Today’s international news: March 8th

Luka Kenyon brings today’s international stories from across the globe.


Today’s national news: March 8th

Luka Kenyon brings today’s top national stories from across the UK.

To check out Ryan Traynor’s article on the Mary Queen of Scots documents click here.

Newspaper review: March 8th



Daisy Smith and Ross Hempseed take a look at today’s newspaper headlines.

Indian Pilot released by Pakistan


A pilot from the Indian Air Force has been released by the Pakistani government after having been captured on Wednesday.

This is amid the ongoing tensions between Pakistan and India that have resulted in Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s plane being shot down in the Kashmir region. Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has commented that the move is a “peace gesture” to allow communication to be opened between the two countries.

On Friday Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the events of the past few days had “brought our nations closer”.

“The way the nation has supported our armed forces is extraordinary and I bow to every Indian for that”, he said.

On Thursday, Mr Khan reenforced his call for the de-escalation of the continued military presence along the border between India and Pakistan.

The pilot is now back on Indian soil and being hailed  as a national hero.

Newspaper review: March 1st

EN4 News journalists Ross Hempseed and Daisy Smith look at today’s newspaper headlines.


Read David Paul’s article on parking charges in Edinburgh click here.

Read more about the outcome of the investigation into Louella Fletcher-Mitchie’s death here.

Today’s National News

Here’s a look at the news from across the UK with Ross Hempseed. 

For more information on Emiliano Sala look to our sports section for updated information.

Male contraception to be trialled in Edinburgh

A brand new medical study into a men’s contraceptive are looking to recruit Edinburgh volunteers to test the alternative to The Pill.

The gel called NES/T is a hormone based treatment that is being made available to volunteers in which they apply the gel to their upper arms and shoulders and their sperm count closely monitored. The science behind the gel is that it triggers the brain to stop the testicles producing sperm.

The research, conducted by University of Edinburgh, is a step forward for couples in long term relationships who want an alternative to the pill which can have lasting side-affects.

Dr John Reynolds-Wright, who is leading the medical trials, commented to BBC’s Good Morning Scotland that the gel is likely to match the female pill for effectiveness at around 98%.

He said: “We’ve had some much smaller numbers involved in previous studies and know that it works.

“The purpose of this study is so we can tell people it is 99% effective.”

At the moment there are only two methods of contraception available that have a high success rate for men. These are to wear a condom which many men find both difficult and likely to kill the mood or to get a vasectomy which is a very invasive way of approaching the issue.


The trial will by run by the University of Edinburgh (Photo credit: CPS research)

Professor Richard Anderson, of the University of Edinburgh’s MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, said: “Previous trials have shown that hormonal contraception for men can be safe and effective. This trial allows men to self-administer a gel, which may be much more convenient and acceptable than needing repeated injections.”

The gel, whilst designed to limit sperm count in males, does not affect the levels of testosterone so males still maintain their libido. Researchers are primarily focusing on long term couples because whilst the gel does act as a contraceptive it does not protect against sexually-transmitted diseases.

Men aged between 18 and 50, who are in a stable relationship with a woman aged between 18 and 34, who want to take part in the trial should call the Edinburgh team on 0131 242 2669.

Big acts heading to Edinburgh for 2019 Summer Sessions

The massive acts that will headline Edinburgh’s Summer Sessions have been announced. 

Last year, Edinburgh welcomed some of the biggest names in music to its inaugural Summer Sessions and now they aim to top their effort, with seven major acts set to perform against the backdrop of the iconic Edinburgh Castle.


(Photo credit: Ralph Arvesen)

Acts to appear include: Florence + the Machine, The Courteneers. Primal Scream with Johnny Marr, CHVRCHES, James and Madness. These acts will bring a wide range of musical styles to the Ross Bandstand.

The highly successful first concert saw musical talent such as Sir Tom Jones, Paloma Faith, Rag’N’Bone Man, Bastille and Kasabian take to the Edinburgh stage, being met with sold out crowds.

This year is set to be better than ever with talented artists playing shows between 7-18 August 2019.


Alongside the Edinburgh Summer Sessions, Glasgow looks to outdo the Capital with its own Summer Sessions. Acts such as The Cure, Foo Fighters and The 1975 will belt out their biggest hits to a sold out crowd at Bellahouston Park.

