Tag Archive: Scotland


 

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The Telegraph

Met Office issues weather warnings for whole of England and Wales as storm brings severe gales and Environment Agency warns of flooding

Storm Clodagh batters the harbour wall in Porthcawl, South Wales

Storm Clodagh batters the harbour wall in Porthcawl, South Wales, early this morning Photo: Dimitris Legakis/Athena

Britons are braced for more lashing rain as flood warnings were issued for parts of the country as Storm Clodagh wreaked havoc.

Flights were diverted, trains delayed and traffic held up on motorways at the weeknd as heavy rain and strong winds hit Scotland and the north west of England.

There is little sign of respite with the Environment Agency issuing yellow flood warnings for Wales and the north of England for Monday and Tuesday. By Wednesday, two days of rain could leave parts of north Wales under 60mm of precipitation.

The north of England could see 30-40mm of rain during the same period, say the Met Office. A spokeswoman also warned that parts of Scotland, which is on a yellow snow warning, could have 2.5cm of snow on Monday.

A Tynemouth RNLI Lifeboat recovers a small boat in the mouth of the Tyne after rescuing its participants following its capsizing in gale force windsA Tynemouth RNLI Lifeboat recovers a small boat in the mouth of the Tyne after rescuing its participants following its capsizing in gale force winds  Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA

On Sunday in Ireland, thousands of properties were left without electricity after Storm Clodagh battered the republic.

Meanwhile, coastguards had to pull a windsurfer out of the water at Seaburn Beach, Sunderland, after he was separated from his board in 60 mph winds. Two people were rescued from the Tyne by the RNLI after their boat was capsized by the wind.’

 

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PICTURES: The perfect moment in space and time caught above Aberdeenshire

9 November 2015 by Andrew Douglas

Wow
Wow

An aurora-hunting north-east photographer has captured a stunning image of a meteorite fireball falling to earth.

Leigh-Ann Mitchell, from Ellon, had been out at the weekend scouring the night skies for any sign of the Northern Lights.

The self-proclaimed “aurora chaser” settled at Pitfour Estate in Mintlaw, where she thought she had the best chance of capturing the spectacular light show.

But the 40-year-old amateur snapper got more than she bargained for when she captured the moment a fireball from the Taurid meteor shower fell from the sky, combined with the heavenly aurora glow.

The shower is notorious for producing fireball flares, and experts said this year would be the best chance to witness them yet.

Mrs Mitchell’s photograph has been viewed thousands of times since it was taken in the very early hours of Saturday morning, and shared across social media in every corner of the globe.

 

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Related Articles

  • Russian vessel detected 30 miles away from Scotland last night
  • Only ship available to respond was on south coast of England
  • Tensions heightened when aerial photos showed ship full of missiles

By Mark Nicol

 

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A Russian cruiser came within 30 miles of the British coast but the Navy only had one ship to respond (file image)

A Russian cruiser came within 30 miles of the British coast but the Navy only had one ship to respond (file image)

 

 

A fully armed Royal Navy warship was scrambled to challenge a missile-carrying Russian vessel  in the waters off Britain just days before Christmas, defence sources revealed last night.

In a calculated test of Britain’s reduced naval capacity in the North Sea, the Russian warship came within 30 miles of the coast.

It was detected nearing Scotland, but the only ship the Royal Navy had available to respond after Ministry of Defence cuts was in Portsmouth, resulting in a delay of 24 hours until it was in position.

The threatening approach towards Britain’s territorial waters triggered a top-secret Navy and Air Force operation co-ordinated by the military top brass at the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) bunker at Northwood, just outside London.

RAF reconnaissance aircraft tracked the progress of the Russian warship as it neared north-east Scotland, and the tension heightened when aerial photographs revealed the ship was carrying a full payload of guided missiles.

Commanders at PJHQ decided to send the new Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender, which is Britain’s immediate-response ship during a national security crisis.

The Russian ship waited in the Moray Forth, a stretch of water  that flows into Loch Ness, for Defender to arrive, as if her captain were recording the Navy’s response times.

