News in Scotland - Wednesday

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New research shows Scots introduced football to current world
champions Spain

Scottish News: News in Scotland - Wednesday

SCOTLAND

Cosla accuses Tories of ‘council bashing’
The council umbrella body Cosla has accused the Conservatives of “opportunistic council bashing.” The accusation comes after a Freedom of Information act requested by the Tories resulted in the revelation that Scottish councils paid out more than £33mn in compensation claims over the last five years. The figure comes days after it was revealed that many Scottish local authorities used credit cards to buy frivolous items. Cosla President Councillor David O’Neill said local authorities only paid compensation when instructed to do so by their lawyers. However, the Conservatives’ local government spokeswoman, Margaret Mitchell, said it was neither “sensible nor sustainable” for local authorities to be spending millions on compensation payments when public finances were being squeezed.

Scottish renewable success begins to rival oil and gas
Senior dealmakers have revealed mergers and acquisitions in Scotland’s renewables sector will begin to rival those in the oil and gas sector in 2013. The survey, conducted by accountancy firm KPMG, revealed three-quarters of “dealmakers” –such as accountants, bankers and lawyers – predict a “healthy” flow of mergers and acquisitions activity in the year ahead. Senior partner at KPMG, Craig Anderson, stated: “Our research demonstrates confidence among Scotland’s deal making community, albeit this may be more apparent in particular sectors than others.” However, Anderson also cautioned:” Other sectors continue to experience challenges with just 14 per cent of respondents to our survey expecting to complete retail deals in the year ahead.”

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High street retailers call for government aid
Scotland’s shop owners have asked government minister to help them amid disappointing sales and increasing online competition. Approximately four million Britons are planning to hit the sales today. However, more than five million will be looking for bargains on the web. The British Retail Consortium admitted the pre-Christmas sales figures were merely “acceptable”, with many stories being forced to discount heavily. The Scottish government is currently involved in a struggle with Westminster over greater devolved powers over corporation tax.

Estate agents call for lenders to aid house market
The Herald has reported estate agents have revealed the outlook for the 2013 property market, as a whole, remains a ‘cloudy’ prospect owing to ‘lenders’ caution.’ A partner at Strutt & Parker, Kevin Maley, commented: “We have seen the Office for Budget Responsibility predict a rise in property prices for the forthcoming year. However, as I see it, there is likely to be little change owing in part to lenders’ caution when handing out mortgages, buyers’ worries about their jobs, and sellers’ unwillingness to reduce asking prices.”

Scots introduced football to Spain
It is reported that genealogists claim to have evidence that it was a Scottish mining community in Huelva which introduced football to the current world champions, Spain. Scotland's People, a project run by National Records of Scotland, has praised an "excellent" article which reveals the origins of Spanish football. The Huelva community in south-west Spain was formerly considered to be English but research undertaken by the online Spanish football encyclopaedia 'La Futbolteca' has shown that they were predominantly Scots.


UK and WORLD

Minister reveals Westminster hunting ban appeal is ‘not imminent’
The UK environment secretary has revealed moves to repeal the ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales may not happen in 2013. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson insisted it was still the government’s intention to give MPs a free vote on lifting the ban, but also appeared to rule out a vote in the new year. It has been illegal to use dogs to hunt animals in England and Wales since 2005, and in Scotland since 2002. Mr Paterson told the Telegraph the government would hold a free vote at an “appropriate moment.”  Labour’s shadow environment secretary, Mary Creagh, criticised the Conservatives, stating: “People are worried about their incomes falling, prices rising and losing their jobs, yet this out of touch Tory-led government wants to bring back hunting.”

High Court judge: ministers pursuing “wrong policy” on gay marriage
A High Court judge has said ministers are pursuing the “wrong policy” on gay marriage, and should be focusing on family breakdown. Speaking to the Times, Sir Paul Coleridge said same-sex unions are a “minority issue”. Sir Paul continued: “So much energy and time has been put into this debate for 0.1% of the population, when we have a crisis of family breakdown.” Last year Sir Paul launched independent charity Marriage Foundation to support married couples but said the charity did not take a stance on gay marriage.

Egypt: referendum result approves draft constitution
A majority of voters in a low turnout in the Egyptian referendum have voted in favour of President Morsi’s draft constitution. 63.8 percent of voters favoured the constitution in the two-round referendum. Amid speculation of corruption, Samir Abu al-Matti of the Supreme Election Committee confirmed: “We have seriously investigated all the complaints.” President Morsi is now expected to call parliamentary elections within the next two months. During this interim period the upper house of parliament will hold all legislative power. Cairo appeared calm after the announcement with opposition groups announcing no plans for demonstrations to mark the result.

Israel: government set to build 942 more settler homes
The Israeli government has advanced plans to build 942 more settler homes in East Jerusalem. The Interior Ministry revealed on Tuesday that a government planning committee on Monday moved the project to the advanced stage of asking contractors to submit bids to build them. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the launch event of his Likud Party: “With God’s help, we will continue to live and build in Jerusalem, which will remain united under Israeli sovereignty.” A spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has stated the new Israeli announcement is a “red line” that will block the chance for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Japan: Abe formally named as prime minister
The Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party has been formally elected as the Japanese prime minister. Shinzo Abe was formally elected by Japan’s lower House of parliament after he led his conservative party to a landslide victory in the country’s general elections earlier this month. Abe has made clear that he wants to improve ties with China, through “patients exchanges.” Controversially, Abe has also said he would look at revising Japan’s post-war pacifist constitution, alarming officials in China and South Korea. Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Abe declared: “The Liberal Democratic Party has changed. We are not the party we once were.”

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published this page in News 2012-12-26 12:06:53 +0000