{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"world","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/taking-part-in-holy-unions-of-lgbt-christians-taught-me-a-lot-ewan-aitken-1-4892965","id":"1.4892965","articleHeadline": "Taking part in ‘holy unions’ of LGBT Christians taught me a lot – Ewan Aitken","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1553148048000 ,"articleLead": "

Ewan Aitken says his experiences with a congregation of LGBT Christians taught him the power of unconditional acceptance.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4892963.1553103222!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Last year's Pride march in Edinburgh attracted crowds, but some LGBTQ+ young people are still facing stigma and rejection. Picture: Greg Macvean"} ,"articleBody": "

In August 1990 I left Scotland to spend a year in Buffalo, New York, (yes, I really shuffled off to Buffalo!) as an interim minister for a tiny congregation right on the America/Canada border.

Buffalo was still struggling with the decline of its car-making and steel industries, so it was a time of great change and challenge for many of its citizens. The congregation reflected their city’s story of struggle. At one time a thriving community, when I arrived they were small in number with few resources. Despite the challenging context I had a great time amongst some wonderful and generous people. It was a much less glamorous face of America to the one we often see portrayed in the media, but one I am glad to have known.

I have always believed experiencing difference is a place of learning, not a thing to fear, and my time in Buffalo was no exception. I was introduced to a community who taught me a great deal about life in ways I hadn’t expected. The community was the Pink Triangle congregation who my wee Presbyterian Congregation hosted. Pink Triangle was a congregation of LGBT Christians; people of faith who needed a safe space to worship and work though the connection between their faith and their sexuality because sadly, so much of the mainstream church had rejected them.

When I asked my wee congregation why they had agreed to host the Pink Triangle Congregation they said simply: “It makes a change to be able to help others instead of having to ask for help, which is what we usually have to do.” Their reply almost made me weep. No caveat, no conditions, just acceptance.

I spent a lot of time with Pink Triangle members. I listened to their stories of tears and of laughter, love and rejection. We reflected on their faith and on their hopes. I even took part in conducting two “Holy Unions” – marriages in all but name as same-sex marriage was not legal in those days in New York State, though thankfully it is now. Together we sought to create a partnership between the two congregations of mutuality, reciprocity and love. At the heart of the partnership lay the power of unconditional acceptance. I owe both congregations a great debt for that experience.

Those experiences returned to me in my current role, working in the secular organisation Cyrenians. I heard a group of young people from LGBT Youth Scotland talk about the need for organisations like ours to make sure LGBTQ+ young people who might need our services would know they would be welcome. A disproportionate number of young people who present as homeless are LGBTQ+, often because of rejection from family or community. They said if asking for help would again involve rejection they would rather avoid asking.

Cyrenians were encouraged to sign up to the LGBT Charter when they learned that young LGBTQ+ people who had experience of homelessness would risk asking for help if an organisation identified with their community through the Charter.

This is no tick-box exercise. It is as much about the conversations it inspires and the questions it poses to us all, not just as employees but as people, neighbours and citizens. It meant training, events, reviewing how we work and perhaps most importantly, saying publicly we are on this journey. It’s the sense of being an ally, a place of solidarity and safety, which is the real driving force behind the charter.

We are almost there with our first submission for the award. It’s not always been easy. There have sometimes been some uncomfortable conversations. But there’s also been some celebrations and a real sense of us trying to live the words of Cyrenians vision of an inclusive society in which we all have the opportunities to live valued and fulfilled lives. I’ll let you know if we are awarded our charter . . .

Ewan Aitken is CEO of Cyrenians Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4892963.1553103222!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4892963.1553103222!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Last year's Pride march in Edinburgh attracted crowds, but some LGBTQ+ young people are still facing stigma and rejection. Picture: Greg Macvean","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Last year's Pride march in Edinburgh attracted crowds, but some LGBTQ+ young people are still facing stigma and rejection. Picture: Greg Macvean","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4892963.1553103222!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4892964.1553103230!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4892964.1553103230!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ewan Aitken is CEO of Cyrenians Scotland","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ewan Aitken is CEO of Cyrenians Scotland","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4892964.1553103230!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/independence-would-give-scotland-better-chance-of-happiness-fiona-hyslop-1-4893008","id":"1.4893008","articleHeadline": "Independence would give Scotland better chance of happiness – Fiona Hyslop","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1553148000000 ,"articleLead": "

The top 10 in the list of the world’s happiest nations is dominated by smaller, north European countries, writes Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4893007.1553105920!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fiona Hyslop points out that the average population of the top eight entrants on the list of happiest countries is about seven million"} ,"articleBody": "

Finland, in top spot, has almost exactly the same population as Scotland. And it is followed by all of its Nordic neighbours, as well as the Netherlands and Switzerland.

In fact, the average population of the leading eight countries, which also includes New Zealand, is around seven million. Measuring happiness may be seen as subjective in some ways – but it is surely no coincidence that these particular nations head the list of the happiest on the globe. Many of them have for decades pursued progressive economic and social policies, founded on principles of equality.

READ MORE: Finland’s basic income experiment shows it could work in Scotland – Jamie Cooke

Meanwhile, the UK comes in at 15th on the list. There are surely lessons for Scotland here. We can and should seek to emulate the economic and social progress of our near European neighbours. But in order to do that properly, we need the full powers of an independent country.

Already, with the powers we do have, we are making a difference. Just this week, the Equality and Human Rights Commission noted that the Scottish Government’s “positive policies” meant that people here were being protected from the worst effects of the UK Government’s welfare cuts. But our ambitions as a nation should stretch far beyond simply mitigating Westminster austerity.

Being independent doesn’t in itself guarantee a country’s happiness. Nor does being a smaller country. Nonetheless, the lessons for Scotland seem clear enough – we stand a better chance of being a more prosperous, more equal, content and happy country if we are given the chance to take our own decisions.

READ MORE: Happiness levels rise in Scotland for third year in a row

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Fiona Hyslop"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4893007.1553105920!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4893007.1553105920!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Fiona Hyslop points out that the average population of the top eight entrants on the list of happiest countries is about seven million","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Fiona Hyslop points out that the average population of the top eight entrants on the list of happiest countries is about seven million","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4893007.1553105920!/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/astana-renamed-nursultan-as-scotland-prepare-for-euro-2020-opener-with-kazakhstan-1-4892730","id":"1.4892730","articleHeadline": "Astana renamed Nursultan as Scotland prepare for Euro 2020 opener with Kazakhstan","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1553091868000 ,"articleLead": "

The speaker of Kazakhstan’s parliament was sworn in as interim president on Wednesday, a day after longtime leader Nursultan Nazarbayev abruptly resigned.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4892728.1553091862!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A general view of downtown Astana / Nursultan in Kazakhstan. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Nazarbayev surprised many by announcing in a televised address on Tuesday that he would step down after nearly three decades in office that has encompassed the whole of Kazakhstan’s time as an independent nation.

The 78-year-old attended Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s inauguration on Wednesday, entering to lengthy applause from assembled dignitaries before taking a seat on a podium behind the lectern where Tokayev gave an address.

Minutes after Tokayev was sworn in, he suggested that the Kazakh capital Astana be renamed Nursultan to honor the outgoing president.

In his speech, Tokayev praised Nazarbayev as “an outstanding reformer” who is widely expected to continue to wield influence as chairman of the security council and head of the ruling party.

“Nazarbayev is not stepping down; he is stepping up,” Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Center in Moscow, tweeted. “He will oversee power transit over the next few years.”

Trenin added that Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose fourth term in office ends in 2024, is also likely to use the option of “president mentor” later on.

Rumours about Nazarbayev’s resignation and a possible plan for succession have been swirling for years, with some speculating that the president might be priming his lawmaker daughter - who has served as deputy prime minister - as his successor. Nazarbayev himself, however, has not indicated that he has a successor in mind.

Nazarbayev took the helm in Kazakhstan as Communist Party chief of the republic in 1989 when it was part of the Soviet Union, and was first elected its president weeks before the 1991 Soviet collapse gave the country its independence.

He has been widely praised for maintaining stability and ethnic peace in the large, oil-rich nation south of Russia and west of China.

Even though he has faced criticism for marginalising the political opposition and creating what is effectively a one-party state, the political regime that Nazarbayev has built is more liberal than those in the de-facto dictatorships in the neighbouring Central Asian countries.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4892728.1553091862!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4892728.1553091862!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A general view of downtown Astana / Nursultan in Kazakhstan. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A general view of downtown Astana / Nursultan in Kazakhstan. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4892728.1553091862!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4892729.1553091865!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4892729.1553091865!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Outgoing Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev waves to supporters after his victory in the 2005 election. Picture: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Outgoing Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev waves to supporters after his victory in the 2005 election. Picture: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4892729.1553091865!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/christchurch-terror-attack-social-media-changing-the-way-we-think-martyn-mclaughlin-1-4892293","id":"1.4892293","articleHeadline": "Christchurch terror attack: Social media changing the way we think – Martyn McLaughlin","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1553090567000 ,"articleLead": "

Those scrutinising social media companies’s complicity in the Christchurch terror attacks are asking the wrong questions, writes Martyn McLaughlin.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4892292.1553090564!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A young girl writes a message in chalk next to flowers near Al Noor mosque in Christchurch (Picture: Carl Court/Getty)"} ,"articleBody": "

The use of social media to disseminate the harrowing footage of the terror attacks in New Zealand and the abhorrent ideology of its perpetrator reveals two things. Firstly, as has long been clear, Big Tech lacks not just the capability, but the will to police its own ecosystems. Secondly, and even more problematically, our hopeless response to this passive incompetence focuses on the symptons instead of the disease.

The atrocity in Christchurch was explicitly designed to exploit the daily diet of search-engine-optimised content that feeds our viral media culture – a hamster’s wheel powered by fury which spins ever faster, destined for nowhere. The slaughter, broadcast live on Facebook, was supplemented with a ghoulish white supremacist manifesto that had been uploaded to social media channels in the knowledge it would spread like a cancer.

It did. Of course it did. Why should performative mass murder be any different to unboxing or ASMR videos? In the clickable, sharable realm, it was planned as a content package. “Terrorism is theatre,” Brian Jenkins famously declared back in 1974. Nowadays, the acts are subdivided by pop-up ads.

The livestream – a tool previously used to simulcast child abuse, suicide, and murder – was allowed to play out in its entirety. It took a further 12 minutes before Facebook took it down, a course of action sparked not by its moderators, but New Zealand police. By then, the stream had been widely linked on 8chan, reposted on YouTube, narrated on Reddit, and mirrored throughout the nooks of the dark web. Facebook said it blocked 1.2 million videos of the attack at the point of upload. The flipside of that is it allowed aound 300,000 videos to be published. By any measure, that is not good enough. YouTube’s failure was even more pronounced. Its engineers ‘hashed’ the original video, meaning duplicates could be automatically deleted by its machine learning software. That was the theory. All that was required to bypass the system was to upload the footage in truncated snippets – a multiplatform horror film recast in episodic form.

It is worth stating that social media’s inability to expunge such horror is not the root cause of the attacks. As my colleague, Dani Garavelli, has pointed out, anti-Muslim narratives are not the preserve online fringes; they have been legitimised by the mainstream media to the extent that they risk becoming hegemonic.

READ MORE: Dani Garavelli: Islamophobe hypocrites ride wave of sympathy after Christchurch

Calling out the process by which such toxic ideas are normalised is crucial to ending the permissive atmosphere which encourages people to flirt with extremism. Indeed, it is telling that many of the predictably cynical responses to Christchurch have come from a right-wing media eager to deflect blame.

Fox News, which pipes a daily diet of paranoia, anger, and hairspray into millions of Amerian homes, chastised social media while downplaying the impact of Donald Trump’s vile rhetoric. This is the same broadcaster which days before, accused Ilhan Omar, a Democratic congresswoman, of violating the US constitution by wearing a hijab. But the focus on social media is important. It has never been more so, given how the questions being asked of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter are so sorely lacking in focus.

