REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 30 NOVEMBER 2010

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary:  30 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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Calman: Scottish Secretary Michael Moore has said the transfer of powers over air weapons, drink-driving and speed limits from Westminster to Holyrood will allow Scottish Ministers to make decisions that are responsive to Scotland’s needs. The new powers are being announced today at Westminster in the Scotland Bill, which will also give Holyrood more tax and borrowing powers. The measures are in response to the recommendations in the Calman Commission on Scottish Devolution and are backed by Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. (Herald page 6, Alan Cochrane in Telegraph page 15, Times page 12, Courier page 8)

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Peter Jones writes in the Scotsman on the reasons why the SNP should back the Calman proposals to make the devolved Scottish government more accountable and responsible for its actions. (Scotsman page 27)

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WikiLeaks: Hillary Clinton last night denounced the publication of hundreds of thousands of secret diplomatic cables as an attack on the international community. The US Secretary of State also warned those responsible for the leaks that America was taking “aggressive steps” against them. Her words came as the second set of sensitive cables was released by the WikiLeaks website, which is threatening to publish more than 250,000 of the documents over the coming days. Among the revelations was the fact that Arab leaders had urged the US to bomb Iran, amid fears over its nuclear ambitions. Ms Clinton said that the calls for American action should not have been a “surprise” to observers and that Iran’s actions in recent years had been of concern to its near neighbours as well as to other parts of the world. (Herald page 2, FT page 16, Telegraph page 1, Times page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Guardian page 1, Daily Mirror page 1, Daily Mail page 6) 

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St Andrews Day: US President Barack Obama has delivered a special message to Scotland to mark St Andrew\’s Day. A statement delivered by Hillary Clinton on behalf of the president acknowledged the close ties between the two nations and "congratulated" the people of Scotland on their national day. It is thought to be the first time that an American government official, or an American administration, has sent such a message. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 3, Telegraph page 1, Press and Journal page 6, Sun page 12) 

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Economy

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Economic recovery: Chancellor George Osborne declared yesterday that Britain is “on the mend.” Mr Osborne said the Office for Budget Responsibility’s assessment was evidence that the Coalition’s cuts are working and a double-dip recession will be avoided. The OBR predicted over the next four years steady growth, one million more private-sector jobs and a hefty reduction in the budget deficit. Plus, the 490,000 job losses it previously forecast for the public sector have been reduced to 330,000 because ministers have focused more on cuts in welfare than on departmental spending. “Britain’s economic recovery is on track,” the Chancellor told MPs. “The economy is growing, more jobs are being created and the deficit is falling. The OBR’s central forecast is for sustainable growth of over 2% for each of the next five years and employment rising in each and every year,” he said. (Herald page 1, Scotsman page 6, FT page 2, Courier page 10, Guardian page 12, Daily Record page 6,  

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Cairn Energy: Cairn Energy has beaten off competition from around the world to win another exploration licence off Greenland, where its directors hope to make bumper finds of oil and gas. Soon after completing its first season of drilling off Greenland, the Edinburgh-based company has won confirmation that its bid for more exploration acreage has been successful. Cairn is one of seven international firms that won the right to explore in the Baffin Bay off North West Greenland in the latest licensing round completed by the country’s Government. With giants like Shell and ConocoPhillips in the winners’ list, this provided further evidence that Greenland has captured the attention of some of the industry’s biggest names. (Herald page 27) 

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Transport

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Snow: One in five Scottish employees failed to make it to work after snow blizzards and freezing temperatures closed schools and caused transport chaos – forcing staff to stay at home. The extreme weather brought much of Scotland to a halt yesterday, with transport networks disrupted, schools closed, key events cancelled and thousands hit by power cuts. (Scotsman page 1, Herald page 3, Telegraph page 6, Times page 1, Courier page 1, Press and Journal page 1, Guardian page 11, Daily Mail page 6, Sun page 6, Daily Express page 3)