News in Scotland - Monday

gordon-brown.jpg
Former PM, Gordon Brown, has claimed that Scots should stay in the Union
to help ensure there is a Labour government in Westminster

Scottish News: Top stories - Monday


SCOTLAND

Gordon Brown’s argument ‘political, arithmetical and intellectual nonsense’

Speaking at a ‘yes’ campaign event in Glasgow yesterday, SNP leader Alex Salmond said that the case against independence now being made by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown - that Scottish MPs are necessary to determine a Labour government at Westminster - is "political, arithmetical and intellectual nonsense". Mr Salmond said: "It is political nonsense because Labour cannot with any credibility call on Scotland to save England from the Tories - while at the same time being in the same campaign as the Tories telling Scots to vote No”. "It is arithmetical nonsense because Scotland has had 30 years of Tory governments being imposed on Scotland by Westminster”. "Intellectually it is nonsense because the reality is that nations are entitled to choose their own governments - something that Gordon Brown should realise given the disastrous 28 percent share of the vote Labour got in England in 2010, and which Scotland can do nothing about”.

North Sea oil will last a century, says Fergus Ewing

SNP Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, has said that North Sea oil and gas production will last until the end of the twenty-first century. Mr Ewing's forecast was, he said, his personal opinion. Since the seventies, Unionist party forecasts have regularly stated that oil would run out within a few years, but decades later there are still new fields regularly coming on-stream.

More Scottish news:

Nicola Sturgeon in bid to win the vote of women

Nicola Sturgeon today launched a bid to win women voters by pledging to redraw the benefits system in their favour, should Scots vote yes in next year's independence referendum. Ms Sturgeon said the universal credit system being introduced by the Tory/Lib Dem coalition at Westminster discriminated against women. She explained: "We would change that so we are making sure that women's independence is respected” - adding that the government would lay out reform of the system as the referendum date got closer. The deputy first minister added that taxes would not have to rise in an independent Scotland to pay for the welfare proposals, stating that former Labour PM Gordon Brown's comment that taxes would have to rise was "preposterous".

Recovery forecast again

Claims of another recovery have been made by the Bank of Scotland (BOS) which argues that increased activity among businesses for the year up to April is evidence of the beginning of a “more robust recovery”. The BOS lender's purchasing index (PMI) rose to 53.1 from 51.1 in March after an increase in orders was recorded. It is not clear if the increase is related to recent quantitative easing (money printing) or genuine economic improvement.

INTERNATIONAL 

UK crisis: Libor replacement on horizon

The Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate) benchmark which exposed a moral climate of fraud and corruption across the City of London will be replaced next year. Manipulation of Libor rates by major UK banks resulted in the largest crime in the world's history -  implicating the Bank of England, impacting on a market worth $500tn, and defrauding the global population. Many of the banks which were fined for Libor manipulation are still on the Libor panel and are now implicated in a new fraud scandal in relation to the ISDAfix -  a global market worth $379 trillion. UK banks were also implicated in money laundering, forming cartels and 'mis-selling' financial products. As yet, no senior banker has been tried for their crimes. Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority said that market participants, and not regulators, should be responsible for when and how to scrap Libor. The new benchmark - which is likely to be opposed by US regulators -  will not be fully transactions based, which means the possibility of manipulation remains.                                  

David Cameron rebukes ministers who stated they would vote to leave EU

David Cameron has rebuked Michael Gove and Philip Hammond after they indicated that they would vote to leave the EU if a referendum on British membership were held now. In a sign of irritation with the two ministers, the prime minister said the question of an immediate referendum was "hypothetical". The prime minister also showed impatience with Lord Lawson and Michael Portillo, who called for Britain to leave the EU, saying it was "extraordinary" to abandon hope before he had started to renegotiate Britain's membership terms. The prime minister indicated he expected Tory cabinet members to follow this line when he previously said that ministers all agreed with his strategy.

WHO warns deadly novel coronavirus can be passed between humans

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that it appears likely the novel coronavirus can be passed between people in close contact. The statement comes after France confirmed a second case of a deadly new respiratory virus related to Sars. The novel coronavirus has killed 18 people since being identified last year, and is related to Sars, which killed some 800 people in a global epidemic in 2003, belonging to a family of viruses that most often causes the common cold. "Professionals, doctors, consider that there is no need for excessive worry, but once again we should be vigilant," the French health minister said. "I am repeating: nothing is being left to chance”.                                             

Israel setting up ‘secret’ diplomatic alliances

Israel established 11 new diplomatic missions worldwide between 2010 and 2012, the country’s Finance Ministry has reported – including a diplomatic mission in the Persian Gulf; but officials have refused to disclose its location. This news of Israel’s push for new diplomatic missions suggests Israel is attempting to mend security fences with some of its neighbours. Earlier this month, it was reported in The Sunday Times that Israel is considering allying itself with several moderate Arab states in a US brokered defence alliance that would be aimed at containing Iran, which is accused of developing nuclear weapons. The alleged alliance would see Israel partnering with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and the UAE to forge a Middle East ‘moderate crescent’ to 'contain' as opposed to 'confront' Iran.                                  

US government likely the ‘biggest hacker in the world’

The US government is investing tens of millions of dollars each year on offensive hacking operations in order to exploit vulnerabilities in the computers of its adversaries, Reuters reports. According to an in-depth article by Joseph Menn, the US and its Department of Defence contractors are increasingly pursuing efforts to hack the computers of foreign competitors. Menn has cited several defence contractors and government officials — many speaking on condition of anonymity — who state that the increasingly dominant role the US government has in pursuing research, is largely being used to attack rival networks who the US deem a potential threat.

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published this page in News 2013-05-13 14:07:51 +0100