News in Scotland - Thursday

greg-dyke.jpg
First Minister Alex Salmond has touted the reappointment of
former BBC chief Greg Dyke

Scottish News: News in Scotland - Thursday

SCOTLAND

Scottish Independence: Yes vote better for everyone, says finance expert
Duncan Glassey, a financial planner from Wealthflow based in Edinburgh, believes an independent Scotland could reap the benefits of small, financially prudent countries such as Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Isle of Man. Quoted in the FT Advisor Mr Glassey claims “it’s in our Scottish genes to be good with money” and further that the whole of the UK could benefit from a financially strong Scotland. Managing director of Lowlands Financial disagrees, quoted “There’s lots of rhetoric but not enough detail”. The figures can back either case; Scotland contributes 9.6 percent of UK taxation and receives 9.3 percent of UK spending. However, this amounts to £53.1bn contributed and £63.8bn spent in Scotland.

Scottish independence: Military intelligence in the event of Scottish independence
An expert in international relations, Dr Daniel Kenealy, has said that M16, the CIA and other US security services urgently need to discuss how Scottish independence will affect intelligence co-operation. Though the topic is important for voters to make an informed decision in the referendum, the security services will be reticent to make their deliberations public.

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Education chiefs “fear” criticising Mike Russell
A former college head has spoken out against Education Secretary Mike Russell, claiming that senior education figures are afraid to speak out against him for fear of losing their jobs. Kirk Ramsey was the chairman of Stow College in Glasgow, but resigned after Mr Russell accused him of secretly recording a “confidential meeting” attended by both men. Mr Ramsey has contested the accusations, claiming that the minutes of the meeting were publicly available. His claims come as opposition parties have called for an investigation into whether Mr Russell has overseen a culture of intimidation and bullying in further education. First Minister Alex Salmond has backed his education secretary, saying that Mr Ramsey had done “the right thing in resigning.”

Salmond: Crisis-hit BBC needs ex-chief Dyke back
Alex Salmond has called for the reappointment of former Director General Greg Dyke to be reappointed in light of future uncertainty facing the stability of the BBC. In a surprise intervention by the first minister, he stated that he believes Dyke to be a solution for the crisis hit broadcaster following botched allegations of sexual abuse against a senior Tory. Mr Salmond said: "The crisis engulfing the BBC underlines serious and institutional failures of leadership that must immediately be addressed. The BBC ship needs to be steadied by someone who the public can have confidence in to return the corporation to its journalistic traditions...The obvious figure who fits the bill is Greg Dyke”.

Scottish unemployment figures on the rise
The latest statistics have shown that Scotland's unemployment figures have risen yet again. Scotland's figure now stands at 8.1 percent, compared to the U.K average of 7.8 percent, after a total of 218,000 was recorded for the period between July and September. The rise comes as the U.K's unemployment figures have been falling, down by 49,000 to 2.51 million over the same period. First Minister Alex Salmond has been critical of Chancellor George Osborne's plans for economic recovery, claiming that his decisions have led to the U.K economy “flat-lining”. But opposition parties have now called on Mr Salmond to “take responsibility” for the latest figures. Experts have recently attributed the better performance in England to the ‘Olympic bounce’ which Scotland has not benefitted from.

Rangers board consider wage cap and season ticket hikes
The owners of Rangers Football Club are planning to bring in a strict wage cap and increased season ticket prices as part of their share offer. Wages are set to be capped at 33 percent of the club's turnover, while a season ticket prices will climb by 20 percent in 2014, with a further 15 percent rise in 2015. Rangers owner Charles Green, who bought the ailing club for £5.5mn earlier this year, has said he expects it to be worth at least £60mn within the next two years. The plans have been revealed ahead of the club's stock market flotation next month.

Ten million chefs encouraged to use Scottish seafood
Scottish Salmon’s deal with the World Associations of Chefs’ Societies (WACS) will give Scottish seafood international exposure, encouraging chefs around the world to use Scottish seafood. As a result of the partnership, 100 high-profile chefs will only use Scottish salmon and langoustines throughout the Chefs Global Challenge. The success has been attributed to Scotland’s innovations in sustainable sourcing.

Edinburgh's Hogmanay plans affected by trams
Organisers have been forced to rethink Edinburgh's traditional Hogmanay plans due to safety fears caused by the city's controversial trams project. Music stages and giant screens will be relocated from their usual place on Princes Street, while other events will also be affected and scaled back. The tramworks have already caused months of travel chaos in the city centre, as the tram infrastructure has been laid, and work is expected to continue through the new year celebrations. The director of Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations has spoken of the “huge challenges” his team faced in organisation this year, due to enforced changes in the layout of the party.

Super Puma meeting to be held after helicopter ditchings
In the wake of several incidents involving Super Puma helicopters ditching in the North Sea, the manufacturers have outlined their commitment to holding a meeting to update industry leaders. Last month one of the Eurocopter vehicles was forced to ditch with 19 people on board, which was the latest in a number of accidents involving the helicopters. The model has since been grounded, with a gearbox issue thought to be behind the incidents.

