3pm Today’s Edinburgh Napier News Bulletin

For a round-up of today’s news, watch the Edinburgh Napier News bulletin.

Today’s headlines:

– The SNP is under fire over a freedom of information request that took 9 months to respond to.

– A 20-year-old man is in court today charged with the murder of a retired Edinburgh lecturer.

– Morningside Library will close for eight months for refurbishment.

– How will yesterday’s budget affect Scotland’s video-gaming industry?

– Exclusive at Leith Docks – Michael McKeand looks at the latest addition to the port.

Balotelli strikes again

By Edoardo Zandona’

Mario Balotelli when playing for Inter Milan. Credit: Steindy.

Since his arrival at Manchester City for £24 million pounds last summer, Italian striker Mario Balotelli has gained more attention for his off the field antics than for his performances on the pitch.

The Sun reports today about his latest exploit. Apparently, the footballer tried to start a fight with Jenny Thompson, an escort already involved in Wayne Rooney’s scandal, in a restaurant in Manchester after the Man City – Aston Villa game on March 2. According to the tabloid’s reconstruction, Balotelli approached the woman with a “Rooney, Rooney” chant, and taunted her with laughing and vulgar gestures. He then blew a raspberry in the face of one of the commensals, Sam Birch, and invited him to “come outside”.

Birch told the Sun: “He was acting crazy. I think he is unhinged”. Balotelli’s record in Manchester City so far is disappointing. While only scoring 6 goals in 12 appearances with the Sky Blues, he has collected 9 yellow cards and 2 red cards, earning him a ‘bad boy’ reputation.

Northern Ireland play Serbia in World Cup Qualifier

By Fearghus Roulston

Northern Ireland will take on Serbia behind closed doors after violent troubles following the Serb’s October game against Italy.

This hasn’t deterred fans from travelling however, with hundreds expected to make the trip. 200 Northern Irish supporters have been given special dispensation from UEFA to attend the game.

The British minnows have enjoyed mixed fortunes in their qualifying campaign so far, beating Slovenia but drawing with Italy and the Faroe Islands.

Manager Nigel Worthington has made changes in the squad following a dismal performance in a 3-0 loss to Scotland.

Chris Baird will captain the side from an unfamiliar central midfield role, with Chris Brunt in an advanced midfield role behind lone striker Kyle Lafferty.

The manager admired Serbia’s technique, saying: ” “We have got to look to get a good start right from kick-off, go and get stuck into them like we have done to teams in the past when we have got results against quality teams”.

The game kicks off at 19.30.

Gurkha awarded medal of bravery after repelling Taliban attack

By Michael Mckeand

The Conspicuous Gallantry Cross is only one level below the Victoria Cross

A Gurkha soldier has been awarded the second highest medal for bravery after fighting off over a dozen Taliban soldiers single-handed. Acting Sergeant Dipprasad Pun was on sentry duty at a checkpoint near Babaji in Afghanistan’s Helmand province in September last year when insurgents opened fire on the compound from all sides.

Sergent Pun, 31 from Ashford in Kent, found himself trapped by an onslaught of firepower from rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s. In retaliation, he fired off more than 400 rounds of ammunition, launched 17 grenades and detonated a mine. At one point, when his rifle failed, he resorted to throwing the tripod of his machine gun at an insurgent who tried to climb a ladder to where he took cover.

Acting Sergeant Pun said he was “a lucky guy” and was very proud to receive the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.

Recalling the incident, he said: “As soon as it was confirmed they were Taliban, I was really scared, But as soon as I opened fire that was gone. I just thought ‘Before they kill me I have to kill some.’ I thought they were going to kill me after a couple of minutes, definitely.”

Acting Sergeant Pun, originally from the village of Bima in Nepal, whose father and grandfather were both also Gurkhas, believed at the time there were about 30 attackers. He was told later by villagers it was more like 12 or 15.

The citation on the medal states that he saved the lives of three comrades who were in the checkpoint at the time.  “I think I am a very lucky guy, a survivor,” he said. “Now I am getting this award, it is very great and I am very happy.”

Breaking News: man charged with Gray murder

Merchiston Crescent Credit: Adam Smyth

By Celeste Carrigan

Pawel Rodak  a 20-year-old man has been charged with the murder of Roger Gray, retired lecturer. He has appeared in private at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

The charges made were culpable and reckless conduct, and endangering the lives of people in the building and surrounding area.

