News in Brief


by Margaret Kearns and Alexandre Tregre

Scottish hospitals to fight MRSA with “fresh air machines”

Scottish hospitals are to trial the use of Air Disinfection machines aimed at combatting the spread of the superbug MRSA. The clean air machines, devised by Mid-States Technology, have already proved successful in Sunderland Royal Hospital and are destined for Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway.

Obama team to meet Bush today for transition talks

Obama takes his first steps into the Oval office today to meet with Bush at the White House for a discussion on the transition of power. Head of Obama’s team John Podesta indicated yesterday a strong urgency to make reversals on many of Bush’s executive decisions on oil and gas drilling and stem cell research, amongst others.

Government advice to women: stop taking the pill

The Scottish government are to commence a new strategy urging women to forsake the contraceptive pill in favour of longer lasting methods of birth control such as implants or injections. The move is set to combat the rising abortion rate in Scotland with £270,000 a year earmarked for spending on the initiative.

First Lockerbie payouts made to families in U.S.

$500m has been paid to the U.S. families who lost loved ones in 1988’s Lockerbie bombing. The compensation money came from a $1.5bn Libyan Government payout issued to the U.S. in August which also incorporates the victims of bomb attacks in Germany in 1986. The Libyan government denies responsibility in the attacks but has taken the step in order improve its diplomatic relationship with the U.S.

Sat Nav for the blind developed by Glasgwegian

A blind man has invented Loadstone, an innovative new satellite navigation system for the blind. Monty Lilburn, 33 developed the mapping software which can be downloaded to a mobile phone and delivers useful directions and information on bustops, road crossings, cash machines, journey times and train stations.

Scottish man clubbed to death in Barcelona

Lanarkshire man Derek Cowan was found, having been clubbed to death at his business partner’s Barcelona home. British police have revealed Cowan may have been involved in illegal share dealing. Spanish police investigating the murder have refused to comment on the link and are continuing the search for Navy officer William Madley who is was to have met with the victim on the day of his death.

Russian sub accident claims 20 lives, 21 more critically injured

The trail run of a new Russian submarine has ended in tragedy in the Sea of Japan after a fire safety system malfunctioned by emitting freon gas, killing 17 civilians and 3 seamen amongst the 208 on board. A further 21 people are critically injured in hospital. President Medvedev has called for a thorough investigation of the accident.

New Labour party leader attacks Salmond

After winning his new position as Labour party leader, Ian Gray launched a verbal attack on SNP First Minister Alex Salmond. Mr. Gray became the fifth Scottish Labour leader since the devolution began. Following his victory he gave a speech that projected unfortunate feelings toward
Salmond claiming that, “we don’t need a First Minister who takes pride in putting people down.”

Doctors’ mistakes kill thousands

According to updated research it is suggested that doctors mistakes’ kill tens of thousands of patients at a cost of £300m a year in the United Kingdom. In Scotland alone such mistakes affect up to 50,000 patients. Unfortunately, up to 90% of medical errors are not accounted for. Such errors can include misdiagnoses and prescribing incorrect medications.

Weekend carnage on the roads as little boy dies in car smash

Four people have died on Scotland’s roads this past weekend including a seven year old boy from Peebles. Benjamin Paton and his dad Allan were involved in a road collision on the A9 near Perth which resulted in the death of the boy whose father was also seriously injured in the two car smash. The lives of three other men were also lost when a car left the road and two cars collided in Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire respectively.