Elderly could be asked to drastically reduce social contact

STV political editor Colin Mackay reports from a media briefing with the First Minister this morning.

Coronavirus: Sturgeon says all UK governments working closely. Getty
Coronavirus: Sturgeon says all UK governments working closely.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says the UK governments are discussing social distancing proposals for over-70s which could advise them to greatly reduce their social contact.

On the future of mass gatherings, Nicola Sturgeon warned current guidance to cancel indoor and outdoor events of more than 500 people could be extended to lower figures in days to come.

Asked if her expectations were that the guidance would last for three to four months, she said: “For the foreseeable future, yes ,and potentially longer than that.” 

I asked if that meant we were “essentially looking at the end of the football season?” She answered: “Yeah.”

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She said her father was an avid Ayr Utd supporter and that football fans “understand the importance of doing the right thing here to protect the population”. She also made clear that the guidance covering gatherings of more than 500 could be extended to cover smaller gatherings in future.

On schools, the Scottish Government is not preparing to close all of them. Again, they point out that if they do, it could be for as long as three to four months.

The chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood said the scientific evidence is that children are “not very severely affected” by the coronavirus and are “not going to be hospitalised in large numbers”.

She said if it takes three months to suppress the the spread of the virus it would be impossible to stop young people gathering for that long, so closing schools would be ineffective.

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The First Minister said there would be ad-hoc closures like we are already seeing but added the Scottish Government is not ruling out a blanket approach at a later stage. She did promise to “give people as much notice as possible when schools are to close”.

On care homes, health secretary Jeane Freeman said she was in talks with councils who were looking at redeploying some of their staff to help out in the care sector. She also said NHS Scotland has ordered about 700 more ventilators to help treat the most serious cases of corona virus in hospitals.

One of the biggest changes right now is the way the government collects figures on the spread of the virus. So far, the numbers have been based on positive tests on people in hospital and showing symptoms of the virus.

From now they will still test anyone being treated in hospital but the daily figures will be estimates based on survey figures from 200 GP practices around Scotland.

Every year NHS Scotland does this sampling in 41 GP practices to estimate the spread of winter flu – that covers around 240,000 patients. Extending the number to 200 GP practices will increase the sample size to 1.2 million patients.

They won’t all be tested but samples will – it will work very much like opinion polling in elections. The First Minister believes it will give a much more accurate picture of the spread of the virus around Scotland than the previous system which may have underestimated numbers.

Firm numbers will still be given on deaths. Key NHS workers will also be tested for the virus to make sure they are fit to work on the frontline.

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On herd immunity, Nicola Sturgeon said it was not UK policy to achieve it. She said it would be a by-product of people getting the virus but the Scottish Government’s main aim is to reduce the impact of coronavirus and save lives.

Asked why the UK was not following the actions of other foreign governments in closing down schools, cafes and restaurants; the First Minister insisted she was following the scientific advice and said Scotland was already taking very significant steps in telling people with symptoms to stay at home for 7 days.

She said these are not easy judgements and this crisis is unprecedented and she is not ruling anything out.   

On a more positive note, the chief medical officer said she hopes there will be a vaccine against coronavirus by this time next year.

Rail strikes during COP26 off after deal struck with RMT union

Scottish Government and ScotRail reach settlement with union in dispute over pay and conditons.

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Strike action has been averted during COP26.

A deal has been done to avert ScotRail train staff striking during the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow.

The one-year deal includes a 2.5% pay rise agreed between the RMT union, ScotRail and the Scottish Government.

World leaders and thousands of delegates are set to arrive in Glasgow for the United Nations climate summit, but the 13-day event has been threatened with disruption caused by rail strikes.

The deal will see strike action during the summit averted, as well as the end of long-running strike action that has affected Sunday services.

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The RMT set out its final negotiating position earlier on Wednesday ahead of a 5pm deadline.

In a letter sent to union members after Wednesday evening’s talks, RMT general secretary Michael Lynch said: “I can advise you that subsequent negotiations have been held and that your union made a counter offer to ScotRail.

“By accepting the offer all industrial action is now cancelled and I instruct you all to work normally on the days you had previously been instructed to take action on.”

The new terms accept the union’s call for a 2.5% pay rise backdated to April and a “Cop26 payment” for all staff of £300.

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A three-hour book on allowance applied to each rest day worked, applicable for 12 months from the date of the agreement, is also included.

Lynch said the union’s offer was accepted “unanimously” by delegates.

