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'Enormous challenge' to produce own Scottish currency

Scotland would face an "enormous challenge" to produce their own currency if it became independent, according to the chair of HSBC, Douglas Flint.

Polls show most Scots want to retain the pound if they become independent.
Polls show most Scots want to retain the pound if they become independent. Credit: Edward Smith/EMPICS Entertainment

He said: "Scotland would be faced with monetary policy implementation without representation - a very odd form of independence."

The three main parties at Westminster have all ruled out the Scottish Government's preferred option of a formal currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The Scottish referendum vote will take place on September 18.

LMA apology for 'some wording' in 'banter' statement

The League Managers' Association has apologised for a statement yesterday which defended offensive text messages sent by Malky Mackay as "friendly banter."

A new statement issued this morning said:

The LMA apologises for some of its wording, in its release yesterday, which was inappropriate and has been perceived to trivialise matters of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature. That was certainly not our intention.

It is beyond argument that any comments that are discriminatory, even used in private, are totally unacceptable. The LMA remains absolutely aware of our responsibility to the game and to promote and uphold the highest standards of behaviour.

The LMA will not be commenting further on the allegations relating to Malky Mackay whilst The FA conducts its investigation, other than to repeat that both the LMA and Malky will be cooperating fully.

We will continue to work with all of the game's stakeholders to address the important issues of respect and discriminatory behaviour in all its forms.

– LMA

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33 killed, dozens injured, in Egypt bus collision

At least 33 people died and dozens were injured when two buses collided before dawn on Friday in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
At least 33 people died and dozens were injured when two buses collided before dawn on Friday in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Credit: APTN

At least 33 people have died in a bus crash in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula today, the state news agency MENA reported.

Russian, Yemeni and Saudi Arabian citizens were among the more than 40 people injured in the crash in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, local health ministry official Mohamed Lashin told the agency.

One of the buses was travelling from the popular tourist destination Sharm el-Sheikh and the other from a Nile Delta province when they collided shortly before dawn, security sources said.

The injured passengers were transported to two local hospitals while recovery workers continue to lift bodies from the wreckage.

Scotland's economy 'will be in parlous state' if Yes vote

Scotland's economy would be in a "parlous state" if it becomes independent in next month's referendum, the chair of HSBC Scotland claims.

HSBC chairman Douglas Flint.
HSBC chairman Douglas Flint. Credit: PA

Douglas Flint, who describes himself as an exiled Scot, warned that sterling currency was an "anchor of stability" for Scotland.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, he said: "At the extreme, uncertainty over Scotland's currency arrangements could prompt capital flight from the country, leaving its financial system in a parlous state."

Russian aid convoy enters Ukraine 'without permission'

The aid convoy had been held at the Ukrainian border for nearly a week.
The aid convoy had been held at the Ukrainian border for nearly a week. Credit: Reuters

Around 70 Russian aid trucks have now entered Ukraine without permission from Kiev and the previously agreed escort of the Red Cross, Reuters reports.

An unnamed Ukrainian government official told the news agency: "The convoy started to move on its own, without consent from the Ukrainian side and unaccompanied by the Red Cross."

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly been informed of the convoy's progress.

Rise in babies born with penis deformities in Sweden

Swedish scientists are struggling to explain a rise in cases of hypospadias, a condition that causes baby boys to be born with deformed penises.

A 40-year study conducted by researchers at Stockholm's Karolinksa Institute found that incidences of hypospadias in babies born after 1990 jumped significantly from 4.5 boys out of every 1,000 to eight per 1,000.

Scientists cannot explain why more baby boys are being born with penis deformities in Sweden.
Scientists cannot explain why more baby boys are being born with penis deformities in Sweden. Credit: PA

The scientists said that they had taken into account factors such as low-birth weight that could be linked to the condition, but still could not explain the rise, The Local reported.

Hypospadias means the urethral opening is abnormally placed and can affect urination and sexual function later in life.

Lead researcher Dr Anna Skarin Nordenvall told Dagens Medicin newspaper that an unknown factor could be behind the deformities.

She said that scientists could not rule out the theory that chemicals - specifically environmental agents known as endocrine disruptors - could be responsible for the trend.

Endocrine disruptors, which are mostly man-made, can be found in pesticides, plastics and various household products.

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Britain 'must build bridges with Assad to tackle IS'

Britain must build bridges with Syrian President Bashar Assad to tackle the threat from Islamic State (IS) extremists, the former head of the Army has said.

Lord Dannatt is the former head of the British Army.
Lord Dannatt is the former head of the British Army. Credit: PA

Lord Dannatt suggested the West needed to recognise that it had misread the situation in Syria, where it has called for Assad to give up power, and seek the regime's assistance in combating the group.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, the peer said IS had to be "opposed, confronted and defeated" in both Iraq and Syria.

"The Syrian dimension has got to be addressed. You cannot deal with half a problem," he said.

"The old saying my 'enemy's enemy is my friend' has begun to have some resonance with our relationship with Iran.

"I think it's going to have to have some resonance with our relationship with Assad."

LMA's Mackay statement 'accepts racism as banter'

Stan Collymore has worked in broadcasting since his playing career ended.
Stan Collymore has worked in broadcasting since his playing career ended. Credit: PA

Former England striker Stan Collymore has described the League Managers' Association's statement which says Malky Mackay's offensive text messages were part of some "friendly banter" as being "f****** disgraceful".

The LMA released a statement on behalf of former Cardiff manager Mackay on Thursday night after the 42-year-old Scot and Iain Moody were alleged to have shared racist, sexist and homophobic texts when they worked together at the Welsh club.

Collymore tweeted: "LMA statement. F*****g disgraceful. Institutional acceptance of the "banter" of casual racism.

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