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Reply with quote  #46 
Quote:
Originally Posted by steeleyma

Very true A2, we cannot be any more fortunate than having healthy loved ones, that is the only real key to the life of happiness we all take far too much for granted. xxxma

Ma there are a lot more folk out there who are worse off than you and I right now...but its what we do with our own lives and share in the pain of others who are not so fortunate as ourselves.


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25 October 2006
FAREPAK XMAS MISERY PROBE
DTI team to investigate savings plan

SPECIAL investigators are to probe the Farepak Christmas savings scheme collapse.

Bosses, including moneybags chairman Sir Clive Thompson, could face unlimited fines or even jail if the firm broke the law. They could also be banned from holding directorships for 15 years.

The inquiry was announced to MPs by Trade Secretary Alistair Darling yesterday.

Action by the Department of Trade and Industry's company investigations branch is not normally announced to the public.

But Darling said: "It is a matter of great concern that a number of people across the UK paid a large amount of money to a company that is now in administration."

Farepak collapsed last week leaving 20,000 Scots £8million out of pocket.

Another 150,000 customers lost £60million down south, leaving entire communities facing a grim Christmas.

A DTI spokesman said the probe should not be seen as an indication they believed fraud was to blame for the collapse.

Their investigators have the power to ask for documents relating to the company to determine whether there has been wrong-doing of any kind.

They can recommend legal action against the company itself or anyone involved.

Almost 100 MPs have signed a motion organised by Jim Devine voicing their concern over Farepak.

Yesterday, Livingston MP Devine said: "I have said from the outset this company needed to be investigated.

"Tens of thousands of hardworking Scots families have had Christmas cancelled."

Consumer Minister Ian McCartney has persuaded the British Retail Consortium to make a "goodwill gesture" to Farepak customers - who are unlikely to see their cash again.


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2 November 2006
NO ARMS NO FEET.. BUT THE HEART OF A LION...
 
COURAGE OF LIAM, 10, IS AN INSPIRATION TO ALL HE MEETS.

SCHOOLBOY Liam McKelvie plays football, goes swimming and has handwriting that puts many lads his age to shame - and does it all despite having no hands or feet.

The 10-year-old was struck down by meningitis just before his second birthday.

Liam's life was on the line, but surgeons managed to save him by taking the drastic step of amputating his lower legs and part of his arms.

Since then, Liam has astonished his family and friends by his determination not to let his disabilities stop him from living life to the full.

He goes to a mainstream school, where he is described as "an absolute inspiration", and his bravery has touched everyone who knows him.

Now, Liam has been put forward for a national Children of Courage award for his bravery in overcoming his difficulties.

Mum Nicola Smith and dad Billy McKelvie said any tributes are well deserved.

Nicola added: "We are incredibly proud of Liam.

"He is very determined and won't let anyone stop him enjoying life to the maximum.

"He is very independent and doesn't like to be treated differently from anyone else. He does the best he can at everything he tries.

"He just likes being one of the boys and doesn't want anyone doing anything for him if he can manage himself."

The doctors who saw Liam when he was rushed into hospital with meningococcal meningitis in 1998 could not have guessed he would do so well.

Billy and Nicola, of Invergowrie, near Dundee, said they were told to expect the worst when they took him to the city's Ninewells Hospital.

In a last-ditch bid to save Liam's life, he was taken, under police escort, to Yorkhill Children's Hospital in Glasgow.

Nicola, 31, said: "Doctors at Ninewells gave him no chance. But specialists in Yorkhill said they could try to save his life by amputating his arms and his legs.

"They said it was the worst case they had seen in 16 years and can't believe how well he's done."

Liam, who was also left with a facial disfigurement, wears artificial arms and legs and faces a long road ahead.

His growing body causes his bones to push through the bottom of his legs, meaning he needs regular bone trimming.

He will also require future limb fitting when his body has stopped growing.

Nicola said: "There are a few operations in the pipeline. That causes him a bit of frustration because he wants to get back on his artificial legs quickly.

"He's also going to need some more plastic surgery as the meningitis left his face badly scarred.

