Ukip leader Nigel Farage will target Holyrood seats after a council
by-election in Glasgow saw his party come within 17 votes of defeating
the Conservative candidate
Scottish News: News in Scotland - Friday
Lochhead backs calls for EU-wide tests of beef for horsemeat
A new EU-wide meat testing regime, to be introduced from March 1, was welcomed today by Scotland’s Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead. The move mirrors action which has already been taken in Scotland - the first part of the UK to undertake such inspections last month. EU health commissioner Tonio Borg has urged all member states to carry out DNA tests on processed beef from March 1 and report back with results within 30 days. Meanwhile, it emerged that horses who were fatally injured in the Grand National may have found their way into the food chain.
Ukip sets sights on Scottish elections
Nigel Farage, the leader of England's now third most popular party UKIP, has forecast that his party will secure MSPs at the next Holyrood election. Mr Farage told Holyrood Magazine: “I admire [Alex] Salmond in many ways but my problem with him has always been this independence thing within the EU, which is rubbish.”
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
UKIP narrowly miss overtaking Tories in Glasgow by-election
A council by-election for the Rutherglen South ward in Glasgow saw UKIP candidate Donald Mackay come within 17 votes of the Conservative candidate Aric Gilinsky. The ward remained in Labour hands with a reduced majority. The UKIP vote will be of major concern to the Scottish Conservatives whose electoral base in Scotland has been threatened with extinction for some years.
Irn Bru merger referral 'bewildering', warn analysts
This week's announcement that the Office for Fair Trading (OFT) has referred Britvic's proposed merger with AG Barr to the Competition Commission has baffled analysts. The apparent rationale behind OFT's move is said to be related to concerns of a potential loss of competition for brands such as IRN-BRU and Orangina. Analysts Panmure Gordon said: "This decision seems bewildering given the relatively small share each of these brands has of the £9bn GB soft drinks market and the fact that Coca Cola and Private label combined account for c.50% of the GB Take Home market."
ScottishPower to press on with renewables aims
Scottish Power has set itself at odds with rival SSE by pledging there will be no hiatus in its renewables programme even though the industry is waiting for details of a planned energy market shake-up. The UK accounted for 28 percent of profits at Scottish Power's parent Iberdrola last year, the group revealed, just behind the 30 percent of earnings from its home market in Spain. Scottish Power's approach contrasts with that of Perth-based SSE, owner of Scottish Hydro Electric, which has long warned of a possible investment hiatus, and last week said spending could "fall off a cliff".
Horsemeat scandal: men arrested and laboratories overwhelmed
Three men have been arrested by police investigating the horsemeat scandal, as it has emerged that hundreds of carcasses from British abattoirs containing the banned equine painkiller bute could have been unwittingly eaten by consumers for months. Overwhelmed laboratories are now warning that the industry may not fully comply with Friday's deadline for completing tests for horse in all beef products, raising the prospect that the government will be unable to give British food a clean bill of health for days. UK ministers are coming under increased criticism after MPs revealed that they reduced the powers of the food safety regulators.
UK crisis: 'social cleansing' of poor Londoners up North
Almost 3,000 poor adults and children will be forced out of their London homes in Camden owing to Westminster's austerity cuts to benefits. The council has offered to relocate some residents in Liverpool. The news follows similar stories in London councils such as Newham and Westminster which reportedly sought to relocate families in Derby and Nottingham. Observers describe the trend as 'social cleansing' as the UK economic policy sees the transfer of capital from savers across Britain to speculators in London creating a form of economic apartheid.
Immigrants too often taking advantage of UK public services, says Cameron
The prime minister has accused some foreign nationals of taking advantage of British public services and said the government is looking for ways to make them pay for access. For the third day running Cameron upped the rhetoric on immigration. On Wednesday the prime minister revealed that the list of public services the government wanted to restrict included "access to justice" as well as the NHS, benefits and housing. On Thursday he confirmed that meant a crackdown on legal aid for foreign nationals.
'Currency wars' on horizon as G20 struggles to reach accord
G20 finance ministers meeting in Moscow are struggling to reach agreement on currency depreciation and borrowing. The main fault line lies between nations favouring austerity and those favouring stimulus. An increasing number of economists see these options as a false choice and instead favour debt cancellation which unlike the other options does not appeal to international banks.
Over 250 injured in meteor strike above central Russia
Over 250 people have been injured by a meteor shower above the central Russian city of Chelyabinsk, unleashing a shock wave that caused extensive property damage. "Over 250 people were injured, three of them seriously”, the interior ministry said in a statement to Russian news agencies, adding that damage was recorded in six towns.
US government accused of spying on 9/11 attorneys
Detainees being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and their defence attorneys are accusing both the United States government and Gitmo guards alike this week of infringing on inmates’ rights by conducting illegal surveillance. Lawyers representing alleged terrorists have accused the government of spying on confidential inmate-attorney conversations by using hidden microphones placed in meeting rooms within the facility.
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