EN4 Morning News Brief

Good morning. This is the EN4 news brief for Tuesday the second of October.

Here are this morning’s top stories.

  • The Scottish Tories plan to beat back Boris
    The Conservative Party Conference enters its third day today and the big news is likely to be Boris Johnson’s speech to the conference fringe. The former Foreign Secretary has made it rather plain that he plans to target Prime Minister Theresa May and her Brexit strategy with his speech (which was trailed with this picture of him running through a field of wheat). The Herald reports that Scottish Conservative ministers plan to rally around their leader Ruth Davidson, who is seen as perhaps the only challenger to a Johnson leadership bid.Also speaking at the conference today will be Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Justice Secretary David Gauke.
  • A date has been set for Alex Salmond’s legal challenge
    The former First Minister’s lawsuit against the Scottish Government for the handling of the sexual misconduct investigation against him has been given a date: the 15th of January 2019. The four-day hearing will take place in the Court of Sessions in Edinburgh. Read more on the BBC.
  • House of Fraser new owner sacks senior staff
    Mike Ashley, the businessman who recently acquired House of Fraser for £58million has abruptly sacked the director and the senior management staff of the department store chain. This is the latest development in the ongoing issues surrounding the company, which has included the planned closure of 31 shops, including the one on Edinburgh’s West End, due to close in November.
  • Nicola Sturgeon announces a nation-wide consultation on the tourist tax
    The First Minister used her speech this morning at the Scottish Tourism Alliance autumn conference to show a compromise to the local councils around the country who have been pushing for the power to introduce a ‘tourist tax’, Holyrood Magazine reports.

In Tech: 

Facebook’s Hack story still unfolding…
It’s come to light that the massive hack that affected over 50 million Facebook users may also have lead to data being taken from third-party websites- perhaps anywhere else that users have logged in to using their Facebook accounts. There’s talk of a class-action lawsuit in the US and a GDPR fine in Europe, and we don’t even know the full extent of the hack yet.


Meanwhile in Edinburgh

What’s happening in the council today?

Edinburgh Council are discussing the Tourist Tax issue today as well. The council has been especially keen on the idea, despite not technically having the power to introduce such a tax, mainly as part of their push to make up a budget for the upcoming year. Keep an eye out for our local government reporter Liam MacKay’s coverage of the council’s budget woes this afternoon.

What’s happening in Holyrood?

Holyrood is hosting some events throughout the day today to highlight issues relating to old people. In there morning there’s an event sponsored by Miles Briggs MSP to mark Hospice Care week, and in the evening there’s an event to mark 75 years of Age UK.

This afternoon, our Holyrood correspondent Emer Harrison will be asking MSPs what challenges old people face and what the government can do to help.

Full calendar of Holyrood events.

The Weather

The Met Office are predicting 12°C and sunny for most of the day.

Thanks and make sure to visit en4news.com for all the latest news and culture.


Have a great day!

Scottish man convicted of planning terrorism attacks

A 25-year-old man from Banff, Aberdeenshire has been convicted of planning terrorism attacks.

Connor Ward had denied any attempt of breaching the Terrorism Act as he faced trial at the High Court in Edinburgh, charged with actions that showed attempted acts of terrorism.

The jury heard how Ward acquired parts and plans for potential explosives and also kept a list of Scottish mosques.

Connor Ward Image Credit: Police Scotland

Sentencing has been differed after the verdict was give after the five-week trial.

Ward is a former psychiatric patient and claimed that he was suffering from mental illness at the time he began to gather documents from the Internet.

He has also been previously in jail for three years in 2012 after being accused of explosive charges that ended with people being evacuated from their homes.

Judge Lord Burns has adjourned until April 11th in order to obtain reports of Ward’s character.

Police had discovered hundreds of ball bearings, used in pipe bombs and other IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices) as well as thousands of files pertaining to firearms and survival techniques.

There were also documents containing extreme right wing propaganda and military tactics.

The court heard Ward had written a dedication in a book which read:

“This book is dedicated to all that follow Mohammed and the Islamic faith. You will all soon suffer your demise.”


