Obama’s broken promises may prove a turning point in support for US, says Jackie Kemp
EITHER the office of the president of the United States is a powerless cipher, or Barack Obama is a charlatan and a coward. I have often spoken up for America, arguing that its leadership offers the world a better future than the alternatives, so it saddens me to write these words. But no other conclusion can be reached, given the current situation at Guantanamo.
Pupils at Glasgow’s Douglas Academy debate Scotland’s independence ahead of next year’s vote. Photograph: Martin Hunter
Rosie Duthie and Euan MacIntosh, both 15, have made up their minds on how they plan to vote in next year's referendum on Scottish independence. For Euan the answer is a clear "yes" because he believes it will be his best guarantee of a free university education. Rosie is a "no". She says: "We should be arguing that what we think is better for the future of young people in Scotland is better for England too and for the European Union."
It's difficult, unfamiliar, and far from a traditional educational choice. So why are more Scottish pupils bucking the UK trend and venturing out of their comfort zone to study Mandarin? Jackie Kemp speaks to some of the people involved in the pursuit of oriental excellence. From The Scotsman April 29 2013
"Worrying" dip in language learning in Scots schools
By RORY REYNOLDS AND JACKIE KEMP Published in The Scotsman newspaper on 29/04/2013 00:00
FOREIGN language learning in Scotland’s schools has dipped to “worrying” new levels, education experts warned last night. The warning that the decline will have an negative impact on Scotland’s standing in the world came after it emerged that only about one in ten S5 pupils is taking foreign language courses.
An analysis of education statistics by The Scotsman has found the number of Higher course entrants for modern languages has fallen by nearly a quarter over the past 20 years, from 10,179 to just under 7,887 in 2011.