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Reform Scotland News: 3 December 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

Glasgow helicopter crash: It has been confirmed that nine people died in the Helicopter crash in Glasgow on Friday night, six of whom were inside the pub when the tragedy occurred.  The remains of the police helicopter were removed from the area yesterday and are being taken to the Air Accident Investigations Branch at Farnborough. An initial statement from the Air Accident Investigations Branch reported that no mayday call had been made before the crash happened.  In the House of Commons yesterday, Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael led tributes to the emergency services, as well as the ordinary Scots for the way in which they had responded. (Scotsman page 1, Sun page 1, Record page 1, Times page 1, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 1, Mail page 1, Guardian page 4, Courier page 1, P&J page 11)

Immigration: Scotland’s immigrant population has doubled from 191,571 in 2001 to 369,284 in 2011. However, the proportion of immigrants in Scotland is 7% compared to 13% for England and Wales. (Scotsman page 14, Sun page 8, Herald page 3, Mail page 19, P&J page 8)

EU membership: Sir David Edward, a former judge at the European Court of Justice, has commented that EU states would be legally obliged to launch negotiations on Scotland’s status in the EU if Scotland became independent. (FT page 2)

Robin Harper: Former Green Party MSP Robin Harper has commented that he intends to vote against independence. (Mail page 6)

Currency: Peter Jones in the Scotsman argues that the Scottish Government needs a currency plan.

Economy

Energy costs: Energy companies have reportedly announced plans to reduce their planned increases in prices following an announcement by the Chancellor that the costs of some of the energy-efficiency schemes will be rolled back in the Autumn Statement.  (Scotsman page 12, Sun page 12, Record page 10, Herald page 1, Telegraph page 8, FT page 4, Polly Toynbee in the Guardian, Courier page 13, P&J page 18)

RBS & NatWest: Millions of RBS and NatWest debit cardholders were reportedly left unable to use their cards last night after a technical problem crashed payment systems. (Times page 1, Herald page 1, Mail page 8, Courier page 20)

Savers: According to the Bank of England savers have been withdrawing money from their accounts at the fastest rate for nearly 40 years. (Telegraph page 1)

Education

PISA: A report by the Programme for International Student Assessment has reportedly shown Scottish mean scores in literacy and numeracy in 2012 were roughly in line with those recorded in 2009.  Scotland recorded mean scores in maths, reading and science of 498, 506 and 514.  Scottish results were higher than the UK average for maths and reading, though lower than England for science. (Scotsman page 10, Martin Stephen in the Telegraph)

Health

Alcohol: According to an NHS study, people in Central Scotland are more likely to die from alcohol-related causes than those in comparable parts of northern England. (Scotsman page 17, Herald page 10, Mail page 20)