News in Scotland - Tuesday

craig-levein.jpg
First Minister Alex Salmond offered his commiserations to Craig
Levein after he departed from the top Scotland job 

Scottish News: News in Scotland - Tuesday


Ruth Davidson pledges tax reduction
The Scots Tory leader has insisted that the SNP government “overtaxes” the Scottish people and pledged to cut income tax by 1p when such powers reach Holyrood, in a keynote speech on the one-year anniversary of her becoming party leader. Miss Davidson said a tax cut could be achieved by saving £440mn through cutting universal free services.

Ruth Davidson attacks SNP wind farm policy
The leader of the Scottish Conservatives said that official figures highlight that the First Minister is in danger of surpassing his wind power targets by 20 percent even if the “the breaks are applied”. Marking her one year anniversary as party leader, Miss Davidson opposed what she called a “march of the turbines” from SNP Ministers which says are not taking into account the concerns of “besieged” communities.

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First Minister extends best wishes to Craig Levein
First Minister Alex Salmond has extended his best wishes to the former Scotland boss, Craig Levein after he departed from the post of national football team manager. Former Scotland legend Jo Jordan has expressed interest in the post as Scotland face an uphill struggle to qualify for the 2014 world cup.

NHS Lothian hires extra staff to reduce waiting times
Health minister Alex Neil chaired NHS Lothian’s annual review, announcing that the struggling health board will take on the equivalent of 250 full-time doctors, nurses and pharmacists, at the
cost of about £10mn, to reduce lengthy waiting times for patients. The decision was made after it emerged that NHS Lothian had manipulated waiting times.

Scottish doctors may strike to defend pensions
Hospital doctors are being asked by the British Medical Association (BMA) whether they are willing to go on strike to defend pension cuts. Current planned reforms would force doctors to work longer hours and dedicate up to 14.5 percent to pay for their pension; the BMA said that the government have offered no alternatives to the shift in England and Wales.

Borders railway agreement reached
The Scottish government has agreed on a deal with Network Rail to complete the borders railway, increasing the cost to £294mn and pushing the completion back to 2015. Network rail agreed to construct the 30-mile route between Edinburgh and Tweedbank, south of Galashiels
for £294mn whilst £54mn has already been spent on the new transport route in the Borders.

Levein will still be paid after losing Scotland job
The SFA confirmed last night that Craig Levein has been removed from his role as Scotland manager, revealing that he had intended to leave after the current World Cup qualifying campaign was over. However Levein will still be paid the remaining value of his contract over the next 20 months, believed to be up to £700,000, unless he takes up another management role. The decision comes weeks after a 2-0 defeat to Belgium left the team bottom of their qualifying group, and the day before Levein was set to announce his squad for next week’s friendly against Luxembourg. The SFA confirmed that while Levein’s intention to leave the role was a factor, they had “taken the decision primarily due to the disappointing results.”

Prosecutors applaud successful anti-sectarian behaviour legislation
Legislation that tackles sectarian violence and disorder at football matches has been hailed a success by prosecutors. The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 was introduced in March, and has seen 89 percent of reported cases of offensive behaviour end in a prosecution. With reports of threatening communications, the rate of conviction has been 78%.

New Forth Crossing begins to take shape
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has met with construction workers to see the new Forth Bridge taking shape. The construction project, Scotland’s largest for a generation, has begun in earnest as work started on the foundation for the bridge’s central tower. The Scottish government has said that the bridge remains “on schedule and on budget”, expecting it to be finished by 2016.

UK and WORLD

Increasing calls for Cameron/Brooks texts to be published
Lord Justice Leveson is under pressure to publish the details of communications between prime Minister David Cameron and former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks. The Leveson Inquiry has copies of the correspondence, but has deemed the majority of it irrelevant to the overall inquiry. However opposition MPs have claimed there is no reason the texts should not be made public, and Mr Cameron has said he is “perfectly happy” for the details to be released.

PM orders inquiries into alleged sex abuse ring
The UK Prime Minister has announced two additional inquiries into an alleged paedophile ring in North Wales in the 1970s and 1980s. A senior independent figure will investigate the alleged incidents of child abuse held between 1996 and 2000, some of which are thought to have involved senior Conservative politicians, including a close ally of former PM Margaret Thatcher.

Senior executive earnings rise
The average earnings of senior executives in the UK’s largest companies have increased by more than a quarter in the past year as the wealth gap between the rich and poor continues to increase. New research shows that bosses of the 100 of the largest companies listed on the London stock exchange made an average of £4mn a year; however, Incomes Data Services says pay and bonuses have barely risen, but have been exchanged for long-term incentive schemes.

M&S sees profits fall after “volatile” trading
The British retailing giant Marks and Spencer has seen profits drop by almost 10 percent to £290mn in the six months leading to September 29th. It comes after a 4.3 percent drop in general merchandise sales for the half year. The company’s chief executive Marc Bolland has described recent trading as “volatile”, but maintained that the retailer was “well set up” ahead of the Christmas trading period.

General strike hits Greece
A two-day general strike has begun in Greece, as unions protest the austerity package currently being debated in the Athens parliament. The Greek government is attempting to make cuts and savings of up to €13.5bn to deal with its mounting debt crisis. Hospital staff, teachers, lawyers, power workers, journalists and transport staff on trains, ferries and at air traffic control stations are all taking part in what has been called “the mother of all strikes” today, in a final attempt to block the controversial austerity legislation from passing.

Spain denies need for financial rescue
The Spanish government has claimed its treasury is “well-financed” for the year ahead, and that the country will not be seeking financial support from other European countries for now. Peaking ahead of G20 talks in Mexico City yesterday, the Economy Minister Luis de Guindos told reporters "We have almost closed our financing needs for this year. We have a relatively comfortable liquidity situation."

US goes to the polls in tight race
Voting has begun in the United States, and one of the largest and closest presidential races in history gets underway. Polls still show incumbent President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney as almost neck and neck in the contest, which has seen both candidates spend over $2bn on their campaigns. Several swing states will be crucial to the final result, a fact that has seen both Obama and Romney doing intensive last-minute campaigning across the country. Polling will begin closing at around midnight (GMT), which means the result could be known by the early hours of the morning.

Syria conflict escalates after suicide bombing “kills 50”
A suicide car bomber has killed at least fifty security personnel, according to a human rights group, as the civil conflict in Syria continues to grow. While state media put the death toll from the “terrorist” attack at the rural development centre at two, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed it was significantly higher. The country has been rocked with conflicts and bombings over the last few months, as opposition groups vie for control.

Russian defence minister sacked after scandal
President Vladimir Putin yesterday dismissed his defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov, after he was caught up in a multi-million dollar corruption scandal. Long-time Putin ally Sergei Shoigu has been appointed his successor and is considered to be a popular choice amongst the Russian public.

China set to unveil new leadership team
Later this month the China’s ruling communist government will unveil its new leadership team, as ten candidates view for seven seats on the next Politburo standing committee. The team is expected to lean towards cautious reform, as the world’s second largest economy continues to grow in importance.

 

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published this page in News 2012-11-06 15:50:12 +0000