Amber alert in place as heavy snow hits parts of Scotland

Drivers warned of delays on main roads with up to 30cm of snow due over the next few hours.

Heavy snow is expected in Scotland over the next few hours after an amber weather warning was issued.

As much as 30cm of snow could fall in parts of the country on Tuesday, with commuters told to expect delays on main roads, including the A7, A702 and A76.

Sections of the M74 could get as much as 15-20cm of snow, while even more could fall in Wanlockhead, the highest village in the Highlands.

Higher ground in Ayrshire, and the likes of East Kilbride and Fenwick could get between 5-10cm.

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Disruption elsewhere saw the Queensferry Crossing closed until Wednesday after ice fell from cables onto vehicles.

STV Meteorologist Sean Batty said: “It seems like Mother Nature has held back winter’s arrival for months and thrown it all at us in one week.

“This wintry week is going to be bookended by storms – Ciara last weekend and Dennis on his way this weekend.

“Wintry showers will continue with a few centimetres of snow to low levels in a few spots away from the coasts, but the bulk of the snow will be at higher levels.

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“A spell of heavy snow will affect the Highlands and north Stirlingshire for a time this evening and overnight. Blizzard-like conditions can be expected over high ground where up to 20cm of snow may fall. At low levels this will again be a mix of rain, sleet and wet snow.

“Rain and hill snow will affect Orkney on Wednesday, with a few centimetres likely over high ground here.

“Elsewhere wintry showers will continue to move into the west, although not as many as in previous days.

“Aberdeenshire and Angus will enjoy a sunny day, however a very cold night will follow with temperatures possibly dropping as low as -12C in the Highlands, in areas where there is lying snow.

“More rain and hill snow will move into southern Scotland on Thursday along with stronger winds.”

Sean said he expected the wind to ease little in the coming days but to return by the weekend when Storm Dennis arrives.

He said: “Winds will be strongest in the north and north west on Sunday with severe gales. There’s already been a lot of disruption in the last week to the ferries and it’s likely that this weekend will see further issues.

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“There is a little good news. Some of the forecast models are suggesting that high pressure will ridge in from the south next week.

“This means that the weather should settle a bit with drier conditions, especially in the south.”

Scotland records highest number of daily Covid deaths since March

The latest figures were published by the Scottish Government on Wednesday.

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As of Tuesday, there were 1079 people in hospital, with 91 patients in intensive care.

Scotland has recorded 30 deaths and 4917 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours.

Official figures showed that as of Tuesday, there were 1079 people in hospital, with 91 patients in intensive care.

Of 57,383 new tests for Covid-19 that reported results, 9.2% of those were positive for the virus.

Around 4.1 million people have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, whilst around 3.7 million have had their second dose.

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It comes after data from National Records of Scotland (NRS) showed that as of September 12 there have been 10,688 deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

Twelve of those who died in the week of September 6-12 were aged under 65, 13 were aged 65-74 and 51 were over 75.

Glasgow City Council and North Lanarkshire had eight deaths each in that period, with seven deaths in South Lanarkshire, six deaths in Dundee City, and five deaths in the City of Edinburgh.

Sixty-two people died in hospital, six in a care home and eight at home or in a place that was not an institution.

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The statistics are published weekly and cover all deaths registered in Scotland where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish Government because the NRS figures include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.

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Afghan family enjoying life in Scotland after escape from Kabul

Tabasum Rasoli and eight members of her family are adjusting to their new home in Glasgow.

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An Afghan woman and eight members of her family have arrived to start a new life in Scotland following the Taliban’s takeover of their homeland.

Tabasum Rasoli has been reunited with her husband, Zabidullah, an Afghan who has lived in Glasgow for years and has British citizenship.

He vowed he would get his wife out of Afghanistan after the Taliban’s lightning advance on the capital, Kabul.

After they got married in March, Tabasum’s visa application to join him in the UK was about to be approved, when the group seized control of Afghanistan.

