GPs hit back at malpractice claims

By Constantine Innemee

Claims that GPs have been over-prescribing sedative drugs to elderly residents of care homes have been rejected by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

A new report from the UK Government suggested 180,000 people suffering from dementia are being given anti-psychotic drugs, which have a sedative effect. Continue reading GPs hit back at malpractice claims

Publish medical pay says doctor

By Matthew Moore 

Taking maternity is an attributing factor to the pay gap in the medical profession says report


Doctor’s wages should be published to give “transparency” to the profession, says the author of a landmark gender pay report. 

There is a £15,000 gap between men and women in the medical profession in the UK, according to the report published by Imperial College London, the University of East Anglia and the British Medical Association (BMA). 

Speaking to Edinburgh Napier News, Dr Anita Holdcroft, a co-author of the report said that women face many challenges in “career progression”. 

Dr Holdcroft said: “This is an obstacle that can be overcome through increased transparency. 

“We want more openness with regard to what salaries people are earning, and we’d like independent auditors to analyse these.” 

Continue reading Publish medical pay says doctor

Councilman pleads Government to back ‘active’ Edinburgh scheme

byLori Carnochan and Emma Craig

A Labour Councillor has condemned the Scottish Government for its lack of support for an active youth scheme.

The scheme is being run by the East of Scotland Institute for Sport with the goal of making Edinburgh the most physically active capital in Europe by 2020. Continue reading Councilman pleads Government to back ‘active’ Edinburgh scheme

MSP calls for peaceful anti-Nato protest

By Megan Berkley and Cassandra Allwood

Bill Kidd MSP

An MSP has called for demonstrations held in Edinburgh tomorrow to remain peaceful.

Protests have been organised in the capital to oppose NATO. The organisation’s annual assembly begins today at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Mr Kidd is due to speak at a rally tomorrow against nuclear proliferation which he believes NATO should not be involved with.

He told Edinburgh Napier News: ” Demonstrations have to be constructive.

“People may think NATO is something to be opposed because it’s a violent organisation or that it encourages war. The best way to oppose it is to be non-violent. Non-violent civil disobedience is the best way to oppose any form of military organisation.”

The UK’s nuclear weapons system, Trident, is based in Faslane and is due to reach the end of its service life in 2024. Opinion is divided over whether it should be replaced.

While the UK government has argued for a replacement, others say it is too expensive. Official figures put the annual cost of maintenance at almost £2 billion with a replacement costing £75 billion.

Mr Kidd said: “They cost an absolute fortune and we’ve got better things to do with our money.”

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Don’t believe everything you read!

By Andrew Donaldson

When Canadian Transport Minister Mike Baird sent a text message this week declaring “Thatcher is dead”, it didn’t take long for the news to spread like wildfire throughout Canadian politics.

Even the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, was led to believe that Baroness Thatcher, Britain’s first female Prime Minister, had died aged 84. Continue reading Don’t believe everything you read!

Friday the 13th: The return of the revenge of the resurrection of evil!

By James Bradley


2009 is a particularly bad year for paraskavedekatriaphobics, or those with the fear of Friday the 13th. Today marks the third time that the alledgedly unlucky date has appeared this year.

There are many different theories why Friday the 13th has been singled out as an unlucky day. One of the key theories stems from the crucifixion of Christ.
Continue reading Friday the 13th: The return of the revenge of the resurrection of evil!

80th anniversary of penicillin celebrated

fleming[1]By Meghan Brown

The 80th anniversary of penicillin being discovered, is being celebrated today in Alexander Fleming’s birth place of Darvel, East Ayrshire.

Des Browne, MP for Kilmarnock and Loudon, has organised the event to commemorate Fleming’s medical work and his discovery, which has led to millions of lives being saved.

Alexander Fleming (6 August 1881- 11 March 1955) was a Scottish medic and bacteriologist who, by accident, discovered the antibiotic substance penicillin. Continue reading 80th anniversary of penicillin celebrated

TV sports report sparks backlash

The Olympics are among numerous other events which are free-to-air (

By Suhayl Afzal and Myles Edwards

Proposed changes to the list of free-to-air sporting events have triggered widespread criticism.

