By Lauren Elliott:
Our very own principal gives a speech on her life, her university and her favourite things.
She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2001, and elevated to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours.
In 2003 she was appointed Principal/Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, the first woman to be leader of a Scottish university.
On Sunday March 24, Lothian Buses increased the price for a single, adult bus ticket for 10p – from 1.40 to 1.50. Just one year after a similar increase the company said it was also introducing a number of service improvements. Plans of increasing the bus fare caused controversy over Scottish Government cuts in funding for concessionary fares earlier in January. Transport Scotland eventually reached an agreement with the bus industry which will cut the current reimbursement rate, reducing funding to bus companies by millions of pounds.
The new price for single journeys means the minimum fare charged by Lothian Buses will have risen 150% since 2002 – three times the rate of inflation over the same period.
Stewart Kirkpatrick is one of the UK’s leading digital content experts.
He spoke at our Media Mondays lecture about the digital and social media aspects of Yes Scotland.
You can find the campaign website here: www.yesscotland.net
Iain MacWhirter joined the BBC’s devolution unit in 1979 from Edinburgh University, becoming Scottish political correspondent in 1987.
He has worked at both the UK Parliament and Scottish Parliament, presenting the BBC2 programmes “Westminster Live” and “Scrutiny”.
He writes weekly columns for The Herald and Sunday Herald and has presented the Scottish Parliament magazine programme “Holyrood Live.”
BBC Scotland’s senior football reporter, Chris McLaughlin, talked today about a life behind sports journalism, drawing from his own experiences.
Chris is also a former student of Napier who graduated in 1999 with a journalism degree.
Speaking on how he is a one man band when it comes to his work, he offers advice on how to get ahead of the game whether you’re interested in broadcast or print.
Listen in Here:
Bobby Hain, Director of Channels-STV, paid a visit to Napier today. His hour long talk consisted of information on the success of STV since it started along with an overview of the online features STV now offers its audience.
However, what all Napier students wanted to hear about was the much anticipated ETV. STV and Napier University have teamed up together to launch ETV in early 2014. Bobby gave a very clear and concise outline of what ETV is to be about and let students know how they can get involved.
Overall, a very informative and clear speech. Definitely worth a listen.
By Alexander Neal, Lauren Elliott and Lisa Mitchell.
Listen to Alex Thomson (Channel 4 News) and Mark Daly (BBC Scotland) discuss the origins of the problems Rangers faced and how the situation at present with regard to the saga. A detailed and extended talk from the pair, who provided witty insight and analysis of the events that led to the current scenario, as well as answering questions pitched by audience members.
This chronological account provides a good reference point for anyone interested in the story, and how it was covered in various forms of media. The pair discuss how they covered the story, on top of talking about how other agencies covered it and why.
This was a popular talk, with both men exploring in depth the issues surrounding possibly the biggest sports story to come from Scotland.
The Black Keys had the Glasgow crowd bouncing, dancing and singing at the tops of their voices at the SECC on Saturday. The two-piece band, whose hits include Lonely Boy, Gold On the Ceiling, Howling for You and Sinister Kid, stunned the audience with their atmospheric blues.
The night began with the supporting act, The Maccabees who are renown for their live performances and they did not disappoint. Front man, Orlando Weeks, has such a unique voice that could almost be described as hypnotic. The South London band was so in-sync with each other, their live performance was absolutely flawless. They delighted fans with a forty-five minute set including Feel to Follow, X-Ray, Love you Better and Pelican. As far as warm up acts go, they certainly had the crowd fired up in anticipation for the headline act.
Shouting “Let’s get this going!” Dan Auerbach tore into Howling for You alongside drummer Patrick Carney.
The tone was set for the evening and the audience sang, clapped, chanted, and crowd surfed throughout the show. The atmosphere was so electric, we could have even revived a dodo.
There was a momentary pause in the rocky proceedings as Auerbach was illuminated by a beam of light during the first two verses of Little Black Submarines. The almost haunting solo piece soon broke into The Black Key’s distinctive sound focused heavily on the electric guitar.