Facebook bans Britain First

Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen and leader Paul Golding have both seen their pages banned

Facebook has removed the pages of the anti-Islamic Britain First group as well as its leaders profiles.

This action was taken after the social media company said that the group had repeatedly violated its community standards policy. Ignoring its final warning.

The Britain First Facebook page before it was shut down.

Just earlier this month, Britain First’s leader and deputy leader, Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, were jailed after be found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment.

The groups Facebook page has over 2 million likes. The pages of its two leaders also had a huge following.

The group will not be allowed to create any further pages to serve as a replacement.

Facebook judged that several of the posts were designed to promote both religious and racial hatred against Muslims.

Just a few of the antisocial posts include:

  • A photo of the top leaders of the group with the caption “Islamaphobic and Proud”
  • A caption of Muslim immigrants with animals.
  • Multiple videos and images posted with the aim of inciting hate against Muslims

Facebook said that it is an open platform that allows free expression of people opinions but any political views should be expressed without hate.

These actions come after much public outcry for the page to be shut down.

Facebook’s community standards document says “Organisations and people dedicated to promoting hatred against these protected groups are not allowed a presence on Facebook.”

Twitter suspended the accounts of Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, after its new anti-abuse rules came into force last December.

Previously President Donald Trump has come under criticism for retweeting anti-Islamic videos posted by Jayda Fransen.



Successful first launch for Space X’s Heavy Falcon

‘Starman’ orbiting Earth in a 2008 Tesla Roadster | Photo Credit: Space X/Youtube

Elon Musk’s latest test rocket, the Falcon Heavy, has blasted off from Cape Canaveral, in a historic launch.

The departure of the rocket was risky, with only a 50% chance of a successful lift off, according to the Space X CEO.

After the event he said that he had imagined: “a giant explosion on the pad, a wheel bouncing down the road.”

However, after the Falcon Heavy made its debut, it became the most capable launch vehicle available.

An astonishing live stream of the rocket blasting off from the Kennedy Center in Florida and proceeding to orbit the Earth, has been viewed a massive 5 million times since it began last night.


The aim of this launch was to blast a car, Musk’s 2008 cherry red Tesla, with a mannequin in the driver seat, towards Mars’ orbit.

The mannequin, named ‘Starman’, shot to space with David Bowie’s Life on Mars playing in the background, with the intention of orbiting Mars.

Musk referred to this approach as “kind of silly and fun”, but added he thinks “silly and fun things are important.”

Musk has admitted that ‘Starman’ has ventured further than initially planned, because Space X burned one of the boosters for too long.

He tweeted: “Third burn successful. Exceeded Mars orbit and kept going to the Asteroid Belt.”

Elon Musk tweeted about the success of the launch | Photo Credit: @elonmusk on Twitter

The final fate of the car is unknown – its journey may last a billion years and may take it as far as 250 miles from Earth, which is the equivalent of 10,000 trips around the equator.

The only other blip in the launch was the launchers central booster, which failed to return safely to Earth, unlike the two side boosters.

Musk said that it had crashed into the Atlantic at 300mph, missing the floating landing platform.


The Hedgehog Problem Spikes

The furry garden friend of every UK home continues to be under threat.

At least half the population of our native hedgehogs have been lost from the British countryside over the last two decades, warn two wildlife charities in a report issued today.

The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2018, published jointly by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), is the only comprehensive review of the status of Britain’s hedgehogs.

Hedgehog Sightings Continue to Fall in the Countryside. Image : Mental Floss

Hedgehog Sightings Continue to Fall in the Countryside. Image : Mental Floss

A spokesperson for BHPS-Emily Wilson-highlighted many reasons why Hedgehog’s are in difficulty:

“The intensification of agriculture through the loss of hedgerows and permanent grasslands, increased field sizes, and the use of pesticides which reduce the amount of prey available, are all associated with the plunge in numbers of hedgehogs in rural areas.”

With approximately 70% of land in the UK managed by farmers, Wilson went on to suggests that “farmers play a vital role” in helping protect and maintain Hedgehogs habitat.