His letter added: “It was noted that it was only through the tremendous determination of you and your colleagues throughout this dispute, through the efforts of your representatives, activists and negotiators that this result was achieved.

“The AGM congratulates you and I congratulate you on achieving this magnificent industrial victory and gaining a one-year pay deal and rest day working agreement without any preconditions and which banishes the previously stated productivity strings attached.”

Earlier this week, Scotland’s transport minister Graeme Dey warned he was “not optimistic” that a resolution would be reached with the RMT before the 5pm deadline.

He was facing calls to quit if a deal could not be reached to prevent the strike during Cop26.

In response to the recent announcement, Dey said: “Following recent discussions we are pleased that all four trade unions have now agreed to accept this very good pay offer on behalf of their members.

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“We are proud to have brokered and funded a deal which gives Scotland’s rail workers a decent pay rise and improved terms and conditions, in contrast to conditions for rail workers under the UK Government.

“We are also pleased that the RMT reached out to restart discussions based on the offer that had been made to them on Sunday. Now an agreement has been confirmed the strike action will thankfully now come to an end.

“As well as getting the pay rise they deserve, railway workers can now go back to delivering rail services for people right across Scotland and as well as for those attending COP26.

Three other unions representing rail workers – Aslef, Unite and the TSSA – had already accepted a deal put on the table.

Ian McConnell, ScotRail chief operating officer, said: “We have reached a pay agreement with the RMT trade union that resolves strike action. We look forward to Scotland’s railway playing its part in delivering a successful COP26 next week.”

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Widower opens up about the pain of losing wife to breast cancer

Andy Mackenzie's partner, Elaine, died three years after she was diagnosed, aged 61.

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An East Dunbartonshire man is opening up on the pain of losing his wife to breast cancer – a year on from her death.

Andy Mackenzie’s partner, Elaine, who was a cancer research scientist, died three years after she was diagnosed, aged 61.

The mum had spent three decades analysing the disease at The Beatson Institute in Glasgow.

“It was so difficult for us as a family because my wife Elaine had been a cancer research scientist at the Beatson Institute for over 30 years,” Mr Mackenzie told STV News.

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“In 2017, not long before she was due to retire, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Both Elaine and I knew the numbers, we knew the stats from Elaine’s work. The stats are good but unfortunately Elaine was one of the unlucky ones, but that’s why I say you have to stay positive.”

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Sorely missed: Elaine Mackenzie was a cancer research scientist.

In January 2020, a second inoperable tumour was found in Mrs Mackenzie’s brain. She was treated at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre but later died in October of that year.

Last week, on October 22, Mr Mackenzie completed a 22-mile charity walk in her memory as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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His trek started at his home in Milton of Campsie. He then headed through the area his wife grew up, to the place she worked before then returning to his house.

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Fundraiser: Andy Mackenzie has raised more than £2600 for Breast Cancer Now.

Mr Mackenzie has currently raised more than £2600.

All of the funds will go towards Breast Cancer Now, which aims to ensure that by 2050, everyone who develops the illness will live.

Around 55,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK every year. In Scotland it impacts around 4800.


Climate heroes: How ‘Ant Boy’ got the bug to help save the world

Meet the green-minded Scots doing their bit to improve the world around them.

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While tens of thousands of delegates try to thrash out a deal to avoid climate catastrophe at COP26 in Glasgow, many more will be watching on carefully.

Among them will be green-minded Scots doing their bit to preserve and improve the world around them.

So who are these climate heroes on our doorsteps? STV current affairs show Scotland Tonight has been finding out.

Xander the Ant Boy

Xander Johnston, 15, moved to the Cairngorms six years ago with his family. After attending an event about ants at the National Park, he got the bug and started learning more about the importance of insects to the environment.

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Scotland Tonight met him at the park, where the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the RSPB-led Rare Invertebrates in the Cairngorms are releasing more than 3000 rare pine hoverfly larvae this month, in an attempt to bring the species back from the edge of extinction.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Xander. “Being part of something like this is groundbreaking.

“Insects are the ones pollinating plants, so we get the food that we like to eat. They turn up the ground so the trees get the nutrients they need to give us oxygen.

“And, most importantly, they are a massive food source for many other species. The pine hoverfly is a step in the right direction to bring back one species – we have hundreds more to go.”

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Once the student, Xander has now become the master and shares all his knowledge on his YouTube channel.

“My main thought process is trying to share my knowledge, trying to get others involved in not just volunteering, but changing things about their lifestyle,” the teenager said. “Just getting them involved, getting them knowing things, fun facts.

