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Independence Day bid to boost Scots-US links
Washington, JUL 4 (Agencies):
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Published on 4 Jul. 2010 11:23 PM IST
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Ministers have chosen US Independence Day to unveil plans to boost Scotland’s ties with the United States.
The US already sends more visitors to Scotland than any other nation - bringing £260m to Scotland’s economy in 2008.
In the same year, exports worth £3.1bn were sent there from Scotland, making it the single largest overseas market.
Now the Scottish Government has unveiled a plan to refresh economic and social links.
US congressman Mike McIntyre, co-chairman of the Friends of Scotland Caucus in the House of Representatives, welcomed the move. “I am pleased to know that the Scottish Government continues to strive to build on what is already a strong and deep bond between our two nations,” he said.
“Scotland’s friendship remains important to America, and this new plan lays out objectives that stand to be mutually beneficial.”
US consul principal officer Dana Linnet said: “Scotland remains a strong friend and partner to the United States. The plan seeks to further strengthen our strong ancestral, historical, cultural, and commercial ties in ways that will benefit our friendship and co-operation in years to come.”
Holyrood’s External Affairs Minister, Fiona Hyslop, discussed the link on a visit to the US Consul’s 4th of July reception in Edinburgh, held on Friday.
She said: “Over the last two years, this government has worked hard to ensure our engagement with the US is more strategic and business focused, and this refreshed plan will bring an even sharper economic focus to our work.
“Closer collaboration between the Scottish Government, its agencies and partners in the USA, focusing on the three strategic objectives, is key to creating a more successful country with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish.”
However, Labour’s constitutional affairs spokeswoman Pauline McNeill said: “It appears from this plan that after unsuccessfully trying to promote independence in Scotland for years the SNP will now try and persuade Americans instead.
“Support for separation in Scotland has crashed as the SNP’s broken promises and warped priorities have been exposed. Again this is an example - like the so-called National Conversation - where the SNP are spending taxpayers’ money on their own vanity projects instead of putting Scotland’s business and tourism potential first.”
Women in US asks to quit smoking
Los Angeles, Jul 4 (IANS): The US National Cancer Institute has asked all American women to quit smoking on the occasion of the nation’s Independence Day Sunday.
The institute will encourage American women to take a “Smoke-free Pledge” to kick the habit and has also started a website to help them out, Xinhua reported.
The health risks associated with smoking can be greater for women than men, the institute said, adding that women face a bigger risk for smoking-related diseases such as heart attack, stroke, and lung cancer.
While nicotine addiction is similar for both genders, women are more drawn to cigarettes by other factors such as smell, taste, hand-to-mouth sensation, weight-control aspirations, and mood control, it said. Emotional issues also play a greater role in luring women back to the habit, the institute said.
Smoking can also compromise a woman’s reproductive health, as well as welfare of her children, for whom she is the primary caregiver, the institute said.
Women are, nowadays, more aware than ever of the dangers of smoking, and three out of four women smokers said they would like to quit, the institute’s website said.
They are, however, often less inclined to quit than men, and less confident that they can do so. They are more likely than men to resume smoking after attempting to quit, according to the institute.
The institute’s website provides a step-by-step outline on how to quit smoking. It also provides links to information on free national phone counselling.

 
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