News in Scotland - Wednesday

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AG Barr's merger with Britvic may result in Scotland losing 500 jobs

Scottish News: News in Scotland - Wednesday

SCOTLAND

Scottish independence: Labour left to ‘consider’ backing yes in referendum
A prominent Labour figure has revealed Labour supporters and union members would consider backing independence. Dave Watson, a member of Labour Party’s Scottish executive committee, revealed independence would be ‘considered’ by the left if there is no reform to devolution and the SNP proposes a firmly left-wing agenda. Mr Watson spoke after a new movement calling itself “Labour for Independence” launched on Monday night with the aim of trying to persuade natural Labour voters to support an independent Scotland.

Scotland independence: intellectual, forward looking debate needed to shape Scotland’s future
Ross McAlpine, director of the Jimmy Reid Foundation, has said that the future of an independent Scotland remains unclear and that the Edinburgh Agreement and the outcome of the referendum vote are only part of what will shape Scotland’s future. Mr McAlpine encouraged more intellectual debate by MSPs and commentators to help outline Scotland’s social and economic plans if it were to win the referendum, such as deciding on the currency issue, corporation tax reforms or abortion laws.

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College Chairman resigns after MSP row
A senior college official has quit his position following a dispute with Michael Russell MSP. Kirk Ramsay, who held the position at Stow College in Glasgow, accused the education secretary of launching an “unwarranted personal attack” on him after the controversial taping of a private meeting between the two officials. Mr Ramsay is now calling for a formal inquiry by the parliament’s Education Committee in order to clear his name. He said: “I look forward to returning to make useful contributions to college education in due course.”

First homage day for Robert Louis Stevenson in Edinburgh
The first 'Robert Louis Stevenson Day' filled Edinburgh city with moustaches yesterday, as the capital celebrated the birthday of its literary son. In tribute to Robert Louis Stevenson, literary lovers donned Stevenson-style moustaches and velvet jackets for a flash mob event to honour the writer’s adventure novels, poetry and tales.

Energy company profit rises 38% following price increase
Power firm SSE has reported a thirty-eight percent profit surge after increasing customer charges by nine percent. SSE chairman Lord Smith of Kelvin said: “I believe that profit and dividend allow SSE to employ people, pay tax, provide services that customers need, make investments that keep the lights on and create jobs, while providing an income return that shareholders like pension funds need.”

RBS HQ could move after independence
RBS chairman, Sir Philip Hamilton, has warned that if Scottish independence harms business then RBS headquarters may have to move. The comment was made whilst giving evidence the House of Lords economic affairs committee and it was stressed by Sir Hamilton that there was a need for the UK and Scottish governments to outline more formal arrangements after independence. The 82 percent tax-payer owned bank has largely been run from London since the government decided to bail out the formerly private bank’s wealthy shareholders and bondholders using public money.

Archbishop of Canterbury criticises RBS boss
The next Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has reprimanded Stephen Hester, the boss of Royal Bank of Scotland, for failing to explain the lender’s “duty to society.” Mr Welby accused the senior official of resorting to “motherhood and apple pie” responses as he grilled him on RBS’ civil duties. Mr Hester responded by claiming that RBS was a “positive contributor to society.”

500 jobs at risk as AG Barr merges with Britvic
Hundreds of jobs are at risk after Irn Bru manufacturer AG Barr reached an agreement over a £1.5bn merger with English rival Britvic, renaming the company Barr Britvic Soft Drinks plc. In a release on Wednesday, the companies stated that "the directors of AG Barr and Britvic believe the net reduction in combined group headcount is likely to be in the range of 8-12 percent." The two firms expect the move to be completed by February 2013.

UK and WORLD

UK unemployment figures continue to fall
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics display a reduction in the jobless rate of 7.9 percent to 7.8 percent in the three months from September; a fall of 49,000 to 2.51 million unemployed which has been attributed to a decline in youth unemployment. UK unemployment figures suggest that an increase in part-time and full-time employment have offset increasing numbers of the long-term unemployed, those unemployed for over a year and increase in JSA claimants.

City corruption: Barclays to disclose staff names linked to Libor scandal
A High Court judge has ordered lawyers from Barclays bank to disclose the names of 208 staff linked to attempts to manipulate Libor to the legal team of Guardian Care Homes. The care home operator is suing the bank for £38mn over allegedly mis-sold complex interest rate derivatives. The High Court order follows after Barclays had been reluctant to disclose the information.

Council cuts target most deprived areas
Analysis by Newcastle city council has revealed that local authorities experienced cuts to total funding of £61 per person for each year since the coalition government’s first comprehensive spending review, ending March 2014. 43 of the 50 worst hit councils are Labour administration in north urban and London boroughs and are reportedly facing budget cuts of almost 10 times more than Conservative councils.

Commons Speaker asks members of MP expenses watchdog to reapply for their jobs
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority revealed that John Bercow, House of Commons Speaker, had solicited legal advice that says members on the MP pay and expenses board could not be automatically re-appointed to their positions on the board and would have to reapply for their positions. The contracts of four members of the board are up for renewal in January 2013; none have re-applied. However, the committee has said that Mr Bercow’s interference has undermined and potentially threatened the independence of the committee.

France and US recognise new Syrian coalition
France and the United States have announced full recognition of the Syrian opposition coalition formed as a new leadership body to rival President Bashar Assad after days of talks sponsored by foreign governments to help resolve conflict in the warring nation. France is the first European nation to recognise the representative coalition called the National Coalition of Forces of the Syrian Revolution and Opposition.

European workers stage austerity protests
Workers across the European Union are staging a series of protests in response to continued rising unemployment and austerity measures. Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Germany are all expected to hold protests. Organisers of the strikes are urging national leaders to abandon austerity and address growing social anxiety. The unions, in a joint declaration, said they wanted to show “firm opposition to austerity measures which would plunge Europe into stagnation, if not recession, creating deep injustices”. Some 40 groups from 23 countries are involved in Wednesday's demonstrations.

As US hesitates, California pours billions into green energy
California, a long time forefront US advocator of clean and renewable energy, has vowed to inject billions in subsidies into the sector over the next few years. Californian voters directed some $2.5bn into the conservation programs with over 60 percent of the vote. "We put our money where our mouths are," said Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, the agency charged with implementing the state’s carbon allowances scheme to reduce greenhouse gas emission. California's decisive push comes as federal subsidies for clean energy have come under scrutiny. The Department of Energy's loan-guarantee program that supported bankrupt solar company Solyndra sparked a political firestorm after the company's collapse.

UN: suspected North Korean missile parts violate UN sanctions

Diplomats have condemned a shipment of graphite cylinders usable in a missile program as a violation of UN sanctions. The cylinders are suspected to have come from North Korea but were discovered aboard a Chinese ship en route to Syria. A UN spokesperson commented: “It appears the cylinders were intended for Syria’s missile program. China assured us they will investigate what looks like a violation of UN sanction.” North Korea is currently banned from importing or exporting nuclear technology as a result of sanction imposed on Pyongyang because of nuclear testing in 2006 and 2009.

 

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published this page in News 2012-11-14 13:45:02 +0000