Re-appeal in hunt for teen over ‘coronavirus cough attack’

The woman was left 'distressed and fearful' after the incident took place last Friday.

Police have issued a re-appeal for information in a bid to catch a teenager who coughed on a health worker and told her she would catch coronavirus.

The incident took place last Friday when the woman was driving along the road between Inchmarlo Golf Course and Brathen Wood in Banchory at around 1.40pm.

She stopped her car after seeing a boy waving for her attention but when she pulled over he coughed directly in her face and said she would catch coronavirus.

The boy, who was aged between 13 and 16, then ran off into the woods laughing.

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Police are treating the incident as assault and are keen to trace the youngster.

The boy is described as being around 5ft6 with a slim build and speaking in a local accent.

He was wearing a light grey hoodie, a black jacket and black or dark blue joggers and is believed to have joined a group of other youths after running off.

Officers are keen to speak to speak to anyone who may have seen a group of teenagers near to Brathens woods on the road between Banchory and Torphins, known locally as the Glassel Road, around the time of the assault, or before or after the incident.

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In particular they would like to speak to a young person who was seen around an hour after the assault on a black BMX type bike wearing a black full face helmet as he may be able to help with enquiries.

Drivers who were on the road at the time have also been urged to check any dash-cam footage they may have and residents in and around the woods are asked to check their residential CCTV before and after the time of the incident.

Sergeant Garry Garrow said: “This was more than just a prank, it left the woman distressed and fearful. Anyone who knows who any of these youths are should get in touch immediately.

“I would like to thank those who have already contacted us with information.

“Banchory is a great community and when something like this occurs, everyone feels it. This behaviour was despicable and in the current climate, absolutely unacceptable.

“There may be members of the community who know the person responsible, and we appeal to them to assist with our ongoing investigation. Anyone with information should call Police Scotland on 101.”


Two men charged over death of cyclist who disappeared four years ago

Tony Parsons' remains were discovered more than three years after he disappeared.

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Police: Tony Parsons' remains were discovered more than three years after he disappeared.

Two men have been arrested and charged in connection with the death of a cyclist who disappeared more than four years ago.

Anthony Parsons, also known as Tony, travelled from his home in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, to Fort William in the Highlands for a charity cycle on September 29, 2017, but failed to return home.

The 63-year-old former Navy petty officer travelled south on the A82 and was last seen on October 2 at around 11.30pm outside the Bridge of Orchy Hotel, Argyll and Bute.

On January 12 this year, specialist search officers, supported by forensic scientists, discovered his remains in a remote area of ground close to a farm near the A82 at Bridge of Orchy.

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On Thursday, Police Scotland confirmed that two 29-year-old men had been arrested and charged in connection with Mr Parsons’ death.

The suspects are due to appear at Dumbarton Sheriff Court in West Dunbartonshire later on Thursday.

Detective inspector John McFall, of the Major Investigations Team and who led the inquiry team, said: “I would like to offer my thanks to the local community for all their help and assistance throughout this investigation and to those who came forward with significant information.”

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Family of mother who died after M9 crash awarded more than £1m

Lamara Bell died in hospital after lying undiscovered at side of motorway for three days.

Police Scotland
John Yuill and Lamara Bell died after their car left the M9 near Stirling.

The family of a young mother who died after lying undiscovered in a car for days following a crash on the M9 has been awarded more than £1m in damages.

Lamara Bell and her partner John Yuill both died after their car left the motorway near Stirling on July 5, 2015.

Despite a call being made to police, it took three days for the force to respond and when officers finally arrived at the scene, Yuill was found to be dead while Bell died four days later in hospital.

In a statement, the Bell family said: “Imagine chasing answers, recognition and justice for six years and all you get is silence then in the space of three months you get a conviction and a civil settlement – it is fair say our thoughts and feelings are all over the place right now.

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“Our pain and loss won’t stop just because the legal proceedings are over but there is at least a sense of peace that comes with their conclusion.

“But that peace is fleeting because ultimately we are still without Lamara.

“We are without a daughter and sister and her children are without a mother – such an outcome cannot, and should not ever, go unheeded in a fair society and we are glad to finally have attained that which we sought.

“We’d like to thank our friends, family, community and legal team for all their support but now we really would like to be left alone as we look to the future.”

