The bestselling Scots author complained about the airport’s “overrun” system after he found himself delayed at 7.30am yesterday.
The airport is currently trialling a new £25m security hall alongside their existing one.
This involves an “airlock system” – letting some passengers through the new lounge, then closing the doors to allow other passengers through the old one.
Rankin tweeted: “One x-ray machine in use at 7:30am.
Having to lock passengers out because you’re overrun? Embarassing.”
Followers were quick to agree with his sentiments.
Jourdan McC replied: “Been going on for a few weeks. Total disaster! Has convinced me back to trains.”
Chris Hill added: “This happened the last time I took an early flight. Dozens of people stood in the corridor for no reason. Joke airport.”
Rankin is one of several people who have criticized the airport’s lengthy security process.
Edinburgh West MP Mike Crockart said on Monday: “Shiny new security system looks lovely. Unfortunately takes ten times as long to get through.”
One user who goes by the name ‘alnya’ said: “We went through their new security bit last week. Took forever due to lots of faffing.”
A picture uploaded to social media shows that queues have been a problem for some time.
The photograph, uploaded early last month by comedian Rory Bremner (above), shows a long line of people with the caption “Edinburgh Airport enters ‘longest security queue’ contest. 100 yards plus. Maybe a record.”
One customer review posted online on November 14th describes how a passenger missed their flight due to queuing at security.
‘C Williams’ wrote on Skytrax: “Despite being over an hour early for my flight, and only needing to go through security, I missed my plane. Edinburgh security used to be a dream. Now it’s a nightmare.”
The new security facility is one and a half times larger than the current hall, and incorporates facial recognition and new hand luggage scanners. The next development involves transforming the existent security hall into duty free shopping.
The busy airport had a record-breaking summer, with more than 1.1 million passengers passing through the terminals in July alone. The new security system has promised to “minimise the hassle and drastically cut queuing, potentially eliminating it altogether.”
Edinburgh Airport was quick to respond to Mr Rankin’s tweet. They replied: “We’re currently testing our new security hall and running two halls. We have an airlock process so we can do that safely.”
They added: “We’re not locking anyone out. Sorry your experience was not what you’re used to. We’ll be fully operational in the new hall soon.”
A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said: “We’re currently in the process of transitioning between our old and new security halls. As a result of this, some passengers have experienced a slightly longer security process than we would like.
“Passengers are not being locked out of either security hall. This is an air-lock process to allow us to run both areas safely.
“We’re working hard to ensure our security system works as efficiently as possible. We apologise if this has caused an inconvenience to our passengers and thank them for their continued patience.”
An online blog written last month by John Watson, chief commercial officer at Edinburgh Airport, says: “For the most part, trials have been going very well and we’re on course to be officially opening and transitioning from the existing hall soon.
“That said, we are grateful for the patience of our passengers, especially our regular ones, for the times we have had to manage technical teething issues.
“I know the security team feel similarly frustrated but we all know that creating a security system of this level of passenger benefit will come with a few early learning problems.”]]>
Scotland’s home building industry responded with caution and frustration to the latest official quarterly statistics announcing a significant increase in the number of new build completions for April-June compared to last year.
With the details published on a UK-wide “day of action” aiming to push housing up the political agenda, Philip Hogg, Chief Executive of trade body Homes for Scotland, voiced his concerns. He said:
“Whilst any rise in the number of much needed new homes being built is, of course, to be warmly welcomed, what these figures show beyond doubt is the game-changing impact that the Help to Buy (Scotland) shared equity scheme had in the first half of 2014.
“However, funding for the scheme for this financial year ran out in July since which time sales have significantly dropped off.
“With the industry having to adjust production as a result, it is our view that this will be reflected in the statistics for the later part of the year. We therefore fear that overall activity levels for 2014 will be broadly flat, meaning that Scotland will continue to fall well-behind the number of new homes required to meet the country’s housing need.
“Buyer interest is plain to see after so many years of pent-up demand. So not only is this situation highly frustrating for would-be home buyers, particularly our young people and growing families, it also places more pressure on an already overburdened rented sector at a time when industry recovery should be being fully nurtured.
“Yet over six weeks from the new £125m funding for housing supply announced in the Draft Budget, we still await details of how this investment is to be allocated.
“Scotland needs greater commitment and bold action from politicians of all parties and at all levels if is to ensure its people have access to the range of quality housing options they deserve.”
Scientists say the research reveals that parasites use a sort of Trojan horse tactic to sneak genetic material into the cells of their victims and suppress their immunity when causing infection.
The packages, known as vesicles, mimic those that are produced naturally in most organisms to carry out everyday functions such as transporting nutrients and chemical messages to and from cells. The parasite uses vesicles to hide its material inside a seemingly friendly exterior, like a Trojan horse.
