North-east lifeboat launched twice within hours

A north-east lifeboat was launched twice within the space of three hours.

The RNLI Peterhead Tamar Lifeboat The Misses Robertson of Kintail was initially requested to launch yesterday at 4.14pm with its volunteer crew, to assist a creel boat which had lost power east of Boddam.

The crew took the boat in tow to Boddam Harbour and the lifeboat was returned to its berth at 5.25pm.

They were once again called less than two hours later, at 7pm, to assist a pleasure boat which had lost power south of Boddam.

The lifeboat was then returned to its berth at 8.25pm.

…read more

Source:: Evening Express – All articles

Chinese Muslims have to pledge loyalty to the Communist Party before they can leave the country for the journey to Mecca

muslims china

Some Chinese Muslims hoping to go on the annual Hajj pilgrimage must first pledge their allegiance to the Communist Party before they will be allowed to exit the country.
Uyghur Muslims from the Xinjiang autonomous region, must create a profile online applying for permission to travel on the Hajj.
China has been cracking down on Uyghurs’ freedom, limiting their ability to travel, communicate, and use technology.

Chinese Muslims from the autonomous Xinjiang region hoping to embark on the annual Hajj pilgrimage must first pledge their allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party.

A government website, operated by the Urumqi City Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee, requires local Muslims to submit a travel request to attend the Hajj by setting up an online profile.

The site asks users to register their age, job, health, and economic status and provides strict guidelines for applicants, who must be aged between 50 and 70 and have lived in Urumqi, the region’s capital, for at least five years.

Users must also pledge allegiance to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and national unity.

Registration appears to now be closed but was open between September 1 2017 to November 1 2017. This indicates applicants for the 2018 Hajj, taking place in mid-August, may have been required to make the pledge.

China closely controls and vets applicants for the Hajj each year. Authorities seem to believe that religious travel for minority groups could act as “potential cover for subversive political activity,” Human Rights Watch has reported.

But while other regional government websites list similar conditions for Hajj applicants, these applications don’t appear to require CCP allegiance. This indicates China is more concerned about subversive activity by Uyghurs in particular.

Uyghurs face strict travel laws and restrictive policies

The Chinese government is increasingly monitoring and restricting travel by Uyghur Muslims in an attempt …read more

Source:: Business Insider

Shelagh plunges 10,000ft in ‘terrifying’ skydive to raise almost £2,000 for North-east childrens’ charity

A cancer survivor took to the skies to raise money for a North-east children’s charity.

Shelagh Reid, 59 of Drumoak, braved a skydive, plunging from 10,000 feet, to raise nearly £2,000 for Charlie House.

The charity supports North-east children and young people with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions.

But Shelagh revealed the “terrifying” skydive did not go without a hitch – with her leg getting caught on something as she jumped out of the plane.

Violin teacher Shelagh has already raised £35,000 for cancer charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support, which aided her through her fight.

But this is the first time she has looked to aid a children’s charity.

On her decision to raise cash for Charlie House, Shelagh said: “I’ve been an educator all my life, and I haven’t had any kids of my own, so my pupils have really become like my family.”

She added she had been moved by the experiences of some of her pupils, saying: “One child in particular had stomach cancer, the same as mine.

“Thankfully, they caught it in time, they’re back at school and they’re a great child. But that’s what brought it home for me that we really need more for children in the North-east.”

Shelagh, who is now cancer free, said of the jump: “I was absolutely terrified, but it was fine once we got out of the plane.

“My leg got caught on something as I was jumping out, then the instructor managed to get my leg free and away we went.

“It wasn’t the most elegant of jumps, I have to say.

“Some of the things that I said on the way out definitely wouldn’t be printable!”

She also endeavoured to dispel a rumour, saying: “I can absolutely confirm that, even when you don’t have a stomach, you definitely still get that lurching feeling when you’re doing something like this.”

Shelagh …read more

Source:: Evening Express – All articles

Runners urged to sign up for Great Aberdeen Run

Runners from across the country are being encouraged to pull their trainers on and sign up for this summer’s Great Aberdeen Run.

Following success last year when more than 7,000 people pounded the pavements of the Granite City, the race is returning to Aberdeen.

Entries for the events on Sunday, August 26 have now opened, with options including a family mile down Union Street, a 10K and a half marathon.

To mark the launch, six inspiring participants were put through their paces by a personal trainer at Aberdeen Sports Village.

Jacqui Longrigg had her last dose of radiotherapy for breast cancer just hours before taking part in the session and is now working towards being ready to tac-kle the 10K.

The 46-year-old from Elgin has been using the services of charity CLAN Cancer Support while going through treatment and will use her race entry to raise money for the organisation.

She said: “I was diagnosed with cancer last May so the year has been pretty hard on me with the chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

“Hopefully when my skin heals I can start training again and this has given me something positive to focus on.”

Meanwhile, Gail Irvine’s speedy son provided her with the motivation to start running again after an eight-year break.

The 38-year-old last ran at distance in 2010 after limping across the London Marathon finish line with a time of five hours, 16 minutes.

“I decided to take eight weeks off to recover,” she said. “The weeks turned into years and I never picked my trainers up again.

“In those eight years I’ve had children, so exercise has been the last thing on my mind.”

Things changed last year when Gail signed up to take part in the family mile with her three-year-old son, but admitted: “I struggled to keep up with him.”

But she added: “I loved the atmosphere and it …read more

Source:: Evening Express – All articles