News in Scotland - Thursday

1926_strike.jpg
The 1926 General Strike was Britain's only ever general strike which shows
the severity of current thinking among Britain's unions about austerity measures

Scottish News: News in Scotland - Thursday

Better Together case in disarray as UK faces first general strike since 1926

The case for remaining within the Union which is largely based on economic stability has again been critically undermined as Britain faces its first general strike since 1926. A plan to have a 24-hour walkout has been backed by the Unite and Unison unions would be the first mass action by both the public and private sectors in modern British history. As Britain's debt mountain continues to climb to dangerous levels, with the loss of the UK's AAA status and as austerity punishes millions of families to compensate the losses of financial speculators in London the Trades Union Congress will consider mass action at its general council meeting this month. With signs that Britain's economy is declining further the case being made for Scotland remaining within the Union on economic grounds faces a crisis of credibility.

Scotland faces weekend of strike action

Scotland faces a long weekend of walkouts by 28,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) in every part of Scotland. The walkouts will commence a long weekend of action on Friday 5 April to Monday 8 April. With UK government austerity cuts being introduced in Scotland where the government has had its budget slashed, Unions UK-wide are now planning a national general strike.

More Scottish news:

Scottish economy stagnating as UK debt climbs

New figures show that the Scottish economy is struggling as UK austerity programmes continue, government debt increases and QE (money printing) debases the pound making imports more expensive. The Bank of Scotland business monitor show mixed findings with overall performance sluggish especially in the production sector. It is increasingly difficult to rely on economic indicators as QE by the Bank of England creates temporary bubbles and so skews demand making it more difficult for investors to accurately forecast markets.

Iain Banks has terminal illness

The acclaimed Scottish novelist Iain Banks, 59, has announced that he has terminal cancer. The author of The Wasp Factory and The Crow Road revealed in a personal statement laced with some humour saying "I am officially Very Poorly". Banks has delivered what is believed to be his last book to the publisher which will fast-track it for publication. The announcement has been met with dismay by fellow literary figures.

SNP calls on Cameron to apologise for ‘Westminster broken promises”

Commenting on David Cameron’s expected visit to Scotland this week, Scottish National Party Defence Spokesperson Angus Robertson MP has said it is a mistake for the No campaign to continue with the Trident narrative at the centre of the referendum debate: “The parliament and 80 percent of the people of Scotland want to get rid of Trident, and the obscene waste of up to £100bn it represents at a time of austerity and savage welfare cuts from Westminster”. “The anti-independence parties have been caught scaremongering on the real number of jobs that rely on Trident at Faslane – they said 19,000 - when in fact it is 520 civilian jobs, which would be easily accommodated by Faslane being Scotland’s conventional naval base” he said.                                          

David Cameron praises Scottish defence to bolster No campaign

UP to 4,000 jobs could be lost at Scottish shipyards as UK warships are built elsewhere after independence, the Westminster government has claimed. The UK government says Scotland benefits from multi-billion pounds of Ministry of Defence contracts – including the construction of Type 45 destroyers and the assembly of the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. Under Article 346 and the exception to EU procurement law however – it would be the sole decision of Westminster to retain this exception. But SNP defence spokesman Angus Robertson MP said it was unwise for his pro-Union opponents to put defence at the centre of the independence debate, given the Scottish opposition to nuclear weapons.

INTERNATIONAL                                              

Leaked emails reveal the extent of the BVI’s role as a tax haven

Millions of internal records have been leaked from Britain's offshore financial industry, exposing the identities of thousands of holders of anonymous wealth from around the world. A former chief economist at McKinsey estimates that such wealthy individuals may have as much as £21tn stashed in overseas havens. The leak of 2mn emails and other documents, mainly from the offshore haven of the British Virgin Islands, may be extremely damaging for the world's wealthiest people - no longer certain that the size of their fortunes remains hidden from governments and neighbours. The British Foreign Office depends on the BVI's company licensing revenue to subsidise the residual outpost of empire - and lawyers and accountants in the City of London benefit from the controversial lucrative trade as intermediaries facilitating tax avoidance.                                        

Top Swedish judge defends Wikileaks release of classified information

A top Swedish judge has defended the release of classified information by WikiLeaks, pointing out that the case against Assange has turned into a legal “mess”. "It should never be a crime to make known a [sic] crime of a state," Stefan Lindskog told an audience at a public lecture he gave at Adelaide University, according to Australian Associated Press. The judge also said he supported the American soldier Bradley Manning - saying he hoped Manning would go through a fair trial, as the release of classified information was for the benefit of mankind. Assange fears that once in Sweden, he could be extradited to America where, according to his lawyers, he is most likely to face trial and possibly even the death penalty for the release of thousands of classified US diplomatic cables.                                              

North Korea: US prepares to deploy missile defence system to Guam

The US has said it will soon be sending a missile defence system to Guam to defend it from North Korea, as the US military adjusts to what Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel called a "real and clear danger" from Pyongyang. Such events have been heightened by reports that the North Korean army is moving a mid-range missile to its east coast after approval for a nuclear attack on the US. The Pentagon has said the US military prepares to deploy an advanced missile defence system to Guam- in particular, a Terminal High Altitude Area Defence System, which includes a truck-mounted launcher, interceptor missiles, a AN/TPY-2 tracking radar and an integrated fire control system, Reuters reports.

US offers reward for information on Kony as they cease the search

The US has offered bounties of up to $5mn each for fugitive Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and some of his top aides in the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group – just as Washington decided to suspend the two-year hunt for Kony in the jungles of the Central African Republic. Kony, who was ejected from Uganda along with his rebel group in 2005, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. The warlord and a few hundred followers are now believed to roam the remote jungle straddling the borders of South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic.                                  

Bank of Japan reveals new quantitative easing measures

The Bank of Japan unveiled fresh easing measures today, sending the yen lower as it wrapped its first policy meeting under a new leader who has vowed to turn around the country's economy. The central bank said it would boost its asset purchases, including Japanese government bonds, while pledging to meet a two percent inflation target within two years, aimed at reversing decades of stagnation. Among its purchases would be exchange traded funds and longer term bonds, with the latter aimed at pushing down long-term interest rates to encourage companies and individuals to borrow and invest. Such methods of money printing have long been used by the Bank of Japan - a practice which many western countries have adopted to try and conceal the effects of endemic economic decline.

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published this page in News 2013-04-04 12:11:39 +0100