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Letter from Scotland

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We’ve had the first storm of the winter, Storm Arwen.A week later, we are still recovering from its 90mph battering.  In the North East and the Borders, electricity and water supplies were cut...
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Coronavirus -omicron variant identified in Scotland

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The Covid-19 omicron variant has been identified in Scotland with four cases in Lanarkshire and two others in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area.The government announced that Public Health Scotland and local health protection...

Letter from Scotland

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Now that the world leaders have jetted home from the climate conference in Glasgow, we are being left to pick up the pieces.The 6,000 pieces of IKEA furniture have been taken away for...

Letter from Scotland

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As I stood watching the Armistice Day service at the Scott Monument in Edinburgh on Thursday, I tried to imagine the sense of utter despair there must be when a world war has finally...

Letter from Scotland

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Halloween is a time of scary surprises. And as I wandered through my local woods scary visions of the future emerged from the fallen leaves. Floods and fires, and my old English teacher reciting...

Invitation to dress up for Scotland’s biggest ever Hallowe’en party

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BT Murrayfield is warming up to host Scotland’s biggest ever Hallowe’en Party – and everybody’s invited.Fans will be able to watch the national men’s team live in a home international for the first time...

Letter from Scotland

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Although autumn is a season in itself, it’s also a time of transition from the highs of summer to the depths of winter.  And there’s been much talk of transition this week. Transition out...

Letter from Scotland

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The last time Scotland played host to a gathering of world leaders, 200,000 of us turned out to insist that they fulfil their promise to “Make poverty history.”That was at the G8 summit...

We’ve got McGinn, Super Paul McGinn

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Twelve years after making his debut for Queen’s Park and then plying his trade in the lower divisions with St Mirren, Dumbarton, Dundee, Chesterfield and Partick Thistle, Paul McGinn has been capped for Scotland.The...

Letter from Scotland

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On a walk over the Eildon Hills in the Borders last week, I came across a smart modern memorial to a very old poet, Thomas the Rhymer (1220-1298). Tom was not just a poet,...

Letter from Scotland

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We have been given another reminder this week that our grand western civilisation is really quite precarious. And isn’t it ironic that all our woes are so intertwined?Gas and electricity prices rise, causing...

Coronavirus – drop in clinics for 12 to 15 year-olds open

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Young people aged 12 to 15 will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine at drop-in clinics across Lothian from Monday.Mass clinics are set up in West Lothian, Midlothian and Edinburgh and will open...

Letter from Scotland

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You wouldn’t think a sensible remark like “Think twice before you call an ambulance” could cause a political row.  But the Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has found himself at the centre of a storm...

Letter from Scotland

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After a week of warm, sunny days and then rain and mist, climate change has been on my mind. Not just the UN conference in Glasgow next month but the immediate “Indian Summer”.  On Wednesday,...

Letter from Scotland

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The red berries on the rowan trees on my daily walk are, for me, the first sign of autumn. Soon the fieldfare and redwings will fly in from Scandinavia to feed on them. The...

NHS medical and dental staff to receive a pay rise

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The Scottish Government has announced a 3% uplift for some NHS medical and dental staff, which they say is in recognition of their efforts during the pandemic.This announcement covers three groups of staff who...

Scottish Government appoints senior health officers

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Professor Alison Strath has been appointed as Chief Pharmaceutical Officer and Professors Graham Ellis and Professor Nicola Steedman have been confirmed as Deputy Chief Medical Officers. These are all full-time appointments.Professor Strath has been...
Facade of Scottish Parliament building with grey sky behind

Coronavirus – France moved off quarantine list

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Passengers arriving from France ino Scotland will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated under the latest review of travel restrictions announced by The Scottish Government.The step to align France with...

Drug deaths in Scotland “heart-breaking”

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Drugs Policy Minister Angela Constance described the increase in drug-related deaths announced on Friday as “heart-breaking”, and repeated The Scottish Government’s determination to work to address the crisis.National Records of Scotland figures show that...

Letter from Scotland

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In this second Covid summer, Scots have been rediscovering their own country. Holidaying at home for just a few days at a time has become the normal thing to do, just as we all...
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Coronavirus – Government eases restrictions on EU and US visitors

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People from the EU and US who are fully vaccinated will be able to travel to Scotland without any requirement for quarantine from Monday 2 August 2021.The need for travellers to self-isolate for 10...

Letter from Scotland

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Monday is “Freedom Day”…though it depends what you mean by freedom and it depends on whether you live in Scotland or England.In England, Boris Johnson has declared an end to Government Covid rules...

Letter from Scotland

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“We’re at the sharp end of the Delta wave,” the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, told us. For a day or two, Scotland had the highest rate of Covid cases in Europe.  But like the...

Letter from Scotland

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Midsummer and the end of term, for schools, parliament and people.And we even have a glimpse of the end of Covid restrictions on 9 August.  I got away ahead of the holiday rush...

Coronavirus – international students will be included in vaccination programme

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International students are to be included in the national Covid-19 vaccination programme.  Health Secretary, Humza Yousaf, has confirmed this will take place in line with guidelines from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation...

Letter from Scotland

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There’s a gentle air of midsummer rustling through the café awnings.  People sit discussing the warm weather or Scotland’s prospects in our first European football finals for 23 years or the rollout of the...

Letter from Scotland

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Is Scotland really going green?  It’s tempting to think so in a week which has seen the SNP and the Green Party talking about “a governing agreement".The Scottish Greens were the only party to make...

Letter from Scotland

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It’s cup final weekend. The Hibees and the Saints will battle it out at Hampden on Saturday afternoon for the Scottish Football Association Challenge Cup. For Hibernian it could mean winning the cup for...

Check your Covid vaccination status online before travel

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An NHS service allowing people travelling abroad to access their record of vaccination status themselves has been launched. The measure will provide confirmation of vaccination when required for foreign travel. A vaccination status letter can...

Marketing on Tap to help the hospitality industry

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The new ‘Marketing on Tap’ campaign aimed at helping the Scottish hospitality industry has been set up by The Marketing Society Scotland (MSS) and its members.The society hopes to support pubs, bars and restaurants...

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