The comments made by Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, were typical of the response from the political class: “Those that control and own social media platforms should deal with it straight away and stop these things being broadcast.” But the issues of moderation and enforcement are what social media want us to talk about. Why else would Facebook have taken the unprecedented step of sharing the video statistics?

No, what is broken is the very infrastructure of social media itself. Its chief actors have been playing – and losing – the same game of a whack-a-mole with extremist material and disinformation for years. When will we realise the gatekeepers’ failure is not down to a lack of expertise, but a surfeit of contempt?

In any case, the way the Christchurch footage was able to propagate at speed throughout a spectrum of other, less well-known platforms ought to highlight the ineffectiveness of calling for quicker, more aggressive content takedowns and account bans.

READ MORE: Christchurch terror attack: Facebook says no-one reported killer’s livestream

As Bill Braniff, director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, pointed out: “If you censor them and remove them from these platforms, you lose the ability to provide them with an off-ramp.”

What it required is a wholesale change of the ruinous algorithms driving social media traffic, systems designed with the commercial goal of keeping us online as long as possible by validating our interests and beliefs and encouraging us to seek out more of the same.

For someone intent on watching cat videos during their lunchbreak, the results are innocent enough. Yet what of the consequences when this systematic groupthink affirms and reinforces a collective sense of victimhood among those prepared to take drastic action to defend their worldview?

This invites the argument that, for all the flaws of its architecture and its unchecked power, social media itself does not cause people to take innocent lives. That is not only valid. It is true. But what if we ignore the old arguments and reframe the debate? What if we ask how big tech might provide succour to those at risk of radicalisation instead of expediting their descent?

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4892292.1553090564!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4892292.1553090564!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A young girl writes a message in chalk next to flowers near Al Noor mosque in Christchurch (Picture: Carl Court/Getty)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A young girl writes a message in chalk next to flowers near Al Noor mosque in Christchurch (Picture: Carl Court/Getty)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4892292.1553090564!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014285032001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/climate-science-is-not-liberal-propaganda-harriet-sweatman-1-4891552","id":"1.4891552","articleHeadline": "Climate science is not ‘liberal propaganda’ – Harriet Sweatman","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1553076104000 ,"articleLead": "

The world is losing the war on global warming and my generation will have to live with the consequences, writes school pupil Harriet Sweatman.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4891551.1553076101!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Harriet Sweatman protests against climate change outside the Scottish Parliament"} ,"articleBody": "

Listen. On Friday, school pupils gathered globally and pleaded, shouted, screamed for the adults in power to just listen. Millions of children all with one message. I attended the climate strike outside the Scottish Parliament. At least 2,000 young people and I stood our ground in the wind that buffeted our banners and spitting rain that made the ink run on our cardboard signs.

It was a peaceful protest with a serious message: we are going to die unless we stop the emission of greenhouse gasses, stop polluting our oceans, and stop destroying our rainforests.

“Listen to the Lorax!” said a banner. It seems those in power have become the notorious Once-lers, willing to cut down an entire world of trees to make money now but not to think about what will happen when the resources run out. Any child understands that we cannot let our greed blind us to the future. We children will act as the Lorax, warning of the foul things to come. We all have let ourselves become too comfortable and luxurious. We have let ourselves forget all that we are sacrificing for our wealth. But everything must come to an end. As another banner said, “There is no Planet B.”

READ MORE: The grim reality of life as a pupil in a Scottish school – Harriet Sweatman

“System change not climate change!” we chanted. Why do companies and corporations get to pollute our air and water, risking our lives, just to make some quick cash? Why have we destroyed habitats worldwide, from our rainforests to our reefs? Why is nobody being held accountable or taking responsibility? Why do the people in power ignore the rising tide of warnings from our scientists? We need to stop drilling for oil and mining for coal. Our planet’s future should be more important than a profit.

My friend’s sign said, “We stand for what we stand on.” Our Mother Earth. She gives us a home, the air we breathe and the water we drink. When will we realise that we are strangling our seas with plastic and choking our air with fumes? I missed more school last year because of the Beast from the East than I did from striking. The freak snow storm froze all the new flowers that had sprouted in February and left bees to starve in their hives. There are already humans starving too, but not in places we seem to care about. Weather events like this are becoming our new normal and we can’t accept that.

READ MORE: Joyce McMillan: Why it’s time to panic about climate change

“Denial is not a policy” said another sign. One of my older relatives tells me that I have been brainwashed. That there is nothing wrong. I don’t know when they decided that science was “liberal propaganda” but I am disgusted. I am left trying to keep the peace in my family where we argue over everything, from Brexit to the NHS.

Striking for climate change meant I was finally surrounded by people who want to make a difference. My grandparents’ generation has reaped all the benefits from the very things that are causing global warming. My generation will have to deal with the consequences. This is a war we are all losing, but there is still time to turn that around.

We are but children. Groups of teenage friends in the rain. Many of us can’t even vote yet, but be sure that when we do – and we will – it will be for the parties who actually care as much as we do about the world we live in. This is more important than business deals, Brexit, or bumbling buffoons who were gifted their power from their private schools and rich families. Last year, when Greta Thunberg started it all, was Scotland’s Year of Young People. We are the future. Make sure we have one.

Harriet Sweatman is the Scottish Schools’ Young Writer of the Year

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4891551.1553076101!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4891551.1553076101!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Harriet Sweatman protests against climate change outside the Scottish Parliament","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Harriet Sweatman protests against climate change outside the Scottish Parliament","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4891551.1553076101!/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/donald-trump-is-the-president-the-us-founding-fathers-feared-henry-mcleish-1-4891831","id":"1.4891831","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump is the President the US founding fathers feared – Henry McLeish","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1553061600000 ,"articleLead": "

Donald Trump’s refusal to unequivocably condemn white supremacists who support him, his talk of violence and attacks on the free press, and the suggestion from his ex-lawyer that he will not give up the White House if he loses the 2020 election are all warning signs that democracy itself is in danger in the US, writes former First Minister Henry McLeish.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4891830.1552997597!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Trump said his supporters 'don't play it tough until ... a certain point, and then it would be very bad' (Picture: Eric Lesser - Pool/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

Policy failures, Congressional defeats, House investigations, Republicans rebelling, court hearings and further revelations about his personal life have contributed to the most damaging week of Donald Trump’s Presidency: and a blizzard of indictments, subpoenas and charges – and the Mueller report still to come!

Over-shadowing this mess has been Trump’s inability or unwillingness to distance himself from white nationalists or white supremacists or to suppress his rhetoric around inciting violence and emboldening those with racist and anti-Muslim views.

After the tragic and senseless massacre of 50 Muslims, with many more injured, in two mosques in New Zealand, Trump tweeted his condolences to the victims and offered America’s solidarity, but it took 11 hours, lacked empathy and made no mention of white terrorism, racism or Islamophobia.

Later, at a press conference in the Oval Office, when asked if he sees a rise in white nationalism, he said: “I don’t really, I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.”

This is a telling remark. For the President, white-nationalist killers are always described as having problems or being mentally ill, but people of colour, race or religion, especially Muslims, who kill, are always described as terrorists and extremists.

Though not the world’s most gifted wordsmith, his rhetoric has merely confirmed to a worldwide audience that Trump gives succour to the likes of Brenton Tarrant, the suspect in the mass shooting in Christchurch, a self-styled fascist and racist. A 76-page hate-filled rant, believed to have been written by the alleged killer, praised Trump as a “symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose”.

After violent clashes between far-right protesters, who chanted “Jews will not replace us” and Nazi slogans like “blood and soil”, and counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville, where one of the latter was murdered, Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides”. He has also said Mexicans “are rapists” and some African countries are “sh**holes”.

Does Trump believe he is the protector of white Christian America? Are his remarks racially insensitive or much worse? Is the 45th President a racist and a white supremacist?

Regardless of the real nature and intent of his rhetoric, he is creating a threatening and intimidating atmosphere in America by stirring up hate, violence and Islamophobia. His barely concealed tolerance of white nationalism is new and dangerous and there is little doubt that this narrative is taking America down a very dangerous path.

READ MORE: Donald Trump called ‘racist’, ‘cheat’ by ex-lawyer Michael Cohen

Trump’s authoritarian views were evident in his comments to Breitbart news last week, when he said: “You know the left plays a tougher game ... I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump. I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”

This is either an uncontrollable mouth, messing with people’s minds or a direct and violent threat to those who support the Democrats.

His former attorney Michael Cohen, giving evidence to Congress, suggested Trump might not allow his successor to peacefully take control of the White House if he loses the 2020 election.

“Given my experience working for Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, there will never be a peaceful transition of power,” he said.

Such remarkable comments are chillingly consistent with Trump’s rhetoric, his increasing talk of violence and his failure to unequivocally denounce white nationalism and far-right terrorism.

America has had endless wake-up calls but on too many occasions the media and progressive politicians have remained focused on Trump the “f***ing moron”, the “mutant” or the “man with no moral compass”. There is a danger that the real threats to the country, especially to minorities, are being missed and pundits are not joining the dots.

Trump’s Presidency raises the question of whether democracy itself is in danger in the US. In his book, How Democracies Die, Harvard professor Steven Levitsky argued: “Democracy no longer ends with a bang – in a military coup – but with a whimper; the slow steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms.”

The author talks about the health of democratic institutions and identifies four markers: rejecting or showing weak commitment to democratic rules; denying the legitimacy of political opponents; encouraging or tolerating violence; and a readiness to stifle or limit civil liberties of opponents, including media. Trump ticks all the boxes!

Sadly the Republican party is doing nothing to stop the erosion of US democracy. Because of Trump’s bullying, intimidation and threats to their political futures, the myth of his infallibility and the possible fear of revenge from his base, the Republicans remain silent. Defeats for Trump in both the Senate and the House this week are the first signs of revolt from Republicans and possibly an indication of more trouble ahead for Trump.

READ MORE: Donald Trump set for return UK visit in December

For those who find it hard to equate America with violence and hate, there are two very significant factors to bear in mind. The US has a propensity for crime and violence. This is the background against which to view the rhetoric of the President.

America is the only country in the West with the death penalty. The incarceration rate for offenders is off the scale with over two million people in prison – the US has the highest rates per 100,000 population in the world. With five per cent of the world’s population, the US has 25 per cent of the world’s prisoners.

Over 300 million guns exist in private ownership. Right-wing extremists were linked to at least 50 murders last year, the number of hate groups rose to over 1,000 and most terrorist attacks were thought to be motivated by right-wing ideologies. This is not a country that needs a President who is soft on white terror and racism.

The changing demographics and the white/minority balance are the second significant challenge for both sides of the political divide. The Brookings Institution, in a report called “A pivotal period for race in America”, produced some remarkable findings based US censuses and Census Bureau projections.

It showed that in 1970, the population of 205 million was 83 per cent white and 17 per cent minority. In 2020, the population of 335 million will be 60 per cent white and 40 per cent minority. And in 2050, the population of 395 million will be 48 per cent white and 52 per cent minority.

By 2050, the US will be a white minority nation, a prospect that is already instilling fear in some Americans.

Trump could carry on exploiting that fear and turn America into a battlefield. Alternatively, the Republican party and US voters could embrace the vision of “One America”, remembering that they are all immigrants.

The Washington Post captured the mood when it warned that “Trump is the President the founding fathers feared”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Henry McLeish"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4891830.1552997597!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4891830.1552997597!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Trump said his supporters 'don't play it tough until ... a certain point, and then it would be very bad' (Picture: Eric Lesser - Pool/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Trump said his supporters 'don't play it tough until ... a certain point, and then it would be very bad' (Picture: Eric Lesser - Pool/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4891830.1552997597!/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/trump-effect-lucifer-may-overtake-donald-on-scottish-baby-names-list-leader-comment-1-4892023","id":"1.4892023","articleHeadline": "Trump effect? Lucifer may overtake Donald on Scottish baby names list – leader comment","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1553006807000 ,"articleLead": "

According to the National Records of Scotland, just six babies born in Scotland in 2018 were given the name Donald, down from ten the previous year. One boy was called ‘Lucifer’, up from zero in 2017. Could Donald Trump be killing off a name once closely associated with his mother’s homeland?

