The full moon in May is also known as the “flower moon”, signifying the flowers that bloom during the month.

Other names include the hare moon, the corn planting moon, and the milk moon, according to Royal Observatory Greenwich.

The celestial event is expected to be visible early in the morning as well as after sunset as the moon rises in the south-east.

Greg Brown, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory, said: “Technically the exact moment of full moon is 11.45am, however the moon will not be visible in the sky in the UK at that time.”

But the Earth’s natural satellite will still appear bigger than usual on Thursday morning, when it sets at around 5.42am in London, as well as on Thursday evening, when it rises at around 8.44pm.

He said: “Times for moonrise and set vary slightly across the UK, but not by more than about ten minutes or so.”

This full moon will also be a supermoon, meaning it will be about 6% larger than a typical full moon and around 14% bigger than a micromoon, which is when the moon is at its furthest point from Earth.

Dr Brown said: “The moon’s orbit around the Earth is not entirely circular, instead a slightly flattened circle or ellipse.

“While definitions vary, a supermoon typically occurs when a full moon coincides with the moon being within the closest 10% of its orbit.”

Dr Brown also said this event would be the third and final supermoon of this year.

He added: “Because of how the dynamics of orbits work, these usually occur in runs of two or three with longer gaps of several months between each set of supermoons.”

The weekly figures from National Records of Scotland show care homes account for 43% of coronavirus deaths.

Of deaths linked to Covid-19, 43% to date have occurred in care homes – 1195 in total.

Weekly National Records of Scotland (NRS) statistics show 2795 deaths as of Sunday where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

And speaking on Wednesday, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed 83 more deaths of confirmed coronavirus patients reported in the last 24 hours.

That takes the total this week reported by the Scottish Government 132, suggesting the most up-to-date death toll is at least 2927.

It comes after Office of National Statistics (ONS) on Tuesday showed confirmed and suspected Covid-19 deaths across the UK had risen to more than 32,000 – the highest death toll in Europe.

In the last week, the most deaths linked to coronavirus in Scotland happened in care homes – 59% of the total, or 310 – while 37% were in hospitals and 4% were at home or a non-institutional setting.

Covering all deaths involving Covid-19 to date, the proportion has risen to 43% in care homes, although the most deaths have still occurred in hospital – 49%, or 1383 deaths – and 8% happened in a home or non-institutional setting.

In the week ending May 3, a total of 523 deaths relating to coronavirus were registered, a decrease of 135 from the previous week – the first drop since the outbreak began.

Coronavirus-linked deaths as a proportion of all deaths had risen to 36% in the previous week but has fallen to 31% in the week ending May 3.

The total number of deaths registered in Scotland from April 27 to May 3 was 1673 – 594 (55%) more than the average number of deaths registered in the same week over the last five years, 1,079.

But this is a decrease of 163 from the number registered the week ending April 26.

Of these 594 excess deaths, 83% were deaths where Covid-19 was the underlying cause of death.

Of all deaths to date naming Covid-19 on the death certificate, 52% were men and 48% were women.

Pete Whitehouse, NRS director of statistical services , said: “Every death from this virus is a tragedy.

“These statistics, alongside the other important evidence being made available by the Scottish Government and Health Protection Scotland (HPS), are valuable to the understanding of the progress and impact of the Covid-19 virus across Scotland.

“These latest figures show that for the first time, since reporting of registered deaths relating to Covid-19 began for the week beginning March 16, there has been a reduction in Covid-19 related deaths from the previous week – down from 658 to 523 Covid-19 related deaths.”  

The move should see around 83,000 Scots get a special one-off payment of £230.10 in June.

The Scottish Government will pay out an extra £19.2m to unpaid carers as a thank you for the work they are doing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The move should see around 83,000 Scots who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance get a special one-off payment of £230.10 in June.

It was announced after more than 30 organisations in Scotland penned an open letter calling on ministers at both Holyrood and Westminster to do more to reduce the “intolerable pressure” being endured by carers.

But the charity’s head, Jamie Livingstone, said: “Many carers, particularly women who deliver most care, were already trapped in poverty before coronavirus and they are telling us that they’re facing rising bills for things like food and other essentials.

“Carers have been undervalued for too long, and while this extra payment is a welcome step, we must properly value the work of all carers now, and for good.”

