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Meet Goldilocks, the breedless dog of the future: All breeds would merge into ONE within just five…

It’s the age-old question – if humans were wiped off the face of the planet, what would happen to the rest of Earth’s species? Well, according to one expert, dogs would all look the same within five years – and breeds would cease to exist. Dr Dan O’Neill, professor of animal epidemiology at Royal Veterinary College, says pooches of all shapes and sizes would be able to mate with each other. As a result, ‘unnatural’ and unhealthy attributes like flat faces and long sausage-like torsos would soon die out, eventually leading to a single perfect canine blueprint. Dr O’Neill refers to this hypothetical dog as the ‘Goldilocks Breed’, because it’s ‘just right’ and doesn’t suffer from any human-caused abnormalities. The Goldilocks Breed: If humans were wiped off the planet tomorrow, here’s what all dogs could look like in five years. Today, there’s so much physical variation in dogs because they’ve been bred selectively by humans to accentuate certain unusual features, like stubby legs in dachshunds and flat faces in pugs. Without humans, dogs would all breed with each other and these ‘unnatural’ features would eventually be lost READ MORE: Dog breeds to AVOID buying because they’ve been bred to look cute From pugs to Cavalier King Charles spaniels, here’s the dogs that suffer from ‘extreme conformation’ Advertisement From huge Great Danes to tiny Chihuahuas, different dog breeds all look very different. However, Dr O’Neill claims that ‘breeds don’t exist’, because this is ‘a concept humans invented’. ‘If humans disappeared off the planet tomorrow, breeds would be gone within five years because all the different types of dogs would breed with each other and morph back into one,’ he told MailOnline. According to the expert, this single blueprint for what all dogs could look like could be most similar to today’s village dogs. These free-ranging, free-breeding canines tend to look the same across every continent, and are closer to the dogs of thousands of years ago. SLIM BODY Doggy obesity is one of the biggest problems for owners today, but this hypothetical, ‘breedless’ dog of the near future would be fit and healthy. It would be a ‘consummate scavenger’, eating what it could find and traversing long distances for scraps, helping it stay slim. Although it would likely vary in size, it would be a world away from the contorted shape of the dachshund, with its long sausage torso, or the pug, with its short, square body. Dr O’Neill said many dog types suffer from ‘extreme conformation’, where such an exaggerated body shape or structure negatively affects their health and welfare. Dogs without humans could start looking like ‘village dogs’ – free-ranging, free-breeding canines closer to the mutts of thousands of years ago, with more traditionally ‘doggy’ features such as a pointed snout and lean torso. Pictured, the Indian Pariah Dog, a village dog and thought to have been present in Indian villages as early as 4,500 years ago Dachshunds have been bred to accentuate harmful features – like a long, sausage-like torso – to make them appear ‘cute’ and more likely to be bought, fueling the breeding industry READ MORE: How man has changed his best friend: Experts reveal how dogs used to look From German Shepherds to Basset Hounds, many breeds have changed following years of selective breeding Advertisement Examples include the dachshund, the pug, the English bulldog, the French bulldog, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel and the Basset hound. ‘We might love to own these dogs with extreme conformation but those dogs may not like to live in that body where they have much higher health and welfare issues,’ he told MailOnline. ‘Dogs have basic natural needs that we must allow them to be able to fulfil such as to breathe, to exercise, to sleep, to reproduce, to blink, to be free of inherited pain.’ POINTED SNOUT Today, some of the most unfortunate dogs have flat faces and squashed noses – commonly known as ‘brachycephalic’ breeds. Examples include the pug, the bulldog, Shar Pei and the Cavalier King Charles spaniel. These poor canines have difficulty breathing, impairing their ability to exercise and running the risk of losing consciousness as they eat. But the ‘Goldilocks’ dog would have a narrow head and very pronounced snout – a characteristic that is often seen in breeds with a history of being hunters. Today, some of the most unfortunate dogs have flat faces and squashed noses – commonly known as ‘brachycephalic’ breeds. Pictured is one example, the English bulldog READ MORE: Scientists reveal why you should teach your old dog new tricks A study looked at brain structures of 43 middle-aged beagles over three years Advertisement Longer snouts help increase their sense of smell because they have more space for special cells that detect scent, called olfactory receptor neurons. Long snouts even make the mutt more aerodynamic during a fast-paced hunt, like the nose of a high-speed train. LONG LEGS The Goldilocks dog’s