Nurses urged to whistleblow

By Clare Carswell

NURSES will be encouraged to blow the whistle on inadequate care of patients.

Today, (Mon) all registered nurses and preregistration nurses in the UK will receive information from the Nursing and Midwifery Council on how to raise any concerns they may have regarding a patient’s care.

The aim of this initiative is to set out principles for best practice and work with local whistleblowing policies and safeguarding procedures.

NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, Professor Dickon Weir-Hughes, said: “Poor care must never be tolerated.

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Scottish cyber crime expert recommends lying online

By Clare Carswell

A SCOTTISH cyber crime expert has urged online users to lie about personal details to prevent identity theft.

Dr Ian Ferguson a digital forensics expert based at the University of Abertay has warned people to be careful about the information they provide online.

Giving out personal details such as date of birth on the internet leaves online users open to crime.

He said: “There was never any reason why someone should tell the truth with birth dates or your mother’s maiden name – it’s just a secret you can remember.”

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Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan hunted for witch role

By Clare Carswell

The lead role in a film about Scotland’s most notorious witch will hopefully be played by Doctor Who’s, Karen Gillan, if screenwriter, David Ness has his way. 

Ness who lives in Nairn, has worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names and has had his most recent screenplay about Scottish witch, Isobel Gowdie snapped up by a production company.

Ness, who is also a lecturer in sociology, philosophy and English literature at the University of the Highlands and Islands, was inspired by Gowdie, who was tried for witchcraft in 1662.  The confession that she gave is considered to provide the most detailed insight into European witchcraft folklore.

In the film, Ness intends use the 17th century story as the basis for a contemporary tale of a young girl who is distressed by the loss of her mother.  The character is haunted by a woman from the time of Isobel Gowdie’s life, therefore providing a link back to the original story.

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Scottish universities spend thousands on honorary degrees

By Clare Carswell

SCOTTISH Universities have shelled out £100,000 for celebrities and other notable people such as American business tycoon, Donald Trump to receive honorary degrees.

Over the past three years, Scottish universities have spent vast amounts of money on travel, accommodation and hospitality for various people they want to award an honorary degree to.

The University of St Andrews has racked up the biggest total, £60,000 including expenses for air fares and hotel accommodation. 

Last year alone, the Fife university spent more than £30,000 towards honorary degrees.  Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy was one of the recipients whose appearance contributed towards that sum.

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Scottish adoption system set for a revamp

By Clare Carswell

THE Scottish adoption system is to be revamped in a bid to increase the number of vulnerable children in permanent homes and make the process more straight-forward for potential parents.

The introduction of a National Adoption Register is to be announced this week as the Scottish Government continue discussions ahead of a pilot scheme due to start next year.

The new register will provide a comprehensive record of the number of children in need of a home and prospective parents in Scotland.

It is hoped that the adoption process will become simplified and encourage more people to consider adopting a child, and boost the number of cared-for-children finding a permanent home.

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University unveils “green” supercomputer

By Cara Sulieman

A SCOTS university has unveiled a “green” supercomputer that can process data more than 1000 times faster than the average PC.

Eddie – the main supercomputer at University of Edinburgh – has been upgraded to make him more environmentally friendly.

The system – based at the Edinburgh Compute and Data Facility – can now run more complex problems in less time and using less energy.

Eddie will aid university research into areas such as bioinformatics, speech processing, particle physics, material physics, chemistry, cosmology and neurology.

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Prostitute who gave oral sex in cemetery has public indecency conviction quashed

By Cara Sulieman

A PROSTITUTE who gave a customer oral sex in a cemetery has had her conviction for public indecency quashed because there wasn’t enough evidence to prove she had meant to be caught.

Donna Fearn was originally found guilty of an act of public indecency after a trial at Dundee Sheriff Court.

It came after officers found her with a client in the Eastern Cemetery and Necropolis in Dundee on July 11, 2009.

Officers spotted her speaking to a man before crossing the road and entering the graveyard with him.

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