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4882112.1553006804!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump has often spoken about how much he loves Scotland (Picture: Susan Walsh/AP)"} ,"articleBody": "

Donald Trump seems tremendously fond of his Scottish roots.

The ascension of such a Scotophile to the exalted title of ‘Leader of the Free World’ would have been a significant boost to this country – if only he had been a very different human being.

Instead, the US President has attracted condemnation from across the political spectrum.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said if it’s true he “hates” her then she “should take it as a compliment”; Labour’s Richard Leonard has pointed out his “racism” and “bigotry”; and the Conservatives’ Ruth Davidson has warned of his “desperate and dangerous sycophancy” towards Vladimir Putin.

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

As has been suggested in these columns before, Trump has given Donald a bad name and now it appears he could even be killing off a name that is one of the most closely associated with this country.

There were just six Donalds born in Scotland last year, down from ten the year before.

In fact, if short-term trends continue (genuine statisticians may wish to look away now), Lucifer will be a more popular name than Donald by 2020.

READ MORE: Leader comment: A denunciation of Donald Trump

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4882112.1553006804!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4882112.1553006804!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Donald Trump has often spoken about how much he loves Scotland (Picture: Susan Walsh/AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Donald Trump has often spoken about how much he loves Scotland (Picture: Susan Walsh/AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4882112.1553006804!/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/christchurch-terror-attack-facebook-says-no-one-reported-killer-s-live-stream-1-4891845","id":"1.4891845","articleHeadline": "Christchurch terror attack: Facebook says no-one reported killer’s live stream","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552999699000 ,"articleLead": "

No-one reported the video of the Christchurch terror attack while it was being streamed live, Facebook has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889867.1552999696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police at the scene. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)"} ,"articleBody": "

It was 29 minutes after the video had started - and 12 minutes after it had ended - before the first user flagged up the footage, the social media giant said.

The company earlier revealed that it had removed 1.5 million videos of the attack worldwide in the 24 hours after the shootings, 1.2 million of which were blocked at upload.

Facebook and other social media firms have come under fire over the rapid spread of the footage across the networks and around the world.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Chris Sonderby, vice president and deputy general counsel at Facebook, said the video was viewed fewer than 200 times during its live broadcast.

READ MORE: Hundreds attend Glasgow demo in wake of Christchurch attack

“No users reported the video during the live broadcast,” he added.

“Including the views during the live broadcast, the video was viewed about 4,000 times in total before being removed from Facebook.

“The first user report on the original video came in 29 minutes after the video started, and 12 minutes after the live broadcast ended.

“Before we were alerted to the video, a user on 8chan posted a link to a copy of the video on a file-sharing site.”

Mr Sonderby said Facebook was “working around the clock” to prevent the video from appearing on its site.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called on social media companies to take responsibility for ensuring that such content cannot be distributed or viewed on their platforms, saying they are “the publisher, not just the postman”.

READ MORE: Opinion: Christchurch shows we must defeat racism

She told the country’s parliament: “There is no question that ideas and language of division and hate have existed for decades, but their form of distribution, the tools of organisation, they are new.

“We cannot simply sit back and accept that these platforms just exist and that what is said on them is not the responsibility of the place where they are published.

“They are the publisher, not just the postman. There cannot be a case of all profit, no responsibility.”

In the UK, Home Secretary Sajid Javid told social media companies “enough is enough” in the wake of last Friday’s shootings.

Reacting to a tweet from YouTube claiming that the video-sharing service was working to remove the footage, he said: “You really need to do more @YouTube @Google @facebook @Twitter to stop violent extremism being promoted on your platforms. Take some ownership. Enough is enough.”

Damian Collins, Tory chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, called for a review into how the footage was shared and “why more effective action wasn’t taken to remove them”.

And Downing Street said social media companies needed to act “more quickly” to remove terrorist content.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889867.1552999696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889867.1552999696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Police at the scene. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police at the scene. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889867.1552999696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014285032001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/christchurch-terror-attack-shows-why-we-must-confront-racism-kezia-dugdale-1-4891563","id":"1.4891563","articleHeadline": "Christchurch terror attack shows why we must confront racism – Kezia Dugdale","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552987436000 ,"articleLead": "

The defining image of last week was perhaps New Zealand PM Jacinda ­Ardern, mourning in ­Wellington with the ­relatives of some of the 50 people massacred by a white supremacist. I thought I would welcome a break from Brexit in the news cycle, but not for these horrors.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4891562.1552987433!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hugs a worshipper at the Kilbirnie Mosque in Wellington, New Zealand. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

In a powerful speech to the world, Jacinda declared that this was not New Zealand. She said: “We were not a target because we are a safe ­harbour for those who hate. We were not ­chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism, because we’re an enclave for extremism, we were ­chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things”.

What a wonderful antidote to ­rising temperatures and promises of ­retribution that you get from other world leaders when their values are under attack.

Four days on since this act of mass murder, the focus has now moved to New Zealand’s gun laws. The ­perceived wisdom in the country was that, until now, they didn’t have a gun problem, so didn’t need ­particularly stringent gun laws. There are moves ahead to ban semi-automatic ­weapons, the powerful guns that let the killer do so much damage in such a short space of time.

One of the country’s big gun sellers decided to tell the world that they had sold the suspect Brenton Tarrant no less than four guns, but not the fifth, which has taken so many lives. As if that was somehow OK.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, once an opponent of stricter gun laws, is now full-square behind the change, declaring, “New Zealand has changed forever, so must our laws.”

All of this is, of course, a natural response to such an atrocity, just as banning handguns was in Scotland after Thomas Hamilton took 17 lives in Dunblane, 23 years ago to the day last Wednesday.

Yet legislators cannot hope that such horrific acts of violence like these will disappear following some finally crafted piece of statute. That semi-automatic gun was powered by hate and it’s the growing tolerance and promotion of hate speech that must be tackled.

READ MORE: Hundreds attend Glasgow anti-racism rally in wake of Christchurch terror attack

You might consider it a leap that a bile-ridden tweet in one part of the world could lead to this, but I ­honestly believe that the internet provides intolerance with the perfect breeding conditions. Anonymity, the ability to find likeminded people wherever they are. Groupthink where communities of interest come together to reaffirm their own righteousness, emboldening their views and willingness to act upon them.

The rise of the far right is not a ­phenomenon unique to one country. We see it happening in the US, stoked by the occupant of the White House. We see it across Europe in democratic elections, most recently in Italy. Now we see it in the depths of the southern hemisphere at the doors of a mosque. Ironically, this extreme nationalism has little respect for borders.

Ten years after the Second World War ended, the New Zealand census showed that its citizens’ most likely place of birth after its own towns and cities was Scotland. The links between our two countries are deep and long, so we perhaps we feel this pain more than most.

Nevertheless, it could have ­happened anywhere. It could have been Annandale or Blackhall mosque, with crowds gathering in Dunedin to pay respects. Stepping up security in light of what has happened is the right and proper thing to do. However, we need to do much more to support the Muslim community in Scotland than put police officers at the gates of their place of worship. We must stamp out racism and hate in all its forms wherever we see it. We must not let it fester by saying nothing. From now on, bystanders should be considered complicit.

As I wrote this column, another atrocity was unfolding in the city of Utrecht in Holland with details yet to be confirmed. It is clear though that silence is no longer an option. We must unite and defeat prejudice and hate in all its forms to create a safer and more secure future.

READ MORE: Scot living in Christchurch tells of shock after mosque shooting

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "KEZIA DUGDALE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4891562.1552987433!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4891562.1552987433!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hugs a worshipper at the Kilbirnie Mosque in Wellington, New Zealand. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hugs a worshipper at the Kilbirnie Mosque in Wellington, New Zealand. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4891562.1552987433!/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/millions-of-muslims-face-orwellian-hell-in-china-alistair-carmichael-mp-1-4891550","id":"1.4891550","articleHeadline": "Millions of Muslims face Orwellian hell in China – Alistair Carmichael MP","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552975200000 ,"articleLead": "

The UK cannot just ignore allegations of forced organ harvesting and appalling human rights abuses of the Muslim Uyghur minority group in China, says Alistair Carmichael MP.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4891549.1552935558!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Uyghur security personnel patrol near the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar in China's Xinjiang region (Picture: Ng Han Guan/AP)"} ,"articleBody": "

We have learned over the years to manage our expectations when it comes to human rights and the Chinese Government.

Freedom of speech and press are rarely respected. Freedom of association is heavily clamped down on. Brutal and degrading treatment and arbitrary detention is rife. The use of capital punishment is massive and undocumented.

The close monitoring of religious observance is also nothing new. The tools for that monitoring and oppression may have changed from secret police and informants, to surveillance cameras and internet tracking, but the fundamental oppression remains as strong and widespread as it ever was.

But, even in that context, the treatment of the Uyghur Muslims of Xinjiang still has the capacity to shock.

In August 2018, BBC journalist John Sweeney produced a remarkable 10-minute report on the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. Before I watched it, I had never heard of Xinjiang province. Afterwards I could hardly get it out of my mind.

Sweeney’s report revealed that since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Chinese state has increasingly clamped down on Uyghur culture under the guise of counter-terror legislation.

Religious practices can only occur in Government-approved mosques as a method of monitoring and controlling the communities. Headscarves and veils for women and beards on men are banned. Muslims are forced to eat pork, despite it being forbidden by their religion.

Since 2012, the situation has deteriorated even further. It is estimated that between one million and three million people have been arrested and placed in detention camps – styled as “re-education camps by the Chinese Government – across Xinjiang.

“Re-education” has an already Orwellian tone to it. The reality is ten times worse. Imagine George Orwell writing in the style of Franz Kafka and you start to get the idea.

Eyewitness accounts describe the prisoners as being “like robots”. It is said that they appear “as if they had lost their souls, and their memories”.

To get food, they must sing pro-Chinese songs. They must disavow their Islamic beliefs and praise the State. Failure to do so results in severe reprisals. The State will not let prisoners sleep. They hang people up for hours and beat them. There is no freedom except the freedom to love the Chinese Communist party.

“Power”, Orwell wrote, “is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” Those who built and run the re-education camps saw his novel 1984 not as work of fiction but as an instruction manual.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon briefed by Amnesty on human rights in China

What can we do? So far, much of the research and investigations have been driven forward by John Sweeney and others in the BBC and campaign groups like Amnesty International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Human Rights Watch, and the World Uyghur Congress.

Across the Western world, the response from governments, keen not to offend the Chinese Government, has been muted at best, more often totally absent. This prompted Turkey’s Foreign Minister to call Western governments out on this. When you are relying on Turkey’s Government to give a lead on human rights then you know something has gone badly wrong somewhere.

Last year the UK Parliament passed the Criminal Finances Act. In that, so-called Magnitsky laws allow us to freeze the bank accounts of human rights abusers. Get them by the bank balance and their hearts and minds will follow.

The UK, as a permanent member of the United Nations’ Security Council, should be demanding a UN-led investigation into what is happening in the re-education camps and across the Xinjiang region.

So far, very few who have gone into the camps have come out again.

READ MORE: Chinese in Scotland ‘one of most racially abused groups’

The process of their detention is without trial, and without end. Many disappear, never to be seen or heard of again.

Organ harvesting has long been rumoured in China, and strenuously denied by the Chinese State. It started with practitioners of Falun Gong. With demand continuously rising, in its voracious need provide new healthy organs, the allegations are now swirling that the practice is now affecting Uyghurs, Christians, Tibetan Buddhists and any other prisoners of conscience who will not be brainwashed.

