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Updated: 23 min 25 sec ago

Royal Navy's largest ship leaves dockyard for first time

2 hours 48 min ago

The largest ship ever built for the Royal Navy has left the dockyard where she was assembled for the first time.

The 65,000-tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier was towed out of Rosyth on Monday afternoon - eight years after construction began.

The painstaking operation to launch the 920ft-long vessel involved manoeuvring her between a narrow lock, leaving just 1.5 metres of clearance on either side of her hull.

After anchoring in the Forth, the ship will later sail beneath the three bridges which link Fife to the Lothians - including the new Queensferry Crossing.

HMS Queen Elizabeth will undergo sea trials over the summer before becoming the Royal Navy's flagship.

Shipyards around the UK built different sections of the vessel, with 10,000 people working on the construction project, before she was put together in Rosyth.

When operational, the ship will have a crew of about 700 and be able to carry dozens of aircraft including the F-35B fighter jet.

Captain Jerry Kyd said the ship would return to Rosyth after initial trials in the North Sea.

Speaking ahead of the launch, he said: "After that we're going back out for a further three weeks to test the ship on the more war-fighting capabilities - the radars, all the ship's sensors, radios and things like that.

"At the end of that period we know that all the basics work.

"She's done her test drive and after that we will go down to Portsmouth, the ship's home, and get her finally ready to join the Royal Navy fleet, hopefully at the end of the year."

The second ship in the class, HMS Prince of Wales, is being fitted out and will also be launched from Rosyth.

Categories: Local News

Middle-aged men in offices 'more sedentary than over-75s'

4 hours 7 min ago

Middle-aged men working in offices spend more time sitting down than pensioners, with large parts of the population "dangerously sedentary", new research has found.

The Edinburgh University study found men aged 45-54 spend on average 7.8 hours each weekday sitting down. Men aged over 75 spend 7.4 hours each weekday sitting. 

Sedentary work is the main reason for the inactivity, with sedentary time (ST) defined as time spent in any waking activity done while sitting or reclining, including working, eating, reading, watching TV or being on a computer.

Women in all age groups spend less time sitting than the over-75s.

Experts are demanding action to tackle high levels of ST, which has been linked to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes among other diseases.

Among men, only the youngest group surveyed - 16 to 24-year-olds - are significantly less sedentary than the over-75s on weekdays, spending 6.6 hours a day sitting down.

At the weekend, the weekday situation reverses for both men and women. Those aged 25 to 54 were the least sedentary, sitting for between 5.2 and 5.7 hours a day, while the over-75s were the most sedentary, at 7.3 to 7.4 hours a day.

'Large parts of the population are dangerously sedentary, something we have underestimated.' Tessa Strain, lead researcher

For the youngest group, most of the time sitting down is in front of a TV or screen. Men spend less time in front of a screen as they get older, with women peaking in middle-age.

Experts say high levels of sedentary time - more than seven hours a day - increases the risk of an early death, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, even if people are physically active at other times of the day.

Lead researcher Tessa Strain said: "Large parts of the population are dangerously sedentary, something we have underestimated.

"We need to tackle high levels of sedentary time in early and middle age, when patterns may develop.

"Our findings suggest that changing habits in the workplace could be an appropriate place to start, given how much time we spend sitting there every day."

A recent review by other researchers found "tentative evidence" to suggest sit-to-stand desks could reduce work sedentary time, at least in the short term.

The latest study calls for more research and also suggests initiatives to reduce the amount of time people spend in front of a TV or screen during leisure time.

The researchers said: "Our results challenge the conventional understanding that older adults in Scotland report the highest levels of ST, as the majority of middle-aged adults reported similar levels to older adults."

They added: "Based on these results, we recommend that ST at work amongst early-to-middle aged adults and leisure TV/ screen time for all adults are considered as targets for interventions to reduce ST."

The findings from the University of Edinburgh's Physical Activity for Health Research Centre were published in the Journal of Sports Sciences.

Researchers drew upon data from more than 14,000 people in Scotland in the 2012-14 Scottish Health Survey.

Categories: Local News

Off-duty officers 'catch man trying to rob pensioner'

6 hours 28 min ago

A man who allegedly tried to rob a pensioner was chased down and arrested by off-duty police officers.

The pensioner, who was in his 80s, was reportedly accosted on Hawkcraig Road in Aberdour, Fife, on Saturday afternoon.

Two off-duty officers who happened to be nearby became involved and arrested a 27-year-old man.

He has been charged with assault with intend to rob and is expected to appear in court on Monday.

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: "Police in Fife have charged a man in connection with an assault with intent to rob that occurred in Aberdour.

