Two thirds of Scottish youngsters aged 18-25 could successfully identify the invasion of Poland as the starting point of the war.
52% of those surveyed knew that VE Day came after the sinking of the Titanic and 50% understood that the death toll of the war was 60m.
Young London historians were found to be the most lacking, scoring just 34%, 18% and 38% on the same subjects.
The survey was commissioned on behalf of SSAFA, the armed forces charity, as the 70th anniversary of VE Day approaches on Friday.
The poll also found that more than half of those questioned did not know that VE Day marked the end of the war in Europe and more than a third were unable to name Winston Churchill as the Prime Minister at the close of the conflict.
38% of the participants also believed that the first moon landing, Britain’s entry into the EEC and the fall of the Berlin Wall occurred prior to VE Day, while 70% dramatically underestimated the death toll of the war.
David Murray, Chief Executive of the SSAFA, said: “It is a real shame that across the UK our young people do not share the same basic level of military knowledge as those in Scotland.”
“Many of them probably have not-too-distant relatives who fought in what was by far the biggest world war we have seen, in terms of lives lost.]]>
At present emergency calls for heart attacks are sent directly to the Scottish Ambulance Service.
But Steve Torrie, Chief Inspector of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, has said that firefighters trained in resuscitation could often arrive on scene faster, saving lives.
In a meeting with MSPs last week, Torrie said that the fire service was more than capable of helping out in medical emergency situations.
He said: “We think that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service could make a very big difference. Nine times out of ten we will get there first.”
In Scotland the survival rate of those suffering a heart attack in the street is currently 4%, among the worst in Europe.
In the American city of Seattle an incredible 40% of people who suffer a heart attack in public are saved, partly thanks to fire teams responding to such incidents.
Torrie said: “Thinking about the geography of Scotland – thinking about someone falling down in the street anywhere – we can appreciate that ambulances are highly unlikely to be around.
“Many thousands of firefighters are around. They are trained and they can be trained further.
“They have hundreds of defibrillator devices between them and they could contribute in a big way. The process is straightforward but it could make a big difference to Scotland’s health.”
He noted that they were currently consulting the fire service before rolling out the initiative across the country.
The news follows an announcement from ministers that they are aiming to save 1000 lives from out-of-hospital cardiac arrests by 2020.
Despite his optimism, Torrie warned that the initiative could struggle to take off if resources are not properly allocated.
He said: “If the cardiac arrest service is going to be rolled out across the country, it will have a significant effect on budgets. It is clear that the resourcing issue needs to be looked at.”
But critics have warned that fire crews could be called out to incidents which they are not trained to deal with
Stephen Thomson, of the Fire Brigades Union, said: “I was given the anecdotal example of a crew that was turned out for a call that they eventually realised was not for a cardiac arrest but for a diabetic coma.
“Firefighters are not trained for that and do not have the expertise to deal with it, and the crew that I am talking about was left with having to deal with a casualty while being surrounded by their family.”]]>
The gadget will use a tiny camera to identify the patterns of a speaker’s lip movements.
Cutting edge software will then translate the patterns into speech to be played in the wearer’s ear instantaneously.
The camera could be hidden discreetly in the earpiece itself or even in a pair of glasses or a piece of jewellery.
The camera will beam the words directly to the earpiece using wireless technology, switching between lip-reading and hearing modes depending on the acoustic environment.
Professor Amir Hussain from the University of Stirlingshire is leading the project, which is supported by Sheffield University, the Scottish section of the MRC Institute of Hearing Research at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and a number of manufacturers.
He said: “Deafness touches a huge number of people in the UK and abroad, either because people have a hearing loss themselves or live or work with someone who does.
“Our goal is to develop the world’s first hearing aid that can lip read. It has the potential to make a massive difference to people’s lives.”
Research shows that around 10m people in the UK suffer from hearing impairment, and inventors and deaf campaigners are hoping that their gadget will improve the lives of many.
Delia Henry, from the charity Action on Hearing Loss, said that the project would be a breakthrough in hearing aid technology.
The inventors also suspect that the aid could be used in other noisy environments, such as factories or even battlefields.
Although the basic design of the piece has been established, there are a number of hurdles to the completion of a successful prototype.
The team are currently anticipating some difficulties with the revolutionary project, including designing a system to process lip movement into speech in real-time.
The public are now being invited to contribute to the initiative in its early stages through a project website.]]>
New analysis has revealed that growth in the worth of Scottish Rich List millionaires is more than double the rate of the rest of the UK.
