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Daily Political Media Summary: 12 November 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. 

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Economy

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Job losses: About 5,000 job losses were announced yesterday in sectors ranging from media to manufacturing.  Firms including Virgin and GlaxoSmithKline were among the companies announcing losses.  Unemployment figures due out today are expected to show the highest level of unemployment across the UK for a decade. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 2, Mail page 8, Sun page 4, Times page 5, Mirror page 11, Express page 4, Record page 10, Guardian page 24, Telegraph page 1, P&J page 8, Courier page 10

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Homes: Labour, Lib Dem, Green and independent MSPs have called on the Scottish Government to provide better protection against the rising number of home repossessions. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 1, P&J page 9)

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Tax cuts: David Cameron yesterday revealed a £2.6bn plan to put 350,000 people back into work by cutting employers national insurance contributions if they hire an unemployed individual full time.  Gordon Brown’s tax cut proposals are aimed at helping those who lost out when the 10p tax rate was abolished earlier in the year. (Scotsman page 5, Burning Issue in the Scotsman, Peter Oborne in the Mail, Sun page 2, Times page 22, Guardian page 1 and page 11, Telegraph page 4, Simon Heffer in the Telegraph, Damian Reece in the Telegraph, FT page 2)

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HBOS: Sources close to a proposed HBOS takeover bid involving Bank of China have said the Chinese bank has walked away from the deal after getting the cold shoulder from the Treasury. The Unite union has criticised Sir George Mathewson and Sir Peter Burt of attempting to halt the Lloyds TSB takeover. (Scotsman page 6, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Herald page 1 and page 34, Mail page 2, Times page 3, Express page 4, Record page 9, Guardian page 26, Telegraph page 1, Jeff Randall in the Telegraph, P&J page 8, Courier page 7)

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Research & development: ITI Scotland, Scotland’s publicly backed research and development body, is to look for additional money from Europe as it prepares for cuts in its budget following the Scottish Government’s cuts in funding for Scottish Enterprise. (Scotsman page 29)

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Credit cards: The Prime Minister has attacked huge interest rate rises by credit card firms. (Herald page 6, Mail page 2, Times page 5, Mirror page 11, Record page 8, Guardian page 10, Telegraph page 4, P&J page 8, FT page 2)

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Transport  

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Scandinavian ferry: Scotland is to lose its only ferry link with Scandinavia and the UK’s only ferry connection to the Faroe Islands and Iceland. (Herald page 2)

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High speed rail link: A high speed rail link between Glasgow, Edinburgh and London could bring economic benefits of more than £7bn Ron Hewitt, chief executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, told MSPs yesterday. (Herald page 6, Express page 31)

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Education

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Private school row: John Wilson, Director of Education for East Renfrewshire Council has accused Kelvinside Academy, an independent school, of trying to lure able pupils away from the state sector. (Scotsman page 7)

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Charitable status: Fiona MacLeod in the Scotsman (page 38) comments on the difficulties some private schools are having in meeting the criteria for charitable status.

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Children at risk: According to the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, in some areas of Scotland as many as one in ten children need care because of problems that include violence, cruelty and sexual abuse. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 4, Mail page 4, Sun page 2, Express page 14, Record page 12)

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Exams: The Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) has accused the Scottish Government of asking loaded questions in a consultation on the future of the Scottish exams system. (Herald page 10, Courier page 7)

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Health

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Hygiene: The Scottish Government announced yesterday that inspectors are to make random checks on hygiene levels and infection control in Scottish hospitals as part of a crackdown on superbugs. In addition every new hospital in Scotland will be built with single-bed rooms instead of traditional wards to help address the problem. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 13, Mail page 17, Times page 8, Express page 17, Telegraph page 13, P&J page 13, Courier page 3)

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Sperm donors: Leading fertility experts have warned that the UK is facing a shortage of sperm donors.  (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 8, Times page 14, Guardian page 13)

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Local Government

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Fostering: Councillors in Falkirk have voted to ban smokers from fostering children under three from December, unless there are “exceptional circumstances”.  The move will be extended to all children under five by December 2009. (Scotsman page 9)

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Politics

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Glenrothes: The new Labour MP for Glenrothes, Lindsay Roy, is to take his seat in the House of Commons today. (Herald page 6, Courier page 3)

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£4m to poorer nations: The Scottish Government came under fire yesterday for plans to spend £4m on an international development programme in sub-Saharan Africa.  As Scotland already contributes to international development through Westminster, the Conservatives have said that in the difficult economic times this £4m would be better used elsewhere. (Mail page 8)