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REFORM SCOTLAND NEWS: 08 February 2011

Reform Scotland

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Daily Political Newspaper Summary: 8 February 2011

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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 highlighted 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: Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Labour party have reportedly come under attack from all parties after new documents on the release of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, revealed that the previous government “did all it could” to facilitate the release, and developed a policy to assist the Libyan government in its appeal to the Scottish Government. While the revelations sparked angry scenes in Westminster and accusations from the coalition that the previous Labour administration had been "misleading" about its policy, there was fury from SNP ministers, who said that the actions contradicted statements made at the time by the Labour Party in Scotland. (Herald page 3, Scotsman page 4, Guardian page 4, FT page 2, Telegraph page 4, Times page 3, Press & Journal page 5, Courier page 10, Express page 4, Sun page 6, Mirror page 6, Daily Mail page 4, Record page 2)

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Scotland Bill: More documents relating to the proposed Scotland Bill have been released, outlining ministerial meetings and correspondence with the treasury. A document also sets out the position on financial responsibility and outlines the suggested tax scheme. (Scotsman page 9, Press & Journal page 11, Courier page 7, Record page 6)

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Economy

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Fuel costs: The rising cost of fuel is hitting both families and businesses, and threatening to ruin economic growth. A Plaid Cymru-SNP commons motion is reportedly condemning the coalition government for being too slow in setting up a fuel duty stabiliser. The motion also suggests a discount in duty for those who live in remote areas, who use their vehicle more than their urban counterparts, yet face higher fuel costs. (Herald page 5, Scotsman page 9, Daily Mail page 19)

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Housing Market: According to the RICS UK Housing Market Survey, Scotland saw a 16% rise in the number of potential buyers enquiring about properties last month. This makes Scotland the area of the UK which saw the biggest increase in demand for property. (Herald page 5, Scotsman page 10, Courier page 3)

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Transport

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Travel chaos: Heavy snow and rain caused travel chaos across Scotland yesterday, as several roads were closed and travel conditions became treacherous in some places. Edinburgh and Glasgow were severely affected by flooding and the MET office has now issued warnings of widespread ice developing overnight. In the north, fresh snowfalls have caused further problems to driving conditions. (Herald page 11, Scotsman page 6, Press & Journal page 11, Courier page 8, Express page 11, Sun page 13, Daily Mail page 7, Record page 11)

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Health

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Bowel Cancer: Currently more than 6% of those diagnosed with bowel cancer die within a month after the diagnosis. This is now being attributed to poor lifestyle choices, such as bad diet, excessive smoking and drinking. Cancer Research UK suggests that a better lifestyle can prevent cancer and other major diseases, and increase the chance of survival once diagnosed. (Herald page 4, Scotsman page 22, Press & Journal page 7, Courier page 6, Express page 5, Sun page 22)

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Chemotherapy device: Researchers at Edinburgh University’s School of Chemistry have developed a device that could lead to chemotherapy without the side effects, such as hair loss, sickness and weakened immunity. The device could enable treatment to be focused on where it is needed, thus protecting the rest of the body and reducing side effects. (Herald page 5, Daily Mail page 11)

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Education

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Future of education: Scotland’s college principals have commissioned an independent review on the future of higher education, which will look at funding, widening access to higher education and the needs of the economy. (Scotsman page 6, Courier page 7)

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School week: The proposal for a four day school week, in an attempt to save over £2 million, has been rejected as it failed to win political support. A suggestion to start primary school at age 6 is being explored instead. (Press & Journal page 6, Sun page 16)

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