Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has again refused to resign for
getting Britain into the Iraq war
Scottish News: News in Scotland - Wednesday
Lothian & Borders police face investigation over racist emails
Seventeen police officers and four civilian staff are under investigation over e-mails of a “racist and sexual nature” circulating on an internal computer system. The force said it had a facility in place to monitor e-mails entering and being exchanged within the internal police e-mail system. As a result of this scrutiny, emails containing “inappropriate and offensive material” were recently detected within the Borders area division of the force. Such material coming to light will likely increase the public's scepticism regarding the behaviour of the country's police force.
Tony Blair refuses to apologise for the Iraq war
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has admitted the Iraq was a failure and did not make the world a safer place – but has refused to apologise for the conflict. SNP Westminster leader and Defence spokesperson Angus Robertson said this was further evidence and admission of what happens when Westminster makes the decisions for Scotland.The SNP strongly opposed the UK government’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Mr Robertson said: "Dragging the country into an illegal, immoral war in Iraq on the basis of false pretences is a compelling illustration of the need for our parliament to have the full powers of an independent country”.
More Scottish news:
- Scottish independence: UK downgrade means promised 'recovery' is like Waiting for Godot
- Scots go hungry to maintain London’s global status
- Scottish government criticised over ‘coherence’ of education reforms
- Scottish independence: economy will be a success after independence, says expert group
Star of Caledonia - Councillors set to decide its fate
Councillors are set to meet to decide whether to approve plans for the Star of Caledonia public artwork, marking the Scotland-England border at Gretna. No objections have yet been lodged at the scheme, designed by Cecil Balmond and Charles Jencks; but council officers have said they require conditions, including how much LED light the structure will require. Mr Balmond's design was selected as the preferred option for the site in July 2011, with Creative Scotland awarding the project development funding in order to work up a bid for £1mn support.
Scots woman killed in Luxor balloon crash
A Scottish woman has died and her husband seriously injured in a hot air balloon crash that killed 19 tourists near the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor. Yvonne Rennie, from Perth, was among three Britons who died following a mid-air explosion thought to have caused the worst ballooning accident of its kind. Hot air ballooning in Luxor has grown in popularity among tourists who travel to the area to visit its ancient temples and the tombs of the Valley of the Kings. However, the practice has come under close scrutiny after a serious of accidents in recent years.
A&E worst waiting delays in five years
Delays in Scotland's accident and emergency departments are at the worst level for five years, adding to the recent scandal surrounding waiting times failures. The new figures were among a string of statistics on waiting times likely to cause additional embarrassment to the Scottish Government after it faced allegations about NHS performance results being manipulated last week. More than 300 patients were kept waiting in A&Es for more than 12 hours this December and one in 10 were there for more than the target time of four hours.
Edinburgh’s film agency budget cut in half
Edinburgh Film Focus is facing a 50 percent budget cut in a move by the city’s new marketing body which has shocked industry experts. The capital’s film and TV agency has brought in an average of around £5mn annually by working on major productions in and around the city. Film critic Richard Mowe said: “It’s a very short-sighted decision to diminish the work of Edinburgh Film Focus. It has had an absolutely crucial role in attracting major productions to Edinburgh over the years and it seems a very bizarre time to do something like this when we’ve just see Brave win an Oscar.”
Devo Plus one year anniversary
Devo Plus, the cross-party and non-party group created by think-tank Reform Scotland which has outlined the only blueprint for an alternative to independence and the status quo, is a year old tomorrow (Thursday). Marking the occasion, the group's chief Jeremy Purvis has said that there has been significant movement towards Devo Plus since its launch, releasing a growth chart showing the movement of the political parties during the last year, and the expected movement over the next two years.
British gas reveals profits after price increases
The owner of British Gas further inflamed public anger today as it revealed a £606mn profit haul at its residential arm months after hiking customer tariffs. The results are likely to raise questions over the fairness of energy bill increases after British Gas raised tariffs by 6 percent for around 8.4mn households at the end of last year. Centrica said it was too early to say if customers should be braced for further price hikes this year, but added that there were “upward pressures” in the market after a 13 percent jump in wholesale gas prices winter for 2012/13.
Italy: election results create political stalemate
Eurozone countries have urged Italy to create a stable government as soon as possible after no party gained an overall majority in Sunday and Monday’s elections. Centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani secured enough votes to gain control of the lower house, but not the Senate, both of which are needed to govern. Italian voters rejected former Prime Minister Mario Monti’s austerity measures that included spending cuts and tax rises, giving rise to fears for the fate of the euro. The uncertainty has caused market turmoil, with the Italian banking sector falling by 7 percent in value. The drop has spread through to banks in other European countries including Germany, France and the UK with Deutsche Bank falling by 5 percent and Barclay’s by 4 percent.
EU: go-ahead for fish dumping ban
A ban on throwing unwanted fish overboard will be phased in next year, say European Union fisheries ministers after an all-night meeting. Nearly 25 percent of all fish caught in Europe are discarded overboard leading to groups campaigning against the practice. Limited exemptions will be put in place particularly for crews operating far from land however campaign groups have expressed fears that this may lead to loopholes in the future. UK Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon said: “This is a historic moment in reforming the broken Common Fisheries Policy. The scandal of discards has gone on for too long.”
No resolution for Iran nuclear talks
Iran and world leaders have not had a breakthrough over Tehran’s nuclear programme after a two-day meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The UN have offered to lift sanctions on Iran’s gold and precious metals trade in an effort to encourage goodwill and encourage Tehran to halt uranium enrichment to what is considered military grade level. "We will not accept anything beyond our obligations and will not accept anything less than our rights," Saeed Jalili, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, declared before setting off for Kazakhstan. All sides have agreed to meet again on 5-6 April to discuss the issue further following a meeting of nuclear experts in Istanbul on 18 March. US intelligence agencies have reported that Iran does not have an advanced nuclear weapons’ programme.
Pope greets his final audience in the Vatican
Pope Benedict XVI has arrived for the last audience of his pontificate on the eve of his historic resignation as leader of the world's 1.2bn Catholics. Rome has been gripped by speculation over what prompted Benedict to resign and who the leading candidates might be to replace him – including accusations of relentless lobbying, prompting the Vatican to condemn what it has called "unacceptable pressure" to influence the papal election. The Vatican has said Benedict will receive the title of "Roman pontiff emeritus" and can still be addressed as "Your Holiness".
Support Our INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM APPEAL