At the time, Defender was in dock at Portsmouth. Her crew were forced to make the 600-mile journey around the coastline, because budget cutbacks mean there are no maritime patrol vessels sailing off Scotland.

 A defence source said: ‘This was no exercise – the Russian ship was behaving very aggressively in a stretch of water bordering Britain’s territorial waters.

‘They were watched very closely by the RAF and it was agreed that HMS Defender should block the Russians’  passage.

A tense stand-off ensued when Defender reached the Moray Firth as crews tried to establish intentions

A tense stand-off ensued when Defender reached the Moray Firth as crews tried to establish intentions

 

‘Defender was fully equipped with Sea Viper surface-to-air missiles and guns capable of firing 40kg shells as far as 18 miles. Her captain and crew knew this was the real deal and were prepared to engage.’

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Extreme Weather

Fallen trees have closed dozens of roads and damaged cars [PA]

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Extreme Weather United Kingdom Scotland, [Scotland-wide] Damage level Details

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Extreme Weather in United Kingdom on Thursday, 05 December, 2013 at 07:45 (07:45 AM) UTC.

Description
A storm with gales of up to 142mph battered Scotland causing travel disruption across the country. The weather brought treacherous conditions for motorists on Thursday morning, which included blowing over an articulated lorry on the M74 southbound close to Lesmahagow in South Lanarkshire at around 6am. Earlier, the M74 was blocked nearby at Happendon after a tree was brought down onto the road amid high winds. At around 5am the A86 at Kinloch Laggan in Inverness-shire was also blocked by a fallen tree. The Met Office had put in place amber severe weather warnings for large parts of the country on Thursday morning, while a gust of 142mph was recorded at Aonach Mor at the Nevis Ski Centre at around 6am. The Tay Road Bridge between Dundee and Fife was closed to all vehicles at around 7am, while the Forth Road Bridge was open to cars only. The Skye, Dornoch, Kessoch, Erskine and Kincardine bridges were also shut to traffic for a period on Thursday amid the windy conditions. Flooding caused by the downpour forced the closure of the A83 at Inverary in Argyll and Bute, while the A96 was closed in both directions at Huntly in Aberdeenshire. The A76 between Kirkconnel and New Cumnock in East Ayrshire was closed due to the adverse weather.

Previously, ScotRail had cancelled all trains due to depart before 7am, while it is not expecting to run any services on 22 routes across the country, including Edinburgh to Perth via Kirkcaldy, Glasgow Central to Edinburgh via Shotts/Carstairs and Motherwell/Edinburgh to Milngavie. The rail operator said the step had been taken after speed restrictions put in place on lines across the country by Network Rail Scotland. STV’s Sean Batty said the winds would peak between 3am and 9am with gusts of 60-70mph hitting Glasgow and the surrounding area on Thursday morning. He also revealed a weather buoy around 250 miles west of the Outer Hebrides recorded 35ft waves. Before the stormy weather hit, Martin Thomson, winter resilience manager for Transport Scotland, said: “Transport Scotland is working closely with transport operators, the Met office and Police Scotland to make sure that the most useful and up to date information is given to those who need it most. We have held a number of meetings with key partners and tonight we will activate the multi-agency response team.

“Traffic Scotland are already informing the travelling public about the expected difficult conditions on Thursday morning. The Scottish Government is also monitoring the situation to assess what impact these warnings will have and stand ready to respond. “I would also urge the travelling public to consider the conditions before they set-off on their journeys. They should listen to radio reports, visit the Traffic Scotland website or twitter feed, and carefully consider police advice.” Chief Superintendent Iain Murray, head of road policing, Police Scotland, added: “The weather in Scotland can change very quickly and it’s vital drivers are prepared. In recent years we have seen high winds, blizzards, snow and freezing conditions. The next few days is expected to bring with it some strong winds and severe cold weather and I would advise motorists to take care. Allow extra time for your journey and a keep a few emergency supplies, such as water and food in your vehicle to cover any eventualities.”