No declaration or plea was made on his behalf and the case continues for further enquiry. Rodak was remanded in custody.

3pm bulletin – Exclusive at Leith Docks

In today’s 3pm bulletin:

Credit: Blythe Hawkins


The SNP is under fire over a freedom of information request that took 9 months to respond to.

A 20-year-old man is in court today charged with the murder of a retired Edinburgh lecturer.

Morningside Library will close for eight months for refurbishment.

How will yesterday’s budget affect Scotland’s video-gaming industry?

Exclusive at Leith Docks – Michael McKeand looks at the latest addition to the port.

Grassmarket Community Project says: ‘Count on us!’

Credit: Daniel Schwen

By Edoardo Zandona’

Worried about filling in the census? Now you can ask somebody to help you out.

The Grassmarket Community Project will hold a drop-in session next Tuesday from 10-3pm, to help those struggling to complete this unpleasant but necessary duty. The charity describes it as a “learning and training project for the officially excluded”.

The first Scottish census for 10 years will arrive in 2.5 millions households by March 27. It will include, for the first time, questions about same-sex civil partnerships, as a result of the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

Tune into Susannah Radford on Edinburgh Napier News Radio at 2.30 pm to find out more.

Listen Here:

1.30 Bulletin

by Catherine Mumford, Susannah Radford, Fearghus Roulston, Orla Nr Sheaghdha

Orla all warmed up for the 1:30pm bulletin


Listen to today’s 1.30 bulletin to join in the debate as questions are asked about aid to Burma. We talk with Grassmarket Community Project about helping people to fill out the census.  We investigate whether people know about Earth Hour and find out what’s happening in this weekend’s first International Scottish Tattoo Convention.

Listen Here:

Morningside public library to close for renovations

Morningside Library Closing for Refurb Credit: Blythe Harkins

By Celeste Carrigan

Morningside public library is closing for eight months for renovations. The refurbishment will involve the creating of a new level in the library as well as a new cafe.

The library will see improved community and study areas with much-needed public toilets.

A book van will be in operation opposite the library during its closure on Falcon Road west.

Tune into Edinburgh Napier News TV Bulletin at 3pm to find out more on this story.

Air raids continue over Libya

Warfare in Libya. Credit: B.R.Q

By Edoardo Zandona’

Several air raids were conducted last night by the coalition forces over Libyan cities. In Adjabiyah, French planes destroyed an artillery battery belonging to Gaddafi’s army and British Tornadoes threw missiles on Libyan tanks. Residents reported other air raids in Tripoli and Sirte, followed by distant explosions and anti-aircraft gunfire, that also hit the Colonel’s bunker-residence in Bab al-Aziziya.

Meanwhile, clashes between Gaddafi’s and rebel forces continue in the town of Misrata.

British and French government announced today they are ready to work on a ‘political and diplomatic solution’ for the Libya crisis. This decision arrived after NATO said it will take over Libya’s no-fly zone, and it is ready to assume ‘broader responsibility’. The Alliance said their plan is to accomplish the ‘Odyssey Dawn’ mission in 90 days, but may be extended or shortened. NATO has already managed to involve the first Arab country in the conflict with the United Arab Emirates ready to send 12 planes to enforce the no-fly zone. Continue reading Air raids continue over Libya

Famous Landmarks join ‘Earth Hour’

Edinburgh Castle turns off their lights for 'Earth Hour' Credit: WWF

By Celeste Carrigan

Dr Richard Dixon, Head of WWF Scotland, speaks to Edinburgh Napier News about Earth Hour. Not only will people have to remember to put their clock forward one hour this weekend but don’t forget to switch off your lights at 8.30-9.30pm on Saturday 26 March as part of the WWF Environmental campaign.

Across the country, people will be sitting in the dark but they won’t be alone, some of Scotland’s well-known landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle will be joining in the campaign.

Tune into Edinburgh Napier News radio bulletins at 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm to find out more about Earth Hour and click on the link below to listen to Dr Richard Dixon to hear more.

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“The Forest has too much soul to close”

by Jane Bretin

Source The Forest blog


It has been announced today that The Forest Cafe must leave its current location in Bristo Place by August 31 2011.

The Cafe received a letter from the Trustees of Edinburgh University Settlement stating they would have to leave the premises when the lease ends in August. Edinburgh’s most famous independent arts’ centre launched a campaign last Autumn in an attempt to raise money to buy the building.

