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Scottish leader says independence could benefit northern England

By Belinda Goldsmith LONDON (Reuters) - An independent Scotland would work closely with northern England to boost its economy and job opportunities, Scottish leader Alex Salmond will say on Wednesday in a bid to allay concerns south of the border about Scotland quitting the United Kingdom.

No decision on euthanization of two bears at Nova Scotia wildlife park: minister

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's natural resources minister says no decision has been made on euthanizing two bears at the provincial Shubenacadie Wildlife Park. Zach Churchill says a veterinarian needs to assess the health of the animals before the province takes any action. But Churchill says the bears are reaching the end of their expected lifespans and experiencing medical issues. Churchill says he's not sure when a decision will be made. He was responding to a report today that the park was planning to euthanize the two bears.

Former Prime Minister Brown to urge Scots to stick with UK

By Belinda Goldsmith LONDON (Reuters) - Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will warn Scots on Tuesday of a pensions "time bomb" in their ageing population as he joins a fight to dissuade them from voting to leave the United Kingdom. Brown, a Scot, is making his first speech in support of the cross-party Better Together campaign, warning Scots of a possible deficit in pension funds if they opt out of the 307-year old union in a September 18 referendum.

Former British PM Brown steps up bid to keep Scotland in UK

By Belinda Goldsmith LONDON (Reuters) - Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is stepping up his efforts to stop Scotland leaving the United Kingdom as opinion polls show growing support for independence. Brown, a Scot, will on Tuesday make his first speech in support of the cross-party Better Together campaign, warning Scots of a possible deficit in pension funds if they opt out of the 307-year old union in a September 18 referendum.

Scottish nationalists mark 160-day countdown to independence vote

By Belinda Goldsmith ABERDEEN, Scotland (Reuters) - Despite a drumbeat of warnings from businessmen, financiers and British government officials that an independent Scotland would be doomed to failure, Scottish nationalists go into their spring conference this weekend with banners flying and polls showing support for their dream is gathering pace.

British culture minister quits over expenses claims

British culture minister Maria Miller, an ally of Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, was forced to quit her post on Wednesday following a row over her parliamentary expenses. Miller, who oversaw the legalisation of gay marriage and new plans to regulate the press, said she feared she had become a "distraction" for voters ahead of European and local elections next month.

British culture minister quits over expenses claims

Maria Miller, the minister who oversaw future regulation of Britain's newspapers, quit her cabinet post on Wednesday following a row over expenses linked to a mortgage. Miller said she took "full responsibility" for her decision to stand down as culture secretary, saying she feared she had become a "distraction" for voters who are set to go to the polls in European elections next month.

Calls mount for British MP's head over expenses scandal

Pressure mounted on the British minister in charge of a new press regulation system on Sunday after a Conservative Party grandee called for her resignation over parliament's latest expenses scandal. Norman Tebbit, a member of the upper House of Lords and the party's chairman during the days of Margaret Thatcher, slammed Culture Secretary Maria Miller as "arrogant" for the way she responded to parliament's censure after she was found to have overclaimed on her mortgage.

U.S. will not stand in way of Scottish independence: Salmond

By Alistair Bell NEW YORK (Reuters) - The leader of Scotland's separatist movement predicted on Friday that the United States would not try to stand in the way of the breakup of Britain, Washington's staunchest ally for decades, if Scots vote for independence at a referendum this year.

Scottish currency could cost local firms 1 billion pounds: study

By Stephen Eisenhammer LONDON (Reuters) - Independence could burden Scottish companies with more than 1 billion pounds ($1.66 billion) of extra costs, a report commissioned by local engineering firm Weir Group said on Thursday, adding fuel to the business case against a split.
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