Sporting associations, journalists and the public have reacted angrily to the recommendations put to the department of culture, media and sport by an independent panel. Continue reading TV sports report sparks backlash

Toddler given compensation after attack from playmate

Jay Jones
Jay was seriously injured

By Charlotte Prentice

The mother of a toddler who was hit repeatedly by another 3-year old has won the right to compensation after a long two-year battle against the The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

Jay Jones, of Merseyside, was left for dead after he was hit over the head with a car jack 11 times while the boys were left alone in the car.

Jay’s attack in December 2007  suffered serious injuries that required stitches, his attacker “kept on lashing out even though Jay was screaming out in pain and covered in blood”, his mother said.

CICA was in a two-year legal dispute in this case because the attacker was only three years old and could not be prosecuted.

Renai Williams, Mother, said: “This has been a long and hard-fought process. We have been knocked back twice by the CICA because, in my opinion, they didn’t take my son’s case seriously.”

Ms Williams appealed the case which went to a tribunal and they decided in her favour.

 Michelle Armstrong, who represented the family said:

“We argued that the age of the perpetrator was irrelevant when claiming compensation from the CICA, it was at this point that we won.”

The legal age for criminal responsibility in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 10 and in Scotland it is only 8. 

 Solicitor Advocate John Scott commented:

” The reason that children aren’t prosecuted is because we accept the age of criminal responsibility is well above that level, it’s just so when children are behaving like children it’s not labelled as a crime.”

He added, “The Bulgar case involved two children there were serious questions about whether we should be prosecuting children as young as that in a trial setting, even with such a serious crime.

I don’t think in this case the boy should be labelled as if he was an adult. What the boy’s mother said is understandable but three-year old kids don’t have an understanding of damage. There is a bill going through parliament just now to increase the age of criminal responsibility in Scotland to 12.”

Manager of Jigsaw Nursery, Edinburgh, talked about toddler behaviour:

“Boys aged from 3-4 are generally more aggressive than girls because they have huge testosterone levels, the little boy who attacked Jay Williams wouldn’t stop because he didn’t  know the harm that was going on.”

Leith Traders get Christmas break from tram works

Embattled traders in Leith walk won their plea to suspend  the tram works for more than a month over Christmas this week.

The decision comes after an announcement by tram firm TIE that Constitution Street is to be reopened over the festive period having been closed for over a year.

The street will now remain free of all tram work until January, although some road barriers will still remain in place, with traffic being controlled.

Susan Clark, deputy project director said: “Having consulted with the local community and taken into consideration the current stage of the works in the area, we are pleased to advice that apart from one or two sections of minor cabling work Leith walk will be clear of tram works over the festive period between the end of November and 4 January, 2010”

This has been warmly welcomed by traders in the area and Gordon Burgess of the Leith Business Association, who felt they were being unfairly treated.

He said: “We may not have a Harvey Nichols, a Frasers or a Marks and Spencer, but were still important to the city. Princes Street have had constant advertisement letting shoppers know they are still open for trade, while we have quite frankly been forgotten.”

Earlier today Edinburgh Napier News spoke with Leith florist Carolyn Design Florist, owner Sara Morgan estimates her shop has lost almost half its trade since the tram project began. She looks forward to the road opening  and hopefully a Christmas boost for her sales.

Want you back for good?

By Luci Wallace and Olivia Scott

Robbie Williams joined the reformed Take That on stage for the first time in 15 years as part of a fundraising concert for Children In Need.

While the complete band did not perform together, it has set excitement in the heart of every Take That fan in exsitance and sparked rumours of a proper comeback.

This comeback would be one of around a million in recent years with everybody from the Spice Girls to Led Zeppelin reforming.

So why are all these comebacks so popular?

Edinburgh based gig promoter, Jamie Macleod, thinks it has something do with reliving the glory days.

“There’s a lot to be said for nostalgia with all those 80s tours on the go. It’s possibly come at a time where things aren’t so good for people and they just want to relive something that was better for them.