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Police Scotland was fined £100,000 earlier this year after admitting failings which “materially contributed” to the deaths of Bell and Yuill.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard in September that Bell would probably have survived had she had been found sooner.

Delivering the sentence, Lord Beckett said: “This case arose from terrible events in which two relatively young people died, one of them after days of severe physical suffering when she must have been in an almost unimaginable state of anxiety.

“As days and hours went by she must have been in a state of disbelief that no help arose.”

Lord Beckett said it was “unprecedented” for the police service of Scotland to have been accused and convicted in the High Court.

The office of the Chief Constable of Police Scotland admitted it failed to ensure that people, including Yuill and Bell, were not exposed to risks to their health and safety by failing to provide an “adequate and reliable call-handling system” between April 1 2013 and March 1 2016.

It also failed to ensure the system was “not vulnerable to unacceptable risks arising from human error” and to ensure that all relevant information reported by members of the public was recorded on a Police Scotland IT system so that it could be considered and a police response provided where appropriate.

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The force admitted that as a result, members of the public were exposed to risks to their health and safety and, in particular, on July 5, 2015, a police officer at the force call-handling centre at Bilston Glen Service Centre failed to record a phone call from a member of the public reporting that a vehicle was at the bottom of an embankment at the side of the eastbound junction nine slip road from the M80 on to the M9.

The phone call was not recorded on any Police Scotland IT system and no action was taken.

The force admitted Bell and Yuill remained “unaided and exposed to the elements” in the car between July 5 and 8, 2015, and that the failings “materially contributed” to Bell’s death on July 12 that year at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

The force pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

David Nellaney, Partner at Digby Brown, added: “The Bell family has endured things very few people could ever comprehend but the patience, resilience and compassion they have shown at all times cannot be understated.

“It is unfortunate Police Scotland did not admit its failings sooner as it might have spared them unnecessary distress but at least we do now have a conclusion and the Bells can rightly focus on themselves and times ahead.”


Military deployed to help in aftermath of Storm Arwen

Around 120 troops will 'focus on welfare checks on the ground' in communities still impacted by loss of power.

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Storm Arwen uprooted trees and ripped down power lines.

More than 100 soldiers are being deployed to assist people still without power in Aberdeenshire following the devastation caused by Storm Arwen.

Troops will start arriving in affected communities on Thursday morning after the local authority made a formal approach to the UK Government requesting assistance.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has reconnected more than 120,000 customers following “catastrophic damage” caused by Friday’s storm, and hoped to restore power to an additional 2500 homes overnight.

The majority of those still without supply are in rural communities in areas including Aberdeenshire, Moray, Angus, Perthshire and Stirlingshire.

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A spokesperson for Aberdeenshire Council said around 120 military personnel are due to arrive in the area “to support our ongoing resilience efforts in the aftermath of Storm Arwen”.  

The spokesperson added: “The troops will focus on welfare checks on the ground within those communities still impacted by loss of power and will supplement what our own teams have been doing since the weekend.  

“We continue to appreciate all the wonderful examples of community assistance which continue to be evident across the region – whether it be supplies of hot food and drinks, checking on elderly residents and neighbours or helping to deliver supplies.  

“Thank you for your all your endeavours and rest assured we continue to work tirelessly to provide the support our communities require at this challenging time.”

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SSEN has said it will reimburse all reasonable accommodation costs for any customer unable to make alternative arrangements.

Customers unable to access the company’s welfare facilities for free hot food and drinks can also claim the cost of takeaways or meals from local establishments, up to £15 per person.

Chris Burchell, SSEN managing director, described Storm Arwen as a “once in a generation extreme weather event” and said the company was doing all it could to restore power “as quickly as possible”.

He added: “As our teams continue to make good progress repairing and restoring the high voltage network in what remains very challenging conditions, we are increasingly turning our focus to the low voltage network, which serves single or groups of homes, often in rural and isolated communities.

“Whilst the low voltage network only serves a fraction of the customers the high voltage network supplies, the repairs required to restore power are just as challenging and complex, which in some cases will require the rebuild of entire sections of overhead line.

“We therefore encourage all customers who remain off supply, particularly where overhead network infrastructure supplies single or small groups of houses, to consider making alternative arrangements.

