9am Briefing: Calls for defence review as city Army hq to close

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LABOUR today called for the re-opening of the Government’s defence review after Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey said the closure of the Army headquarters at Craigiehall would go ahead with the loss of 103 jobs.

In answer to a parliamentary question friom Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy, Mr Harvey said the 2nd Division headquarters would shut as part of a restructuring which would see a total of 440 civilian posts lost across the UK.

Mr Murphy said: “This is another result of a deeply flawed defence review and will be a big blow to Edinburgh, which is being hardest hit in this round of cuts.

“Savings must be made, but the defence review, which is already looking out of date, is driven by cuts which go too far and too fast, not by the defence needs of our country.”

* POLICE have appealed for help to catch the people behind two acts of “mindless vandalism” which saw items being thrown at cars on the M8 in West Lothian.

On Saturday, a car was struck by a large object as it passed under the B792 Blackburn to Bathgate bridge at about 7.50pm. No-one was injured in the incident.

Then on Monday, a van’s windscreen was smashed by an object that was thrown from the footbridge over the M8 at Blackburn about 7.10pm, but again no-one was injured.

Inspector Simon Bradshaw said: “There is every chance that this mindless vandalism could have had far more

serious consequences.”

* A WOMAN who haemorrhaged three times her body’s entire blood volume after giving birth to her daughter has said it is “a miracle” that she survived.

Fiona Christie, 34, from Edinburgh, received blood products from 88 donors after her daughter Rosa was born in November 2009.

She is now appealing for new “life-saving” donors to come forward and give blood over Christmas.

The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service said the number of new donors who attended centres last year fell by 10,965, compared with 2008.

* A FEMALE prisoner has been charged with assaulting killer mother Theresa Riggi after she was allegedly slashed.

Riggi, 47, serving 16 years for the culpable homicide of her three young children, is said to have been left screaming in agony after she was attacked while in her cell.

It is thought the attacker, herself said to be inside for violent offences, used a broken razor to target her face during the incident on November 19 in Cornton Vale Prison.

* A “RAINBOW coalition” of organisations have united to back proposed changes to the law which would legalise same-sex marriage.

Representatives from the Equality Network, the Scottish Youth Parliament, Amnesty International, Unison, the Humanist Society of Scotland, LGBT Youth Scotland and NUS Scotland jointly announced their support for “equal marriage” in Scotland.

The Scottish Government launched a consultation in September asking if marriage in Scotland should be allowed for gay people through a civil or religious ceremony.

Equal Marriage campaigners have handed over 18,000 responses to the Government’s consultation.