The study, carried out on a parasite found in mice, showed that the material in the packages is able to interact with the mouse’s own genes. It manipulates the cell’s machinery to suppress products linked to immunity, so reducing resistance to infection.
Researchers say the discovery could inform new strategies for treating diseases caused by parasitic worms, which affect hundreds of millions of people and animals. The findings also offer a possible way to treat allergies, such as hayfever, because the immune mechanism that parasites block is also linked to allergic reactions.
The genetic material from the parasites can also be detected in human blood, suggesting that this could be used as a test to detect infection in people.
Dr Amy Buck, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Biological Sciences, who led the study, said: “We can see for the first time that parasites can use packages to sneak their material into the cells of other organisms. We now can develop ways to target this with implications for the billions of people and animals at risk of infectious diseases and allergy.”
A scots gamekeeper has proved he is a great shot – with a camera.
John MacTavish, a keeper on a 1,500 acre farm and pheasant shoot in Lochnell, Oban, takes stunning pictures whilst at work.
The snaps include his dogs – three Springer Spaniels and a Cocker Spaniel – leaping through the air and jumping through streams as they race after and collect pheasants.
He has also managed to capture incredibly detailed images of birds mid-flight, as well as shots of other gamekeepers with their kills.
His pictures are so breathtaking they have made several front covers of the ‘Shooting Times’, the UK’s leading weekly shooting magazine.
The 48-year old developed a passion for taking photographs whilst at school. His first camera was a Zenit TTL, which he describes as an “awful thing”.
He now owns three Canon cameras with six lenses, ranging from 15mm to 600mm. The lenses alone can cost up to £9,000.
John, who has never had any photography training, said: “The most enjoyable thing with photography is getting a sharp shot of something the eye only sees for a blink. It’s not easy, but when it comes off it’s enough to drive me onto the next one.”
The Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland offers men and women a formal method to make enquiries about an individual they may be in a relationship with or considering a relationship with to find out if they have an abusive or violent past.
A disclosure can be made by someone who has concerns about their partner or by a third party, such as a friend or relative or relevant agency, who has concerns about someone’s safety.
The launch date of the scheme coincides with the ’16 Days of Action’, an international campaign to heighten awareness of Violence Against Women, including domestic abuse, and will see marketing material displayed in public space areas.
A similar system, known as Clare’s Law, has already been piloted in England and Wales following the murder of Clare Wood by her boyfriend George Appleton in 2009. She was unaware of his history of violence against women.
Her father Michael Brown, who is originally from Aberdeen, has welcomed the launch of the pilot in Scotland.
He said: “It is not acceptable that domestic abuse exists in this day and age and the sooner people are helped to get out of that environment the better. It not only affects the person who is being abused but their wider network including their parents, any children they may have and friends.
“In my case it does not matter to me that my daughter was 36 when she died, it is a parent’s job to look after their children and although it was not my fault what happened in some way I still feel responsible.
If Clare had known George Appleton’s background she almost certainly wouldn’t have become involved with him and if I had the knowledge I have now perhaps something could have been done and Clare would still be here today.
“This scheme is another way to help people and I can only see it as a good thing. If it prevents just one child from growing up without a mother or a father it will be worth its weight in gold.”
Detective Superintendent Mark Cooper said: “Domestic abuse is a complex issue as it invariably happens behind closed doors and can affect all areas of society and all cultures. Tackling it is an absolute priority for us in our efforts to keep people safe.
“We are delighted to welcome this pilot scheme in Aberdeen which will enable police and partners to provide extra support and protection to those who are most at risk of domestic abuse.
“Our focus will remain on raising awareness, supporting those affected and bringing those responsible to justice.”
Detective Inspector Graham Smith, Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit, said: “We are committed to tackling domestic abuse and we will proactively identify offenders.
“We will also continue to monitor their compliance with any bail conditions or home curfews after they’ve been to court.
“Disclosures through the pilot scheme can be triggered by victims themselves, a friend or relative or relevant agencies including social workers or police officers. The decision to disclose will lie with a multi-agency forum, taking all parties’ rights and needs into account.
“It is anticipated that this pilot scheme will help us move forward and we welcome it in Aberdeen.”
Aberdeen City Council Social Care and Wellbeing convener, Councillor Len Ironside CBE said: “To give people who have genuine suspicions about their partners the right to find out whether he or she has a record of domestic abuse can potentially offer extra protection to those who may be at risk.
“The City Council will continue to work closely with the other partner organisations on this pilot scheme which in time could be rolled out across the rest of the country.”
Christine Herron, Chairperson of Grampian Women’s Aid said: “We welcome this development from Police Scotland, which can give women information that can help them make an informed assessment of risks to their safety and the safety of their children.
“We know that children who live in homes where domestic violence occurs are at a higher risk of abuse, including sexual abuse.
