The Susan Boyle story – Day One

By Lauren Crooks

TODAY marks the start of our special Britain’s Got Talent feature on the remarkable rise of Scotland’s fastest-rising star: Susan Boyle.

In the run-up to Saturday’s live final, Deadline Scotland is charting the life of Britain’s most amazing talent all this week – The Susan Boyle Story, Every Day, 6.30pm GMT.

Hawk back behind bars after taking flight from Castle Huntly

By Oliver Farrimond

A VIOLENT criminal nicknamed “The Hawk” has turned himself in after being on the run for almost a week.

The criminal, whose real name is Brian Martin, escaped on Monday May 18 from Castle Huntly Open Prison in Angus, where he was serving a 10-year sentence for firearms offences.

Tayside Police reported yesterday that 51-year-old Martin had handed himself into Kinross Police Station after a direct appeal from police.

Kenny MacAskill, Justice Secretary, said: “Our police officers do an excellent job on behalf of the law abiding public, and they have demonstrated that once again in the professional way they closed the net on Brian Martin.

JUSTICE: Kenny MacAskill

JUSTICE: Kenny MacAskill

“The Scottish Government has acted to make the open prison system much more secure than in the past – however, no-one disputes that in any system there will be failures of assessment, and there will be an investigation into the circumstances of this case.

Lessons

“I have written to Mike Ewart, the Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service, to ensure that any further lessons are learned and applied, while at the same recognising the substantial improvement achieved by the officers and staff of our prison service.” Continue reading

Edinburgh University students protest over feared budget cuts

By Oliver Farrimond

HUNDREDS of angry students protested in Edinburgh today (mon) over proposed budget cuts to Edinburgh University’s modern languages teaching.

Joined by Shirley Ann Somerville MSP and a host of university staff, a noisy crowd waving signs and banners gathered outside the university’s Old College, where officials were due to meet student representatives later in the afternoon.

The protest, backed by staff, is over cuts worth £400,000 to be made over two years to modern languages, which could see subjects such as Russian and Portuguese disappear completely.Protest07

Fears were also expressed that the cuts, coupled with the current economic climate, could claim valuable courses and staff jobs at the prestigious university’s languages department.

Adam Ramsay, president of the university’s student association, said: “This is exactly time that we should be learning more foreign languages, to build our relationships with Europe and the rest of the world during this time of economic difficulty.

“This has happened because of a failure to invest in growing our language provision by both the university and the government.

Failure

“With today’s protest we’re hoping to see an increase in investment for the teaching of foreign languages, rather than damaging cuts that have come as a result of a failure to properly invest.

“We’ve seen over the years that when students make their voices heard, it is possible for them to win change, and with the current economic climate and terrible jobs market for graduates, politicians are going to see more and more student protests, and they should be worried about that.” Continue reading

Hearts ace’s ‘gun threat’ at club

By Paul Thornton

HEARTS defender Lee Wallace has appeared in court following an alleged gun threat at an Edinburgh nightclub.Sheriff court stock pic

The 21-year-old, who recently won the club’s Young Player of the Year award, was arrested at Lava and Ignite nightclub in the capital’s West Tollcross in the early hours of Monday morning.

 

It is claimed that the footballer threatened to shoot staff and refused to leave the establishment.

Wallace is also charged with shouting and swearing, acting in a disorderly manner and breaching the peace at the club.

The left-back is also alleged to have become aggressive while being transported to St Leonard’s Police Station and is claimed to have threatened police both in a police car and at the police station.

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Gordon Strachan confides in parents over quit decision

By ALEXANDER LAWRIE

FORMER-CELTIC boss Gordon Strachan confided in his parents about his decision to leave the Glasgow club in the days leading up to the move.

The under-fire manager quit as the manager yesterday (Mon) and has flown out on holiday to decide what his next career move will be.

Some rumours suggest the fiery redhead may now be appointed boss at Premiership strugglers Sunderland.

But mum Cathie laughed off suggestions her son would be taking over at boyhood heroes Hibernian.

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Red alert for Eagle Couriers as success drives expansion plans

By SHAUN MILNE

A SCOTS courier firm faces rebranding its entire fleet – because of a Europe wide shortage of RED coloured vans.

Eagle Couriers has been scouring the motor markets for weeks trying to source rare red coloured delivery vans after landing £3million in new contracts from communications giants BT and NHS Scotland.

But so far the firm – which has transport bases in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Bathgate – is being offered only tradition white alternatives.

Figures suggest the worldwide credit crunch means there are something like 23,000 white vans lying unsold on forecourts around Europe.Eagle Courier Van

Yet hardly any dealers have coloured vans available – let alone red.

Rather than forking out on what could prove to be costly re-sprays to match their fleet, Eagle Couriers say they are now considering even more drastic measures, changing altogether.

Livery

Director Jerry Stewart said: “It’s incredible.

“If we can’t source red vans soon – or if we don’t hear of red vans being available – then we may have to look at changing the fleet over to another colour.

“Apparently there’s something like 23,000 white vans lying unsold in Europe, so that may be the way forward.

“But it would be a shame to lose our distinctive livery as it’s built up a lot of goodwill over the 30 years we’ve been in business.” Continue reading

Shirley Manson “too old” to be Bond babe

By ALEXANDER LAWRIE

SCOTS rocker Shirley Manson has admitted she will never become a Bond girl – because she feels she is too old.

The talented singer-turned-actress has already gone down in 007 history when her band Garbage recorded the theme tune to the 1999 Bond blockbuster The World Is Not Enough.

But Manson shot down suggestions she would be appearing alongside the suave British secret agent in a future assignment, despite recently been seen in the Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles playing a liquid-metal robot.

She said: “I had my Bond experience with the band and it was pretty fantastic, but I feel I’m just a bit too old to be a Bond girl.

Continue reading