"But he never complains. Even when he has a bad day and says he wishes he wasn't like that, he doesn't really moan."

Liam is popular with his school pals and not shy about setting them straight about his disabilities. Nicola added: "He's very outgoing and he mixes very well with other kids.

"I think that has helped him a lot because, obviously, kids have questions about his hands and feet.

"He sits down and explains to them what happened."

Liam, who attends Invergowrie Primary, has just learned to swim and has delighted his teachers with his neat handwriting.

His mum said: "People are surprised when they see him writing - he just takes his pen in his arms."

Family friend Heather McDonald, of Invergowrie, put Liam's name forward for a national magazine's Children of Courage Award.

She said: "Liam lives life to the full and brings much pleasure to his family and friends.

"He has surpassed all expectations, showing great courage, determination and aptitude.

"Liam's courage and spirit has helped him through numerous operations, with many more to come. He is an inspiration to us all."

Invergowrie Primary headteacher Elizabeth Speedie said: "In his six years at school and two years in our nursery before that, Liam has been an absolute inspiration to everybody. He never complains and he's extremely popular with his classmates."

Family, friends and parents at the school have been involved in raising money for the Liam Scott McKelvie Trust fund at the Clydesdale Bank.

The fund was set up to help Liam in the future as his family face expensive medical bills for fitting artificial limbs.


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Reply with quote  #49 

what a brave little boy  make me for one appreciate how lucky i am that my kids are all well and healthy.

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Absolutely Linda as its a very humbling experience to read about kids like that...and hats off to the parents and all involved with improving the quality of life to the max


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I love seeing people winning against the odds..what an inspiration

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Originally Posted by JKANE6364

I love seeing people winning against the odds..what an inspiration

An inspiration to all of us who think we have it bad at times when in reality we don't really know how fortunate we all are


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Ranald MacDonald Chief plans to restore clan to former glory
 


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OAP wins legal fight after being charged for vandalism...

AN 86-YEAR-OLD woman has won a court battle with Scotland's largest housing association after being sued over a £277 repair bill.

Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) took Mary McDonald to court when she refused to pay for damage after yobs regularly vandalised her tenement block.

GHA claimed she had to foot the bill due to her being the sole home-owner at the flat in the city's west end. But she and campaigners argued the association had "failed their duty of care" by delaying work to stop vandals.

The pensioner was back at Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday as her fight reached a conclusion. Sheriff Martin Jones QC brought cheers from her supporters as he found in her favour. He agreed GHA had let down Mrs McDonald - and that she should not have to stump up the cash.

Later, the pensioner was in tears as she hugged daughter Cathy and wellwishers outside court.

She said: "I was a bit tense with it all coming to court, but, when I thought about it, I felt that I had to come here and fight my case.

"I like staying where I do and it came to the stage with the vandals, and having to always pay for repairs, that I thought I could take no more. I am delighted that the sheriff found in my favour."

Mrs McDonald - who is almost deaf and suffers from osteoporosis - got her first bill in 2003 after young yobs targeted the tenement in Knightswood.

The teenagers regularly downed alcohol, smashed in windows and doors, and tossed rubbish in gardens.

Housing campaigner Sean Clerkin said the decision was "complete justification" for all GHA tenants.

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Scotland's history chart revealed
Presenter Neil Oliver
Presenter Neil Oliver revealed Scotland's essential history top 10
The Wars of Independence with Wallace and Bruce have topped a public poll to find the top 10 of Scottish History.

People living in Scotland were asked to cast their vote as part of a BBC Two television programme.

The bloody battles of Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn and the heroic figures of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce came out top with the public.

Academics however rated Scotland's involvement in World War One and the Treaty of the Union as more important.

Hundreds of people took part in the BBC's poll to find out what were rated as the key moments in Scotland's history.

A total of 30 topics were whittled down from more than 1,000 nominations received from the public.

How the public voted
The Wars of Independence
The Declaration of Arbroath
Medicine
James Clerk Maxwell
Robert Burns
The Reformation
James Watt
The Enlightenment
Covenanters
The Clearances

These were then debated by a panel of history professionals, including chair Professor Tom Devine, and a final 10 were decided upon.