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Extreme Weather in United Kingdom on Thursday, 05 December, 2013 at 07:45 (07:45 AM) UTC.

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Updated: Thursday, 05 December, 2013 at 14:30 UTC
Description
Gale-force winds hit Scotland on Thursday, causing a fatal truck accident, halting all trains and leaving tens of thousands of homes without electricity as much of northwestern Europe braced for a storm that was expected to bring flooding to coastal areas. Winds gusting up to 142 miles (229 kilometers) per hour were measured overnight in the Scottish Highlands, and many roads and bridges were closed. All train services in Scotland were suspended; Network Rail spokesman Nick King said that “there’s too much debris and too much damage to equipment to continue.” A truck driver was killed and four people were injured in an accident west of Edinburgh when high winds toppled his vehicle onto several cars, police said. A number of flights serving Scotland were also canceled, and power companies said up to 100,000 homes were without electricity. Another 7,000 homes were reported without power in Northern Ireland. Glasgow’s central rail station was evacuated after debris smashed glass in the roof, though no one was hurt.

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Daily Record

Lorry driver killed as vehicle overturns and chaos on roads and railways as 100mph storm batters Scotland

5 Dec 2013 10:25

SCOTLAND has been battered by storm-force winds and driving rain today which left one man dead, left thousands of homes without power and caused chaos on the roads and railways.

The driver of an HGV has died in an accident on the A801 road outside Bathgate, West Lothian
The driver of an HGV has died in an accident on the A801 road outside Bathgate, West Lothian

A LORRY driver has died and more than 60,000 homes have been left without power as gale force winds battered Scotland.

The man was killed when his HGV was blown onto cars near Bathgate in West Lothian.

Four other people were treated for minor injuries after the lorry overturned on the A801 one mile north of Boghead roundabout at around 8.10am.

The road was closed and police have appealed for witnesses.

Scotland’s rail network was shut down at 8am and only partially reopened at 1.30pm and drivers are being warned of “extremely poor” road conditions.

Gusts of more than 140mph were recorded overnight at Aonach Mor near Fort William in the Highlands, the Met Office said.

Speeds of 93mph were recorded at Altnaharra, rising to 106mph at Glen Ogle.

Winds reached 59mph in Edinburgh and 63mph in Glasgow.

A 61-year-old man was struck by a falling tree in the Meadows in Edinburgh and was taken to the city’s Royal Infirmary. His injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

A tree also fell on a car in the city’s Quality Street but no one was hurt.

A woman was taken to Hairmyres Hospital in South Lanarkshire after a tree fell on a taxi in Bothwell Road, Hamilton.

Part of the roof around the helipad at Southern General Hospital in Glasgow was blown away by the severe wind.

Glasgow Central station had to be evacuated when debris smashed glass in the roof. No one was hurt and arriving passengers were escorted from the station. The station has since been reopened.

Police Scotland reported an explosion at an electricity substation in Coatbridge. No one was hurt.

Lorries were blown over on the M74 at Douglas, South Lanarkshire, and on the A83 at Rest and Be Thankful in Argyll and Bute.

First Minister Alex Salmond said the Scottish Government’s resilience operation is underway.

Transport Minister Keith Brown is in the Transport Scotland control room where he will remain until the emergency passes.

Speaking during First Minister’s Questions at the Scottish Parliament, Mr Salmond said: “I can confirm to the chamber there has been one reported fatality, weather related, in Scotland. There have been a number of injuries, thankfully none of them yet reported as serious. There has been significant disruption to road, rail and ferry infrastructure.”

Check out our sister paper the Daily Mirror’s coverage of the situation across the UK

He praised the work of the emergency services in responding to the severe weather, just days after they dealt with a major incident in Glasgow, when a police helicopter crashed into a pub killing nine people.

“In light of the tragedy at the Clutha bar, we’ve had very good reason, all of us, to pay tribute to the outstanding work of our emergency services,” he said.

“I can reassure the chamber that that work is on again today as we respond to the ongoing emergency of the weather conditions.”

