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Daily Political Media Summary: 11 November 2009

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 11 November 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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Job cuts: Lloyds Banking Group have announced that 1,000 Scottish jobs would be affected under its plans to axe 5,000 posts across the UK by the end of next year. This has placed renewed pressure on the Scottish government for action to assist the Scottish finance sector as the total of banking job losses reaches more than 3,000 since the UK Government bail-out last year. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 1, Daily Telegraph page 13, Press and Journal page 9, Guardian page 26, Daily Mail page 2, BBC, STV)

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 UK unemployment: The number of people unemployed in the UK rose by just 30,000 to 2.46m in the three months to September, the lowest rise for 16 months, in the latest sign that the labour market may be stabilising. However, British youth unemployment reached a record high of almost 20 per cent and Scottish unemployment rose by 4,000 to a total of 194,000 in the last quarter. (Financial Times, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, BBC, STV)

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 Babcock rail: The fate of 1,600 employees is uncertain after Babcock International, the engineering giant and dockyard operator, revealed it is considering selling, or possibly closing, its Glasgow-based rail division. (Herald page 26)

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 Recession: Britain’s battered economy is preparing for a return to growth in the fourth quarter of this year according to a poll of economists. Forecasts show that the economy will grow 0.4 per cent in the current quarter and continue growing between 0.3 and 0.5 per cent well into 2011. (Scotsman B1)

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 Crime

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Knife crime:  Hand-held metal detectors are to be supplied to pubs and clubs recognised by the Best Bar None award for high standards and safety. The metal detectors are intended to tackle knife crime and address the “booze and blade culture” of Scotland and receive £30,000 from the Scottish government. (Scotsman page 10, Herald, Courier page 4)

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 Health

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C Difficile: Five patients have died in an outbreak of the Clostridium Difficile bug in a Scottish hospital in Dundee. The latest deaths follow a number of C Difficile outbreaks in Scottish hospitals in recent years, the most deadly of which saw 18 patients die. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 2, Daily Telegraph page 10, Times page 5, Courier page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Daily Mail page 18)

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 Hospital standards:  Scottish hospitals with higher than expected death rates and complications linked to surgery have been told to take action to improve their services. NHS Quality Improvement Scotland has published “surgical profiles” for each hospital covering areas such as mortality and post-operative infections, in an attempt to improve quality, safety and effectiveness of care. (Scotsman page 10)

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 Herbal remedies:  Medical herbalists say their profession is under threat unless urgent UK

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government action is taken to regulate the sector, after new European Union rules require all herbal medicinal products to be licensed and prescribed only by “authorised health professionals.” (Scotsman page 16)

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 Alcohol abuse: The scale of Scotland’s alcohol problem was revealed by a Scottish Government report which showed that 21,000 intoxicated patients a year are being treated in hospital accident and emergency departments. (Herald page 3)

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 Lung cancer cure: A pill that could cure a strain of lung cancer which kills 97 per cent of sufferers within five years of diagnosis is being developed by scientists. (Daily Telegraph page 10, Daily Express page 33, Daily Mail)

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 Education

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Scottish schools: Eric Wilkinson, professor of education at the University of Glasgow, has accused the SNP government of sending Scottish education into a downward spiral by ignoring fresh thinking. This follows the debate surrounding the idea of educational trusts floated by the East Lothian Council, but according to Prof Wilkinson there is a lack of ambition to debate structural change. (Scotsman page 1, Times page 28)

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 School row: Officials from a Scottish council at the centre of a bitter row over entry into one of its flagship schools have been accused of “intimidation” and “callousness” by parents at a public meeting to discuss the row. (Herald page 1)

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 Transport

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Airports:  Glasgow airport lost nearly 72,000 passengers last month due to direct competition from budget airline Ryanair at nearby Prestwick airport, while Edinburgh airport continued to surge ahead with its seventh consecutive month of growth. (Scotsman page 22, Herald page 10)

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 Politics

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Glasgow North East by-election: George Galloway has argued that Labour’s success in Scotland has been based on the “uncritical blind-thinking” support of people in low-income seats like Glasgow North east. The comments followed pressure on Gordon Brown to say why voters should back Labour when the gap between rich and poor in Glasgow has widened during 12 years of Labour in office. (Scotsman page 12, Herald page 8, Times page 17, Financial Times page 2, Daily Record page 2, BBC)

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 First Minister’s expenses:  Alex Salmond is facing calls to repay public funds after he treated his dentist to official hospitality in what is now being jokingly referred to as “Colgate” in Holyrood. (Scotsman page 25, Herald page 3, Daily Telegraph page 1, Times page 17, Daily Mail page 21, Daily Express page 11, STV)

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 MPs’ Expenses: The head of the new watchdog charged with cleaning up Westminster has refused to endorse publicly reforms to the system of MPs’ expenses. Arguing there is still a lot of “detailed work” needed, Sir Ian Kennedy is raising concern that he will not implement the changes proposed by Sir Christopher Kelly’s report. (Daily Telegraph page 1)

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