All the latest headlines at 4pm from Edinburgh Napier News.
Rising legal costs have driven Edinburgh City Council to announce that they plan to take Portobello Park Action Group (PPAG) to court to recover costs incurred so far as a result of their attempts to block the building of a new secondary school on Portobello Park.
The group said this week that they plan to appeal the Court of Session decision saying that council do not need permission to go ahead with the plans.
Diana Cairns of PPAG responded today saying she was not aware that the Council had decided to sue, and said the group would need to take legal advice before responding to this news.
She agreed that this could possibly be a scaring tactic from the Council to try to discourage the group from pressing forward with their appeal.
Dunfermline face Dundee United tomorrow. Propping up the premiere league, every game counts. Jim Leishman, ex-player and director of football at Dunfermline, talks relegation, Rangers and a rough year.
“With football you’ve got to get results. We’re bottom of the league. A lot of times its not just the manager’s fault. It would be totally unfair to say were bottom of the league because Jim MacIntyre’s not a good manager. Just eight months before, he won the first division championship and it was great. I was part of the celebrations, I saw the delight in the families, I saw the delight of the players.
“Loads of things determine what league position you are. If you’ve got 3 million pounds to spend on players and you’re still at the bottom of the league you can get judged, it’s your fault.
“In Jim MacIntyre’s case he had loads of injuries. He brought players in and some of the top players were getting injured within two games. Now that is just real hard luck. But the public judge on league positions, and results and unfortunately Jim paid the price for that.”
Is there still time for Jim Jefferies to save Dunfermline from relegation?
“When I took over we had three games to go and we were bottom and we managed to stay up. Jim’s got seven chances to keep us up. So we’ve just got to start winning and believing this week.
“Hopefully he’s better than me. That’s the objective; try to give the players a lift, a new voice a new idea. Hopefully it works in a positive way.”
“Would you have liked to be the manager?”
“No, dinnae! I’ve worn that t-shirt, been there, seen it, done it, and you know – no.”
Because the blame’s laid at the manager’s door?
“I get the blame for everything anyway. It doesn’t bother me now! No, it does. It upsets you. No, I’ve been a manager since twenty-nine, I’ve done loads of things. So I’m content with what I’ve done. I’m fine with the director role. Would I like to be in charge of real Madrid?” a dubious pause and Jim starts laughing. “No as big as the pars. I’m with the big team.”
Has Rangers paid off its full debt to Dunfermline?
“We’re due 83 thousand pounds, and we’ve received 40 thousand pounds. The other moneys on its way in April sometime. The (Pars) players have been paid their basic salary. There’s still due some money for bonus and appearance money which were hoping to get that paid as soon as we can.”
Does he think the future of Scottish football is in trouble?
“It’s been a strange year, talking about league reconstruction, going down to ten, going up to sixteen, staying at twelve. I think that started to become a negative, chatting about that all the time. I don’t think that helps.
“When you do your budgets at the start, you estimate how many supporters are gonna come through the gate. For different reasons this year, we haven’t achieved those figures.
Our first game we expected seven or eight thousand people. Then they changed it from the Saturday to the Monday evening. And we get five and a half. Then Hibbs, estimated 6000, but averaged 4100. So that was harsh. We lost that revenue, we had a postponed game, storm damage and them the Rangers thing hit. So these are things that you don’t plan for.”
Was scoring the last winning goal at Ibrox one of your career highlights?
“That was great. That was forty years ago, April 72, thats the last time they won at Ibrox.”
“But it does mean that if Dunfermline win now against Rangers, your record is broken.”
“They better not! No, of course you want them to win, but, I just milk it, I’ve had some good fun with it. Everybody expects me to say that now, but it was a great achievement. I was only young at the time, eh? We won four-three, I scored the first goal it was great,. Loads of things. I was a Dunfermline supporter, and signing for the club was an amazing feature. Promotion as a player. Promotion as a manager. Nowadays, staying up in the premiere league is a major feature. Its not as easy as people think.”
Leith local election candidates faced the voters last night at the Leith Links hustings. On the menu were crucial issues for the port including the biomass proposal and the tram project.
