Experts warn for tough year for drinks giant Diageo

By Oliver Farrimond

CITY experts have warned that Scots drink giant Diageo could be “walking through treacle” over the next year.

Analysts have warned that mounting unemployment figures could lead to a dramatic drop in bar sales of the group’s flagship products.

Diageo, the makers of Smirnoff and Guinness, are planning to raise the prices of their American products to counteract the bleak forecast.

Analysts at financial advisory group Collins Stewart said: “A resurgence in Diageo profit growth is dependent upon a healthier on-trade in markets where unemployment remains stubbornly high.” Continue reading

Scots experts warn against dangerous DIY Botox kits

By Oliver Farrimond

SCOTS cosmetic surgery experts have sounded the alarm over potentially deadly DIY Botox kits.

The £115 home therapy kits have needles which contain the deadly poison botulinium, and have already been linked to a several deaths in the United States.

And now a chorus of Scottish experts are urging caution over the packs, and instead urging consumers to seek professional medical advice over the treatment.

A spokesman for Glasgow-based Transform Cosmetic Surgery Group said: “With the increase of so-called DIY Botox via mail-order and online, we feel it is vital to highlight the dangers of self-application and how this can in some cases make the problem worse. Continue reading

Covert break-ins by Scots police on the rise

By Oliver Farrimond

THE NUMBER of undercover break-ins by Scotland’s police forces has increased dramatically over the past year.

Covert entries to homes and offices, as well as the planting of listening devices and other surveillance equipment, rose by almost 40% compared with previous years.

The figures, for the period April 2009 to April 2010, show that the majority of cases were to tackle suspected drug dealers.

Covert operations were used 163 times in the period, compared with 138 times for the previous year, and all were performed without warrants. Continue reading

New Robert Burns museum features cast of Bard’s skull

By Oliver Farrimond

A NEW £21 million museum celebrating the life of Robert Burns is set to open in Alloway on 1 December this year.

The flagship display will boast a number of items relating to the Scottish Bard that have been rarely seen by the public.

The precious artefacts on exhibition include a pair of inscribed pistols, and a cast of Burns’ skull made by experts who thought that they could use it to work out the origins of his genius.

Nat Edwards, director of the museum said: “This is the first time that they can all be seen under the one roof, in a modern museum that will make Burns’ life accessible to people. Continue reading

RBS urges caution to workers as climate camp continues

By Oliver Farrimond

UNDER-SEIGE RBS workers have been ordered to work from home after climate change protestors threatened “direct action”.

Some of the 1,000 activists camped outside the RBS headquarters in Gogarburn are reportedly planning more disruptive action after last week’s attempt to storm the building.

And now bank bosses have told workers to consider alternative options to guarantee their safety.

A spokesman for RBS said: “Our priority is to ensure we minimise disruption for staff and customers. Continue reading

Man dies in Fife following head-on road smash

By Oliver Farrimond

A MOTORIST has been killed in Fife after a head-on collision that also left five people needing urgent hospital treatment.

Police sealed off roads after a green Ford Focus collided with a blue MG just after 5.30am yesterday morning at Luthrie near Cupar.

Police and ambulance services were called to the scene shortly afterwards, as well as three fire appliances with specialist cutting equipment.

A male motorist died at the scene, and fire crews had to use cutting equipment to free five other injured people, who were taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

None of their injuries are thought to be life threatening, although several needed urgent treatment for fractured limbs and abdominal injuries.

A spokesman for Fife Police said: “Fife Police are currently investigating an accident in which a man has died following a collision involving two cars on the A92 this morning.

“We are appealing for anyone with information to contact Fife Police on 01592 25 11 11.”

200ft hill fall sparks rescue operation

By Oliver Farrimond

EMERGENCY Services battled for four hours on Saturday to rescue a man who fell 200ft down a steep embankment.

A rescue force, which included two helicopters, eventually rescued the 43-year-old man, who slipped down a hill at Laggan Park at Crief.

He was airlifted to Ninewells Hospital for treatment on a number of injuries, which although not life-threatening, were described as “traumatic”.

A spokesman for the Scottish ambulance service said: “A male fell 200ft down a steep embankment and in the process sustained a number of traumatic injuries.

“It was a difficult operation to retrieve him even with two helicopters because of the awkward terrain.

“The helicopters had trouble winching him out because of the thick foliage.”

Police, Fire, Ambulance and Mountain Rescue services teamed up to rescue the man, who was taken to Ninewells hospital for treatment on injuries to his arm and chest.

His condition is not thought to be life-threatening.