“We have lots of different videos there – from how to build homemade moth traps on a budget and, of course, videos about ants, as that is where my nickname Ant Boy comes from.

“We’ve really tried to broadcast everything we know and all the hard work that people like me and all the volunteers are doing.”

Naomi the cargo biker

Carbon emissions are among the most harmful pollutants for our planet, contributing to global warming and the quality of the air we breathe.

One local project seeking to tackle this is the Cargo Bike Movement in Edinburgh. The initiative, run by volunteers like Naomi Arnold, started during lockdown and delivers unused food from supermarkets to those in need across the city.

She said: “There were people in Edinburgh who needed food. Primarily those that were being housed in hotels and hostels, those with unstable accommodation.

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Naomi Arnold delivers unused supermarket food to those in need across Edinburgh.
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“And yet we were still noticing supermarkets throwing away surplus food that could have been used by people. So we joined up those two dots and, for us, it was imperative that bikes were used and not vans or cars because we are not only fighting a health pandemic, but also a climate crisis and an ecological crisis.”

With locals’ curiosity piqued by the quirky bikes, the project is proving to be a good way of engaging the surrounding community.

“Street conversations are the most exciting,” Naomi said. “People are curious about the bikes. They love it when they are filled with bouquets of flowers or pineapples or anything quite random. They want to know more about them and how they can use them or what they are good for, where they can access them.

“We are starting to make this a bit more of a business as well, and how we can access business in Edinburgh to cargo bikes and to offer training. Because I think people will say quite often ‘oh, I could never ride that’.”

Green-minded designer Alex

In the historic textile village of Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders, Alex Feechan designs and sells sustainable clothing.

The idea for a green brand stemmed from her own passion for mountain biking, and her difficulties finding eco-friendly garments for women.

“I had a little look around my local trail shop and around 80-90% of the clothing on offer was for men,” she said. “Women’s design suffered from the ‘shrink it and pink it’ approach. A lot of the product was synthetic and obviously not good for the environment. So I had that lightbulb moment standing in that trail centre.”

Alex’s brand Findra uses Merino wool, recycled denim and even yarn made from coffee waste.

She said: “Merino wool is a fantastic fibre, it is biodegradable and odour resistant. And it’s really good for the environment, but also for the wearer. That was the starting point.

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Alex Feechan wants people to ditch ‘fast fashion’.

“I also looked at the manufacturing process and the traditional methods are what we call CMT (cut, make and trim) and there can be quite a lot of waste. And we need to have not so much waste. The seamless garment is completely knitted in one piece.”

In the UK, we buy more clothes per head than anywhere else in Europe. At the same time, we send an estimated 350,000 tonnes of used outfits to landfill every year. Alex believes the textile industry has to embrace sustainability and move away from fast fashion, but thinks consumers also need to change their habits. 

“It goes back to that idea of how many clothes in our wardrobe do we need? So I wanted to design a product that has versatility to it. You could commute to work, you could cycle to work in it. And when you got there you didn’t have to change.”

Scotland Tonight is on STV and the STV Player at 7.30pm on Thursday, October 28.


People need to ‘change diet and flying habits for climate’

Scientific advisers from around the world call on leaders to take urgent action to limit warming to 1.5C.

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Statement was signed by nearly 40 chief scientists.

Tackling the climate crisis will require behavioural changes such as eating less meat and flying less, as well as green technology, the UK’s chief scientific adviser has said.

Sir Patrick Vallance made the comments as he joined senior scientific advisers from around the world to issue a statement ahead of the COP26 climate talks, calling on leaders to take urgent action to limit warming to 1.5C – beyond which more severe impacts of global warming will be felt.

The statement, signed by nearly 40 chief scientists and equivalents said it was still possible to curb temperature rises to 1.5C, but only with steep reductions in global emissions by 2030 and reducing them to zero overall by 2050.

They said stabilising the climate would limit sea level rises and extreme weather events, improve prosperity and protect human health and nature.

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The advisers said addressing climate change would require intense international collaboration on research and innovation to develop and deliver new solutions across all sectors of the global economy.

Action to adapt to the consequences of climate change that are already inevitable “is critical”, they warned.

The statement, released as leaders and negotiators head to Glasgow for the latest round of UN talks to tackle the climate crisis, said limiting warming “will require rapid, urgent and sustained action and significant behavioural, socioeconomic and technological transformations across the world”.

“This must begin with rapid scale-up and deployment of a wide range of existing and novel technological solutions.”

