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Scotland Calling: Welcoming Afghan refugees, Catalan politician skips court, vaccine passport problems and Euro heartbreak

Scotland Calling

Our weekly look at international news from a Scottish perspective, Scotland’s place in the world, and stories about people who make our communities their home.

‘A smile can be everything’ – Scots charity working with government to prepare for Afghanistan refugee arrivals

A Scottish charity run by Afghans says refugees fleeing the Taliban need a safe place to call home – and in the short term, clothes, toiletries and mental health help.

Abdul Bostani, who came to Scotland as a teenage refugee more than 20 years ago and now runs Glasgow Afghan United, will meet on Tuesday with the Scottish Government and local authority representatives to map out a strategy to get ready to welcome an influx of refugees.

“The people of Scotland know all about the terrifying situation in Afghanstan and what is happening there. But open your arms, show a smile and welcome the refugees here” says Bostani.

Read the full story here.

Also:  Angus charity champion Irene Gillies is urging locals not to forget the plight of Syria’s refugees, even as the world’s attention is focused on the plight of people in Afghanistan. As Graham Brown reports, Irene has organised another aid collection to help those most in need. Read more here.


Oil workers ‘effectively banned from Norway’ due to Scotland Covid-app delay, MSP claims

The Scottish Government’s digital vaccine passport delay is jeopardising the livelihoods of oil and gas workers, according to MSP Liam Kerr.

As Adele Merson report, the politician has been contacted by sector workers who have to quarantine in hotels at a cost of £1,000 before they can enter Norway because Scotland still does not have an app-based system for proving vaccination status.

Read the full story here.

And: The lack of a vaccine passport isn’t just impacting oil industry workers it’s also a problem for Scots who want to go on holiday abroad. As Steven Rae reports, one Fife couple has had their holiday postponed after delays in getting a paper vaccine certificate. Read more here.

In case you missed it: Scottish Government accused of lagging behind on digital vaccine passports – as delays could cause problems for Scots on holiday in Europe. Read more.


Former Catalan politician and University of St Andrews professor Clara Ponsati, alongside lawyer Aamer Anwar.

Clara Ponsati: Extradition case dismissed after former St Andrews academic refuses to return to Scotland for hearing

A former St Andrews University academic who “refuses” to return to Scotland to face extradition proceedings over the 2017 Catalan independence referendum has had the case dismissed in a Scottish court.

As Calum Ross reports, a judge ruled this week the Scottish justice system has “no jurisdiction” over the extradition of MEP Clara Ponsati to face a charge in Spain over her involvement in the unsanctioned vote because she has already left the country.

Read the full story here.


St Johnstone's Murray Davidson crosses the ball in front of a packed stand during a Europa Conference Qualifier between St Johnstone and LASK at McDiarmid Park on August 26, 2021.
St Johnstone’s Murray Davidson crosses the ball in front of a packed stand during a Europa Conference Qualifier between St Johnstone and LASK at McDiarmid Park on August 26, 2021.

Euro heartbreak for St Johnstone

A six-month story of footballing heroics came to an end with Euro heartbreak for St Johnstone.

The Perth team had drawn with Turkish side Galatasary and Austrian outfit LASK away from home in the Europa Conference League, but as Eric Nicolson reports beating LASK on their home pitch proved to be a bridge too far.

Read the full story here.

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