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Daily Political Media Summary: 5 January 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 5 January 2010

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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: Lloyd TSB Scotland’s business monitor has projected that the economy is likely to move out of the recession and return to “weak growth” during 2010. The report also showed the private sector output was declining at a slower rate than last year. (BBC)

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Flyglobespan: Administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have begun legal action against E-Clear, the credit card firm said to have withheld up to £35million from the Scottish airline, which collapsed last year. (Scotsman page 13, Herald page 7, Daily Telegraph page 11, BBC)

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Transport 

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Winter Weather: The Automobile Association has expressed concern that the winter weather may cause the number of potholes to increase by one-third. AA president Edmund King said that the increased road construction would put pressure on cash-strapped councils, which may have to foot bills of tens of millions of pounds. Low stocks of road salt have led to desperate measures as Scottish councils scramble to de-ice main roads. South Lanarkshire has plans to bring in a shipload from north Africa. (Scotsman page 1, Scotsman page 2, Herald page 1, Times page 3, Daily Telegraph page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 1, Daily Scottish Mail page 1, Daily Record page 1, Scottish Daily Express page 1, BBC)

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Health

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Meditation: The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) has called for £300million worth of meditation courses to be made available in the NHS to treat recurring bouts of depression. The charity has argued that if meditation courses are made available, it could help cut the estimated £7.5billion the UK spends on depression sufferers. (Scotsman page 6, Guardian page 4, Press and Journal page 10)

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Education

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Two-Tier System: The Scottish Secondary Teachers Association (SSTA) called for urgent talks with the Scottish Government to prevent the introduction of a “two-tier” exam system. The SSTA said that replacing Standard Grades will lead to pupils of a lower academic ability leaving school without taking formal exams, making it difficult for prospective employers to judge a pupil’s ability. The union also argues that it will widen the achievement gap between pupils of different abilities. (Herald page 4, Daily Telegraph page 11, BBC, STV)

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Politics

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Westminster Election: SNP Westminster campaign coordinator Stewart Hosie said Scotland would be sidelined in the “phoney war” between the main parties because the most hotly contested seats are in the south of England. Mr Hosie said campaign policies on issues such as the NHS and education would only affect Scotland if the Scottish Government decided to mimic the policies. (Scotsman page 5, Brain Monteith of ThinkScotland.org’s Opinion page 31)

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Home Insulation: Green campaigners are calling for every home in Scotland to be insulated for free. World Wild Life Fund Scotland said that the measures would increase chances of the government reaching its promise to reduce carbon emissions by 42 per cent by 2020. Current figures show the government is on target to reduce emissions by 9 per cent. A spokesperson calculated the cost of this project at £544million, and said that costs would be spread over a decade and come from a mix of sources. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 2, BBC)

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Chinook Crash: Pressure has been mounting on defence chiefs to exonerate the two RAF pilots officially blamed for the 1994 Chinook helicopter crash on the Mull of Kintyre. New evidence has come to light that indicates the crash may have been caused due to faulty computer software rather than the conclusion of “gross negligence” by the pilots. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 1, Times page 17, Times Opinion page 2, Daily Telegraph Opinion page 19, Courier page 3, Scottish Daily Express page 7, STV)