UK and WORLD

The BBC faces uproar over false abuse allegations
Tory peer Lord McAlpine has made a public statement after having faced BBC allegations of paedophillia on twitter when a newsnight report accidentally broadcast a list of alleged child abusers taken from an internet source. The report covered alleged abuse in care homes in North Wales. Lord Alpine maintains that a phone call would have saved the BBC a lot of trouble, as he could have let them know “I’d only ever been to Wrexham once in my life.” Staff involved in the report, including Phillip Schofield, face disciplinary action as well as the BBC compensating Lord McAlpine for the distressing accusation. The measures are unlikely to prevent widespread criticism as an inquiry led by Ken MacQuarrie, director of BBC Scotland, has found “unacceptable failings” in the absence of basic checks.

UK crisis: We face years of economic hardship, warns Bank of England
The Governor of the Bank of England has warned the UK should expect “persistently low growth” as it edges its way out of debt. In his quarterly inflation report yesterday,Sir Mervyn King said growth patterns would continue to “zig-zag”, with the economy in danger of shrinking later this year following the post-Olympic bounce, but would be unable to get back to its pre-crash peak in the short-term. The news came as the latest figures showed unemployment continued to rise in Scotland, but fall across the rest of the UK.

Power firm second to declare huge profits while raising bills
Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, is expected to make record profits this year after price increases of 6 percent are to be set tomorrow. Estimated profits of £1.4bn this year as a result of increased energy prices has sparked even more controversy following accusations of UK energy price fixing earlier in the week. Analysts also predict around £575mn of pre-tax profit from British Gas after gas consumption for the first 10 months of 2012 was 9 percent higher due to colder than normal weather.

Syria: Ministers to hold talks on conflict
Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to chair the National Security Council in order to discuss the conflict in Syria. Senior UK ministers are to discuss the escalating humanitarian and diplomatic issues, and attempt to reach viable options in dealing with the growing refugee situation and severe violence. BBC political editor Nick Robinson said the situation was reaching what one Downing Street adviser called the "something must be done stage". The prime minister, his deputy Nick Clegg, Chancellor George Osborne and the foreign and defence secretaries are all expected to attend the meeting.

US backs Israel’s ‘right to defense’ amid global condemnation
The US has advocated Israel’s rights to defend itself against terrorists despite its offensive on Gaza drawing contempt from around the world. Egypt, having withdrawn their ambassador from Israel, ordered an emergency UN meeting to discuss the escalating conflict. Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr warned that further aggressive action by Israel could have “negative repercussions on the security and stability of the region”. Russia Today correspondent Gayane Chichakyan highlighted the US’s double standard policy in its classification of terrorism, stating that they were not so quick to brand opposition attacks in Syria as “terrorism”, despite the fact the UN condemns them as such.

UN calls emergency session as Israel-Gaza tensions peak
Last night Israeli airstrikes hit what Israeli officials depict as “100 medium and long range rocket launch and infrastructure sites across the Gaza strip”. The move is perceived to be in response to nearly 50 rockets fired from Palestine into Israel. The rockets wounded four and killed three people in Israel whilst thirteen people, including two children, were killed in Gaza last night. The UN have called an emergency closed-door session to discuss the possibility of an Israeli ground assault. Though UN spokesman call for maximum restraint, Israel continues to assert its right to self-defence.

Xi Jinping made the new President of China
The new Politburo Standing Committee has been revealed, with current vice president Xi Jinping replacing President Hu Jintao to lead the Chinese Communist Party. Xi is expected to lead for two five-year terms, focusing upon corruption within the party and reviving the economy by decreasing China’s dependence on exports. This year’s succession was disturbed by Bo Xilai's fall from political grace as his wife murdered a British businessman. Chinese citizens interviewed by Al Jazeera are pleased with the outcome whilst Japan cautiously welcomed the new leader with hopes of “mutually beneficial” relations.

Syrian rebels 'take army post' near Turkey
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syrian rebels have taken control of a military post near the north-eastern Syrian border with Turkey, after recent clashes saw around eighteen government soldiers killed; although they stated that some soldiers managed to flee the area which is located in the province of al-Hassake. Three rebels were killed and more than ten wounded, according to the group, which relies on a network of activists on the ground. Meanwhile in Damascus, Syrian warplanes bombed rebel enclaves on Wednesday, in an escalation of the aerial bombardment of districts close to the heart of the capital.

Cameron call to boycott the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka
The Commons Foreign Affairs Committee is protesting against the decision to let Sri Lanka host the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), due to “continued evidence of human rights abuses”. Sri Lanka is accused of various human rights violations, including holding terror suspects without charge, censorship and failing to investigate the disappearance of political activists. The Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has committed to boycotting the event unless Sri Lanka’s human rights record improves. MPs in the United Kingdom are urging David Cameron to take a similar line. The Foreign Office states that, at this stage, a decision would be premature.

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published this page in News 2012-11-15 14:36:30 +0000