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Could Scotland U21 call up the Stark’s Park starlets?

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4 talking points from Raith Rovers: Could Scotland U21 call the Stark’s Park starlets?


































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Deep South News Digest, 6pm update | State and regional news

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AP photos transref: RPJF102, transref: RPJF101, transref: RPJF103, transref: RPJF104.

FBC COACHING CAROUSEL – Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt was trying to balance the needs of the program with the needs of his current players. When considering a change of coach during the season, they are not always the same. Hocutt, like eight other ADs overseeing major college football programs since September, has decided to take a step forward with much of the season yet to be played. Texas Tech fired Matt Wells on October 25 and has already hired his replacement. By Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 984 words.

AP Photos transref: TXLUB307, transref: TXLUB320, transref: NYDB502.

SOUTH CAROLINA (Every hour East)

US OBIT-HUGH LEATHERMAN – COLUMBIA, SC – State Senator Hugh Leatherman, the oldest and most powerful lawmaker in the state of South Carolina, died on Friday at the age of 90. Leatherman died at his Florence home, his office said, after being diagnosed with inoperable cancer. By Meg Kinnard. SENT: 806 words.

AP photos transref: NY113, transref: RPMK101, transref: NY110, transref: NY109, transref: NY112, transref: NY111.

DEATH IN USA – LAURENS, SC – South Carolina man who killed 2-year-old found with bruises and bite marks all over his body and signs of sexual abuse has been sentenced to jail for life after agreeing to plead guilty. William Looper told investigators he beat and abused the boy for two weeks and couldn’t explain why, lawyer David Stumbo said. SENT: 502 words.


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Home builders play system to avoid post-Grenfell safety rules

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Home builders can “play with the system” to avoid fire safety rules put in place after the Grenfell Tower tragedy, a fire chief has warned.

Paul Jennings, deputy commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, said there are “hundreds if not thousands” of new buildings being examined by fire safety engineers which may be “deliberately” designed to avoid strict fire safety rules put in place after the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

They include those designed to be less than an 18-meter limit to be considered a high-rise building, which would require more advanced fire safety measures.

We have examples where we think people are deliberately designing and constructing their buildings below this threshold.

Paul Jennings, London Fire Brigade

He told the BBC’s Newsnight: ‘We have examples where we think people are deliberately designing and constructing their buildings below that 18-meter, six-story threshold, because they know that if they reach that threshold, they should put in place advanced and more complex fire safety measures. in.”

The deputy commissioner described these new buildings in the British capital as examples of the ‘system game’.

He warned: “We are potentially expanding the legacy issues that we are already discovering now in London and cities across the country. “

When asked how many new buildings in London were being built to avoid the rules, he replied that it was probably “hundreds, if not thousands”.

“We find that about 60% of construction consultations go into the fire engineering team and others are where we back down,” added Mr. Jennings.

The London firefighters’ warning comes after Housing Secretary Michael Gove made his first appearance before a committee of MPs who asked questions about building safety.

On Monday, Mr Gove told the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee: “We have collectively – the department, some in local government, others in the private sector – people who have failed to Grenfell and there are people who were and still are in buildings where there is a significant risk.

He went on to say that as the Grenfell Inquiry looked into the government’s role in the disaster, his department “will be seen to have, on a few occasions, not necessarily appreciated the importance of fire safety.”

Communities Secretary Michael Gove.

Asked who should pay for the work needed to secure the affected buildings, Mr Gove confirmed he would “pause” plans that would see tenants take out loans to pay for remediation work.

Some tenants have reportedly been hit with bills in excess of £ 100,000 to replace dangerous paving or pay for so-called ‘watch nights’ where someone is employed to patrol a building for fires.

The Housebuilders Federation, which represents real estate developers, told Newsnight: “Developers follow building regulations set by the government without exception.

“Today’s standards are considerably more demanding than previous versions. Building regulations differ depending on the type of building, but all have the safety of residents at the heart of their concerns. “

The government said, “The safety and well-being of residents is our priority and the Building Safety Bill will strengthen the surveillance and protection of all in high-rise buildings.

“All new buildings, regardless of their height, must meet the fire safety requirements of building regulations and we have already banned the use of all combustible materials on the exterior walls of new residential buildings over 18 years old. meters. “


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Ombudsman finds credit card company loaned mom with 13 payday loans and ‘increased limit’

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The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has sided with customers who say a credit card company “increased credit limits” to people who would have trouble paying them back.

Aqua has lost several lawsuits with clients who claim they have falsely loaned money to people including a mother with 13 payday loans, benefit recipients and problem gamblers.

Over the past three months, the FOS has sided with the consumer in nine decisions against New Day, Aqua’s parent company, Mirror reports.

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Customers are anonymous to protect their identity.

