Investigation into spikes in newborn baby deaths in Scotland

In September 2021 at least 21 babies under four weeks old died, a rate of 4.9 per 1,000 births. And in March at least 18 died, the equivalent of 4.6 per 1,000 births.

Public Health Minister Marie Todd said: “Every death is a tragedy for the families involved, that is why earlier this year I committed to this review to find out if there is a reason for the increase.

“I appreciate how difficult this time is for anyone affected and I would encourage them to access support if they wish to do so.”

She added information about organisations and help was available on the National Bereavement Care Pathways Scotland and Scottish government websites.

Ms Todd said anything identified would feed into recommendations and actions to improve the quality of care for mother and babies.

Keep reading

Brochs: The mysterious circular symbols of Scotland

Travel north through Scotland’s deep glens, its mist and mountains and its velvety moorland and you’ll eventually see them: crumbling stone towers rising against the Highland peaks like ancient crag-top castles. These mysterious Iron Age monuments are known as brochs and they exist nowhere else but here. Yet, while these circular dry-walled structures are as symbolic a feature as any in the Scottish Highlands, their purpose remains unknown.

What is known is that around 2,000 years ago, local tribes started harvesting local stone to build massive prehistoric buildings with walls 5m thick and stretching 13m high. To date, anywhere from 100 to 500 broch sites have been identified, with the densest concentration centred in Scotland’s northern Caithness and Sutherland counties, as well as the Northern Isles.

While early archaeologists thought that brochs (whose name derives from the Lowland Scottish word for “fort”) were the citadels of local chieftains, more recent excavations suggest that the structures were more likely used for residential rather than defensive purposes.

Keep reading

Scotland cut down 14 million trees to make way for wind turbines

Scotland, site of the recent United Nations 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) climate summit, has cut down 14 million trees to make room for new wind power installations.

As reported in The Herald, the tree removal was for 21 wind turbine projects.

“The Scottish Government has moved to reassure that more trees have been planted, but it is unknown what proportion of these are mature plants that play a bigger role in turning carbon into oxygen.

“A Scottish conservation charity, which has planted almost two million trees across the Highlands, believes that both wind farms and trees are key to reducing carbon levels.”

The tree removal seems especially ironic given that world leaders supposedly agreed to end deforestation by 2030 at the recent COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

The Herald further reports that: “A spokesman for Forestry and Land Scotland, said: ‘Renewable energy and forests are key to Scotland’s contribution to mitigating climate change and FLS is successfully managing both elements.

Keep reading

11 Adults Arrested for Allegedly Operating Child Sex, Killing Dogs: ‘Witchcraft’ and ‘Sexual Services’

The Glasgow Evening Times reports that 11 adults were arraigned on Monday at the High Court in Glasglow, Scotland. Together, they face forty-three serious charges — including sexual abuse of children, attempted murder and involving children in animal sacrifice ceremonies in connection with witchcraft.

According to the Glasgow Evening Times report, the adults were part of a group that allegedly coerced three children — two girls and a boy — to participate in a child sex ring between January 2010 and March 2020. The activities reportedly took place in the Glasgow area.

The Daily Caller reports that prosecutor Kath Harper brought charges against seven men and four women —accusing them of videotaping sexual acts between adults and children and, reportedly, the rape of three children to the cheers of onlookers.  

Harper also notes in his report that members of the group allegedly paid the children for “sexual services,” forced the children to attack several dogs and then watch the animals be killed.  

Keep reading

Scientists Say Loch Ness Monster Might Actually Be Real After New Fossil Discovery

According to scientists, the hypothesis that a so-called Loch Ness Monster could have existed in the Scottish Highlands may not be as absurd as previously thought.

A plesiosaur—a prehistoric reptile with a long, slender neck—may have previously been in Loch Ness, a Scottish lake, according to new research from the University of Bath published on July 21 in the journal Cretaceous Research. Based on their discoveries, they say that the legend of the Loch Ness monster might not actually be fictional.

The statement follows the discovery of plesiosaur fossils in a 100 million-year-old river system in Morocco’s Sahara Desert, suggesting that the reptiles may have lived in freshwater as well as seawater, contrary to earlier theories.

Similar to concerns about Big Foot, scientists have typically always condemned the idea that the Loch Ness monster might genuinely exist. The debunkers have frequently argued that plesiosaurs, which resemble the supposed creature’s popular depiction, could not exist in the freshwater lake because scientists thought they needed a saltwater environment to survive.

