The Scottish parliament will require to house more MSPs
post-independence in order to execute the state function currently
reserved to Westminster
Scottish News: News in Scotland - Thursday
Salmond inspects as Scotland joins space race
Scotland’s first satellite, the UKube-1, was inspected today by First Minister Alex Salmond. Final tests are being undertaken on the nanosatellite which will be launched in Kazakhstan later this year from a Russian Soyuz-2 rocket. It is the first spacecraft to be designed and built in Scotland, and if successful, the firm behind it says it could be the first of many more Scottish satellites. The UKube-1 is a UK Space Agency mission that will include experiments to use Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to measure space weather and to test how cosmic radiation could improve the security of communications satellites.
Scottish independence: more MSPs to replace MPs
After a 'yes' vote in the 2014 independence referendum, Scotland would require around 70 more MSPs, claimed Dave Thompson MSP. The convenor of the standard's committee explained that more MSPs would be needed for committees relating to issues which are currently reserved to Westminster such as welfare, monetary policy and foreign affairs. The Scottish cabinet would also have to be increased in size for the same reason according to Thompson.
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
SSE to sell wind farm interests for £140m
Perth based power company SSE has agreed to sell wind farm interests in Scotland and Northern Ireland for £140mn to a new fund that plans to float on the London Stock Exchange. The proposed sale is dependent on a successful listing and fundraising by wind farm investment fund Greencoat UK Wind. It has been stated that the SSE investment from sales into the fund could therefore be anything from £10mn to £43mn.
Scottish consortium wins £100m drug research contract
A consortium of Scottish scientists has won a £100mn contract to research new medicines. Life sciences firm BioCity Scotland in Lanarkshire and Dundee University beat international competition to win funding for a new screening centre. It is currently being claimed as the biggest investment of its kind in Scotland. First Minister Alex Salmond said it reinforced Scotland's reputation as "a nation at the forefront of scientific breakthroughs".
Scottish oil and gas revenues set to sink by 17%
Diminishing oil revenues could have a major impact on Scotland’s economy if it becomes independent, a London-based right wing think-tank. The Institute for Fiscal Studies forecasts in a report on the UK economy that by 2017-18 oil and gas revenues could be down 17 percent from 2011, which will be an “important issue for an independent Scotland”. However, a Scottish government spokesman said: “North Sea oil and gas is a fantastic asset and will continue to be so for an independent Scotland- with 24 billion barrels of oil still to be recovered, with a wholesale value of up to £1.5tn, the North Sea oil and gas sector has a bright future, underlined by recent major investments”.
UK government denies humiliating U-turn over GCSE replacement
The government insists its sudden abandonment of plans to scrap the GCSE, described by Labour as a humiliating U-turn, amounts to little more than a "tweak" to its programme and that the bulk of changes to post-16 exams will still be delivered. The reversal is understood to have been prompted by opposition from the Liberal Democrats and concerns raised by exam watchdog Ofqual. It is an unexpected blow for a minister who has won many supporters in his party and parts of the media for an apparent ability to push through his changes against the wishes of teaching unions and the inertia of the civil service.
UK crisis: Carney set to face MPs
Mark Carney, who will replace Mervyn King as governor of the Bank of England, is set to face MPs questions allowing for the first indications of how his tenure will be marked. A political appointee, many observers consider carney to be a keen on quantitative easing (money printing). After years of the City being characterised by systemic fraud, it remains to be seen if Carney can help restore London's global reputation as a reputable centre of finance.
Tunisia's Ennahda rejects dissolving cabinet
Tunisia's ruling Islamic Ennahda party has rejected Prime Minister Hamdi Jebali's proposal to dissolve the government and install a cabinet of technocrats in a bid to restore calm after the killing of an opposition leader. Jebali announced he was dissolving the government on Wednesday after leading secular opposition politician Shokri Belaid was gunned down outside his home in Tunis, sending protesters onto the streets across the country. The assassination comes as Tunisia is struggling to maintain stability and revive its economy after its long-time dictator was overthrown in an uprising two years ago.
Obama to give Congress classified docs on targeted killings of Americans
Amid growing public controversy over the Obama administration’s targeted killings of Americans; the White House has ordered the Justice Department to provide two congressional committees with classified documents justifying the policy. The move by President Barack Obama comes after a group of US senators requested on Monday the legal justification for the killings of US citizens suspected of terrorism with drone strikes. The decision to provide the lawmakers with the classified information comes on the eve of the confirmation hearings for John Brennan, Obama's pick for CIA boss. Brennan is a chief architect of the drone program so widely deployed during Obama’s presidency.
CIA 'using Saudi base for drone strikes'
The CIA continues to conduct lethal drone attacks against targets in Yemen from a base inside Saudi Arabia, according to the New York Times newspaper. The existence of the base has been reported before, but its exact location has been withheld by various news outlets at the request of the Obama administration. The base was first used in 2011, the Times reported, to launch the drone strike that apparently killed American-born Anwar al-Awlaki, a key ideologue in Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Disclosure of the base's location comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of US drone operations in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere.
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