The combined wealth of the 100 richest people in Scotland has risen from £25.083bn to £28.346bn over the last 12 months, up 13%.
The average increase of the UK’s wealthiest 1000’s worth lags far behind at 5.4%.
This year it took £75m to join the ranks of Scotland’s richest 100, and amongst the new members of the super-exclusive club is the 82 year old biscuit maker Boyd Tunnock.
The worldwide appetite for Tunnock’s teacakes has rustled up a fortune for the family, who are now worth £75m.
Scotland can also thank whisky distillers and the producers of Irn-Bru for its growing wealth.
Leonard Russell, 53, made the list with £75m on the back of Ian Macleod Distillers, a family business which owns brands including Glengoyne and Isle of Skye.
When the Rich List was first compiled in 1998 Robin Barr and his family, with their stake in AG Barr Soft Drinks, was worth £15m.
But thanks to the success of Irn-Bru and other products, their wealth has increased 13 times over to £197m, putting them 28th on the list.
The MacKinnon family also returned to the list with £100m, after selling their Edinburgh-based Drambuie business to William Grant and Sons.
The Banffshire Grant Gordon family, owners of William Grant and Sons, top the list with a total worth of £2.15bn.
William Grant and Sons own the Famous Grouse, Glenfiddich and Monkey Shoulder brands.
Other Scottish icons also made the cut, with Edinburgh-born Sean Connery weighing in with £80m.
But the list presented some bad news for Scottish musicians, with Dire Straits singer Mark Knopfler and international DJ Calvin Harris falling short of the exclusive top 100.
Glasgow-born Knopfler’s and Dumfries-born Harris’ equal worth of £70m meant they did not make it this year, although with his fortune more than doubling in the last year alone, Harris is tipped as a favourite for the next list.]]>
As registered charities, the schools are allowed large tax breaks on the condition that they work for “public benefit” and access is not “unduly restrictive.”
With schools charging up to £30,000 per year, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) was called in to investigated whether the fees constitute a restriction of access.
Over 40 of the schools passed tests from the regulator, but some were only able to retain their charitable status by expanding their bursary systems for families unable to meet the costs of a private education.
But in many of the schools the bursaries are only offered from the age of primary seven and above, leading campaigners to say that they are doing “as little as they can get away with.”
George Heriot’s is one such school, with annual fees up to £10,695, that offers bursaries primarily for students in their senior school.
A spokesperson said: “We are occasionally able to offer bursarial assistance to children joining primary seven but only in exceptional circumstances.”
Merchiston Castle, another private Scottish institution with fees of up to £28,560 per annum, only offers bursaries to its senior students.
Labour peer George Foulkes hit out at the practice, saying: “I think schools do as little as they can to get away with, rather than genuinely try to get disadvantaged pupils into the school.
“OSCR has been too lenient and should take a stronger line, as charitable status gives the schools a very substantial subsidy from the public purse.”
But John Edward, director of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools defended the strategy.
He said: “Focusing fee assistance on secondary years pupils is simple common sense.
“It maximises the means-tested assistance schools can provide at secondary level, where it can make the most difference to individual pupils.”
A spokesman for the OSCR said: “We were aware that in some cases, bursaries are more common or only available for senior school pupils.
“You will be aware that fee structure and bursary distribution also vary with each school. Fee levels for junior pupils also tend to be significantly lower.
“As we’ve previously stated, we base our decision on the individual circumstances that apply in each case, and the level of public benefit provided by each school overall.”]]>
The profile picture of the X-Men 2 star from Perthshire has also been changed to man who appears to be of Asian origin.
Cumming is well known for his flamboyant selfies and has 112,000 followers on the photo sharing app.
But now all his pictures posted after October last year have vanished, including images of him at his 50th birthday bash wearing a pair of red Speedos.
On his twitter page Cumming wrote: “I know there’s lots to be sad about in the world today but some dickhead hacking my @instagram and deleting my photos has really got me down.”
He’d earlier tweeted: “Hey @instagram my account has been hacked. I am @Alancummingsnaps on Instagram and someone has taken it over and renamed it @cumphotos.”
Fans have rallied round the actor urging Instagram to take action against the hack.
Billy Gollner replied: “I’m sorry to hear that. Know that you’re awesome and no one can dim your flame, keep shining bright.”
Danielle-Rose wrote: “I keep looking at your Instagram watching the idiot delete everything is making me so sad. Big hugs Alan.”
While Kate Deam added: “Do something Instagram!”
