This week, our resident cartoonist turned his pen on the Coronavirus outbreak, Bernie Sanders rising popularity in the United States and the battle for an SNP seat at Holyrood.

Monday, February 24

Rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination rounded on front-runner Bernie Sanders in the latest televised debate of the campaign.

The Vermont senator was the focus of much discussion in Charleston, South Carolina, less than a week before so-called Super Tuesday where 14 states hold primaries and caucuses.

The Herald:

But billionaire Michael Bloomberg also came in for criticism about treatment of women in the workplace, while other hopefuls sought to make themselves the alternative to Mr Sanders.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is seeking a strong win in South Carolina to keep his campaign afloat, argued only he has the experience to lead in the world, while Amy Klobuchar repeatedly contended that she alone could win the votes of battleground state moderates.

Tuesday, February 25

Residents living in one of Scotland's most picturesque villages have taken matters into their own hands in their fight with tourist traffic which they say overwhelms their quiet streets every summer.

The village of Luss on Loch Lomondside has become a major tourist attraction visited by more than 750,000 people every year, but residents have long called for tourist vehicles to be banned from their streets, saying they cause traffic jams and pose a danger to pedestrians.

The Herald:


Now frustrated locals have erected their own road signs asking motorists to refrain from parking in the village after losing faith in the "incompetent and unaccountable" officials from Argyll and Bute Council to act on their concerns. 

Campaigners say they have been waiting for years for the local authority to agree to impose restrictions on the huge number of cars that jam their picturesque streets every tourist season, but have now lost all confidence.

Wednesday, February 26

The number of NHS patients referred to residential rehab to undergo treatment for drug or alcohol addiction in Scotland is at an all-time low.

One of the country's longest-standing facilities, Castle Craig near Edinburgh, has seen taxpayer-funded admissions plummet from 257 in 2002 to just 12 last year.

The Herald:


Only four of these were from NHS Scotland, however, with the rest of the referrals coming from NHS England. 

Dutch patients, funded through Holland's statutory medical insurance schemes, now account for a majority of the centre's clients - 292 last year. There were also 268 private patients from the UK and abroad.

Thursday, February 27

Scottish children are no longer the best at reading across the UK and Ireland – after being knocked off the top spot in a “stinging blow” to education leaders.

The largest literacy study ever conducted in the UK, written by Professor Keith Topping from the University of Dundee, has revealed that Scottish pupils are now joint second in terms of their level of reading comprehension – on a par with England and behind Northern Ireland.

The Herald:


 The What Kids Are Reading Report analysed the reading habits of 46,239 Scottish pupils, as well as a further 1.1 million young people across the UK and Ireland.

The study analysed the difficult of the books children were reading and the level of pupils’ comprehension. The research found that reading for pleasure is key to children’s attainment.

Friday, February 28

Robertson has stepped up his campaign to enter Holyrood by taking aim at his rival in a key SNP selection fight.

The former SNP Westminster leader hinted he was not seeking the Edinburgh Central candidacy to replace the First Minister, but to be a "political team-player and colleague".

The Herald:


Last week, Mr Robertson announced he would seek the support of SNP members to be selected in the Edinburgh Central constituency at next year's Scottish Parliament election.

But Edinburgh South West MP Joanna Cherry has now also thrown her hat into the ring.