First Minister Alex Salmond is expected to announce the exact date of
Scotland's independence referendum on Thursday
Scottish News: News in Scotland - Monday
Scottish independence: blow to Union case as Osborne admits failure on UK debt target
The economic case for remaining within the UK has been dealt another blow as George Osborne admitted again that he will not be able to meet his previous forecasts on reducing public sector debt. His bleak message will further damage the case for the 'no' to Scottish independence campaign Better Together as the UK's future economic viability becomes a growing concern. Recently Britain lost its AAA status as ratings agencies and investors fear the risk profile of the UK economy and the pound have an uncertain future.
Scottish independence: SNP to reveal referendum date
First Minister Alex Salmond is expected to make public the date of Scotland's referendum on independence. The Scottish government will ask parliament officials if it can make a statement to MSPs on Thursday at which time the Autumn 2014 date is expected be revealed. The SNP administration has stated that making public the referendum date was the "next step in the process". Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "In Autumn of 2014, we will have the historic opportunity to ensure that decisions about Scotland are taken by the people who care most about Scotland - the people who live here”.
More Scottish news:
- ASK SCOTLAND
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- Scottish government criticised over ‘coherence’ of education reforms
- Scottish independence: economy will be a success after independence, says expert group
John Swinney criticises “disastrous” bedroom tax
Scotland's Finance Secretary John Swinney has called on UK Chancellor George Osborne to rethink "disastrous" benefits changes expected in next week's Budget. In Mr Swinney's letter to the chancellor, he said he was "particularly concerned" about the introduction of the under-occupancy penalty (Bedroom Tax), saying this would affect more than 100,000 in Scotland. The UK government argues that the changes will help cut the £23bn annual bill for housing benefit – but Mr Swinney stated that "this does not capture the wider social costs of the policy, nor the distress and disruption that it will cause”.
Debate requested for Scottish type Leveson deal
Following the deal reached by ministers late last night – Holyrood opposition parties have requested that Alex Salmond explains his "intentions" for the Scottish press after proposed regulations published last week were dubbed the "most draconian" of the Western world by critics. Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont wrote to Mr Salmond, after publication of the McCluskey report, to demand a full debate on the issue as soon as possible. Responding to Labour's demands, a spokesman for the first minister said: "the Scottish Government will take time to consider all of the suggestions in the McCluskey report and discuss their proposals with the representatives of all of the other political parties, including Johann Lamont, and with other stakeholders”.
MI6 and CIA told there were no WMD’s in Iraq
New evidence will be revealed tonight about how MI6 and the CIA were told through secret channels by Saddam Hussein's foreign minister and his head of intelligence that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction. Tony Blair told parliament before the war that intelligence showed Iraq's nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programme was "active", "growing" and "up and running". BBC Panorama will reveal how British and US intelligence agencies were informed by top sources months before the invasion that Iraq had no active WMD programme, and that the information was not passed to subsequent inquiries. Panorama says it asked for an interview with Blair but he said he was "too busy". Mr Blair has numerous engagements including activities related to consultancy work for JP Morgan - the bank won the contract to run the Trade Bank of Iraq immediately after the invasion.
Deal reached on press regulation
A new system of press regulation established by royal charter and underpinned by statute has been agreed by political parties in late-night talks, and will be sent to the palace for royal approval. A system of exemplary damages directed at newspapers that refuse to comply with the new regulatory structure will also be agreed in the Commons in the afternoon. In addition, the government has conceded that the newspaper industry cannot have a veto over membership of the regulator, one of the big points of dispute between the industry and Hacked Off. Labour leader Ed Miliband told the BBC: "People who revealed MPs' expenses, people who revealed phone hacking, have nothing to fear from what has been agreed”.
Panic as Cypriots attempt to withdraw savings before bailout
Cyprus has postponed a vote on a planned one-off tax on depositors' savings accounts central to a eurozone bailout of the country's troubled banking system. The government held an emergency session on Monday to discuss efforts to soften the blow to smaller savers from the measure. Under the bailout's terms, people with less than 100,000 euros in their accounts would have to pay a one-time tax of 6.75 percent. Those with savings higher than that amount would pay 9.9 percent. The levy has infuriated Cypriots, triggering a siege upon cashpoints as savers attempt to withdraw money before the tax is implemented. Al Jazeera's Peter Sharp, reporting from Nicosia, said "There is a real sense of anger and frustration here. They feel that Cyprus is a scapegoat for the rest of Europe”.
Quebec helicopter hijacked in jail break
Police in eastern Canada arrested an escaped inmate and surrounded the second after the pair broke out of a Quebec jail and hijacked a helicopter to escape. An hour earlier, officers said they had detained Benjamin Hudon-Barbeau, the other escapee, along with two other suspects. Radio Canada said Hudon-Barbeau has ties to the Hell's Angels motorcycle club, which is considered an organised crime syndicate. Media reports suggested that the inmates had held a gun to the pilot's head. He was taken to a hospital and was being questioned.
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