News in 5 Minutes: US makes Guantanamo detainee transfer, Corbyn pledges reform of bus services and 5th annual Moffat sheep race

Maxine Blane

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

TODAY’S INSTALMENT (16 August) of the CommonSpace daily news roundup includes the US’s Guantanamo detainee transfer, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge to reform bus services and the popularity of the 5th annual Moffat sheep race.

News: US makes largest single transfer under Obama of detainees from Guantanamo

The Pentagon says 15 detainees have been sent from Guantanamo Bay facility to the United Arab Emirates

The US has made the largest single transfer under President Barack Obama’s administration of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, the BBC reports. The Pentagon reports that this transfer of three Afghans and 12 Yemeni nationals to the United Arab Emirates brings the number of detainees still held at the facility down to 61. The Pentagon released a statement thanking the UAE for it’s “willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.”

Regulated rail fares to increase by 1.9 per cent across England, Scotland and Wales in 2017

Regulated rail fares will increase by 1.9 percent across England, Scotland and Wales in 2017, an increase linked to July's Retail Prices Index inflation rate which was announced today. Regulated fares account for around half of all rail fares and include the majority of commuter season tickets. The TUC and Action for Rail have released analysis which shows that over the past six years fares have risen by 25 per cent, while the average weekly wage has risen by 12 per cent.

China launches a quantum satellite designed to deliver “hack proof” communications

China has successfully launched the world’s first quantum satellite, the Guardian reports. The 600kg satellite, nicknamed Micius after an ancient Chinese philosopher, was launched over the Gobi desert. It’s two year mission will be to develop “hack proof” quantum communications systems that will allow messages to be sent securely and at faster than light speeds by users.

Politics: Corbyn pledges bus service reforms in Labour leadership race

Jeremy Corbyn MP has pledged to offer franchising powers to councils to improve bus services

Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to improve bus services as part of a wider bid to “rebuild and transform Britain's transport system” if his campaign to remain Labour leader is successful. The current Bus Services’ Bill does contain plans to extend some franchising powers to areas of England outside London which are governed by a mayor. However, Corbyn would offer a wider scheme of franchisement that would allow councils to start their own municipal bus companies and expand services into areas not currently covered.

Scottish Government launches consultation on electro-fishing for razor clams

The Scottish Government has today launched a consultation on whether a regulated razor clam fishery which utilises electro-fishing “in a pre-defined manner” should be allowed. The practice of electro-fishing, which uses a low current of electricity to catch razor fish, is currently banned by the European Union. There has been an increase in demand for razor clams from overseas markets and Scottish fishermen have urged the government to apply to the EU for for an exemption to the rules.

Sport: Eilidh Doyle through to 400 metre hurdles semi-finals at Rio 2016

British athlete wins her heat to qualify for the semi-final of the 400 metre hurdles at the Rio Olympics

Elilidh Doyle has qualified for the semi-finals of the 400 metre hurdles at the Rio 2016 Olympics. The 28-year-old won her heat with a time of 55.46 seconds, which is more than a second slower than her personal best.

Culture: Work begins on whisky distillery and visitor centre on banks of Clyde

The £10.5m project to build a whisky distillery and visitor centre on the banks of the Clyde is underway

Work has begun on a £10.5m project to build a whisky distillery and visitor centre on the banks of the Clyde in Glasgow. The Clydeside distillery will occupy the former pump house building between the Riverside Museum and the SSE Hydro arena, and it is hoped the distillery will produce it’s first batch of spirits before the end of 2017.

Weather: Sun is shining, the weather is sweet…​

Time to break out the Bob Marley as sunshine set to continue into tomorrow

It’s been a mostly sunny start to the week and the good weather is forecast to last at least until tomorrow. Temperatures could creep above 20 degrees, so don’t forget your sunglasses and suncream.

And another thing: Moffat’s fifth annual sheep race draws in the crowds

Crowds turned out to watch sheep race in Borders town of Moffat

The fifth annual sheep race has taken place in the Borders town of Moffat. Crowds turned out to watch the wooly competitors in five races through the high street. The competition features sheep carrying knitted woollen jockeys. The race was started in 2012 as a way to celebrate Moffat’s woollen and sheep farming industries.

Pictures courtesy of Matthew PeoplesSteve DormanChris Beckett, The Department for Culture, Media and SportToukou Sousui 淙穂鶫箜aneye4wonder (Ineta McParland)Atli Harðarson

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