"The incident took place on June 24 at 3.10pm at Hawkcraig Road.

"A 27-year-old man is expected to appear at Dunfermline Sheriff Court today."

Categories: Local News

Man charged after car hits pedestrian in Edinburgh

7 hours 31 min ago

A 27-year-old man has been charged with road traffic offences after a pedestrian was hit by a car in Edinburgh.

The 23-year-old man was struck in Great Junction Street in the Leith area around 11pm on Saturday.

He was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and was said by hospital staff to be in a stable condition on Monday. 

The man charged in connection with the incident was due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday.

Categories: Local News

Financial firm to create 300 new jobs in Edinburgh

8 hours 54 min ago

An Australian financial firm has revealed plans to create 300 new jobs in Edinburgh.

Computershare is expected to open offices in the city next year, its chief executive said.

The venture is being supported by a £2 million grant from Scottish Enterprise.

Computershare president Stuart Irving said: "As a truly international capital city, Edinburgh has a bright future and is a natural home for a global company.

"As a growing business we need the skills and hard work we see on offer in this city.

"We are grateful to the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International for helping us with our plans and are looking forward to our continued partnership."

About 7800 jobs were secured in Scotland last year through new and existing investors, up 10% on the previous year, according to the latest figures.

Categories: Local News

Student killed in crash awarded posthumous degree

9 hours 3 sec ago

A veterinary nursing student who died in a crash last year is being awarded a posthumous first-class honours degree by her university.

Meghan Ambrozevich-Blair, 26, was killed on the A1 near Dunbar in East Lothian when her Kia Cerato collided with a Ford Transit van as she drove to work the day after her final exam.

Last December's tragedy devastated classmates and teaching staff at Edinburgh Napier University, where she was a bright and popular student.

It has now emerged Ms Ambrozevich-Blair passed her course with flying colours and she will be awarded a First as the university honours its latest graduates this week.

Dr David Smith, life sciences programme leader, said: "She was on track to be one of the outstanding students in the history of the programme, not just academically - her profile shows straight merits - but also in being at the forefront of showing what veterinary nurses can do.

"The slogan Meghan provided for the School of Applied Sciences pop-up banner - Edinburgh Napier gives you the opportunity to become the best veterinary nurse you can be - sums her up well."

Dr Smith, who taught Meghan for four years, said she had been a keen student.

He continued: "She was always on the front row, eager and willing to go. She usually had a lovely big smile on her face - unless she wasn't quite satisfied with your answer to her questions.

"Above all, Meghan was compassionate; both to animals and humans. She had decided to do her honours project on compassion fatigue, after an experience she had on practice placement.

"She will be sadly missed by the staff of Edinburgh Napier University and the College of Animal Welfare." | default

Ms Ambrozevich-Blair, who leaves behind parents Kevin and Lauren, brothers Jared and Ethan and fiancé Scot, was a keen volunteer at vet nursing open days.

She had been part of a team from the university which visited Kerala, India, in 2015 to help develop local interest in animal welfare and vet nurse training.

The student, from Dunbar, had earlier studied at Barony Agricultural College in Dumfries and had also been involved in campaigning against animal cruelty and fundraising for the Scottish SPCA.

In a statement, Meghan's family said: "We are extremely proud of our daughter's achievement.

"Meghan worked so hard at university, on placements and overseas, learning about, and caring for animals. Her dyslexia and dyscalculia meant she had to work harder than most to keep up with her fellow students.

"Even from a very young age, it was clear that Meghan loved animals. She was always drawn to the leftovers and the misfits, the runts that nobody else wanted.

"Meghan's loss has affected all the family deeply, but we take comfort from the fact that all the creatures in animal heaven are being very well cared for."

Meghan's close friend and Edinburgh Napier colleague Kirsty Dougherty said: "Meghan was a special friend, warm-hearted and fun, and generous with her laughter and enthusiasm.

"The world seemed like a kinder place when she was around, not only to her friends and family but for her animal patients too.

"Her compassion and energy were boundless - she is sorely missed."

Categories: Local News

Largest Royal Navy warship to set sail from Rosyth

12 hours 12 min ago

The largest ship ever built for the Royal Navy is expected to leave her home port in Scotland for the first time.

The 65,000-tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth will set out from Rosyth on the Firth of Forth - subject to final checks, tides and the weather - on Monday.

The 920ft-long aircraft carrier is set to become the Royal Navy's flagship vessel.

Her 700-strong crew are prepared to undertake her maiden sea trials but the process of getting the Queen Elizabeth out to sea is complicated.

After waiting until high tide to leave the naval dockyard, the carrier must then hold until the tide lowers enough to let her pass under the Firth's bridges.

