David Cameron has followed Alex Salmond's lead on criticising this year's
Open Championship hosts over its men-only policy
Scottish News: News in Scotland - Friday
Salmond backed by Cameron over men-only golf open
Prime Minister David Cameron has added pressure on the hosts of this year's Open Championship to drop its man-only membership rule. The PM's move comes after First Minister Alex Salmond announced that he would be boycotting the event because of the rule which bars women. A succession of UK politicians waded in to the row including Nick Clegg, Maria Miller and Harriet Harman. It is believed that the female vote will be decisive in next year's Scottish independence referendum.
Voters who back 'no' do it for 'irrational' reasons, study finds
Those who plan to vote 'no' in next year's independence referendum may be the result of 'emotive' and 'irrational' drives instead of practical matters, a report has found. According to Brandwatch - Europe's largest social media monitoring and analysis company - if the referendum were held today 72 percent of those involved in online debate would vote 'yes'. Among Brandwatch's key findings is "that No is a vote for the "fear of change"". The findings will no doubt reflect that pro-independence activists, who have heavily criticised 'Project Fear' - a belief that Westminster has a strategy of scaring Scots into voting 'no', are highly active in social media. The report said: 'The argument that Scottish independence is a process, exclusively, of democratic self-determination is not new, but holds increased relevance amid economic confusion. The legal fine print can wait until full autonomy, in the minds of a vocal minority, whilst others simply consider that the economic situation could not fall further than is currently the case,'. The impact of Westminster social policies is also having a profound impact on the independence debate according to the report: "When analysed in relation to the ideological position of the political parties on either side of the referendum campaign (and also in opposition to each other over the Bedroom Tax) it crystalises the view that Scottish nationalists will seek to create a more equal society that protects its poor."
More Scottish news:
- UK crisis: Corruption levels soaring since 2008 financial crash
- Scottish independence: Man's limitations and Scotland's money
- 'No' vote to independence risks population exodus
- Bank of England should be abolished
Frankie Boyle starts Guantánamo Bay hunger strike
Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle has begun a hunger strike to draw attention to the plight of the last British citizen detained in Guantánamo Bay, Shaker Aamer. Mr Aamer, from London, is one of dozens of inmates on hunger strike in protest at their treatment in the detention prison. Mr Boyle, who stopped eating on Wednesday has joined Clive Stafford Smith began his hunger strike over a week ago as part of Reprieve's 'The Stand Fast For Justice campaign', which aims to "promote the rule of law around the world, and secure each person’s right to a fair trial." Mr Boyle recently donated £50,000 he won in a libel case against the Daily Mirror to Mr Aamer's legal fund. Mr Boyle's tweets can be followed @frankieboyle
UK crisis: Social services for vulnerable English children to be privatised
The Westminster government is planning to accept contract bids from private outsourcing firms to manage social services for vulnerable English children, including foster care provision, whilst removing laws which can remove contractors who fail to meet adequate standards. The move is seen as further evidence that the government is suffering a funding crisis and that pressure is being exerted on ministers to open up services to private contractors.
UK crisis: Government borrowing up again raising questions over 'recovery' claims
UK public sector borrowing climbed to £12.4bn for the month of June once one-off distorting factors are stripped out, official figures show today (Friday). The rise is £0.5bn more than June last year calling into question the entire credibility of the chancellor's deficit reduction strategy. Total government debt has now climbed to 74.9 percent of GDP compared to 71.6 percent at this point last year. As pressure mounts on the coalition to reduce the deficit the UK government has taken to extreme austerity measures such as the latest proposal to outsource social service care for foster children in England. Last year UK public sector borrowing was around £120bn or roughly four times the grant given to the Scottish parliament with the same amount of debt increase expected next year. More economists are now pointing to private sector debt as a major factor in Britain's economic decline. This is ignored by most economists on the basis that private sector debt has a neutral impact on the economy because savers lend to borrowers however the reality is that banks create money without using depositors' savings. The result is that many economists have no idea why the economy is failing to recover from what is a long term credit contraction.
US 'has no functioning democracy', warns former president
Former US President Jimmy Carter has warned that "America has no functioning democracy at this moment," and has heavily criticised current US intelligence methods as undemocratic, reports Der Spiegel. Mr Carter, a former Democrat president, also descibed Edward Snowdon's NSA leak as "beneficial" for the nation despite the current administration denying that Mr Snowdon is a legitimate whistleblower and civil rights activist. Mr Carter points to global suspicions relating to US social media platforms such as Google and Facebook owing to the recent spying scandals which heavily implicate the US political system. Mr Carter argues that although Mr Snowdon violated US laws, his actions have been good for the country. Meanwhile, the Obama regime is refusing to announce whether it will attempt to renew a court order allowing the NSA's mass capture and storage of phone records on millions of Verizon customers after it expires this week.
Detroit asks for help after filing for bankruptcy
The US city of Detroit in Michigan has filed a chapter 9 bankruptcy petition this week. A bankruptcy would allow the city to renegotiate debts and so will likely face dismissal motions from municipal bondholders and others. Meanwhile, a letter has been sent to President Obama to lend a 'helping hand' to Detroit. Should the federal government bail out the City at the expense of all other states, it could trigger a contagion echoing the crisis beseting the eurozone. The City has now been downgraded by Moody's which this week improved its outlook on the US.
Venezuela demands apology over US 'repressive regimes' accusation
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has demanded that the US apologise after the Obama regime's nominee for UN envoy, Samantha Power, claimed there has been a repression of civil society in the nation. Maduro warned: "I want an immediate correction by the U.S. government ... Power says she'll fight repression in Venezuela? What repression? There is repression in the United States, where they kill African-Americans with impunity, and where they hunt the youngster Edward Snowden just for telling the truth."
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