Russian Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov has proposed a political solution to the Syria
crisis based on the 'rhetorical' ultimatum issued to Syria by US Secretary of State
Scottish News: News on Scotland - Tuesday
Salmond convincing Scots to vote 'no', survey shows
The latest British Social Attitudes Survey has shown that support for independence has fallen to 23 percent from an average of 30 percent between 1999 and 2006. The survey finds that support for independence has fallen as a consequence of the SNP forming a government in 2007. The authors of the survey report suggest that this is down to a less critical attitude about the deal Scotland receives as part of the Union and that the more progressive or ostensibly pro-Scottish SNP legislative programme appears to have convinced more people that the Union can be made to work in Scotland's interests. The question posed by the Survey does not use the question which will be on the referendum ballot paper however it the consistency of asking the same question does allow for trends to be tracked and it is bad news for Alex Salmond's campaign strategy. By emphasising his SNP government's competence and the success of the parliament Salmond appears to be convincing Scots of the benefits of Union. The survey will strengthen calls for the pro-independence campaign to be more radical and offer a more compelling vision of what Scotland can achieve with the powers of independence. The survey appears to show that the tactic of arguing that independence will mean continuity has backfired. The survey will embolden Salmond's pro-independence critics in their calls for the SNP to shift policy on key areas such as retaining the pound and the Bank of England post-independence.
Scottish independence: Economists warning over keeping pound
Keeping the pound after independence would mean Scotland continued to be dominated by the South of England or by Germany if the euro is adopted after independence, economists have warned. Citing Greece as an example of the 'inherent restrictions' the SNP's plans to keep the pound would place on Scotland, economists Jim and Margaret Cuthbert argue in a paper that full independence would require a "difficult" transition to an independent currency similar to those of Norway, Denmark and Switzerland. Their report was commissioned by the Jimmy Reid Foundation think tank and the findings dismiss the idea that Scotland is too small to have its own stable currency pointing to other small nations which have a record of stability which the UK might envy. The SNP favour retaining the pound however there are concerns that the consequent lack of control over the most important economic powers would mean Scotland would be forced to accept monetary policies designed for the South of England. There are also fears that as both economies diverge, Scottish assets would be snapped up via leveraged buy-outs from the City of London sending inflation sky high and transferring economic decision-making outside Scotland.
More Scottish news:
- UK crisis: Corruption levels soaring since 2008 financial crash
- Scottish independence: Man's limitations and Scotland's money
- 'No' vote to independence risks population exodus
- Bank of England should be abolished
‘Rhetorical’ ultimatum may lead to political solution
While on a whirlwind global mission to drum up support for bombing Syria, US Secretary of State John Kerry told a reporter in London that should Syria hand over all their chemical weapons it could avoid being attacked by the US and its allies or ally. Questioned on the ultimatum Kerry said: "Sure, he could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week - turn it over, all of it without delay and allow the full and total accounting, but he isn't about to do it and it can't be done," Kerry said at the press conference. Shortly afterwards Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered a solution, which Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem readily agreed to, that would see Syria's chemical weapons stockpile destroyed. The proposal won immediate support from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The development came just as the US Congress, viewed as increasingly sceptical of the President's case, was to convene to debate whether or not to sanction military intervention - the vote has now been 'delayed'. The US State Department rushed out a statement saying Kerry was making a "rhetorical argument". President Obama - whose global standing after the G20 summit was diminished after the majority of nations supported President Putin's stance against military intervention - has called the compromise a "breakthrough" and "potentially positive". Mr Kerry's press conference followed comments he made in response to fears that US intervention may become more protracted and involved when he said the White House wanted nothing more than an “unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.”
Yahoo in legal action against National Security Agency
Technology firm Yahoo has followed other internet giants in taking the US government to court in respect of the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance operations which came to light after being leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowdon. The firm wants to be allowed to publish the number of data requests which the spy agency makes of it each year. The company, currently legally forbidden from disclosing the number of data requests received from the controversial intelligence agency, argues that by not disclosing the information distrust is spread across its customer base. The tech firms argue that they are only giving data voluntarily to the NSA but because they are compelled to by law.
Support Our INDEPENDENCE SURVEYS APPEAL