TIME animals

Dog Abandoned at Train Station With Suitcase of His Belongings

kai-with-suitcase
Scottish SPCA

The suitcase contained a pillow, toy, bowl and some dog food

Kai has baggage.

A brown suitcase, in fact, which was curiously left beside him when he was abandoned at the Ayr railway station in Scotland on Friday.

According to the Scottish SPCA, the shar-pei mix was found tied to a railing outside the station along with a suitcase of his belongings, including a pillow, toy, bowl and some dog food – a photo of the melancholy-looking pup is tugging at the heartstrings of dog lovers on Facebook, who’ve shared his photo over 3,500 times.

“Kai is around two to three years old and is a lovely dog with a nice nature. We will look after him until we can find him a permanent and loving home,” said inspector Stewart Taylor. “Regardless of the fact Kai was left with his belongings, this was still a cruel incident and we are keen to identify the person responsible.”

Since the dog was micro-chipped, authorities were able to determine that the pooch’s name is Kai and that he was sold on Gumtree, a website offering free classified ads, in 2013, but they do not know the address of the person who bought him.

“This case highlights the potential consequences of selling an animal online as it often leads to the impulse buying of pets that people know very little about,” added Taylor.

Since abandoning an animal is an offense under Scotland’s Animal Health and Welfare Act, the person who abandoned Kai can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.

Authorities encourage anyone with information to call Animal Helpline or email info@scottishspca.org.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME europe

8 Presumed Dead After Cargo Ship Sinks Off Scotland

The vessel's management company says bad weather was likely a factor in its sinking

(LONDON) — Eight crew members are presumed dead after a cargo ship capsized and sank north of Scotland.

Rescuers have called off the search for the crew of the Cyprus-registered cement carrier Cemfjord, whose upturned hull was spotted by a passing ferry Saturday in the Pentland Firth.

The vessel’s management company says bad weather was likely a factor in its sinking. The ship, which carried seven Polish crew members and one Filipino, did not send a distress signal.

Tony Redding of the German shipping company Brise said investigators would “look for abnormalities. And at the moment we don’t have any, apart from the fact that there was severe weather at the time.”

A ship was to scan the seabed Monday using sonar to assess how the Cemfjord is lying.

TIME Scotland

8 Missing After Cargo Ship Capsizes off Scotland

(LONDON) — British rescue teams are searching for eight missing crew members of a cargo ship that capsized off the north of Scotland.

Two helicopters and four lifeboats are looking for survivors from carrier Cemfjord, which was carrying a load of cement from Aalborg, Denmark, to the British port of Runcorn on England’s west coast. A passing ferry in the Pentland Firth off Scotland spotted the upturned hull of the Cyprus-flagged ship Saturday.

Tony Redding, a spokesman for the German shipping company that operated the vessel, said Sunday the search was ongoing for the crew. Seven were Polish and one was Filipino, the company said.

Redding said there had been no distress signal from the ship, and that the last communication with the vessel was routine.

TIME Scotland

Scotland’s First Same-Sex Marriages Take Place on New Year’s Eve

Scotland's First Same Sex Marriages
Malcolm Brown (left) and Joe Schofield, both 42, after they were married in Glasgow, UK, in one of Scotland's first same-sex weddings. Lawson Danny—PA Photos/ABACA

The ceremonies took place one minute after midnight

Scotland’s first same-sex weddings took place in the early hours of New Years Eve on Wednesday.

Joe Schofield and Malcolm Brown married at the Trades Hall in Glasgow and Susan and Gerrie Douglas-Scott had a private ceremony in the same city, the BBC reports.

The new law on gay marriage came into effect in Scotland earlier this month and these first weddings were held at 12:01 on Wednesday.

The couples were joined by guests and politicians.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie were witnesses at the marriage of Susan and Gerrie. Scottish poet Liz Lochhead and Scottish government minister Marco Biagi MSP attended the ceremony for Schofield and Brown.