Motorists were advised not to travel this morning because of the “extremely dangerous” road conditions.

Transport Scotland escalated its travel warning to stage-four red, advising people to avoid using roads particularly in high-sided vehicles.

Closures, fallen trees, minor accidents and flash flooding have affected much of the road network, particularly in the south, west, central and Perthshire areas.

Many bridges have been closed or restricted to traffic, including the Forth Road Bridge, A898 Erskine Bridge, Dornoch Bridge, Skye Bridge and Tay Road Bridge.

As the winds subsided in some parts of the country, police reduced their warning to motorists but said a high risk of disruption remains.

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Scotland starts to clear up damage left by 100mph winds

Rail network, schools and bridges close and lorry driver is killed as forecasters warn harsh weather could continue overnight
Glasgow weather

Rain sweeps through Glasgow, where debris smashed part of the rail station’s glass roof. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Workers across Scotland have been clearing debris and repairing damage after winds of over 100mph shut down the country’s rail network, closed schools and bridges, damaged property and left at least one person dead.

A lorry driver on the A706 was killed after a vehicle overturned on top of two cars at the Bogton roundabout in Bathgate, West Lothian, at 8.10am on Thursday. A second person has been killed in Retford in Nottinghamshire.

Train travel has been severely disrupted north of the border, with Network Rail closing the entire Scottish rail network early on Thursday morning because of the high winds and debris on railway lines. Commuters were left unable to make their journeys to work, and some passengers were left stranded at stations when their trains were cancelled mid-journey.

A spokesman for the train operator Scotrail said: “We have had to bring trains into stations and we have tried to ensure that passengers on those trains are as comfortable as possible. We have been giving them teas and coffees and trying to help them complete their journey by taxi wherever possible.

“We have tried to provide alternative transport, but that’s difficult today because obviously the road networks are also being affected by the weather.”

Glasgow Central station was also closed to the public after flying debris shattered part of the building’s glass roof. The station has since re-opened. Scotrail tweeted that services between Glasgow and Motherwell, East Kilbride and Barrhead are now running again as are services between North Berwick and Edinburgh. Sleeper services are also set to run as normal, although Scotrail advises passengers to check before making their journeys.

On Scotland’s roads, drivers faced bridge closures and danger from debris. The Forth road bridge, Friarton bridge in Perth and Erskine bridge in Renfrewshire were all closed to traffic while police in Aberdeenshire warned of road closures after the river Dee burst its banks.

 

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Earth Watch Report

Torness Nuclear Power Station
Torness Nuclear Power Station
As viewed from a minor road near Innerwick.
Image Source  :  Geograph.org.uk
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright James T M Towill

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Nuclear Event United Kingdom Scotland, [Torness Nuclear Power Station] Damage level
Details

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Nuclear Event in United Kingdom on Friday, 22 November, 2013 at 04:36 (04:36 AM) UTC.

Description
Seawater cooling system of Torness in East Lothian has become clogged with seaweed for the second time this year. A nuclear reactor near Edinburgh shut down on Thursday because its seawater cooling system became clogged with seaweed. This is the second time this year that reactors at Torness in East Lothian have been forced to close because of excessive seaweed. In 2011 it was closed by a swarm of jellyfish. Reactors need large amounts of water in order to keep them cool, and to prevent them from overheating. Seawater for cooling at Torness is filtered, but when the filters get clogged, reactors have to be shut down as a safety precaution. The station’s operator, EDF Energy, has said that one of the two 640-megawatt reactors at Torness was shut down in the early hours of this morning. It is expected to remain closed for the next seven days. “We took reactor 2 offline at 02:20 this morning due to increased seaweed ingress as a result of the weather conditions in the area,” said the nuclear station’s director, Paul Winkle. “We are aware that at certain times of year with particular weather conditions in this part of the Forth estuary, seaweed volumes can increase and enter the station’s cooling water intake system.” Torness staff were trained to respond to this situation by taking reactors offline if necessary, he said. “In addition, the many-layered safety systems monitor conditions like this and the plant’s inbuilt mechanisms will take the unit offline automatically.”