The campaign is set to continue until the very last-minute with more events to come which include the massive Roofraiser. This month-long event features free gigs every week, Wednesday to Sunday between 8pm and 11pm.

The outcome of the campaign is still uncertain. So what would happen if it did have to close? Harry Giles, fundraiser officer for the venue told us that if all else fails; “We will look for another building but The Forest has too much soul to close altogether. Even if we need to take a break for a few months to sort things out, we will reopen.”

The cafe has become one of the city’s landmarks throughout the years and is a popular festival venue. It relies on volunteers and organises free events to promote all forms of art. The Forest is also a community centre as it includes a hair salon, several music venues and is also involved in projects worldwide.

To take part in the campaign or show your support, click here to sign the petition or donate a couple of pounds.

12.30 Bulletin

by Catherine Mumford, Susannah Radford, Fearghus Roulston, Orla Nr Sheaghdha

Newsreader Cath reads the latest bulletin


Listen to today’s 12.30 bulletin to join in the debate as questions are asked about aid to Burma. The latest news about the war plane strikes on Ajdabiya from British troops.

Also, find out what charity has been helping with the census.

Listen Here:

HMS Edinburgh docks for the weekend

HMS Edinburgh docks in Leith Credit: Blythe Harkins

By Celeste Carrigan

The penultimate Royal Navy 42 Type Destroyer, HMS Edinburgh has docked in Leith for the weekend. Scotland’s capital ship will be open from 1pm to the public on Sunday 27 March 2011.

The public will be able to come on board and have a look around an active Royal Navy ship.

Edinburgh Napier News got exclusive photos of the ship as it docked in Edinburgh.

For more information on this story tune into Edinburgh Napier News TV Bulletin at 3PM

Round-up of the Middle Eastern conflict

Protesters in Syria. Credit: thephotostrand.

By Edoardo Zandona’

While battles on the ground and air raid attacks from the coalition continue in Libya, other countries in the Middle East are still experiencing turmoil. Here are the last updates country by country.

Syria: Syrian police forces arrested at least three demonstrators today after thousands gathered in the Syrian capital of Damascus for the funeral march of those dead in the last days’ demonstrations. According to the opposition forces, 100 have been killed by riot squads during protests in the city of Daraa. The Syrian government claimed only ten people died in Wednesday’s turmoil, and denied having ordered the police to open fire on the protesters, as stated by the Asharq al Aswat newspaper.

Yesterday, President Bashar al-Assad promised the start of a series of reforms in the country, including the lifting of the state of emergency which has been in place since 1963. The government also announced measures to fight corruption, to raise workers’ wages and to relax restrictions over the media.

Yemen: Tens of thousands of people have gathered today in the capital Sanaa in what is believed to be the biggest anti-government rally so far. President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in charge since 1978, while addressing his supporters, said he is ready to hand over power, but only to ‘safe hands’. He also urged his supporters to ‘stand firm’. The rallies are coming a week after 50 have been killed in protests.

The situation in the country seems about to explode. The Free Yemeni movement tweeted: “Taqyeer square screams right now: ‘The people want to overthrow the regime, Saleh you are going down tonight and no other night’.” A BBC correspondent reported that ‘the city is very tense and anxious, with a sense of history in the making’.

Latest reports say that government troops fired warning shots on the protesters.

Jordan: Supporters of Jordanian government have clashed last night with opposition forces, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit. King Abdullah’s supporters threw stones to the demonstrators who gathered on Thursday in the capital Amman. On Wednesday King Abdullah sent a letter to Jordanian newspapers, urging the Prime Minister to push through parliamentary reforms.

Man in court following death in Merchiston, Edinburgh

by Celeste Carrigan

Victim Roger Gray

A 20-year-old man is due in court later today at Edinburgh’s Sheriff  Court. He was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the murder of Roger Gray.

The murder of Gray, a 64 year-old retired lecturer, is the third homosexual related murder in a month. His body was found in his home in the city’s up market area of Merchiston. Police broke in last Saturday morning after a suspected gas leak. A postmortem examination found that he had suffered multiple stab wounds from what is believed to  have been a “sustained attack”.

Gray’s death follows those of John Carter, 44, in Leith and a man in Pilton, who cannot be named for legal reasons. Detectives said there is nothing indicating a link between the three men but will be keeping an open mind.

