Edinburgh festivals cancelled for 2020

Edinburgh’s August festivals have been scrapped for 2020, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent global cultural shutdown. The festivals – which bring hundreds of thousands of artists, performers and audience members to the city every August – have pulled the plug on this year’s events after weeks of speculation over whether or not they would go ahead.

In a statement on their website, the Edinburgh Fringe Society’s Shona McCarthy said: “Today’s decision that the Fringe will not go ahead as planned was not taken lightly. We have spent the past month listening to a broad cross-section of Fringe participants, as well as to government, healthcare professionals, residents and many more; however, in light of present circumstances it was unavoidable. Public health must and always will come first.”

Artists who have already applied to perform at the Fringe will receive a full refund of their registration fee or the option to roll it over for 2021. Ticket-holders who have purchased tickets for 2020 shows, many of which have been on sale for weeks, will be refunded. [ . . . ]

Source: The Skinny

10 of UK’s best spring walks

Pubs and restaurants may be closed and dark, but all over the UK wildlife is bursting into the light of longer days and it’s never been more important to get some fresh air. Nature writers select their favourite seasonal destinations

Land of poems and stories: the Cotswolds

“If ever I heard blessing it is there. Where birds in trees that shoals and shadows are.” In April and May the Cotswold landscape still speaks in the soft, calm tones of Laurie Lee. For a first-time visitor it can take a while to tune into the hard, spare, wall-bound fields of the Cotswold plateau. Yet in the valleys and on the scarp edges, there are bluebells and wood anemones, clear spring-fed streams and a soundtrack of willow warblers and blackcaps, fresh back from their winter travels.

The deep valleys around Stroud hold hanging woods, filled in April with the scent of wild garlic. At the National Trust-maintained Woodchester Park, where the half-completed Victorian manor stands mysterious in the valley bottom, it feels as though the clock has stopped and no one has yet arrived to restart it.

Further north, in my home patch, the same timeless feel pervades Hailes Abbey, with, above it, a monument marking Thomas Cromwell’s seat, from which it is said he watched the Abbey burn almost 500 years ago. From here you can walk a couple of miles along the Cotswold Way to Winchcombe.

Spring is a wonderful time to explore smaller towns and villages, many of which are the subject of poems and stories. For me, each name conjures a memory: a village cricket match in April snow at Guiting Power; my childhood love of Bibury,

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Scottish lawmaker: Reasonable grounds to suspect Trump or his associates ‘have been involved in serious crime’

Trump Crime Family

A Member of the Scottish Parliament is asking his fellow ministers to investigate President Donald Trump’s deals through which he acquired his properties in Scotland, including Trump’s two multi-million dollar losing golf courses. President Trump prizes his Turnberry, Scotland  resort, but reports that the American president is using the U.S. federal government to help keep it afloat have dogged him

MSP Patrick Harvie “said there were reasonable grounds for suspecting that the US president, or people he is connected with, ‘have been involved in serious crime,’” The Scotsman, Scotland’s national newspaper reports.

Harvie is urging lawmakers to seek an apply for an “unexplained wealth order” from a Scottish court, which would allow them to learn how the U.S. president “bankrolled his multimillion acquisitions of land and property in his mother’s homeland.”

An unexplained wealth order (UWO) is a mechanism which allows the Scottish government “to target suspected corrupt foreign officials who have potentially laundered stolen money through the UK.”

If “a suspected corrupt foreign official, or their family, cannot show a legitimate source for their riches,” the Scottish government can seize properties.

Source: Scottish lawmaker: Reasonable grounds to suspect Trump or his associates ‘have been involved in serious crime’