One of those clients, Mrs S, took out a New Day card in June 2019 with a credit limit of £ 450.

The customer said she used the money to gamble and approached her credit limit.

Despite this, New Day raised it to £ 1,200 in September 2019, and Ms S complained to FOS that the company should have prevented this.

New Day told FOS he had no way of knowing about the gambling problem, but admitted it was wrong to increase the credit limit.

A customer, Miss R, took out a New Day credit card in April 2014 with a credit limit of £ 250.

Between July 2014 and July 2017, New Day increased the credit limit three times, to over £ 1,350.

Miss R, a benefit claimant, said she couldn’t afford the credit increases and had to embark on a debt repayment plan to pay the interest.

She complained to New Day, then to FOS.

The FOS said: “As Miss R had to pay a significant amount of interest and fees due to the unfair increase in her credit limit from July 2014, I think she lost because of this that New Day did wrong. So New Day should fix things. “

The ombudsman recently ordered New Day to write off any interest charged outside the original £ 250 limit and pay £ 150 as compensation, if Miss R agreed.

He also said the company would have to buy the debt back from the collection company it sold it to.

Another Aqua customer, Miss F, 19, also got a New Day card with a limit of £ 250 in November 2014. It has been steadily increased and stood at £ 4,700 in August 2016.

She said the company shouldn’t have increased its limits and had to take out 13 payday loans because of the debt it incurred.

At first, Miss F had no payday loans on file.

But when the credit limit climbed to £ 4,700, the FOS said his overall debts were over £ 13,000 and “there were payday loans as proof”.

The FOS added: “There were 13 payday loans, three of which had been taken out in the last three months. At that time, it looked like Miss F was in trouble and so – at that time, Aqua Should have asked more questions about Miss F’s situation – before offering the limit increase to £ 4,700.

“The Ombudsman asked Aqua to reimburse the interest and all charges billed from that time until the date the account was reimbursed.”

A spokesperson for New Day said, “We strive to help customers manage their credit products responsibly. We aim to provide each customer with a credit limit based on their individual circumstances, subject to comprehensive accessibility, regulatory and credit risk procedures.

“Upon request, all customers are encouraged to select how they would like to be contacted for future credit limit increase offers.

“Customers can choose to apply them automatically, in which case they will be notified of the proposed increase and then have the opportunity to review and decline the offer within at least 30 days, after which the increase will be applied.

“A customer can change these preferences with New Day at any time after their account is opened and also choose not to be offered a credit limit increase at any time. Plus, we’re always happy to lower the limits if the customer wants it. “

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Nairn bypass should be built before any further real estate development, worried community leaders say

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Springfield developers plan to build more houses in Nairn.

No housing development is expected to take place on the eastern outskirts of Nairn until adequate infrastructure is in place, including the proposed Nairn bypass.

This was the clear message from members of the Nairn and Suburbs Community Council when they discussed the Springfield developers’ controversial plan.

Plans for 650 homes in Househill were unveiled exclusively in the Inverness Courier earlier this year.

The developers have said the land on the lower level of Househill, which is historically considered a floodplain, will be available for parks and recreation.

But already, residents of nearby Balmakeith Park, who have been plagued with flooding issues for decades due to the Auldearn burn that runs through the site, are preparing to oppose the project, with some homes already displaying panels against the plans.

They fear that large-scale construction in the area will only exacerbate flooding and traffic problems.

Community councilor Brian Stewart said it was indeed worrying that Springfield had officially stated that it would seek to develop certain phases of the site before the ring road.

He said the case for housing on this type of scale was not supported by the evidence he was aware of and that the Highland Council’s housing forecast was unrealistic.

Plans unveiled for 650 new homes in Nairn


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Arbroath’s love helps mend my broken hearts

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Chris Hamilton: Arbroath’s Love Helps Me Mend My Broken Hearts


































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Illinois AG reaches settlement with Cos. on payday loans

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By McCord Pagan (Nov 8, 2021, 7:43 p.m. EST) – The Illinois attorney general’s office and a state financial regulator say they’ve reached a deal with three payday loan lead generation companies which requires them to immediately stop offering their services to consumers in the prairie state without a license.

In a joint statement Friday, the state attorney general’s office and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation said they have reached an agreement with MoneyMutual LLC, PartnerWeekly LLC and Selling Source LLC, resolving lawsuits filed by 2014.

In addition to operating without a license, the three companies were accused of arranging expensive loans for out-of-state payday lenders who were …

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Lenders seek to start ‘frivolous’ $ 51 million mortgage rate deal

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By Rosie Manins (Nov 8, 2021, 6:17 p.m. EST) – Lenders of $ 51 million in federally guaranteed mortgages for apartment complexes in Georgia responded on Monday to claims by borrowers that they had poorly hidden interest premiums, telling a Georgia state court to end the case.