Leith Waterworld was also discussed and the closure of the family-friendly pool last January has not deterred campaigners, Splashback, from trying to reopen it.
Edinburgh Napier News spoke to Johnny Gailey, one of the Splashback leaders.
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.
A charity fashion show has raised nearly £3,000 for children’s charity CHAS.
The event, organised by students at Edinburgh University, will run a special VIP event tonight (Friday, the 30th) and finish with a general admission performance on Saturday evening.
For more information or to buy tickets for Saturday go to: http://www.edinburghcharityfashionshow.com/
The men were found guilty of conspiring to send the package. The pieces of mail they sent last year were designed to injure but actually the devices could not explode. McKenzie got “bomb making” tips from US television show The A-Team.
A bank of evidence was mounted against the two, including recordings from a police bug in McKenzie’s car which taped him boasting about “building a bomb”.
There is also CCTV footage of the unemployed builder buying parts including nails for the packages from local shops.
They had previously faced an allegation of conspiracy to murder before it was dropped.
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.
The Harry Potter Studio Tour is opening tomorrow, 31st March in Hertfordshire, London.
Fans of the Potter franchise will be able to see sets from the films at Leavesden Studios in Watford, where all of the eight movies were filmed. The tour features real sets, models, props and costumes from the movies. Sets, which have been made in great detail include the Great Hall of Hogwarts, Harry Potter’s dormitory, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore’s office and Diagon Alley.
Fans can also watch short films about designers talking about their work, ride a broomstick in the green-screen effects room and see how animatronics, prosthetics and make-up were used to bring to magical creatures to life.
David Heyman, a producer on all the Potter films has said: “This is a tour for Harry Potter fans, but it’s also a tour for people who are not necessarily Harry Potter fans. It’s such a good insight into the making of a film…basically a how-to.”
Tickets for the tour can be bought online at http://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/en/your-visit/tickets-prices. Tickets cost £28 pounds for an adult and £21 for a child. The tour promises to be a magical experience for the whole family.
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.
Harp lovers across the world will be gathering at Edinburgh’s Merchiston Castle School from today, to join in a celebration of traditional music from the celtic fringe, and further afield.
Musicians from countries as diverse as Holland, Sweden, Poland, China, Africa and Colombia will gather to share their music – and their talents.
Performers include Lamine Cissokho from Senegal, a descendant of a famous musical dynasty that trace their roots back to the 15th century. He has been playing the African kora (harp) and other traditional West African instruments since the age of ten.
Edmar Castaneda is another attractive performer. From humble beginnings in Colombia, his musical inspiration came through his musician mother and local folklore traditions.
The festival has been running in Edinburgh for thirty years, and continues to thrive. Its Artistic Advisor, Isobel Mieras, comments with a twinkle in her eye,
“It’s a troublesome baby – it’s got big and successful, and looking after it becomes harder and harder!”
Originally for dedicated students of harp and other traditional instruments, the festival has become a growing attraction for lovers of traditional and folk music more widely.
“A lot of people think it’s a bit po-faced, but believe me, harp music can be exciting!”
Performances will be augmented by courses and workshops designed for everyone from the youngest child touching a clarsach for the first time, through to experienced players.
Young harpist, Elinor Evans, can be heard in this piece playing a traditional Scots tune, arranged by Isobel Mieras.
The West Lothian zoo is appealing for £60,000 to be raised for three former circus bears.
Carmen, Suzi and Peggy are currently in a holding pen in Belgium where they have been held in cages barely bigger then themselves.
For the last 20 years they have been transported around Europe as part of a circus act. The small zoo hopes to raise enough money to bring the bears to Scotland so they can live out their lives in space and peace.
This brings new debates over the laws of circus animals in the UK. While no animal circuses can be based in the UK, it does not stop others touring. There is a fear that tighter laws will come into force in England and encouraging some of them to also come to Scotland.
Four Famous bears:
Sooty has been making children laugh for generations and is a household name. Presenting his own TV show, along with Sweep, and performing magic the small bear has appeared in both children’s and adult’s programmes alike.
Tian Tian and Yang Guang the Giant Pandas who found fame in Scotland as they are the only Giant Pandas in the UK. They still have a waiting list at Edinburgh Zoo.
