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Reform Scotland News: 16 February 2012

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.  In addition to the newspaper stories outlined below, further news coverage can be found online at BBC News Scotland, STV News and Sky News

Politics
Cameron on the Union:
David Cameron is expected to make a speech in Scotland today stressing his commitment to maintaining the Union as a matter for “head, heart and soul”. (Scotsman page 1, David Cameron in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Times page 1, Sun page 2, Express page 1, Record page 9, Mail page 2, John MacLeod in the Mail, Guardian page 6, P&J page 12, Courier page 13, FT page 4, Telegraph page 1)

Oil wealth: In a speech to the London School of Economics yesterday, Alex Salmond claimed that an independent Scotland would be able to set aside £1bn a year in oil money over the first 20 years. (Scotsman page 4, David Torrance in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Sun page 2, Record page 8, P&J page 12)

‘Cybernats’: Lord Robertson has called on the SNP to condemn its supports who engage in abuse over the internet.  He has criticised the practice that sees anonymous internet users go online and criticise those who disagree with independence in personal and crude terms. (Scotsman page 5, Herald page 4, Express page 10)

Catholic Church: The Catholic Church in Scotland has issued a rebuke to the UK government after Cardinal Keith O’Brien was left out of an official visit to the Vatican, despite the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales being invited.  Six government ministers, including Scottish Secretary Michael Moore, were also on the trip. (Scotsman page 7, Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman, Michael Fry in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Times page 12)

House of Lords: Martin Kettle in the Guardian comments the Lib Dems pursuit of reforming the House of Lords is a waste of what time they may have left in government.

Economy
Job losses:
A further 16,000 became unemployed between October and December last year according to official figures with 231,000 Scots now out of work.  Youth unemployment has reached 102,000 in Scotland and across the UK as a whole unemployment has reached 2.67million.  Women are reportedly facing the brunt of the crisis with 400 losing their jobs each day.  (Scotsman page 12, Nicholas Terry in the Scotsman, Grahame Smith in the Scotsman, Herald page 6, Sun page 1, Express page 4, Record page 8, Mail page 1, Guardian page 2, Zoe Williams in the Guardian, P&J page 1, Courier page 1, Mirror page 11, FT page 2, Telegraph page 10)

Rangers: Further coverage of the crisis at Rangers FC. (Scotsman page 1, Dawn Robertson in the Scotsman, Graham Spiers in the Scotsman, Michael Kelly in the Scotsman, Herald page 1, Times page 1, Sun page 1, Express page 7, Record page 1, Mail page 4)

Inflation: The Bank of England’s latest forecast for inflation and growth indicated that inflation would be just below its 2 per cent medium-term target by the end of 2012. (FT page 2, Bill Jamieson in the Scotsman.)

Health
Minimum pricing:
The UK government is reportedly moving closer to following the Scottish government’s proposals for a minimum price for alcohol. (Scotsman page 5, Guardian page 10, Sarah Boseley in the Guardian, P&J page 17, Mirror page 10, Telegraph page 8)

Justice
Sex offenders:
Three men have won their right to be removed from the sex offenders register.  Those removed had been found guilty of exposure, inappropriately grabbing a woman and kissing a teenager.  Lord Gill at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh said the appeals raised a question over the application for those offenses not included on the specific list of offenses which results in an offender being placed on the register. (Herald page 2)