The American continent is becoming the new global epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic

The World Health Organisation has announced that the American continent is becoming the new global epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic. The US is expected to soon reach 100,000 deaths, with growing fears about the spread of the disease in Central and South America. In recent months Europe has been the centre of the contagion. (Guardian)

Glasgow’s global climate summit may be re-scheduled for November 2021

Glasgow’s global climate summit, postponed from November this year may be re-scheduled for November 2021. The UK Government will push for the date at a meeting of the UN climate conference bureau on Thursday 28 May. (STV)

Funding of cycle and walking paths is to be hiked

Funding of cycle and walking paths is to be hiked as part of the transition from lockdown in Scotland. An additional £30 million will be set aside for cycle infrastructure and the widening of pavements as part of the Scottish Government’s ‘transport transition plan’ which will also see bus and train users expected to wear face masks. (Scotsman)

Scottish Government has confirmed that its new ‘test and protect’ scheme

The Scottish Government has confirmed that its new ‘test and protect’ scheme will be rolled out from Thursday 28 May. The scheme is designed to test all those with coronavirus symptoms, with those testing positive to report all those they have had “close contact” with. The Scottish Government has declared it now has the capacity to carry out 15,000 tests for the virus a day. (BBC)

Barlinnie Prison has been deemed “no linger fit for purpose”

Barlinnie Prison has been deemed “no linger fit for purpose” by inspectors after it was found it lacked suitable medical facilities, among other shortcomings. Inspectors found that Scotland’s largest prison had facilities in such disrepair and so outmoded that they could be in breach of prisoners’ human rights. (Daily Record)

Scots have taken up walking at a greater rate than in any other nation or region of the UK, in response to coronavirus. 61 per cent of Scots are walking more now than they did at the start of the crisis, according to a YouGov poll. (Third Force News)

Ten lochs across Scotland have been polluted with the dangerous pesticide formaldehyde. The chemical is used by fish farmers to control fungus and disease, but has also been known to cause cancer. The use of the chemical in locations including Loch Sheil and Loch Ness was unveiled by questions asked under Scottish freedom of information laws. (The Ferret)

The Reform Scotland think tank has published a report calling on Scottish students to pay a fee upon graduation from university, as a measure to protect the higher education sector. Universities have claimed they are in danger of losing as much as £500 million from the impact of coronavirus. (BBC)

The Scottish Government has said it will meet its target of recruiting 2000 coronavirus contact-tracers by the end of May. The workers are a central part of the government’s strategy in lifting the lockdown. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the additional capacity was vital even if all of it did not need to utilised immediately. (Scotsman)

Almost 1700 offences have been recorded under the Domestic Abuse Act introduced in April last year. The act extended definitions of domestic abused to include psychological, financial, physical and sexual abuse. The figure only includes a few days of lockdown. (BBC)