Paddington Bear is perhaps the oldest bear on our list and is famous for his love of marmalade. Paddington has become a cultural symbol for Britain and can be found in many tourist shops.
Wojtek the Soldier Bear – While the Polish army were travelling to Iran the soldiers came across a bear cub in the mountains. The soldiers took the cub in and he became part of the 4th Platoon where he developed a taste for beer and cigarettes. He often wrestled many of the soldiers, though few dared take him on. After the war in 1945 many of the soldiers settled in Europe, Wojtek moved into Edinburgh Zoo where his picture can still be found on the reception wall.
George Galloway, a Respect Party Candidate, most well known for his infamous Big Brother Stint, has won the Bradford-West by-election by 10, 140 votes.
Galloway, in a shocking victory, has taken the Bradford West Parliamentary seat from the Labour Party, and polled more than 18,000 votes. Galloway was expelled from the Labour Party in October 2003 because he expressed his opposition to the Iraq War. Soon after he became a founding member of the left-wing, anti-war Respect Party.
Mr Galloway said the victory is: “the most sensastional victory in British political history.”
Labour Leader, Ed Milliband, is very disappointed with the outcome of the by-elections, but has vowed to lead a Labour Party fightback. Miliband said: “It was an incredibly disappointing result for Labour in Bradford West and I am determined that we learn lessons of what happened.” Miliband will be travelling to Bradford soon, to try to: “win back people’s trust.”
George Galloway contested the parliamentary seat of Poplar and Limehouse, in the 2010 UK general election, as well as the Glasgow List in the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, but was unsuccessful in both.
George Galloway, beat Labour candidate Imran Hussein by 10,140 votes and received 15,595 more votes than Conservative candidate Jackie Whiteley, who came third in the election.
By: Pamela Paterson
Today women are celebrating their decolletage as they take part in National Cleavage Day.
The unusual event takes place in March or April each year and has been running since 2002. It is sponsored by well known bra maker Wonderbra, and according to them, “is a day for women to acknowledge that their cleavage is something unique and encourage you all to be proud of it.”
In a recent poll of 1000 women carried out by Wonderbra, 50% of women admitted to flashing some flesh in order to get served quicker in bars. 28% revealed that they wear a bust enhancing bra on a first date to impress a potential suitor, while one in seven admitted to wearing revealing necklines at work to get a career boost. A further 8% found that showing some cleavage helped them escape a parking fine.
Wonderbra also compiled a list of the top ten most boobilicious celebrities in their celebrity cleavage hall of fame. Television presenter Holly Willoughby came top of the list.
Wonderbra’s celebrity cleavage hall of fame:
1. Holly Willoughby
2. Scarlett Johansson
5. Marilyn Monroe
6. Dita Von Teese
7. Katy Perry
8. Brigitte Bardot
9. Kim Kardashian
10. Lara Stone
National Cleavage Day has remained one of the top trending topics on Twitter. Here’s what some Tweeters have been saying:
@Charles_HRH Camilla, one doesn’t care if it’s ‘National Cleavage Day‘. You’re not having your “crown jewels” on display.
Glasgow Rangers have more than 140 years of history, but the past few months may have been the most tumultuous, with the SPL title-defenders staring into the abyss of administration and the imminent uncertainty over possible takeovers.
A £25m bid from a Chicago-based company, if accepted, could see Rangers go into liquidation – an option fans do not support.
Club 9 Sports would want to form a new club, to avoid paying the club’s debts. Such action would lead Rangers to have at three-year ban from all European competitions. In the even more drastic scenario, liquidation could force Rangers back to the start, requiring them to apply to join the Division Three.
The only offer seeing Rangers go into administration came from former Ibrox director Paul Murray. Letting Rangers pay off their debts through the Company Voluntarily Arrangements (CVA).
The American bid is more than double Brian Kennedy’s offer, which was rejected yesterday. The American firm is now the frontrunner for taking over the club.
The family of John Carter who was beaten and left to die in a lift in Edinburgh’s Salamander Court in February last year have said “nothing can lessen the heartache we have gone through”.
Their statement comes a few hours after Simon Brown and Paul Banks were found guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced in Glasgow High Court to eight years imprisonment each, over the death of Mr Carter.
