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Rare white starling spotted in southern Scotland

Stunning photographs show a rare white starling standing out in a murmuration.

The bird’s white feathers are caused by a lack of melanin – a pigment responsible for black and grey colouring in the feathers.

Often birds with a different colouring can be ‘kicked out’ of the group for drawing unwanted attention from prey.

Caroline Legg, 59, was stunned when she spotted the white starling – and managed to snap photos twice.

Starlings are at risk from predators, but it appeared the unusual creature had been accepted despite its appearance.

Wildlife lover Caroline was walking in a field near her home in Annan, Dumfries and Galloway, when she spotted the starling – and saw it perched in a tree three days later.

Gran-of-six Caroline said: “It’s rare to see the birds fully white, this is the first I have ever seen.

“I was walking near a field which had a big flock of starlings in it.

“I thought I saw one that was part white, and then when the group took off in the air and were flying overhead I noticed it was fully white.

“It was the same size as a normal starling and it was with a large group of the birds both times I saw it.

“The group could have kicked it out because it’s a different colour.

“Starlings are prone to be taken by predators, and because it’s white it’s more likely to get picked up.

“But it looks like the crowd has accepted it.

“It could be sticking with the group for protection.

“Two days later I was walking in the same area and saw it again.”

The mum-of-two, who is retired, added: “It had landed on a crabapple tree we were walking past so I think it was meant to be.”

Source: Rare white starling spotted in southern Scotland

Hydroxychloroquine: Why is the UK bulk-buying Trump’s favourite drug?

The UK has requested 16 million tablets of Hydroxychloroquine, the controversial anti-malarial drug touted as a Covid-19 treatment by Donald Trump.

Is ‘so far, so good’ good enough?

The government has requested 16 million tablets of Hydroxychloroquine, a drug that has not been proven to prevent coronavirus, and has possible dangerous side effects.

This request comes after the US president Donald Trump continually promoted it at press conferences. Now, Donald Trump admits he himself is taking it.

As of yet, there is no evidence to suggest that the drug works for treating coronavirus, with recent tests finding no benefit in taking it.

Anthony Fauci, one of the US’s most trusted experts on infectious disease, warned that it had not been proven to work.

The FDA has also warned consumers against taking it, having been made aware of “serious heart rhythm problems” in patients who were treated with the malaria drugs, often in combination with antibiotic azithromycin.

And even the UK itself does not currently recommend taking it.

The UK’s decision to bulk buy the drug could have an adverse effect elsewhere, with medical groups warning earlier this year of shortages in Europe after Trump’s claims over the drug, which is used to treat malaria and lupus.

With trials now underway in the UK, the question must be asked: is ‘so far so good’ good enough?

Source: Hydroxychloroquine: Why is the UK bulk-buying Trump’s favourite drug? |

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JK Rowling to share first two chapters of new novel today

JK Rowling has announced on social media that she’ll be sharing the first two chapters of her forthcoming new book, The Ickabog, at 3pm today (Tuesday, 26 May).

Chapter 1

King Fred the Fearless

Once upon a time, there was a tiny country called Cornucopia, which had been ruled for centuries by a long line of fair-haired kings. The king at the time of which I write was called King Fred the Fearless. He’d announced the ‘Fearless’ bit himself, on the morning of his coronation, partly because it sounded nice with ‘Fred’, but also because he’d once managed to catch and kill a wasp all by himself, if you didn’t count five footmen and the boot boy [ . . . ]

JK Rowling “The Ickabog

Continue reading chapter 1-2

Chris Hedges on Covid-19 and the Collapse of American Capitalism

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, West Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Balkans.  He is host of the Emmy Award–winning RT America show On Contact. Chris Hedges is the author of several bestseller books such as American Fascists, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. His latest is America: The Farewell Tour. 

Hosted by Mitch Jeserich.

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