“This includes our enhanced welfare provisions, with our teams proactively contacting customers to help coordinate support where possible.”

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‘Right to die when I want would be the greatest gift of all’

Kay Smith is terminally ill and backs a change in the law to allow assisted dying.

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“It would be the greatest gift that the people of Scotland could give to those whose voices are not being heard.”

Kay Smith is talking about the right to die at a time of her choosing, surrounded by her family and having said a proper goodbye.

The 57-year-old used to relish adventure, with a passion for scuba diving in exotic locations around the world, but she is now living with a range of debilitating illnesses and her life has changed beyond recognition. 

Kay’s medical notes describe “multiple comorbidities” – she has an extreme form of lupus, which attacks the immune system and has led to other complicated conditions, including peripheral artery disease and diabetes.

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Also allergic to painkillers, she expects to die from sepsis, or blood poisoning, which can be caused by lupus.

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Kay Smith is passionate about ending her life on her own terms.

Having seen so many deaths in her career as a palliative care nurse, she’s passionate about ending her life on her own terms and is backing a change to the law that would allow assisted dying.

“I have daughters, I have my husband, I have my grandchildren, I don’t want to watch them watch me suffer and die from sepsis, because it’s a horrendous way to die,” Kay, from Kilwinning, tells Thursday night’s episode of STV current affairs show Scotland Tonight.

“The public has to realise that [if] the law’s passed, it doesn’t mean to say you use it. It’s a personal choice, but in choosing, it gives you peace of mind and allows you to live the best life you can until that moment arrives.

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“And that to me is priceless, I could have quality time with my family and be able to say my goodbyes.  

“As a nurse and as a person in my situation [a change in the law] will be sheer and utter relief.” 

A third attempt to legalise assisted dying, this time drafted by Liberal Democrats MSP Liam McArthur, is currently going through its consultation stage.

His proposal argues that terminally ill, mentally competent adults should be able to access “safe and compassionate dying if they choose, rather than face a prolonged and painful death”. It says the proposal aims to “complement palliative care”. 

‘Improve end-of-life care instead’

But opponents say that rather than change the law, palliative care should be improved to help those at the end of their lives.  

Dr Gillian Wright is part of Our Duty of Care, an organisation made up of healthcare workers who are opposed to assisted dying laws. 

The group has written a letter to health secretary Humza Yousaf, outlining their main concerns. 

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“Our principal concerns are for vulnerable members of society, particularly those who are disabled, those who are terminally ill, those who are depressed,” says Dr Wright, a former palliative care doctor.

“It’s a huge thing for doctors to change from preserving life to taking life, and that’s the fundamental objection we have.

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Dr Gillian Wright is among medics opposed to assisted dying.

“We felt it was really important that there was a clear medical voice of opposition against assisted dying.

“And rather than say to people when you’re giving them a terminal diagnosis that the state would help them take their own life, we should as a society be backing really excellent palliative care research.”  

Dr Wright says there are concerns that if a law is passed, the legislation could be extended in the future and believes vulnerable patients would be most at risk. 

“If you look at an example such as Canada, they introduced legislation similar to what he is proposing – for terminally ill, mentally competent adults – but already, within five years, it has been challenged in the courts for being discriminatory,” she says.

“I think the current law [in Scotland] is the safeguard, it is the protection of the vulnerable. I would be really concerned for patients such as dementia, for children, for adolescents that we would be in a situation where we can’t come back from.”

Scotland Tonight is on STV and the STV Player at 7.30pm on Thursday, December 2.


White nationalist who threatened to set fire to mosque jailed

Sam Imrie from Fife was sentenced to seven and a half years for terrorist offences on Thursday.

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Jailed: Sam Imrie sentenced to seven and a half years for terrorist offences.

A white nationalist who idolised right-wing mass killers and hated Muslims has been jailed for a total of seven and a half years for terrorist offences.

On Thursday, Sam Imrie was sentenced at the High Court in Glasgow for what a judge described as the “despicable spreading of hate”.

The 24-year-old had been arrested in July 2019 after he posted messages on social media saying he was planning to set fire to the Fife Islamic Centre in Glenrothes.

Police discovered he had been “glorifying” murderers online – including terrorist Anders Brevik, who slaughtered 77 people in Norway in 2011.