long legs would also give it a greater stride, helping it traverse longer distances quicker. It would be a far sight from today’s breeds with particularly short and stubby legs, like the dachshund, the shih tzu, the bulldog and the favourite of Queen Elizabeth II, the corgi. This bizarre feature, which can cause difficulties while walking or running, is the result of a cartilage disorder called chondrodystrophy, caused by genetic mutations. By breeding short-legged dogs together, this mutation is kept in the gene pool and even get worse over time. Chondrodystrophic breeds can suffer from intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), a problem with the vertebral column and the spine, as well as pain and mobility issues. According to PETA, humans breed corgis to have a genetic mutation called achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism that can lead to hip dysplasia and joint pain. They are deliberately bred to have legs that are too short for their bodies. Pictured, the red Pembroke Welsh corgi READ MORE: How your pet could be affected by the solar eclipse Dogs and cats may show anxiousness Advertisement LONG, CURVY TAIL A naturally long and curvy tail is another indicator of a healthy dog, whereas a stumpy tail is again due to a genetic mutation. Known as brachyuria, the small tail is found in breeds including the Australian shepherd, the Brazilian terrier and the Welsh corgi Pembroke. Dogs don’t just have tails for the sake of it – in fact, they aid balance, fend off insects, increase or minimise scent, and even act as a communication tool, according to studies. ‘Tails exist in all wild canines,’ Dr O’Neill told MailOnline. ‘These are important for communication between dogs and also as pets for communication with mankind. ‘Dogs that are selected with the mutations that lead to tailessness are therefore considered to have an extreme conformation.’ UPRIGHT EARS Dogs with erect, upright ears that stick up are more alert to vibrations in the air, better allowing them to pin-point their prey. Meanwhile, dogs with long and hanging ear flaps are at much higher risk of infection than dogs with pointy ears, according to the Royal Veterinary College. Pictured, the Brazilian terrier, one breed known for having a stumpy tail. Dog tails aid balance, fend off insects, increase or minimise scent, and even act as a communication tool Basset Hounds have excess skin and ear length, both of which can lead to skin fold dermatitis (inflammation of the skin) or hair loss or scarring Worryingly, if left untreated, ear infections can spread deep into the ear canal, causing serious harm to the affected dog. Similarly, droopy eyelids and loose, wrinkly skin on dogs – as seen in the Basset hound and the Neapolitan mastiff – also lead to infections. ‘Dogs used for hunting, like Basset hounds, were cross-bred to have drooped ears to prevent debris from entering them while working in tall grass, and spaniels have been bred to have long ears for purely aesthetic reasons,’ PETA’s vice president of programmes Elisa Allen told MailOnline. ‘Over time, these characteristics become exaggerated, and it’s not uncommon for certain breeds to have excessively large hanging ears that put them at greater risk of ear infections and other illnesses.’ However, there is ‘only limited evidence on serious health issues linked to semi-erect or v-shaped drop ears, according to Dr O’Neill. The expert wants to people to understand that nature didn’t create dog breeds –rather, humans did, in about the late 1800s. For hundreds of years, dogs have been selectively bred to accentuate harmful features to create these so-called breeds to distinguish them from each other and fuel a dog-buying industry. Dr O’Neill thinks of breeds as akin to ‘brands’ – because both are created and sold by humans. ‘The current generation of humans have been sold a story of the value of ‘brand’ that we have bought into – and each breed can be seen as a brand now,’ he told MailOnline. ‘Most dogs these days are produced as a product to sell rather than bred in the sense of aiming to meet some breed standard. ‘We might love to own these dogs with extreme conformation but those dogs may not like to live in that body where they have much higher health and welfare issues.’ Is your dog on the list? Interactive chart reveals the breeds with the longest and shortest life expectancies – and it’s bad news for flat-faced pups They’ve long been known as ‘man’s best friend’, so it’s no wonder that most dog owners dread to think about the day their pet passes away. Now, a study shows that when it comes to life expectancy in dogs, there’s a huge range between breeds. Researchers from Dogs Trust analysed over 580,000 dogs in the UK to understand the effects of breed, body size, face shape, and sex on lifespan. The findings may raise alarm bells for owners of Caucasian Shepherd Dogs, Presa Canarios, and Cane Corsos, which were found to be at the highest risk of an early death. In contrast, owners of Lancashire Heelers, Tibetan Spaniels, and Bologneses can rest easy in the knowledge that their dogs tend to live the longest. Read more

