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Daily Political Media Summary: 25 June 2009

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 25 June 2009

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All newspaper references refer to Scottish editions. Where there is a link to a newspaper’s website, the relevant page reference is blue and underlined.

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Economy

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Royal Bank of Scotland: The Royal Bank of Scotland lost more money than any other bank in the world last year, according to a report published yesterday, with losses of up to £36 billion, £4 billion more than Citigroup, which lost £34billion. (Scotsman page 6, Daily Telegraph page B3, Press and Journal page 5)

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Recession Recovery: Scotland’s ability to raise itself out of the recession was questioned in a report released yesterday by Fraser of Allander. The report argued that, compared to the rest of the UK, Scotland will have a very weak recovery, and that it will have to attract much greater inward investment if it is going to move to healthy levels of growth. The report comes on the heels of a prediction by the OECD that the UK economy would shrink by 4.3 per cent this year. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 34, Times page 15, 45, Guardian page 21, Press and Journal page 5, Courier page 3, Daily Mail page 2)

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Wildcat Strikes: Workers at two major power stations and a gas plant in Scotland will continue unofficial wildcat strikes until tomorrow in support of colleagues who were fired from the Lindsay oil refinery. (Scotsman page 11, Herald page 8, Courier page 1)

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McKever Group: The McKever Group, a Glasgow based Scottish hotel chain, has gone into administration putting 600 jobs at risk. (Herald page 3)

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Self-Employed Women: More women are leaving the workplace to become self-employed in Scotland than in any other part of the UK, according to figures published yesterday. There has been a 40 per cent increase in women who quit routine employment to work for themselves instead. (Herald page 5)

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Crime

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Policing Board: Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill yesterday announced that he was setting up a Scottish Policing Board to improve the way crime issues facing the country’s eight forces are coordinated. The board would help tackle crimes such as terrorism, human trafficking, e-crime and fraud. It has been criticised by some as a waste of money. (Scotsman page 18, Herald page 6, Press and Journal page 11, Courier page 7)

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Transport 

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Scotland’s Roads: According to a survey done by the Road Safety Foundation, drivers are at higher risk of crashing on Scotland’s main roads than those in England and Wales. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 2)

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ScotRail; ScotRail has admitted yesterday that a mistake in calculating the number of people using certain tickets in the west of Scotland has led it to over-estimate its passenger numbers by 7 million passengers, provoking calls to re-examine the decision to extend its rail franchise. (Herald page 1, Press and Journal page 12, Courier page 3, Scotsman online)

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Local Government

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Overhaul of local councils: Sir John Arbuthnott, the head of a major review of Scottish councils, has indicated that the financial crisis engulfing the public sector could see local government across eight council areas within the Clyde Valley Partnership drastically overhauled by 2012. (Herald page 2)

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Health

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Clostridium Difficile: No criminal charges will be brought against the Vale of Leven Hospital for an outbreak of Clostridium difficile which killed 18 people and infected 55 between December 2007 and June 2008. The decision comes after the passing of a report which condemned the hospital for failures in hygiene and infection control. (Scotsman page 2, Times page 12, Press and Journal page 10)

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Swine Flu: The number of people seeing their GPs with suspected swine flu has doubled in a week in Scotland, as the number of confirmed cases in Scotland rose by 53 cases yesterday, to a total of 739. (Scotsman page 17, Press and Journal page 10)

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Politics

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Climate Change Bill: The Scottish Parliament voted yesterday to pass the Climate Change Bill in which MSPs gained new power to fine businesses and homeowners if they do not take steps to address wasteful energy use. The bill set stringent targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland 42 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050, and has had international recognition. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 8, Times page 8, Press and Journal page 9, Courier page 6)

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Grant Thoms: The frontrunner to be the SNP’s candidate in the Glasgow northeast by-election withdrew yesterday. The withdrawal has left the party searching for another candidate. Thoms was expected to run against Labour’s Willie Bain among others. (Herald page 6)