The Herald - - OPINION -


Scot­land’s ma­jor new mu­sic venue un­der con­struc­tion on the River Clyde is up to two months be­hind sched­ule and faces the prospect of head­line con­certs by some of the world’s top rock and pop acts be­ing can­celled. The Hy­dro, which sits along­side the Scottish Exhibition and Con­fer­ence Cen­tre (SECC) in Glas­gow, is also run­ning mil­lions of pounds over bud­get amid le­gal wran­glings be­tween the con­trac­tor and the client, the SECC. Main con­trac­tor Lend Lease is hold­ing out for around

£98 mil­lion while the SECC is stick­ing to a fee of around £90m in a dis­agree­ment over the fi­nal bill.


The Scottish Gov­ern­ment is in talks with the Of­fice of Fair Trad­ing, it emerged yes­ter­day, as Jus­tice Sec­re­tary Kenny Ma­caskill, pic­tured, said he is look­ing “care­fully” at al­co­hol prices. The gov­ern­ment has in­sisted pric­ing forms part of its long term strat­egy for tack­ling the coun­try’s drink prob­lem, and will in­tro­duce bans on pro­mo­tions and dis­plays by Septem­ber 2009. How­ever, con­fir­ma­tion that of­fi­cials have had dis­cus­sions with the OFT sug­gests Mr Ma­caskill is look­ing to in­tro­duce a min­i­mum pric­ing sys­tem in Scot­land. The Jus­tice Sec­re­tary said: “The is­sue of price is one that we are look­ing at care­fully. Al­co­hol mis­use is caus­ing far too much dam­age in Scottish com­mu­ni­ties and it’s cost­ing our crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem, econ­omy and NHS dearly.”


An ur­gent in­ves­ti­ga­tion was an­nounced last night into the case of Bev­er­ley Al­litt, the nurse con­victed of mur­der­ing four chil­dren in her care and at­tempt­ing to mur­der oth­ers. Griev­ing par­ents want to know why of­fi­cials at Gran­tham and Kesteven Hos­pi­tal failed to react sooner to the mys­te­ri­ous deaths and ill­nesses on her ward. They were also shocked to dis­cover at the end of the three-month trial that Al­litt suf­fered from a dan­ger­ous per­son­al­ity dis­or­der. There were ac­cu­sa­tions last night that doc­tors at the Lin­colnshire hos­pi­tal should have re­alised she showed clas­sic symp­toms of the dis­or­der.

100 YEARS AGO Europe’s first lung trans­plant pa­tient, 15-year-old Alexan­der Smith, of Breas­cleit, Isle of Lewis, winked and waved to his fa­ther yes­ter­day in Ed­in­burgh Royal In­fir­mary. An of­fi­cial bul­letin stated that the con­di­tion of the boy, who un­der­went his trans­plant op­er­a­tion on Wed­nes­day, “con­tin­ued to be sat­is­fac­tory.” Mr Fin­lay Smith, the boy’s fa­ther, saw him twice yes­ter­day through a glass panel in the in­ten­sive care unit at the in­fir­mary, and said after­wards: “He seems to be get­ting on fine.” He added that he had taken an oath with the med­i­cal team that he would say noth­ing in pub­lic about the op­er­a­tion.

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