Scots urged to stay at home during warm weather to save lives

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is urging the public to stick with the lockdown restrictions put in place.

Sunshine: Stay at home during the warm weather to help save lives. Pixabay
Sunshine: Stay at home during the warm weather to help save lives.

Nicola Sturgeon is urging the public to stay at home during the UK’s fifth weekend under lockdown, as temperatures are expected to remain high.

Forecasters have predicted warm conditions for most of the country, prompting concerns that people may defy the restrictions on movement which began on March 23.

Tweeting on Friday evening, the First Minister stated: “I know lockdown gets tougher as we head into the weekend, and the weather gets better (even by Scottish standards).

“But it really matters that we stick with it – we’re seeing some progress but it will be quickly reversed if we ease up.

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“So please, stay at home – it will save lives.”

During Friday’s Downing Street press conference, transport secretary Grant Shapps also urged people to stay at home despite apparent improvements in the crisis.

He said: “The country has done incredibly well in adhering to social distancing and there is a danger as we go into yet another warm sunny weekend that people think that perhaps these graphs are showing that the peak is over.

“It isn’t over, we’re riding perhaps, we hope, a downward trend but it is by no means, no means established yet.”

Yousaf confident any COP26 coronavirus case rise can be ‘countered’

Some 25,000 people are expected to come to Scotland for the climate conference.

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Glasgow: Some 25,000 people are expected to come to Scotland for COP26.

The Scottish Government can take the necessary steps to counter a potential spike in Covid-19 cases caused by the COP26 gathering, health secretary Humza Yousaf has said.

As many as 25,000 people are set to arrive in Glasgow for the key climate summit, billed as the “last chance” to counter the effects of climate change.

But experts, including key government advisers, have raised concerns over a potential increase in cases associated with so many people being in a relatively small area.

Speaking on BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show, Yousaf said “of course” there will be Covid-19 cases associated with the event, but he was confident these could be contained.

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“There’s not a public health expert in the world that would say there’s no risk in the middle of a global pandemic to have tens of thousands of people descending onto largely one city,” he said.

“There is absolutely a risk of Covid cases rising thereafter, but we’ll do everything we can to mitigate that.”

He added: “We are also very, very assured by the protocols we’ve got in place (at the conference) to be able to isolate those cases as best as we possibly can.”

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Scottish Government: Health secretary Humza Yousaf.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “The health secretary simply had no answers to the potential impact of COP26 on our NHS.

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“We need to see action to speed up the booster programme, ramp up testing and to secure surge capacity for our NHS.

“We are looking down the barrel at a winter of extreme pressure on our NHS and potentially surging levels of Covid.

“We need action from the health secretary to avoid this, not warm words.”

Cases in Scotland were on the rise throughout the summer as coronavirus restrictions were relaxed, but began to fall in September as the vaccination programme reached its end with young people included, but the drop has levelled off, with cases in October rarely falling below 2000 per day.

Despite the stubborn statistics, the health secretary said there are no immediate plans for a return to tough restrictions.

“We’re not actively considering restrictions,” he said.

“We know the harm restrictions have had in the past and therefore doing things like ensuring as many people get vaccinated as possible, continuing to make face coverings mandatory in certain settings such as indoor public settings and public transport, ensuring that we have that universal testing offer and asking people to test themselves regularly.”

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But Yousaf said it would be “foolish” to speculate on possible restrictions at Christmas.

“I’m not going to tell you what’s happening in a couple of months time,” he said.

‘Take action against drink spikers rather than punish venues’

A number of reports of spiking – including allegedly with needles – have surfaced on social media in the past week.

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Spiking: A number of reports have surfaced on social media in the past week.

Scotland’s health secretary has said the focus should be on “taking action” against men who spike women’s drinks, as opposed to punishing venues.

Reports of a spate of spiking incidents against women, some involving the use of needles, have spread through social media in the past week, prompting police investigations across the UK.

Humza Yousaf, who was justice secretary earlier this year, said police were taking the incidents “incredibly, incredibly seriously”, but said he would not like to see venues punished.

