Scotland’s papers: Car bomber was convert and ‘businesses on the brink’


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A few of Tuesday’s papers lead with revelations about the Liverpool taxi bombing suspect. Police named him as Emad Al Swealmeen. The Times highlights the suspect’s conversion to Christianity, and cites security sources as suggesting the intended target could have been the city’s Anglican Cathedral.

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The Daily Telegraph goes with a similar headline and reports that Al Swealmeen intended to detonate his device at the same cathedral where he had been confirmed four years earlier. It says security sources working on the investigation say the motive for the attack remains unclear.

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The Scottish Daily Express says the “Poppy Day attacker” was a Syrian asylum seeker. The front page also pictures taxi driver David Perry, who survived after the home-made bomb detonated inside his cab.

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The Scottish Daily Mail also runs with the line on the suspect’s conversion to Christianity. It also claims a picture exclusive, showing Al Swealmeen wearing a chef’s hat and cooking a pizza. The paper describes him as a Christian convert who had a rejected asylum application in 2014.

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The alleged failed asylum bid is what The Scottish Sun leads on. The paper says the 32-year-old was “in a “rage” about his applications being repeatedly turned down. The paper also claims he had mental health problems and was once arrested with a knife.

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The taxi driver whose car the bomber died in is the focus of the Metro. It quotes the wife of David Perry as saying he is “lucky to be alive” after surviving the blast inside the car. She describes his escape as “an utter miracle”.

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In the i newspaper, businesses tell the first minister that they are “on the brink” ahead of her Covid update. Scottish Chambers of Commerce say one in four businesses will face “immediate financial peril” if Nicola Sturgeon extends the vaccine passport scheme in a bid to curb infections.

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The Scotsman leads with the same story, saying that the extension of vaccine passports and the return of home-working measures could spell disaster for some businesses. It also says a separate survey of hospitality companies found three quarters would not survive the winter without further government financial support.

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The front page of The National claims a major American newspaper has hailed Nicola Sturgeon’s success at COP26. It says The Washington Post described the FM’s “scrappy” nature, political savvy and consistency in messaging as she made a space for herself at the summit, after the Tories “tried to sideline her”.

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A “blotto pilot” is the front page story in the Daily Record, which reports on Glendon Gulliver, 63, who had spent the night before flying 177 Scots to the US drinking beers and whiskies in Glasgow. He was scheduled to take the controls of a United Airlines Boeing 757 flight to Newark, New Jersey, but failed a breath test before the flight.

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A plea from local authority body Cosla to the Scottish government makes The Herald’s front page. It says councils need an extra £1bn in next year’s budget to simply survive. It warns that local government financing is reaching a “tipping point”.

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The Evening Telegraph reports an exclusive on a £4m council “roofing bungle” as it claims new houses have been built with sub-standard roofs.

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Another exclusive – in the Glasgow Times – claims that soup kitchens in the city are experiencing a 50% increase in demand as families are now queueing for food in the wake of universal credit cuts.

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Council bosses in Edinburgh are accused of dumping their pledge to bring back free bulk rubbish uplifts, according to the Edinburgh Evening News. The paper claims election promises to scrap charges and improve the city’s fly-tipping issues have been broken.

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The Courier unveils plans for a £100m five-star hotel and golf resort on the Dundee and Angus border. Construction will start on the Forbes of Kingussie resort – described as a “labour of love” for owner Mike Forbes – next year.

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The Evening Express leads with a court story involving a man who struck an ex-girlfriend over the head with a baseball bat.

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Parent power has saved a school playing field from being turned into a housing development, reports the P&J. Highland Council has had a change of heart over plans for Dalneigh Primary School.

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The Daily Star of Scotland features the Liverpool bombing story on its front page, but the top story is the Who’s Roger Daltrey calling the Rolling Stones a “mediocre pub band”, reigniting a long-standing rivalry.

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