“It is important to remember that only around 35% of actual incidents are reported to the police and research has told us that it’s not unusual for a woman to be assaulted more than 30 times before calling for police help, so someone who has no police history is not guaranteed to be ‘safe’ and a perpetrator with even one conviction may have committed many more offenses.
“It is a shocking indictment on our society that in the 21st century 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse.
“This very welcome initiative from Police Scotland helps to promote the message that domestic violence is never acceptable.
The study found that 67% of the 1,000 participants felt that family arguments, money worries and small tense moments, such as whether their children or grandchildren are ill or in trouble, were stressful enough to have an effect on their sense of control and wellbeing.
For those in the workplace, 40% of Scots declared that traffic problems and delays left them both dejected and stressed and two thirds commented on pressure in the workplace itself, especially when goalposts keep moving, therefore affecting general workloads and deadlines.
The research also found that 67% of those surveyed have actively sought to have their blood pressure tested, mostly at their GP surgery.
Despite this, only 33% of people surveyed in Scotland accepted that measuring blood pressure is important, which according to the study- conducted by electronic consumer Braun- exposes the issue that people are not looking after themselves sufficiently and reading the signs that all is not well.
The survey revealed that 66% of people know that they have a direct genetic link to close family members with blood pressure issues, but are still not taking the right precautions to avoid the end consequences, which could lead to heart attack, stroke or the onset of diabetes.
What’s more, only 50% of Scots thought that keeping physically fit could have an impact on blood pressure and only 67% perceived that healthy eating could have a positive effect.]]>
Matthew Shaddick of Ladbrokes said: “In 2010, Scottish Labour won 41 seats compared to just 6 for the SNP. It will take a political earthquake to turn that around, but the SNP momentum seems unstoppable right now.
At the SNP event at the Hydro last week Ms Sturgeon turned her fire on the Labour party, saying they would pay a heavy price for their “cosy referendum alliance” with the Conservatives.
She also said that both Labour and the Tories needed to be forced not to backslide on their promise of substantial new powers for Scotland.
The first minister urged people to vote SNP in May as the only way of sending a signal to Westminster that Scotland was intent on holding the parties to that vow.
Ms Sturgeon ruled out ever going into coalition with the Tories and set down the rules for co-operation with Labour at Westminster.
She made a point of demanded more powers for Scotland, an end to austerity and no new nuclear weapons.]]>
Scotrail currently dispose of the sewage from their train toilets onto the tracks and have pledged to end the practice by December 2017 when they plan to fit retention tanks.
RMT have called on Transport Scotland and Network Rail to put pressure on Scotrail’s new operators Abellio-due to take over in April 2015- to bring forward the date to April 2016.
However Transport Scotland confirmed that they will stick to the December 2017 target date.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “It is clear in the response from Transport Scotland that they are being forced to address our demands but we want more detail on what they intend to do and the union still believes that swifter action is perfectly achievable.
“We want to know exactly what TS means by identifying “co-ordinates” and putting safety measures in place to protect staff. If that means identifying the sewage hotspots then that has been a core RMT demand of this issue, not just in Scotland but across the whole of Britain, and we should be getting on with it now.
“RMT has already made significant progress in bringing forward the date when the scandal of dumping raw sewage on Scotland’s railway tracks is brought to an end.
“However, the union believes that April 2016 is a perfectly realistic and achievable target for halting this filthy and disgusting practice. Abellio are set to make a fortune out of the Scotrail franchise and the very least they should be forced to do is to dip in their pockets and retro-fit the retention tanks.
“This union intends to keep the pressure on Transport Scotland and their franchise holders for the earliest possible end to this scandal on Scotland’s railways.
“That is why we are stepping up our campaign RMT has said all along that if it was wealthy bankers getting sprayed with sewage rather than rail workers then this scandal would be ended overnight. RMT’s campaign goes on.”
The next phase of their campaign will involve RMT members across Scotland handing out thousands of leaflets demanding the earliest possible end to what they call a “disgusting and dangerous practice.”
The rail union say an industrial response has not been ruled out if there is any delay.
Researchers looked at an enzyme-known as Polo Kinase- which is often found in tumours and discovered that interfering with the enzyme limited tumour development.
The drugs were trialed on the fruit flies and is the first of its kind to look at these processes in the cells of a whole organism rather than a lab dish.
Scientists used high-resolution microscopy to view cells in 3D and determine the position of each of the proteins.
The findings have given researchers a better understanding of the workings of proteins that control cell division.
When the cell goes out of control it can lead to cancer and so the process has to be carried out accurately to keep them healthy.
Scientists used high-resolution microscopy to view cells in 3D and determine the position of each of the proteins.
The study, published in the Royal Society journal Open Biology, was supported by the Wellcome Trust.
Dr Mar Carmena of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Biological Sciences, who took part in the study, said: “This gives us valuable new insights into how these anti-mitotic drugs work in the dividing cells in tissues of an entire organism, and could help inform more effective strategies against certain cancers.”