[BBC]

TIME ebola

Scottish Ebola Patient Flown to London

Colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of the Ebola virus.
Getty Images

Patient has been isolated and is receiving treatment

A health worker who recently returned from Sierra Leone has been flown to London after being diagnosed with Ebola in Glasgow.

The female aid worker, named by local media as Pauline Cafferkey, arrived late Sunday night to Glasgow Airport on a British Airways flight, having traveled from Sierra Leone to Casablanca and London before reaching Scotland. NHS Scotland, the country’s health care system, said in a statement it has rolled out its infectious disease protocol.

“Scotland has been preparing for this possibility from the beginning of the outbreak in West Africa and I am confident that we are well prepared,” First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in the statement. “We have the robust procedures in place to identify cases rapidly. Our health service also has the expertise and facilities to ensure that confirmed Ebola cases such as this are contained and isolated effectively minimising any potential spread of the disease.”

The patient has been isolated and is receiving care in the Brownlee Unit for Infectious Diseases of Gartnavel Hospital. Per U.K. and Scottish protocol, the woman was transferred to another high-level isolation unit at London’s Royal Free hospital.

TIME United Kingdom

Scotland to Be Handed ‘Biggest Transfer of Powers’ in a Historic Move

Commission set up after the independence referendum urges the biggest transfer of power in Scotland's history

The Scottish Parliament is set to be given new powers over tax and welfare as part of a deal following September’s referendum, when the country voted against independence.

The Smith Commission, after a month of talks between British political parties, has recommended that Scotland be given further powers. Speaking on Thursday, Lord Smith of Kelvin, head of the Commission, urged for Scotland to have responsibility for an estimated £14 billion of income tax and welfare benefits, the Guardian reports.

The British government welcomed the report, but Scottish ministers said it was disappointing and fell far short of promises made during the referendum campaign.

More constitutional change in the United Kingdom is expected over the coming years, allowing for more devolution within England and Wales.

MORE: Scotland’s vote signals big change for U.K. and the rest of Europe

[Guardian]

TIME food and drink

5 Things You Need To Know About Japanese Whisky

Food Japanese Whisky
From left are Hibiki 12-year-old, Yamazaki 18 and 12-year-old Japanese whiskys at the Rickhouse bar in San Francisco, Aug. 6, 2010. Eric Risberg—AP

A single-malt from Japan has been named the best whisky in the world for the first time. Here's why you shouldn't be all that surprised

The whisky world was shocked on Tuesday, when it was announced that the 2015 edition of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible had named Suntory’s Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 the best whisky in the world — the first time the honor has gone to a whisky from Japan. Even more of a shock, particularly to the Scottish who pride themselves on their whisky, for the first time in the 12 years the Whisky Bible has been published, not a single Scotch made the top five.

But perhaps the surprise is unwarranted. After all, Japanese whisky has been a rising star in the spirits world for some time now. So, in honor of the big win, here are five things you should know about Japanese whisky.

It’s The New Kid on the Block — Japanese whisky has been commercially produced since since the early 1920s, when the Yamazaki distillery was first built near Kyoto. Throughout the 20th century, Japanese whiskies were primarily sold and consumed within Japan, yet they’ve become increasingly popular in Europe and North American in recent years.

Production — Japanese whiskies were first modelled on Scottish whiskies — Suntory’s first master distiller Masataka Taketsuru studied in Scotland and wanted to bring the drink home — so they are produced in much the same way, distilled twice using pot stills. Many distilleries even use malted and sometimes peated barley imported from Scotland.

About That Missing “E” — As Japanese whisky has much in common with Scottish whiskies, rather than the Irish or American varieties, its name follows the Scotch tradition and is spelled without an “e.”

Pop Culture Moment — Japanese whisky makes a prominent appearance in 2003’s Lost in Translation. In the film, Bill Murrary’s character Bob Harris is a washed-up actor who heads to Japan to shill for Suntory whisky. Tag line: “For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.”

In real life, it was actually actor Sean Connery who appeared in Suntory commericals in the 1990s.

