07 Dec News in Scotland Friday
Independence: SNP accused of being “amateurs” of referendum campaign
Chancellor George Osborne has said he is “staggered” by the lack of detail coming from the SNP’s independence campaign. A Whitehall insider is also reported to have said the independence debate is “professionals versus amateurs”. The Better Together campaign are privately happy with their campaign so far and believe it is already won however Alex Salmond recently swept aside recent opinion polls showing ‘yes’ is well behind arguing that the real campaign is yet to begin.
Scottish rich and poor gap in reading now 3 years, warns study
Scottish boys who do well at school in poor backgrounds lag behind their wealthy counterparts in reading by three years a new study has found. When compared to young males from disadvantaged backgrounds across 32 nations, Scots performed poorly. Astonishingly, Scotland was bottom of 32 nations which took part in the OECD international PISA reading tests.
Tourism: Fewer visitors to Scotland spend more
There were only 297,000 overnight stays by visitors to Scotland in the first three months of this year compared to 325,000 at the same time last year, a new report shows. However, the rapidly weakening pound means visitors spend more. Spending increased from £148mn to £180mn by European holidaymakers over the period which is an increase of 21 percent.
Ireland: Law passed allowing limited abortion rights
Irish parliamentarians have passed a law which allows women to have abortions on the condition that the birth would be life-threatening or if the mother is suicidal. It is expected that women will continue to make visits to the UK to gain access to abortion services.
Microsoft worked with NSA to permit interception of user data
According to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian newspaper, Microsoft collaborated extensively with the US intelligence services to allow users’ communications to be intercepted. The software giant helped the NSA to circumvent its own encryption in order to intercept web chats and facilitated access to outlook emails including hotmail. The secret files which show extensive collaboration with intelligence agencies was is the latest in a batch of highly sensitive information handed over to the newspaper by US whistleblower Edward Snowden. Other documents have shown that the US has spied on its European allies and that the Obama regime has eavesdropped on US and international citizens phone calls.
Syria: Threat of chaos as US-backed insurgents turn on al Qaeda allies
Syrian insurgents who are fighting government forces have warned that the assassination of their leading commander by militants linked to al Qaeda is effectively an act of war. With tensions mounting between Islamist militants and the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the West’s strategy of removing Syria’s government appears to be increasingly shambolic.
Support Our INDEPENDENCE SURVEYS APPEAL