’s done more than that; it’s been a safe haven for dozens of ­people when they needed it most.

When Hurricane Matthew hit, ­Vilia’s neighbours quickly realised that her house was the only one in the area sturdy enough to cope with the hurricane. One by one, they sought safety with her.

As the storm and the rains raged on, she opened her home in solidarity with her neighbours – 54 people sharing food and safety for several days – strong communities reaching out to one another.

Every year during Christian Aid Week, thousands of our fantastic supporters across Britain will be going door-to-door delivering red envelopes, taking part in sponsored walks, swims and bike rides, hosting coffee morning and bake sales, cooking up Big Brekkies and organising book sales. In Scotland alone, more than 1,000 churches of all denominations take part. The money raised will fund partnerships and projects that help lift people out of poverty and also go to support people who find themselves displaced within their own country, often being denied the official protection given to refugees, not only in Haiti, but globally.

The reasons for their displacement are many: conflict, flooding, drought, fear. Torn from their homes, their families and their communities, ­displaced people are among the most vulnerable to poverty and exploitation.

At Christian Aid, we believe each one of us deserves respect and care. We believe all people should be ­protected from harm and have a chance to rebuild their lives. That is why, in the run up to Christian Aid Week, we are asking the UK Government to pressure the UN and ­member states to ensure that the two new agreements on refugees and migration now being worked on offer a fair solution to help support and protect the 40 million displaced within their own borders. We believe that any deal that does not include internally displaced people will be a huge failure.

Poverty is an outrage against humanity. It robs people of their dignity and lets injustice thrive. But together, this Christian Aid Week, we have the power to transform lives.

This Christian Aid Week, people can help to change the lives of people displaced due to disasters or conflict by donating online at www.caweek.org, calling 08080 006 006, or texting ‘GIVE’ to 70040 to give £5. To read more about our campaign to support and protect internally displaced ­people please go to www.christianaid.org.uk/index.php/campaigns/uprooted-overlooked

Sally Foster-Fulton, head of Christian Aid Scotland.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4739061.1526289490!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739061.1526289490!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Vilia Odino, 45, outside her hurricane-resistant home in Torbeck, Haiti. Seen here with her son(s). Vilia?s home, built by Christian Aid, became shelter to 54 people during Hurricane Matthew in 2016. When the hurricane hit, her neighbours quickly realised that her house was the only one in the area sturdy enough to survive. She shared food and a safe shelter to sleep for several days.Despite the ferocity of the hurricane, her house lost just one roof panel and wasn?t damaged in any other way. Many of the other homes in the area were totally destroyed. Vilia was given the home by Christian Aid Partner KORAL when she returned to the area after losing her mother and home in the 2010 earthquake in Port Au Prince. Homeless and with seven children to look after, KORAL reached out to help the family who were clearly vulnerable. Vilia said: ?I was so happy with the house, I couldn't even wait for them to turn it over to me, it wasn't even done, I went inside, blocked it with sheets and slept inside.? While her h","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vilia Odino, 45, outside her hurricane-resistant home in Torbeck, Haiti. Seen here with her son(s). Vilia?s home, built by Christian Aid, became shelter to 54 people during Hurricane Matthew in 2016. When the hurricane hit, her neighbours quickly realised that her house was the only one in the area sturdy enough to survive. She shared food and a safe shelter to sleep for several days.Despite the ferocity of the hurricane, her house lost just one roof panel and wasn?t damaged in any other way. Many of the other homes in the area were totally destroyed. Vilia was given the home by Christian Aid Partner KORAL when she returned to the area after losing her mother and home in the 2010 earthquake in Port Au Prince. Homeless and with seven children to look after, KORAL reached out to help the family who were clearly vulnerable. Vilia said: ?I was so happy with the house, I couldn't even wait for them to turn it over to me, it wasn't even done, I went inside, blocked it with sheets and slept inside.? While her h","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4739061.1526289490!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4739062.1526289492!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739062.1526289492!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sally Foster-Fulton, head of Christian Aid Scotland","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sally Foster-Fulton, head of Christian Aid Scotland","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4739062.1526289492!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}