News in 5 Minutes: Earthquake in Italy leaves 38 dead, Gers figures show economic deficit remains steady, and people berry angry about fruit

Maxine Blane

CommonSpace brings you the news so you don’t have to go looking for it

TODAY’S INSTALMENT (24 August) of the CommonSpace daily news roundup includes the Earthquake in Italy that has left 60 dead, Gers figures show economic deficit remains steady, and the people berry angry about fruit. 

News: 6.2 magnitude earthquake strikes Italy, leaving at least 60 dead

An earthquake has struck 65 miles north-east of Rome in Italy

An earthquake with a registered magnitude of 6.2 on the Richter scale has struck 65 miles north-east of the Italian capital of Rome. At least 60 people have been confirmed dead, and a rescue effort is ongoing to save those still trapped under the rubble from damaged buildings. The town of Amatrice has seen some of the worst damage, and the quake was felt in the capital where buildings shook for up to 20 seconds.

North Korea’s latest missile launch “unforgivable” says Japan’s Prime Minister

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has branded North Korea’s latest missile launch an “unforgivable” threat to the security of the region. On Wednesday morning North Korea performed a successful test-fire of a missile from a submarine, which travelled around 500km before landing in the Sea off Japan. This latest test comes two days after the beginning of annual military exercises in the region by South Korea and the United States.

French ban has boosted burkini sales, says Australian creator

A ban imposed by the mayor of Cannes that prohibits the wearing of burkinis (swimwear for muslim women that covers the body excluding the face, hands and feet) on beaches in the area has caused a sales boost of 200 per cent, says the Australian creator of the garment. Aheda Zanetti said that the original concept behind the swimwear had been to allow muslim women to participate in Australia’s beach lifestyle. She said: “No man in this entire world can tell us what to wear or what not to wear.”

Politics: Scottish economic deficit remained at around £15bn over last financial year

Gers figures released today showed that the Scottish Government spent £14.8bn more than it earnt in taxes last year

The Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (Gers) figures released this morning show that the Scottish economic deficit has remained at around £15bn over the last financial year. The Gers figures show that the Scottish Government spent £14.8bn more than it generated in taxes in 2015/16, a figure which amounts to 9.5 per cent share of Scotland’s GDP. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that the “foundations of the Scottish economy remain strong”.

Owen Smith opposes May triggering Article 50 without vote on final deal or general election

Owen Smith has stated that if his bid for Labour leadership is successful, he would would ensure that the party voted in parliament “to block any attempt to invoke Article 50 until Theresa May commits to a second referendum or a general election”. Article 50 is the EU mechanism that must be triggered for a country to leave the EU. Speaking on BBC Radio 5, Smith said that the Labour party would not give the Conservatives a “blank cheque” on Brexit negotiations with the European Union.

Sport: Celtic back in Champions League after facing Hapoel Be'er Sheva in qualifying playoffs

Hapoel Be'er Sheva won last night's match 2-0, but a first leg 5-2 victory for Celtic has put them through to the group stages

Celtic have reached the group stages of the Champions League after losing the second leg of their qualifying play-off with Hapoel Be’er Sheva 2-0 last night. Although the Israeli side took victory in yesterday’s match, a 5-2 win for Celtic in the first leg has secured their place in the group stages.

Culture: Niteworks makes Fringe debut with fusion of club beats and Gaelic tunes

Niteworks will play at the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh this weekend

A band who have fused club beats with gaelic traditonal music will make their Fringe debut at Edinburgh’s Queen's Hall this sunday. Niteworks have previously ben named up and coming artist of the year at the Scots Trad Music Awards, and have recently released their first album NW.

Weather: Sunshine for Scotland over the next couple of days

Despite forecast for cloud cover, the sun is out above the CommonSpace office

The forecast for occasional sunshine has improved today as the sun has made itself at home in the sky above Scotland. The fine weather is forecast to last for the next couple of days.

And another things: Flags on fruit make people berry angry

Tesco has faced criticism on Twitter for its decision to remove the Scottish flag from fruit packaging

Users have taken to Twitter to express their frustration after Tesco revealed that it has removed the Scottish flag from fruit packaging after complaints from English shoppers. Dubbed #berrygate, the incident has raised questions about showing the origin of produce on packaging and has caused some users to call for the removal of flags on packaging altogether.

Pictures courtesy of Paolo SerraThomas HawkLis FerlaAtomic TacoXabier Cid

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