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Newsweek Scotland - A Week in News

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Derek Bateman Derek Bateman | 16:25 UK time, Friday, 14 January 2011

panda

I've been on jury duty most of the week. To be accurate, I've been in the courts for four days waiting to do jury duty. After three days of nothing happening except being shunted en masse from one courtroom to another, a trial finally started but my name stayed firmly in the glass jar. To be honest, by the time it got to Thursday some of our number were grumbling that if they did end up on a jury they were likely to recommend somebody be taken to Glasgow Green and publicly hanged as used to happen.

I understand the need to do my civic duty - it's not the first time I've been on a jury - but it felt as if everybody in the system was treated with a little more regard than the public.
At least we have an independent judicial system. How some people in China would like that. Is our attitude towards human rights abuses like forced homelessness and detention and public executions being compromised by our desire to trade?

The EU is moving towards ending the arms embargo on China, Greece has welcomed China buying up their low grade bonds and they are a force in European economies. Scotland has done renewables business with them this week. How could we not after winning two pandas?

We hear from a contemporary China watcher in Brussels. We're examining the psychology of guns after the latest American shooting. It's interesting that many other countries have very open policies on gun availability but don't have anything like the same gun crime as does the US.

Our man Huw Williams has been in Haiti a year after the catastrophe there. He has no good news for us, I'm afraid.

And we have a political debate on life inside the SNP government. Are they really getting everything wrong, or is the opposition just better at painting it that way? And is the Scottish media falling into the trap of assuming all they touch will turn to dust just as they used to think it all turned to gold? The Tesco tax, Calman and school closures have been to the fore with the Nats getting a roasting. Has the tide turned irrevocably or has the golden touch temporarily deserted the Salmond administration?
I'll let you be the judge. I'm fed up being the jury. Join me at 8.

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