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Officers also seized a terrifying arsenal of weapons at his home in Glenrothes consisting of knives, a hammer, nunchucks, an axe and a rifle scope.

Imrie was convicted of two charges of breaching the terrorism act, wilful fire raising, possessing child and “extreme” pornography and drink-driving following a trial in Edinburgh in October.

Lord Mulholland told him: “You posted on a neo-Nazi chatroom your hatred of Muslim, Jews, black people and refugees.

“You revered neo-Nazi and white supremacists. You lauded their crimes against innocent people.

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“You were spreading hate and encouraging others to take terrorist action that you pretended you had.

“Your conduct was despicable. You have no understanding or self-awareness of the hatred that you tried to spread.

“Many Muslims died fighting for the alliance in World War Two for the freedoms that you enjoyed.

“I hope you take advantage of your time in custody to remove the hatred from your heart.”

Imrie showed no emotion as he was led back to the cells, other than to wave to his mother in the public benches.

Jurors heard how Imrie was a loner and had developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after being assaulted when he was younger.

He became “steeped” in right-wing ideology and started to “hate” Muslims after looking at extremist content on websites such as 8Chan and messaging app Telegram.

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Imrie posted online: “All my heroes are mass murderers.”

His Snapchat username was “N*****killer1488”.

As well as idolising Brevik, Imrie was also fascinated with Brenton Tarrant, who killed Muslims praying at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in March 2019.

Imrie was said to have wanted Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon “to die” because of her attitudes to immigration.

His arrest came after the Metropolitan Police in London infiltrated the “FashWave Artists” group on Telegram, on which Imrie posted messages, images, videos and gifs.

He had posted a series of messages claiming he was going to “burn down” a mosque and live stream it.

The Met contacted Police Scotland and Imrie was held in early July 2019.

The trial heard he went to the Islamic Centre in Glenrothes, but did not do anything.

Imrie instead went to dilapidated Strathmore Lodge, in Thornton, Fife, and set fire to a doorway. 

He filmed it and claimed to the group it was a mosque or Islamic centre.

Jurors heard he ended up being “ridiculed” by the online audience.

Imrie had denied the crimes. It was claimed his comments were a joke and that he was not serious about torching a mosque.

But, he was convicted of a terrorism charge of making statements on Telegram and Facebook which encouraged acts of terrorism.

A second charge stated Imrie made a “record of information” which would be useful to somebody who was committing acts of terrorism.

He was acquitted of a terrorism charge which stated that he engaged in conduct in “preparation” of terrorism acts.

Police also confiscated a USB stick from Imrie. The images contained “extreme” pornographic images, which he was further convicted of.

Jim Keegan QC, defending, said: “He wrote to his mother to apologise for his behaviour.

“He gave evidence during the trial…he accepts his behaviour was inappropriate, stupid, vile.”

Imrie was also put on the sex offenders list for ten years.

He was also given a five-year serious crime prevention order designed to tackle and monitor criminals when they are freed.


Scotland’s tenth Omicron case has no ‘direct link’ to previous nine

All previous known cases of the latest coronavirus variant were all connected to a single event held on November 20.

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Coronavirus: Ten people have tested for positive for the Omicron variant in Scotland.

Scotland has recorded a tenth positive Omicron case which has no direct link to the previous nine, the government confirmed.

All previous known cases of the latest coronavirus variant were connected to a single event held on November 20.

On Thursday Public Health Scotland revealed a new case has been identified in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde region.

All known cases so far have come within the Lanarkshire and Greater Glasgow areas.

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Close contacts of suspected Omicron cases will be advised to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The individual affected is in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area and while there is no direct link with the event on the 20th November which connected the previous nine cases, investigations are ongoing.

“As First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told parliament on Tuesday, it was already suspected that some degree of community transmission of this variant was taking place in Scotland.

“However, there is no indication as yet that transmission of the new variant is either sustained or widespread.

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“Public Health Scotland is working hard to identify any and all cases of Omicron in Scotland as quickly as possible.

“This enhanced surveillance gives us the best possible chance of identifying cases quickly, breaking transmission chains and containing spread while we learn more about this variant.”

The Scottish Government said that vaccination is the “most important line of defence” and also urged people to comply “rigorously” with all the protections currently in place to stem transmission.

