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Morning news and current affairs. Including Sports Desk, Thought for the Day and Weather.

2 hours

Last on

Sat 18 Apr 2015 07:00

Today's running order

The Rt Hon Sir Malcolm Bruce, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, is standing down as a Scottish MP. In the week of their manifesto launch, the Liberal Democrats are falling significantly behind in several Scottish seats according to polling conducted by the former Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft. This morning, Jim is in the North East of Scotland – in Aberdeen – close to key electoral battlegrounds which have been visited both by the Chancellor George Osborne and the Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Nick Clegg in the past few days. How are the Lib Dems faring in Scotland and more broadly?

A luxurious five-star hotel was hit by a major fire on Friday evening which required 14 fire engines. Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to the blaze at the Macdonald Randolph Hotel in Oxford city centre. The fire is not believed to be suspicious and is thought to have started in the ground floor kitchen, Oxfordshire County Council said. The hotel was a regular feature in the TV series Inspector Morse, where it featured as one of the detective's favourite haunts. Assistant Chief Officer Simon Furlong of Oxford Fire and Rescue service. 

10,000 migrants have been rescued from the Mediterranean Sea by Italian officials over the last week. Our correspondent James Reynolds is in the Sicilian port of Catania.

The climbing season is starting on Everest. The mountain attracts more and more adventurers - the vastly experienced and, increasingly, the less so - who want to stand on the highest point on earth. A year ago an avalanche stopped the season in its tracks : 16 Sherpas were killed in the biggest single loss of life on the mountain in recent times. The dangers are as great as ever. But so is the lure of Everest. Thomas Martienssen, is in base camp.

It's four decades, almost to the month, since oil began to flow from the North Sea. It changed the economy of the UK...and here in north-east Scotland it was the beginning of a boom that changed the landscape and brought a new dimension to a way of life that had long been dominated by farming and fishing. Aberdeen prospered...and through times of recession these parts have had the protection of an industry that has continued to create jobs. But with oil, nothing is certain: the plunge in the price in the last six months has changed the outlook. For exploration, and for the many companies that have been growing here to service the industry. Jack Davidson, managing director of Fisher Offshore, which provide subsea equipment for the oil and gas fields.


Counter-terrorism police in Melbourne have arrested five men in a series of morning raids over fears of a planned attack on police officers at an Anzac Day memorial. About 200 officers were involved in the raids.  Acting Deputy Commissioner of National Security with the Australian Federal Police, Neil Gaughan.

If the first second of the Universe were turned in to music, what would it sound like? That's the question behind a new work being premiered tonight in Cardiff. More than 200 years after Haydn composed his musical interpretation of the Bible's Creation - A Violence of Gifts grew out of a visit to scientists at the Large Hadron Collider and seeks to evoke our modern and scientific understanding of the creation of the Universe and life on earth.

One of the adornments of the referendum campaign in Scotland was the public meeting - debates and rallies in village halls, churches, schools across the country. And in many seats in this election the same is true. As part of our visits to a hundred seats in a hundred days I've been in Gordon in Aberdeenshire - Liberal Democrat - held last time, and the seat where Alex Salmond of the SNP - former first minister of Scotland - is trying to make a return to Westminster.

Why was Greville Janner not prosecuted over allegations of child abuse, and is it right that he should face no trial now?  His family say he's is a man of great integrity and high repute with a long and unblemished record of public service. He is entirely innocent of any wrongdoing.  But the Director of Public Prosecutions  Alison Saunders, has told nine alleged victims of the 86-year-old politician that a new police investigation had gathered enough evidence to charge him with 22 offences  - but because he has Alzheimer’s the DPP has decided no trial is possible.   That decision has been bitterly criticised, not least by the police in Leicester, who've been in charge of the investigation. The DPP also admitted that there were opportunities to prosecute Lord Janner in the past but those opportunities had been missed.   One of the them was in 2007 when  the Crown Prosecution Service were contacted by the Leicester police but took no action indeed the file was not passed from Leicester to the CPS in London.  Lord McDonald - who as Ken McDonald, was the Director of Public Prosecutions at the time.

We're in Aberdeen. The granite city - sparkling in diamond spring sunshine this morning, I may say - and a city with many traditions, an ancient university and a football club with an illustrious history. Stewart Milne, chairman of Aberdeen FC and local businessman

A new trailer has been released for the latest iteration of Star Wars - Episode Seven: The Force Awakens..." There’s excitement – as the original hero Hans Solo will be back.  Many of the middle aged will remember with fond memories the trilogy classic, it's stood the test of the time. But what is it about the original 70s characters in Star Wars that get men in their 40s misty eyed? Are strong characters like Indiana Jones and Rocky the ideal cash cow? Will we see current films like Frozen coming back in 30 years’ time? Marcus Brigstocke, Comedian and Star Wars fan and Tim Robey, Telegraph film critic.

In no election campaign in living memory has there been more talk - with 19 days to go to polling day - of the possible inter-party negotiations afterwards. None of it might happen, of course : someone could have an overall majority...and we'd put coalitions to bed, and the histories of minority governments that have been well-thumbed in Whitehall in these past few months. But to judge by what the leaders are saying, they think that's unlikely. And so for all of them, positioning is everything. How you play a hung parliament is an especially enjoyable game from the Scottish National Party, because it believes it's going to have a greatly-increased Parliamentary group. Alex Salmond, former leader of the SNP and former first minister of Scotland.

Scotland Yard and the Crown Prosecution Service are facing fierce criticism after dropping charges against nine newspaper journalists who'd been accused of offences relating to the illegal payment of public officials.  The decision followed a court ruling that for an offence of misconduct in public office to be proved, serious harm must have been caused to the public interest.This follows the acquittal of three journalists at the Old Bailey yesterday for paying public officials for stories. The jury was dismissed after failing to reach a verdict on charges against a fourth journalist, and a former immigration officer. Joshua Rozenburg from BBC Radio 4’s Law in Action and Graham Brough, former Daily Mirror reporter.

The Aberdeen oil industry brought a culture change to this part of the country. By the mid-seventies, you could hear Texan voices all around the town. Peterhead just up the coast became a kind of Klondyke for people chasing the oil and still the industry means that the city has an international dimension. Suzie Johnson is on the board of the American Women of Aberdeen.




  • Sat 18 Apr 2015 07:00