Runners raise £40,000 for stricken rugby teen

01-merchiston-school-great-runBy Michael MacLeod

OVER 200 classmates of a Scots schoolboy who injured his spine in a horrifying rugby accident will sweat it out in Sunday’s Great Edinburgh Run.

Former Scottish under-18 international Nick Watt, 18, is still recovering after a scrum accidentally collapsed in a match between two rival private schools.

The teenager’s life-threatening injury left pupils and teachers at Merchiston Castle School in shock.

Amazingly, his friends at the school have raised over £40,000 for a capital-based charity assisting his recovery, and 258 pupils and teachers have signed up to run the 10km race this weekend.
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Alex Salmond launches world’s largest collection of whisky

By Oliver Farrimond

THE WORLD’S largest collection of Scottish whiskies was officially unveiled in Edinburgh yesterday by First Minister Alex Salmond.

Visitors will be able to tour the collection, certified by Guinness World Records as the largest of its kind, in a high-tech vault at the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Capital’s Royal Mile.

The collection contains more than 3000 whiskies built up over 35 years by Brazilian whisky enthusiast Claive Vidiz, and has been shipped across the Atlantic especially to mark Homecoming 2009.

As well as the collection itself, the exhibition features an interactive tour, charting the history of Scotch whisky from a cottage industry to a famous brand recognised world-wide.

In a speech to mark the opening of the collection, First Minister Salmond said that Scotch whisky was one of Scotland’s most iconic contributions to the world.

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George Foulkes sparks hunt for political blog bandit


A FURIOUS MSP has vowed to sue whoever is behind a spoof website which has published a series of damning posts about top Labour politicians – in his name.

Raging Labour Peer George Foulkes has also gone to police asking them to probe the identity of the people behind the fake Blogspot weblog which he says has nothing to do with him or any of his own official websites.

The blog – Labourchanter – which carries a picture of the Labour attack dog and a detailed biography – contains a series of hugely defamatory allegations against Labour leader Iain Gray and also his predecessor Wendy Alexander. Continue reading

Missing windsurfer’s body found


THE BODY of a man found washed up on the Fife coastline has been identified as missing surfer Nigel Dawes.

Married-father-of-three, Nigel Dawes, 44, of Gordon, Berwickshire, was reported lost when he failed to return to shore off the coast of Eyemouth on April 7 sparking a huge rescue effort.

Just hours after he disappeared his prized surfboard was found abandoned, but since then there has been no sign of the popular sportsman anywhere.

But yesterday (Fri) police confirmed the body found near to the shore at Kirkcaldy on Saturday was that of Mr Dawes.

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Spitting mad cab driver clocks up £300 fine

By Paul Thornton

A CAB driver was sacked after he spat on a woman’s car during a road-rage bust-up.

Dawood Masood, 34, launched into a fouled mouth rant when Lorna King pulled in front of him in a busy three-lane road.

Despite the 35-year-old woman apologising for her mistake, Masood pulled-up beside her and shouted shocking language at the terrified motorist before spitting on her windscreen.Dawood Masood


Masood had his black taxi licence revoked following the incident but insisted he was a “professional driver”.

Yesterday (Friday) at Edinburgh Sheriff Court he was also fined £300 after he admitted a breach of the peace.

Fiscal depute Gillian More told the court how Masood had been cut-up by Miss King on Edinburgh’s Quality Street on August 7 last year. Continue reading

Bouncing baby Boy-le for TV talent star Susan


BRITAIN’S Got Talent’s odds on favourite received an extra special delivery this week – a bouncing baby Boy-le.

Singer Susan Boyle was said to be “thrilled” after hearing niece Jacquelene Houston, 31, had given birth to son James John – named after his two granddads – at St John’s Hospital in Livingston, West Lothian.

jacquelenehoustonAnd the close-knit family revealed that the tot will be sleeping in the same cradle that Susan did as a child.


Mum Jacquelene, pictured left with husband Stephen, said: “He will be sleeping in the same Moses basket that Susan slept in when she was a baby.

“We have repainted it, but it’s the same one – so it’s almost 50 years old.

“Hopefully hearing her on the TV show and sleeping in her basket will mean he will be musical just like his great auntie. Continue reading

Edinburgh based police officer faces PC court rap


A policewoman  has admitted illegally accessing information about people from computer databases at the station where she worked.

Anna Wong, 26, was suspended by Lothian and Borders Police after it emerged she had looked up personal data on people while working at St Leonards Police Station between March 2006 and June 2007.4-sheriff-court1

She used the Scottish Intelligence Database and the Lothian and Borders Operational Support System to obtain personal details of a number of Chinese people living in Scotland.


Miss Wong was charged with 54 breaches of the Data Protection Act and is facing a disciplinary hearing by bosses at Lothian and Borders force.

And yesterday (Friday) at Edinburgh Sheriff Court she admitted 27 of the charges, while Crown Office officials dropped the remaining allegations. Continue reading

Hibs fans plan swine flu taunt for derby visit to Hearts


HIBS fans are preparing to taunt bitter rivals Hearts at the final Edinburgh derby of the season next week by donning surgical face-masks in a jibe at the recent swine flu scare in Gorgie.

An online campaign on fansite Hibs.Net has been underway ever since newlywed Gorgie couple Pete and Jenny Marshall were quarantined after returning from honeymoon in Mexico with flu like symptoms.

HEARTS CONFERENCETheir home is less than a mile away from Hearts ground Tynecastle prompting a barrage of abuse from Hibees.

One online fan calling themselves True Hibernian jibed: “Brilliant.  For the next derby I think it would be humorous and apt to wear surgical mouth masks (as they do in Tokyo, Mexico etc).”

“I have often argued that we should wear those anyway regardless of flu, as they do tend to smell a bit there.” Continue reading