The First Minister has said she is not asking people to put Christmas plans on hold at the moment following the emergence of the Omicron variant but she urged people to take a lateral flow test before mixing with other households.

Booster vaccinations are being extended to all those aged 18 and the interval between the second and third dose is being cut from six to three months after a recommendation from the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.


Drug that could tackle Omicron variant approved by UK regulators

Xevudy has been found to cut hospital admission and death by 79% in those at risk.

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Omicron: New drug could tackle variant.

A drug treatment which, the makers say, works against the new Omicron variant of Covid-19, has been approved by UK regulators.

Xevudy (sotrovimab), made by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has been found to cut hospital admission and death by 79% in those at risk.

The monoclonal antibody has been authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for people with mild to moderate Covid-19 who are at high risk of developing severe disease.

It comes as GSK and Vir Biotechnology said preclinical data shows the drug “retains activity against key mutations of the new Omicron Sars-CoV-2 variant”.

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The UK Government has ordered around 100,000 doses of the drug.

George Scangos, chief executive of Vir, said: “Sotrovimab was deliberately designed with a mutating virus in mind.

“By targeting a highly conserved region of the spike protein that is less likely to mutate, we hoped to address both the current Sars-CoV-2 virus and future variants that we expected would be inevitable.

“This hypothesis has borne out again and again, with its ongoing ability to maintain activity against all tested variants of concern and interest to date, including key mutations found in Omicron, as demonstrated by preclinical data.

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“We have every expectation that this positive trend will continue and are working rapidly to confirm its activity against the full combination sequence of Omicron.”

The drug is the second monoclonal antibody treatment to be approved by the MHRA following Ronapreve.

The body said the drug works by binding to the spike protein on the outside of the Covid-19 virus.

This in turn prevents the virus from attaching to and entering human cells, so it cannot replicate in the body.

Based on the clinical trial data, the drug is most effective when taken during the early stages of infection.

As a result, the MHRA said it should be given as soon as possible and within five days of symptoms starting.

The drug has been approved for people who have mild to moderate Covid-19 infection and at least one risk factor for developing severe illness.

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These include obesity, being 60 or over, diabetes or heart disease.

Xevudy is administered by intravenous infusion over 30 minutes and is approved for people aged 12 and over.

The MHRA said it was working with the company to establish effectiveness against Omicron.

Dr June Raine, MHRA chief executive, said: “This is yet another therapeutic that has been shown to be effective at protecting those most vulnerable to Covid-19 and signals another significant step forward in our fight against this devastating disease.”

Government secures 114 million Covid jabs for future booster campaigns

The deals include access to modified vaccines if they are needed to combat Omicron and future variants of concern.

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Vaccination experts advising the Government have expressed preference for the mRNA vaccines – Pfizer and Moderna.

Covid-19 vaccines for potential booster campaigns in the next two years have been secured by ministers.

Some scientists have suggested that Covid-19 will need to be kept at bay with repeated vaccination campaigns while others have said it is too early to tell whether annual boosters will be needed.

While there is uncertainty over the need for future campaigns, the Government announced that it has signed deals for 114 million Moderna and Pfizer jabs which will be delivered in 2022 and 2023.

Health secretary Sajid Javid said the deals “future proof” the country’s vaccine programme.

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They include 60 million additional doses of the Moderna vaccine and 54 million more Pfizer/BioNTech doses.

The Department of Health and Social Care said the deals include access to modified vaccines if they are needed to combat Omicron and future variants of concern.

It said the new deals are in addition to 35 million additional doses of Pfizer/BioNTech ordered in August for delivery in the second half of next year, and the 60 million Novavax and 7.5 million GSK/Sanofi doses expected in 2022.

The department said the Government already has enough supply of both Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech for the expanded booster programme.

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It comes after officials announced that all adults in the UK would be offered a booster shot before the end of January amid growing concerns about the Omicron variant.

Vaccination experts advising the Government have expressed preference for the mRNA vaccines – Pfizer and Moderna.

Trial data suggests booster doses are generally well tolerated and provide a substantial increase in vaccine-induced immune responses, in particular, and that mRNA vaccines provide a strong booster effect.

Javid said: “Thanks to the Vaccines Taskforce, we have an excellent track record of securing the vaccines the country needs to keep this virus at bay.