Weather conditions must also be favourable as the four-acre vessel sets sail. | twitter

Ten thousand people worked on the construction of the ship, made up in sections at yards around the UK and transported to Rosyth where it was assembled.

The second ship in the class, HMS Prince of Wales, is being fitted out in the dock and staff will be able to look on as its sister ship sets sail for the first time.

The sea trials will take place in the North Sea before the carrier returns to Rosyth for further checks and any adjustments.

Captain Kyd said: "After that we're going back out for a further three weeks to test the ship on the more war-fighting capabilities - the radars, all the ship's sensors, radios and things like that.

"At the end of that period we know that all the basics work. She's done her test drive and after that we will go down to Portsmouth, the ship's home, and get her finally ready to join the Royal Navy fleet, hopefully at the end of the year."

Categories: Local News

Helicopter stuns locals after landing in The Meadows

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 16:40

People enjoying a Sunday in The Meadows in Edinburgh were shocked to see a helicopter land in the middle of the park.

Police held the crowd back as paramedics also attended the scene.

The HM Coastguard helicopter landed just after 4pm in the busy park.

A local resident said that they believed it may be a transfer from the Edinburgh Sick Kids hospital nearby.

A police spokesman said: "We can not release any details of the incident at this time, but we can confirm it was not a major incident."

Categories: Local News

Police arrest ten at Stone Roses' Hampden Park concert

Sun, 06/25/2017 - 16:27

The Stone Roses gig in Glasgow saw ten people arrested for a range of offences.

Thousands of fans were at Hampden Park on Saturday to watch the Fools Gold band perform.

Police Scotland said ten people were detained for public disorder offences and the use of pyrotechnics.

The arrests were made in and around the national stadium.

Gig-goers had been warned ahead of the concert to expect armed officers on patrol.

The event came amid weeks of heightened security at large events across the country, including the Scotland vs England World Cup qualifier and Scottish Cup Final.

Categories: Local News

Body discovered in search for missing Edinburgh priest

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 16:45

A body has been found in the search for a missing Edinburgh priest, Father Martin Xavier Vazhachira.

The 33-year old Indian-born priest had been missing since Tuesday.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Police Scotland can confirm that a body has been recovered from the West Barns area in East Lothian.

"The discovery was reported to police around 4pm on Friday.

"The family of Father Martin Xavier Vazhachira has been informed of this development."

Archbishop Leo Cushley said: "The news of Father Martin Xavier's death comes as a great shock and a great sadness to all those who knew him and loved him.

"Our thoughts and, more importantly, our prayers are with him and with all his loved ones in both Scotland and India. May he rest in peace."

Father Martin Xavier Vazhachira was a native of Kerela in southern India.

He was ordained a priest of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate order in 2013.

He arrived in Scotland in July 2016 in order to undertake post-graduate studies at Edinburgh University.

Categories: Local News

Two people seriously injured in violent house attack

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 12:25

Two people have been seriously injured in a violent house attack.

The incident happened at a property on Main Street in Longniddry, East Lothian.

A 34-year-old man and a woman, 51, were seriously injured in the attack at 9.15pm on Friday.

Officers have closed a section of the village's Main Street while forensic teams carry out investigations.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "Police are not looking for anyone else in relation to this incident." | twitter
Categories: Local News

Quarter of flights to two Scottish airports delayed 

Sat, 06/24/2017 - 08:00

A quarter of flights to two major Scottish airports have been delayed in the past year, according to new analysis.

The Which? study found passengers using Edinburgh Airport were most likely to face delays, with 27% of more than 110,000 flights delayed by at least 15 minutes in 2016-17, up from 22% a year ago.

Glasgow, the country's second busiest airport, ranked second for delays with 25% of nearly 85,000 flights taking off or landing at least 15 minutes later than scheduled, according to analysis of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data.

Aberdeen ranked third, with 22% of more than 45,000 flights recorded as late.

Both Glasgow and Aberdeen saw the number of delays increase, rising two and three percentage points respectively.

Overall, 25% of more than 240,000 flights arriving or departing at Edinburgh, Glasgow or Aberdeen were delayed by at least 15 minutes in 2016-17, up from 22% in 2015-16.

The airports said delays can be caused by a variety of reasons, some of which can be beyond their control such as the weather or industrial action.

The analysis also found more than 1,200 flights to or from Scotland's three busiest airports were delayed by at least three hours in the last year, meaning thousands of passengers could be entitled to compensation.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, said: "If you're unlucky enough to experience a severe delay, compensation is available.

"We think it's time for airlines to start automatically compensating eligible passengers, but until they step up and do this, we urge people to check what they are entitled to."

