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In brief for 19 August 2011

Oil spill turned off

DIVERS working for the oil company Shell have turned off a valve of a pipeline which has been leaking oil into the North Sea.

The company estimates that at least 218 tonnes of oil have been released from the leak near the Gannet Alpha platform, 113 miles east of Aberdeen.

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The next step will be to recover the estimated 660 tonnes of oil that still remain in the pipeline 91 metres below the surface, Shell said on Friday.

Scottish environment minister Richard Lochhead said: “It is clearly good news that Shell have managed to close the valves though the situation will need to be closely monitored over the next 24 hours to ensure this has been successful.

“In the meantime, our work to monitor the impact of the spill on our marine wildlife continues.”

Passenger numbers up

PASSENGER numbers at Sumburgh Airport have soared during July thanks to additional flights laid on to deal with the influx of Tall Ships visitors, but also thanks to increased offshore helicopter traffic.

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Airport operator Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) said this week that numbers were up 28.2 per cent compared to July last year.

Overall, the 10 HIAL airports in the region recorded a 5.8 per cent increase in passenger traffic.

HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon said: “This comes as a great boost to the Scottish tourism sector and the economy of the Highlands and Islands, showing that a further 7,034 passengers travelled through HIAL’s airports during July 2011 compared to this time last year.”

RBS must change its mind demands Carmichael

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ORKNEY and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael has called on the part-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland to abandon plans that would see thousands of customers unable to use cash machines operated by other banks.

The bank confirmed earlier this week that existing customers with ‘basic’ accounts are set to lose access to all ATMs except those operated by RBS.

Opponents of this move have argued that the change will have a disproportionate impact on poorer customers. 

Mr Carmichael said: “RBS needs to understand that public money comes with a public obligation. Rural Scotland has a long tradition of banking with RBS. It also has a high proportion of people in part-time work and on low and fixed incomes.

‘These are the people for whom every penny matters, and the people who will be hit hardest by this arbitrary and discriminatory decision. RBS must change their mind”.

Football results

Shetland Chiropractic Reserve League

Delting B 0 – 2 Celtic B
Goals from Glen Henderson and Jamie Duffy sealed the win for the Hoops.

Ness Utd B 4 – 7 Whitedale B
In a thriller at Cunningsburgh, Ness had been 4-3 up with 20 minutes remaining with goals from Jamie Robertson (2), Sean Bell and Alwyn Flaws. Whitedale were too strong in the end and from a Ross Smith hat-trick, Matthew Williamson, Jamie Wilson, Jon Moncrieff and own goal came away with a win that edges them nearer the title.

Scalloway B 3 – 1 Mossbank FC
Scalloway get another three points as the season closes with goals from Gary Burns (2) and Keith Riley.

Spurs B 4 – 1 Whalsay B
The Milktops turn the heat near the top of the table with goals from Shane Jamieson, James MacDonald, Iain Goodlad and Gregg Sinclair. Whalsay scored through a Spurs own goal.

Yell 0 – 3 Unst
The El Classico of the North ended with Unst getting the win over archrivals Yell.

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