Annie Lennox: To end violence against women we need global cooperation from our world leaders

Assault and violence is a living reality for millions of women in every corner of the globe

Consider the fact – recently revealed by the World Health Organisation – that one in three women face physical or sexual violence in their lifetime.

Keep repeating this fact until it settles into your mind. Take a moment to reflect on what this means. It is beyond the realm of our worst nightmares, but it is a living reality for millions of women in every corner of the globe.

Assault, violence, and violation is taking place in a country, a city, a town, a village, a public space, a school, a college, an office, a street, a house, an apartment, or a room near to where you are right now.

If we are to truly end violence against women, then we need a truly global approach. Although I am encouraged to see the recent outcry, new conversations, protest and debate following Sarah Everard’s death, it pains me that it takes a particularly horrific act to trigger a public outrage.

The culture of violence and rape against women has been ‘normalised’ for decades in many countries around the world as these statistics show.

 

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How covid forced community choirs to get back to basics

With communal singing thought to be one of the easiest ways to pass on covid-19, Scotland’s choirs have had to find new ways of engaging with members and audiences alike, writes David Kettle

“I used to be music director, but now I’d say I’m music director and DJ. It’s almost like presenting a TV show.” Conductor Stephen Langston – who directs Glasgow’s Merchant Voices Community Choir – is talking about his move to online choral sessions since the Covid pandemic struck. “We’re still singing pieces, obviously, but we’re also doing quizzes, karaoke, hearing from choir members about what they’ve been doing, and even having a laugh with some funny photos or YouTube clips.”

Diversification is clearly key, as are raising spirits and providing a sense of community that’s all but disappeared from in-person lives. But it’s a challenging time for community choirs. The well-being benefits of choral singing are well known and well documented. But in a period when they’re more needed than ever, amateur singers can no longer meet in person. Worse, singing with others is thought to be one of the riskiest activities in terms of aerosol virus transmission. Continue reading

Breabach at Celtic Colours

This beautiful and energetic melding of instruments and Gaelic song brilliantly reflects the musicianship, traditional roots and contemporary influences of award-winning Scottish group Breabach. Featuring Calum MacCrimmon (bagpipes, whistle), Megan Henderson (fiddle, vocals), Ewan Robertson (guitar), James Duncan Mackenzie (bagpipes, flute), and James Lindsay (double bass), it was recorded during Celtic Colours International Festival at Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre on October 19, 2019.

Knees Up: Knees Up in Hanoi (Calum MacCrimmon) / Dòchas Glan Na Fàire (Ewen Henderson & Calum MacCrimmon)

Scottish PM Nicola Sturgeon announces £500 one-off ‘thank you’ payment for NHS and care staff

Climber’s ‘final tour’ of his beloved Glen Coe

Mountaineer
the Fox of Glencoe

 

The world-renowned mountaineer and inventor Dr Hamish MacInnes, who died this week, aged 90, is to be taken on a “final tour” of his beloved Glen Coe.

Mr MacInnes, who was born in Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries and Galloway, moved to the glen in 1959.

A hearse carrying his coffin, which will have two crossed ice axes on top, will pass through Glencoe village and then Glen Coe on 4 December.

Dr MacInnes is to be cremated in a private ceremony in Glasgow.

During the journey the hearse will stop briefly outside Glencoe’s David Cooper’s Coffee Shop, where Dr MacInnes was a regular for many years and could be found sat a table with a pot of tea “with only a very weak passing of a tea bag,” according to friends.

The hearse will then pause at Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team centre – Dr MacInnes founded the team and was a former team leader – and finally outside his home in Glen Coe before heading for Glasgow.

Dr MacInnes climbed the Matterhorn in the Alps when he was just 16 and went on to found mountain rescue teams, lead expeditions and write books on mountaineering.

Dr MacInnes is credited with inventing climbing’s first all-metal ice axe and a rescue stretcher. Continue reading