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Intensive efforts involving Zabidullah’s lawyers, government officials and the military led to Tabasum’s visa eventually being granted and she was told to go to a hotel near Kabul airport.

However, distraught at the thought of leaving her family behind, she took eight of them with her.

Tabasum told STV News: “I just want to say thank you to everyone who has helped bring me and my family here – it has been a very difficult time and we are just really happy to be here.”

The Rasoli family enjoyed an afternoon walk and kickabout in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park on Wednesday – a simple pleasure for many but for the Rasolis it means everything.

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The Rasoli family from Afghanistan enjoying a walk in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park.
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They managed to get one of the last rescue flights out of Afghanistan before the West’s 20-year intervention in the country came to an end.

After a journey fraught with danger and uncertainty, they’re now adjusting to their new life in Scotland.

Tabasum said: “It was very risky and scary going to the airport, especially for a woman. There were Taliban there, they were firing and beating people and it was so hard to get inside the airport.

“Before we got inside a bomb exploded and everybody started shouting and screaming – people were apart. It was a horrible time.”

Shortly after arriving at the airport, it suddenly closed. With the Taliban on foot outside and Tabasum’s relatives without visas, they were stuck.

Lawyer Lisa McGuigan said: “I was contacted by Zabidullah, who said the British army were inside the airport and asked if they had received an email from their solicitor here, so I sent an email and a few minutes later I got a text message to say that they were all going to be able to get onto a flight.

“And I think it was the next day they got on the plane and came over.”

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Eventually, all nine of them managed to board a flight to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, before travelling to Birmingham in the West Midlands.

After quarantining, they arrived in Glasgow last week. The Rasolis are settling into their new life and shortly plan to apply for asylum status.

They count themselves lucky, but are also devastated about leaving their homeland, and are heartbroken for their fellow Afghans who remain there.

Man arrested in connection with shooting death of dad-of-five

John McGregor, 44, died two days after being found badly wounded on Westray Street in the Milton area of Glasgow.

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John McGregor died after being found badly wounded on Westray Street in Glasgow.

A man has been arrested in connection with a shooting in Glasgow that left a father of five dead.

John McGregor, 44, was found badly wounded on Westray Street in the Milton area of the city on the evening of Thursday August 26.

He was left with critical injuries from the shooting and died in hospital two days later.

Officers believed it was a targeted attack at the time and launched an investigation.

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Police confirmed one man has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting, but inquiries are ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting incident number 3276 of Thursday August 26 or submit information directly to the major incident teams via the major incident public portal at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/SCOT21S26-PO1.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.


Two residents die following Covid outbreak in care home

Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership confirmed the outbreak happened at its Belmont site in Stranraer.

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Covid: Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership confirmed the outbreak.

Two residents have died and others have tested positive amid a Covid outbreak at a care home.

Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership (DGHSCP) confirmed the outbreak happened at its Belmont site in Stranraer.

A total of 12 residents and staff have tested positive for the virus since the first cases were detected last week.

The health partnership confirmed it had taken immediate action to put all measures in place to contain further spread of the virus.

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A DGHSCP spokesman said: “The operator of this care home has been faced with a challenging and very difficult situation but full credit is due to them and their very dedicated staff for the responses that have been mounted.

“Covid-19 is very highly infectious, which means that containing its spread is not easy – even when it is being met with all the correct protocols, including regular testing and vaccinations.

“Currently, cases of the coronavirus are still being recorded in high numbers across all four localities in Dumfries and Galloway – Annandale and Eskdale, Nithsdale, Stewartry and Wigtownshire – and with evidence that it is being transmitted within the community.”

The latest Scottish Government coronavirus data released on Wednesday showed Dumfries and Galloway recorded 60 new cases in the last 24 hours.

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Scotland in total recorded 4917 new cases and 30 coronavirus-linked deaths since the day before.

The data indicates the current death toll under the daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is 8293.