It’s a Winner – The World Whisky Bible coup isn’t the first time Japanese whisky has been recognized with an international award. In 2001, Nikka’s Yoichi whisky was named the “Best of the Best” in an international tasting by Whisky Magazine. Then, in 2003, Suntory’s 30-year-old Hibiki won the top award at the International Spirits Challenge and Suntory went on to earn awards at the competition for the next 11 years.

TIME Food & Drink

The World’s Best Whisky Has Been Named and Scotland is Displeased

Scotland doesn't even have a whisky in the world's top five

The best whisky in the world is “near indescribable genius.” It scores 97.5 marks out of 100. It is also not Scottish.

That’s according to Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2015, a highly regarded ranking of fine global whisky. Specifically, reports the Telegraph, the top title belongs to Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013, from Japan’s oldest whiskey distillery, Suntory, founded in 1923.

What’s more, for the first time in the 12 years the Whisky Bible has been published, not a single Scottish whisky makes the bible’s top five. If that wasn’t bad enough for Scotland, which along with Ireland is the spiritual home of the drink, the best European whisky in the latest edition is English.

The Whisky Bible describes the winning Yamazaki whisky as “rich and fruity,” with a nose of “exquisite boldness” and finish of “light, teasing spice.” Just 18,000 bottles were made — it is sold out on the bible’s online shop, and it is available in just a few specialist shops in the U.K. for about $160.

American whiskies take second and third prize, including repeat second-place winner William Larue Weller, a Kentucky bourbon.

So what about auld Scotland? A Scottish whisky — the 19-year-old single malt Glenmorangie Ealanta — took the top spot just last year, also getting 97.5 marks.

But the book’s author, Jim Murray, writes that though hundreds of Scottish whiskies were among the more than 1,000 samples he tried from all around the world this year, they fell flat.

“Where were the complex whiskies in the prime of their lives?,” he wonders, calling this year’s rankings a “wake up call” for Scottish brands.

Ron Taylor, an independent wine and spirit judge and educator, tells TIME it’s no surprise that a Japanese whiskey took first place in Murray’s list, since Japanese whiskies regularly win prestigious competitions, even in Scotland.

Still, Taylor also said that rankings often reflect the taster’s personal preferences. Indeed, Taylor describes Japanese single malts as like a Lexus —“beautifully crafted, no vibration, smooth, consistent and always pleasing” — while their Scottish counterparts are more akin to a Maserati.

“The Scottish whiskeys, they’ll knock you around and slap you around the face a little bit,” says Taylor, who is from Scotland, but calls himself “a non partisan” drinker.

He also notes that Suntory, which makes the winning Japanese whiskey, also produces whiskey brands around the world — including, in fact, multiple Scottish whiskies.

[The Telegraph]

Read next: The Best Whiskey Bars in America

TIME 2016 Election

Ron Paul is Spouting Off on Ebola, Secession and Terrorism in Canada

Ron Paul
Former Congressman Ron Paul gestures during a rally for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli in Richmond, Va., Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. Steve Helber—ASSOCIATED PRESS

His punditry is creating problems for his son's likely White House run

In recent months, retired congressman and Libertarian darling Ron Paul has made pronouncements on Ebola, secessionist movements and terrorism in Canada that appear designed to stoke controversy, even as his son Rand tries to stake out less fraught territory in preparation for a likely presidential campaign.

Ron Paul piped up Sunday following a series of attacks on members of the military in Canada that investigators believe are likely tied to jihadist ideology.

“Though horrific, it should not be a complete surprise that Canada found itself hit by blowback last week,” Paul wrote in a column. “That is the danger of intervention in other people’s wars thousands of miles away. Those at the other end of foreign bombs – and their surviving family members or anyone who sympathizes with them – have great incentive to seek revenge. This feeling should not be that difficult to understand.”

Paul’s recent spate of controversial public pronouncements—as a professional provocateur he rarely makes any other kind—are fast becoming a political liability for his son Rand, who is widely expected to mount a campaign for the White House in 2016.