However, these new fossils indicate plesiosaurs could’ve actually existed where the legend of the Loch Ness Monster lives because they were found in a freshwater river. The paper suggests that plesiosaurs adapted to tolerate freshwater and that many may have spent the majority of their lives in it. 

Keep reading

Investigation Launched After ‘Mystery’ Surge in Deaths of Newborn Babies

Health authorities in Scotland have launched an investigation after a mystery surge in deaths of newborn babies, the second time the phenomenon has been recorded in the space of six months.

A report by the Herald newspaper highlights the “very unusual” spike in deaths of babies, with the alarm being raised after 18 infants died within four weeks of birth in March.

That same control limit was also breached in September last year, when 21 neonatal deaths were reported, the first time this had occurred since records began.

“The neonatal mortality rate was 5.1 per 1,000 live births in September and 4.6 per 1,000 in March, against an average of 1.49 per 1000 in 2019,” reports the newspaper.

Keep reading

Scotland Stops Publishing Covid Vaccine Death Statistics, Blames ‘Anti-Vaxxers’ For Raising Alarm

Public Health Scotland has announced it will no longer publish information about deaths and hospitalizations related to Covid-19 vaccination status, citing concerns the data is being “misused” by anti-vaccination campaigners.

Scotland’s public health watchdog announced the sudden change in policy last week in its most recent Covid-19 report, saying the frequency and content of the data would be reviewed.

Instead, officials will focus on publishing more complex data that promotes the idea of vaccine effectiveness.

Remarkably, Public Health Scotland officials admitted they will no longer publish the vaccination status of deaths in the country due to the activities of anti-vaccination campaigners.

The report published last week will be the last weekly publication to include data which includes information on death rates, broken down by the number of doses received.

Keep reading

J.K. Rowling Goes ‘Orwellian’ After Scottish Police Decision to Log Male Rapists as Women

The move by Police Scotland to record criminals who are biologically male as females if they identify as such has sparked a massive public outcry. Among those especially upset are women’s rights activists – and now they have yet another supporter.Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has reignited the debate about the rights of trans people, this time by condemning the Scottish police decision to abide by rapists’ self-identification and potentially log them as women, thereby providing access to women-only spaces in custody.

Rowling used literature references to express her opinion on the decision and its possible outcomes.

“War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength”, she quoted the famous words from George Orwell’s novel “1984”. “The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman”.

Police saw massive backlash after it was announced that criminals (including rapists) will be registered as females if they identify as such, even without a medical diagnosis or gender transitioning.Rowling, in her turn, is no stranger to backlash, although she has been fending off accusations of transphobia since mocking the usage of the term “people who menstruate” instead of “women”. This was a take that did not sit well with a lot of people, who lashed out at the author and even called to boycott her and her globally renowned Harry Potter saga.

Rowling’s new statement has predictably prompted a fresh wave of criticism.

Keep reading

50-Year-Old Mother Charged With ‘Transphobic Hate Crime’ For Tweeting a Photo of a Suffragette Ribbon

A 50-year-old mother in Scotland has been charged with a ‘transphobic hate crime’ and faces up to two years in prison after she retweeted an image of a suffragette ribbon.

Yes, really.

Unhinged transgender activists targeted Marion Millar after ludicrously claiming that the ribbon represented a noose. The Scottish feminist drew their ire after campaigning to protect biological women’s spaces and right to express themselves.

“The messages investigated by officers are understood to include a retweeted photograph of a bow of ribbons in the green, white and purple colours of the Suffragettes, tied around a tree outside the Glasgow studio where a BBC soap opera is shot,” reports the Times.

Millar was forced to attend a 2 hour police interview and was subsequently charged under the Malicious Communications Act.

Keep reading

In Scotland, saying that sex is binary could soon be a crime

In Scotland, claiming sex is binary could result in criminal charges, a policy analysis group warns. The warning follows a “flawed and rushed” change to an upcoming hate speech legislation.

In January, Humza Yousaf, the justice secretary in Scotland, proposed an amendment to the upcoming hate crime legislation that would have protected free speech around transgenderism. However, the amendment was met with heavy criticism from the trans lobby.

The backlash from activists was so bad that Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland and leader of the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP), had to record a video imploring LGBT members of SNP not to leave the party. Consequently, Yousaf withdrew his amendment to the hate crime bill.

Keep reading