Scottish news bulletin: 13th March 2009

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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.

Economy

Madoff: The Royal Bank of Scotland has revealed losses in the region of £600 million as a result of the Bernard Madoff scandal. Mr Madoff faces a sentence of up to 150 years after pleading guilty to 11 charges of investment fraud. (Scotsman page 1, page 4, page 5, Herald page 1, page 11, FT page 1, The Guardian page 26, page 27, Daily Express page 9, The Daily Telegraph page 1, page B2, page B5, The Courier page 12, The Daily Mail page 20, Daily Mirror page 17, The Sun page 8)

Standard Life: Edinburgh based insurer, Standard Life, has reported higher than expected annual profits. (Scotsman page 33, Herald page 36, The Times page 55, FT page 19, Daily Express page 78, The Daily Telegraph page B2, The Courier page 17, The Press and Journal page 17)

NCR: Scottish-based cash machine manufacturer NCR is to cease production at its Dundee plant, which will result in the loss of 252 jobs. (Scotsman page 6, Herald
page 4, Daily Express page 16, The Courier page 1, page 13, The Press and Journal page 1, Daily Record page 2)

Sir Fred Goodwin: MPs have called for Sir Fred Goodwin, former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive, to be stripped of his knighthood, following his recent refusal to hand back any of his £703,000 yearly pension. (Scotsman page 2, Herald page 7, Daily Express page 17, The Press and Journal page 12, Daily Record page 1, Daily Mirror page 20)

Bankrupt Britain: Bill Jamieson comments on a recent report which suggests that Britain is on course for bankruptcy. (Scotsman page 26)

Crime

Laming Report: The Laming report on child protection services has been welcomed by Scottish Ministers, despite the fact it is in regard to the current English system. The Scottish Education Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, said that the lessons would also be learned in Scotland, but stressed that there would be a difference in approach. (Herald page 2, The Courier page 16)

Transport

Forth Bridge: Commuters using the Forth Road Bridge face major disruptions as a result of changes to the Ferry toll interchange, just north of the bridge. Transport Scotland has revealed that the rebuilding of this particular junction will be the most difficult part of the £2.3 billion project. (Scotsman page 9)

M74 Extension: MSPs yesterday urged the First Minister, Alex Salmond, to ensure that taxpayers will not be left to ‘foot the bill’ for any increased costs associated with the delay of the £700 million M74 motorway extension project. (Scotsman page 13, The Press and Journal page 7)

Edinburgh Trams Dispute: The ongoing dispute over Edinburgh’s tram project, which has already seen the start of work on Princes Street held back for 3 weeks, is now expected to be settled by an independent assessor, which could result in further delays. (Scotsman page 23)

Local Government

Edinburgh City Council: Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera have launched an attack on Edinburgh City Council after being overlooked, for the second year running, in the local authority’s annual round of grants to arts bodies. (Scotsman page 23)

Health

Heart Disease: Scottish scientists have conducted research revealing that wearing a face mask to protect from traffic fumes could reduce the risk of heart disease. (Scotsman page 15)

Education

Student Finance: Robert McNeil comments in the Scotsman on the MSP debate over the current arrangements for student finance. (Scotsman page 16)

Joint Future Thinking Taskforce: A strategy by the Scottish Government to shape the future of higher education has been branded a ‘disappointment’ by one of the sectors leading figures Dr Brian Lang, a former principal of St Andrews University. (Herald page 7, Scotsman page 16, The Times page 27)

Politics

Prisoners Dispute: The Scottish Secretary, Jim Murphy, has announced that talks are due to start immediately between Westminster and the Scottish Government on plans to prevent a surge of claims by prisoners, who feel that the current arrangement of ‘slopping out’ is in violation of their human rights. (Scotsman page 6)

Budget Cuts: The Scottish Government has joined forces with leaders of the other UK devolved administrations in Belfast and Cardiff to protest at budget cuts proposed by the Chancellor, Alistair Darling. (Herald page 6)

Alcohol Price Plan: A group of legal experts, from a firm renowned for its expertise in EU law, have concluded that the Scottish Government’s plans to introduce a minimum price for alcohol could fall foul of European law. (The Times page 9, Daily record page 2)

Reform Scotland is an independent, non-party think tank that aims to set out a better way to deliver increased economic prosperity and more effective public services based on the traditional Scottish principles of limited government, diversity and personal responsibility.

www.reformscotland.com

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