News in 5 Minutes: The true cost of Scottish private finance schemes, a post-brexit European trade deal may not materialise and the good old days of Kanye West


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TODAY’S INSTALMENT (15 December) of the CommonSpace daily news roundup includes the true cost of new private finance schemes, the post-Brexit trade deal may never materialise and the good old days of Kanye West.

News: The true cost of private finance schemes in Scotland

£932m costs to be added to the Scottish budget by huge private finance projects

A joint investigation by the Ferret and the Guardian has found that projects under the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), the body introduced by the Scottish Government in the place of the private finance initiatives (PFI) that dominated the public works policy of early Scottish Government administrations, will land a £932m bill on the Holyrood budget. The Scottish Government had been hoping to keep the inflated costs for several new hospital facilities of its books, but changes in EU regulation have made this impossible. The SFT, which is in many sense similar to PFI schemes used to construct a generation of schools, now under investigation for their structural integrity, in that they employ private firms for the construction of large scale industry. Finance secretary Derek McKay will announce the Scottish budget later today.

Politics: Post-brexit Eu trade deal could be mired in difficulty, says UK-EU ambassador

Deal could take ten years to form and may not ultimately materialise

Sir Ivan Rogers, the UK’s ambassador to the EU, has privately informed the UK Government that a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, giving the UK free trade style access to European markets, may take ten years to formalise and may even not materialise after a lengthy process.

Sport: Controversial former Cardiff boss Malky McKay to be appointed top SFA job

McKay sent text messages including sexist, racist and homophobic language whilst in former job

A controversial former boss at Cardiff FC, Malky McKay, who was investigated by the English football association for sending private texts using racist, sexist and homophobic language, has been awarded the post of performance director.

Culture: JK Rowling’s handwritten Harry potter book sells for £368,750

First draft sold for idiotic amount of money

Scottish author JK Rowling’s handwritten copy of ‘The tales of Beedle the Bard’, which was the first version of her initial Harry Potter novel submitted to publishers has been sold for £368,750.

Weather: Still warm, still humid – what the hell is going on?

My consistent predictions of a wintery turn have come to nothing

It’s 15 December, and 12 degrees in Portree. Apparently, though I can’t promise it, we are still due a cold snap.

And another thing: Donald Trump does not care about black people



Kanye of old, come back to us

As though to blow one final raspberry at us all as 2016 departs, that photo of Kanye West with President Elect Donald Trump. Let us remember the good times

Picture courtesy of Howard LakeAlexander CahlensteinIntel Free PressTracy Lee CarrollGuillén Pérez

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