Saturday 3 December 2016

Haggis hope for US

Published 14/11/2015 | 02:30

Haggis could be back on the menu in the United States in the next 24 months as a result of changes in the rules due to be published next year, Scotland's Rural Affairs Secretary has said.

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Richard Lochhead has held meetings in the US this week in a bid to lift the import ban on the traditional Scottish delicacy. Haggis sales to America have been prohibited since 1971 because some of the ingredients - including sheep's lungs - are banned there.

School spiders scare

Two primary schools have been forced to close after they became infested with false widow spiders.

Hundreds of pupils who attend The Osmani and Thomas Buxton Primary Schools in Tower Hamlets, east London, were sent home yesterday. In a statement Thomas Buxton School said the spiders can give a "nasty bite" and may cause an allergic reaction.

Courses for coppers

Prospective police officers in the UK may need to get a degree to enter the force under radical new proposals.

The College of Policing is consulting on the plans, which could be rolled out by 2019. There is currently no blanket regime covering educational requirements for would-be officers, with forces operating different policies.

Rogue emu on the run

An emu on the run for more than 60 days has prompted lockdowns at two primary schools in Delaware.

The animal was spotted near Spring Meadow Elementary School and Old State Elementary School on Monday, leading to a "soft lockdown" at both schools. Officials sent a letter alerting parents and saying students remained inside while normal activity continued.

A Delaware Department of Agriculture spokesman said it is not clear who owns the bird. The agency has asked police to shoot the emu if public safety is at risk.

'Ugly' folk not shy

Zimbabwe's reigning Mister Ugly faces tough competition in this year's contest, with organisers receiving a record number of entries.

For the first time since the competition began in 2011, organisers will hold preliminary rounds to whittle down the number of hopefuls who will compete in the finale on November 20 from 36 to 12. Organiser David Machowa said: "We are looking for natural ugliness."

Facial features count the most, but contestants will also take part in a question-and-answer round.

Irish Independent

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