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The staggering prize money MasterChef winners in Italy, Australia and Canada receive – as Brit…

MasterChef kicked off its 20th series this week, with a new group of 58 passionate and talented hopefuls ready to show off their culinary skills. The judges, chef John Torode and former fruit and veg man Gregg Wallace, are returning, having hosted the show since its 2005 relaunch. Speaking about the new series, John said: ‘I can hardly believe that we are into the 20th series of this unbelievably brilliant show. It’s such a point of pride and celebration.’ He added: ‘Twenty years on, MasterChef continues to show if you have a dream, just go for it!’ The competitive cooking show initially ran from 1990 to 2001, before being revived in 2005 with an overhauled format, becoming one of the BBC’s most successful programmes. Its popularity spawned many spin-offs from the show, including celebrity and junior versions, while the format was then reproduced across the world. The first international adaptation was MasterChef Australia in 2009, subsequently followed by versions in more than 60 countries. Regions still airing the franchise include India, South Africa, Ukraine, Paraguay, Sweden, Mexico, Georgia, Singapore, Turkey, Poland, Croatia, Brazil, Estonia, and Argentina. Most of the international versions follow the same basic format, with multiple heats and challenges to whittle contestants down until there is one winner. However, what the champions receive after they win varies significantly from country to country, with winners banking thousands more than others. Prizes can include book deals, training opportunities, appliances and huge amounts of cash. In the Netherlands, the winning chef gets to publish their own cookbook, while also pocketing €25,000 (£21,500). Similarly, in the Thailand version, the champion receives their own MasterChef cookbook and ฿1,000,000, which also amounts to around £21,500. New Zealand’s prize package appears the most unique, with the reigning champion, Sam Low, taking home a number of winnings. These includes six months’ worth of groceries from New World, $6000 worth of Neff appliances, a Kenwood stand mixer, and a cookbook deal with publisher Allen and Unwin. But in the Canadian show, winners get to take home a huge $100,000 cash prize, which is £58,500. While Italians earn a whopping €100,000 or £85,775, and get to publish a book of their recipes as well. MasterChef Spain offers a similar prize with an added bonus: as well as getting €100,000 and their own recipe book, the winner gets the chance to attend the esteemed culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu. The US version eclipses these prizes however, as they offer their winners a staggering $250,000, amounting to just under £200,000. But the version with the perhaps the most lucrative rewards is MasterChef Australia, which boasts a huge prize package for winners. Not only does the champion gets $250,000 (£130,500) in cash and the chance to have their own cookbook published, they also receive invaluable training from leading professional chefs. Shockingly however, in the original and oldest version of the show in the UK, winners receive nothing but the coveted MasterChef trophy and title. The MasterChef trophy is the show’s logo — the letter ‘m’ surrounded by two circles, made of aluminium. Makers of the award, Gaudio, say on their website: ‘The MasterChef trophy is instantly recognisable and is treasured by winners.’ While the lack of any prize in comparison to the international version may seem disappointing, the main appeal of winning MasterChef is thought to be the recognition, prestige and exposure. In the UK, many cooking competitions do not result in a cash prize, including fellow global favourite – The Great British Bake Off. Instead winners are able to use being crowned the winner of one of the most well-regarded cooking contests as a launchpad to start their professional careers. Past winners have gone on to open their own restaurants, write critically acclaimed cookbooks and begin careers in the media, with many returning to MasterChef as judges. One of the most successful champions is the very first series winner from 2005, Thomasina Miers. The 48-year-old has made several cooking TV series and authored many best-selling cookbooks. Most notably, Thomasina co-founded the hugely popular Mexican restaurant chain, Wahaca, which has 13 branches across the UK. The mother-of-three was also awarded an OBE in 2019 for her services to the food industry and also has a weekly column in the Guardian where she shares her recipes.