However the report was not all doom-and-gloom for Sonic and suggested some positives for urban furze-pig’s.

Although the species has declined by a third in urban areas since 2000, the rate of decline appears to be slowing. Sightings have increased by 20% since 2014 in an annual survey of 600 urban gardens by PTES.

It has been suggested that this is because of the more than 4,500 hedgehog highways creations since 2015. The highways involve cutting holes in the bottom of fences, linking over 9,000 gardens, as part of the Hedgehog Street project and is extremely beneficial to an array of furze-pig.

Hedgehog Highways Prevent Segregation in Urban Habitats. Image : Animal Facts Encyclopedia

The State of Britain’s Hedgehog Report also illustrated the importance of ‘Hedgehog Champions’.

PTES and BHPS launched Hedgehog Street in 2011 to inspire the British public to help hedgehogs and other wildlife that depend on their gardens and, so far, over 47,000 volunteers or Hedgehog Champions have signed up to help.

Emily Wilson continued by pinpointing the importance of volunteers stating:

“Urban and suburban areas are becoming increasingly important for hedgehogs, so we need more people in those locations to sign up as Hedgehog Champions.”

For more on how to become a Hedgehog Champion and help your furry garden neighbour, visit www.hedgehogstreet.org

EN4 News – 10.00am bulletin

The headlines at 10.00am with Jamie McDonald.

Potterow food market reopens it doors for the first time this year


Today marked the first market of the year for Edinburgh University’s Potterrow.

The vegan-friendly food market set up shop again following the success of last year’s run.

The stalls at the market offered something for everything – from olives and cheese, to baked goods and jam – with even some hand-crafted potted plants in the mix.

The majority of the market consisted of locally produced, vegan food – with passionate producers more than willing to talk about their products, and even let you taste some of them.

As well as providing a place for locally sourced food, the market also provides a link between Britain and other countries.

Donna Milne says that the market is a great place for vegans

Donna Milne was running an olive stall today, with products shipped all the way from France.

She explained that the owner of the market she works for is from France, making it easier for them to source fresh products from overseas.

She said: “The owner of our market is French, so he gets all of our products from a little couple in France, who make them all by themselves.”

She added that market is a great provides a great source of fresh food for vegans:

“The market is a good place for vegans to come as most of the stalls are vegan.

“Lots of people now are vegan, so it makes sense to provide for them.

“We have the signs out so that people don’t need to ask what products are vegan.

“It makes it easier for them as usually if they go to a market or restaurant they have to ask what they can have.”

If you are more interested in craft markets than food, then there are still stalls you can check out at Potterrow.

The market is also home to a potted plant stall, run by Mary McCrea.

Mary handcrafts her extraordinary plant pots by herself, with the help of her sister.

“I like to be different and less than ordinary.

“Some people find some of my pots a bit creepy, but I like them.”

She added that the indoor market means that she can now sell her products all year round:

“I usually don’t do markets in December and January because the plants can’t tolerate the cold.”

“It’s good that the indoor market lets me do that as it means the cold can’t get to the plants.

“It’s nicer for me to be inside too”, she joked.

Mary McCrea putting the finishing touches on her craft and potted plant stall

To find out more about the Potterrow market and when it is open, visit the University of Edinburgh website.




Radio Bulletin @ 4pm

Saskia Williams presents today’s news with this weeks bulletin.

Edinburgh Council appeal for people power to help their Tourist Tax Cuts Scheme. Source: Edinburgh Evening News

Headline Update @ 2.30pm

Our presenter Saskia Williams is back again with our headline update.

For more tune in to our feature broadcast at 4pm or visit us on Twitter @en4newsweekly

Wester Hailes Education Centre could be merged. Source: The Edinburgh Reporter

Headline Update @ 1pm

Saskia Williams is back with an update on all the days headlines.

For more tune in at 2.30pm for even more or follow us on Twitter @en4newsweekly

Irish deputy Prime Minister Frances Fitzgerald resigns. Source: Reuters

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