“My view, having discussed this issue as a government, is that the night-time industry are very, very concerned and are doing everything they possibly can,” he told BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show.

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“I don’t think we want to beat the night-time industry over the head because of this issue.

“It is the perpetrators – the men, because let’s be honest it is men perpetrating this – that we need to get through to and if necessary take action against.

“We will continue to examine the law and enforcement to make sure it is robust to deal with this.”

He added: “I was deeply concerned to read those reports.”

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When asked what action the government can take to tackle the problem, Yousaf said: “We’re looking at the law at the moment to see if it’s absolutely robust.

“But I know from the justice secretary’s (Keith Brown) conversations with Police Scotland they are taking it incredibly, incredibly seriously and doing whatever is necessary.”

According to a report by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), almost 200 spiking incidents were recorded in the past two months, according to data from 40 police forces across the country.


What the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow could achieve

There is no big ‘Paris Agreement’ style deal to secure in Glasgow, but the conference needs to deliver on a number of fronts.

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Glasgow: There is no big ‘Paris Agreement’ style deal to secure, but the conference needs to deliver on a number of fronts.

The COP26 summit in Glasgow is being billed as the biggest UN climate conference since countries secured the Paris Agreement at talks in the French capital in 2015.

However, there is no big new deal like the Paris Agreement to agree at COP26 – instead Glasgow has to deliver on the promises made six years ago and, alongside the formal UN negotiations, drive action to tackle the worsening climate crisis.

Here are some of the key areas where action is needed and where momentum and new commitments could help Glasgow be seen as a success:

Keeping 1.5C within reach

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Glasgow has been billed as the last best chance to limit global warming to 1.5C in the long term.

Under the Paris Agreement, countries committed to curbing temperature rises to “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5C – beyond which worsening impacts of climate change will be felt.

But, back in 2015, it was clear the emissions cuts countries had signed up to left the world far off track to meet the global temperature goals so, under the Paris deal, countries were due to bring forward more ambitious post-2020 national plans ahead of COP26.

Even with new plans many countries have brought forward, the world is nowhere near on track for the 1.5C target, and there are concerns that some countries might turn their attention to post-2030 action, when much more efforts are needed within the next ten years.

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So UK officials want to see countries addressing how to close the gap between ambition and action required up to 2030, as part of the negotiated text that it is hoped will be secured by the end of the two weeks of talks.

Cash

The key to success at COP26 is delivering on a long-promised $100bn a year for 2020 to 2025 for poorer countries to develop cleanly and cope with the impacts of climate change.

It is seen as a matter of trust between developing and developed nations for donor countries to deliver on the promised private and public climate finance, and conversations will also begin on unlocking further funds after 2025.

There is pressure for finance to be split equally between efforts to cut emissions and to adapt to climate change, and also pressure to address demands on support for loss and damage caused by extreme weather and rising seas.

Coal

Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel, and polluting coal plants need to be phased out in the next two decades to meet climate goals, according to the International Energy Agency.

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The UK wants to see more momentum on ending the use of coal, and is urging developed countries and regions to commit to phasing it out by 2030, or by 2040 in the case of developing nations, and for commitments to no new plants.

Cars

Road transport accounts for a tenth of global emissions, so countries are being urged to commit to ensuring all new car and van sales are zero emission vehicles by 2035 or 2040 and put in place policies to boost uptake.

Vehicle manufacturers are also being urged to commit to selling only zero emissions vehicles by 2035 or earlier.

Trees

Healthy and restored forests can absorb and lock up vast amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, and protecting trees – along with other carbon-storing natural habitats such as peatlands – is seen as key to cutting emissions and helping communities and wildlife cope with climate change.

The pressure is on countries to take steps to halt and reverse deforestation, switch to sustainable agriculture and support efforts to protect or conserve 30% of the world’s land and oceans by 2030.

Methane

While the most significant greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide, methane – from sources including livestock, agriculture such as rice production and fossil fuel extraction – is a powerful, but short-lived climate-warming gas.

Cutting emissions of methane is seen as a key way to curb warming in the short-term.