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Total solar eclipse: 90% of US Airbnbs booked to view cosmic spectacle

NEW DELHI: The upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8 has sparked a surge in Airbnb bookings along its path of totality, with 90% of properties already booked in United States, as reported by USA Today. Interest peaked on March 26, as searches for accommodations soared by 1000% compared to last year, as per the report.Hosts have seen a flood of enquiries stretching back years, highlighting the long-awaited appeal of the event. To meet the high demand, over 1,000 new properties have been added to the platform for this special occasion. Lucky travellers have secured sought-after spots with ideal sky views, such as decks and backyards.As anticipation grows, North America readies itself for a remarkable celestial display that is set to draw visitors from near and far. With a total solar eclipse approaching next month, several schools in the United States will be closed due to safety concerns as many states prepare to experience darkness on April 8.The states expected to be impacted by the eclipse are Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Maine.Experts have warned that the solar eclipse may lead to a significant loss of solar power generation, posing a challenge for electricity system operators.This will mark the second solar eclipse in the US in less than seven years, presenting a rare but concerning issue for the energy sector. The total eclipse will be visible across the continental US from Texas to Maine, with Miami experiencing a partial eclipse that will obscure up to 46% of the Sun’s disk, while Seattle will see about 20% coverage.Millions of people are anticipated to witness the eclipse, with astronomy enthusiasts from across the country expected to flock to the states in its path. However, concerns have been raised about potential hazards as daylight turns to darkness. Authorities have cautioned against traffic congestion and advised the public to refrain from staring directly at the Sun to prevent possible eye damage.

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US, China agree to hold talks on ‘balanced economic growth’: US Treasury

NEW DELHI: The United states and China on Saturday have agreed to conduct “intensive exchanges on balanced growth”, the US Treasury department said in a statement, following two days of discussions between Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and her Chinese counterpart He Lifeng in Guangzhou.”These exchanges will facilitate a discussion around macroeconomic imbalances, including their connection to overcapacity, and I intend to use this opportunity to advocate for a level playing field for American workers and firms,” said Yellen in a separate statement.In her statement, Yellen said she and her counterparts “agreed that the US and China will hold intensive exchanges on balanced growth in the domestic and global economies. These exchanges will facilitate a discussion around macroeconomic imbalances, including their connection to overcapacity, and I intend to use this opportunity to advocate for a level playing field for American workers and firms.”Yellen said “these exchanges on balanced growth in the domestic and global economies are key to allowing us to deepen our understanding of China’s policies and continue to express our concerns, as I have done in my meetings with Vice Premier He.Earlier state media coverage of her trip had brushed off US concerns regarding overcapacity as a rationale for tariffs. In a report on Friday night, the official Xinhua news agency acknowledged Yellen’s visit as a positive indication of ongoing communication between the world’s two largest economies. However, it also cautioned against framing discussions on Chinese overcapacity in the clean energy sector as a pretext for implementing further protectionist measures to safeguard US companies.During a refueling stop in Alaska en route to China, Yellen informed reporters that the US is considering tariffs as a potential response to China’s heavily subsidized manufacturing of green energy products. Chinese government subsidies have spurred investments in solar panels and electric vehicles, leading to excess production capacity. While this has driven down costs and benefited consumers, Western governments are concerned about the potential flood of low-priced exports impacting domestic jobs.Efforts have been made in the US through legislation and executive orders to reduce reliance on certain Chinese technologies and bolster domestic manufacturing capabilities, seen as crucial for national security by many in the White House and Congress.In 2022, the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act was passed to bolster the semiconductor industry and scientific research, aiming to generate more high-tech jobs in the United States and enhance competitiveness against China. Moreover, last August, President Joe Biden issued an executive order to restrict and oversee high-tech investments from the US directed towards China. Yellen is scheduled to proceed to Beijing on Saturday afternoon for further discussions with senior officials, economists, and the central bank governor over the weekend.(With input from agencies)

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Cop quits after coke bag allegedly falls from pocket

Camera IconA police officer has resigned after allegedly being found with a bag containing suspected cocaine. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP Cop quits after coke bag allegedly falls from pocket Luke CostinAAPApril 6, 2024 3:50PM Topics Share to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail UsCopy the Link

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What is an Irish political party ardfheis and why does it matter?