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Governments should focus on piloting and scaling up existing green technologies over the next decade, accelerate development of next-generation solutions, and involve every part of society in the green transition, which must be affordable, accessible and fair, they said.

Sir Patrick said the message to world leaders is that “1.5C is achievable, it’s absolutely what we should be aiming for” but it requires action now.

He said this decade is the decade of research and development of innovation as it has to be scaled and applied now or the world will not be able to reach the 1.5C target.

“It’s going to require detailed plans, it’s going to require technology, it’s going to require behavioural change and it’s going to require monitoring in order to achieve this, including monitoring of emissions.”

On behavioural changes, Sir Patrick said reductions in meat eating and flying would need to happen, adding: “There will be a move away from the extent of meat eating we’ve seen in the past, and I think we will all need to think about our flying habits.

“But of course, coupled to that, there’s also technological advances, so as options for green transport become real that will change again.

“One of the climate challenge is it’s a series of small things from all of us that turn into a big change.

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“Those little things that appear like they’re not very much are important when they are aggregated across many many millions of people.”

He said most of the technologies needed to shift to a greener world are already “visible”, and warned against relying on a “magic new technology” coming along in future years that would solve the problem.

He added that the “green choice needs to be the easy choice” for people, including on price, convenience and with a clear understanding of what they can do on an individual level to make a difference.

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Three children and woman hit by car as ten ambulances sent to scene

Ten ambulances were dispatched to the scene in Carluke, South Lanarkshire.

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The Scottish Ambulance Service said the incident was ongoing.

Ten ambulances have been sent to the scene of a crash in which three children and a woman were struck by a car.

Emergency services were called to Kirkton Street in Carluke, South Lanarkshire, shortly after 3pm on Wednesday.

A woman in her 20s and three children have been taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

The Scottish Ambulance Service said the incident was ongoing.

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Carluke, South Lanarkshire.
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A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We received a call at 3.07pm to attend an incident on Kirkton Street, Carluke and dispatched 10 resources to the scene.

“One female in her twenties and three children have been transported to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow.” 

Inspector William Broatch, from Motherwell Road Policing Unit, said: “Around 3.10pm, police were called to James Street in Carluke, at the junction with Kirkton Street, following a report of a road crash involving a car and four pedestrians – a woman and three children.

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Junction of Kirkton Street and James Street in Carluke.

“The pedestrians are all being conveyed to hospital for treatment. Emergency services remain at the scene and local diversions are in place.

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“Anyone with information on the incident can call police on 101, quoting incident 2110 of October 27.”

More to follow.


Art exhibit at Dundee’s Slessor Gardens celebrates Black History Month

The posters – designed by two different artists – decorate the popular walkway down to the waterfront.

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Adinkra Way: Senanu Tordzro is highlighting Scotland's connection to Ghana.

A series of artworks have been installed in Dundee’s Slessor Gardens as part of Black History Month.

The posters – designed by two different artists – decorate the popular walkway down to the waterfront.

Claire Yspol has produced 30 different posters, which she has named A Lyrical Bibliography. They showcase essays, poems and other artworks from black artists, writers, thinkers and designers she admires.

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Dundee: A series of artworks have been installed in Slessor Gardens as part of Black History Month.

The works form their own poetic text and can be used as a resource to find out more about the creators highlighted.

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On the other side of the walkway, Scotland’s connection with Ghana is being shown through a series of works by Senanu Tordzro.

Her trail, named the Adinkra Way, features communication symbols from Ghana decorated with Ghanaian textiles.

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Artwork: Some of the posters feature messages of love, hope and courage.

The messages of love, hope and courage all have a relevance and meaning in Scotland as well as the African country.

Ms Tordzro said: “I’m really interested in the past and how my culture has been so deeply integrated in Scottish culture.

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“I really wanted to represent that and to show people that somewhere as far away as Africa isn’t as far as we think. It’s right here in Scotland in people’s homes if we just search for it.”

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Black History Month: The posters have been described as ‘beautiful and thought-provoking’.

Councillor Georgia Cruickshank, who chairs the cross-party City of Dundee and Black History Working Group, said: “We were delighted to be able to provide such a high-profile site that gets a lot of people walking past it to highlight the creative talents of two black female artists.

“As well as being beautiful and thought-provoking, they act as a good way of starting conversations that think about how we can address some of the major issues of our time around race.”

Train services cancelled and roads flooded as rain batters Scotland

An amber and yellow weather warning was issued by the Met Office for parts of the country on Wednesday.