A US and EU-led “global methane pledge” which commits countries to cut their emissions of the gas by 30% by 2030 has already garnered a number of signatures ahead of its formal launch at COP26, where it is hoped more will sign up.

The Paris rulebook

Back in the negotiations, there are still some outstanding issues about how bits of the Paris Agreement are going to work, and they need to be sorted out to make it operational and effective.

There are three issues: transparency, Article 6, and common timeframes, and negotiating them will be key to COP26.

A transparency regime would see UN-run assessments of what countries are doing on climate, but all countries need to agree to face these reviews.

Countries are meant to submit updated climate plans – or NDCs – every five years under the Paris Agreement, but there is no coherence on how long a period those plans cover.

Agreeing common timeframes will make it clearer who is doing what and help comparisons.

And then there is Article 6: the part of the Paris Agreement which covers carbon markets.

Finalising the rules on how these markets work would allow countries to buy carbon credits that fund new clean projects or protect and restore forests to cover their emissions as part of climate action.

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Ed Sheeran tests positive for Covid-19 a week before album release

He announced the news in a statement posted on Instagram.

@edsheeran via Twitter
His new album is set to be released on October 29.

Ed Sheeran has tested positive for Covid-19 less than a week before the release of his forthcoming fifth album.

The chart-topping singer-songwriter said in a statement posted on Instagram that he still intends to give his planned interviews and performances from his home.

He said: “Hey guys.

“Quick note to tell you that I’ve sadly tested positive for Covid, so I’m now self-isolating and following government guidelines.

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“It means that I’m now unable to plough ahead with any in-person commitments for now, so I’ll be doing as many of my planned interviews/performances I can from my house.

“Apologies to anyone I’ve let down.

“Be safe everyone.”

Next week, Sheeran is due to join Apple Music’s Zane Lowe live to play new songs from his album and take questions from fans.

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The singer shot to fame in 2011 with the launch of his chart-topping single The A Team, the lead song on his first album, which was released in September that year.


Police launch manhunt after woman sexually assaulted in attack

The victim was targeted in Aberdeen's Ashvale Place at around 3.25am on Sunday morning.

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Police: Enquiries are ongoing to trace the man responsible.

Police in Aberdeen have launched a manhunt after a woman was sexually assaulted during the early hours of Sunday morning.

The victim was attacked in Ashvale Place at around 3.25am.

A section of the street was taped off while investigation works were carried out.

Detective inspector Martyn Thomson said: “This is a concerning incident, with the victim left understandably shaken.

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“Enquiries are ongoing and we are working hard to trace the man responsible.”

If you have any information, call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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Two men in hospital after ‘disturbance’ outside hotel

Their injuries are not believed to be life threatening at this time.

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Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident to contact them.

Two men had to be taken to hospital after a disturbance outside of a hotel in Argyll and Bute.

The incident took place on Saturday, at around 10pm, outside the Rosslea Hotel in Rhu.

Police say that a 27-year-old man was seriously assaulted and was taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

A 42-year-old man was also assaulted and was taken to the Royal Alexandria Hospital.

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Their injuries are not believed to be life threatening at this time.

Detective Inspector Fiona Macarthur, of Dumbarton CID, said: “We know the hotel area would have been relatively busy at the time and the consequences of this incident could have been far worse.

“We’re appealing to people who witnessed the incident or has any relevant information to contact us.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting incident number 4135 of October 23.

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Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Ed Sheeran tests positive for Covid-19 a week before album release

He announced the news in a statement posted on Instagram.

@edsheeran via Twitter
His new album is set to be released on October 29.

Ed Sheeran has tested positive for Covid-19 less than a week before the release of his forthcoming fifth album.

The chart-topping singer-songwriter said in a statement posted on Instagram that he still intends to give his planned interviews and performances from his home.

He said: “Hey guys.

“Quick note to tell you that I’ve sadly tested positive for Covid, so I’m now self-isolating and following government guidelines.

ADVERT

“It means that I’m now unable to plough ahead with any in-person commitments for now, so I’ll be doing as many of my planned interviews/performances I can from my house.

“Apologies to anyone I’ve let down.

“Be safe everyone.”

