By a Newsnet reporter

The 2012 summer may have reverted to form in the past 24 hours or so, but the previously dry interlude at last allowed Scotland’s beleaguered cereal farmers to make progress with harvest.

Winter Barley, usually the first of the grain crops to ripen for harvest from the last week of July onwards, this year is reported to be around ten days to a fortnight late in many parts of the country. 

By a Newsnet reporter
 
According to the latest rumours on the net the release date of Apple’s iPhone 5 is to be September 21st, with pre-orders beginning on the 12th.
 
The technology blog iMore announced that a special debut event on the 12th has been confirmed by “accurate” sources.

By a Newsnet reporter
 
The 2012-13 shooting season will get underway in Scotland on Monday when guns, beaters, gamekeepers and their dogs will take to the moors in search of grouse.   Game laws and Godly adherence prohibit the shooting of grouse on the Sabbath, meaning no ‘Glorious 12th’ this year.

The start date may have slipped by 24 hours to the slightly less glorious sounding 13th, but for economic reasons, there will still be much to celebrate about the start of the new shooting season.

By Bob Duncan

NASA’s latest, largest and most ambitious interplanetary probe, the Curiosity Rover, has landed safely on the surface of Mars at just after 6:30 am GMT, after a journey of more than 350 million miles.

The probe, which was launched in November last year from Cape Canaveral in Florida, cost over 1.5 billion pounds and is NASA’s most complicated robotic mission ever. It carries a scientific payload of 10 separate instruments and is powered by a multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator (mini nuclear reactor) and lithium-ion batteries.

By a Newsnet reporter

Figures released by the General Register Office for Scotland yesterday show that the country’s population has reached a historic high of over 5.25 million.  The office estimates that on June 30 last year there were 5,254,800 people living in Scotland. 

In addition, the figures show that for the first time in over 300 years, immigration into Scotland exceeds emigration from the country.