An Edinburgh Airport spokesman said: "On-time performance is important to our passengers and is a measure that we monitor very closely.

"Frustratingly, it is mainly affected by factors outwith the airport's control.

"We continue to work with our airline and aviation partners to make sure our collective performance is as good as it can be and that we are in the best position to deal with the external issues that affect us."

A spokesman for AGS Airports, which owns Aberdeen and Glasgow airports, said: "Aircraft delays can be caused by a number of factors including weather issues, air traffic congestion, delayed arrivals or technical issues with aircraft.

"In saying that, on-time performance will always be an area of focus and we will continue to work with our airline partners and their handling agents to improve overall levels of efficiency."

Categories: Local News

Man dies after three vehicle crash involving a caravan

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 20:06

A man has died after a three-vehicle crash in Perth and Kinross.

The incident happened on the A91 at Mawcarse at around 3.20pm on Friday.

It involved two vans and a 4x4 which was towing a caravan.

The man who died had been in the 4x4.

A Police Scotland spokesman said investigations are ongoing. There were no other injuries.

Categories: Local News

Man found guilty of raping fellow pupils at blind school

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 17:57

A man has been convicted of raping and sexually assaulting blind children while he was a schoolboy.

From the age of 12, David Penman sexually assaulted numerous pupils at the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh.

All of his victims, male and female, are blind or partially sighted, as he is.

Penman, now 42, attended the school between 1986 and 1991.

In September 2013, one of Penman's victims revealed he had raped her and a police investigation began.

Further victims then came forward to report the abuse they had suffered.

In February 2015, Penman was charged with 17 offences of rape, indecent assault and breach of the peace.

Penman denied the attacks on fellow pupils in the 1980s and 1990s but was convicted by a jury following a trial at the High Court in Edinburgh on Friday.

He had previously been convicted of assault with intent to rape and rape in 2000.

Lord Uist said: "It is clear to me from the convictions which the jury have returned against you and your arrogant and dishonest performance in the witness box that you are a very evil man."

Lord Uist added it caused him "great concern" that acts of sexual crimes had continued into his adult life.

The case was adjourned until August 30 for a risk assessment to be carried out.

Detective inspector Kevin Harkins, of Edinburgh's divisional rape investigation unit, said: "This is an extremely unusual and disturbing case where a boy began committing the most serious sexual crimes against numerous classmates at the age of just 12.

"Penman's victims were amongst the most vulnerable young people and he left them too scared to speak up about what he was subjecting them to.

"His offences took place around the school grounds and our investigation built up a picture of a devious sexual predator who took particular care not to be caught by staff.

"I commend the bravery of all of his victims who not only came forward and made the difficult disclosure of what they had suffered, but had to then relive these awful experiences in court when Penman failed to take responsibility for his actions and denied all the charges.

"I hope that his conviction brings them some comfort."

Categories: Local News

Conerns grow for Edinburgh priest missing for three days

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 17:30

Concerns are growing for a priest missing from a church in Edinburgh for three days.

Father Martin Xavier Vazhachira from the St John The Baptist RC Church in Corstorphine was last seen within the church at around 1pm on Tuesday.

Police have launched an appeal to trace the 33-year-old as concerns grow for his welfare.

Father Vazhachira regularly likes to take walks up Corstorphine Hill and police are asking local residents to come forward if they believe they have seen him.

He is described as Indian, around 5ft 5ins with a medium build, short black slightly curly hair and a clean shaven face.

Inspector Craig Rogerson said: "Father Vazhachira has been in Edinburgh since October last year and knows the Corstorphine area fairly well, however, we are also exploring whether he may have ventured further afield and so anyone with information as to his current whereabouts is asked to contact police immediately.

"I would also urge Father Vazhachira to get in touch with us, or with colleagues at the church, as soon as possible to let us know he is safe."

Anyone with information can contact officers at Corstorphine Police Station on 101 and quote incident number 1307 of June 22.

Categories: Local News

Police concerned for missing man with French accent 

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 17:24

A man with medical needs has gone missing from the Murrayfield area of Edinburgh.

Michel Chartron, 60, was last seen in Ormidale Terrace at 6pm on Thursday.

Michele is in need of regular medication, which he does not have with him. Friends and family are growing increasingly concerned for his welfare.

He is known to frequent Inverleith Park and Roseburn Park and walks in many other areas of the city.

Michel is described as being white, 6ft tall, of slim build, with grey hair, a white beard and a French accent.

He was last seen wearing a purple shirt, brown leather jacket, dark trousers and a straw-coloured Panama hat.

Michel often carries an orange Sainsbury's carrier bag.

