Scotland

Scotland's papers: Gas attack 'outrage' and Mel's abuse claim

The Herald leads with exclusive claims that American investors used controversial Scottish "zero-tax" shell firms in their £6.4bn takeover of Formula One.

The paper says that the deal was completed with the help of two Scottish limited partnerships, or SLPs - once obscure structures now popular among both legitimate businesses - for lawful tax planning - and among international criminals, for money-laundering.

Like many of Wednesday's front pages, The Scotsman features an image of a Syrian child caught up in the country's civil war. The paper says harrowing images of a "heinous" alleged chemical attack in a town in rebel-held northern Idlib province that killed dozens of people have sparked worldwide revulsion and calls for an immediate UN response.

Likewise, The Times says up to 100 people were killed and hundreds injured in the deadliest nerve-gas attack in Syria in four years, prompting international condemnation of President Assad's regime.

The i newspaper also leads with the story and writes that children are continuing to pay the price for the country's brutal six-year-long war, adding that the attack should act as a "wake-up call" to respond to the conflict.

In other news, Scotland's booming renewables sector is at risk if the UK government persists with plans to take environmental protection powers coming from Brussels rather than hand them to Holyrood, according to The National.

Theresa May has said she will protect diesel car owners who were "conned" into buying the polluting vehicles, according to the Scottish Daily Mail. The paper also features Scots star Sheena Easton on its front page, who has won rave reviews for her turn in 42nd Street.

The Scottish Daily Express focuses on the heartbroken mother of murder victim Emma Caldwell, who made a desperate new appeal to find her daughter's killer on Tuesday.

The other story dominating Scotland's front pages is the breakdown of the marriage of former Spice Girl Mel B. The Daily Record leads with what it calls "staggering claims" that surfaced in documents handed to sister paper The Mirror by court officials in the US, claiming the pop star suffered years of abuse at the hands of ex-husband Stephen Belafonte.

The Scottish Sun also carries the story and quotes the 41-year-old, who is divorcing Mr Belafonte after ten years of marriage, as saying she overdosed on aspirin as a result of the difficulties she faced in the marriage.

Ms Brown has filed for a restraining order against Mr Belafonte, alleging that he beat her on multiple occasions, says the Daily Star of Scotland.

A Kirkcaldy man accused of murdering Darren Adie threatened to "do" the father-of-two in the days before his death, writes The Courier, which is reporting on the case from the High Court in Dunfermline.

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