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Seaweed shuts down Scottish nuclear reactor

Seawater cooling system of Torness in East Lothian has become clogged with seaweed for the second time this year

Torness nuclear power plant, seen from Skateraw Bay near Dunbar in East Lothian

Torness nuclear power plant, seen from Skateraw Bay near Dunbar in East Lothian, Scotland. Photograph: Gary Doak/Alamy

A nuclear reactor near Edinburgh shut down on Thursday because its seawater cooling system became clogged with seaweed.

This is the second time this year that reactors at Torness in East Lothian have been forced to close because of excessive seaweed. In 2011 it was closed by a swarm of jellyfish.

Reactors need large amounts of water in order to keep them cool, and to prevent them from overheating. Seawater for cooling at Torness is filtered, but when the filters get clogged, reactors have to be shut down as a safety precaution.

The station’s operator, EDF Energy, has said that one of the two 640-megawatt reactors at Torness was shut down in the early hours of this morning. It is expected to remain closed for the next seven days.

“We took reactor 2 offline at 02:20 this morning due to increased seaweed ingress as a result of the weather conditions in the area,” said the nuclear station’s director, Paul Winkle.

“We are aware that at certain times of year with particular weather conditions in this part of the Forth estuary, seaweed volumes can increase and enter the station’s cooling water intake system.”

Torness staff were trained to respond to this situation by taking reactors offline if necessary, he said. “In addition, the many-layered safety systems monitor conditions like this and the plant’s inbuilt mechanisms will take the unit offline automatically.”

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Biological Hazards

08.03.2013 Biological Hazard United Kingdom England, [Suffolk County] Damage level
Details

Biological Hazard in United Kingdom on Friday, 08 March, 2013 at 17:32 (05:32 PM) UTC.

Description
A drug user has died in Suffolk after being infected with anthrax. Ambulance genericThe Health Protection Agency (HPA) said the victim had injected heroin. There has been a small outbreak of cases in Europe, with 13 cases identified by health officials since June last year. Seven of the cases have occurred in the UK, including one in Scotland and one in Wales. Four of the five people who contracted the bacterial infection in England have died, experts said. The HPA said the source of the infection is presumed to be contaminated heroin. The HPA said it is “unclear” whether the British cases are linked to the European outbreak which has affected drug users in Denmark, Germany and France. Dr Chris Williams, consultant in communicable disease control at the HPA in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, said: “Anthrax can be cured with antibiotics, if treatment is started early. It is therefore important for medical professionals to be alert to the possibility of anthrax infection in heroin users presenting with signs and symptoms – which include severe soft tissue infections or blood poisoning – to prevent any delays in providing treatment. “It is possible that further cases may be seen in people who inject heroin. People who use drugs may become infected with anthrax when the heroin they use is contaminated with anthrax spores. This could be a source of infection if injected, smoked or snorted – there is no safe route for consuming heroin or other drugs that may be contaminated with anthrax spores.”
Biohazard name: Heroin contaminated with antrax
Biohazard level: 3/4 Hight
Biohazard desc.: Bacteria and viruses that can cause severe to fatal disease in humans, but for which vaccines or other treatments exist, such as anthrax, West Nile virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, SARS virus, variola virus (smallpox), tuberculosis, typhus, Rift Valley fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, yellow fever, and malaria. Among parasites Plasmodium falciparum, which causes Malaria, and Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes trypanosomiasis, also come under this level.
Symptoms:
Status: confirmed

Drug user dies after anthrax infection

Health Protection Agency reports heroin user in Suffolk died after injecting what is presumed to be contaminated drug

  • Press Association
  • The Guardian, Friday 8 March 2013 14.12 EST
anthrax bacteria

Anthrax bacteria. A heroin user has died of the disease. The Health Protection Agency has reported seven anthrax case in the UK since June last year. Photograph: Smc Images/Getty Images

A drug user has died after being infected with anthrax, health experts have said.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said the person, who injected heroin, had died in Suffolk.

