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Daily Political Media Summary: 1 July 2009

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 1 July 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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UK Economy: The UK economy has contracted at its fastest rate for half a century, casting fresh doubts on Gordon Brown’s election strategy. Output fell by 2.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2009, much worse than the 1.9 per cent predicted just a month ago, figures from the Office of National Statistics revealed. (Scotsman page 9, Herald page 25, Telegraph page B1, FT page 2, Press and Journal page 5)

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 Diageo: Around 900 jobs are being axed by drinks group Diageo in Scotland as part of an overhaul which will see the closure of its historic distillery at Port Dundas. (Herald page 4, Times page 41, Scotsman page 2)

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 Lloyds Banking Group: Hundreds of bank workers are to lose their jobs in Scotland as Lloyds Banking Group announced plans to cut 2,100 posts in the UK.  Around 355 jobs will go in Scotland. (Herald page 7, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 15)

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 Scottish Shipyards: Two Royal Navy shipyards on the Clyde are facing the axe under plans to make huge savings from the bill for the new aircraft carriers, it was claimed last night. The yards at Scotstoun and Govan are reportedly earmarked for closer by the Ministry of Defence, putting up to 4,000 jobs at risk. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Guardian page 30, STV)

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 Transport 

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Scotland-London Train Line: The UK Government is to take over the running of the East Coast Main Line, a major Scotland to London rail route, after present operator National Express defaulted on its franchise. Transport Secretary Lord Adonis reportedly said he had set up a publicly-owned company which will take over the East Coast line when National Express ceases to operate the franchise, probably later this year. (Herald page 11, Telegraph page 11, Times page 39, FT page 3, Guardian page 23, STV)

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 Health

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Superbug Hospitals: Scotland’s worst performing hospitals in the battle against C diff have been revealed by ministers, with patients in the North-east potentially at the highest risk. (Scotsman page 11, Press and Journal page 11)

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 Alcohol: Alcohol kills 8 Scots per day, according to new figures that show the death rate is twice as bad as previously thought. Opposition MSPs said they were genuinely shocked by the new figures and reiterated their call for a consensual approach to change Scotland’s hard-drinking culture (Telegraph page 1, Press and Journal page 8, Courier page 1)

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 Politics

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Referendum: Pressure was mounting last night on the unionist parties in Holyrood to drop their threat to block a referendum on independence after an ICM survey of more than 1,000 Scots revealed that 58 per cent want a poll to go ahead in the next year. But while most people want the chance to have their say on the Union, the survey also showed that a majority of Scots oppose independence. (Scotsman page 10)

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 Nuclear Plants: A Holyrood committee has backed SNP ministers’ plans to turn Scotland into a nuclear-free state. But MSPs said the lifespan of existing nuclear power stations should be extended to buy time to develop alternative, low carbon sources of energy in the renewable sector. (Scotsman page 15)

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Trident: Rev Ian Galloway comments on the ethics of Trident in the Scotsman. (Scotsman page 28)

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 Queen\’s Speech: Andrew Bolger writes in the Financial Times on the tenth anniversary of devolution and how when the Queen visits the Scottish Parliament today to mark its 10th anniversary, she will address an institution that appears destined to assume a bigger role with increased powers. (FT page 2)

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