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IN BRIEF News


Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has called for a full investigation into the projects carried out at the centre, which receives EU funding.


‘Homophobic’ religious ad earns reprieve A High Court judge has overturned a decision by the Advertising Standards Authority that an advertisement placed in a newspaper by a Belfast church was homophobic. The advert read: “The word of God against sodomy”, and invited people to meet for a peaceful gospel witness against the act.


EUROPE


Bail-out fears follow Socrates’ resignation Portugal appears to be on the brink of seeking an international financial rescue following the resignation of Prime Minister Jose Socrates. Socrates’ government collapsed after opposition parties withdrew their support for a harsh austerity package. Market


Environment


Decline in public concern for the environment


Lynne Whitelaw Environment Correspondent


Public concern for environmental issues is on the decrease, according to data from Ipsos MORI. Te number of people spontaneously mentioning the environment as a concern in surveys carried out by the market research company fell by almost half in a year, from 11 per cent in February 2010 to just six per cent in February 2011. Information from MSPs also shows that interest in the environment is falling among their constituents in letters and at clinics. While 40 per cent of MSPs identified the


environment as an issue raised in 2007, by 2010, this figure had fallen to just 25 per cent and it is no longer one of the top-ten issues.


Te data has led Ipsos MORI to conclude that the fall in environmental awareness has coincided with rising unemployment and the onset of


funding cuts in the public sector. As Chris McLean, Ipsos MORI Research Executive, writes: “People are more likely to show concern for environmental issues when the economy is strong, but less likely when economic pressures start to impact on their lifestyles.” Interestingly, the company’s Scottish Environmental Attitudes and Behaviours Survey found that while 35 per cent of Scots mentioned the environment as an issue facing the world, only 12 per cent mentioned it as an issue facing Britain. “Te lack of salience may also be down to the perception among Scots that the environment is more of a global issue than a Scottish one,” writes McLean.


10 Holyrood 28 March 2011


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