Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has acknowledged that voters
do not trust her party's motives
Scottish News: Top Stories - Friday
Scottish independence: Sturgeon making EU case in Ireland
Scotland's deputy first minister will make the case for an independent Scotland at the heart of the European Union, during a visit to Ireland. Speaking in Dublin, Nicola Sturgeon will state that Scotland can follow the country's example by flourishing as a small independent European state. Speaking at a business conference, Ms Sturgeon will highlight the tens of thousands of jobs in Scotland that depend on EU markets, and say the only way to secure EU membership is to vote for independence.
Glasgow wins 'smart city' government cash
Glasgow has won a £24mn UK government grant intended to make it one of the UK's first smart cities. It will use the money on projects to demonstrate how a city of the future may look. They will include advanced technological services for Glaswegians, with real time information about traffic, and apps to check that buses and trains are on time. The grant was offered by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), a body set up by the government in 2007 to help stimulate technology enabled innovation. Its Future Cities Demonstrator, as the prize is known, is intended to act as a blueprint for other cities.
More Scottish news:
- Scottish independence: campaign too important to be left to politicians
- Salmond warns Osborne: Westminster austerity won’t cut it for Scotland
- Scotland should “pay for itself”, says senior Tory
- North Sea oil helps Scotland through UK crisis
Salmond in appeal to UK over Scots EU membership
Alex Salmond yesterday called on the UK coalition government to approach Euro leaders to clear up the fate of Scotland’s membership after independence. The EU member state, in this case the UK, could ask for a specific view on Scotland’s position after independence, but there has so far been a reluctance to do this. Mr Salmond told MSPs at Holyrood today he would “like to hear” a clear view from the EU on Scotland’s position and wants the UK to seek this out: “I think it would useful for the European Commission’s position to be heard, I want to achieve an opinion” he said.
Salmond 'a victim of his own success'
Alex Salmond's image as a staunch champion of Scotland may be damaging his chances of winning the independence referendum, polling experts have suggested. The Scottish Centre for Social Research (ScotCen) has highlighted figures showing that since the SNP came to power, more people now feel Scotland gets a good deal from being in the UK. Separate findings however showed trust in the Scottish government remained high, with 62 percent of voters saying it worked in Scotland's best interests.
Ruth Davidson: voters don't trust Tory motives
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has said voters do not trust the motives of her party, as she seeks to boost its electoral viability. Ms Davidson said Scots understood the Tory message but, in too many cases, "they didn't like what they were hearing". The Scottish Conservatives, a self-governing part of the UK party, have suffered declining popularity since the 1997 UK election defeat. At Holyrood, the Scottish Conservatives have come under pressure from Labour and the SNP government, who have used controversial UK government welfare reforms and spending cuts to portray the Tories as uncaring.
UK economy shrank at end of 2012
Britain’s economic decline continues as GDP shrank by 0.3 percent in the last three months of 2012. The figures were worse than expected and will put pressure on the government to consider a "plan B" that some argue would stimulate demand. For the whole of 2012 the economy achieved zero growth. Lee Hopley, chief economist at EEF, the manufacturers' lobby group, said there was little positive news from the figures: "Even assuming some unwinding of activity from the Olympics boost in the previous quarter, this still leaves no real signs of underlying growth in the economy”.
Drug resistance could become major killer in UK
The rise of antibiotic resistant diseases is an ever-growing threat to national security, warns England’s senior medical officer. Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, said the risk is as great as a major terrorist or global warming and should be added to the national risk register. Hospital superbugs such as MRSA are examples of the dangers that already exist with antibiotic-resistant disease and Dame Davies warns that the UK may run out of antibiotics that are effective. She said: "It is clear that we might not ever see global warming, the apocalyptic scenario is that when I need a new hip in 20 years I'll die from a routine infection because we've run out of antibiotics."
Greece: police break up metro strike
Police have broken up a strike at an underground station in Athens. Workers had been enforcing a sit-in strike for nine days in protest of proposals for salary cuts of up to 25 percent. An emergency law was put in place by the conservative-led government to threaten strikers with arrest. Three people so far have been arrested and the area has been secured to ensure no other workers join the strike. Bus drivers and railway workers were set to join the protest today in response the government plan to impose the cuts across the public sector.
Westerners urged to leave Benghazi
The UK Foreign Office has issued a warning to Britons in Benghazi urging them to exit the Libyan city in a response to a “specific and imminent threat to westerners”. Other countries, including Germany, have issued similar statements to their citizens. The UK Foreign Office has not revealed details on the nature of the threat, but Libyan security sources said an attack was expected on an oil or gas facility. Officials in Tripoli have said they are “astonished” by the announcement. "Nothing justifies this reaction." said Abdullah Massoud Libya's deputy interior minister.
North Korea: nuclear tests targeted at US
Future nuclear tests will target the US, announced North Korea’s top military body on Thursday. Following the UN tightened sanctions on the country’s nuclear tests, Pyongyang have warned they will conduct a third, “high-level” test. It is thought that North Korea doesn’t have the technology to hit most of the US, however its launch in December showed that their rockets are capable of hitting San Francisco and Hawaii. "We are not disguising the fact that the various satellites and long-range rockets that we will fire and the high-level nuclear test we will carry out are targeted at the United States." said North Korea's National Defence Commission.
UN inquiry over drone strikes
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has launched a probe into drone strikes and whether civilian casualties constitute war crimes. Ben Emmerson, a UN special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism said: "This is not an investigation into the conduct of any particular state. It's an investigation into the consequence into this form of technology." Requests by China, Russia and Pakistan resulted in the launch of the inquiry on Thursday. Mr Emmerson added: "The reality is that the increasing availability of this technology [...] makes it very likely that more states will be using this technology in the coming months and years and includes raising the spectre that non state organisations - organisations labelled as terrorist groups - could use the technology in retaliation."
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