Wikinews Shorts: February 6, 2009
A compilation of brief news reports for Friday, February 6, 2009.
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Clarkson calls British Prime Minister Gordon a 'one-eyed Scottish idiot'
British television presenter and newspaper columnist Jeremy Clarkson has told journalists in Sydney, Australia, that UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is a "one-eyed Scottish idiot".
The remark caused outrage amongst Scottish Labour politicians with some calling for the BBC to sack him. Clarkson has since apologised.
- "Clarkson apologises for PM remark" — BBC News Online, February 6, 2009
- Deborah Summers. "Scottish politicians urge BBC to take Clarkson off air over Brown jibes" — The Guardian, February 6, 2009
U.S. gay spouses entitled to benefits, says judge
U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt has ruled that same-sex marriages must be treated the same as straight marriages by authorities when it comes to healthcare and benefits rights. He also said that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional.
The judge was ruling in a specific administrative dispute process, so the judgment does not set a wider precedent.
- Caitlin Millat. "Gay, Lesbian Couples Entitled to Straight Treatment: Judge" — MSNBC, February 6, 2009
- Carol J Williams. "Rulings on gay couples' benefits question Defense of Marriage Act" — The Los Angeles Times, February 6, 2009
Royal Bank of Scotland fires non-execs
The troubled Royal Bank of Scotland, now 68% controlled by the UK government, has fired seven non-executive directors from the pre-credit crunch era.
The bank is about to report losses of £28 billion and has been under fire for plans to pay bonuses to the trading staff who generated them.
- "RBS wields axe in boardroom shake-up" — London Stock Exchange, February 6, 2009
- "RBS chairman in boardroom clear-out" — The Press Association, February 6, 2009
Icelandic retailer Baugur in trouble
Baugur, the Icelandic retail giant, has failed to get bankruptcy protection from its creditors at home and has placed its British arm in administration.
The group, which owns or has stakes in a large number of British High Street famous names, is being pursued for the equivalent of £1 billion in Iceland by the recently nationalized Landsbanki.
- Julia Finch. "Baugur goes into administration" — The Guardian, February 6, 2009
- Marcus Leroux. "Baugur loses battle for control of UK retailers" — The Times, February 6, 2009