It was not only the sublime rocky sounds of The Black Keys which impressed fans, but the overall production was a visual spectacle. Live images were projected onto screens surrounding the stage, giving the concert an edge and an alternative outlook.
The last song was, of course, the anthem, Lonely Boy. The venue erupted after the first few, distinctive chords were played out from Auerbach’s guitar and the fans can only be described as wild.
However, like all respectable shows, there was an encore and it was a shame for those who rushed out to catch the train home because they missed an absolute treat. After clapping and stamping our feet, we were awarded with two more songs from The Black Keys and quite possibly the biggest disco ball the SECC has ever seen.
The Black Keys were set-up to be amazing to see live but they exceeded all high expectations and were truly first-class. If you want to be entertained with good, honest music played back-to-back then go and see this band!
By Lauren Elliott and Lisa Mitchell
The next installment of the Media Monday lectures has arrived. The Director of Content at STV, Alan Clements, one of the most influential men in broadcasting has come to Napier to talk about his career and his experiences in the world of media.
A gas leak at the Elgin platform, 150 miles off the coast of Aberdeen has been ongoing since Sunday.
238 workers have been evacuated from the platform and the nearby Rowan Viking drilling rig as well as Shell have moved personnel. A three mile safety zone had been put in place but it has been increased to a five mile radius by the Unite union.
Greenpeace are concerned with possible wider implications of the gas leak in the North Sea.
Total Oil Company owns the platform and claim the leak has not been caused by human error. The company believe the leak is coming from a rock formation above the main reservoir, at a depth of 4,000m.
It has been regarded too dangerous for anyone to return to extinush the blaze but the company claim there is no danger of the flare igniting the gas cloud beneath the rig.
Total has been evaluating the sitution by fly-overs in the area and are currently considering drilling a relief well which could take months.
According to forthroadbridge.org, work will be carried out between 3am and 12 noon on both Saturday, 31 March and Sunday, 1 April, with traffic being restricted. A spokesperson of the Forth Road Bridge advices “to take public transport if you can. Delays could be up to two hours around 11am”
Following the successful completion of work on the Forth Road Bridge two weeks ago, additional traffic restrictions have to be taken for this weekend in order to remove the access cradle and materials from the east cable. The work on the bridge has to be carried out in daylight for health and safety reasons.
Barry Colford, Chief Engineer & Bridgemaster, said: “Work has been ongoing to tension the bolts on the cable and this has now been fully completed. If the weather is fair, we will be aiming to finish the work and lift the restrictions as soon as possible, but we will only do so when there is no risk of danger to our personnel and bridge users.
By Sam Khan-McIntyre and Silvia Montes
Bethany is a 30 year-old homelessness charity, and helps 4,000 people in Scotland every year.
We met Sydney Stewart from Edinburgh who five years ago had nowhere to live and was accepted at a Bethany Hostel. He is no longer homeless and is helping the charity which put him back on his feet. He raises funds by running marathons and volunteering.
Paul Mcloughlan is part of the support staff, helping men with alcohol and drug problems. He was however a resident at one point, due to his own problems with drink and drugs. He states his faith in Jesus was important in his recovery.
Another success story is Craig. He suffered from psychosis for twenty years due to a drug addiction, but is now clean. He enjoys being part of Bethany’s Passing The Baton project, about which he says, “I really enjoy going along to their social events.”
For more information on Bethany, go to http:www.bethanychristiantrust.com/?page_id=1810
It’s campaign time and on May the 3rd voters will choose the future of the city transport.
Transport had been in the spotlight in recent years due to the troubled tram project. Now Edinburgh faces another challenge with European Union strict standards on air pollution. The Green party have highlighted the deadline for the city to reach acceptable air pollution levels by 2015. If the council do not meet these targets the taxpayer will face a heavy financial penalty.
Spokes is an Edinburgh charity organisation that focuses on bicycle transport but also green issues. A hustings was held on Thursday 29th March to question the councillors responsible for this important issue.