There has been a small outbreak of cases in Europe, with 13 cases identified by health officials since June last year.

Seven of the cases have occurred in the UK, including one in Scotland and one in Wales. Four of the five people who contracted the bacterial infection in England have died, experts said.

The HPA said the source of the infection is presumed to be contaminated heroin.

Two of the deaths occurred in Blackpool and the other death was a drug user in Medway, Kent.

The HPA said it is “unclear” whether the British cases are linked to the European outbreak which has affected drug users in Denmark, Germany and France.

Anthrax is a bacterial infection and is primarily a disease of herbivorous mammals, though other animals and some birds can also become infected. Drug users can be exposed when heroin is contaminated with anthrax spores.

 

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Earth Watch Report  –  Epidemic  Hazards

Scottish flu victim airlifted to Leicester hospital

Dumfries Infirmary
Ms Scott was airlifted by helicopter from Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary

A Scottish woman is in intensive care at a specialist hospital in Leicester after contracting a suspected form of swine flu.

Jennifer Scott was transferred by helicopter from Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary after she was diagnosed with a serious “flu-type illness”.

Her condition at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester was described as critical but stable.

Ms Scott is reported to be 27 years old and from Sanquhar in Dumfriesshire.

A spokesman for NHS Dumfries and Galloway said: “We have had a confirmed case of a significant flu-type illness.

“That case has been transferred and there are no other confirmed cases.”

 

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Swine flu victim Jennifer Scott remains in critical condition

Dumfries Infirmary
People in at risk groups for flu, such as pregnant women, have been urged to seek vaccination

A woman from southern Scotland remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital in Leicester after contracting swine flu.

Jennifer Scott, who was pregnant, underwent an emergency caesarean before being transferred by helicopter from Dumfries Infirmary last week.

Her baby daughter is said to be doing well.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway has urged anyone in an at-risk group for flu to seek vaccination.

Director of Public Health Dr Derek Cox said it had been clear after several days in the Dumfries hospital that the patient had needed specialist care.

He said it was not a “unique case” in Scotland.

 

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The leader of the Scottish Catholic Church, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, has resigned amid allegations of inappropriate behavior, involving four priests in the 1980s. The Cardinal used his resignation to apologize to those he’d offended.  ITV’s Lewis Vaughan Jones report.

By John Newland, Staff Writer, NBC News

LONDON — Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic cleric has resigned amid allegations of inappropriate behavior made by priests.

The Vatican said Monday that Pope Benedict XVI had formally accepted the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh. The Observer newspaper reported Sunday that the Vatican had been notified of allegations of inappropriate behavior stretching back 30 years.

Three priests in Scotland, as well as a former priest, have lodged complaints to the Vatican’s ambassador to Britain and demanded O’Brien’s immediate resignation, according to the newspaper.

The 74-year-old cardinal has contested the claims and said he is taking legal advice.

O’Brien had been prepared to resign, citing his age as the cause. He turns 75 on March 17, and the Vatican said the pope had in November accepted a resignation letter under the condition of “nunc pro tunc,” meaning “now for later.”

The Vatican said Monday, however, that the pontiff had now accepted the resignation “definitively.”

Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images, file

The Vatican confirmed Monday that it had accepted the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, 74.

It means O’Brien will not take part in the conclave to elect the pope’s successor – a process that could begin earlier than March 15 after the rules governing the process were changed in a move announced Monday.

O’Brien said in a statement that it was the pope himself who had decided his resignation would take effect immediately.

“Approaching the age of 75 and at times in indifferent health, I tendered my resignation … some months ago,” he said. “The Holy Father has now decided that my resignation will take effect today.”

O’Brien would have been Britain’s only elector in the papal conclave that will gather to decide on a successor to Benedict XVI.

“I will not join them for this conclave in person,” O’Brien said. “I do not wish media attention in Rome to be focused on me — but rather on Pope Benedict XVI and on his successor.”