Geoff Ellis of DF Concerts, Summer Session organisers, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing the Summer Sessions back to Princes Street Gardens. The inaugural festival in 2018 was very well received and saw some world-class acts play with the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle in what is Scotland’s concert equivalent of the Hollywood Bowl.”

Tickets for the events can be found at the Summer Sessions website.

Environmental activists storm Parliament

Extinction Rebellion staged a sit-in protest against climate change at Holyrood on January 25.

Earlier today 45 people from the organisation entered the Scottish Parliament, occupied the Debating Chamber and held a symbolic Citizens Assembly on Burns Day. The group was almost immediately asked to leave.


Photo credit: Extinction Rebellion Scotland

Robert Alcock, of Extinction Rebellion, commented,

“We are not breaking the law. We are lawfully gathered in OUR Parliament, to draw attention to the climate emergency and to call for a Citizens’ Assembly in the name of the land and people of Scotland.”

A large crowd of both protesters and police gathered outside the Scottish Parliament this afternoon in a symbolic citizens’ assembly against climate change.

Extinction Rebellion is a non-violent activist group aiming to put pressure on the Scottish Government to make the necessary changes to policy regarding climate change.

The group is actively promoting the recent warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) that global warming has only twelve years to be kept at a maximum of 1.5 degrees.

It is hoped that the symbolic citizens’ assembly, which took place unexpectedly in the Debating Chamber at Holyrood, will start a nationwide conversation on the issue.

Parliament is set to debate the first stage of the new climate bill within the next six weeks, but the group says that the commitments made by the government with regards to cutting emissions are nowhere near what it should be.

The Scottish government, according to the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, must actively reduce CO2 emissions by 10% each year.

Extinction Rebellion is in favour of the idea of a Special citizens’ assembly made up of select individuals from every local Scottish authority.

They would be able to hold Parliament accountable over the issue of climate change and have the power to revise and review any legislation that the Scottish Government intend to pass.

The organisation hopes that Scottish people are made to feel more included in decisions that are both important to others and the environment.




Record low unemployment in Scotland

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported a record low of people unemployed in Scotland in the final months of 2018. 

However, the fact that the job market is now very crowded could lead to issues for people wanting to find employment in the future.


UK Job centre. Credit J Ellison.

In the last ten years, the Scottish economy has been re-energised by the spirit of entrepreneurship. People across the country are contributing massively to the Scottish job market by creating businesses and brands that excite and capture the imagination of the public. This, in turn, creates a demand for people who have a wide range of skills that appeal to potential employers.

Findings by the ONS reported that employment among people aged 16-24 was around 60% with more than 300,000 young people in either full or part-time work. It also revealed that the youth unemployment rate was down by 1.2% reaching 8.4%. Overall, Scotland had the lowest unemployment rate at 3.6% compared to 4.1% in England and 3.9% in Wales.

Scotland has kept costs for homegrown students to a minimum which means more young people and even older people are pursuing further education.

A college student studying construction shred his thought on how these figures are negative for him:

The ONS reported that between September and November last year, the unemployment figures dropped to below 100,000. This means that over 75% of the working population in Scotland is in employment. This comes as good news as Brexit grows ever closer.

Scottish Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “Despite the huge and continued challenges of Brexit, the Scottish economy remains resilient and our jobs market is strengthening.”

It was recently revealed Sir James Dyson was moving his headquarters from the UK to Singapore amid Brexit chaos. This may, however, turn out to be a good move for the UK. Dyson is trying to tap into the massive Asian consumer market. If business profits increase then the company will have to pay more in UK taxes.

Scotland has seen a sharp rise in the number of permanent and temporary staff over the later months of 2018. This growth in the job market outperformed the UK as a whole. Both staff groups also found that they were receiving on average, higher wages. This may be due to the drop in workers’ availability where employers have to employ more people to cover workers who possess the skills required but have other commitments.

Even though the low unemployment figures are a good sign that people are in work and are able to contribute to the economy it does pose problems for people who are coming straight into a heavily saturated job market where there are fewer opportunities than there was before. The hope is that continued investment by people with an idea or a business can generate more wealth for the whole of Scotland.

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