REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 23 November 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 23 November 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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Irish general election: Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen was last night forced to agree to an election in January amid budgetary disputes that could leave British banks exposed to £140 billion of debt. (Scotsman page 6, Herald page 6, FT page 1, Telegraph page 1, Times page 6, Guardian page 12, Press and Journal page 5, Courier page 10, Record page 2, Daily Mail page 6, Mirror page 9)

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Economy

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Scottish economic recovery: The Bank of Scotland has said that the country’s economic recovery will likely slow in the coming months, due to weak consumer confidence and the lack of expensive items, such as cars, being bought. (Scotsman page 7, Herald page 26, Press and Journal page 16, Courier page 7)

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House building: Homes for Scotland is set to ask political parties at Holyrood to increase house building by 10% in an attempt to help the economy. (Scotsman Business page 1)

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Banks’ risk-taking: Holyrood’s Economy Committee, in its submission to the Independent Commission on Banking, has called for banks to avoid taking risks with savers’ money. The Independent Commission on Banking met in Edinburgh last night and the Holyrood Committee’s submission said that there should be "greater limits on a bank\’s ability to carry out propriety trading and investment – to use its own money and assets to \’gamble\’ in the markets”. (Scotsman page 2)

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Justice

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Forest explosion: Police have confirmed that evidence taken from the scene of the potential terrorist threat from last week is being forensically examined at a specialist laboratory. Both the Royal Navy and the Met police have been assisting Strathclyde police in the investigation. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 9, Courier page 7, Record page 6, Daily Mail page 20, Daily Express page 15)

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Transport

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Edinburgh trams: The row over the fate of Edinburgh\’s main bus company continues amid claims the SNP only agreed to back the city\’s pro-tram business leader as the new figurehead of Lothian Buses in return for saving a charity for blind and disabled people, which was under threat of closure. The appointment of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Ron Hewitt is being reported as a key "bargaining chip" between the Nationalists and the Liberal Democrats. (Scotsman page 9)

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Health

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Hospital inspections: More hospitals are to be subjected to unannounced checks after more cases where staff were negligent have been uncovered. The HEI found 12 hospitals where they said the staff were not taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infections such as MRSA and Clostridium Difficile. The ‘shock’ inspections are to ensure standards are consistently high. (Scotsman page 4, Herald page 2)

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Diabetes drug: Researchers from Dundee University have found that the drug metformin, usually used to fight the effects of diabetes, can actually assist the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s. (Scotsman page 23, Herald page 8, Press and Journal page 4, Courier page 9, Daily Mail page 25)

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Education

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Prince Philip: The Duke of Edinburgh is set to retire from many of his public roles, including his Chancellorships of the University of Edinburgh and the University of Cambridge, when he turns 90 next June. (Scotsman page 10, Telegraph page 4, Times page 10, Press and Journal page 5, Courier page 13, Daily Mail page 8)

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Glasgow budget cuts: Education will reportedly bear the brunt of the £90 million cuts which face Glasgow. £33.5 million is set to be cut from the education budget next year. This could provoke industrial action. (Herald page 2)

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Teaching jobs: It is reported that 1,200 teaching jobs could be left empty under a new SNP deal with Cosla on jobs for probationary teachers.  The arrangement would see only 4,600 of the 5,800 teaching jobs being filled next year. (Scotsman page 11)