Global political legend Nelson Mandela has been released from hospital
Scottish News: News in Scotland - Thursday
Scottish health: £500,000 prescription waste
The Liberal Democrats have criticised the £500,000 a year cost to the NHS in Scotland for collecting and destroying unused prescriptions. The figures were obtained by a freedom of information request. The collective cost for the ten health boards totaled £517,342. A Lib Dem spokesman said the costs did not take in account the value of the medicines being wasted, or the cost of prescribing them in the first place. Mr Hume added: “Patients can do their part by ensuring that they don’t take out repeat prescriptions and then not use them.” Responding to the figures, a Scottish government spokeswoman stated: “Reducing medicine waste is something everyone needs to be involved with.”
Public suggest famous Scots for Replacement Forth Crossing name
Thousands of members of the Scottish public have suggested a variety of famous Scots for the contest to name the new Forth Replacement Crossing. Among the three thousand suggestions have been William Wallace, Sir Jackie Stewart, Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Sean Connery, Sir Jimmy Shand, Mary Queen of Scots and Muriel Spark. A panel of civic, business and community representatives will shortlist the suggestions which will be put to a final public vote next year.
More Scottish news:
- Scottish independence: campaign too important to be left to politicians
- Salmond warns Osborne: Westminster austerity won’t cut it for Scotland
- Scotland should “pay for itself”, says senior Tory
- North Sea oil helps Scotland through UK crisis
‘Mummy tax’ set to affect Scottish families
Westminster coalition plans to introduce a “mummy tax” will affect thousands of Scottish families. The legislation will see up to £180 cut from maternity pay in the years ahead. The cuts come as child benefit levels are reduced for working families. Peter Kelly, director of Scottish lobby group the Poverty Alliance, said: “Those changes in benefits, the cap on child benefit – they’re all going to hit working parents quite hard. It’s one of the areas in the cuts where long-term savings are going to be made, but at the expense of some of the poorest families.”
Scottish independence: business leader urges debate to wait until 2014
A leading Scottish businessman has claimed the debate about Scotland’s independence referendum should be postponed until 2014. David Watt claimed the topic should be shelved to allow the government to concentrate on rebuilding the country’s economy. The executive director of the Institute of Directors Scotland said the focus on Scotland’s political future was happening at the expense of support for business and creating jobs. Many business leaders also argue that the less interference in the economy by government the healthier the market will be.
UK and World
New database of medical visits to combat child abuse in England
A national database is being introduced in hospitals in England to flag up potential vulnerable children to nurses and doctors. Dr Dan Poulter, the health minister behind the system, said: “For many year there’s been a problem of getting joined-up and coordinated information to front-line healthcare professionals about children that may be potentially at risk from abuse.” The system will work on the basis that a flag will appear on a child’s medical record at any hospital they attend if they have already been identified by a local authority as being at risk. Work will begin on the system in early 2013 and will start to be introduced to NHS hospitals in 2015.
Nelson Mandela discharged from hospital
Former South African President Nelson Mandela has been discharged from hospital and will continue receiving treatment at his home in Houghton. The announcement was made by a spokesperson for the current South African president, Jacob Zuma. Mandela has not appeared in public since the 2010 football world cup, suffering from various ailments such as gallstones, an acute respiratory infection and a lung infection in December this year.
US fiscal cliff: Obama abandons holiday to focus on economy
Barack Obama has cut short his holidays in Hawaii to fly to Washington to try and reach a deal to avoid the so-called US fiscal cliff. The US president needs to find a compromise between Democrats and Republicans to halt tax increases and huge spending cuts coming into force at the beginning of the new year. In an open letter to the Democrat US Senate majority leader Harry Reid, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned that without compromise, the government would run out of cash on Monday and the “United States would otherwise default on its legal obligations.” Obama is expected to meet Republican leaders again to try and negotiate a solution, although no new date has been announced.
Syria: Iran and Russia to prevent spillover into Lebanon
Iran and Russia are to hold consultations to defuse tensions in Lebanon over the violent crisis in neighbouring country Syria. A diplomatic source told al-Liwaa newspaper on Thursday that the two countries want to end the disputes in Lebanon between the political foes to maintain stability in the region. According to the same source, the international community doesn’t want Lebanon to be immersed in a crisis caused by the escalating situation in Syria, such as occurred with the spillover effect in the ‘Arab Spring’.
Pakistan: Five years on from Bhutto murder
Pakistan is commemorating the fifth anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, with her son expected to launch his political career to mark the day. Twice-elected politician Bhutto was killed in a gun and suicide attack after an election rally in Rawalpindi, the headquarters of the Pakistan’s army on this day in 2007. No one has ever been convicted of her murder. Current Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf advised the country should “shun prejudices and maintain unity” to pay homage to Bhutto.
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