Five cars in total have been vandalized while they were parked on Bellevue Road and in the McDonald’s car park located on the same street. Both are in the Broughton Area.
Hood ornaments are popular prey for vandals all over the world. Edinburgh BMWs and Audis have recently been stripped of their firmly placed logos. Mercedes emblems are loose by comparison and are also popular among thieves.
A police spokesman said:
“We are appealing to anyone who witnessed any of these vandalisms to contact police, and we would also urge anyone else with information that can help us trace whoever is responsible for these vandalisms to get in touch.”
Anyone with information regarding this crime should contact Lothian Borders Police on 0131 311 3131 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
The body of a man, who is believed to be in his 30′s, was found on a patch of grass in Broomhouse Gardens East.
The man was found just after midnight yesterday, 29 March, after residents in Broomhouse heard what they thought were fireworks. The man is believed to have died from a gunshot wound.
A police spokesperson has said that the death is being treated as unexplained. “Officers attended at Broomhouse Gardens East just after midnight following a call from the Scottish Ambulance Service. The man’s body was found on a grass area nearby.” The police are currently carrying out house to house enquiries and are asking for information: “Anyone who was in the area at the time and who may have seen or heard anything is asked to contact Lothian and Borders Police on 01313113131 or the charity Crimestoppers on 0800555111.”
The findings have revealed that 1,866 patients are waiting for their first appointment, whilst over 1,000 people are awaiting a follow-up appointment.
The worst waiting times exist in NHS Shetland, where patients may have to wait up to 33 weeks before they see someone. Next on the list was NHS Grampian, with a 30 week wait, and third was NHS Lothian, with waits of up to 22 weeks.
Scottish Labour have previously put in several other requests to the Scottish NHS. In August last year they revealed that NHS Dumfries and Galloway had spent £162,835 on voluntary redundancy deals. 6 people took up the offer in 2010-2011, which the local authority offered as a way of cutting long-term front line costs. The FOI request stated that voluntary redundancies had increased by 4x as much in the last four years.
The party also revealed that the Scottish Government had spent £600,000 of taxpayers money on sending Scottish patients to Bath for treatment, rather than sending them to hospitals within Scotland.
The Shadow Secretary for Health, Jackie Baillie MSP, stated that “forcing patients who are suffering from [...] excruciating painful conditions to endure long, gruelling waits and arduous journeys for treatment is grossly unfair and unacceptable [...] I fear efforts to help treat people living in chronic pain are being hampered by the SNP government cutting over 4,500 and the budget of our NHS by £319 million.
“We believe that there is a serious gap in care for sufferers of chronic pain in Scotland and it doesn’t make sense to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds sending Scottish patients on journeys of hundreds of miles to seek treatment in England.”
The findings revealed that only two Scottish Health Boards had set up a Managed Clinical Network (MCN). Ms Baillie states that Labour would “put in place funding to ensure that there are managed clinical networks for chronic pain in every health board across Scotland”. A press release on the party’s website describes an MCN as “an innovative and widely-supported way of treating patients that aims to breakdown existing structures” so that “the right treatment gets to the right patient at the right time”.
Sandra Mair, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for NHS Lothian, disputed the findings. In a statement released to Edinburgh Napier News, she described the waiting time “for a second appointment with a consultant in Lothian [as] less than 12 weeks with the majority of those being check - ups to determine how treatment is progressing. Patients are prioritised according to their needs.”
“NHS Lothian is committed to continuing our good work in the area of chronic pain management and we are continually looking at ways of further improving our service.”
As the donations-for-influence scandal rumbles, Prime Minister David Cameron has been forced to reverse his position from earlier today. Mark McKinlay analysed his speech for Napier News.
GAME, Britain’s biggest video game retailer, has gone into administration today.
The retailer counts around 1.300 stores distributed between the UK and mainland Europe, 5.100 employees in the UK and Ireland, of which 385 are employed at its headquarters in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
In Edinburgh, Gamestation on Princes Street, the flagship store of the company, had already been closed in late 2011.
