News in Scotland - Monday

Donald Trump has revealed an image of his proposed hotel but threatens
to pull the plug if proposed nearby offshore wind farms are halted

Scottish News: News in Scotland - Monday


Scotland’s education system a “let down”, according to report
A report on the state of Scotland’s education system has called for schools to be given more autonomy to prevent a slide which its authors say is causing the country to fall behind its international competitors. The independent Commission on School Reform, says many young people are being “let down” by the current system, with little progress made over the past 50 years. Publishing its final report today, the Commission calls for more diversity within Scotland’s school system. The report makes 37 recommendations for a successful future for Scottish education.

Businessman Donald Trump contests wind farm project
An image of the hotel planned for Donald Trump's golf resort in Aberdeenshire has been revealed, but the controversial American businessman has said the 140-bedroom hotel at Menie will only proceed if plans for an offshore wind farm off Aberdeen do not. The £230mn wind farm project is a joint venture by Vattenfall, Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (Areg). Mr Trump has repeatedly clashed with local residents, environmentalists, wind farm manufacturers and the Scotland’s first minister since buying the land eight years ago.

More Scottish news:

New high tech surgical training centre opens in Glasgow
A new centre is to open in Glasgow claiming the most up-to-date, hands-on surgical skills training in the UK. The Clinical Anatomy Skills Centre has been purpose-built with high-tech instruments for training in techniques like open surgery and keyhole surgery. The centre is a joint initiative between Glasgow university and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and is one of only a handful in the UK that offers surgeons the chance to train with cadaveric material. Most surgical training is done using computer and video simulation or animal tissue.
Scotland’s NHS improving while down south is privatising
Statistics out today show a 12.4 percent reduction in hospital deaths since 2008. The statistics are released on the same day the Scottish government announced funding of £2.1mn to NHS National Services Scotland to implement an improvement service across NHS boards in Scotland. Health and Sport Committee member Mark McDonald said: "Scotland’s NHS is something to be proud of. While down south hospitals are getting privatised, the NHS here is going from strength to strength because we refuse to follow the same route”.
UK set to break promises on defence
There are rumours that the UK government is set to break its defence promises to Scotland when it announces the outcome of the Basing review this week. Instead of 7000 additional soldiers – the UK government is set to deliver only 600. In a significant blow to the anti-independence parties - who have placed defence at the heart of their campaign - it appears that promises to increase troop numbers in Scotland have been abandoned. Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader and Defence Spokesperson Angus Robertson said: "If these reports are true, then this is a monumental betrayal of Scotland's defence personnel, their families, and the people of Scotland”.


UK crisis: banks still not lending raising fears over treasury scheme
UK banks have reduced their lending to businesses despite drawing down heavily on the Treasury-backed Funding for Lending scheme (FLS). Since the scheme was launched last August UK banks have taken up nearly £14bn however net lending fell by £2.4bn in the final quarter of 2012 compared to the previous quarter. While Treasury Minister Greg Clark said "This is an effective scheme" Shadow chancellor Ed Balls called the figures "deeply disappointing". SNP Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie commented: “This is the coalition’s flagship scheme to kick start the economy – and it has failed to prevent an alarming slump in lending..". Critics argue that banks are not interested in lending because speculating can be far more profitable and without risk thanks to government bailouts.

UK crisis: HSBC chief gets £2m bonus despite drop in profits
After receiving a fine of £1.2bn in relation to money laundering HSBC has posted profits well below City forecasts. The profit however triggers a windfall bonus of Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver whose bonus of £2mn will form part of his total package for 2012 of between £6 and £7mn. The news comes as it is revealed that banks accessing the Funding for Lending Scheme are not lending the money leading to the impression that the Bank of England funds are being used for speculation which triggers higher bonuses.
UK ‘ignores’ historic nuclear disarmament conference
The UK government has been criticised for ignoring the Oslo peace conference amid growing international interest in Scotland's plans to remove Trident. Bill Kidd MSP, a Co-President Parliamentarian for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, is the only parliamentarian from anywhere in the UK attending the historic conference. Mr Kidd said: "It is utterly disgraceful for the UK government to boycott this international gathering...the Scottish Government is engaging with the rest of the world whilst the Westminster-based parties look the other way and bury their heads in the sand”.

Batman delivers suspect to police in Bradford
A man dressed as the superhero Batman has handed over a suspect at a Bradford police station before disappearing into the night. Police said the costumed crime-fighter marched the 27-year-old man into Trafalgar House Police Station in the early hours of 25 February – who was charged with handling stolen goods and fraud offences. Police said: "The person who brought the man in was dressed in a full Batman outfit. His identity remains unknown”.
Spain’s unemployed reaches 5 million
Registered unemployment in Spain surpassed five million in February, labour ministry data released on Monday showed, as the euro zone's fourth-largest economy contracted further. Spain is experiencing what is being described as a double dip recession, and has never recovered from the collapse of a property boom which burst in 2008. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government (Partido Popular) has put in place austerity measures including steep spending cuts and tax rises aimed at saving 150bn euros ($194 bn) between 2012 and 2014, but the programme has prompted mass street protests.

Italy: Azzurri Spring possible as establishment plots another stitch-up
Italy risks a civil uprising as President Giorgio Napolitano considers installing a second technocratic government after the main parties failed to reach an agreement to rule the nation. Officials are being accused of lining up Bank of Italy's governor Ignazio Visco to take over after the unelected Mario Monti - a banker and ex-Goldman Sachs advisor - resigned. Worrying for the European Central Bank (ECB), 57 percent of the Italian electorate voted for groups with policies designed to end the EU-imposed austerity agenda. The surprise of the election was when comedian Beppe Grillo won 25 percent of the national vote. He is refusing to form a government and vows to “bring down the old system”.


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published this page in News 2013-03-04 17:27:07 +0000