Scottish Enterprise spent £100,000 on hiring celebrities

SCOTTISH Enterprise has splashed out more than £100,000 to hire celebrities such as Fred MacAulay, Jackie Bird and Sally Magnusson to attend business events.

The extravagant spending included £23,500 for former Ryder Cup golfer Sam Torrance to give golf tips to potential investors and £12,000 to comedian Fred MacAulay to act as master of ceremonies at two dinners.

The move has been branded “desperate” by David Whitton MSP, Labour’s shadow finance spokesman.

The quango receives a £276 million budget to help boost economic growth in Scotland.

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Kiltmaking industry at risk as skills “die off”

Handmade kilts may soon be a thing of the past

By Cara Sulieman

THE FUTURE of Scotland’s national dress is under threat as the number of authentic kiltmakers has dramatically dropped.

Only 10 “proper” kiltmakers remain in the country, with few apprentices training to learn the craft.

Industry experts worry that the art will die out completely, leaving the cheap mass production companies as the only suppliers of the dress.

The crisis comes as kilts and tartan are experiencing a boom in popularity thanks to celebrity backing from the likes of Alan Cumming, P Diddy and Madonna.

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Claire is the perfect perch for meerkat friends

Claire Murphy was the perfect perch for her meerkat pal Basil

By Christine Lavelle

IT’S not every day you find yourself with a meerkat using you as a watch tower to keep guard of potential predators.

But it was the case for Claire Murphy, 35, when she travelled to the Kalahari Desert in South Africa, to monitor the behaviour and lifestyles of the small mammals.

She said: “The meerkats work in shifts to keep guard for threats, whether that be aerial or something coming on the ground.

“They tend to use the highest vantage point – a tree or a bush – to allow them to see all around, but in this particular case Basil, who was part of the Lazuli group I was monitoring, took it upon himself to climb up my body and sit on my head.

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Funeral for tragic Riggi children

The three Riggi children

By Cara Sulieman

THREE children found dead in an Edinburgh flat earlier this month will be laid to rest in Aberdeen on Friday, it was announced today.

Twins Austin and Luke Riggi, eight, and their five year old sister Cecilia Riggi, were found dead in their home in Edinburgh on August 4.

There had been reports of an explosion at the townhouse in the Slateford area of the city leading to their discovery.

Theresa Riggi, 46, the children’s mother has since been charged in connection with their murder.

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Teen hunted vile online kid porn for the “thrill”

By Cara Sulieman

A TEENAGER caught with more than 1,000 sick images of underage girls on a laptop denied having the porn – before finally admitting to police he had downloaded them for the “thrill”.

Jonathan Wright, 18, whose family home is in Aberdeen, told officers that he had downloaded the sick pictures to “see if they were real”.

At Edinburgh Sheriff Court today he pleaded guilty to possession of the images between August 26 and November 17 last year.

Most of the pictures were of young girls aged between 10 and 13.
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Tragic Riggi children “came from the most loving family”

By Michael MacLeod

For 13 years Theresa and Pasquale Riggi had called Skene near Aberdeen home, sharing a cottage in the Scottish oil capital.

They had upped sticks from Colorado and California so Pasquale could start working for oil giants Shell.

Their twin boys Gianluca and Augustino, eight, with their impish shock of dark haired loved dinosaurs.

Their little sister Cecilia, five, adored Barbie dolls and playing at Princess with their friends.

To the outside world they were happy, go-lucky children, doted on by their parents.

But those closest to their 46-year-old mum revealed yesterday that a simmering row over education helped drive them apart and may have been the catalyst for the terrible events which unfolded in Edinburgh.
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Free beer for life tattoo stunt sparks fury over BrewDog bar

By Oliver Farrimond

A CONTROVERSIAL Scots brewer has sparked outrage by offering free beer for life to anyone who gets their logo tattooed onto themselves at the opening of their first bar.

BrewDog, who have caused anger previously over the strength of some of their ales, are opening a pub in Aberdeen and are planning the promotional stun on the opening night,

James Watt, co-founder and managing director of BrewDog, said: “We’re going to have a tattoo artist in the pub on the opening night and we’re offering free beer for life to anyone who will have the BrewDog logo tattooed on their body.

“I think that we might get the tattoos ourselves – it only seems fair if we’re expecting other people to want to do the same.”

The Aberdeen branch – which will be called “The BrewDog Bar” is planned to open in mid-September of this year, and planning has been fully signed off and approved.

But the plan has caused outrage. Continue reading