The daily test positivity rate was 9.2%, down from 11.4% the previous day.

There were 1079 people in hospital on Tuesday with recently confirmed Covid-19, up 15 on the day before, with 91 in intensive care, up two.

So far, 4,146,847 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination and 3,791,597 have received a second dose.

Woman ‘froze’ as she ‘watched cousin shoot her fiancé dead’

Victoria Woods claims James Ferguson killed his childhood friend Paul Cairns at her home in Ayrshire.

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James Ferguson is on trial at the High Court in Paisley.

A woman “froze” as she watched her cousin shoot her fiancé dead in their bed, a murder trial heard on Wednesday.

Victoria Woods, 46, claimed James Ferguson, 43, also known as Garland Greene, killed childhood friend Paul Cairns, 42, at her home in Ardrossan, Ayrshire, on May 24, 2020.

Ms Woods told recorded evidence at the High Court in Paisley that a masked Ferguson said: “You were f***ing warned” before firing the fatal shot.

Ferguson denies murdering Mr Cairns and attempting to defeat the ends of justice.

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Prosecutors state Ferguson, of Kilwinning, entered the property while masked and shot Mr Cairns on the body.

Ms Woods, who gave evidence last October due to ill health, claimed that they had been together for one-and-a-half years before getting engaged.

She stated that Mr Cairns stayed with her due to her health problems.

The witness said that the pair went to bed to watch TV at around 12.30pm as the kitchen was being decorated by friend David Griffiths.

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Ms Woods stated that a few of hours later Ferguson came into the room.

Prosecutor Alan Cameron asked what Ferguson did.

She replied: “He had a gun, I screamed at him and said ‘I’m ill, get out my f***ing room’.

“He said to Paul ‘You were f***Ing warned’…Paul said no…and he shot him.”

Mr Cameron asked what happened after Mr Cairns was shot.

The witness said: “I panicked, Paul must have flipped over, he was lying on his front.

“I pulled Paul over and saw that he had it in his chest…he shot him in the chest.”

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Mr Cameron then asked what Ms Woods saw or heard during the incident.

She replied: “I heard a bang and I smelled smoke, I heard Paul go ‘argh’.

“I just froze when he came in, I just froze.”

Ms Woods stated Ferguson fired the shots near her grandchildren’s cots and was wearing blue overalls, a white face mask and a black beanie hat.

Mr Cameron questioned as to how Ms Woods knew it was Ferguson.

She stated: “I know him, he is my cousin, I know his eyes, his voice and his build.”

Ms Woods stated that Ferguson fled the scene and she told Mr Griffiths to dial 999.

She claimed that she tended to Mr Cairns by putting a towel on his chest before mercy crews arrived.

Ms Woods stated she told officers that Ferguson was the man responsible for the shooting.

Mr Cameron asked how Ferguson and Mr Cairns knew each other.

She said: “They had been friends since they were four-years-old.”

The prosecutor finally asked if Ms Woods knew what Ferguson was referring to before the shot was fired.

She replied: “No, no idea.”

Tony Graham, defending, asked Ms Woods if she would have heard Mr Cairns on the phone as they lived together and she said “Yes.”

Mr Graham questioned whether she was aware of any issue between Ferguson and Mr Cairns.

She replied: “No, they were fine in March.”

Mr Graham followed up: “From what you know, they couldn’t have seen each other since?”

Ms Woods stated: “I don’t think so.”

Mr Graham asked: “I will suggest once that it wasn’t James and you are mistaking this person for James as you can only see eyes and hear the voice?”

The witness replied: “I’m certain it was James.”

She then denied that she was mistaken as she was on medication at the time and the incident lasted a “short time”.

The trial continues on Thursday before judge Lord Arthurson.


Charles highlights financial and green benefits of reducing food waste

Prince of Wales announces his foundation is working with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver on new education pilot programme.

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Charles: Suggested families can cut greenhouse emissions and save money by reducing food waste.