The Orix USA LP financial services group and various subsidiaries have asked the Georgia State-wide Business Court for a summary judgment in their favor and to dismiss the four corporate borrowers’ claims for breach of contract, fraud, racketeering and breach of contract. fiduciary duty.

The lenders’ lawyer explained during a six-hour hearing that the borrowers have accepted and accepted the terms of the loans, including maximum interest rates, that the lenders …

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Highland Council chief seeks to discuss Fort George and Inverness homes

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The head of the Highland Council has demanded further discussions with British military leaders over the future of the base at Fort George and army houses in Inverness.

Margaret Davidson wrote to Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace frustrated by reports that the British government could break its “firm promise” to keep the 250-year-old barracks open until 2032.

She also said the council had sought to use around 200 vacant military houses in the Highland capital to ease the region’s chronic shortage – and potentially use them to help settle refugees who had fled Afghanistan.

But Ms Davidson said officials at the Department of Defense (MoD) had proven “extremely difficult to deal with”, calling them “too distant”.

The counselor has now urged them to “take this seriously and have appropriate discussions.”

Margaret Davidson, Head of Highland Council

Uncertainty has surrounded the future of Fort George since it was reported last month that the military wanted to accelerate plans to withdraw from the base near Ardersier, as well as the Glencorse and Redford barracks in the region of Edinburgh.

After a long campaign to save the base, it was announced in 2016 that Fort George would be surplus to military needs.

Its closure has been postponed to 2032 in order to allow the neighborhood to prepare for the economic and social blow to the community.

However, there have been widespread fears that the shutdown could be accelerated.

“Firm promise”

Ms Davidson said: “I wrote to the minister and said, ‘Look, we’re picking up these reports in the press, not officially, and we want to know if that’s the case – are you reviewing? ‘

“I kept telling him that we had received this firm promise that Fort George would not close until 2032.

“We justified our argument by the economic impact and the long honorable traditions of the army’s presence in the Highlands.

“We need clarity number one, not just reacting to a newspaper article.

“We want answers, and although it’s 10 years from now, if you will, it’s not okay for them to just think about going away.”

Ben Wallace with Black Watch soldiers at Fort George.

Ms Davidson said she still had not received a response, two weeks after writing to Mr Wallace.

Meanwhile, the head of the council criticized the Defense Ministry for the authorities’ failure to engage with the local authority over the future of the site, which was built after the Battle of Culloden.

Inverness houses

The council also wants to use the houses used by service families in Inverness, but has struggled to get responses from the UK government department.

They were extremely difficult to deal with. Too far away.

“Their owners have been visibly difficult to obtain,” she said.

“We have had recent discussions with them to make part of it (accommodation in Inverness) available because it has not been used for a while.

“Because first of all, we have huge housing needs. Second, we have traumatized Afghan refugees whom we have to house.

“We offered to (take them), but again they were extremely difficult to deal with. Too far away.

“This is one of the reasons I wrote to the minister. Let’s take this seriously and have proper discussions.

Entrance to Kinloss Barracks.
The main entrance to Kinloss Barracks.

Questions have also been asked in recent weeks about the future of Kinloss Barracks in Moray, amid claims that the 39th Engineer Regiment may be relocated.

Last year we revealed communications showing Defense Chiefs questioning whether Kinloss Barracks could become the new headquarters for the famous Black Watch Battalion, also known as 3 SCOTS, which is currently based in Fort George. .

Private notes also showed that a Department of Defense official speculated that Fort George “would likely lend itself to being subdivided into a hotel and serviced apartments for the US / Asian market which could be very connected. easily to Inverness Airport and Castle Stuart Golf Course as well as other local attractions such as Brodie Castle and the Distillery Trail ‘.

The Ministry of Defense said: ‘The suggestions that army bases in Scotland will be closed in advance are false as no final decision has been made.

“In the spring, it was announced in Parliament that the Army will be restructured to deal with future threats as we implement the results of the Integrated Review.

“Structural reform plans are not yet finalized, so speculation at this point is unnecessary and misleading. Detailed plans will be submitted to ministers later this fall and decisions made public once finalized. “


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Nicola Sturgeon’s book editor questioned by fraudulent cops over awarding £ 295,000 in cash to taxpayers

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Police are investigating allegations of fraud involving more than £ 295,000 of taxpayer money donated to the publisher of a book of speeches by Nicola Sturgeon.

Officers from the Financial Crimes Unit are investigating claims rules that were broken when Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) provided grants and loans to Sandstone Press of Inverness.

The company – led by ardent nationalist and SNP supporter Robert Davidson – received £ 120,000 in the 12 months leading up to the publication of Women Hold Up Half the Sky: Selected Speeches of Nicola Sturgeon.

