Blair Jenkins of the Yes Scotland pro-independence group is waiting
for contact from Alistair Darling of Better Together to meet
over funding rules as per the recommendations of the Electoral
Scottish News: News in Scotland - Friday
Lockerbie: Scottish police to visit Libya
Scottish police are to head to Libya within weeks to launch new investigations into the Lockerbie bombing, which claimed the lives of 270 people. David Cameron revealed Libyan officials have granted Dumfries and Galloway detectives’ permission to enter the country for the first time since the removal of Muammar Gaddafi in October 2011. Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary have remained tight-lipped over who they want to speak to, and what lines of inquiry they will pursue. Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora, 23, died in the bombing, said: “Anyone who tries to gather evidence from modern day Libya should be careful. The interim government wishes to place every conceivable blame on the Gaddafi administration”.
Scottish independence: Yes Scotland invites No campaign to discuss funding disclosure
Blair Jenkins, Chief Executive of Yes Scotland, has today written to Alistair Darling, Chairman of 'Better Together', inviting him to discuss possible joint arrangements following the Electoral Commission's recommendations on funding and the need for clarity on "what process will follow the referendum". The letter states that “the Commission’s firm request for a “joint position” to be agreed between the two governments is a powerful call to action that both campaigns should be able to endorse and encourage”. Requests that the campaign parties begin on a transparent footing where all donations and discussions can be done before prospective voters is also suggested. Mr Jenkins awaits a response.
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
Stagecoach anger at rail franchise shambles
Stagecoach has complained of "wasted" investment as bidders were left with bills of up to £10mn each after the UK government decided to disband with the competition for the Great Western rail franchise and enter talks with incumbent FirstGroup. The decision to seek a franchise extension to October 2015 on the route connecting London to Bristol and Cardiff comes despite Aberdeen based FirstGroup allowing its current deal to expire in early 2013 -a move that saved it an estimated £800mn in premium payments. Analysts said the development is good for debt ridden FirstGroup because it gives it continued access to the massive season ticket revenues of the Great Western and Capital Connect rail franchises. FirstGroup's shares rose 1p to 194p. Stagecoach closed down 1.5p at 306p.
Scottish independence: School referendum classes
The school curriculum should include classes on the forthcoming independence referendum, advise election officials. They hope to stage a widespread publicity campaign to ensure everyone eligible to vote next year can have their say. They are particularly keen to engage with 16- and 17-year-olds. But this is already proving a challenge for officials, with this age group being handed the right to vote for the first time in a national ballot. Experts fear the introduction of the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill at Westminster could create additional problems ahead of the independence vote in 2014. The proposed new system means the annual three month canvass to compile the latest electoral register, which usually starts in September, will be delayed this year – favouring the argument that young Scots should be engaged with as soon as possible.
Anger at ‘racist’ independence cartoon
A cartoon making an anti-independence jibe in the Guardian newspaper has sparked fury among some Scots. The cartoon depicts Alex Salmond with the Saltire painted on his face with the words “Do you think Scotland should go and **** itself?” with the First Ministers head blocking the profanity. Scots have flocked to the newspaper’s website to condemn the racist comic.
Microsoft to employ 2000 Scots apprentices
Computer giant Microsoft has announced that it plans to employ 2016 new 16-24 year old apprentices in Scotland by the year 2016. Microsoft UK managing director Michel Van der Bel said: “At Microsoft we want to help ensure there are skilled people coming into the workplace to secure the future for the sector. That's why we are announcing our commitment to create 2016 apprenticeships in Scotland by 2016 by partnering with the Scottish Government and our training providers QA and YouTrain. These are real jobs for young people in a vibrant, growing and exciting industry, which will help bring economic and employment opportunities." Alex Salmond welcomed the announcement, calling it a huge endorsement of Scotland’s young people.
Referendum: electoral overhaul could cause confusion
Fears are rising the UK-wide shake-up of the electoral registration system may disrupt the independence referendum. Experts have suggested that the changes are not implemented in Scotland until after the 2014 vote. The Electoral Registration and Administration Bill includes a new system for registering for the electoral roll which may create “confusion” and problems for the referendum vote. Holyrood is to hold talks with Westminster over the issue.
Cameron advised to improve popularity or risk rebellion
Tory members have warned David Cameron to lift his poll ratings and improve the party image or face a confidence vote over his leadership in summer 2014. A rebel group of party members that would like to remove the PM immediately is growing in numbers as the Conservative party remain behind in the polls. A leadership campaign by the former shadow science minister Adam Afriyie was exposed this week. Afriyie’s campaign aims to collect 120 signed letters supporting him for party leader.
UK crisis: Scots firms claim compensation after UK-wide epidemic of mis-selling
UK banks found guilty of mis-selling financial products to small businesses face thousands of claims by Scottish firms. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) found mis-selling of complex products in 90 percent of the cases they studied. The FSA has ordered the UK biggest banks to review every such agreement one by one within the next year.
UK crisis: jobs climb while economy contracts thanks to 'zombie' firms, warns think tank
The UK's combination of economic contraction and rising employment is caused by a combination of a flexible labour market, weak investment and the widespread growth of "zombie" companies, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies. The report adds to widespread concerns that high value jobs are being destroyed by the Bank of England's money printing schemes to create unsustainable temporary bubble economy jobs instead.
UK crisis: Barclays in new fraud allegations
Barclays is under investigation by the UK authorities following claims of suspicious loans during the financial crisis. The banking giant has been accused of lending money to Qatar to invest in the bank in order to remain independent. The Serious Fraud Office and the FSA are investigating the claims.
North Korean troops told ‘prepare for war’ as martial law imposed
Kim Jong-un has reportedly placed citizens under martial law and told troops to “prepare for war”, claims a South Korean newspaper. An unnamed source cited in the Korea JoongAng Daily told that the North Korean leader has ordered top military officials to complete preparations for a new nuclear test and to “carry it out soon”. The source told that Kim Jong-un also said: “The country will be under martial law starting from midnight January 29th and all the frontline and central units should be ready for war.” Observers have speculated that the test may take place on 15 February, the birthday of the late Kim Jong-il, or on 25 February, the anniversary of the inauguration of South Korean President-elect Park Geun-Hye.
Russia condemns Israel attack in Syria
Russia has condemned the reported Israeli blasts in Syria. Russian Foreign Ministry have said that, if true, the strikes are “unacceptable, no matter the moves to justify it.” Currently, Israel hasn’t claimed to be responsible for the bombing which took place in Jamraya, between the capital Damascus and the border with Lebanon. Syrian state television has claimed Israel carried out the attack killing two people and injuring five. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his ‘grave’ concern. The Arab world has denounced the attack while David Cameron has fail to comment on the alleged attack on the sovereign UN member.
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