For more information on this story tune into Edinburgh Napier News TV Bulletin at 3PM

Turn off your lights with WWF for ‘Earth Hour’

Source: Maverick Photo Agency

By Georgi Bomb

This Saturday, 26 March, remember to switch off your lights at 8.30-9.30pm as people around the world sit in the dark to join in the world’s biggest environmental campaign, set up by WWF.

WWF are doing their bit for climate change week with ‘Earth Hour.’ It started in Australia during 2007 and has now stretched across 35 countries.

On 26 March at 8.30pm, not only will people in their homes switch off their lights but offices, government buildings and iconic landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle will be taking part in the campaign.

Tune into Edinburgh Napier News radio for the 12:30pm and 1:30pm bulletins where they will be talking to the director of WWF Scotland, Dr. Richard Dixon.

“Holy App” mayhem for Ipad 2 release

By Celeste Carrigan

Apple's Latest Gadget the Ipad2 Source: Apple

It is a gadget filled weekend with the release of the Nintendo 3DS and the Apple Ipad 2.

Thousands of people began queuing last night to get their hands on two of the biggest gaming gadgets as they battle it out for sales. Nintendo 3DS had a midnight launch with thousands queuing outside shops nationwide.  London’s Oxford HMV store held the official launch of the Nintendo 3DS with Plan B playing for the crowds. Continue reading “Holy App” mayhem for Ipad 2 release

Head of Edinburgh Zoo suspended

Edinburgh Zoo will soon welcomes two Chinese giant pandas

By Edoardo Zandona

Gary Wilson, the chief executive for Edinburgh Zoo was suspended yesterday after ‘anonymous allegations’ were made against him.

The nature of the allegations remains unknown, but a spokeswoman for the attraction said they are going to be treated ‘extremely seriously’. She also revealed that an internal and external examination are under way, although the police are not involved.

The suspension arrives immediately after the zoo announced the arrival of two specimen of giant pandas from China. Mr Wilson was responsible for all the zoo’s major projects, including the pandas import.

Edinburgh Zoo is owned by the Royal Zoo Society of Scotland, and is one of Britain’s biggest zoos. It opened in July 1913 and it attracts more than 600,000 visitors a year.


BAFTA Scotland winners announced

By Georgi Bomb

Copyright: BAFTA.org

It was all about the suits and gowns last night as the BAFTA in Scotland New Talent Award ceremony took place at Glasgow Film Theatre.

Celebrating fresh young talent, awarding students, and highlighting the future of Scottish film, television and digital media.

The night belonged to Lou McLoughlan who received two awards for Best Director: Short Form and Best Student Work. His work, Caring For Calum was a moving portrait of a man looking after his father in the Scottish Highlands.

The horror genre was well recognised with Hanna Stanbridge winning Best Actor/Actress award for her role as Petronella in Outcast, an Edinburgh-based horror. Naysun Alae-Carew scooped Best Producer: Short Form for his zombie take on High School Musical, Zombie Musical.

Ewan Angus, Chairman of BAFTA in Scotland said: “In today’s current economic climate, it is especially important that we take the time to recognise the outstanding level of talent emerging from the Scottish moving image industries. Tonight demonstrates the enormous wealth of potential we have within Scotland, and we’re proud to be able to give the winners the recognition they rightly deserve.”

For the full list of winners, check out the website.

Napier Craighouse Campus sold for residences

by Jane Bretin

Edinburgh Napier University has just announced the sale of their historic Craighouse campus to be converted into new homes.

The sale of the campus is part of a “long-term plan and is unrelated to education cuts” according to communications officer, Patrick McFall of Napier University.  The site was acquired by the university in 1994 and is home to the School of Arts and Creative Industries as well as the School of Health and Social Science. Both these disciplines will relocate their headquarters to either Merchiston or Sighthill campuses that offer a “better, more modern workspace” for staff and students.

The building, which was established in the 12th century, was bought by Craighouse Partnership. It will undergo redevelopment and be converted into private residences. It will continue to host private events until 2012 and will serve as university grounds until mid-2013.

Copyright FluFlixFlex

The buildings are also well-known for their original use as a mental asylum and its quirky architecture. According to the university’s website, it was home to the man who introduced skyscrapers to Japan.

The proceeds from the sale will be reinvested into the development of the university.