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Daily Political Media Summary: 5 November 2008

All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. 

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Economy

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RBS: Stephen Hester, the new Chief Executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, has warned that the bank faces job losses as RBS heads towards its first ever annual loss. (Scotsman page 1, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman, Daily Record page 4, Ian McConnell in The Herald, The Herald page B1, Daily Express page 7, The Times page 40, Telegraph Business page 1, Nils Pratley in The Guardian, FT page 1, Courier page 17, P&J page 5)

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Credit crunch: Further comment and analysis on the economic slowdown.  It has also been claimed that as many as 50 small businesses are shutting down every day because of the economic downturn.  (Ross Lydall in the Scotsman, Daily Telegraph page 8, John Kay in the FT)

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Interest rate cap:  Livingston MP, Jim Devine, has called for a cap to be placed on interest rates charged by lenders to help prevent those living in poverty from falling into bad debt.  (Daily Record page 2)

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Private sale-and-rent-back schemes:  Nicola Sturgeon has called for UK ministers to do more to protect homeowners from controversial sale-and-rent-back schemes by private companies.  (The Herald page 6)

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Crime

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Prisons: The Chief Inspector of Prisons has called for a ban on sending children under 16 to adult jails in Scotland as part of his annual report issued today.  A total of 15 under 16s were held in adult prisons in 2007-8.  Dr Andrew McLellan also outlined concerns about overcrowding while Scottish Executive ministers are going to blame budget cuts for the high number of prisoners who re-offend. (Scotsman page 13, Daily Record page 2, The Herald page 9, The Sun page 14, The Times page 24, Daily Mail page 16, Daily Telegraph page 12, Courier page 3)

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Sexual crimes by children debate:  Officials from Children’s charities as well as the Children’s Commissioner warned that under 13’s who are already legally unable to consent to sex should not therefore be charged with committing crimes of this nature.  (The Herald page 6)

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RAF bases as prisons: The Scottish Conservatives have called on the Scottish Government to consider buying up two former RAF bases in the North of Scotland to use them as prisons to ease overcrowding. (P&J page 1)

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Health

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Top-ups: The Scottish Government has been urged to speed up its review of top-up payments for healthcare after Westminster announced that English patients will be allowed to pay privately for drugs and still keep their NHS care. (Scotsman page 8, Burning Issue in the Scotsman, The Herald page 6, P&J page 14)

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Blood donors: A petition to the Scottish Parliament to allow gay and bisexual men to give blood has been rejected by health officials amid concerns about protecting the safety of donations.  (Scotsman page 11, The Herald page 6, Courier page 8, P&J page 8)

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Breast cancer drugs:  A study by Dundee University has found that half of women suffering from breast cancer fail to finish their drug treatment without the prior consultant of a practitioner.  Women who miss one tablet every five days have a 10% greater risk of dying.   (The Herald page 1, Daily Express page 10, Daily Telegraph page 8, Courier page 3, P&J page 14)

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Local Government

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West Lothian councillor: A Livingston Hospital has banned West Lothian councillor Ellen Glass who was allegedly caught reading confidential records belonging to the hospital by a senior charge nurse.  (Daily Record page 12, The Sun page 23)

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Politics

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American election: Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Alex Salmond have offered their congratulations to Barack Obama who has been elected as the 44th President of the United States of America.  (BBC online)

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Glenrothes by-election: Bookmakers yesterday cut the odds of an SNP victory in the Glenrothes by-election taking place tomorrow while author Ian Rankin gave his support for Labour. John Prescott is also visiting the constituency in hopes to help secure a Labour victory.  (Scotsman page 14, Daily Record page 2, The Herald page 6, The Sun page 14, Kerry Gill in Daily Express, Daily Express page 10, Daily Mail page 2, The Telegraph page 14)

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Mandelson perceived as unofficial deputy:  A Westminster panel questioned on the role of Peter Mandelson’s role in government viewed him as having replaced John Prescott to become Gordon Brown’s ‘unofficial deputy’ since he took over as Prime Minister.  (The Herald page 6)