The idea of forced harvesting sounds simply unbelievable. What human could kill another human for their organs? It is easy to dismiss as ridiculous hyperbole, but it is not ridiculous.

The UN special rapporteur on torture has already reported its concern that between 60,000 and 100,000 transplants have taken place, while the number of Chinese on the national donation register is far lower.

The rumours now reported go even further, that not only are these organs harvested to satisfy China’s growing demand, but that they are being sold to Iran and Saudi Arabia. The exact reason the Chinese oppress this religious minority, is the exact reason they are so valuable for export – their Islamic beliefs.

The soft-power about which our Government continuously boasts only works if we are willing to use it.

There is no clearer case where we should seek to bring that influence to bear, and to lead the international condemnation of this ethnic cleansing.

The message from the Government to China has got to be clear. We know what is going on in Xinjiang. We are not willing to sit back and be bystanders.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4891549.1552935558!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4891549.1552935558!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Uyghur security personnel patrol near the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar in China's Xinjiang region (Picture: Ng Han Guan/AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Uyghur security personnel patrol near the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar in China's Xinjiang region (Picture: Ng Han Guan/AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4891549.1552935558!/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/suspected-gunman-seized-following-rampage-which-left-three-dead-in-utrecht-1-4891161","id":"1.4891161","articleHeadline": "Suspected gunman seized following rampage which left three dead in Utrecht","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552940039000 ,"articleLead": "

A gunman has killed three people and wounded five on a tram morning in what authorities said may have been a terror attack.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4891264.1552915112!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police forces and emergency services stand at the 24 Oktoberplace in Utrech where the shooting took place. Picture: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The suspect - identified as Turkish-born Gokmen Tanis, 37 - was seized after a manhunt that convulsed the Dutch city of Utrecht.

The shooting took place at a busy intersection in a residential neighborhood. One witness told local media that “a man started shooting wildly”.

Police erected a white tent over an area where a body appeared to be lying next to the tram.

Dutch Justice Minister Ferd Grapperhaus said the attacker “was known” to justice authorities and had a criminal record, but would not elaborate. Local media reported that he had been charged several times over the past years, including an attempted manslaughter charge.

“If it had terror motives, that is being investigated. But it was very serious. The world shares our grief,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said.

The attack came three days after 50 people were killed when an immigrant-hating white supremacist opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday prayers. There was no immediate indication of any link between the two events.

Dutch authorities reduced the threat level in the city following the arrest, which came after a manhunt involving heavily armed officers with dogs. During the hunt, police released a photo of a bearded Tanis aboard a tram in a blue hooded top.

“We cannot exclude, even stronger, we assume a terror motive. Likely there is one attacker, but there could be more,” Utrecht Mayor Jan van Zanen said as police searched for the suspect.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Dutch military police tightened security at airports and key buildings in the country, and Rutte declared: “If it is a terror attack, then we have only one answer: Our nation, democracy, must be stronger that fanaticism and violence.”

A dog wearing a vest with a camera mounted on it was also seen outside the building.

The Netherlands’ anti-terror coordinator, Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, raised the threat alert to its highest level, 5, around Utrecht, a city of nearly 350,000.

Political parties halted campaigning ahead of provincial elections scheduled for Wednesday that will also determine the makeup of Parliament’s upper house. In neighboring Germany, police said they stepped up surveillance of the Dutch border, watching major highways, minor crossings and train routes.

German authorities said they were told to look out for a red Renault Clio compact car but were later informed it had been found abandoned in Utrecht.

Turkey’s foreign ministry condemned the shooting, “regardless of the identity of the perpetrator and the motivation behind it” said it stood with the Dutch people and the government.

Diplomatic relations btewen the two countries have been strained since in 2017, when the Netherlands blocked Turkish government officials from holding campaign ralliesfor a referendum back home, and Turkey’s president compared Dutch and German politicians to Nazis and fascists.The two countries re-appointed ambassadors in September 2018 to “normalize relations.”

The ministry said earlier that Turkish and Dutch officials would meet Tuesday to discuss “bilateral relations” and cooperation.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Margaret Neighbour"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4891264.1552915112!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4891264.1552915112!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Police forces and emergency services stand at the 24 Oktoberplace in Utrech where the shooting took place. Picture: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police forces and emergency services stand at the 24 Oktoberplace in Utrech where the shooting took place. Picture: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4891264.1552915112!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4891160.1552910083!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4891160.1552910083!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The attack took place in the centre of Utrecht. Picture: Wikimedia Commons","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The attack took place in the centre of Utrecht. Picture: Wikimedia Commons","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4891160.1552910083!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/shamima-begum-fear-and-loathing-has-robbed-us-of-good-judgement-tom-wood-1-4890120","id":"1.4890120","articleHeadline": "Shamima Begum: Fear and loathing has robbed us of good judgement – Tom Wood","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552888800000 ,"articleLead": "

Following the loss of her third child, we need to talk about Shamina Begum – the British teenage runaway not the black-shrouded, Isis-bride hate figure who we have seen giving excruciating TV interviews in recent weeks.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4880522.1551431587!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Shamima Begum fled the UK to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria aged 15 and has been stripped of her British citizenship by the Home Office. Picture: PA/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

So inept have these media performances been that they have helped bring her extraordinary vilification. She’s been stripped of UK citizenship and driven into hiding, her image even used as a target on a shooting range.

Of course, security is paramount and due diligence must be done but on the face of it she appears to have been more domestic drudge/sex slave than fighter. Yet it’s been impossible to have a balanced discussion about her, so hysterical has our reaction been. Ever since she was tracked down to a squalid refugee camp on the Syrian border, our fear and loathing of radical Islamists seem to have robbed us of our poise and ability to engage in critical analysis.

The current ‘Jihad’ is different from those of history because it has been brought close to home. Attacks in Manchester and London, together with the wickedly cruel execution videos, have panicked us. What scares us most is the fanaticism, cult of death and barbarism beyond the experience of most of us.

While some ill-advised folk bandy about terms like “Nazi” and “fascist”, I suspect they don’t really understand the true meaning of these words. The generation that did understand and faced down real fanaticism 80 years ago have all but gone. I suspect their response to Shamina would have been more measured.

READ MORE: Sajid Javid: I am not responsible for death of Shamima Begum’s baby

And the sickening mosque attacks in New Zealand show murderous fanaticism is not confined to any one religion or group of people.

It’s understandable that we should be frightened by Isis, but that should not blind us or rob us of our good sense. Separate the fear and loathing, ignore the black shrouds, and we have a 15-year-old girl who ran off in bad company and ended up in trouble. It’s an age-old story, since time immemorial. Impressionable, naive or just plain daft young boys and girls jump the fence and run off to the Foreign Legion, The Moonies or any other dodgy destination you may care to think of. One or two come to grief but usually they drift home eventually.

Our response especially to the girls has changed over time especially to those who return pregnant. In the 19th century, such lassies were considered morally incompetent and often detained in lunatic asylums without limit of time, more recently the institutional cruelty of women and baby units with forced adoption was the fate of many such unfortunates. Fortunately in between such harsh responses many runaways were simply welcomed back into loving families, their juvenile mistakes forgiven and eventually forgotten.

READ MORE: Shamima Begum and baby ‘moved from refugee camp’ after receiving death threats

In our present enlightened times, we recognise juvenile runaways for what they are – usually vulnerable and in need of help, more to be pitied than despised. And when you look past the black robes and the gauche ineptitude of her media image, that’s what you see in Shamina, a naive immature girl who made a horrible mistake. And like it or not she is one of ours, if she does not settle in The Netherlands with her husband, we have a duty of care. So let’s not be scared out of our good judgment, let’s not get distracted by knee-jerk political posturing – our panic shames us. We know what to do in the case of Shamina so, with level heads and professional confidence, we should get on with it.

Tom Wood is a writer and former Deputy Chief Constable

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4880522.1551431587!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4880522.1551431587!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Shamima Begum fled the UK to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria aged 15 and has been stripped of her British citizenship by the Home Office. Picture: PA/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Shamima Begum fled the UK to join the Islamic State terror group in Syria aged 15 and has been stripped of her British citizenship by the Home Office. Picture: PA/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4880522.1551431587!/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/we-are-drowning-in-a-sea-of-plastic-christine-jardine-1-4890386","id":"1.4890386","articleHeadline": "We are drowning in a sea of plastic – Christine Jardine","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552888800000 ,"articleLead": "

I didn’t actually think it would be this difficult. Just a week into avoiding single-use plastics for Lent, I’ve discovered it’s almost impossible.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890385.1552668411!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Plastic waste ' seen floating in Leith Docks ' will pollute the natural world for hundreds of years (Picture: Greenpeace)"} ,"articleBody": "

Today was the last straw. A single-use plastic straw that I don’t want or use, but arrives already plonked in the drink.

Of course, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy when I signed up to the Teardrop Fund’s challenge to go single-use plastic free. What I didn’t expect was that there would be hidden traps everywhere.

I now carry a keep-cup with me most places but even when I ordered a tea to sit-in yesterday I didn’t expect them to bring it in a throw-away cup with a single-use plastic top. Or that when I bought the sandwiches in a paper bag that there would be a plastic container hidden inside.

And even in the bakery, where I checked the breakfast roll was going to be in a paper bag, the tomato ketchup which was offered with it, came in a plastic sachet.

I think you get the point. I hope we are all getting the point. I certainly am. Somewhere between my childhood of glass bottles, paper bags and reusable jars, we have begun to drown in a sea of disposable plastic bags, bottles and polystyrene cups. Literally.

Turns out the word ‘disposable’ is about the most misleading in modern usage. According to PlasticsEurope, 381 million tonnes of plastic were produced in 2015 – that’s only just above the average annual figure – and half of it went into products that will be used only once.

For the average plastic bag that single use can last for as little as 15 minutes. Then it will take several hundred years for that bag to break down. By now, most of us will have seen the pictures of wildlife struggling to cope with the deluge of human plastic detritus that has invaded their environment.

READ MORE: Plastic pollution demands a consumer revolution – Jonny Hughes

Birds being almost strangled by those awful plastic rings that hold together some of the packs of soft drink cans in the supermarket.

Dolphins, whales and other creatures of the oceans who have swallowed plastic bags. Or shorelines that are no longer visible for the layers of ‘disposable’ sandwich wrappers, cotton buds, face wipes, cups, bottles, lids. The list goes on and on.

And while those images are frightening, and have perhaps begun to awaken an understanding of what we are doing to our environment, have we thought about what we are doing to ourselves?

It’s estimated that the average European – that’s you and I – uses 100kg of plastic every year. That’s roughly the same weight as one of the pandas in Edinburgh zoo, or a northern light pilot dolphin.

And that is each. Each of us is using a panda’s weight in disposable plastic every year. So in Scotland we are producing more than the equivalent of 5 million panda-sized dollops of plastic waste every year.

But, I hear you protest, we recycle. Yes we do. But only approximate nine per cent of the plastic that has been produced since 1950 has been recycled.

The other 91 per cent is still out there. And, increasingly, it’s in our food supply. Increasingly we are seeing wildlife being put down because of the number of plastic bags and amount of packaging they are ingesting.

READ MORE: Insight: Sea change ahead in global war on waste plastic

One in every three fish caught for human consumption now contains plastic. More often than not that will be some of the approximately 51 trillion microscopic pieces of plastic that are in the oceans right now. And if we can’t see them, that means we could be eating them too.

Tearfund says that most of this waste in our seas comes from developing countries where more than two billion people don’t have their waste collected. And what is already there will be there now for centuries. For example a plastic bottle is estimated to be able to last for 450 years in the marine environment. Yes it will slowly break up into smaller pieces. But it will never completely go away.