The former Wimbledon champion said tennis is what he knows and he takes a step back to let the team at Cromlix House “do their job”.
Murray saved the £2m Perthshire hotel from permanent closure in 2013 when he bought it over.
He had his wedding reception at the five star hotel just three miles from him home last month.
Murray’s wife Kim is reported to have been consulted in the interior design and his brother also got married there.
But now in an interview with trade magazine Business Life the tennis star insists he steps back from running the place.
Asked what involvement has with Cromlix House Murray said: “To be honest, not loads!”
He continued: “But I don’t really want to, now that it’s up and running. There’s a company that runs it [Inverlochy Castle Management International], and that’s what they do, that’s their profession.
“I don’t know how to run a hotel. I’m kept up to date on everything that happens, but I don’t call them up all the time. I’d prefer not to be an annoying owner and tell them how to do everything.
“I’m sure if one of them tried to coach me how to play tennis, I would find that a bit weird! So I’m very happy to let them do their job and they’ve done it very well.”
The 27-year-old also spoke about his new management company 77, which he set up to look after his on and off-court interests.
Questioned on if he intends to manage other British sports personalities he replied: ”That’s right.”
Added: “But for me it wasn’t about starting a company just to make money from other athletes, it was about trying to give them the freedom to go and perform whatever sport it is they’re playing.”
He continued: “I made loads of mistakes when I was younger, and so did my parents — working with people I shouldn’t have worked with, signing deals with companies for too long.
“Things like that can still have an effect on you ten, 12 years later, and I feel that’s something I could advise and help other athletes with.”
An enormous section of road measuring 20ft by 7ft collapsed in Dysart, Fife, and has still not been fixed.
The road – part of the main street through the town – has been shut to cars ever since.
Resident Irene Suttie, 76, has not been able to park her car on her drive since 2010 and claims the giant pothole has “ruined” the town.
Repairing the road has taken so long because locals and Fife Council can’t agree on who should pay.
The row has been going on so long that a jungle of brambles and weeds has grown over the debris from the collapse.
Concern is mounting about the state of roads and it is estimated it would cost £12 billion to fix every pothole in the UK.
Irene said: “It came overnight. The hole came and the next day the wall came down.”
“The council looked at it – they are not looking at it now. Nothing has happened in five years.”
Irene has to park her car as near as possible to her home, usually next to the huge concrete barrier the council laid down as a road block.
“Parking is a nuisance. It’s ruined Dysart. No traffic is coming down. Shops are closing down.
“I’ve been at everybody I can think of – councillors, the planning department – you don’t know where else to go.”
Another neighbour, who didn’t want to be named, said: “One day everybody woke up and it was just like that.
“I’ve got a young child and it frightens me. It’s dangerous. If it was on a building site the health and safety would drop us in it.
“The whole street thinks the council should come and fix it. It’s a total eyesore.”
The cause of the giant pothole is a mystery as there are no known former mine workings in the area. Council inspectors have assured locals the surrounding land is stable.
Across the UK a pothole is fixed every 15 seconds but at that rate it will take 13 years to catch up.
A recent survey found that potholes were drivers biggest road gripe – with 70% of people saying fixing them should be the government’s number one priority for improving roads.
Fife Council said fixing the road depended on coming to an agreement with the owner of a neighbouring property.
A spokesman said the were in “dialogue” with the resident and were close to reaching an agreement at which point repairs could be carried out and the road re-opened.]]>
The Police watchdog has recommended that Police Scotland launches an investigation into the extent to which staff as Kittybrewster custody centre in Aberdeen adhere to national safety standards.
The report comes in response to an incident in which a 39 year old man, who repeatedly told police he had a broken arm, was left without care for several hours.
The man was arrested following an altercation involving three other men on 26 October 2014 in Aberdeen City Centre.
The watchdog report also noted that even though 19 officers attended the incident, door stewards from a local venue were left to restrain the men.
Their report, published on Thursday, said that officers should take more responsibility for the restraint and arrest of individuals at the earliest possible opportunity, removing the responsibility from the public.
According to the findings: “While being processed into custody the man told staff that he had a broken arm, however this was not recorded and although a doctor was on duty, he was not asked to provide medical attention.
“During the course of the night, the man repeated his complaint but again, this information was not recorded and a doctor was not requested to attend the man until 8am.”
The organisation Commissioner Kate Frame said: “Police staff at Kittybrewster should have recorded the man’s repeated complaints in relation to his arm, both upon his admission to custody and during the hours that followed, seeking medical attention from a doctor at the earliest opportunity.”]]>