Call for Westminster to transfer the power of tobacco to Holyrood

SNP plans to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes could lead to a rise in counterfeiting – say critics.

The party hopes to introduce plain packaging for all tobacco companies and force them to display bigger health warnings.

But critics and the tobacco lobby have warned that standardised packaging could also have damaging effects.

They say that it could lead to a price war resulting in increased smoking rates thanks to cheap cigarettes and also to a rise in counterfeiting. Continue reading


Scots adventurer calls on cyclists to join him in Oz trek

By Oliver Farrimond

A SCOTS explorer and reality TV star has invited budding adventurers to join him on an epic 2000-mile cycle trek across Australia.

Mike Laird, who was born in Edinburgh, hopes to retrace the footsteps of the doomed 1860 expedition by Robert O’Hara Burke and William Wills, in which all but one member of the expedition perished.

And now, having already completed the trans-Australia ride solo, the 41-year-old former Castaway star has spread the word for amateur cyclists to join him on his next journey.

He said: “I wanted to open this amazing trip up to other people and thought other cyclists would appreciate the amazing landscape and wildlife. Continue reading

Suan Boyle almost gave up singing dream

By Andrea McCallum

SUSAN Boyle has revealed that she almost gave up her dream of stardom before auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent.

The Scottish singing sensation spoke of her appearance on the talent show almost a year since she became an overnight star.

And the 49-year-old said the only reason she went on the show – paneled by Simon Cowell – is because of a pledge she made to her late mother.

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Scot wins legal fight to have no sex whatsoever

By Michael MacLeod

A SCOT has been officially recorded as neither male nor female in what is believed to be a world first.

Paisley-born Norrie May-Welby has won the right to have a birth certificate that specifies “Sex Not Specified.”

The 48 year-old – who was born a man and had a sex change operation 20 years ago – now lives in Australia and last week convinced authorities to create a genderless option on all official documents.

Doctors recently declared they were unable to determine whether Norrie’s body was a man or a woman, according to the ex-pat.
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Clan leader hopes to reclaim ancient territory

By Cara Sulieman

A CLAN chief is plotting to take back land that he claims once used to belong to his family.

Ranald MacDonald, chief of the MacDonald’s of Keppoch branch, is hoping to use an ancient law to regain ownership of the entire area of Lochaber.

And he claims that the law stands in his favour – with the government failing to abolish an Anglo-Saxon system of ownership.

The chief wants to use Ur Duthchas – Gaelic for clan territory – to achieve his aims and has now submitted a petition to the Scottish Parliament in the hope that they will agree with him.

Mr MacDonald became the chief of the clan after a legal battle that he took all the way to the Court of Session in 2004 where the judges decided that he was the rightful successor.

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Polish rapist has ‘Evil Soul’ says Edinburgh woman

By Shaun Milne

A WOMAN who fears she came face to face with Polish sex attacker Tomasz Kryczyk while his victim was still being raped described him as “evil” yesterday – and spoke of her regret at not calling police when she had the chance.L&B POLICE SIGN

The 39-year-old from Dalry in Edinburgh – who does not want to be identified – said she stumbled across the sadist as he scrambled up an embankment and started adjusting his clothing.

It was thought his co-accused – Michal Marchlewski – may still have been raping their 24-year-old Australian victim during an eight hour ordeal.


Today the woman told how she will always regret failing to call police despite admitting being spooked by their “sinister” behaviour.

And while Kryczyk hanged himself in prison and Marchlewski faces life in jail, she knows the life of their victim has been ruined forever.

She said: “They say the eyes are a way to see to the soul and his were evil.” Continue reading

New exhibition opens celebrating 100 years of polar exploration

David Hempleman-Adams

David Hempleman-Adams


By Cara Sulieman

AN EXHIBITION celebrating the 100th anniversary of Captain Scott’s journey to the South Pole opens tomorrow (Fri).

Photographs on display include those taken by Herbert George Ponting during the tragic expedition in 1910-13 and Frank Hurley’s snaps from Ernest Shackleton’s expedition in 1914-16.

Also on display are the flag given to Scott by Queen Alexandra in 1910, the Union Jack given to Shackleton by King George V and books from the Royal Library, including a copy of ‘Aurora Australis’, the first book to be printed in the Antarctic.

The show, being held at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, was opened by explorer David Hempleman-Adams who was the first man to reach the four geographical and magnetic poles.

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