What’s happening? On Saturday, Fine Gael will hold a daylong ardfheis at the University of Galway, Simon Harris’ first as party leader. At it he will outline his priorities and plans for the party that he says is seeking to “renew, reset and reconnect” with voters. What is an ardfheis? An ardfheis or “high assembly” is the biggest event in an Irish political party’s diary and is essentially a conference open to all party members. It sets out the party’s vision and priorities and gives members a chance to debate and vote on issues. Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin each hold an ardfheis annually or every two years. Other parties such as the Green Party and the Labour Party have national conventions or conferences. If I am not a member of Fine Gael, is an ardfheis relevant to me? In advance of the local and European elections, an ardfheis or national party conference offers voters a chance to get a better insight into a political party’s plans for the future. This weekend, Mr Harris as incoming taoiseach will address two audiences: his own party and you the voter. Why is an ardfheis important for political parties? An ardfheis is a national gathering of delegates where the party as a whole can convene and take decisions. It allows members from local branches to discuss the party’s direction and policy plans. It also gives the leader a chance to outline the party’s vision or message to the public, and for the larger parties this is usually via a televised address. What happens at an ardfheis? Alongside setting out the party’s direction, a range of motions are debated and voted on. Motions can be suggested by local branches, constituency executives or councillors and usually call on the party to take action on a particular issue. For example, at Fine Gael’s ardfheis on Saturday, more than 160 motions are scheduled. These will include calls to introduce a middle-income tax band of 30 per cent, provide lethal military aid to Ukraine, increase funding for childcare and prioritise the building of starter homes for purchase at affordable prices. If passed and, each political party has slightly different rules around motions, certain motions can feed into policy decisions or party manifestos in the future. And for all parties, including Fine Gael, the elephant in the room is the looming general election. Ministers, TDs and senators will often take part in discussions and debates on broader themes such as business, farming and housing which encompass the motions. Elections are also held for a party’s national executive committee which in the case of Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin is also known as the árd comhairle. This committee acts as a governing body of the party and makes organisational decisions.

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FACTBOX: Dam break in Russia’s Orenburg Region

MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. A piece of an embankment dam broke in the Old Town of Orsk, Orenburg Region, affecting around 4,200 houses and nearly 11,000 people across the region. There were no victims from the emergency. As of 10:30 a.m. Moscow time, operational services told TASS that the dam in Orsk completely collapsed. However, later the press service of the regional government told TASS that the information about the complete destruction of the dam in Orsk did not correspond to reality and that the flow at one of the two damages points on the dam was eliminated. According to authorities, the water level continues to increase, and the situation could worsen. What happened – The break was first reported around 20:30 Moscow time on April 5. – According to Head of Orsk Vasily Kozupitsa, partial damage to the dam body occurred in two places. – The water level in the Ural River in the Orenburg region was 2 meters higher than dangerous and reached 9.27 meters. In a few hours, the water rose by 4 meters in some places and continued to rise. At the same time, the intensity of water level growth decreased. – Kozupitsa noted that the situation could rapidly get worse. Casualties and consequences – 4,258 houses and 10,987 local residents were affected by the flood. Throughout the Orenburg region (except Orsk), 556 houses were flooded. There were no casualties as a result of the dam break, and no one sought medical help. – 4,208 people were evacuated (including 1,019 children), 495 temporary accommodation centers for 82,200 people are being prepared for deployment. – 47 bridges and 106 sections of roads were closed during the flood in 31 districts of the region. – The power supply has been disrupted in 12 settlements, and it will not be restored until the end of the flood. What’s happening in Orsk – Over 2,400 residential buildings and over 3,000 adjacent areas were flooded in Orsk, Orenburg region. – The entire residential sector of the Old Town microdistrict of Orsk may be flooded in the near future, the city authorities called on residents to urgently evacuate. – The city’s water supply has been reduced by a third: the pressure in the pipes has been reduced to preserve the equipment – part of it is flooded and cannot be started remotely. – City residents are being evacuated from houses located in the flood zone, so far, 711 people were evacuated, including 210 children. Eliminating consequences – According to preliminary estimates, water will leave Orsk over more than two weeks. – Deputy Minister of Emergency Situations Ilya Denisov arrived at the scene. – 1,112 rescue specialists and 462 units of equipment are working in the Orenburg region, including more than 530 specialists, 125 units of equipment and 75 watercraft are operating in Orsk. More than 200 police officers are also deployed in the flood zone.