“Essentially you’re still selling to the same audience even though they’re a bit older. I think Take That have longevity.”

So lets take a look back through who has come and gone and come again, who’s been a success and who we wish had stayed quiet.


The boys who sparked the trend: Take That.

One of the most, if not the most successful boy bands of the ’90s, Take That won the affection of pretty much every teenage girl and her mother in the country and beyond. After an unhappy disbanding in 1996, the boys were back 10 years later to open arms and sold out concerts and are currently enjoying a level of success equal to that of their first time around. We’re talking screaming girls, fancy photoshoots, knickers-on-the-stage sort of stuff, it’s no wonder everyone else has jumped on the bandwagon.



spice girls DCTheir female counterparts: Spice Girls.

Who’d have thought that five women named after adjectives could be so mind-blowingly popular? First time around we were unashamedly obsessed with the every move of Baby, Ginger, Scary, Sporty and Posh and when they reappeared in 2008 the story was no different. The women were a bit older and a lot better dressed and the fans a little less hysterical but just as loyal when the Spice Girls embarked on their world tour to show everybody that girl power was still alive and high-kicking.



poiceThe Legends: The Police

A band that started in 1978 and is still relevant today with it’s long-lasting classics such as ‘Roxanne’ and ‘Every Breath You Take’. They reunited in 2007 for an extensive tour of the world that lasted a little over a year solidifying their position as one of the best bands of our time. Residents of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and just one of those bands whose songs everyone knows the words to, every little thing they do is magic. Sorry.



Who else has made a comeback in recent years?

Boyzone: One of the greatest boy bands ever, Boyzone returned late 2008, however the band is currently on a break following the tragic death of band member Stephen Gately in October 2009.

Backstreet Boys

Spandau Ballet

Blink 182


Led Zeppelin


No Doubt

…to name but a few, and there are plenty more where they came from.

So who knows how many more bands will come back into our lives? It’s difficult to say, but what is certain is that this is a trend that shows no signs of dying out. Expect many more comebacks over the coming years, some legendery, some unnecessary and some downright hideous.

Government nationalises railway lines

By James Scott

The government has announced it will reclaim the east coast line from London to Edinburgh after National Express decided to give up the franchise.

National Express who has owned the rights to the route for over two years decided to cut its  losses after reported debts of over £1bn.

This has led to fresh talks about the future of privatisation in this sector. Christian Wolmar a leading train and transport correspondent said, ” If National Express goes to the government, it will not get more money but it may be allowed to go over to a management contract.

“But if that happens, there will be queue at the door for similar arrangements from the other franchisees. That will mean the effective collapse of the franchising system. Clearly new franchises will no longer be able to be let on the basis of private companies taking the revenue risk, which negates much of the point of the whole system.”

Nationalisation of the train network began during World War II and during the mid 60’s was split into the big four. This included British rail but in 1994 under the Major government the railway sector was privatised.

But it has not been plain sailing and disasters such as Hatfield and Paddington crashes were two major blows to the crediblity of the privatised railway sector.

In the years since much of the sector has went back into government hands with the most prominent takeover being Railtrack national expressin 2002.

The failure of National Express has led to calls for more nationalisation sooner rather than later. Aslef the trade union for train drivers have urged the government to strip national express of its remaining c2c and East Anglia franchises.

A spokesperson said: ” National Express should not be able to keep those lines which are profitable and walk away from those that are not.”

A spokesman for National Express confirmed that ownership of east coast lines would fall into public hands.

The spokesperson said, “As of 23.59 tonight ownership will go to Directly operated railways, there will be no changes to timetables or any staff changes.”

The history of British railways has never been defined as stable. Since its birth nearly 150 years ago its has seen dozens of companies merge, split, go bankrupt, be nationalised, privatised and then renationalised.

The outcome of these new developments will hopefully bring more cohesion, but with the government planning to auction the route in 2011 the future of British railway lines is still uncertain.

Fiji must try without big names.