However, as the retailers are refusing to release any comments, it’s understood that the GAME stores in St. James Shopping centre and Ocean Terminal are still open as usual.
Meanwhile, it has already been reported that about half of the 600 UK shops have been closed during the day, and it’s unclear whether the rest will stay in business.
The company’s website is currently no longer accessible, and it names MJA Jervis and SD Maddison as the appointed Joint Administrators.
Mike Jervis has commented: “Despite these challenges, we believe that there is room for a specialist game retailer in the territories in which it operates, including its biggest one, the UK.
“As a result, we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business is achievable”.
GAME, which was founded in 1991 as Rhino Group, had already been rumoured to be in troubled waters as their credit worthiness came under scrutiny just a few days ago.
As a consequence, three main suppliers, Nintendo, EA and Capcom, blocked the distribution of their most recent releases to the retailer.
The overall performance of the company in the last few months has been abysmal, with a £18 million loss for the year to 31 January being blamed on high fixed costs and an ambitious international expansion.
This Saturday, Edinburgh will go dark.
In conjunction with the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour 2012, Edinburgh will join hundreds of cities from all over the world by switching off lights and electricity, and going dark, for an hour.
Earth Hour is scheduled on the last Saturday of every March, closely coinciding with the equinox, and will happen this Saturday, March 31st at 8:30 pm.
Earth Hour began in 2007 in Sydney, Australia, and since then has spread massively across the globe. In 2011, more than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour, according to the WWF website.
Their website also stated “We’re delighted that all 32 local authorities in Scotland are participating again this year – promoting the event, arranging switch offs and organizing events.”
There will be a great number of monuments in Scotland that will join in going dark, including the Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish Parliament, Urqhuart Castle, and Scott Monument are just a few that will celebrate Earth Hour.
According to Mandy Carter of WWF Scotland, local authorities are working to promote Earth Hour to local communities, some by having switch off events and fundraisers. But they are using the trickle down affect to help spread the word.
Here in Edinburgh, the City Council has launched an Earth Hour photography competition that is running from 5th March to 13th April with the theme, ‘ What we’re doing about climate change’ to help promote Earth Hour.
The company that makes Irn Bru have reported a steady increase in profits.
AG Barr’s profits have increased by 16.4% to £35.4 million for the year ending January 2012. Turnover for the same period was £237 million.
Sales of Irn Bru itself rose by 2.7% with the company planning to open a new site in Milton Keynes.
Barr’s chief executive Roger White has praised the results, saying they coped with, “substantial raw material cost headwinds while achieving revenue growth based on brand development, innovation and improved focus on execution.
“Our operational performance improved substantially in the final quarter of last year and we are now beginning to see the benefits of our investment in our production assets.”
Famous for having an ‘other’ national drink, Scotland is one of the few countries where Coca Cola is not the top-selling soft drink.
Unite’s national officer Matt Draper said: “The professionalism of tanker drivers is at stake. We should not accept a lowering of standards so that the oil companies can maximise their profits.
“Four of the top global oil companies posted combined profits of a staggering £106 billion in 2011. Yet, drivers are suffering a contract merry-go-round, with their working conditions under constant attack.”
There are growing fears we could see a repeat of the September 2000 strikes which brought fuel shortages across the country. Due to the adverse effect a strike could have, the government has already arranged a contingency measure by enlisting army personnel to drive tankers if the protest goes ahead. It is hoped this will minimalise shortages and stop the country coming to a standstill.
Limited reserve stocks have been highlighted as an additional concern; due to the high price of fuel many petrol stations have stopped storing high quantities in reserve. This means that any reduction in deliveries will have an immediate impact on the availability of fuel.
Last week George Osbourne increased fuel duty as part of the budget, taking the cost of petrol to an average of £1.40 per litre, with a record high of £1.46.72/l recorded by the AA.
The latest price hike comes shortly after the announcement to raise the road tax bandings, with the top band range now costing over £1000 per annum. Drivers groups have long complained about the way motorists are overcharged for every aspect of owning a vehicle.
