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Daily Political Media Summary: 6 July 2009

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 6 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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Recession: Scotland will shed more than 100,000 jobs over the course of the recession, equivalent to one in every 25 of the workforce, according to a report to be published this week. The research, commissioned by Scottish Enterprise, concludes that 106,000 jobs will be lost by the end of the worst economic downturn for a generation. (Scotland on Sunday page 1, Scotsman page 5, Times page 1)

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 Crime

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Gun Control: Scotland’s Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has upped the pressure on Westminster to devolve control over firearms in a letter to new Home Secretary Alan Johnson. (Scotsman page 8)

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 Lockerbie: Both Libya and the United States are to step up pressure on Kenny MacAskill this week over the future of the Lockerbie bomber. Libyan officials seeking the release of Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, are due to arrive in Edinburgh for talks with the Justice Secretary, while American families who lost relatives in the atrocity will attempt to persuade Mr MacAskill that al-Megrahi should remain in a Scottish jail. (Times page 18)

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 Education

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Glasgow University: Glasgow University has beaten Cambridge and Oxford to win the contract for a £28m viral research centre, which will spearhead pioneering research into disease outbreaks such a swine flu. (Sunday Times page 12, Scotland on Sunday page 10)

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 Parental choice: The Scottish Government has been accused of down grading the influence of parents on key decisions made about education. The warning follows the removal of Judith Gillespie, development officer with the Scottish Parent Teacher Council from the board of Scotland’s exam body. (Herald page 3)

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 Politics

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Public sector: The wage bill for the Scottish Government is now £150m a year following a 35% rise in the number of staff since devolution. Statistics published by ministers reveal that the number of permanent and contract workers rose from 3,719 in 1998 to 5,030 last year. (Sunday Times page 12)

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 Pay squeeze: A tight squeeze on the pay of 6 million public sector workers, and a further public sector efficiency drive this summer, was signalled by Alistair Darling as he warned he was determined to tackle ballooning public sector debt. (Guardian page 1, Daily Mail page 1)

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 Labour: Cherie Blair, the wife of  the former prime minister, has dealt an embarrassing blow to Labour by praising the SNP’s ‘courageous’ plans to reform Scotland’s prison system. Former First Minister Henry McLeish has also accused Labour of talking ‘nonsense’ and misleading the public over the Scottish government\’s intentions. (Scotland on Sunday page 1, Herald page 7, Times page 18, Telegraph page 6)

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 Glasgow North East By-election: A BBC journalist is among the favourites to become the SNP candidate in the hotly contested Glasgow North East by-election, created by the departure of former speaker Michael Martin. David Kerr, a reporter at BBC Scotland, is understood to have joined two other candidates, James Dornan and Aileen McLeod. (Scotland on Sunday page 8)

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