Social security secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said the cash boost will be included in forthcoming Scottish Government legislation aimed at tackling the virus.

She said: “We introduced the Carer’s Allowance Supplement to recognise the important contribution unpaid carers play in our society. They provide vital support to family, friends and neighbours.

“Our collective efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus will see many of these carers experiencing additional pressures, particularly financial, right now.

“The payment will benefit carers who are on low incomes and already have some of the most intense caring roles, providing at least 35 hours unpaid care weekly to a disabled child or adult in receipt of higher level disability benefits.

“This additional payment would be an acknowledgement to carers that we know that they are doing even more right now, and we thank you.”

As well as Oxfam Scotland, the open letter to ministers was also signed by groups including Carers Scotland, the Scottish Women’s Budget Group, One Parent Families Scotland, the Scottish Trades Union Congress, the Poverty Alliance, the Child Poverty Action Group Scotland, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and Unison.

Carers Scotland said its research shows eight out of 10 unpaid carers are having to shell out more to put food on the table and meet their bills during the coronavirus pandemic.

A survey issued alongside the letter found two-thirds of Scots (66%) believe care workers are paid too little, with 62% saying care work is not valued highly enough by the Scottish Government.

The letter, signed by more than 100 organisations across the UK and sent to MPs and MSPs, demands an increase in payments made under the Carer’s Allowance and child benefit system.

It also wants the five-week wait for payments under Universal Credit to be lifted, and the two-child limit on some benefits to be scrapped.

The groups argue injecting cash into social care would allow employers in the sector to pay all staff the real living wage.

They wrote: “Right now the focus is rightly on saving lives, but we urge you to use your influence to ensure governments across the UK use every tool they have to protect people from poverty.

“While governments have tried to cushion the immediate impact of this crisis, more needs to be done to alleviate the intolerable pressure carers face.”

Chancellor expected to announce plans next week on how to cut back the salary-payment scheme from July.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering his options on tapering off the UK Government’s furlough scheme which is supporting workers staying at home during the coronavirus outbreak.

There are some concerns over the cost of the programme, with the latest government figures showing 6.3m people are having up to 80% of their salaries paid by the Treasury at a cost of £8bn.

The Times reported that Sunak will announce plans next week on how to wind down the scheme from July, with options including cutting the subsidy level and lowering the £2500 cap on monthly payments.

But Treasury sources insisted that “no decisions have yet been taken” over the scheme which was introduced to prevent firms from laying off thousands of workers during the lockdown.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News that the government must “wean off” businesses from the scheme “as the economy gets back on its feet”.

Sunak has acknowledged that the current level of expenditure was not “sustainable” in the long term but promised there will be no “cliff-edge” cut-off to the scheme.

Speaking to ITV News, he said the ministers were investigating ways to wind down the scheme currently due to run to the end of June in a “measured way”.

Labour has called for the government to make the scheme more flexible to allow people’s gradual return to work.

And the Liberal Democrats have called for a “tapered” end to the programme, with the Treasury paying 50% of salaries for the first month after people return to work, falling to 30% after the third month, with employers picking up the full bill after the fourth.

Scientists in Glasgow have found only one type of SARS-CoV-2 and say people should ‘not be concerned’ about virus mutations.

Recent research had suggested more than one type of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is now circulating, with one strain being more aggressive and causing more serious illness than the other.

But using analysis of SARS-CoV-2 virus samples, scientists from the Medical Research Council-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR) have found only one type of the virus.

Viruses, including the one causing Covid-19, naturally accumulate mutations – or changes – in their genetic sequence as they spread through populations.

A government-funded study by the Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) identified 12 viral lineages in the 260 UK SARS-CoV-2 genomes sequenced to date.

But scientists based in Glasgow said most of these changes will have no effect on the biology of the virus or the aggressiveness of the disease they cause.

Dr Oscar MacLean, from the CVR, said: “By analysing the extensive genetic sequence variation present in the genomes of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the evolutionary analysis shows why these claims that multiple types of the virus are currently circulating are unfounded.

“It is important people are not concerned about virus mutations – these are normal and expected as a virus passes through a population.

“However, these mutations can be useful as they allow us to track transmission history and understand the historic pattern of global spread.”

It was reported earlier this year that scientists had found two or three strains of SARS-CoV-2 circulating in the population, evidenced by certain mutations that had been detected.