That leaves us with the very real prospect that it will now be impossible to reverse completely the damage that’s been done, and to have plastic-free seas again. All we can do now is try to stop it getting worse. We in the developed countries cannot just stand by and watch the explosion of product availability in the developing world go unmatched by a growth in attacking the problem. Individually we might think we can do very little. But we would be wrong.

We can all take part in the litter collections along our shore lines and in our parks that take a small, but important first step. Other, larger ones will follow.

After all, for many of us it only seems like yesterday that widespread renewable energy was little more than a pipe dream. As a young reporter, I remember doing stories about ideas for wind farms and solar energy that might be appearing soon in the UK. It’s not that long ago you had to go looking for organic vegetables. For my lunch in those days, if I went to a fast-food place I probably got it in a cardboard box, or more likely had a sandwich in a bag. If it was a bacon roll or a a fish supper (again wrapped in paper) you would get a skoosh of ketchup or some vinegar from the bottles on the counter.

Likewise it’s not that long since keep-cups became popular and we started recycling. So next time you’re at the shops why not buy that reusable water bottle and coffee cup. Then put them in a reusable shopping bag. When you are out tell the bar staff you don’t want that unnecessary plastic straw. Think ahead so that you won’t need disposable cutlery or plates and your food is not packed in what we mistakenly call disposable packaging.

Like me you might discover at first that it is more difficult than you thought. But it is also more important than we have previously realised. Things can change. This is one that has to.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Christine Jardine"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890385.1552668411!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890385.1552668411!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Plastic waste ' seen floating in Leith Docks ' will pollute the natural world for hundreds of years (Picture: Greenpeace)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Plastic waste ' seen floating in Leith Docks ' will pollute the natural world for hundreds of years (Picture: Greenpeace)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890385.1552668411!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/dani-garavelli-islamophobe-hypocrites-ride-wave-of-sympathy-after-christchurch-1-4890667","id":"1.4890667","articleHeadline": "Dani Garavelli: Islamophobe hypocrites ride wave of sympathy after Christchurch","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552826113000 ,"articleLead": "

Many of those expressing outrage at the mosque killings have helped normalise the race hatred which led to them, writes Dani Garavelli

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890666.1552813394!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Brenton Tarrant during his appearance in the Christchurch District Court yesterday. Picture: Mark Mitchell/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

The massacre of 49 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, prompted a mass outpouring of hypocrisy. So horrific was the crime perpetrated by a white, male terrorist, right-wing politicians and commentators could barely control their desire to demonstrate how very much devoid of blame they were.One after another, these men and women, who have, collectively, turned Islamophobia into a cottage industry, issued tear-stained statements condemning gunman Brenton Tarrant for his act of violence.

Boris Johnson, who, in 2005, claimed Islamophobia was a natural reaction to Islam, and last year compared women in niqabs to letterboxes, called the shooting “a sickening and cowardly terrorist attack, driven by nothing but hatred”. Melanie Phillips, who was quoted by Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik, and has called Islamophobia a “myth”, urged “all decent people” to “unequivocally denounce” such atrocities.

Donald Trump, whose first move as president was to try to implement a travel ban on Muslims, sent his warmest sympathy and best wishes to the people of New Zealand, but only after he had deleted his first response which was a link to the story on the alt-right website, Breitbart.

Katie Hopkins held her own counsel, which was just as well, seeing as the last thing she posted on her account prior to the attack was a whinge over a Twitter wrist-slap for voicing her non-sympathy for “Isis bride” Shamima Begum. To this extent she displayed more self-awareness than the Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who stripped Shamima of her citizenship to appease public opinion and did nothing to save her baby, but nonetheless felt able to write: “We stand with New Zealand and Muslims across the world against all forms of racism” without blushing. So much cant…

Javid also engaged in some world-class deflection; in a separate tweet he criticised YouTube and Facebook for failing to remove the gunman’s footage of the killing spree quickly enough. He wasn’t wrong. But such platforms are an increasingly easy scapegoat for a problem with more obvious roots: the legitimisation of an anti-Muslim narrative in the mainstream media.

It is a cop-out to look at Tarrant’s lengthy manifesto – a piece of propaganda composed for maximum impact – and point to references and memes from anonymous forums such as 4chan and 8chan. Though he had clearly spent time down the alt-right rabbit hole, many of his sinister ideas are being pushed by established writers on powerful platforms.

Type “Islamophobia” and “Spiked” into Google and you are hit with a barrage of headlines, either justifying it or denying its existence. “Islamism is just as bad as Islamophobia”; “Islamophobia is Not the New Anti-Semitism”; “We are all Ayatollahs Now”. The Patrick West column which includes the line “The fact an anti-Islam backlash never materialises is of little importance” rang a bit hollow on Friday, eh?

The Spectator is not much better: “Islamophobia is Dangerous Humbug”; “The False Equivalence Between Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism”. And so on. And so on.

Elsewhere, the racism may be less overt. But the language of “invasion”, espoused by Tarrant, has been omnipresent in the debate over immigration and Brexit. Words like “swarm” and “swamp” and “plague” and images of migrant “caravans” have served both to dehumanise and to other.

Racist rabble-rousers such as Tommy Robinson and Markus Meechan (Count Dankula) have been given plentiful opportunities to spout their prejudice under the lofty guise of free speech (but really because they act as click-bait).

Even the title of Tarrant’s manifesto, The Great Replacement, a conspiracy theory that suggests the white European population is systematically replaced by Arabs and Africans through mass immigration and demographic growth, has made its way from the alt-right fringes to verified Twitter accounts.

So let’s not pretend the gunman’s rhetoric could only have been garnered from long hours on the nether regions of the internet; rather, it is ubiquitous, and it was only a matter of time before it was being co-opted to justify violence (again).

Yet, such was the lack of self-reflection, some news outlets were still at it as the death toll mounted. The Daily Mail allowed readers to download Tarrant’s manifesto from its website, while the Sun and the Mirror included GIFs of the gunman’s first-person video.

The hypocrisy reached its zenith in two front pages. Yesterday, the Mail led with “Massacre Shame of Facebook” (criticising the social media giant for offences it had itself committed) and the Mirror carried a photo of Tarrant as a toddler with the headline “Angelic boy who grew into evil far-right mass killer”. The Daily Mail aggravated this offence by explaining the atrocity had been carried out “after” Tarrant’s father had died of cancer. This is what the tabloids do in their coverage of domestic violence and terrorism. They inform the reader of the white, male perpetrator’s good qualities, as if the fact he went on to murder was a minor aberration in an otherwise pristine life. They look for excuses – an early trauma, say – to justify the violence. This is not a courtesy extended to female or black offenders, who tend to be branded “hammer killer wife”, or have petty previous convictions published, alongside a photograph of them giving the middle finger.

Right-wing commentators scratch their heads and ask why; even though the reasons are staring them in the face: even though they have been complicit in creating the febrile climate in which such acts are nurtured.

There is, naturally, a backlash against the hatred. As Christchurch plunged into mourning, many took part in inter-faith gestures of solidarity, with Christians and Jews in New Zealand and elsewhere heading to their local mosques to join in prayers.

But there was also Queensland senator Fraser Anning, who responded to the deaths with these words: “The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand’s streets today is the immigration programme which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.”

The politicians/commentators who weep disingenuous tears, without stopping to reflect how their own toxic language and blanket statements might empower men like Tarrant, aren’t much better.

As for the decision of editors on Newsnight to ask hate organisation Generation Identity to comment, it pretty much sums up where we are at. How can you push for “balance” when 49 people have been gunned down in cold blood? It serves only to embolden the white racists And in any case, it’s not even-handed: you can’t imagine a jihadi group being asked to comment on the Manchester Arena bombing.

Atrocities like Friday’s represent the very worst of human nature, but they don’t take place in a vacuum. Unless those in positions of power stop normalising the far right; unless they stop appropriating the language of racists and promulgating their ideologies, they shouldn’t be surprised if they have to express more faux disbelief over more innocent victims, while continuing to abdicate responsibility for their fate.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Dani Garavelli"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890666.1552813394!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890666.1552813394!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Brenton Tarrant during his appearance in the Christchurch District Court yesterday. Picture: Mark Mitchell/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Brenton Tarrant during his appearance in the Christchurch District Court yesterday. Picture: Mark Mitchell/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890666.1552813394!/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/new-zealand-terror-attacks-australian-man-appears-in-court-charged-with-murder-1-4890679","id":"1.4890679","articleHeadline": "New Zealand terror attacks: Australian man appears in court charged with murder","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552760429000 ,"articleLead": "

A man has appeared in court after 49 people were killed in shootings at two mosques in New Zealand as the prime minister vowed to change gun laws in the country.

" ,"articleBody": "

Brenton Tarrant, 28, from Australia, appeared to have live-streamed the terror attack in Christchurch and outlined his anti-immigrant motives in a manifesto posted online.

On Saturday, Tarrant appeared in court in Christchurch charged with one count of murder and was remanded until April 5. Police said further charges were expected to follow.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said it took 36 minutes from the first emergency call on Friday before the suspect was in custody.

A search is currently under way at his residence in Dunedin.

“That person was not willing to be arrested,” said Mr Bush.

READ MORE: Unprecedented attack sees 49 dead

“There was live audio coming back to my command centre of that apprehension. That person was non-compliant.”

A total of four people were arrested following the massacre - one of whom was in possession of a firearm but with the intention of assisting police and was released a short time later.

Mr Bush said two of those in custody were arrested at a cordon, and that police were working to establish whether they had had any involvement in the incident.

New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern said the suspect held a Category A gun licence which enabled him to legally obtain semi-automatic weapons, and said the country’s gun laws would change in the wake of the attack.

Ms Ardern said the firearms used in the mosque shootings appeared to have been modified.

She said: “New Zealanders will question how someone can come into being in possession of weapons of this nature.

“The guns used in this case appear to have been modified. That’s a challenge police have been facing and a challenge we will look to address in changing laws.”

She added: “There are a raft of issues on the table that I think we need to look at. We need to include modification of guns which can lead them to becoming essentially the kinds of weapons we’ve seen used in this terrorist attack.”

On Saturday, Christchurch Hospital said 39 people remained in hospital, 11 of them in intensive care.

Four people died en route to the hospital, while a four-year-old girl was transferred to a hospital in Auckland in a critical condition.

The majority of the patients are male aged 30 to 40, while two of them are boys aged two and 13, said Greg Robertson, chief of surgery at the hospital.

READ MORE: Hundreds attend anti racism march in wake of killings

Of the 48 people admitted on Friday, seven have been discharged.

“Twelve operating theatres worked through the night,” said Mr Robertson.

“Many of those injured will need multiple returns to surgery.”

Of those killed in the massacre, 41 died at the Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue in central Christchurch, seven were killed at the suburban Linwood Masjid Mosque, and one person died at Christchurch Hospital.

In the video live-streamed by Tarrant, a man inside a mosque appears to say “Welcome brother” as a gunman approaches.

A number of improvised explosive devices found on a vehicle after the shootings were defused by police.

Mr Bush, who had earlier called the attack a “very well-planned event”, said the suspect was not known to police either in New Zealand or Australia.

British security sources said there were no apparent UK links to the attack.

Officers responded to reports of shots fired in central Christchurch at about 1.40pm local time (12.40am GMT), and urged people in the area to stay indoors.

Police urged all mosques across New Zealand to stay closed over the weekend for security reasons.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014273973001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/christchurch-mass-murderer-and-9-11-terrorists-are-one-and-the-same-leader-comment-1-4890462","id":"1.4890462","articleHeadline": "Christchurch mass murderer and 9/11 terrorists are one and the same – leader comment","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552716000000 ,"articleLead": "

Islamophobia, antisemitism and all forms of prejudice provide a false justification for those prepared to commit mass murder – that’s one reason why we all have a duty to oppose such hateful ways of thinking.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890460.1552681039!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "People wait outside a mosque in central Christchurch following the mass shooting (Picture: Mark Baker/AP)"} ,"articleBody": "

Peaceful, innocent people murdered by a hate-filled extremist. In this case, the gunman had white supremacist symbols on his weapons, the victims were attending mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Whoever the killer is and whatever drivel is written in his “manifesto”, his actions mean he is just like every terrorist who has ever randomly targeted a crowd of people.