The book – with a foreword by detective writer Val McDermid – was promoted ahead of the Holyrood election in May and published four days later.



Sandstone Press is led by ardent nationalist and SNP supporter Robert Davidson

We can reveal that Keith Charters, managing director of the book company Strident Publishing, wrote to Sturgeon warning him of concerns about Sandstone.

His subsequent police complaint, which is now under investigation, involves allegations of wrongdoing directed against both the publisher and HIE.

In addition to the £ 120,000 in grants awarded last year, police are investigating £ 175,000 in loans agreed with the company in 2019, all of which were said to have been taken.

Over the past 15 years, Sandstone has benefited from over £ 500,000 in public money when grants from Creative Scotland are also factored in.

The publisher was accused of making false statements about the number of people employed, while HIE allegedly wrongly recorded the company’s location, which increased its eligibility for financial support.



Nicola Sturgeon's book came out four days after the May election in Holyrood
Nicola Sturgeon’s book came out four days after the May election in Holyrood


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It is alleged that HIE gave the company a funding rating which suggests it was based outside Inverness, thus increasing its eligibility for support.

Charters said: “To date over £ 500,000 of public money has been used to support Sandstone Press.

“This includes the £ 120,000 he received in the 10 months leading up to the announcement of the publication of a book of speeches by Nicola Sturgeon in Scottish Parliament Election Week.

“It is deeply concerning that when we exposed how HIE provided Sandstone with that £ 120,000 – when we provided the Prime Minister with detailed evidence of alleged wrongdoing – the response from his officials was to vilify us for having dared to challenge the basis of the evidence.

‘This evidence not only indicated that Sandstone had claimed employees it did not have and a non-executive director that it did not have, but that HIE had noted a candidacy from the Inverness-based company as if it did not. was not located in Inverness.

“In fact, its offices were less than a mile from HIE’s headquarters in Inverness.”

Charters also appealed for judicial review of part of the cash grant awarded by HIE.

Scottish Conservative culture spokesman Donald Cameron said: “There are serious questions the SNP government must answer.

“The SNP government was made aware of concerns about this large amount of public money just before the start of the election period.

“They need to be completely transparent about the checks being carried out at that time and why they thought it was still appropriate to give public money to the company which then published Nicola Sturgeon’s book of speeches. . “

The book includes a collection of the Prime Minister’s speeches delivered between November 2014 and February 2020 and is edited by the boss of Sandstone Davidson.

In a 2019 newspaper article he said: ‘I find myself more in tune with the current Scottish government than anything I have known in my life. I aspire to be a citizen of an independent Scotland.

A Scottish government spokeswoman declined to comment on the police investigation.

She said: “Given that there is a complaint against the police, it would not be appropriate for the Scottish Government to comment.”

The book’s synopsis says it focuses on the importance of ‘good government and Scotland’s place in the world’.

He adds, “Taken together, they show a side of Nicola Sturgeon that is too often missed in public discourse.

“Thoughtful, progressive, compassionate and passionate about the cause of Scottish independence, she is as pragmatic on issues of economic strategy as she is progressive on social issues.”

Editor’s notes claim that the book is published and funded independently of any public body, with no funding received for the book.

Sandstone Press said: ‘We have not been contacted by the Scottish Police. All funds received from HIE have been subject to due process.

HIE, meanwhile, said he would strongly defend any allegation, adding: “We have not been contacted by Police Scotland regarding the issues regarding Sandstone Press.

“A request to initiate judicial review proceedings has been filed with the Sessional Court and HIE intends to vigorously defend it. “

HIE boss Charlotte Wright revealed in May that she was leaving the organization.

The Sunday Mail understands that Scottish Police officers questioned Charters this summer to make a full statement and that he has since been contacted by the Dundee-based Financial Crimes Unit.

Police said: “Information has been passed on to the police who are being assessed.”

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) ‘comfortable’ with fund approvals

HIE is a government body responsible for providing grants and loans totaling £ 75million per year to businesses with the aim of creating jobs.

A government response to Charters’ letter said, “Highlands and Islands Enterprise are confident that their funding approvals are in compliance.

The SNP faces an investigation for fraud in the internal finances of its party.

We said in April that the police were investigating allegations of £ 600,000 raised to prepare for an independence referendum which had allegedly been misused for other purposes.

Three members of the party’s finance and audit committee resigned in March after FM’s husband and party CEO Peter Murrell refused to show them accounts.

Two weeks later, the cops confirmed they had received an allegation of fraud and an investigation is underway.

The fallout focuses on funds raised in 2017 and 2019 which, according to the SNP, would be “reserved” for a referendum campaign.

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