News in Scotland Friday

News in Scotland Friday
News in Scotland Friday
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david-cameron.jpg
Prime Minister David Cameron plans to have a UK-wide commemoration
of the first world war prior to Scotland’s independence referendum

Scottish news: News in Scotland – Friday

SCOTLAND

Scottish independence: Details of referendum consultation to be released
Ministers have revealed that details of the Scottish government’s consultation on independence will be released later this month. The consultation process has received more than 26,000 responses, which are currently being independently verified. The Labour party while welcoming the publication of the consultation’s contents questioned why it had been delayed until after Alex Salmond made concessions to David Cameron. A Scottish government spokesperson defended the timing of the release. They said: “The referendum consultation received over 26,000 responses, one of the highest ever received, and has been put out to independent analysis which has inevitably taken some time to complete. The recent same sex-marriage consultation similarly took longer than originally planned to complete due to a very large response.”

Scottish independence: War commemoration planned in run up to independence vote
Prime Minister David Cameron has outlined plans to commemorate the outbreak of the first world war a few weeks before Scottish voters go to the polls to decide if they want to end Westminster rule over Scotland. Schools, workplaces, town halls and local communities will be involved in the commemoration. The plans will raise concerns that the war which saw 16 million people killed will be used as a pro-Union propaganda exercise in an attempt to influence the outcome of the independence referendum.

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Scottish independence: Schools should educate pupils about referendum
According to electoral experts and parents, schools should educate pupils about the independence referendum if the vote is extended to 16 and 17-year-olds. The prospect of a younger band of voters being eligible to vote for a first time has opened a massive debate. The National Parent Forum Scotland (NPFS) welcomed the suggestion, but stressed any new materials would have to be produced independently of government or political influence. Whereas, the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association (SSTA) said young people were already taught about the importance of using their vote, and no additional lessons were required. David Cameron and Alex Salmond are meeting in Scotland on Monday where they are expected to come to an arrangement regarding the details surrounding the independence referendum.  

Heavy rain sweeps over parts of Scotland
Thursday’s rain flooded the East coast of Scotland causing disruption to travel. Tayside and Fife were badly affected by the cloudburst and some drivers had to be rescued from their vehicles. The police said that the East Neuk of Fife and the Cupar and East Wemyss areas were particularly affected. There is the potential for almost a month’s average rainfall over a 24 to 48-hour period, with about 8 cm of rain possible in some areas. Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “Just weeks after the first major storm of the autumn, the transport network is braced for another major challenge”.

International conference puts spotlight on Glasgow anti-gang project
A project based in the Easterhouse area of Glasgow is to be the focus of an international conference at the Scottish Police College on Friday. The scheme, Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV), was established in 2009 and has led to violent and anti-social crime in the area reportedly being reduced by 46 percent.

Remote broadband on its way to Highlands and Islands
A new community scheme which could solve internet problems in remote areas is set to be rolled out across the Highlands and Islands. The project has seen local groups work alongside experts to develop a high-speed system which makes use of a low-cost network of relays that connect to the internet at the Gaelic college on Skye. The scheme which is backed by the Scottish government’s Community Broadband Scotland initiative will serve Eigg, Rum, Muck and Canna and other remote areas.

Record number of centenarians in Scotland
The 2011 census shows that the number of 100-year-olds in Scotland has risen to a record high of 830. This shows an increase from 580 recorded in the previous census in 2001. The figures show that the majority of people reaching the milestone are women with 700 female centenarians as opposed to 130 male. Audrey Robertson, acting Registrar General for Scotland, suggested the number could continue to grow because of a baby boom in the early 1920s.

UK and WORLD

BBC addresses staff concerns on Sir Jimmy Savile inquiry
BBC Scotland director Ken MacQuarrie has been asked by BBC director general George Entwistle to answer Newsnight journalists’ questions regarding the dropping of the programme’s planned investigation into Sir Jimmy Savile. The corporation has always claimed that the decision to drop the film was made for “editorial reasons”. A statement from the BBC said: “This is not a review. The director general has simply asked Ken MacQuarrie to talk to members of the Newsnight team who had emailed him.” Newsnight editor Peter Rippon has previously emphasized it was his decision to drop the story following newspaper reports that he was ordered to drop the investigation.

British Gas to raise prices
Britain’s biggest energy supplier, British Gas, has announced increases in both gas and electricity prices. The company described as “unwelcome” the increase of 6 percent on both types of fuel which will see average fuel bills rise by £80 per year. The new tariffs will come into effect from 16 November and follow a move from its rival SSE, which trades as Scottish Hydro, Swalec and Southern Electric, to raise its prices by an average of 9 percent from Monday.

Royal Marines arrested over Afghan death
The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that seven Royal Marines have been arrested on suspicion of murder. The men from the 3 Commando Brigade were detained in connection with an incident in Helmand last year. The MoD said the incident followed an “engagement with an insurgent” and no civilians were involved. It is believed that it is the first occasion that UK military personnel have been arrested on murder charges during a conflict.

European Union wins Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the European Union in recognition of six decades of work in advancing peace in Europe. The awarding committee said that the EU had helped to transform Europe “from a continent of war to a continent of peace”. The committee president, Thorbjoern Jagland, acknowledged the financial and social problems in the EU resulting from the financial crisis but said that the committee had concentrated on the organisation’s work over six decades of advancing “peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights”.

Biden sustains Obama’s campaign
Joe Biden, Democrat vice presidential candidate was praised by voters for his steady performance during the first US vice presidential debate against his Republican opponent Paul Ryan. Biden’s fellow Democrats welcomed his sharp tongue and aggressive attacks during the debate which will help to stabilize President Barack Obama’s campaign after his weak performance with Mitt Romney last week. Republicans called Joe Biden unprofessional and annoying for grinning sarcastically at his rival Paul Ryan, while giving Ryan high marks for avoiding wonky discourse and hitting hard against his famously forceful opponent.  

Syria accuses Turkey of lying
Turkey has been accused of lying over its claim that a Syria-bound plane forced to land in Ankara was carrying Russian-made defence equipment. The accusation came as Syria’s foreign ministry challenged Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who made the claim, to show publicly what had been seized. The ministry went on to claim that Mr Erdogan was lying  “to justify his government’s hostile attitude towards Syria”, according to Syria’s Sana state news agency. Russia has also denied the aircraft had illegal cargo on board.

Tough sanctions against Iran
During the next meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council on Monday, foreign ministers of the UK, France, and Germany are planning to seek agreement from foreign ministers of all member states on a new tough package of sanctions against Iran. They are planning to ratchet up still further the severe economic warfare already being waged by the US and its allies against Tehran. The three western foreign ministers’ calculation is that once its economy faces total collapse, Iran will meekly submit to western — and Israeli — demands to dismantle its nuclear energy industry altogether.

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