“These new deals will future proof the Great British vaccination effort – which has so far delivered more than 115 million first, second and booster jabs across the UK – and will ensure we can protect even more people in the years ahead.

“This is a national mission and our best weapon to deal with this virus and its variants is to get jabs in arms – so when you are called forward, get the jab and get boosted.”

But the announcement comes as global health leaders have questioned the UK’s booster campaign.

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Dr Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organisation’s health emergencies programme, said he is not aware of any evidence that would suggest offering booster jabs to the entire population gives any greater protection to healthy people.

Asked about the acceleration of the UK’s booster programme, he told a press briefing: “It’s tough for some countries who have huge amounts of excess vaccine to decide who to give it to, but that’s not the problem being faced by a lot of countries around the world who can’t get even primary vaccination to their most vulnerable, so it’s a luxurious position to be in if you’re in a position to be able to have enough vaccine to do that.”

He added: “The primary objective, I think of all governments, now must be, in the face of Delta and Omicron and others, is to ensure that all vulnerable individuals, people of older age, people with underlying conditions, are immediately offered the vaccine to ensure that everyone has had at least a primary course of vaccine.

“There are others here who can better answer than me regarding the benefits of a booster regarding other variants, but right now there is no evidence that I’m aware of that would suggest that boosting the entire population is going to necessarily provide any greater protection for otherwise healthy individuals against hospitalisation or death.

“The real risk of severe disease, hospitalisation, and death lies in particularly at risk and vulnerable individuals who do require protection against all variants of Covid-19.”


Plan to revive former fabrication site to create 4500 jobs

Ardersier Port, near Inverness, could become a hub for manufacturing offshore wind turbine parts.

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The plans include a floating wind manufacturing hub for concrete foundations.

Plans to build floating wind turbines by recycling redundant oil platforms could create 4500 jobs in the Highlands.

The project would breathe life into the former fabrication yard at Ardersier near Inverness.

Work is due to get underway in the next fortnight beginning with dredging along the 400-acre site’s banks on the Moray Firth coastline at a cost of £20m.

Some 2.5 million cubic metres of sand – equivalent to 1000 Olympic swimming pools – will be removed.

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Ardersier Port co-owner Steve Regan.
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A new slipway will be created along with a £300m steel mill and a concrete production plant.

The plans include a floating wind manufacturing hub for concrete foundations.

About 300 people will be employed locally for early construction work on the UK’s largest brownfield port.

Ardersier Port co-owner Steve Regan acknowledged that a disproportionate number of jobs connected with UK renewables construction contracts had previously gone abroad.

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He said: “The UK, and it’s been widely documented, missed the last opportunity. We have another opportunity now.

“As a country, we have our ten-point plan for industrial revolution. We’re developing the right projects, the floating wind projects as an example. And, in Ardersier, we have a place where we can physically undertake the work.”

The project is a joint initiative by Ardersier Port’s joint owners, Mr Regan and Tony O’Sullivan, and floating wind specialists BW Ideol.

The partners will recycle dredged sand as aggregate for concrete production, recycle steel from decommissioned oil rigs as reinforcement for concrete floating wind foundations and generate energy from waste.

The steel mill – the UK’s first for 50 years – will be powered by energy from existing offshore wind turbines.

Mr Regan said the initial outlay is private finance but that public funding would be sought at a later stage.

The site – previously McDermott’s – employed more than 4000 people in the 1970s and 80s.

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Senior Highland councillor Jimmy Gray, a union leader who worked at the yard as a welder between 1975 and 2000, is optimistic the fresh investment will result in Scotland getting a bigger slice of the renewables cake in terms of jobs and financial return.

He said: “We have the yard, we’ve got the skills base. And we’re seeing many of the structures that are going now for renewables offshore and all the structures onshore being done elsewhere.

“It’s quite incredible to think that opportunities are being missed.”

Community leaders in the area are watching closely.

Local Highland councillor Trish Robertson said: “It’s badly needed. It will mean good, well paid jobs.

“They’re telling me that they won’t be short-term contracts, they’ll be full-time contracts. It all sounds very, very positive.

“Their aim is to have nothing moved off-site, so there will be no waste from the site. Everything will be re-used. That’s a huge ambition and I’m all in favour of it.”


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