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Daily Political Media Summary: 24 March 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Media Summary: 24 March 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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Budget:  Chancellor Alistair Darling will today announce the Budget, in which he is expected to present Labour’s long term vision with the state playing a key role in supporting the economic recovery. Mr Darling has argued there will be no “giveaways” but predictions signal funding for green energy projects, youth unemployment and scrapped stamp duty on houses for first time buyers. The Chancellor is expected to ignore calls to let the Scottish Government bring forward spending from future years to bolster the country’s fragile recovery from the recession. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 1, B4-5, Courier page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Times page 3, Financial Times page 2, Guardian page 1, Sun page 8-9, BBC) 

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Industrial Action: Scottish Gas employees have voted in favour of a national walkout, accusing British and Scottish Gas of “macho management.” They join the recent wave of industrial action by BA employees, civil servants and Rail Maritime and Transport union members. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 4, Daily Telegraph page 2, Guardian page 9, Daily Express page 1) 

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Flyglobespan Settlements: Thousands of customers of the collapsed Scottish airline Flyglobespan will receive only five per cent of their lost money according to Pricewaterhouse Coopers because their bookings had not been protected. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 7, Daily Telegraph page 11, Courier page 8, Press and Journal page 9, Times page 11, Daily Express page 11) 

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Energy Projects: Seven more sea areas are to be opened up around Scotland for wave and tidal projects to attract green energy companies seeking to generate electricity from Scotland’s seas. (Scotsman page 16) 

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Crime

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Hate Crime: A third of Scotland’s gay community say they have been the victims of a physical attack according to a survey conducted by the charity Stonewall Scotland. Only four out of ten who had been physically attacked reported it to the police. (Scotsman page 2, Press and Journal page 9) 

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Transport 

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School Buses: David Blunkett visited the Scottish Parliament yesterday to promote the yellow school bus, which provides safe home-to-school transport for children. (Scotsman page 8 

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Glasgow Underground: Glasgow’s outdated subway could be shut down if a £400 million modernisation programme is not approved. Scottish Government funding is seen as crucial to the project but its support is not guaranteed. (Herald page 3) 

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Education

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School Reform: The Scottish Labour Party is reportedly considering plans to scrap the 32 education authorities in Scotland and replace them with 12 regional education boards which would cut out council authority in education in order to enable a reduction in council tax. (Scotsman page 8 

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Placing Requests: According to Scottish Government figures, the number of placing requests from parents trying to get their children into schools outside their catchment area jumped by more than 1,000 in 2008-09. This is the largest increase in almost a decade. (Scotsman page 19, Herald page 11, Daily Telegraph page 4, Times page 11) 

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Health

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Smoking in Cars: Doctors are calling for smoking in cars to be banned due to mounting evidence of the harmful effect of cigarettes on children. The Royal College of Physicians report found 22,000 new cases of asthma a year, with 4,000 of them in Scotland. It also identified 20,000 chest infections, 120,000 bouts of middle ear disease and 200 cases of meningitis claimed to be linked to the effects of second hand smoke. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 1, Daily Telegraph page 9, Courier page 11, Press and Journal page 7, Times page 1, Guardian page 17) 

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Trans-fats: Research has found that trans-fats found in processed foods and ready meals increase the risks of serious womb disease.  However, fats in oily fish could protect against it. (Scotsman page 7) 

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Diabetes: Almost 200,000 people in Scotland have Type 2 diabetes according to figures announced at an Edinburgh conference. Much of this growth has been attributed to Scotland’s growing obesity crisis. (Scotsman page 12) 

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Breast Cancer Screening:  Danish research has found there were few differences between women who were screened for breast cancer and those who were not when it came to deaths from breast cancer. (Herald page 5, Times page 7) 

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Politics

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Prostitution Legislation: MSPs have heard from a police chief and a prostitute support service that Labour plans to clamp down on prostitution through strict legislation could drive the sex trade further underground. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 6) 

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Anne Moffat: East Lothian Labour MP Anne Moffat has lost her battle to run in the General Election and has accused the Labour party of “systematic and sustained” bullying. She expressed sympathy for the East Lothian voters “who now only have two choices: a bitter and divided Labour party or the Tories”. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 2, Daily Telegraph page 6, Courier page 9) 

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Minimum alcohol pricing: Support amongst MSPs for minimum alcohol pricing has been bolstered by the testimony of Canadian experts who argued minimum alcohol pricing had been effective in reducing Canada’s alcohol problems, especially amongst youths and heavy drinkers. (Herald page 6, Courier page 10, Press and Journal page 11)

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