News in Scotland - Wednesday

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Further referendum possible if result inconclusive, concedes Darling

Scottish News: News in Scotland - Wednesday

SCOTLAND

Darling concedes further vote may follow inconclusive independence result

Former Chancellor and Chief of the anti-independence Better Together campaign, Alistair Darling, has accepted that an inconclusive referendum result may lead to another vote on independence within a short period of time. Mr Darling said that Unionists must "win well" to avoid facing further poll. However Mr Darling refused to be clear on what share of the vote he thought would legitimately bury the issue for a generation saying: "I will tell you the day after what number we were aiming for,".

Independence: young and poor face widening inequality if they vote ‘no’

New evidence shows that should Scots vote to remain inside the British Union the nation's youngest and poorest will face widening inequality. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Westminster cuts will lead to even greater inequality levels and will hit the most vulnerable citizens across Britain. A new analysis shows that in 2010, the disposable income of the top 10 percent of UK households averaged £53,600 a year equating to 10 times that of the bottom 10th, which survived on just £5,300. "The concern is inequality will rise much more once the full impact of public spending cuts is felt," warned senior OECD analyst Michael Förster.

More Scottish news:

Vote 'yes' to stay in EU, claims Salmond

First Minister Alex Salmond has said that "the only" way for Scotland to remain inside the European Union (EU) is by voting 'yes' for independence in next year's referendum. Mr Salmond’s claims come after an EU-wide poll showed nose-diving support for the EU among member nations. Mr Salmond appears to be capitalising on Conservative panic at the rise of Ukip which believes in leaving the EU.                                              

Scotland’s lack of TV and film studio a ‘disgrace in the making’

One of the UK's leading film producers, Iain Smith, has described the lack of a movie and television studio in Scotland as "a disgrace in the making" urging the Scottish government to back a plan before jobs and income are lost. Smith, producer of films such as Seven Years in Tibet, Children of Men, Wanted, Cold Mountain and currently the new Mad Max movie, said a new UK tax break for "high end" television production will lead to a surge in production, which Scotland will miss out on because it has no significant studio facility.

INTERNATIONAL                                               

UK crisis: BP and Shell London offices raided over suspicions of manipulating oil prices

The European Commission has raided the offices of BP and Shell on suspicion that they are colluding to inflate oil and petrol prices. In the wake of Libor and ISDAfix rigging, and gas price manipulation, the EC has launched a 'brent crude' investigation into whether oil producers and traders are colluding to rig the benchmark rate in order to inflate profits at the expense of consumers. The EC has asked the Financial Services Agency to examine whether the oil price could have been manipulated – and whether that had affected the price consumers paid. In addition the Bank of England is understood to have expanded its inquiry into Libor to include the oil price. BP and Shell both conceded that they were under investigation and that they were co-operating.                                               

Obama administration paid for biotech industry lobbyists

A new report based on WikiLeaks cables shows Washington's deep connection to the biotech industry. The Food and Water Watch report shows that American diplomats requested funding to send lobbyists for the industry to hold talks with politicians in "target countries" in areas like Africa and Latin America, when genetically-modified crops were not yet a mainstay - as well as some European countries that have since resisted the controversial agricultural practice. At centre stage of the report is Monsanto, one of the most powerful corporations in the US, which has relentlessly sued small-time farmers across the world over alleged patent violations. Legislation signed into US law last month provided litigation immunity to GMO companies such as Monsanto.                                            

Video shows Syrian rebel eating organs of a government soldier

Video footage of a Syrian rebel commander eating the heart or lung of a dead government fighter has aroused furious international controversy, fuelling an already heated debate over western support for the armed uprising against President Assad's government. The perpetrator, Sakkar, was a well-known member of the Farouq Brigades, who became established in Idlib, where it was backed by close western allies, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The video – which has gone viral across social media - is a blow to already faltering western efforts to raise and mentor an opposition force to fight for power, in the event that the Assad government falls.                     

US government denies prior knowledge of AP investigation

The White House has denied any prior knowledge of the Justice Department’s controversial investigation into the Associated Press. The US Attorney General has defended the probe, saying the “aggressive action” was in the interests of 'national security'. The remarks were made after AP sent a letter to the attorney general condemning the investigation. In it, AP President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Pruitt described the seizure as a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organisations operate. "There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters” he said.

First stealth drone launched from aircraft carrier

The US aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, in a historic military development, has launched an unmanned stealth drone, according to Reuters. The development adds to concerns about the widening use of drones and autonomous robots by the US military which is conducting military operations across many nations and regions of the world.

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published this page in News 2013-05-15 10:46:05 +0100