The results were shown in the BBC television series Scotland's History: The Top 10 on Thursday evening - an hour-long special broadcast on St Andrew's Day.

Among the events suggested by the public but rejected by the experts were the Declaration of Arbroath, Irish immigration, drink and the Clearances.

Other discarded suggestions included the historical figures of physicist James Clerk Maxwell, inventor James Watt and Robert Burns.

The show came at the end of a day which saw dozens of events held across the country to mark Scotland's patron saint.

How the experts voted
World War One
Unification
Reformation
The Scottish Empire
The Scottish City
Enlightenment
The Wars of Independence
Medicine
Treaty of Union
Covenanters

Presenter Neil Oliver told BBC Scotland's news website: "It is perhaps no surprise that the public and the panel have differed but there is a marked gulf between the two."

He added: "Most notably Scottish achievement ranks much higher with the public than with the historians."


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Battles are still making history after 700 years...

WILLIAM Wallace and Robert the Bruce triumphed again last night - this time in a television poll to find Scotland's most significant historical moments.

The Wars of Independence, in which both played a dominant role, came top of a ten-strong list chosen by BBC viewers.

The fight to establish Scotland's nation status came ahead of other landmark episodes including the Declaration of Arbroath, the Enlightenment, the Reformation and the Highland Clearances.

The choice of viewers in Scotland's History: The Top Ten differed sharply from a list of ten key moments picked by a panel of academics for the show. Its choices included the First World War, the Scottish Empire and the 1707 Act of Union.

Professor Tom Devine, Edinburgh University's Sir William Fraser Chair of Scottish History, said it was significant that the viewers' choice had only one episode post-1800 - the life of the scientist James Clerk Maxwell.

Prof Devine, who led the panel of academics, said: "Scotland has traditionally for its identity looked to pre-Union Scotland, particularly to the period of the shaping of the nation.

"Undoubtedly Braveheart-ism in the 1990s has had an effect."

He also believed an upsurge in nationalism in the past three or four months had played a part. "People with an SNP sympathy might be likely to be more interested in the Scottish historical past", he said.

Professor Ted Cowan, an expert in Scottish history at Glasgow University, said: "I think the Scottish people have always had a great attraction to the period of the Wars of Independence. It's recognised as an iconic moment that secures the freedom of the nation."

The author Ian Rankin, the creator of Rebus, suggested viewers had not picked more modern episodes in Scottish history because they were not felt to be "historical". He said: "People might think history has got to be historical. For a lot of people, the opening of the Scottish Parliament would be far too recent an event."

The academics on the BBC show chose their top ten from a potential list of 30 historical contenders. Subjects they rejected included football, tartanry and the influence of Margaret Thatcher on Scotland.

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Peter Prestell and Sandy Manson with their...

Peter Prestell and Sandy Manson with their medals yesterday. Picture: Colin Hattersley

 

Heroes of Arctic convoys honoured...

THE merchant marines who delivered supplies to the Russian people during the Second World War sailed through a gauntlet of ice and German steel on what Winston Churchill called the "suicide run".

Yesterday, 13 veterans of the Arctic convoys accepted their long-overdue honour for bravery in a ceremony at the Scottish Parliament.

 

The award, called the Arctic Emblem, follows a nearly ten-year struggle for recognition from the Ministry of Defence.

Campaigners had demanded that the MoD create an Arctic Star medal. This was refused on the grounds that veterans had already received the Atlantic Star medal, which also recognised service in the Arctic.

The Arctic Emblem, awarded to the men yesterday, was created in 2005 as a compromise.

The convoys sailed from the Clyde to the Soviet ports of Murmansk and Archangel between 1941 and 1945, and were notoriously dangerous because of their proximity to German bases in Norway.

George Reid, the Presiding Officer, who presented the awards yesterday at Holyrood, said: "It is a real honour to be presenting these awards to a group of Scottish men who showed such bravery in protecting our country and safeguarding the privileges and liberties that we still enjoy today."