The Prince of Wales has suggested families can cut greenhouse emissions – and save money – by reducing the amount of food they waste.

Writing an editorial for the Daily Mirror newspaper, Charles highlighted a research project where families held a “use-up day” and cut the produce they dumped every week by a third.

Charles is known to follow the practice of using up food and has also adopted a range of initiatives to save other resources including converting his Aston Martin sportscar to run on surplus wine.

He also wrote about his long-term hope that food products on supermarket shelves will feature a “kite mark” that indicates how sustainably they have been produced.

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His comments came as the crisis engulfing his charitable body the Prince’s Foundation deepened, with its chairman Douglas Connell resigning and expressing concern over potential “rogue activity” after reports the organisation accepted a six-figure sum from a Russian donor.

The money was rejected by the ethics committee of the foundation, which has its headquarters in Scotland, following reported concerns about its provenance and earlier this week the Scottish Charity Regulator launched an investigation into the matter.

The probe comes shortly after an alleged cash-for-honours scandal which saw the foundation’s chief executive Michael Fawcett temporarily step down. An independent investigation has been launched into the claims by the charitable body’s trustees.

In the editorial, Charles announced his foundation is working with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and his friend Jimmy Doherty on “Food For The Future”, a new education pilot programme teaching children about the cycle of food, from fields to the cooking pot.

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Charles wrote about the initiative: “If we can encourage and enable them to see that the food they eat is part of a joined-up system which can either help or hinder the health of the planet, they will be much more able to help turn the situation around to avoid the climate catastrophe towards which we are all hurtling.

“For one thing, they will discover that almost overnight they could help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by up to ten per cent without it costing anything. All they need do is make informed choices to help cut the colossal amount of food we waste.

“The annual figure currently stands at 1.3 billion tonnes and more than half of it is thrown away at home, an issue one of the companies backing Food For The Future decided to tackle.”

The prince described a Canadian project where a thousand families earmarked one day a week as a “use-up day” for food destined for the bin.

He wrote: “To their surprise, the families reduced the amount of food they threw away each week by a staggering – but hugely encouraging – figure: one-third.

“That suggests that if every family in Canada did the same, around 250,000 tonnes of food a year could be saved. So imagine the impact in the UK, which is home to nearly thirty million more people than Canada.

“Farmers wouldn’t be under the same pressure to produce quite as much food from our struggling soils, the savings in greenhouse gas emissions would be substantial but, best of all, there is the likelihood of big reductions in people’s weekly shopping bills.”

Man in hospital with serious injuries after murder attempt

Officers set up online portal for people to submit information after 41-year-old man attacked in Maryhill area of Glasgow.

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Man was found with serious injuries on Dalsholm Road in Maryhill on Saturday.

Police are appealing for witnesses following an attempted murder in Glasgow.

A 41-year-old man was attacked in Dalsholm Road, Maryhill, on Saturday at about 4.15pm.

He is currently being treated for serious injuries in hospital where he remains in a stable condition.

Officers have so far established that two people got out of a car and assaulted the victim in what they believe to be a targeted attack.

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A further person, the driver, remained in the vehicle at the time of the assault.

The two attackers were wearing dark clothing, dark baseball caps and both had high-viz yellow vests on, police confirmed.

A black Ford Kuga car was seen in the area at the time of the incident and was later found burnt out on a cycle path near Kelso Street and Dumbarton Road.

The vehicle has been seized by police and is undergoing examination.

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As part of their ongoing enquiries, officers have set up an online portal to encourage members of the public to submit information that could assist them in their investigation.

The Major Incident Public Portal (MIPP) is a website that gives people access to a form allowing them to send information directly to the incident team based at Baird Street Police Station.

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Dementia patient needing urgent care waits 17 hours for ambulance

An ambulance was called for 72-year-old Roberta Stephen after she became dehydrated.

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A 72-year-old dementia patient faced a 17-hour wait for an ambulance even though she needed urgent care.