@Gordon_Keenan via Twitter
Flooding: Scotland hit by heavy rain following amber and yellow weather warnings.

Heavy rain has flooded roads and cancelled rail services in parts of south west Scotland.

An amber weather warning was issued for Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders, starting at 9pm on Wednesday and continuing until Thursday morning.

Around 60 to 80mm of rainfall is expected to build up, with up to 100mm falling in some areas. 

A separate yellow warning extends to South Lanarkshire and will be in place until 3pm on Thursday.

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The Met Office said there could be a “danger to life from fast-flowing or deep floodwater”.

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Flooding in Summerston, Glasgow

The amber alerts also warn of potential damage to homes and businesses from flooding, dangerous driving conditions and travel disruption.

Communities could be cut off by flooded roads and face power cuts, according to the Met Office.

ScotRail said a number of services had been affected by heavy rain, with flooding at Bishoppbriggs and Dalmuir closing two rail lines.

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Speed restrictions have been put in place on services due to surface water and a replacement bus service between Stirling and Alloa has been introduced.

Network Rail advised passengers to travel only if the journey is “absolutely necessary”.

Liam Sumpter, Network Rail Scotland route director, said: “Extreme rainfall can pose a serious risk to the railway, causing landslips or damaging our infrastructure and bridges.

“The safety of our passengers and colleagues is our main priority during periods of poor weather, and slowing services down and running fewer trains will help us manage these conditions for everyone.”

Meanwhile GlasGlow announced that its light show at Glasgow Botanic Gardens had to be cancelled last minute due to blocked drain at its entrance.

A post on the GlasGlow Facebook page said: “In the last 45 minutes the drain at the entrance to the Botanic Gardens has been overwhelmed and half a foot of water is blocking the entrance and road.

“The council have been alerted but unfortunately the entrance will be inaccessible to allow us to open safely. Inside the gardens, the show is fine and ready to go, the problem unfortunately is on the roads and out with our control.

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“We’re so sorry for the short notice however this situation has just arisen. If you’re a ticket holder for this evening a full refund will be processed and an email is on its way.”

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency tweeted: “A band of persistent and heavy rain in the south may lead to localised flooding from surface water and watercourses on Wednesday causing disruption to travel and flooding of low-lying land, especially in built up areas.”

The agency issued a flood warning for Ettrick Valley, while three flood alerts were in place in the Scottish Borders.


Celtic move within two points of Rangers with win at Hibernian

First half goals gave Celtic a 3-1 victory at Easter Road.

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Anthony Ralston opened the scoring for Celtic.

Celtic produced a rampant first-half performance as they moved within two points of cinch Premiership leaders Rangers with a 3-1 victory over Hibernian at Easter Road.

Tony Ralston, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Kyogo Furuhashi all struck before the break to earn Ange Postecoglou’s resurgent side a fifth consecutive win in all competitions. Hibs, meanwhile, were left licking their wounds after a fourth consecutive defeat.

Home manager Jack Ross made four changes to the side beaten at Aberdeen last weekend as Darren McGregor, Chris Cadden, Jamie Gullan and Lewis Stevenson dropped out and were replaced by Ryan Porteous, Alex Gogic, Jamie Murphy and Josh Doig.

Celtic made just one alteration from the side that beat St Johnstone on Saturday. Mikey Johnston came in for his first start of the season, with Georgios Giakoumakis dropping to the bench.

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Ralston had the first effort of the match in the fourth minute but his low shot from 25 yards ran harmlessly wide of the Hibs goal.

The right-back fared better six minutes later, however, when he found space at the back post to nod in a David Turnbull free-kick from six yards.

Hibs almost responded two minutes later when Martin Boyle threaded a pass across goal for Joe Newell who was bursting in at the far post but the midfielder’s shot from close range was superbly saved by goalkeeper Joe Hart.

A minute later Celtic scored from another set-piece when Carter-Vickers got in front of Porteous to stab in Turnbull’s corner from 10 yards.

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There should have been more reason for the visitors to celebrate in the 20th minute when Johnston dummied a pass by Jota into the path of Turnbull but the former Motherwell player blazed high and wide from a great position just inside the box.

Celtic were well on top and the third goal arrived on the half-hour when, after good work by Tom Rogic, the ball broke to Jota wide on the right and the Portuguese squared for Kyogo to tap in from close range.

Hibs were in disarray and Matt Macey had to make a brilliant save to stop Kyogo netting again after the Japanese got in behind.

