News in Scotland - Thursday

alex-salmond.jpg
First Minister Alex Salmond has said that the independence referendum
must "be built and made in Scotland" IMAGE: STOCKPIX.EU

Scottish news: News in Scotland Wednesday

SCOTLAND

Scottish independence: Referendum must "be built and made in Scotland", says First Minister
First Minister Alex Salmond and his deputy Nicola Sturgeon were in London for discussions on Scotland's independence referendum. After a brief talk on the referendum Mr Salmond said the talks were positive and that with continued goodwill the Scottish government would take note of Westminster's views in relation to the running of the referendum. Mr Salmond reiterated that the referendum must "be build and made in Scotland".

Scottish independence: Court to decide if Scottish government must reveal legal advice on referendum
Scotland's Court of Session in Edinburgh have announced dates for a hearing on whether or not the Scottish government must disclose if it received legal advice on an independent Scotland's status in the EU. The hearing was sought by Scotland's Information Commissioner Rosemary Agnew and will be held on 18th and 19th December with a ruling due in the New Year.

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Tory minister welfare claim could "derail" referendum talks, warns Salmond

First Minister Alex Salmond has warned, in relation to talks with Westminster, that a UK minister's claim an independent Scotland would not be able to afford its welfare bill could "blow things [referendum talks] off course". Westminster's Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith claimed that post-independence an independent Scotland would have to raise taxes or cut benefits was described by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as "rank hypocrisy".

Swinney promises "relentless pursuit" of "growth"
Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney has promised that his 2013/14 budget will focus on economic growth. Critics will argue that a government cannot create economic growth let alone one with very few economic powers. Swinney's budget is likely to see an end to the two-year freeze on public sector pay.

Benefits for pensioners could lead to "inter-generational breakdown", MSP told
Experts told MSPs on the Holyrood finance committee that a range of universal benefits paid to pensioners in Scotland could lead to tension between generations. These tensions would stem from younger families with student loans and high mortgages having to work to pay for free care and bus travel of older Scots.

Scotland joined by Wales and Northern Ireland in demand for stimulus
The Scottish government's demands on Westminster to release funds for building and infrastructure projects has been joined by the Welsh and Northern Irish governments. Business leaders and the IMF have also called on Westminster to pursue a stimulus policy as austerity appears to be contracting Britain's economy further. Critics will argue that borrowing more money to stimulate the economy will only add to Britain's public and private debt crisis caused by decades of credit expansion.

Suicides related to banking scandals
A new study has revealed that in 2011, 772 Scots committed suicide. The Scottish government has said it is determined to reduce the dark statistic by 20 percent by next year.   
The study also reveals that approximately 3,000 men across the UK aged between 30 and 50 take their own lives every year. A recent paper in the British Medical Journal showed that suicides were higher than would have been the case if the banking crisis did not happen in 2008. No senior bankers have yet been charged in relation to Libor manipulation, antitrust practices, laundering or mis-selling of products in the UK.


UK and WORLD

Libor-like manipulation may extend to other rate benchmarks
The lack of regulatory oversight which allowed banks to manipulate interest rates and so defraud millions of mortgage and business customers may extend to other rate benchmarks according to regulation organisation, the International Organisation of Financial Market Regulator (Iosco). According to Iosco papers, reportedly secured by Bloomberg News, fewer than half of the benchmark interest rates surveyed in the US, Europe and Asia were based on real transactions.

Libor: Britain's regulator knew about Libor investigation when approving Bob Diamond's promotion
Documents published by the Treasury select committee shows that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) were aware of an investigation into Libor rigging before it authorised Bob Diamond's promotion. It is reported that the FSA warned Barclays two years ago that Diamond's appointment may prove unsuitable.

China's manufacturing contracts for 11th month
Manufacturing in the world's second largest economy has shrunk for the eleventh month in a row to September. According to the HSBC purchasing managers' index (PMI) activity levelled in September after severe lows in previous months. Although the Chinese economy has not worsened there are few signs of improvements.

Over 5 million under-aged kids in US on Facebook
An estimated 5.6mn Facebook clients - about 3.5 percent of its U.S. users - are children who the Facebook says are too young to use the site, according to Reuters. Facebook bars people under the age of 13 because the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires web sites to give special treatment to children 12 or younger. The law is meant to prevent marketers using personal information in order to advertise to them. Facebook does not acknowledge that its efforts to block children may not work.

Georgia prison torture video ignites protests
A video which shows torture and rape of prisoners inside a Georgian prison has led to protests which have prompted Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to promise to punish those responsible. The protests, a reaction to the footage shown on a pro-opposition television channel, in the capital Tbilisi come just two weeks before parliamentary elections. Protestors have called for the resignation of key government ministers.

India: National strike to stop Tesco and Wal-Mart into country
After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week announced a package of reforms aiming to revive India's economy, opposition parties and trade unions called for strike action across the nation. Shopkeepers, traders and labourers today (Thursday) stopped train services and blocked highways while police were deployed to prevent violence. The furious backlash is based on fears that the foreign retail giants will impoverish communities further as local business are squeezed out by powerful international retail corporations.

Swedish magazine published naked Kate Middleton’s pictures
The Swedish magazine Se och Hoer has become the fourth publicationto release the topless pictures of Prince William’s wife, Catherine Middleton. The title published 11 photos which were taken during the couple’s holiday in France several weeks ago. The images which raised the ire of the Royal Family and which have spread across the internet were firstly published in the French magazine Closer, followed bythe Irish Daily Star and Italy’s Chi magazine.

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commented 2012-09-20 21:32:13 +0100 · Flag
I loved seeing John Swinney in “kick ass” mode at budget time today, he gave Ken Mackintosh a dose of his own medicine. More of it John!
published this page in News 2012-09-20 15:07:16 +0100