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REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 23 JULY 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 23 July 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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Lockerbie Senate Inquiry: The Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has declined an invitation to give evidence in person before a United States Senate committee looking into the circumstances surrounding the release of the Lockerbie bomber. Tony Blair and Jack Straw have also been invited to give evidence (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 1).

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Scottish arts funding: Arts organisations in Scotland have been told to prepare for budget cuts of up to 10 per cent. Companies like Scottish Opera have reportedly been asked to provide details of what they would do if faced by cuts of 3, 7 or 10 per cent (Herald page 3).

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AV referendum: Labour and Conservative backbenchers are reported to be considering joining forces on an amendment which would force the government to change the date of the voting reform referendum so that it does not clash with the Scottish and Welsh elections (Scotsman page 2).

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Independent Budget Review: Bill Jamieson previews next Thursday’s publication of the report of the Independent Budget Review committee and suggests that Scottish Enterprise is a good starting point for cuts (Scotsman page 33).

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Creative Scotland: The leaders of the new arts agency Creative Scotland have said that they want it to become involved in development and promotion of the arts in addition to giving out funding (Times page 19, Scotsman page 8).

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Transport 

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A8 upgrade: The Scottish Government has faced calls to account for the delay in making a decision about upgrading the A8 section of the M8 between Glasgow and Edinburgh (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 13).

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Health

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Alcohol prices: Asda has announced that it will set a floor price for alcohol in its supermarkets, with no drinks sold at below the cost of duty on the drink plus VAT. The British Medical Association and some politicians said that this did not go far enough (Scotsman page 10).

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Dementia drugs: A study has found that more than 5,000 dementia patients in Scotland are being given antipsychotic drugs which could be putting their lives at risk (Herald page 4).

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Education

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Glasgow colleges: A £300 million plan for a new ‘super college’ in Glasgow is in doubt after ministers said they needed more time to decide whether to approve it (TESS page 1).