Inspector Norman Towler said: "Michel has health concerns which require regular medication that he doesn't have with him and we're growing increasingly concerned for his welfare given that he has been missing overnight.

"Anyone who may have seen a man matching Michel's description since this time, or has any information that can help us trace him, is asked to get in touch as soon as possible."

Those with information can contact Police Scotland on 101.

Categories: Local News

Children's ward at hospital closing to new admissions

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 12:52

The children's ward at a West Lothian hospital is closing to admissions over the summer, the third time such a measure has been imposed.

The paediatric ward at St John's Hospital in Livingston will instead operate as an "assessment and programmed investigation unit" from July 7.

NHS Lothian said a shortage of doctors able to cover the ward overnight and at weekends had forced it to make the "difficult decision" to cut inpatient services.

Children taken to St John's will still be assessed but will be transferred to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh for admission.

Calls were made for the ward to remain open after staffing issues forced it to close to inpatients over the summer in 2012 and 2015.

Lothian MSP Neil Findlay and West Lothian Council have said any downgrade to the ward's role would be unacceptable.

'This is a difficult and deeply frustrating decision to have to make.' Jacquie Campbell, NHS Lothian

Last year, a report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) said St John's should introduce resident consultants in hospital overnight to retain the inpatient service.

The health board has said it will reopen the inpatient services "as soon as possible" after the summer.

Jacquie Campbell, chief officer of acute services at NHS Lothian, said: "The safety of our patients must be out top priority and this is a difficult and deeply frustrating decision to have to make.

"I would again emphasise our on-going commitment to St John's Hospital and the children's ward. This has been demonstrated through the significant investment in recruitment over the years and in the work that went into the RCPCH review.

"We have relied on our dedicated staff from St John's and across Lothian to work additional hours to provide these important services. Despite our best efforts we have been unable to reliably secure the levels of staffing required overnight and at weekends to guarantee a safe service."

She continued: "If we don't make changes now to the operating hours of the children's ward, we run the risk of having to make an unplanned closure at a few hours notice, which would lead to the sudden diversion of patients. This reduction in opening hours is the safest option for the children of West Lothian.

"We are committed to reinstating the full service as soon as possible after the summer and will be working with the chief medical officer, Scottish Government and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health to review the steps we have taken and to identify what else can be done to guarantee safe, sustainable staffing for this service."

NHS Lothian said parents were not being asked to do anything differently and maternity services would be unaffected.

Children who currently attend the ward will continue to be cared for as normal, the health board said.

Categories: Local News

Girl, 12, taken to hospital after being hit by car

Fri, 06/23/2017 - 06:49

A 12-year-old girl has been taken to hospital after she was hit by a car in Fife.

The incident happened just after 7pm on Thursday in Sandy Brae, Kennoway.

The girl was taken to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, her condition is not yet known.

Road closures were put in place but have since been lifted.

Categories: Local News

'Cowardly' attack leaves man with serious facial injuries

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 15:56

A man suffered serious facial injuries in a "cowardly" attack in the centre of Edinburgh.

Police have appealed for witnesses following the assault in the Cowgate between 2am and 3am on Friday, June 16.

The 29-year-old was walking towards the Grassmarket when he was struck on the side of his face by another man and was knocked unconscious.

He sustained serious facial injuries and had to attend the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for treatment.

The suspect is described as white in his 20s with dark, brown hair and an English accent.

At the time of the incident he was wearing blue jeans and a shirt, and may have been with two other people shortly before the assault.

Detective Sergeant Jon Pleasance from Gayfield CID said: "This was a cowardly attack on a man who sustained serious facial injuries that required medical treatment.

"We're still conducting inquiries in order to establish the full circumstances and are eager to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who has information about who was responsible."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Categories: Local News

Standard Life's £11bn merger given go-ahead by watchdog

Thu, 06/22/2017 - 14:56

The £11bn merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management has been given the green light by a competition watchdog.

On Thursday the Competition and Markets Authority said it has decided not to refer the merger to an in-depth investigation, paving the way for the deal's completion in August.

In May, Edinburgh-based Standard Life revealed it expected the move would shed around 800 jobs from a global workforce of 9000 over a three-year period.

On Monday, shareholders overwhelmingly backed the tie-up, with more than 95% of investors at Aberdeen and 98% at Standard Life voting in favour of the deal during general meetings.

The enlarged company, to be called Standard Life Aberdeen, will be headed up by Keith Skeoch and Aberdeen boss Martin Gilbert.

The merger will create Europe's second-biggest fund manager, with £670bn under its management.

It is targeting cost savings of £200m a year.

Categories: Local News