However extensive analysis by the team found these detected mutations are unlikely to have any functional significance, and, importantly, do not represent different virus types.

The centre’s CoV-GLUE resource tracks SARS-CoV-2’s amino acid replacements, insertions and deletions, which have been observed in samples from the pandemic.

Scientists said that while this may sound like a lot of change, it is a relatively low rate of evolution for a virus that has ribonucleic acid (RNA) as its genetic material.

Most observed mutations would be expected to have no, or minimal, consequence to the virus’s biology. However, tracking these changes can help scientists better understand the pandemic and how Covid-19 is spreading in the community.

The study is published in Virus Evolution and the work was funded by the Medical Research Council.

The CMA said the deal would ‘leave shoppers with fewer discounts or receiving lower quality customer service’.

The UK competition watchdog has blocked JD Sports’ plan to buy rival Footasylum for £90m, 14 months after the takeover was first agreed.

Officials at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ruled against the move because it would “lead to a substantial lessening of competition”.

It said the takeover would “leave shoppers with fewer discounts or receiving lower quality customer service”.

JD Sports condemned the watchdog’s conclusion, describing it as “absurd” while the UK high street remains in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the CMA said it found no evidence that the impact of Covid-19 would remove its competition concerns.

It added that JD Sports should be given “sufficient time in which to sell Footasylum”, given the uncertainty and challenges caused by the current crisis.

We’ve blocked JD Sports’ purchase of its close competitor Footasylum after our in-depth review found that the deal would leave shoppers worse off.Read more:

Kip Meek, chairman of the CMA inquiry group, said: “Our investigation analysed a large body of evidence that shows JD Sports and Footasylum are close competitors.

“This deal would mean the removal of a direct competitor from the market, leaving customers worse off.

“Based on the evidence we have seen, blocking the deal is the only way to ensure they are protected.”

JD Sports said it believes the regulator “failed to meet its objective of protecting consumer interests” and is now considering making an application to appeal against the decision.

Peter Cowgill, executive chairman of JD Sports, also appeared to highlight the role of Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, who publicly criticised the CMA over the investigation in October and argued that the acquisition could increase prices.

Mr Cowgill said: “We fundamentally disagree with the CMA’s decision, which continues to rely on an inaccurate and outdated analysis of the UK sports retail competitive landscape, and is underpinned by outdated and flawed customer surveys.

“At the same time, incredibly, the CMA has been taken in by the self-serving testimony of one notoriously vocal competitor, who has made numerous public announcements confirming their ongoing investment in their elevation strategy and who has blatantly participated in the process for their own commercial interests rather than for the benefit of consumers.

“When the CMA published its provisional findings in February, we said at the time that they demonstrated a complete misunderstanding of our market to an alarming extent.

“Today, and equally frustratingly, in the midst of a global pandemic and with the UK high street in a state of complete lockdown, the CMA’s final decision is even more absurd.”

The watchdog had previously raised concerns over the high street retailer’s bid in March 2019 for Footasylum, warning that customers could be worse off with choice reduced.

Since lockdown, JD Sports has closed all of its UK stores, with major disruptions to the business, although the website remains trading.

The company had been expected to update the stock market in April, but due to the coronavirus outbreak this has been delayed until later this month.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is urging the public to take extra care to prevent wildfires.

The north of Scotland is enduring an increased risk of wildfire after one of the hottest Aprils on record, the fire service has warned.

And with weather forecasters predicting dry conditions to continue in the Highlands, the Scottish National Heritage and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are urging land managers and the public to take extra care.

The risk of wildfires is currently at its peak for the year and local estate keepers and the fire service have already been called in to help extinguish blazes.

While the muirburn season is closed, fires can start from other causes such as garden bonfire sparks, sky lanterns or cast-aside cigarette butts.

Adam Rose, a Scottish National Heritage manager, said: “We are appealing to local communities and those planning on taking their daily recreation at Loch Fleet to be aware of the current high fire risk and help us to avoid fires.

“A fire at Loch Fleet would not only cause significant damage to the reserve’s nationally and internationally important habitats and species but also potentially harm local residents and businesses that surround the reserve, as well as placing an unnecessary strain on emergency services.”

SFRS Sutherland district manager Jason Gardiner added: “Many rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by wildfires which can cause significant environmental and economic damage.

“How people behave can significantly lower the chance of a wildfire starting, so it’s crucial everyone acts safely and responsibly in rural environments.”