The family described the deceased as “a vibrant, fiercely intelligent, loving man who brought countless joy to the lives of his family and friends.”
They added “his laughter, his kindness, his ability to accept individuals for who they were and his inherent sense of fairness, were just a tiny part of who he was. If John could help, he would.”
Brown, 41, and Banks, 48, left Mr Carter to die on the 26th or 27th of February last year. They dumped his semi-naked in a lift after putting handcuffs on their victim and punching and kicking him repeatedly. They put a plastic bag over his head. Bruises to the scalp, chest and wrists were found in the post mortem examination.
The victim’s wallet was found on Paul Brown when he was searched by police.
Judge Michael O’Grady said they would have received ten years each if they hadn’t admitted the charge.
“You behaved with extreme cruelty and utter indifference. No sentence I can impose can ease the ordeal of Mr Carter’s family,” said the judge.
The pair admitted culpable homicide after the charge was reduced from murder.
By: Anna Redman
The Unite Union has decided against a possible fuel strike over Easter. However, a strike may still occur after Easter depending on the results of reconciliation talks.
The government caused panic buying when they advised drivers to fill up their tanks. Independent experts suggest petrol demands rose 172% yesterday.
In a statement, assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: “We do still retain the right to call strike action for after Easter should those talks break down.”
Approximately 90% of UK forecourts are supplied by Unite union. Almost 2,000 members are at the centre of this dispute.
Unite’s drivers are responsible for delivering fuel to Shell and Esso garages as well as a number of supermarkets.
On Thursday, Energy Secretary Ed Davey advised that people “just need to do the sensible thing… get a full tank of petrol, not a half-tank”.
“They thought I was joking when I said what I found. It has been the most unusual thing we have ever been given in the charity shop by far.”
Ashes from a cremation have been found in charity shop Arthritis Research Campaign in Midlothian. They were found after chairwoman, Lena Skilbeck, handled the vase and spilled the ashes in the Bonnyrigg shop.
The ashes have been sent to Barclays Funeral Services to be determine whether they are human or animal remains. They will be kept in the town’s funeral parlour until they are claimed.
When they were originally found, Lena had a difficult time convincing the other staff members she was being serious. “It was about 18 inches across and quite heavy so only a wee bit fell out, but I sweept up as much as I could and hoovered up the rest.”
“I was going to sprinkle them, but my husband said the owner might be looking for them, so I phoned the undertaker instead.”
The results to determine whether the ashes are human or not will be released until next week. The charity shop are still trying to find the owner, Lena says “I reckon they’ll come back in”.
Tian Tian the panda, also known as Sweetie, may be ready to mate with Yang Guang as early as next week on Tuesday 3rd or Wednesday 4th April.
Edinburgh Zoo and their team of experts have identified an increase in Tian Tian’s oestrogen and a decrease in her progesterone. Female pandas only ovulate once a year, and there is only a 36 hour period in which a female panda can fall pregnant. The two pandas at Edinburgh Zoo will be introduced to each other on Tuesday for 15 minutes at at time. They will probably be put together three times on the first date of Tian Tian being in oestrus. If natural mating does not occur on the first day of oestrus, the zoo may consider the option of artificial insemination.
However, expert keepers will be keeping an eye on the two, as pandas often tend to fight after mating or instead of mating.
A spokesperson for Edinburgh Zoo said has said: “We understand that the whole country is in a state of heightened anticipation, but whatever the outcome of next week, we as animal conervationists and scientists have learnt a huge amount in such a short time about this captivating species. We are just delighted to be playing our part in the essential long term worldwide panda breeding programme.”
Panda Mating Facts:
Panda mating season is from March to May.
A female panda may be in heat from two to seven days.
Pandas reach reproductive maturity at the age of seven years which lasts until they are 20 years old.
A female panda attracts a mate by rubbing against trees and urinating which leaves a scent which grabs the attention of male pandas, as well as by bleating calls.
The male panda leaves the female panda after mating and has nothing to do with the raising of the cub.
Pandas can have between one to two cubs at a time, but because newborn pandas require a high amount of care the mother will usually reject one of the cubs.
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.”