Scotland take on Fiji at Murrayfield tomorrow in  Andy Robinson’s first game in charge as national coach, although the visitors will be without several first choice players.

The club versus country row, synonymous with football, has reared its head within the oval game, with clubs refusing to release their Fijian internationals for the game.

Unavailable: Isa Nacewa

Several British and Irish based players are unavailable for Fiji. Isa Nacewa of Leinster and Saracens’ Kameli Ratuvou have not travelled to Edinburgh, whilst Ulster winger Timoci Nagusa remains in Fiji on holiday with his pregnant wife.

Other less established squad members have remained in New Zealand due to NPC Cup commitments. Ulster and Leisnter would not comment on why the players were not being released.

Kameli Ratuvou

With international football matches taking place across the globe this weekend, conflict between clubs and national associations was bound to be an issue, although it is an argument that is perhaps not often associated with rugby.

The International Rugby Board introduced new regulations on player availability at the beginning of this year.

The designated global release periods include the November international period, which applies to both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Fiji coach Glen Ella believes the regulations are not being applied across the board. He told the Scotsman: “All Test rugby nations should be treated equally and you can see the lower-level nations are not and it’s just not good enough.

“We have a regulation in IRB law and it’s still not being enforced. We understand the clubs pay their wages, but we’re only asking for three weeks a year.”

The absence of several of Fiji’s top players could be seen as a boost for Scotland, although Neil Hunter from the Forum of Scottish Rugby Supporters would rather see a full strength Fijian line-up.

He said: “If anything I’m sympathetic to Fiji. Having done so well at the last World Cup and to battle their way up the rankings above Scotland, it’s a problem that they now can’t field their best players, and its a problem the IRB has to deal with.”

Diving row hits Scotland

By Phil Turnbull

The Scotland versus Wales friendly match tomorrow is threatening to be overshadowed by the continuing row over diving.

In a week where Liverpool striker David N’Gog dived to win a penalty in a Premier League game against Birmingham, the diving row has now reached the international scene.

While Scotland hitman Kevin Kyle conceded he personally would take a dive in attempt to influence the outcome of a game, national team-mate James McFadden yesterday hit back, saying: “No way, I couldn’t dive”.

James McFadden (picture credit:

Birmingham striker McFadden said: “You try to play as fair as you can. You can foul for tactical reasons but I don’t think you can get away with a tactical dive.”

“I would not deliberately do that and try to con a penalty or to get a benefit because in the end you look stupid.”

Earlier in the week Kilmarnock striker Kyle admitted he would dive in a match if it helped Scotland to win.

Asked if he would take a tumble in the box, Kyle said: “I probably would because you go out on a Saturday afternoon just wanting your team to win at any cost and you take every opportunity that’s available to you.”

Kyle’s views are at odds not just with McFadden, but also SFA Chief Executive Gordon Smith.

Smith has been at war with FIFA over players diving ever since Arsenal star Eduardo dived to win a penalty against Celtic in the Champions League Qualifiers, eliminating the Glasgow side in the process.

It is not known how SFA bosses will react to the conflicting points of view from their star strikers.

Meanwhile Scotland captain Darren Fletcher has been passed fit for the clash in Cardiff.

Darren Fletcher (picture credit:

The Manchester United playmaker had missed training on Wednesday, but has now been given a clean bill of health by the Scotland medical staff.

The decision will come as a relief to manager George Burley, who is already without Old Firm quartet Steven Whittaker, Kevin Thompson, Scott Brown and Shaun Maloney.

Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon also misses out due to a broken arm.

Scotland’s last friendly match, against Japan in Yokohama, was dogged by call offs that entered into double figures.

While the Scots have no such problems this time round, Wales have been hit by a raft of withdrawals.

Eight players, including £14 million Manchester City star Craig Bellamy, have pulled out of the Welsh squad, forcing manager John Toshack to select Swansea City centre-half Ashley Williams as his new captain.

Williams will be Toshack’s 11th skipper used in his five-year tenure as national team manager.

