Todays Newspaper round up

The Scotsman

Backing for British institutions such as the monarchy, the pound, and even the nationwide BBC Six O’Clock News has risen in Scotland at the same time as support has grown for a more powerful Scottish Parliament, a new poll reveals today. In a graphic example of how voters appear to favour political change in Scotland, but cleave to a continuing union across Britain, the YouGov poll shows that backing for separate Scottish oversight in diplomacy, defence and immigration have all dropped over the past five years. At the same time, however, the poll shows that Scottish residents have warmed to the idea of the country running its own tax affairs under a system of “fiscal autonomy” that is now more popular than having public services funded by a Westminster grant,

The Telegraph

Headlines “European markets plunge as Greece threatens to default”
Cable: “Britain lacks ‘coherent growth strategy”
“Iceland blames collapse on UK’s ‘demands”
“CBOSS kicked out of trade show over escorts”
“Allen Stanford found guilty of running a $7bn Ponzi scheme”

HSBC Directors paid 64% more than revealed in 2010. The report and accounts for HSBC Bank published last week show that directors were paid £5.019m rather than the £3.076m disclosed in the 2010 accounts. In a small footnote, the bank said it had “restated” the accounts to “reflect services rending during the year in respect of deferred awards”. Experts said the restatement was the result of an accounting change – and is another example of the chaotic standards under which bank statements are produced.

Senior members of Iceland’s former government have accused the UK of making “unreasonable demands” in the run-up to the financial crisis that doomed attempts to rescue one of the country’s biggest banks. On the second day of the trial of Geir Haarde, the country’s prime minister during the country’s banking collapse, Bjorgvin Sigurdsson, the country’s former trade minister, was sharply critical of the stance taken by former Chancellor Alastair Darling and the Financial Services Authority (FSA). “I do not know how in the world Darling thought that 300,000 people should take on hundreds of billions worth of debt,” he told the court,

The Times

Headlines “Stanford guilty of $7bn Ponzi fraud”
“Markets tremble with fear as Greek debt deadline looms”
“Payback time as Lehman exits bankruptcy”

More than three years after its collapse sparked the worst of the financial crisis, Lehman Brothers yesterday emerged from bankruptcy. The investment bank will not return to making bets on the markets and advising on deals, but has instead started the long process of selling off its remaining assets and paying back creditors and investors. The first group of payments to creditors will take place on April 17 and is expected to be worth at least $10bn (£6.4bn). In total, $65bn will be paid back,

The contest that was meant clarify the race for the Republican presidential nomination threatened to throw it into greater chaos after an inconclusive Super Tuesday night saw ten states split between the candidates. Mitt Romney, who entered yesterday’s race with a head of momentum and the hope that he could finally stake his claim to the nomination, ended the evening with clear victories in four states, Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia and Idaho, that he was long expected to win. Rick Santorum, meanwhile, snatched a crucial victory in Tennessee, adding that to wins in Oklahoma and North Dakota and denying Mr Romney a longed-for inroad into the evangelical South.

The glinting steel of the platinum smelting works soaring above the once-orderly grainfields of Selous comes as a shock. It was here, west of Harare, that white farmers were driven out by President Mugabe’s hired thugs a decade ago. From today, the Zimplats complex , the result so far of a $1.8bn (£1.1bn) investment by South Africa’s Impala Platinum through its 87% stake in the Zimbabwe-based company, is in serious danger of becoming another symbol of Mr Mugabe’s ruin, to set alongside the wasted farmland that surrounds it. Impala has been given an ultimatum to hand over 29% of its Zimplats shareholding, worth $300m, into an as yet unformed trust. This is to make the world’s second-biggest platinum producer “compliant” with legislation forcing white and foreign-owned companies to “cede for value” 51% of ownership to black Zimbabweans,

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