The public can help prevent wildfires in the Highlands by making sure they dispose of litter and smoking materials carefully while in rural areas, as well as being particularly careful when burning garden waste.

The developer behind plans to turn the Met Tower into offices has asked for permission to replace the existing ‘People Make Glasgow’ sign.

The signage – which was approved in 2014 for the Commonwealth Games – was retained and has become an “iconic symbol and slogan in Glasgow city centre”, Osborne+Co said.

The firm wants to display a temporary illuminated banner on the former City of Glasgow College building during the redevelopment of the North Hanover Street site.

It would include the ‘People Make Glasgow’ slogan but also provide space for advertising, with the income going towards the building work.

The commercial part of the banner would be 40 metres wide by 20 metres high and face George Square. It would also change regularly, depending on the requirements of the advertiser.

A letter to the council stated: “The border created by this proposed installation design will provide the branding space for the continuation of the ‘People Make Glasgow’ civic communication campaign message.”

The developer claimed the cost of refurbishment will “run to the tens of millions”, adding: “Revenue for any commercial advertising will make a small, but nonetheless welcome, contribution towards the cost of the overall refurbishment of the building.”

The banner would be illuminated from 6.30pm to 10pm from March to October and 3.30pm to 10pm from October to March.

“The proposed mixed civic and commercial banner sign will minimise the public perception of change, provide refreshed signage during the refurbishment and redevelopment of the site as well as income which will contribute towards the significant costs required to replace the existing exterior stonework and the windows within the building,” the letter continued.

The planning application for the conversion of the college building into offices also includes a proposal to demolish an existing ‘podium’ building. It is set to be replaced with a 260-bed hotel which would link to the tower.

The company is also seeking permission for retail, restaurant and public house use on the site. 

The firm acquired the building, through a joint venture with Scotsbridge Holdings, in January last year.

Detectives have vowed to track down “whoever is responsible” after a West Lothian store was deliberately torched.

The fire ripped through the Eliburn Mini Market in Jackson Place, Livingston, at around 2.20am on Tuesday.

No one was injured in the blaze, which police say was set outside the shop, however the building has been extensively damaged.

Daniel Milburn captured images of the aftermath, which were shared by the Livingston – Our Town Facebook page.

Photos this morning of the Eliburn Mini Market shop that has been destroyed by a fire. Credit: Daniel Milburn

Detective sergeant Graham Garvie said: “This fire was set deliberately and we are working to track down whoever is responsible for this crime.

“We have been carrying out enquiries in the local area and we will be viewing CCTV footage from in and around Jackson Place to gather more information.

“At this time I would ask anyone who seen anything suspicious in the area, or anyone with information that may assist our investigation to contact Livingston police office through 101.”

The horses broke out of their field in Carnoustie on Monday night and were running close to the A92.

Police have praised the actions of two girls who helped to stop runaway horses from getting knocked down on an Angus road.

PC Ian Campbell thanked the youngsters for their assistance, stating: “Girls, you should be proud of yourself and so should your parents.”

The horses broke out of their field in Carnoustie on Monday night and were running close to the A92.

As PC Campbell arrived, a woman and her daughter pointed him in the direction of the loose animals.

Two young girls – who had been passing by – stopped them from running onto the main road.

PC Campbell posted his appreciation on the OurCarnoustie Facebook page later that night, highlighting that their actions stopped the horses from “potentially getting seriously hurt”.

Message from PC Ian Campbell. Tonight (4 May) I was asked to attend Carlogie Road due to 2 horses broken out of their…

He said: “Tonight I was asked to attend Carlogie Road due to two horses broken out of their field and running close to the A92. 

“When I got there a woman and her daughter pointed me in the direction of the horses. 

“There was also two young girls (who had been passing by) trying to stop them running onto the main road from the open field.

“These two young girls were amazing and did so well stopping the horses from potentially getting seriously hurt on the main road. 

“I did not get a chance to properly say thank you to these girls. You made my job so much easier as I’m not a horse person.

“Girls, you should be proud of yourself and so should your parents. Thank you for your assistance.”

Afterwards, a spokesperson from Tayside Police Division added: “We’d like to reiterate what PC Campbell has said here – thanks for your help girls.”


World news – GB – Final supermoon of 2020 set to grace skies over Scotland

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