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Meet Cyrus Mistry’s Sons, India’s Richest Billionaires Under 30

Firoz Mistry, 27, is the eldest son of the late Cyrus Mistry. He inherited an 18.4% stake in Tata Sons after his father’s death in a car accident in 2022. He holds a 25% stake in Shapoorji Pallonji Group, chaired by his uncle. Firoz is involved in plans to raise funds through listing Afcons Infrastructure, a privately held construction and engineering firm. Firoz Mistry attended the University of Warwick. Despite holding Irish citizenship, he lives in Mumbai, where the family’s business operations are centered.

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Resident ‘furious’ after Glasgow City Council evacuation

Occupants living next to the India Buildings on Bridge Street were asked to leave their homes on Thursday night by Glasgow City Council after the roof of the 19th-century property collapsed inward and significant movement was noted in the front facade. READ NEXT: Glasgow foster carers furious after council cash blunder Appalled resident, Graham Watson, told the Glasgow Times that staff from the council turned up at the nearby flats at around 5.30pm on Thursday and told the occupants to leave immediately after Bridge Street was closed for public safety. Residents were then told to declare themselves homeless and find a hostel to stay in, as the council claimed that finding occupants temporary accommodation was “not their problem”. The council said it is engaging with affected people who have contacted it for assistance. “We’re absolutely furious and appalled,” Graham, 50, said. He continued: “We can’t believe this heartless treatment from the council who are just leaving us completely high and dry. “There are young men and women who live here, as well as a foreign exchange student who has no nearby family, and the council is telling them to just call a hostel. It is appalling. “We are still all in shock and don’t know what’s going to happen. We have been given no timescale whatsoever.” The listed building is set to be demolished by the council starting Monday, but no timescale for how long the process will last has been revealed. Graham said this is leaving residents in the dark and “scrambling” for a place to go. He added: “People have been left scrambling to find accommodation. This is an emergency. “We haven’t been told anything and the council hasn’t even been in contact since the evacuation on Thursday night. “It’s just absolutely shocking.” Residents on Bridge Street have made repeated calls over the last few years, due to concerns over the state of the derelict building. “The building has had the same ownership for about 40 years, and it has been neglected for about three out of those four decades,” Graham said. He added: “It has gradually been falling into disrepair and repeated attempts and calls have been made for someone to step in and make use of the building.” We also previously reported that another resident, Eddie McGonnell, said that repeated concerns were expressed about the condition of the building. He added: “What does it take to galvanise them into action – the collapse of the building with potential risk to pedestrians?” The factor of the India Buildings is said to be helping residents, like Graham, fight back against the council’s actions. READ NEXT: B-listed building in Glasgow’s city centre to be turned into flats A Glasgow City Council spokesperson said: “Emergency evacuations require a rapid response to mitigate against immediate danger and potential loss of life. “We understand this is an upsetting and frustrating experience for those affected. The council has a statutory duty to preserve life in these situations and, following a safety assessment, the decision was taken to evacuate nearby residents. “Evacuated residents often find alternative temporary accommodation through their own insurance entitlements or with friends and family. “Should none of these options be available to them, affected residents can declare themselves homeless and the council has a duty to accommodate them. The council is currently engaging with affected people who have contacted us for assistance.”

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Love Island star to visit Glasgow to celebrate store revamp

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