Jock Dempster, the chairman of the Scottish Branch of the Russian Arctic Convoys, was just 16 in 1944 when he sailed to Murmansk on the tanker MV San Venancio, loaded with aircraft fuel.

He said: "Winston Churchill referred to the convoys to Russia as 'suicide missions', such were the odds stacked against them - with appalling weather conditions and a relentless enemy both from the sea and air.

"These presentations at Holyrood are appreciated by all the veterans for adding credence and formal recognition to the significant role we played in transporting critical war supplies to Russia.

"Such support sweetens the pill of not being granted a campaign medal," said Mr Dempster.

The convoys played a vital role in the Second World War by delivering key supplies to the Soviet Union. Fleets of ships crewed by merchant sailors and escorted by the Royal Navy were sent from the UK to deliver essential weapons, munitions and fuel to the Russian army.

A total of 104 Merchant Navy ships, 20 Royal Navy ships, plus one submarine and two armed whalers, were sunk, with the loss of an estimated 2,800 servicemen. Germany lost 31 submarines.

At the ceremony yesterday, the Russian Consul General for Edinburgh, Vladimir Malygin, said: "The Scottish merchant vessels did a fabulous job of supplying Russians with vital supplies.

"My government, the Russian government, is grateful. We consider you heroes".

Sandy Manson, 80, who travelled from his home in John o' Groats for the ceremony, said: "We were just boys and we didn't think of the adventure.

"What I remember most was the cold. You wrapped up and didn't bathe the entire trip, sleeping in your clothes."

 


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MPs in Scotland 'against trident'
HMS Vigilant
The plans would replace the Clyde-based nuclear submarine fleet
A majority of Scottish MPs are opposed to Tony Blair's plans to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system, a BBC survey has found.

Thirty of the 59 MPs said they were either "definitely" or "probably" against the Prime Minister's proposals.

The plans, estimated to cost up to £20bn, would replace the Clyde-based fleet of nuclear submarines and extend the life of existing Trident missiles.

There would also be an option to invest in a new generation of warheads.

The survey also showed a majority of Scottish Labour backbenchers disagreeing with the plans.

It found 25 MPs with constituencies in Scotland were definitely against the proposals.

A further five said they were probably against.

Only 10 MPs said they were definitely or probably in favour.

The figure rises to 22 when government ministers, who were not surveyed but are obliged to support Mr Blair's position, are included.

Seven MPs were unavailable, undecided or unable to take part.

The Defence Secretary Des Browne will seek to win over Scottish Labour MPs at a meeting of the Westminster group early next week.

Last week, Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm broke ranks with Mr Blair and First Minister Jack McConnell when he came out against renewing Trident.

TRIDENT REPLACEMENT
QUESTION: The PM has announced plans to replace Trident. In terms of this proposal, are you:
Labour LibDem SNP Cons Payroll* Speaker+
Definitely against 11 8 6
Probably against 4 1
Probably in favour 2 1
Definitely in favour 6 1 12
Undecided 1
Unavailable 3 2 1

* - The payroll vote consists of 12 Scottish Labour MPs who are members of the UK government. They have not been surveyed, but are obliged to support the government's position

+ Non-aligned, unable to take part


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VERY INTERESTING, 12 PAYROLL VOTES? DEMOCRACY? I DO TENDTO AGREEWITH PAYROLL THOUGH, WE NEED THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS TO KEEP BRITAIN OURS, SAD BUT TRUE, ALSO SAD BUT TRUE IS THE FACT THAT WE NEED TO CONVERT BACK TO NUCLEAR POWER STATIONS UNTILL RENEWABLEENERGY IS MORE ABUNDANT. 


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20 December 2006
LAST SURVIVOR OF WORLD WARS DIES...

THE last Briton to see active service in both World Wars has died aged 106.

Captain Kenneth Cummins, of Great Bedwyn, Wiltshire, served in the Royal Navy in World War I and was torpedoed off Africa while in the Merchant Navy during World War II.


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