Now, bagpipes are ethically sound

Now, bagpipes are ethically soundEdinburgh, April 30 : Two communities in Tanzania have gained appreciation for making bagpipes from ethical sources of wood for the first time.

All Highland bagpipes and many other traditional Scottish pipes are made from African blackwood, which comes from the rare and threatened mpingo tree found only in certain parts of Africa.

Now, according to a report in The Scotsman, two communities in Tanzania have been awarded certification for managing their forests sustainably.

Scottish hero of Great Escape dies at 97

Scottish hero of Great Escape dies at 97Edinburgh, Apr. 29: A Scot who played a major role in the legendary Great Escape during the Second World War has died.

Alex Lees'' heroic efforts helped dozens of Allied servicemen break free from a German prison camp in March 1944.

Lees, then 32, helped carry away tons of dirt POWs dug out to create their legendary escape tunnel. He emptied the dirt on vegetable patches under the noses of the watching Nazis.

Lees was a gardener at the infamous Stalag Luft III camp after being captured in 1940 – ten months after joining the army as a driver.

Scotch whisky festival marks 10th anniversary

Scotch whisky festival marks 10th anniversaryAberlour, Scotland  - The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival in north-east Scotland is marking its 10th anniversary this year with an expanded programme, Ros Lewis, the festival's coordinator, said in Aberlour.

She noted that the festival, from May 1-10, would be twice as long as usual. Its approximately 350 whisky-inspired events will range from whisky workshops and art exhibitions to cooking shows with the theme "whisky and food."

Miliband says Pakistan’s domestic issues causing terrorism

Miliband says Pakistan’s domestic issues causing terrorismGlasgow, Apr. 18 : British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has said that Pakistan's internal problems are a major factor for the spread of terrorism in the country, not the presence of United States and British forces in Afghanistan.

In a meeting with the Muslim community in Glasgow, Miliband said Pakistan faced more threats from internal terrorism, as it was facing various lingual, ethnic and sectarian problems

Islamabad's democratic institutions could not be strengthened by military rules in the country, he added.

Scotland protests free flow of fake Scotch in China

Beijing, Apr. 11: Fake Scotch has entered China, prompting the authorities in Biejing and Edinburgh to discuss the issue and reach an agreement to take action against purveyors of this imitation.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond and representatives of the Scotch Whisky Association have asked for Scotch whisky to be given special geographic protection in China. This would prevent manufacturers from selling whisky that was not made in Scotland as Scotch.

Salmond said afterwards he was hopeful that substantial progress would be made on this issue by the end of the year.

It’s official; Scotland has the world’s oldest golf course

Edinburgh (Scotland), Mar. 19 : The Guinness Book of World Records has officially recognized the Old Golf Course at Musselburgh Links as the oldest in the world.

According to the Account Book of Sir John Foulis of Ravelston, the earliest game played on Musselburgh Links took place on March 2, 1672. He also mentions that "Mary, Queen of Scots reputedly played here in 1567".

This documentary evidence was included in The Golf Book Of East Lothian, published in 1896 and written by John Kerr, the minister of Dirleton.

The Old Golf Course, which is now managed by SportPlus on behalf of East Lothian Council, was originally a seven-hole course. The eighth and ninth holes were added in 1838 and 1870 respectively.