News in Scotland - Wednesday

alex-salmond.jpg
In a debate over the Iraq war at Holyrood, First Minister Alex Salmond told
a Labour MSP that "people died because of his vote in this Parliament"
IMAGE: STOCKPIX.EU

Scottish News: News in Scotland - Wednesday

SCOTLAND                                        

‘Bedroom tax’ could cost Scottish tenants £53mn a year

Changes to housing benefit - dubbed "bedroom tax" could cost Scottish councils and housing association tenants £53mn a year, a study claims. The joint report on the impact of welfare reforms produced by the Scottish Local Government Forum Against Poverty and Rights Advice Scotland, claims that those hardest hit will be families with young children, people with disabilities and social housing tenants. Many of Scotland's councils have warned that they have very few one bedroom houses, meaning they have to house single people in bigger homes. The report also warns that the wider impact of benefit reforms - including a benefit cap, child benefit changes and changes to disability allowance assessments will add up to £2.1bn in Scotland.

 

Salmond hits out at MSPs who endorsed the Iraq war

Alex Salmond has accused MSPs who voted in support of the Iraq war of costing lives in the conflict, which began 10 years ago today. The first minister yesterday challenged more than 20 MSPs who backed the invasion. During the clash in parliament he told one of the MSPs, Labour's Lewis Macdonald, that "people died because of his votes in this Parliament". The debate was the first in a series called by the Scottish government this week designed to press the case for independence ahead of the SNP conference at the weekend. MSPs are also due to debate Trident and Mr Salmond's "oil boom" before the SNP leader names the date for the referendum tomorrow.

More Scottish news:

 

World's largest wind farm could be based in Scotland

Plans to locate what could be the largest offshore wind farm in Scotland's Moray Firth have been given the go-ahead by Highland councillors, according to the Press and Journal. The project could mean up to 3,000 jobs over the period of construction. The project would see the building of 339 turbines generating 1,500MW of energy.

 

Scottish unemployment down, UK unemployment up

Scottish unemployment has fallen by 4,000 to 200,000 in the period between November and January according to official figures. At the same time UK unemployment rose by 7,000. The figures show that during the same period employment in Scotland rose by 19,000 however the figures do not indicate if the jobs are temporary and related to quantitative easing (money printing) by the Bank of England or whether they are lowly or well paid.

                                               

Budget cuts to cost Scotland £250mn

The Scottish government will be forced to find a further £250mn of savings as a result of Chancellor George Osborne’s pledge yesterday to cut another £2.5bn from UK public spending. Mr Osborne told his coalition cabinet colleagues that the further savings from current spending in government departments would be used to bolster spending on capital projects and pay for new measures to help working mothers. Commenting, SNP finance secretary John Swinney said: “there is now an overwhelming consensus that the UK government's plans are doing more harm than good to the economy”. “The chancellor needs to instead reverse the cuts to Scotland's capital budget to boost our prosperity”.

 

Scottish independence: attempt by Better Together to censor information video

The 'no' camp in Scotland's independence referendum has attempted to ban a short information video related to issues surrounding the independence referendum. The video's objective is to expose the "Top 10 Unionist Myths" about Scottish independence. Critics have described the banning as "hypocritical" as Unionist party spokespersons have, in recent days, been criticising Alex Salmond's stance on press freedom as "draconian". The video which was banned and removed by Youtube can be viewed here.

                                               

Scottish parliament should ‘unite against Trident’

An internationally campaigning SNP MSP has called on members of all parties to unite against Trident nuclear weapons in today’s Scottish parliament debate. Bill Kidd MSP – a Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament – said the debate represented an opportunity for Johann Lamont to send a clear signal that Labour too oppose WMDs. He said: “Some 80 percent of people in Scotland want rid of Trident - the one point that has become clear in recent weeks is that only a Yes vote in next year’s independence referendum can deliver that, allowing us to invest the billions saved in helping to build a fair society and strong economy”.

 

INTERNATIONAL

 

UK crisis: Osborne to deliver austerity budget

In order to halt the UK's steep economic decline Chancellor George Osborne is expected to deliver another austerity budget, cutting public services more as he aims to make more money available in another in a long list of attempts - which have so far failed - to achieve 'economic recovery'. Mr Osborne is expected to announce a tax-free allowance of £10,000 in an attempt to brand himself as the champion of low and middle-income earners. Many economists now believe that without quantitative easing (money printing) by the Bank of England that the official GDP figures would have been negative in recent years meaning that the UK's crisis is not a 'recession' but a long term decline.

                                               

Cyprus in talks to avoid financial meltdown

The Cyprus government is in crisis talks to come up with a plan to secure an emergency bailout package to shore up its banks and avert financial meltdown. On Tuesday night, parliament threw out a controversial plan to skim €5.8bn from savings accounts, in a move that risked plunging the eurozone into deeper turmoil, heightening expectations that the cash-strapped country will seek a funding lifeline from Russia. But Marios Mavrides, an MP and former finance minister, raised the prospect of Cyprus becoming the first to leave the euro. He told BBC2's Newsnight: "If we cannot come up with the €5.8bn in a few days then I think we will go to the Cyprus pound. That will be the end of Cyprus in the eurozone. We're going to exhaust all other possibilities, but what can we do? If we have no other solution we cannot leave the people without money".

                                               

South Korea endures suspected cyber attack

South Korea's police are investigating a suspected cyber-attack on the country's major broadcasters and two large banks, police officials have said. At least three major broadcasters were affected as well as Shinhan Bank, Part of Shinhan Financial Group, and two financial institutions, the police and government said yesterday. “The investigation is just getting underway, but whatever its source, it will likely raise questions regarding South Korea's cyber security," an Al Jazeera correspondent said. Initial speculation has centred on a possible attack by North Korea, which has hacked South Korean institutions before - but the police and South Korean government said they could not yet ascertain the cause of the outages.

                                               

Hillary Clinton’s hacked memos sent to Russia Today

Russia Today has received emails that are alleged to have been sent from a one-time White House aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Hackers Guccifer have supplied RT and a number of other media outlets and political figures with incredibly sensitive memos that were emailed to Hillary Clinton in the wake of last year’s terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. According to the Blumenthal memos the US secretary of state was told that the anti-Islamic film was likely the catalyst for the assault – but five months later, another memo sent to Mrs Clinton painted a much different picture of what was happening abroad. Previously, the hackers known as Guccifer have been linked to breaching the Facebook account of Gen Colin Powell, along with accounts of other members of the Bush dynasty in attempts to expose US administration cover ups.

                                               

Sugary drinks linked to 180,000 deaths each year

Sugary beverages are linked to more than 180,000 obesity-related deaths worldwide each year, according to new research presented at an American Heart Association conference. "This means about one in every 100 deaths from obesity-related diseases is caused by drinking sugary beverages," says study author Gitanjali Singh - a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health. In the United States, sugary drinks are linked to the deaths of 25,000 people from diabetes and other obesity-related diseases. As in many other countries, the death rates were highest in young adults under age 45, with "almost three-quarters of the deaths caused by sugary drinks are in low and middle income countries," says study author Dr Dariush Mozaffarian.

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published this page in News 2013-03-20 12:14:54 +0000