Roberta Stephen became dehydrated after a spell of not eating and drinking, and nurses decided 999 should be called around 5pm on Monday.

Her partner Robert Delussey endured a sleepless night before the ambulance finally arrived around 9.45am on Tuesday morning.

“If I had been fit enough, I would have lifted her, put her in the car and took her to hospital myself,” he said.

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Ms Stephen was eventually taken to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, Fife, where she subsequently tested positive for coronavirus.

The recent surge in Covid cases has resulted in rising numbers of virus patients in hospital – with the total now more than 1000 again.

This is putting pressure on other parts of the health service, including A&E and ambulances. Average wait times for ambulances are said to have increased from between 55-75 minutes to six hours.

Health secretary Humza Yousaf has urged Scots to “think twice” before calling an ambulance, saying they should do so only if “absolutely critical”.

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‘No sleep’

Mr Delussey, 78, told STV News that both he and his partner had suffered a distressing experience.

He said: “The nurse said ‘two hours to four hours maximum’ as they were very busy, which is fair enough.

“But it went on and on, right through the night and I never got a wink of sleep, I was sitting here looking out the window at every vehicle that passed.

“It was distressing for her and me, because I have an artificial leg and I’ve got prostate cancer.

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Robert Delussey has told of his partner’s 17-hour wait for an ambulance.

“I kept phoning 999, who else could I phone? I couldn’t phone the doctors. We are only 15 minutes from the local hospital – that’s all it takes.”

‘Nobody could visit’

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Mr Delussey then got a phone call on Wednesday morning to say his partner had tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving at hospital.

“Nobody could visit her, I was the only one that was allowed to go in, but I couldn’t get in because my test hadn’t come through,” he said.

The Scottish Ambulance Service has been contacted for comment.

Is the NHS in crisis?

By Colin Mackay, political editor

You can see the pressure the health service is under on the frontline in this report.

Another side of the waiting time for ambulances is waiting times in accident and emergency – the government has a target of 95% of accident and emergency patients to be dealt with, within four hours – right now it’s running at about 75%.

The Scottish and the UK governments have a lot riding on the continued success of vaccinations – if that’s not enough to keep case numbers down and protect the NHS, we could face further restrictions.

That’s why boosters will begin from Monday – first for health and care workers and the most vulnerable, then working it’s way down to include all over 50s. In many cases they’ll get that alongside their flu vaccine.

And its why 12-to-15 year-olds can get their single jag at drop in centres from Monday.

Care home residents to be allowed visitors during Covid outbreaks

Designated visitors will be able to attend care homes where there are Covid-19 infections under new guidance.

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Scottish Government has updated care home visiting guidance.

Care home residents will be able to name a relative or friend who will still be able to visit even if there is a coronavirus outbreak in the home, the Scottish Government has announced.

Social care minister Kevin Stewart confirmed that designated visitors will be able to attend care homes where there are Covid-19 infections in an effort to continue “meaningful contact” for residents.

Following a coronavirus outbreak – defined as two or more linked cases in a fortnight – care homes have tended to suspend visiting until the outbreak is over.

But under the new guidance, the named family member or friend will still be able to visit the care home while the outbreak is under way.

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Announcing the changes, Stewart said: “Throughout the pandemic, our overriding priority in care homes has been to safeguard and protect staff and residents from infection but at times that meant that residents were cut off from their loved ones, which we know has caused anguish and distress for many.

“The proposal for a named visitor will provide continuity of meaningful contact for care home residents in managed Covid-19 outbreak situations, helping to protect residents’ wellbeing in parallel by allowing visiting in a safer way, rather than automatically suspending routine visiting during an outbreak.

Stewart also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to introducing Anne’s Law, as called for by Care Home Relatives Scotland, to allow people who live in care homes to choose people to come and look after them.

He added that a consultation “seeking views on how best we might make it work in practice” would be published shortly.

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