News in Scotland - Monday

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Downgrading of Rosyth down to pro-English bias, claims SNP

Scottish News: News in Scotland - Monday

SCOTLAND

Rosyth shipyard downgrade ‘due to English bias’

The controversial downgrading of Rosyth naval dockyard by John Major’s government was carried out despite one of his ministers warning him the Fife site was cheaper and safer to run than similar facilities in the south of England, according to newly released government papers. Commenting on the revelations, SNP Westminster leader and Defence spokesperson Angus Robertson MP said: ''These shocking documents reveal the MoD’s utter disregard for Scotland and its defence communities, exposing as they do,  the desire to consolidate everything it possibly could in the South of England regardless of cost or logic”.

Scottish independence: Norway model casts shadow over SNP's Bank of England policy
Norway's central bank is ready to cut interest rates in order to devalue its strong oil-backed currency. Norges Bank Governor Oeystein Olsen said of the krone: “If it gets too strong over time, leading to inflation that’s too low, we will act,”. An oil exporter similar in scale to Scotland, Norway has the largest budget surplus of any AAA rated nation in the world. The nation's currency and economy is so strong that international investors are parking in real estate resulting in property price inflation. Should Scotland retain the Bank of England as its central bank Scotland will be unable to protect itself, as Norway can with its own currency, against speculators.

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Scotland's 'euro czar' evidence of SNP is "desperate", claims Labour
Professor Andrew Scott from Edinburgh University's School of Law undertook an adisory role for the Scottish government last month looking at Scotland's engagement with the EU. Opposition parties have claimed the role showed the SNP government was unprepared on the issue of foreign policy.

Part-time college places fall by 85,000
Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats confirm the number of part time places in Scotland's colleges has fallen by 31 percent since 2009. The statistics obtained under Freedom of Information show the number of part time places fell by about 85,000. Campaigners have said this reduced the chances for those seeking work – with research indicating that young people struggling to find a job at the start of their working lives often remain unemployed for many years.

Call for action as one in 10 high street shops is vacant
Retail chiefs are demanding action from ministers after new figures show one in 10 shops is now lying empty. The Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) accused the SNP administration of failing to act on business rates, claiming some larger supermarkets are facing bills almost a third higher than similar stores south of the Border. However, despite the increase, the Scottish vacancy rate is still significantly lower than that of both Northern Ireland and Wales, where 17.2 percent and 17 percent of store premises remain empty respectively.

INTERNATIONAL

UK arms exporting to Sri Lanka despite widespread rights violations
Assault rifles, shotguns and pistols worth over $3.8mn were revealed to be among the goods the UK has exported to Sri Lanka – a country accused of repeated human rights violations - including rapes and extrajudicial killings - by the UN, and London itself. The revelations come amid findings of the remains of more than 150 people in the town of Matale in central Sri Lanka. Basil Fernando, the executive director of the Asian Human Rights Commission, told Al Jazeera that "this is only one mass grave, I'm sure there are many, many mass graves in Sri Lanka”.

Obesity crisis: doctors demand soft drinks tax and healthier hospital food
Britain's 220,000 doctors are demanding a 20 percent increase in the cost of sugary drinks, fewer fast food outlets near schools and a ban on unhealthy food in hospitals to prevent the country's spiralling obesity crisis becoming unresolvable. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges report calls for a reversal of widespread unhealthy habits, stating: "just as the challenges of persuading society that the deeply embedded habit of smoking was against its better interests, changing how we eat and exercise is now a matter of necessity".

Rafael Correa re-elected as president of Ecuador
President Correa of Ecuador has claimed victory in the South American country's national elections. The former economist cancelled Ecuador's debt and has succeeded in reducing the high levels of poverty, indigence, and unemployment in the nation.

Chavez back in Venezuela
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced in a Twitter message today (Monday) that he is back in Venezuela following surgery in Cuba for cancer. "We have arrived again to the Venezuelan motherland," Chavez wrote. "Thank you God. Thank you my beloved people." Venezuela recently repatriated its gold holding and devalued its currency by over 40 percent.

Syria: Western-backed insurgents committing war crimes
An investigation by the United Nations (UN) has found that insurgents backed by the US and its Western allies are committing war crimes. The investigation recommending that both sides of the conflict be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Israel's prime minister pushes for Iran attack
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told a gathering of international Jewish leaders that North Korea's recent nuclear test shows that sanctions are insufficient to control Iran's nuclear ambitions. The claims contradict US intelligence services which found that Iran has no advanced nuclear weapons' programme.

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published this page in News 2013-02-18 12:57:07 +0000