Next week, Sheeran is due to join Apple Music’s Zane Lowe live to play new songs from his album and take questions from fans.

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The singer shot to fame in 2011 with the launch of his chart-topping single The A Team, the lead song on his first album, which was released in September that year.


Gerrard tips Morelos to get ‘many more’ after 100th Rangers goal

Morelos headed in a cross from skipper James Tavernier for his landmark goal.

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Rangers defeated St Mirren 2-1 on Sunday.

Steven Gerrard paid tribute to Alfredo Morelos after the Rangers striker scored his 100th goal in Light Blue to help the champions to a 2-1 win over St Mirren.

The Colombia striker, signed from HJK Helsinki in 2017, had been stuck on the 99 mark since netting against Hibernian earlier in the month.

But, just before the break in Paisley, after a Kemar Roofe penalty had cancelled out a fourth-minute strike by Buddies midfielder Connor Ronan, Morelos headed in a cross from skipper James Tavernier for his landmark goal.

Gerrard, whose side moved three points clear at the top of the cinch Premiership, said: “That’s what we want our number nines to do, run through the goal. We know we have the service from the sides.

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“It was a fantastic cross from James but 100 goals at any level for any club is a magnificent achievement.

“I said last week he will smash 100 and hopefully go on and get many more for Rangers.

“Kemar Roofe, 50th appearance, 26 goals, we’ve got two poachers/goal-scorers in our armoury now which is fantastic for me.

“Over the course of a campaign it is not always going to be pretty, you are not always going to find your style and passing rhythm.

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“The conditions weren’t really for us today but what we did was find a way to win. All in all a lot of positives but they all came after the first 25 minutes because St Mirren were better in the opening period.”

St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin was unhappy with the two goals his side conceded.

He said: “Really disappointed not to have anything to show from what was a decent performance.

“We were comfortable and the disappointing thing for me was the manner of the goals we conceded.

“When you are playing against Rangers or Celtic, if they cut you open and play some fantastic free-flowing football you hold your hands up and say it was a good goal.

“But it was two really poor goals from our point of view. The penalty, when Alan (Power) watches it back he will agree he doesn’t need to try to nick the ball, if he just jockeys (Ianis) Hagi he is probably not going to do a great deal with it.

“You stick a leg out and unfortunately players are going to go over and in the modern day it is penalty.

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“The second goal is a real killer blow.

“Five minutes before half-time, we need to manage the game better. We have to get to half-time level pegging and we need to defend that cross better, it is as simple as that.

“Conor McCarthy gets himself into a good area at the near post and he needs to clear it – as simple as that. Morelos is never going to miss that two yards out.”

Having used all three substitutes, Saints played out the closing minutes with 10 men after Jamie McGrath was taken off on a stretcher with a hip problem.

Goodwin said: “We are not sure at the moment but Jamie wouldn’t go down and certainly wouldn’t come off on a stretcher if it wasn’t serious.

“He will go for a scan (on Monday) and we will say our prayers that hopefully it is nothing too serious.

“Hindsight is a great thing and now we wish we would have taken him off immediately but we didn’t realise it was as serious as it was.”


Hunt for man who exposed himself to woman and carried out solo sex act

Police said the flasher struck in Linn Park, Glasgow, at around 6pm on Friday.

© Google Maps 2020
Linn Park: The incident happened on Friday evening.

A manhunt has been launched to catch a flasher who exposed himself to a woman in a Glasgow park.

The man also carried out an indecent act on himself during the incident in Linn Park at around 6pm on Friday.

Police said he struck near to the waterfall viewpoint.

The suspect is believed to be in his late-30s and around 6ft 1in. He was also described as slim and bald.

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He was wearing a plain white vest and electric-blue basketball-style shorts with white leggings underneath.

Detective sergeant Nikki McPherson, of Glasgow CID, said: “Clearly, this was a disturbing and upsetting incident for the woman involved, who thankfully reported the matter to police.

“We are asking the public to get in touch if they think they know who this man is, or have witnessed similar incidents recently.

“We will be carrying out extensive enquiries to find the man responsible.”

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If you have any information, call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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