News Headlines - 25 January 2012

▽UK moves closer to second recession as economy shrinks 0.2% - The Guardian
Britain has moved closer to its second recession in three years after official figures showed the UK economy contracted by 0.2% in the last three months of 2011.
A severe drop in manufacturing output in the last quarter dented hopes that the UK could avoid joining much of Europe in a slump that is expected to push up unemployment and see thousands of companies go bankrupt.

▽Rapist TV psychic Martin Smith found hanged in cell - BBC
A convicted paedophile, whose partner is accused of murdering their children in Spain, has been found hanged in his cell at HMP Manchester.
Former TV psychic Martin Smith, 46, originally from North Shields, was jailed for 16 years in March 2011 for raping a girl aged under 16 in Cumbria.

▽Scottish independence: First Minister Alex Salmond set to unveil referendum plans at Holyrood - Scottish Daily Record
The Scottish First Minister will launch a consultation on the referendum at Holyrood this afternoon.
The SNP administration in Edinburgh has already announced autumn 2014 as its preferred date for a vote on ending the 300 year plus long union.

▽Barack Obama uses State of the Union for partisan attack on Republicans and Mitt Romney - Daily Mail
If anyone thought that the general election campaign would be postponed by New Gingrich's victory in South Carolina, President Barack Obama put them right tonight. In a sharply partisan State of the Union address, Obama unashamedly portrayed government action as the solution to people's problems and drew up the battle lines for November.

▽Japan's first trade deficit since 1980 raises debt doubts - Reuters
Japan first annual trade deficit in more than 30 years calls into question how much longer the country can rely on exports to help finance a huge public debt without having to turn to fickle foreign investors.







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