He is just like the terrorists behind the 9/11 attacks. He is just like the man who shot dead 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue in October last year. He is just like the man who murdered Labour MP Jo Cox in 2016.

There will always be people who search for ‘causes’ to enable them to justify deadly violence. It is probably too much to hope that humanity will ever be free of their repulsive presence.

However, collectively as a society, we can and we must make every effort to make it harder for them to find the false justification they seek.

This is why Islamophobia, antisemitism and any form of prejudice is so dangerous. This is why such evil must be resolutely opposed by all those who value human life.

READ MORE: Christchurch shooting: ‘Beyond awful’, Nicola Sturgeon and world react to terror attack

We must realise how utterly wrong it is to call refugees fleeing war “cockroaches”, claim all Muslims must be “held responsible” for Jihadist terror attacks, and falsely insinuate that British Jews are agents of a foreign power – all real examples by people in the public eye whose names this article will not repeat.

Such hateful attitudes are on the rise the world over, playing a part in the election of Donald Trump and Brexit. The infamous pro-Brexit “Breaking Point” poster, showing a long queue of refugees, may not have deliberately echoed Nazi propaganda, but the shocking similarities were there for all to see.

“White nationalists” and the “alt-right” – or, in plain language, racists and the far-right – have proved adept at exploiting social media to spread their message. And social media giants, shamefully, have indirectly profited from this. Are they comfortable with such complicity?

The livestreaming of the Christchurch attack on Facebook shows how far social media has to go to tackle the abuse of their technology.

The victims of this latest appalling attack may have been Muslims, but New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern found a better way to describe them: “They are us.”

And we must stand beside them and those who now grieve.

READ MORE: ‘Utterly dismayed’: Scot living in Christchurch tells of shock after mosque shooting

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890460.1552681039!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890460.1552681039!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "People wait outside a mosque in central Christchurch following the mass shooting (Picture: Mark Baker/AP)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "People wait outside a mosque in central Christchurch following the mass shooting (Picture: Mark Baker/AP)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890460.1552681039!/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/was-feminism-just-a-myth-edinburgh-starting-to-feel-like-it-susan-dalgety-1-4890113","id":"1.4890113","articleHeadline": "Was feminism just a myth? Edinburgh starting to feel like it – Susan Dalgety","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552716000000 ,"articleLead": "

In the 1990s, strong women helped put Edinburgh in the vanguard of civic life in Scotland, but the city council seems increasingly male dominated, writes Susan Dalgety.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890112.1552653116!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinburgh's councillors are nearly two-thirds male and out of 11 candidates for an upcoming by-election only one is a woman (Picture: Greg Macvean)"} ,"articleBody": "

Sometimes it is hard to shake off the feeling that we are facing the end of days.

Watching New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s strained, but authoritative, appearance in the immediate aftermath of the mosque massacres was a terrible testimony to the inhumanity of terrorism. Her heart was clearly breaking as she realised her country would never be the same again.

“We have never seen anything like this, this level of hate and depravity,” said local journalist Kurt Bayer, as he struggled to report the unreportable.

Here at home, we are not witnessing carnage, but, night after night, we have been forced to watch the grotesque chaos of our leaders trying, and failing, to run the country.

Commentators and historians have run out of words to describe how badly Theresa May has, so far, failed in her efforts to get to the first stage of Brexit. But she is not alone in her gross incompetence. The so-called leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, offers no hope to those of us – half the population – who dread leaving the EU. The Prime Minister may have no discernible leadership qualities, but Corbyn has even fewer.

And a quick glance across the Atlantic reminds us all that the leader of the free world is a buffoon, most likely in hock to the Russians, and most definitely a danger to democracy.

Earlier this week he, chillingly, appeared to promise armed insurrection if his authority was threatened in any way. He told the right-wing website Breitbart News, “I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of Bikers for Trump ... I have tough people, but they don’t play tough until they go to a certain point and then it would be very, very bad.”

His threat of a military coup, because that is what his words mean, went almost unnoticed, even on Twitter, in part because the notion is so ridiculous. But wait, only three years ago the prospect of a reality TV star and self-confessed sex-abuser becoming leader of the free world was laughed off as impossible. Donald J Trump has now been in office for 786 days and counting.

Little wonder that as the world we used to know falls apart, we turn inwards, to familiar faces and the comfort of our own hometown.

READ MORE: Think society’s not sexist? Crash-test dummies tell different story – Susan Dalgety

I love Edinburgh. I love it so much that I once spent seven years hard labour as a city councillor. I was not brilliant, nor was I particularly terrible. I learned how hard it is to govern, forced to make spending cuts to things that really matter (potholes anyone?) to save things that mattered even more, such as social care and school dinners.

I helped some families, whose terrible circumstances sometimes made me cry. I was proud to serve on the women’s committee that introduced Scotland’s first domestic abuse campaign, Zero Tolerance, and to deliver a commission on social justice.

In the 1990s, Edinburgh City Council felt at the vanguard of civic life in Scotland, not least because of the number of high-profile, progressive women, like Lesley Hinds and Margaret McGregor, who were breaking new political ground. The sisters were doing it for their city.

Fast forward to 2019, and it is as if the last two decades were a feminist myth. Next month there will be a by-election in the Leith Walk ward, following the resignation of Councillor Marion Donaldson.

There are 11 candidates, including two independents. Nine political parties, from UKIP to the Socialist Labour Party, are contesting the seat. Democracy, it seems, is alive and well down Leith Walk, but only up to a point, because of those 11 candidates, only one is a woman. One.

Let that number sink in. One woman. I was so taken aback by this that I checked out the sex of the 63 councillors running our capital city.

There are currently 39 male councillors and 23 women. After the Leith Walk by-election, unless by some miracle the Green Party candidate, the sole woman, wins, there will be 40 men. Nearly two thirds – 63 per cent – of the people who run Edinburgh are men.

READ MORE: Susan Dalgety: Michelle of the thigh-high golden boots gets my vote

I delved further. The Corporate Policy and Strategy Committee, where the forward planning on issues such as transport, social care and education takes place, has 11 councillors sitting round the table making the decisions that will affect the lives of nearly half a million people, half of them female. And, yes, you’ve guessed it, only two are women.

Now those of you who have read my column before will know that I am always banging on about women, or lack of them, in our public life, in government and in business. I sometimes bore even myself with the torrent of numbers that prove my point that women are still badly under-represented where it matters.

But I am not alone in my distress. A few days ago, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) reminded us that only 29 per cent of Scottish councillors are women, compared to 51 per cent of the population.

Their study also found that political parties who, after all, make the decisions about who should represent them at elections, routinely failed to collect data about the number of women members and candidates, which suggests that they really don’t care about gender balance.

However, Dr Lesley Sawers, the EHRC Scotland Commissioner, does. “The diversity of elected local politicians is clearly important, with key decisions undertaken at local government level,” she said on launching the report.

“Local politicians also form a crucial part of the pool of potential candidates for selection at other levels of government, including Holyrood and Westminster,” she added.

And surely even the most blokeish among you cannot argue with her when she warns that unless we improve “diversity among elected officials at the local level, it may be more difficult to make progress across elected politics”.

After a week that has seen people gunned down as they pray, careless politicians gamble our economic security for their personal advancement and the American President threaten his people with tanks on their sidewalks, it may seem parochial, pointless even, to focus on pavement politics.

But it matters just as much who decides how much we spend each year on looking after our elderly as it does who has his, or her, finger on the nuclear button.

The next council elections are on Thursday 5 May 2022. That gives the women of Scotland three years to get ready. Sisters, it’s time we took over running our hometown.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890112.1552653116!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890112.1552653116!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Edinburgh's councillors are nearly two-thirds male and out of 11 candidates for an upcoming by-election only one is a woman (Picture: Greg Macvean)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinburgh's councillors are nearly two-thirds male and out of 11 candidates for an upcoming by-election only one is a woman (Picture: Greg Macvean)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890112.1552653116!/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/here-s-why-scotland-is-in-sights-of-putin-s-russia-andrew-foxall-and-james-rogers-1-4890453","id":"1.4890453","articleHeadline": "Here’s why Scotland is in sights of Putin’s Russia – Andrew Foxall and James Rogers","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552716000000 ,"articleLead": "

As Vladimir Putin turns his eye on Scotland, the SNP has been visiting states in the Baltic and elsewhere to find out how they respond to the Kremlin’s meddling, write Andrew Foxall and James Rogers.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890452.1552679774!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Wodek Bludik works on his sculpture 'Berlin Wall' featuring Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the sand-sculpting festival in Binz on the Baltic Sea (Picture: Stefan Sauer/AFP/Getty Images)"} ,"articleBody": "

Scotland is in the Kremlin’s sights. Since Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin in 2012, he has set Russia on a collision course with the West. He wants to weaken the Atlantic alliance, to divide Nato, and to undermine the European Union. He is particularly interested in small European states, whether established or aspirant, and sees them as weak links in the Euro-Atlantic community, vulnerable to Russia’s malign influence.

Putin believes the post-Cold War international order is unfair. This idea is not new or his alone, but it has assumed heightened importance as Russia’s oil-fuelled economic growth rates of the early 2000s have been replaced by recession and stagnation. No longer able to generate domestic legitimacy through what he does at home, Putin has sought to generate it through what he does abroad. This is why Scotland matters to Russia.

Russia’s interest in Scotland is derived, in part, from its geostrategic location. As the location of the British nuclear base in Faslane, Scotland houses the submarines that still provide much of Nato Europe’s nuclear umbrella. In addition, the waters off Scotland’s north-west coast form part of the Greenland-Iceland-UK (GIUK) Gap, the principal choke point between Russia’s Northern Fleet in the Arctic and its strategic interests in the North Atlantic.

READ MORE: Russia’s aggression should worry all who believe in democracy – Stewart McDonald MP

During the Cold War, the GIUK Gap was probably the most carefully observed stretch of ocean on the planet, but its international importance fell dramatically after the Soviet Union collapsed. Now, as Russia has become more assertive, its prominence has returned and the UK is scrabbling to recover its capabilities there. At the same time, the Kremlin’s interest in Trident never went away.

Only this month a Russian naval vessel entered the Moray Firth, forcing the Royal Navy to deploy a warship to monitor its movements. Again and again, Russian aircraft have come close to Scottish air space, forcing RAF Typhoons to scramble from Lossiemouth to mark their presence and escort them away.

But the Kremlin’s interest in Scotland is not simply military, rather it is more insidious. In the Scottish nationalist movement, Russia sees a proxy to weaken and divide the UK, which has long been a thorn in the Kremlin’s side. Britain has been a leading advocate for standing firm against Russia’s aggressions from Syria to Ukraine. Provoking tensions within the UK would weaken the country politically, strategically, and militarily, reducing London’s ability to frustrate Russia’s international ambitions.

The Kremlin has already developed a sophisticated and well-coordinated arsenal of techniques to divide and dominate small European countries, including: the targeted use of corruption; electoral interference; use of social media to affect public opinion; cyber-attacks; and, covert information operations. There are signs that some of these have been rolled out in Scotland.

READ MORE: SNP defence policy to close ‘open door’ to Russia

In 2010, Edinburgh University established a Russian study centre, funded by the Russkiy Mir Foundation. The Foundation was created by Putin in 2007, is funded from Russia’s federal budget, and aims to both challenge Western views and promote Russia’s position on global issues. Four years later, Russia sent a delegation of pro-Kremlin electoral observers to monitor Scotland’s independence referendum. The lead observer, Igor Borisov, concluded that the vote “[did] not conform to generally accepted international principles of referendums”. This was quickly repeated in a Facebook group called “Rally for a Revote”, which was linked to a petition that collected over 100,000 signatures and was heavily promoted by pro-Russian Twitter accounts.