As his soapbox of late, Paul is chiefly using Voices of Liberty, a Ron Paul-centric subscription news and commentary service launched in July, the newest of several overlapping organizations built around Ron Paul’s personal brand—The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, Ron Paul Curriculum and The Foundation for Rational Economics and Education. Voices of Liberty “amplifies the messages of freedom through insightful news coverage, engaging shows and your involvement!,” according to the group’s website. The flurry of activity around the new site has revived an old challenge for the Paul family.

Ron Paul Inc.’s most widely noted declaration of late was the suggestion that the insecticide DDT be used as an Ebola treatment (at present the only known Ebola treatments experimental and DDT is not among them). In fact, Ron Paul never said such a thing—it appears to have been a mistake inserted into a Voices of Liberty press release by a PR rep. In any event, it wouldn’t be the first time statements attributed to Ron Paul, possibly falsely, have become problematic for his son. Rand has already spent more time than he would like distancing himself from his dad’s notoriously shrill and racist newsletters from the 1990s, which the elder has contended were written not by him personally but by a staffer.

In a column Sunday, Paul made the dubious-at-best claim that “the people of Liberia and other countries would be better off if the U.S. government left them alone.” The sentiment is vintage Ron Paul, his austere libertarianism taken to its logical extreme, but hard to reconcile with a society and economy that have come to a screeching halt as Ebola drives people out of public spaces.

It’s not just Paul’s outlandish statements that could be problematic for Rand Paul.

On Ebola the senior Paul has been at odds with Rand, who has devoted considerable airtime to stoking fears over the disease, suggesting it is more contagious and the threat to American society more serious than the government has let on. In contrast, Ron Paul has suggested the exact opposite: that the government is exaggerating Ebola fears, perhaps for nefarious purposes.

In recent weeks the elder Paul has cheered the near-success of the Scottish secessionist movement—and in so doing apparently advocated for secession of states within the U.S.—and lambasted the Obama administration over the new Status of Forces agreement that will keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan well beyond the originally envisioned 2014 pullout date and possibly into 2024.

And it’s clear that in coming months, he’ll keep sounding off on other subjects.

Read next: Obama Rebukes State Ebola Quarantine Rules

TIME Books

Alan Cumming’s Boyhood Was No Cabaret

Alan Cumming attends the HRC Marriage for Equality USA celebration at the Calvin Klein Boutique on April 17, 2013 in New York City.
Alan Cumming attends the HRC Marriage for Equality USA celebration at the Calvin Klein Boutique on April 17, 2013 in New York City. Andrew H. Walker—Getty Images

The actor's funny, heartbreaking new memoir recalls his struggles with an abusive father and his journey from the Scottish Highlands to Broadway

When Alan Cumming arrives for brunch at a café not far from his apartment in Manhattan’s East Village, he’s wearing a blue baseball cap with a big white yes on the front. It’s been almost two weeks since Scotland voted no to separating from the United Kingdom, but Cumming, a Scot who campaigned heavily for the yes side from New York, hasn’t quite gotten over the loss. He heard the results in his dressing room after a performance of Cabaret, a revival of the 1966 musical that brought him a Tony for his electrifying performance as the androgynous Emcee when it returned to Broadway in 1998. “I just cried,” he says. “I felt like it was the difference between choosing imagination and hope and positivity or being cowed and doffing your cap and letting the establishment tell you what to do.”

Scotland still defines the effervescent 49-year-old Cumming in a way that nothing else does. He grew up there on a vast estate called Panmure where his father was the head forester. The men who worked the 21 sq. mi. (54 sq km) of woodland addressed the authoritarian elder Cumming as “the maister.” Alan and his brother Tom might as well have called him that too. Doing grueling chores under his unforgiving eye, they were always fearful of paternal rages that often ended with a beating. Cumming once wound up with a vicious haircut administered with sheep shears that left the 12-year-old bleeding and half bald.

