News in Scotland - Friday

salmond-sturgeon.jpg
The SNP outspent all their rivals combined last year on the way to their
landslide victory in the Scottish parliament elections

Scottish news: News in Scotland - Friday

Scotland

SNP claim Lib Dem have become a ‘non-entity’ in Scottish politics

The Scottish National Party (SNP) claimed the Liberal Democrats lost 25 percent of its UK party membership from 65,038 in 2010 to 48,934 members at end of 2011, following the publication of the financial accounts of political parties by the Electoral Commission. A SNP spokesperson said by contrast SNP membership has increased by 24 percent over the same period, adding: “The Lib Dems have become a non-entity in the Scottish political arena”.

Fringe favourite, Stewart Lee, hits out at “big four” comedy clubs

Comedian Stewart Lee (a fringe-festival veteran) has accused the Pleasance, Underbelly, Gilded Balloon and Assembly of "re-pointing the fragile but functioning eco-system of the Fringe" and has claimed the Edinburgh comedy festival has led to higher prices and fewer independent comedy venues.

Chris Hoy wins fifth gold medal but now dragged into controversy

Scotsman, Sir Chris Hoy has shined as Britain’s most successful athlete in the Olympic Games yesterday when he achieved his fifth gold medal in his career in the team sprint cyclists. The 36-year-old won three gold medals in Beijing and his first eight years ago in Athens. Hoy has now been dragged into controversy after his young team-mate admitted intentionally crashing in a heat following a poor start.

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SNP outperform rivals in donations

The SNP spent more than their political adversaries combined last year on the way to securing a majority of seats to Scotland's parliament. According to newly released Electoral Commission figures the SNP spent £3.5mn in 2011 comparing to nearest rivals Labour which spent £781,569.

Trend shows civil ceremonies on the rise overtaking Catholic weddings

More couples are getting married in non-religious ceremonies than Catholic weddings in Scotland, according to the General Register Office for Scotland. 52 percent of all weddings were non-religious ceremonies last year, a surge from 1971 when a third of marriages were civil and two-thirds were religious. If the trend continues, there will be more civil marriages than Church of Scotland weddings in three years’ time.

UK/World

Economic Forecast looking less optimistic according to analysts

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research has downgraded the predictions for the UK’s economic growth from no change this year and a two percent growth next year to a prediction of half of a percentage shrink this year and a 1,3 percent growth next year.

Nationalising RBS would be 'nuts' says Treasury

Claims that the UK government were planning to fully nationalise the Royal Bank of Scotland were dismissed as 'nuts' by the Treasury last night. Sources claimed the plans which were apparently supported by Liberal Democrat Cabinet members were aimed at a £5bn takeover however that would expose the taxpayer, which already owns 82-83 percent of the troubled bank’s shares, entirely to RBS's toxic debts. Ministers appear perplexed as to how to ensure businesses can gain access to affordable loans as troubled banks fail to lend.

RBS dismissed staff over Libor scandal

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) confirmed today (Friday) that it had dismissed a number of employees for misconduct as a result of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) investigation. "The Libor situation is on our agenda and is a stark reminder of the damage that individual wrongdoing and inadequate systems and controls can have in terms of financial and reputational impact," RBS Chief Executive Stephen Hester said.

UK and Russia to strengthen trade ties

UK Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to the Olympics on Thursday to discuss about the fraught bilateral relationship between London and Moscow, especially over trade questions. After the meeting which saw Mr Putin visit the UK for the first time in seven years, David Cameron said: “We have discussed our commercial relationship, where British exports to Russia have been increasing rapidly over the past two years, and we want to see further growth in trade, investment, and exports”.

Draghi reined in by Germany's Bundesbank

Mario Draghi disappointed financial markets after calling for eurozone governments to use existing rescue funds before looking to the ECB to print more money. Earlier this week Mr Draghi excited markets by saying he would do "whatever it takes" to save the euro. Simultaneously Germany's Bundesbank chief warned that the ECB should keep within its remit of curbing inflation.

UN-Arab League peace envoy for Syria quits: blames “finger-pointing and name calling”

Kofi Annan is quitting as UN-Arab League peace envoy for Syria, Annan told the general-secretary of the Arab League of his intention not to renew his mandate when it expires on August 31, 2012 and at a news conference in Geneva, claimed that “finger-pointing and name calling” in the Security Council was one of the reasons he was stepping down.

Islamabad's high commissioner warns American drone attacks are weakening Pakistan’s sovereignty

In a recent interview Wajid Shamsul Hasan has said that: "What has been the whole outcome of these drone attacks is that you have directly or indirectly contributed to destabilising or undermining the democratic government. Because people really make fun of the democratic government – when you pass a resolution against drone attacks in the parliament and nothing happens. The Americans don't listen to you, and they continue to violate your territory," he said.

North Korea at risk of starvation following flooding

The July flooding of the Anju city and Songchon County areas which has killed at least 119 people have also done severe damage to the North-Korean food supply, hitting maize, soybean and rice fields. Following a request from Pyongyang, the UN is calling for immediate food-relief to aid the Korean’s, two-thirds of whom were dealing with food shortages already before the flooding.

Facebook admits to over 80 million fake profiles

Facebook has admitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission that about eight percent of all of its profiles are illegitimate. Duplicate profiles make up 4.8 percent, misclassified accounts (personal profiles for businesses, pets, etc.) 2.4 percent and “undesirable” users who break terms of service a further 1.5% Facebook’s shares have dropped below $20 for the first time.

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published this page in News 2012-08-03 12:03:00 +0100