In 2016, Sputnik, a mouthpiece of the Kremlin, established its UK headquarters in Edinburgh. The following year, Alex Salmond, the former First Minister of Scotland, was given his own show on RT, the Russian government’s propaganda channel. Last year, meanwhile, Scottish Limited Partnerships were implicated in the so-called Russian Laundromat scandal, a vast money laundering scheme in which up to £56 billion of illicit funds were funnelled out of Russia in the early 2010s.

No surprises then, that London has started to take Russia’s interests in Scotland seriously. The UK now views Russia as a “tier one” national security threat, just as it viewed the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It has adopted a ‘Fusion Doctrine’ to counter Russia’s hybrid warfare, and is investing in nine P-8 Poseidon aircraft, in order to monitor activity across the North Atlantic, which will be housed at RAF Lossiemouth.

So too has Edinburgh. Members of the Scottish National Party are engaging with their counterparts in allied countries elsewhere in Europe, not least in the Baltic, to learn how small states can respond to Russia’s meddling – particularly under Nato’s umbrella.

But there is a strange irony, here. The SNP foresees an independent Scotland’s admission to Nato at the same time that it opposes the hosting of British nuclear submarines in Scottish waters. Yet, it is precisely these submarines that provide Nato’s nuclear deterrence in Europe. This would lay down a curious marker: the dominant party in an independent Scotland would jeopardise Nato at the same time that it sought its protection.

Worse, it would jeopardise the security of other small states – from Estonia to Iceland – that also depend on Nato.

Dr Andrew Foxall is director of the Russia and Eurasia Studies Centre and James Rogers is director of the Global Britain Programme, both at the Henry Jackson Society, an international affairs think tank

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Andrew Foxall and James Rodgers"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890452.1552679774!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890452.1552679774!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Wodek Bludik works on his sculpture 'Berlin Wall' featuring Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the sand-sculpting festival in Binz on the Baltic Sea (Picture: Stefan Sauer/AFP/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Wodek Bludik works on his sculpture 'Berlin Wall' featuring Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the sand-sculpting festival in Binz on the Baltic Sea (Picture: Stefan Sauer/AFP/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890452.1552679774!/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/christchurch-shooting-49-dead-in-unprecedented-new-zealand-terror-attack-1-4889869","id":"1.4889869","articleHeadline": "Christchurch shooting: 49 dead in ‘unprecedented’ New Zealand terror attack","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552678632000 ,"articleLead": "

Forty-nine people have been killed in a live-streamed massacre at two mosques in New Zealand after what the country’s prime minister described as one of the “darkest days” in its history.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889873.1552633793!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "40 have been killed in gun attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Pictures: AP/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

A gun-wielding right-wing extremist identifying himself as an Australian of “Scottish, Irish and English stock” filmed himself as he carried out the terror attacks against Muslims during Friday prayers in Christchurch.

Amid messages of condolences and condemnation from world leaders, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland “must stand against Islamophobia and all hate” in the wake of the “horrific attacks”.

READ MORE: Christchurch shooting: ‘Beyond awful’, Nicola Sturgeon and world react to terror attack

Police Scotland yesterday stepped up patrols at mosques while stressing there was no evidence of any “specific threat” to Scotland.

Authorities in New Zealand said the man in his late 20s had been arrested and charged with murder. He is due to appear in court today. Two other armed suspects have also been taken into custody.

At least 48 people, some of whom are in a critical condition, are being treated at Christchurch Hospital for gunshot wounds.

The gunman, who broadcast the attack on Facebook using a head-mounted camera, identified himself as Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian citizen.

READ MORE: Christchurch shootings: How the New Zealand mosque attacks unfolded

The suspect who has been charged had disseminated a manifesto outline espousing his violent right-wing ideology. The 74-page document called for the murder of Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, and German chancellor Angela Merkel.

Scott Morrison, the Australian prime minister, described the man as an “extremist, right-wing, violent” terrorist.

New Zealand’s police commissioner Mike Bush said the man was not know to either New Zealand or Australian security services.

The assault saw at least 41 people killed in the city’s Al Noor mosque. The footage of the attack filmed by the gunman, who appeared to be wielding automatic assault rifles and a shotgun, was widely shared on social media.

A second attack was carried out soon afterwards at Linwood mosque, located in a suburb four miles away.

Survivor Farid Ahmed, who was inside Al Noor mosque at the time of the attack, said he did not know whether his wife was alive.

He told broadcaster TVNZ: “I saw from the hallway – to the room I was in – a guy was trying to come in that room and he was shot from the back and he was dead there. I saw on the floor the bullet shells, so many hundreds.”

Another eyewitness, Len Peneha, ran into the Al Noor mosque after the shooting.

He said: “I saw dead people everywhere. There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque and people inside the mosque.

“I don’t understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone. It’s ridiculous. I’ve lived next door to this mosque for about five years and the people are great, they’re very friendly. I just don’t understand it.”

The country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said it was “clear” the incident was a “terrorist attack”. She said: “What has happened in Christchurch is an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence. It has no place in New Zealand.

“Many of those affected will be members of our migrant communities. New Zealand is their home – they are us.”

Police in Zealand have urged Muslims not to attend mosques. Air New Zealand cancelled several flights going in and out of Christchurch after stating it could not properly screen customers and baggage.

Several of those killed or wounded in the rampage were identified as being from the Middle East or South Asia. Bangladesh’s honorary consul in Auckland, Shafiqur Rahman Bhuiyan, said “so far” three Bangladeshis were among those killed. “One leg of an injured needed to be amputated while another suffered bullet injuries in his chest,” he said. Two Jordanians were among those killed. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said four Pakistanis were wounded and five other citizens were missing. Others were from Malaysia, Turkey and Indonesia.

Closer to home, Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr from Police Scotland said the force was “monitoring events closely” and was stepping up “reassurance patrols” around mosques. But he emphasised “there is no intelligence to suggest there is any specific threat to Scotland”.

Police forces across the UK took a similar approach. Home secretary Sajid Javid will hold talks with anti-terrorism chiefs and security officials to discuss possible further measures to protect mosques.

Ms Sturgeon, who visited Glasgow Central Mosque yesterday, expressed her solidarity with the Muslim community of New Zealand.

She said: “This is beyond awful. Innocent people being murdered as they worship is horrific and heartbreaking. My thoughts and solidarity are with New Zealand’s Muslim community and all of its people on this dark day.”

Ms Sturgeon said Muslims were “a valued part of Scotland’s diverse, multicultural society”, adding: “It is terrorists who commit acts such as this who offend our values as a society. We must stand against Islamophobia and all hate.”

Prime Minister Theresa May said the targeting of Muslins at their place of worship was “despicable,” and the UK stands ready to support New Zealand however it can. She said: “As New Zealand has stood by us, so we stand shoulder to shoulder with them.”

Scottish Labour MSP Anas Sarwar said: “This was a devastating and despicable attack. As millions of Muslims attend Friday prayers across the world, our thoughts are with all the victims, their families and friends, and all those hurting. Prejudice is on the rise across the world, creating a toxic ‘us versus them’ environment that sows the seeds of hate.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889873.1552633793!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889873.1552633793!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "40 have been killed in gun attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Pictures: AP/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "40 have been killed in gun attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Pictures: AP/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889873.1552633793!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889867.1552999696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889867.1552999696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Police at the scene. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police at the scene. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889867.1552999696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889868.1552632302!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889868.1552632302!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Police stand outside a mosque in Linwood, Christchurch, New Zealand. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police stand outside a mosque in Linwood, Christchurch, New Zealand. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889868.1552632302!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889870.1552632799!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889870.1552632799!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Police escort witnesses away from a mosque in central Christchurch. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police escort witnesses away from a mosque in central Christchurch. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889870.1552632799!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889871.1552632804!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889871.1552632804!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Police escort people away from outside a mosque in central Christchurch. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police escort people away from outside a mosque in central Christchurch. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889871.1552632804!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889872.1552632861!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889872.1552632861!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A police officer talks on her phone as a roadblock near a mass shooting at a mosque in Linwood, Christchurch. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A police officer talks on her phone as a roadblock near a mass shooting at a mosque in Linwood, Christchurch. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889872.1552632861!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014273973001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/world/utterly-dismayed-scot-living-in-christchurch-tells-of-shock-after-mosque-shooting-1-4890207","id":"1.4890207","articleHeadline": "‘Utterly dismayed’: Scot living in Christchurch tells of shock after mosque shooting","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552660280000 ,"articleLead": "

Christchurch resident Gail Ross, originally from Renfrew, near Glasgow, and who emigrated to New Zealand, said that people were in “deep shock” following the terror attack this morning.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890213.1552660276!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "People wait outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)"} ,"articleBody": "

Forty-nine people were killed at two mosques after a right-wing extremist went on a shooting spree in New Zealand.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern earlier said at least 20 other people had been seriously injured, and described it as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.

Here, Gail tells of life in Christchurch and how the attack has rocked the city.

“It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack.

“I haven’t seen people so shocked and utterly dismayed and traumatised since the earthquake in 2011 when so many people lost their lives. It is a real kick in the guts to a city which is still very much in recovery.

“This is giving us an understanding of how it must have felt when the terror attacks happened in cities like London and Paris.

READ MORE: Christchurch shooting: 49 dead in ‘unprecedented’ New Zealand terror attack

READ MORE Christchurch shooting: ‘Beyond awful’, Nicola Sturgeon and world react to terror attack

“There is such an enormous wave of sympathy and support for the Muslims in Christchurch, many of whom chose to come here as refugees thinking they were coming to a safe place at last. Christchurch has changed a lot and become multi-cultural over the years.

READ MORE: Christchurch shootings: How the New Zealand mosque attacks unfolded

“Because of the earthquake many people here are still getting over the psychological effects and are focussing on trying to get a home or battling with insurance companies.

“I think the people who did this have kind of flown under the radar in a way they might not have been able to do if the city had been ticking along as usual. Attention has been centred on the centre of the city and trying to rebuild and things which might have been picked up on perhaps were not.

“It’s not unusual to see right-wing groups doing their hate crime speeches in the square in front of Christchurch Cathedral, but it’s been brushed under the carpet. They even had a demonstration around December or January but people just wished they’d go away.

“People are questioning why those involved in this incident weren’t on a watch list. There have been New Zealanders who’ve gone over to join ISIS but whatever government is in power I don’t think the intelligence services get enough funding and the focus has tended to be on border control.

“It was always predicted there could be some sort of terror attack at some stage but we always expected it would come from ISIS, rather than the extreme right wing.

“They dress it up as freedom of expression but it’s really freedom to hate.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890213.1552660276!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890213.1552660276!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "People wait outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "People wait outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890213.1552660276!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014273973001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/world/christchurch-shooting-sajid-javid-slams-australian-senator-fraser-anning-over-comments-1-4890103","id":"1.4890103","articleHeadline": "Christchurch shooting: Sajid Javid slams Australian Senator Fraser Anning over comments","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552656138000 ,"articleLead": "

Britain’s Home Secretary Sajid Javid has criticised an Australian Senator who appeared to suggest that Muslim immigration was the cause of a mass shooting at mosques in New Zealand that has left 49 dead.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890101.1552656134!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sajid Javid. Picture: WPA Pool/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

A number of armed terrorists are believed to have carried out attacks on two mosques in Christchurch in New Zealand, with one perpetrator live-streaming his actions on Facebook.

Four people have since been arrested.

READ MORE: 49 dead in unprecedented attack

World leaders have condemned the actions of the terrorists, at least one of whom is believed to have been from Australia.

Mosques around the globe are stepping up security in the wake of the attack, which appears to have been designed to coincide with Friday prayer, when many mosques are at their busiest.

Fraser Anning, independent Senator for Queensland, tweeted: “Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?”.