How Cumming finally freed himself from the grip of that painful past is the subject of his new memoir, Not My Father’s Son. “I wrote the book partly to say that this kind of abuse is not normal,” he explains. “Abusers make you feel like it’s acceptable. And for the world who knows me one way, now they’ll know me in a different way, and I’m glad, because it’s all a part of me.”

It’s hard to fathom how the terrorized little boy grew up to be the slender, joyful man who can’t stop cackling as he shows off photos of the pink neon sign saying “Club Cumming” that he had made for his dressing room at Cabaret. Reading the book, you understand how he got so enmeshed in the Scottish campaign. Self-determination and liberation–of himself and others–from old conventions, gender restrictions or just boredom have been Cumming’s quest since he left home at 17 to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

He began writing his memoir after his father’s death in 2010 while working his day job as the Emmy-nominated co-star of CBS’s The Good Wife, now in its sixth season. On that show, Cumming plays Eli Gold, the tightly wound, manipulative political adviser to Chris Noth’s Governor Peter Florrick and his wife, played by Julianna Margulies. His book takes us from his primary school in the Scottish Highlands to London, where he played Hamlet in a cast that included his then wife Hilary Lyon as Ophelia in 1993. His father came back into his life a few years later when a British tabloid wrongly reported that Cumming had been sexually abused in childhood. (Harking back to his father’s beatings, Cumming had told another publication that he had been “abused,” a quote the tabloid misinterpreted.)

Cumming weaves into this story his 2010 turn on the British version of the TV show Who Do You Think You Are? which researches the family histories of celebrities. The program’s producers focused on Cumming’s maternal grandfather Thomas Darling, a much decorated World War II vet who died mysteriously in Malaysia. The effort to unearth the truth about his death sparks a crazy journey that sends Cumming around the world, from the former battlefields of France to a graveyard in Asia. It turns out that his grandfather died in a fatal game of Russian roulette. To complicate things, Cumming’s father hears of the family research and announces that Alan is not his son but the product of an extramarital affair of Alan’s mother’s. DNA tests eventually prove the father’s claim is false, but the episode leads Alan and his brother to confront their dad about his lifetime of cruelties toward them–after which, they never see him again.

Cumming leaves off a few years after his 2007 marriage to Grant Shaffer, an illustrator. (His first marriage ended in the mid-1990s, and soon after, he declared himself bisexual.) Now happy, settled and extraordinarily busy, Cumming suspects that not really getting to be a child when he was young might be what keeps him so preternaturally youthful now. (Holding his own in a Cabaret kick line of 22-year-olds is no easy trick.) A friend, British theater director John Tiffany, jokes that there must be a Dorian Gray–style portrait of Cumming in an attic somewhere. He just doesn’t age. “J.M. Barrie could have written him,” says Tiffany. “Alan’s got an incredibly impish, Peter Pan sense of humor. In fact, he’s a gorgeous combination of Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Mrs. Darling.” (Let it be noted that Cumming’s mother’s name is Mary Darling.)

The ongoing tension in his nature between dark and light, so evident in the book, is part of what gives Cumming’s work such breadth. It allowed Tiffany to cast him at various times as both Macbeth and Dionysus, the god of wine and ecstasy. Cumming can slip from playing a movie Smurf to the übersexual host of Cabaret’s Kit Kat Club and then host Masterpiece Mystery on PBS without dropping a sequin. He combines a Calvinist work ethic with an eternal party-boy vibe. And the party is almost always on. Not only do legions of friends show up nightly at Club Cumming after the show, but he even has a kind of Camp Cumming–a second home in upstate New York where the landscape reminds him of Scotland. He often invites the entire cast of whatever show he’s in for weekends.

Cumming’s brother also thinks that in his offstage and offscreen life, his famous sibling may be re-creating a childhood he didn’t have. As evidence, you could point to the big trampoline that Cumming installed at the house. When guests ask about it, he’ll insist they try it. “‘It’s really great,’ I tell them. They say, ‘No, no, that’s not for me.’ People are so afraid of being judged. But as the weekend goes on, you look, and there they are, bouncing away. I love seeing that. It makes my heart swell.”

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