A hint of O’Brien’s accelerated resignation was found Sunday in Edinburgh, when the cardinal did not appear as scheduled to lead a Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Instead, Bishop Stephen Robson made a statement on O’Brien’s behalf.

“A number of allegations of inappropriate behavior have been made against the cardinal,” the statement said. “The cardinal has sought legal advice, and it would be inappropriate to comment at this time. There will be further statements in due course.”

Robson is an auxiliary prelate in the Edinburgh diocese.

O’Brien’s statement went on to say: “I have valued the opportunity of serving the people of Scotland and overseas in various ways since becoming a priest. Looking back over my years of ministry: For any good I have been able to do, I thank God. For any failures, I apologize to all whom I have offended.”

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  • Scottish and British flags – Czechoslovakia had to renegotiate 31 treaties and 2,000 sub-agreements when it split in two (Photo: The Laird of Oldham)

  1. By Andrew Rettman

BRUSSELS – A legal opinion published by the British government says that if Scotland splits from the UK it would also lose its EU membership.

The 111-page paper, put out on Monday (11 February), also notes that if the EU accepted Scotland as a new member, it would probably be forced to join the euro, it would lose its part of the UK rebate in the EU budget, and if it joined the EU’s passport-free Schengen area, the UK would impose passport controls on the new British-Scottish border.

It adds that Scotland would have to apply to join other multinational bodies, such as the International Monetary Fund, Nato and the UN, with no guarantee of a place.

The paper, based on an analysis by law professors James Crawford from Cambridge University and Alan Boyle from the University of Edinburgh, comes ahead of a Scottish referendum on independence next year.

It is set to make interesting reading in Catalonia, which aims to hold a vote also in 2014 on splitting from Spain.

Crawford and Boyle warn that: “There is no clear precedent for a metropolitan part of an EU member state becoming independent and then either claiming automatic membership or seeking in its own right to join the EU … This means that the following discussion must necessarily be somewhat speculative.”

But they add: “On the face of the EU treaties and other indications, it seems likely that Scotland would be required to join the EU as a new member state.”

They note “this is not to suggest that it is inconceivable for Scotland automatically to be an EU member … [but] it is not required as a matter of international law, nor, at least on its face, by the EU legal order.”

They also say that even if Scotland kept EU law on its books “it would not cause Scotland or its citizens to have any rights or obligations under the EU treaties.”

 

Related

  1. Independent Scotland would not join euro, minister says
  2. Pro-independence surge in Scotland

 

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RT.com
Thu, 31 Jan 2013 15:22 CST

© Reuters / Darren Staples

Under the UK government’s austerity program millions of low income households are facing a hike in their council tax bills of up to 333% a year. New changes are to be introduced this April, while Scotland and Wales chose not to implement the cuts.

The UK benefits system is about to undergo it’s most radical restructuring since the introduction of the welfare state after the Second World War and many families will be pushed further into poverty, a new report by the Resolution Foundation think tank reveals.

The biggest shakeup will be in Council Tax, a tax paid by households to local councils, which is not decided by income. Currently people on low paid jobs or the unemployed can apply for Council Tax Benefit (CTB), effectively exempting them from paying the tax.

All other means tested benefits will be streamlined into one national system, which will be called Universal Credit (UC), a move welcomed by the report’s authors.

CTB is a national scheme and provides assistance to nearly 6 million low income families in the UK; but as of the 1st April 2013 CTB will cease to exist.
Instead a new system will be introduced called Council Tax Support Schemes. Those who require assistance with their council tax bill will have to apply to whichever of the 326 local authorities they live in, who will make their own independent decision on whether to grant support.

However, central government has introduced a 10% cut in its subsidy budget – which local authorities would use to help people with their council tax – which effectively confronts local authorities with a choice. Either introduce less generous schemes, thereby forcing low income families to pay more council tax, or find savings elsewhere.

But council tax payers in Scotland and Wales will not be affected because their devolved governments will cover the 10% shortfall in funding from central government.

The CTB reform is expected to annually save £480 million, of which £410 million would come from England.

 

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