John Swinney appeared to believe that the UK financial scandals ended
Scottish News: News in Scotland - Thursday
Swinney dodges issue of UK banking corruption
Finance Minister, John Swinney, today appeared to dodge the issue of financial scandals engulfing the UK financial sector since 2008. Speaking at a conference organised by the Power Lunch Club (PLC), Mr Swinney was asked by Scottish Times why, after the Libor scandal, money printing (quantitative easing), anti-trust activities, 'mis-selling' and other scandals, should an independent Scotland retain the Bank of England as Scotland's central bank post-independence. Mr Swinney argued that these problems existed only "before 2008" and measures had been taken to fix them which he appeared to endorse. However, Libor-rate rigging and other financial scandals involving UK banks which include money laundering continued after 2008 and many argue, continue now. Another fraud scandal involving UK banks broke in recent months in relation to ISDAfix - where it has been revealed that banks, many of them UK banks, have been manipulating the £245 Trillion global market and so defrauding local authorities, businesses and governments around the world. There is growing pressure on the SNP to explain why keeping the pound and the Bank of England is not a serious economic threat to Scotland's future. Mr Swinney also appeared to suggest that money printing (QE), which fraudulently weakens the purchasing power of people's money, had been beneficial to the economy and so was necessary. This is despite little of that money making it to the real economy and instead being used by giant banks to continue speculating and plug the gaps in their balance sheets. Many of the businesses present appeared very assured by Mr Swinney's approach to devolved government but when asked if they believed if the former SNP leader had made a compelling case for the creation of a new state, business after business replied "no" with one business figure arguing that the SNP did not itself believe it could win the referendum.
Plea for Scots abroad to urge folks back home to vote no
The anti-independence campaign Better Together is urging expat Scots to extoll the benefits of Scotland being in the Union to friends and family back home. The campaign aims to establish a network of groups across the UK with the first being launchedin London. Better Together chairman Alistair Darling said: "This is about making sure people have the information they need to talk about the issues with their friends, families and workmates back home in Scotland."
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Salmond calls on Cameron to apologise for "scaremongering"
First Minister Alex Salmond has called on Prime Minister David Cameron to apologies for the "fears and smears" his government stand accused of "peddling" in relation to issues such as inward investment in an independent Scotland on behalf of the anti-independence 'no' campaign. Mr Salmond said: “This week, the No campaign’s scaremongering has been exposed for the nonsense it is. The reality of the inward investment surge Scotland is achieving demolishes the wholly unsubstantiated claims that the referendum and prospect of independence deter investment. As the Ernst & Young report says, if anything the opposite is the case. This negative approach is not an isolated instance. It comes from the top of the UK government down, and permeates the entire No campaign – as we have seen over similarly baseless claims about AAA rating and EU membership, which also rebounded on the Prime Minister and his colleagues. It is time for the No campaign to draw a line in the sand under their fears and smears about Scotland, and fulfil their pledge to pursue a positive campaign based on reality.."
Labour party avoided paying tax on donations
The Labour Party avoided paying hundreds of thousands of pounds in tax from one of its biggest donors, it has been claimed. John Mills said he gave the party £1.65mn in shares rather than cash because it reduced the proportion that would have to be paid in tax - describing it as “tax efficient”. The party last night defended the donation method, insisting it had been "declared in full" to a party funding watchdog and was in line with the rules. Last month party leader Ed Miliband criticised internet giant Google for its tax affairs, arguing it should not be going to "extraordinary lengths"' to avoid paying UK levies.
Kings last Bank of England meeting
Bank of England (BoE) Governor Mervyn King will retire from the bank after the meeting of Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on Thursday. Mr King is expected to push for a further round of bond-buying (money printing) which he controversially claims will stimulate growth in the UK's collapsing economy. However the MPC is unlikely to endorse his case for 'stimulus'. Sir Mervyn's tenure has been marred by the financial crisis and corruption in the financial sector. The BoE itself was implicated in the Libor fraud scandal. Mark Carney, the former Bank of Canada governor, who is widely considered as a money printing advocate, will become the new BoE governor assuming his post on July 1. Contrary to the widespread belief that the BoE is independent, the appointment of governor is a political one, made by the UK government.
NSA collecting phone records of millions of US citizens
Documents procured by The Guardian newspaper show that the US's National Security Agency (NSA) has been collecting millions of Verizon customers phone records on a daily basis facilitated by the Obama administration. A top secret court order issued in April requires Verizon, the US's largest telecoms operator, to give the NSA on an "ongoing, daily basis" access to information on all telephone calls in its system inside the US and between the US and other nations. The documents provide further evidence of President Obama's surveillance programme and shows that millions of citizens are being spied on by the US federal government regardless of whether they are suspected of criminal conduct.
CIA drone strikes often kill unknown people, classified documents show
The CIA could not confirm the identity of around a quarter of the people killed by drone strikes in Pakistan between 2010 and 2011 according to a review of classified intelligence documents. Many of the people killed by the drones which are authorised by President Obama were described as "other militants" and "foreign fighters" while many cases the records conflict in relation to the number of fatalities. The attacks in Pakistan contravene international law and many international observers point to the US as bullying Pakistan into permitting them which has led to acute political problems within the nuclear state.
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