In a longer statement, Anning said: “Whilst this kind of violent vigilantism can never be justified, what it highlights is the growing fear within our community, both in Australia and New Zealand, of the increasing Muslim presence.”

READ MORE: ‘Beyond Awful’ - Nicola Sturgeon reacts to shooting

He went on to quote a bible verse on living by the sword and dying by it.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid accused him of fanning the flames of extremism, while Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the views “disgusting”.

Javid tweeted: “At a time for grieving and reflection, this Australian senator @fraser_anning fans the flames of violence & extremism. Australians will be utterly ashamed of this racist man. In no way does he represent our Australian friends.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4890101.1552656134!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4890101.1552656134!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sajid Javid. Picture: WPA Pool/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sajid Javid. Picture: WPA Pool/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4890101.1552656134!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014273973001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/christchurch-shooting-beyond-awful-nicola-sturgeon-and-world-react-to-terror-attack-1-4889883","id":"1.4889883","articleHeadline": "Christchurch shooting: ‘Beyond awful’, Nicola Sturgeon and world react to terror attack","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552646206000 ,"articleLead": "

Nicola Sturgeon has joined leaders around the world in condemning the terror attacks on two mosques in New Zealand which have left 49 dead.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889881.1552637276!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nicola Sturgeon (top right) has shown solidarity with New Zealand's PM Jacina Adern (bottom). Pictures: AP/Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Scotland’s First Minister took to twitter to show solidarity with New Zealand’s muslim community after the mass shootings in Christchurch.

Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “This is beyond awful. Innocent people being murdered as they worship is horrific and heartbreaking.

READ MORE: Christchurch mosque shootings: 49 dead in ‘unprecedented’ New Zealand terror attack

“My thoughts and solidarity are with New Zealand’s Muslim community and all of its people on this dark day.

She added: “Today, at mosques across Scotland and elsewhere, Muslims will attend Friday prayers.

“They are a valued part of our diverse and multicultural society. It is terrorists who commit acts such as who offend our values as a society.

“We must stand against Islamaphobia and all hate.”

Prime Minister Theresa May in a tweet said: “deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand after the horrifying terrorist attack in Christchurch”.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt also expressed his condolences. In a statement he said: “Our hearts go out to the people of New Zealand following the news of this terrible act in Christchurch.

“New Zealand is one of the most peaceful, peace-loving and generous nations in the world.

“Your friends in the UK stand with you today in deepest sympathy.”

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison was quick to offer his nation’s ‘Kiwi cousins’ support. He said: “I’m horrified by the reports I’m following of the serious shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. The situation is still unfolding but our thoughts and prayers are with our Kiwi cousins.
“I condemn the violent, extremist, right-wing terrorist attack that has stolen the lives of so many innocent New Zealanders as they went about their peaceful practice of worship at their mosques in Christchurch today.

“Australians stand with all New Zealanders today during this dark time where hate and violence has stolen their peace and innocence. Kia kaha (stay strong).
“New Zealand, like Australia, is home to people from all faiths, cultures and backgrounds. There is absolutely no place in either of our countries for the hatred and intolerance that has bred this extremist, terrorist violence and we condemn it.

He added: “ Out of respect and in condolence for all those killed in the terrorist attack in New Zealand, I have asked for flags to be flown at half-mast.”

Indonesia’s foreign minister Retno Marsudi said : “Indonesia strongly condemns this shooting act, especially at a place of worship while a Friday prayer was ongoing.”

Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, said six nationals were inside the mosque when the attack occurred, with three managing to escape and three still unaccounted for.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attacks as the “latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia.”

Tweeting in English and Turkish on Friday, Mr Erdogan said: “On behalf of my country, I offer my condolences to the Islamic world and the people of New Zealand, who have been targeted by this deplorable act.”

UK-based Anti-Islamaphobia group Tell MAMA said the attack showed how “Anti-Muslim hatred is fast becoming a global issue and a binding factor for extremist far right groups”.

Iman Atta from the group said: “We are appalled to hear about the mass casualties in New Zealand.

“The killer appears to have put out a ‘manifesto’ based on white supremacist rhetoric which includes references to anti-Islamic comments.

“He mentions ‘mass immigration’ and ‘an assault on our civilisation’ and makes repeated references to his ‘white identity’.

“The killer also seems to have filmed the murders adding a further cold ruthlessness to his actions.

“We have said time and time again that far right extremism is a growing problem and we have been citing this for over six years now.

“That rhetoric is wrapped within anti-migrant and anti-Muslim sentiment.

“Anti-Muslim hatred is fast becoming a global issue and a binding factor for extremist far right groups and individuals.

“It is a threat that needs to be taken seriously”

Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation said the attacks were by far right extremists “inspired by their hatred of Muslims and Islam”.

He said: “An attack on a place of worship is an attack against all faiths, I’m confident that in the days ahead you will see all communities come together.

“This sadly is not an isolated incident, for many years commentators, the media, politicians and far right extremists have dehumanised Islam and Muslims, have perpetuated the narrative that Muslims are responsible for the ‘ills of the world’ and that our lives are not worthy of defence.”

He added: “We call on Governments around the world to step up security for Mosques and Islamic Centres, the days ahead will be full of mourning and sadness but together as one human family we will prevail.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889881.1552637276!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889881.1552637276!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nicola Sturgeon (top right) has shown solidarity with New Zealand's PM Jacina Adern (bottom). Pictures: AP/Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nicola Sturgeon (top right) has shown solidarity with New Zealand's PM Jacina Adern (bottom). Pictures: AP/Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889881.1552637276!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889882.1552637280!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889882.1552637280!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Police are seen in front of Christchurch Hospital during a lockdown on March 15, 2019 in Christchurch. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police are seen in front of Christchurch Hospital during a lockdown on March 15, 2019 in Christchurch. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889882.1552637280!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014273973001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/world/christchurch-shootings-how-the-new-zealand-mosque-attacks-unfolded-1-4889894","id":"1.4889894","articleHeadline": "Christchurch shootings: How the New Zealand mosque attacks unfolded","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552646197000 ,"articleLead": "

Forty nine people have been killed in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889867.1552999696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police at the scene. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE: Christchurch mosque shootings: 49 dead in ‘unprecedented’ New Zealand terror attack

READ MORE: Christchurch shooting: ‘Beyond awful’, Nicola Sturgeon and world react to terror attack

Here is how the tragedy unfolded:

-Friday March 15, 1.40pm local time (12.40am GMT): Police respond to reports of shots fired in central Christchurch.

People are urged to stay indoors and report any suspicious behaviour.

Shortly afterwards, all schools in the city are placed into lockdown.

-2.30pm: Police describe it as an “active shooter” situation.

-4pm: New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush says there have been “multiple fatalities” at two locations - both mosques in Christchurch.

He adds that one person has been taken into custody, but warns it is unclear if more than one person is involved, or if any other locations are under threat.

Police urge all mosques across New Zealand to shut their doors and advise people to refrain from visiting them until further notice.

New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern calls it “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.

5.30pm: Mr Bush says three men and one woman are in custody over the shootings.

A short time later, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison confirms one of the people arrested is an Australian citizen.

7.30pm: Ms Ardern says 40 people are believed to have died in the shootings, while more than 20 are seriously injured.

She says the offender is in custody, adding: “I can give that assurance, he has been apprehended. He is also accompanied by two other associates.”

Asked about the attackers not being on intelligence agency watchlists, she says it is an indication they “had not acted in a way that warranted it”.

9pm: Police Commissioner Bush tells a press conference that the death toll has risen to 49 and one person charged with murder.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889867.1552999696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889867.1552999696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Police at the scene. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police at the scene. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889867.1552999696!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6014273973001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/another-brexit-referendum-would-be-unfair-says-donald-trump-1-4889664","id":"1.4889664","articleHeadline": "Another Brexit referendum would be unfair, says Donald Trump","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552580265000 ,"articleLead": "

President Donald Trump said he was surprised how badly Brexit has been handled and warned that another referendum would be “unfair”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889662.1552580261!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Donald Trump with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the White House in Washington D.C. during his visit to the US. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Speaking in the Oval Office alongside Irish premier Leo Varadkar, Mr Trump said Brexit was “tearing a lot of countries apart”.

The president, who earlier set out his hopes for a “large scale” US-UK trade deal, added that “I’m not sure anybody knows” what was happening with Brexit.

Mr Trump was speaking in the Oval Office after greeting Mr Varadkar.

“It’s a very complex thing right now, it’s tearing a country apart, it’s actually tearing a lot of countries apart and it’s a shame it has to be that way but I think we will stay right in our lane,” Mr Trump said.

The US president again claimed Theresa May had ignored his advice on how to handle the talks.

The Prime Minister has previously revealed that Mr Trump told her to “sue the EU” and “not go into negotiations”.

Mr Trump said: “I’m surprised at how badly it’s all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation. I gave the Prime Minister my ideas on how to negotiate it and I think you would have been successful.

• READ MORE: Six reasons why Brexit Britain can’t trust Donald Trump – Henry McLeish

“She didn’t listen to that and that’s fine - she’s got to do what she’s got to do.

“I think it could have been negotiated in a different manner, frankly. I hate to see everything being ripped apart now.”

On the prospect of another referendum, he said: “I don’t think another vote would be possible because it would be very unfair to the people that won. They’d say ‘What do you mean, you’re going to take another vote?’ So that would be tough.

“I thought it would happen, it did happen, and both sides are very, very cemented in. It’s a tough situation. It’s a shame.

“There was no reason for that to happen. They could have had the vote and it should have gone smoothly and unfortunately it didn’t.”

With MPs considering seeking to extend Article 50, the US president said Brexit was likely to be delayed.

“I think they are probably going to have to do something because right now they are in the midst of a very short period of time - the end of the month - and they are not going to be able to do that.”

Mr Trump said he would like to see the “whole situation with Brexit work out”, adding “we are talking with them about trade and we can do a very big trade deal with the UK”.

Turning to Mr Varadkar, he said: “Leo, I’m sure you agree on that. Would you like to express your feelings on Brexit? Maybe I shouldn’t let you do it, I’ll just get you in trouble.”

Mr Varadkar replied: “We have a different opinion, Mr President. I regret that Brexit’s happening.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889662.1552580261!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889662.1552580261!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "President Donald Trump with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the White House in Washington D.C. during his visit to the US. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Donald Trump with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the White House in Washington D.C. during his visit to the US. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889662.1552580261!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5750681308001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.scotsman.com/news/world/is-facebook-down-social-media-users-experience-issues-with-facebook-and-instagram-1-4889008","id":"1.4889008","articleHeadline": "Is Facebook down? Social media users experience issues with Facebook and Instagram","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1552549711000 ,"articleLead": "

Facebook was down last night down with people all around the globe having difficulty accessing the world’s largest social network.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4865217.1552549433!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Facebook and Instagram have been experiencing issues today. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

According to the website Down Detector, the most common problems being reported are total blackout and log in issues.

When some users try to post they are met with an error message.

Others are greeted with an error on the log in screen which states: “Facebook will be back soon.

“Facebook is down for required maintenance right now, but you should be able to get back on within a few minutes.”

The issue lasted all evening but has now been resolved.

Yesterday, thousands took to Twitter to report the outage.

One user tweeted: “So it seems that @Facebook is having a meltdown at the moment.”

Photo sharing network Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, also experienced loading problems.

Facebook confirmed the outages in a statement on Twitter: “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps,a Facebook spokesperson said in an email.

Facebook hasn’t revealed what caused the outage, but it said in a tweet Wednesday that it wasn’t because of a cyberattack known as a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack where hackers try to crash a site by flooding it with too much traffic.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4865217.1552549433!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4865217.1552549433!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Facebook and Instagram have been experiencing issues today. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Facebook and Instagram have been experiencing issues today. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4865217.1552549433!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4889006.1552498087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4889006.1552498087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A Facebook loading error message.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Facebook loading error message.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4889006.1552498087!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"6001719322001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}