The result of the ballot will be announced later today.
Average prices per litre of unleaded petrol in the UK from 2007 to June 2011:
The percentage of the fuel cost which is attributed to tax is often criticised by consumer groups. Currently UK tax on fuel amounts to 70% of the pump price.
Cost per litre of crude oil extraction: 8p
Cost per litre of refining: 2p
Cost per litre to transport to UK: 2p
Cost per litre to transport to pumps: 5p
A ‘battle to the death’ is set to take place in Edinburgh tomorrow night.
The Voodoo Rooms will for the second time host Literary Death Match (LDM), an event originally created by Todd Zuniga, an LA-based writer and journalist and the founding editor of Opium Magazine.
The contest pits four authors against one another, as each reads a short extract of their work. Two finalists are chosen by a panel of judges, which have in the past included Christopher Brookmyre, Jon Ronson and D.J Taylor.
The winner is then decided by a more esoteric contest, as audience members are encouraged to take part in bizarre book-related games. A recent LDM in Boston on March 8th featured a round of “Pin the Moustache on Hemingway” – audience members were handed the moustaches of various famous authors, such as Arthur Conan Doyle and James Joyce, and then blindfolded, before attempting to attach the moustaches to Hemingway’s upper lip.
Deciding contests have also included a Spelling Bee Finale (held in Norwich earlier this month) and a Neil Gaiman Cupcake Chucking Contest in Minneapolis – St. Paul. Whichever author the winning audience members represent is then crowned champion, and awarded “literary immortality”.
LDM has been described by the Guardian as “witty, iconoclastic and unfettered from the constraints of the traditional, and largely corporate, publishing agenda.” Earlier this year, Zuniga was named one of 2012′s “Faces to Watch” in the LA Times, with his style described as an “unlikely combination of Vegas showman and book geek.”
The event has taken place all around the British Isles and has travelled to 39 cities across the world, taking in Helsinki, New York and Beijing. LDM has also featured at several festivals, including the Free Fringe and the Latitude Festival.
This is the fourth time that LDM has come to Edinburgh, with the first visit taking place in August 2010. Previously the contest has been held in The Banshee Labyrinth and at the Edinburgh Book Festival last August.
Iain McPherson, General Manager of the Voodoo Rooms, described the venue as being “very excited” to host the event again.
Yesterday the Sunday Herald published a full 800 page report by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC). For five years no paper was allowed to get access to the report. The controversial report highlights hopes of a new appeal in the name of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, since a believed miscarriage of justice may have occurred. The Libyan Megrahi got convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988. The Crown Office commented though, that it had considered all the information in the statement of reasons and had “every confidence in successfully defending the conviction”.
The reasons the Herald was able to publish the papers are Megrahi’s permission as well as the public interest for the Lockerbie bombing. First Minister Alex Salmond supports the report, which doubts Megrahi’s conviction. He said: “I welcome the publication in full of this report, which is something the Scottish Government has been doing everything in our powers to facilitate.” Salmond added also: “This report provides valuable information, from an independent body acting without fear or favour, and while we cannot expect it to resolve all the issues, it does however lay the basis for narrowing the areas of dispute and in many ways is far more comprehensive than any inquiry could ever hope to be.”
On Wednesday 21 December 1988, shortly after Pan Am 103 was taking off from Heathrow airport to go to New York, an explosion over the Scottish town of Lockerbie caused the aircraft fall out of the sky. 243 passengers and 16 crew members were killed, as well as 11 Lockerbie citizens. Megrahi got convicted for planting the bomb but got released in 2009 because he suffered from cancer, which was supposed to give him about three more months to live. Megrahi is still alive today.
The publication by the Sunday Herald was a contentious decision, since the it wasn’t authorised. The paper commented: “Under Section 32 of the Data Protection Act, journalists can publish in the public interest. We have made very few redactions to protect the names of confidential sources and private information.”
Experts do not believe the newspaper will face prosecution for publishing the documents.