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REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 17 JUNE 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 17 June 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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In addition to the newspaper stories outlined below, further news coverage can be found online at BBC News Scotland, STV News and Sky News  

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Politics

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Frank McAveety: The Labour MSP, who was caught on microphone making inappropriate comments about a member of the public at the Public Petitions Committee on Tuesday, has resigned as convenor of the committee and as Labour’s sport spokesman. It has also emerged that the woman in question was “of school-age” and on a work placement with Green MSP Robin Harper. (Scotsman page 10, Herald page 7, Alan Cochrane in the Daily Telegraph page 10, Press and Journal page 9, Courier page 1, Times page 3, Daily Express page 1, Daily Mail page 5, Sun page 1 ) 

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MP Expenses: The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has outlined proposals that would put MPs being investigated over their expense claims in front of public hearings. (Scotsman page 13, Daily telegraph page 8, Guardian page 8, Daily Express page 1, Daily Mail page 12, Sun page 4) 

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Drink Driving: Scottish ministers are pushing for greater powers over drink-driving after a report for the UK government proposed a lower limit and a twelve-month driving ban on motorists who exceed the limit. (Herald page 1, Daily Telegraph page 14, Press and Journal page 11, Times page 15, Guardian page 11, Daily Mail page 1) 

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Scottish Affairs Select Committee:  The SNP could fail to get a single seat in the Scottish Affairs Select Committee due to new coalition government rules that assign Commons committee positions based on proportionality of party seats in Westminster. (Scotsman page 15, Herald page 6, Press and Journal page 13) 

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Public Sector Jobs:  Official figures reveal 700 more officials were hired by the Scottish Government over the past year, despite the recession forcing Scottish businesses to lay off 35,000 workers. (Daily Telegraph page 4) 

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Green Vehicles: Alex Salmond has announced a fund of nearly £8 million to promote the use of environmentally friendly vehicles by public bodies and bus companies. (Scotsman page 22, Press and Journal page 6, Courier page 8) 

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Linda Fabiani: Former SNP minister Linda Fabiani is facing possible deselection from the party over her failure to hold regular MSP surgeries. (Herald page 6) 

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Economy

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Financial & banking reform: George Osborne set out dramatic reform of financial services regulation in his Mansion House speech yesterday. Reforms include the scrapping the FSA, replacing it with a new regulator which will operate as a subsidiary of the Bank of England. Clark McGinn comments in the Scotsman that banks need tighter regulation and not a levy. The Independent Commission on Banking has launched a year-long review to examine the risks of different banks. (Scotsman page 2, Scotsman page B1, Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page 2, Press and Journal page 5, Courier page 10, Times page 5, Guardian page 1, Nils Pratley in the Guardian, Financial Times page 1) 

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Unemployment: Scottish unemployment rose by 7,000 to 212,000 in the three months to April – a 35,000 increase on the year before. The total UK jobless figure rose by 23,000, meaning one in three of those are north of the Border. (Scotsman page 16, Herald page 6, Daily Telegraph page B2, Press and Journal page 5, Courier page 11, Times page 21, Guardian page 29, Financial Times page 4, Daily Express page 17, Daily Mail page 4) 

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Interest Rates:  The Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King has reassured people that interest rates will not rise in response to ‘volatile’ inflation, but that they will eventually have to rise as the quantitative easing stimulus is wound down. (Herald page 32, Daily Telegraph page B5) 

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Health

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Sick pigs to cure humans: Scottish scientists are creating genetically modified pigs to suffer from incurable human diseases so they can be used by drug companies to test new therapies. (Scotsman page 1, Hugh McLachlan in the Scotsman) 

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Locum Doctors:  Hospitals have been told by Audit Scotland they should use locum doctors more efficiently in order to cut their current costs of £47 million a year by £6 million. There have also been concerns raised that insufficient checks are made on locum doctors thereby putting patients at risk. (Scotsman page 20, Herald page 9, Press and Journal page 8, Courier page 11, Daily Express page 10 

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Men’s Health Forum:  Eva Asante, the new director of Men’s Health Forum Scotland has said that men have lost identity and confidence over the past thirty years. (Herald page 1) 

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Breast Cancer: Research published today shows that almost 1,000 women are dying needlessly from breast cancer each year because they fail to recognise the symptoms. (Daily Telegraph page 6) 

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Transport

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BA: Talks aimed at ending the long running BA cabin crew dispute ended without agreement yesterday. (Scotsman page 2, Press and Journal page 13)  

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Hover Service:  Stagecoach has secured European funding for a project to introduce a hovercraft service between Kircaldy and Portobello. (Courier page 9) 

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Justice

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Jail for wartime gun: A woman who claimed she had kept a wartime handgun as a memento of her father has been jailed for five years – the mandatory minimum sentence for possessing a handgun. (Scotsman page 13, herald page 7, Daily Telegraph page 7, Press and Journal page 1, Courier page 1, Times page 11, Daily Express page 5, Daily Record page 1) 

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Assets Seizures:  The total sum of asset seized from criminal gangs in Scotland has fallen to a four-year low, with £5.5 million confiscated in the last year, down from £6.3 million in the previous year. (Scotsman page 23) 

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Custody: Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill is understood to be in favour of changing Scottish law to allow police to keep suspects in custody for more than the current six hours. (Herald page 1) 

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Education

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Teacher Numbers: Education Secretary Michael Russell has told MSPs that teacher numbers were artificially raised in recent years and are now unsustainable in the current financial climate. (Herald page 6) 

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School Closure:  A SNP-led council in East Ayrshire may be the first local authority to shut a rural school since new legislation was introduced to protect them by SNP ministers. (Herald page 10) 

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Local Government

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John o’Groats: Heritage Great Britain has unveiled provisional plans to give John o’Groats a facelift in order to match its status as a tourist destination. (Scotsman page 22)