The hosts pulled one back against the run of play in the 36th minute when Newell’s corner was nodded in, with both Boyle and Porteous claiming they had got the final touch.

Celtic suffered a blow just before the break when Rogic was forced off by injury and replaced by Nir Bitton.

Hibs spent much of the second half probing to try and find another goal but the closest they came was in the 75th minute when Jamie Murphy got in behind and was denied by a brilliant save from Hart.


Man found guilty of terrorism after online mosque attack plot

Sam Imrie, 24, posted messages on social media claiming he was planning to attack Fife Islamic Centre in Glenrothes. 

Police Scotland / STV News

A man has been found guilty of terrorism and other offences after he threatened to set fire to an Islamic centre in Fife.

Sam Imrie, 24, was arrested after detectives discovered in July 2019 that he had been posting messages on social media claiming he was planning to attack Fife Islamic Centre in Glenrothes. 

Police who searched his home at Colliston Avenue in Glenrothes also made a number of other discoveries.

Officers found Imrie had acquired an arsenal of weapons, which included a combat knife, nunchucks, an axe, a knife, a hammer, a rifle scope and a wooden-handled lock knife.  

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Prosecutor Lisa Gillespie QC told the court how the police also recovered a “manifesto” entitled the “Great Replacement” by far right terrorist Brenton Tarrant, who murdered 51 people when he attacked two mosques in New Zealand in March 2019.

They also recovered a manifesto written by Anders Breivik, another fascist who slaughtered 77 people in attacks in Norway in 2011. 

Detectives found computer equipment containing thousands of images glorifying far-right terrorism attacks and Nazi ideology. 

Some of the images referred to Tarrant and Breivik as “saints” and one image was of pop star Taylor Swift, which had been photoshopped – the lenses of sunglasses she was wearing had been doctored to include swastikas.

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They found he possessed copies of Adolf Hitler’s work Mein Kampf, indecent images of children and extreme images that showed dead mutilated women being subjected to sexual acts. 

Imrie also possessed copies of the video that Tarrant had made of himself carrying out the shootings.

The 24-year-old was caught after officers in the Metropolitan Police tipped off Police Scotland counterparts. 

English officers had been scrutinising a group called ‘FashWave Artists’ on Telegram, an instant messaging app. 

The group hosted images and memes glorifying fascism but Imrie posted a series of messages in which he said he was planning to “burn down” a mosque. 

He also said he had written to Breivik. 

Detectives found CCTV footage of Imrie trying the door at the mosque before driving away. 

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A jury heard how armed police officers swooped on Imrie’s home at 2am and took him into custody. 

On Wednesday, Imrie, who denied any wrongdoing, was convicted on two charges of breaching the terrorism act, wilful fireraising, possessing child and ‘extreme’ indecent images and drink driving.

Moments after Ms Gillespie said the Crown were considering seeking a Serious Crime Prevention Order against Imrie, Lord Mulholland remanded the first offender in custody.

Imrie was told that the judge needed a background report before he could be sentenced.

Lord Mulholland also warned Imrie: “Be under no illusion – you have been convicted of very serious offences including gathering information about terrorism and encouraging terrorism, child pornography and extreme pornography. 

“You will not be surprised to know that you will be receiving a sentence of some length.”

Lord Mulholland spoke moments after jurors returned guilty verdicts to two terrorism charges. 

The first terrorism charge stated that Imrie made statements on Telegram and Facebook that encouraged acts of terrorism. 

The second charge he was convicted of stated that Imrie made a “record of information” that would be useful to somebody who was committing acts of terrorism. 

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

Following his conviction, Pat Campbell, Police Scotland’s assistant chief constable for organised crime, counter terrorism and intelligence, said: “Sam Imrie was a socially-isolated-individual who displayed hateful intentions and the potential consequences of his actions do not bear thinking about. Police Scotland welcomes the outcome of the trial, which brings to a close what was an extremely complex investigation.

“I am grateful for the hard work and diligence of the officers who carried out the fast moving inquiry, as well as the support of our colleagues in the Metropolitan Police and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

“It should be stressed that cases such as Imrie’s are rare in Scotland and our officers remain absolutely committed to working with our partners to protect our communities.

“I want to take this opportunity to appeal directly to the public that if you become aware of anyone, including a family member or friend, displaying extremist views, or are concerned that they could be radicalised or involved in extremist or terrorist activity, not to hesitate to contact the police.

“Advice is available at the ACT Early Counter Terrorism Policing website and anyone with concerns should contact Police Scotland or the confidential anti-terrorist hotline 0800 789 321.”


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