News in Scotland Wednesday

News in Scotland Wednesday
News in Scotland Wednesday
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george-galloway.jpg
Former Scottish Labour MP George Galloway’s rape comments have led to the
resignation of Salma Yaqoob – leader of Mr Galloway’s new party – Respect

Scottish news: News in Scotland – Wednesday


SCOTLAND

Scotland’s information commissioner hits out at royal ‘absolute secrecy’

The SNP government’s plans to keep communication between the royal family and Scottish ministers sets a “worrying precedent” according to Scotland Information Commissioner Rosemary Agnew. Giving evidence to the Holyrood Finance Committee bill, which is scrutinising the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Bill, Ms Agnew will inform MSPs that plans by ministers to confer an “absolute” exemption to royal communications with Scottish ministers is directly against the public interest.

Andy Murray win inspires calls for a sports revolution

Andy Murray’s grand slam success at this year’s US Open has led to calls from politicians and sports organisations for change of government policy in order to build on the tennis hero’s triumph as well as that of olympic hero’s – such as Sir Chris Hoy – and help improve the nation’s overall physical fitness.

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Scottish shoppers ‘distracted’ by Olympics, says new report

Scottish shoppers spent less in August because the Olympics was “distracting” them, finds a report by the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC). As the UK’s economic crisis impacts on Scotland, August saw a 0.9 percent dip in overall sales. The primary beneficiaries of money printing and bailouts are the first recipients which are primarily in London. Added to subsidies such as the recent Olympics and the new £3bn Westminster refit plan, Scotland will be among the last beneficiaries of the new money as it ‘ripples down’ and arrives after the new money causes price inflation. Total retail sales growth is now 2.5 percent behind the whole of the UK according to the SRC which added that the gap would be unlikely to close in the foreseeable future.

Scottish government transport policies “perverse”, says group

The Scottish government’s has been accused of having “perverse” priorities in relation to its transport objectives. The umbrella campaign group Transform Scotland argues that current priorities subsidise road use instead of sustainable forms of transport. The group pointed to accelerated plans to extend the A9 dual carriageway between Inverness and Perth – the scheme is expected to cost £3bn.

Scotland advised to embrace innovation strategy

Scotland should adopt a ‘Plan I’ innovation strategy, according to the research fund Nesta. Nesta, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, commissioned a survey which shows businesses believe ministers are not sufficiently encouraging investment. The charity says that the UK has suffered a “lost decade” of investment as investment in new products, services and processes in the UK has shrunk by £24bn since 2008. Nesta has produced recommendations which if adopted, it suggests, will lead to an economic boom.

UK and WORLD

Balls: Freeze better than sack

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has been booed at the TUC conference in Brighton after insisting that freezing pay rises would help safeguard jobs. Balls went on to repeat Ed Miliband’s warning to the unions that the public does not have an appetite for more strikes. The conference subsequently passed a motion to review measures which could be taken in a general strike.

Respect leader quits after George Galloway’s rape comments

Following former Scottish Labour MP George Galloway’s comments on consensual rape, the leader of the Respect Party for whom he is now an MP, Salma Yaqoob has quit citing a “breakdown in trust” in the party leadership. Salma Yaqoob has been deeply critical of Mr Galloway’s rape comments and has said that she made her decision after an “extremely difficult” few weeks for the party.

UK government to replace governor for ‘independent’ Bank of England

A replacement for the Bank of England Governor Mervyn King will be sourced by the British government by the end of the year. The job advertisement stipulates that candidate should be “a person of undisputed integrity and standing” – which effectively rules out all major private sector bankers after scandals over Libor, monopoly practices, laundering and mis-selling across the banking sector. The fact that the government will choose the replacement will further expose the common myth that the Bank of England is independent.

Germany’s top court rules €500bn bailout fund legal

Germany’s federal constitutional court has ruled that Germany’s inclusion in £400bn (€500) bailout fund for 17 euro countries is legal. The court today [Wednesday] in Karlsruhe to rule on whether to allow Germany to join the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). Opponents with Germany argued that the German constitution prohibited participation in the scheme. Without Europe’s largest economy the fund would have been unable to function.

President Obama ‘unable to meet’ Israeli leader

In the midst of growing rhetoric over Iran’s alleged nuclear weapon ambitions, the White House has dismissed claims that President Obama refused to meet with the Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu. It has been reported that Mr Netanyahu’s team communicated a request for talks during the recent UN general assembly in New York but that US officials refused citing Mr Obama’s busy schedule as the reason.

China and Japan tensions increase in dispute over islands

China and Japan are locked in an increasingly tense stand-off over disputed uninhabited islands. The world’s second and third largest economies have intensified rhetorical exchanges in the dispute which has raised concerns in international centres of diplomacy. Both nations have maintained their uncompromising positions. In an escalation to the dispute Japan recently detained a group of Chinese activists who had landed on the islands.

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