Wales versus Scotland kicks off at 3pm tomorrow at the Cardiff City Stadium, and is live on Sky Sports 1 from 2.30pm.

Students slalom into Edinburgh

By Carolyn Mearns

Snow may not have started to fall just yet, but that hasn’t stopped hundreds of students descending on Edinburgh for the world’s biggest dryslope championship.

Held at Hillend, Europe’s largest artificial ski slope, the British University Dry slope (BUDS) races takes place Friday and Saturday.buds

Competitors and spectators have travelled from universities across Britain to battle it out on the slope in various disciplines including  slalom, ski and board giant slalom, team parallel slalom and different freestyle events to see who will be victorious.

Emily McDonald, 18 from University College London is attending BUDS for the first time. She said: “It’s amazing to see so many students, from different universities in the same place at once. The atmosphere is amazing.”

BUDS is the first major BUSC (British University Snowsports Committee) event of the year and gives students of all abilities the chance to represent their university.

Phil Scott, 19, Captain of Northumbria University Snowsport’s team said: “Being a captain at BUDS is a great experience, there are lots of perks. I still get all of the fun, but have some responsibility to go with it.”

photo credit -

Friday ends with a sold out night-time venue at City nightclub, where students can let their hair down after a day of braving the elements. Whilst Saturday evening sees BUDS ball returns to 2007’s location at Murrayfield Rugby Stadium where prize giving will take place.

 BUSC is run by a full time organising committee, whose members change every year and are elected for the following season during BUDS weekend and the winners are announced at the ball.

Competing to organise BUSC events 2010/2011 are MacBid a coalition of students from Glasgow, Strathclyde and Aberdeen Universities and Best of the West, with students from Sheffield, Bristol and the University of the West of England joining forces.

The BUSC events committee organises a host of races across the academic year, ending  with the Main Event which will see nearly 3,000 students take over Alpe d’Heuz. Chairman Quentin Tchakhotine describes BUSC as, “truly addictive events, nothing less”.

Superstitious minds

By Kenny Simpson

For the third and final time this year, the superstitious among us have to survive the unluckiest day of the year. Today is… Friday the 13th!

Death's hand (picture credit: Margon

The number 13 is widely accepted as a very unlucky number and Friday as an unlucky day, so it is little wonder why so many of us fear leaving the house on this date.

Ranging from tiny unexplainable happenings to being killed in all sorts of horrific ways, minds seem to run wild with speculation of what could happen on any Friday that lands on the 13th of a month.

But is there really any reason to fear for your life or is it just a case of superstitious minds? That, it seems, depends on who you speak to.

Kirsty Anderson, 22, Edinburgh, is one person who has had an unlucky morning; “I think Friday the 13th definitely brings bad luck. I woke up this morning and found my computer wasn’t working and wouldn’t even switch on. It’s a bad start to a day that’s only going to get worse.”

Some would say unexplainable; others that it was just a computer malfunction that was always going to happen. The majority of people shrug off  Friday the 13th as just another day and feel that what happens is down to them and not superstitions. 

Tom, an employee of Starbucks Edinburgh, said: “I’ve not burnt myself making coffees this morning and that’s down to me being careful and not silly superstitions. If I end up hurting myself today then it will be from a stupid mistake rather than the fact it’s Friday the 13th. I don’t believe in any of this superstition or destiny stuff.”

Photoshopped for Friday 13th but could it happen to you? (picture credit:

Ironically any Friday that falls on the 13th is often a lot safer than other Fridays because people are generally more wary of being cautious and some refuse to even leave their homes.

Insurance companies have even found that on average Friday the 13th has around 150 less claims than other Fridays during the year.

However all this cautiousness must have an affect somewhere and it is usually the world of retail who lose millions of pounds of sales because of peoples’ insecurities.

Janet Grainger who works for Dobbies Garden World said: “For the last few years we have noticed a considerable drop in transactions on Friday the 13ths. We have put this down to members of the public being less willing to travel out to the site because of worries about accidents.”

So on this Friday the 13th will you give in to superstitions or chance your luck that you’ll survive to deal with the next one?