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Reform Scotland News: 27 February 2013

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
Catholic Church:
Further coverage and comment following Cardinal O’Brien’s resignation and decision not to attend the conclave in Rome amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour.  Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the retired Archbishop of Westminster, commented yesterday that what had happened had damaged the Catholic Church in Scotland. (Scotsman page 10, Ronnie Convery in the Scotsman, Dani Garavelli in the Scotsman, Sun page 1, Herald page 3, Ian Bell in the Herald, Times page 4, Record page 8, Express page 2, Telegraph page 7, Mail page 17, Guardian page 6, Joanna Moorhead in the Guardian, P&J page 21, Courier page 18, Jennifer Cosgrove in the Courier)

Lord Rennard: Further coverage of allegations against the Liberal Democrats former chief executive, Lord Rennard.  (Sun page 13, Herald page 1, Times page 9, Daniel Finkelstein in the Times, Record page 10, Express page 4, Telegraph page 1, Mary Riddell in the Telegraph, FT page 2, Mail page 7, Guardian page 8, P&J page 5)

EU membership: Speaking in Brussels yesterday Nicola Sturgeon commented that an independent Scotland would issue a “notification of intent” to negotiate membership of the EU immediately following a yes vote. (Herald page 6, Times page 3, Telegraph page 20, Mail page 12, P&J page 15, Courier page 16)

Young Scots for Independence: There are allegations of bullying within the youth wing of the SNP over the expulsion, then reinstatement, of Kenny Murray from the Young Scots for Independence over comments he made on Twitter regarding the Yes campaign’s strategy. (Scotsman page 20)

Eastleigh: Brian Wilson in the Scotsman considers the Eastleigh by-election, due to take place this week, and its consequences for the UK government’s coalition.

Independence and the economy: Michael Fry in the Scotsman comments on the opportunities that independence could offer to Scotland’s entrepreneurs.

Yes campaign: Eddie Barnes in the Scotsman comments that the Yes campaign needs to convince risk-adverse voters they should take the chance on independence.

Scotland in Europe: Alex Orr in the Scotsman comments on the impact small countries with the EU can have.

Economy
Price-fixing:
Tesco has been fined £6.5million following a price-fixing investigation. The Office of Fair Trading believes that collusion between retailers led to shoppers paying 2p more for a litre of milk and 2p more per 100g of cheese. (Scotsman page 1, FT page 4)

First-time buyers: The number of first-time buyers becoming home-owners in Scotland in 2012 reached 19,000, the highest number since 2008. (Herald page 2, Express page 25, Courier page 2)

North Sea skills gap: Geoff Holmes, chief executive of Talisman Sinopec Energy UK, has commented that there is a shortage of experienced staff in the North Sea oil industry in Scotland which could jeopardize safety standards. (P&J page 1)

Justice
Phones in prison:
Kenny MacAskill has reportedly ruled out a suggestion by the Scottish Prison Service’s chief executive that telephones be installed in prison cells. (Scotsman page 13, Sun page 2, Herald page 6, Record page 4, Mail page 17)

Education
University students:
The Scottish government has reportedly told universities that at least 20 per cent of students should come from poorer backgrounds or they could face sanctions. (Scotsman page 8, Herald page 7)

Health
A&E waiting:
According to official figures 323 patients had to wait more than 12 hours in Scottish A&E departments in December – the highest level since figures started being compiled in 2007. (Scotsman page 1, Margaret Watt in the Scotsman, Sun page 2, Herald page 7, Times page 1, Record page 2, Express page 25, Telegraph page 8, Mail page 13, Courier page 16)

Nurses: Scottish hospitals are reportedly short of more than 1,600 nurses, with 400 posts remaining empty for more than three months. (Herald page 3)