Scotland

The papers: Row over RT co-host's SNP role

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Former first minister Alex Salmond's hosting duties on Russian broadcaster RT preoccupies many of the papers in the wake of the poisoning attack on former Kremlin double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

The Scotsman says that opposition parties have demanded action over the position of former MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh on the SNP national executive committee because she produces and co-presents the Alex Salmond Show on RT.

The Scottish Sun writes that Mr Salmond is an "embarrassment" after he failed to condemn Russia in the spy poison row and asserts that he used his show on RT "to cast doubt on the regime's role in the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal".

Meanwhile, Theresa May is bracing herself for Russian retaliation after she received a major diplomatic boost when America, France and Germany joined forces with Britain to blame Moscow directly for the Salisbury chemical attack, says The Herald.

The West has united against President Putin's regime as America announced tougher sanctions against Moscow and joined France and Germany in an unequivocal condemnation of the Salisbury chemical attack, is how The Times writes up the same story.

Britain dramatically ratcheted up the international pressure on Russia over the Salisbury nerve agent attack after an unprecedented joint statement was issued with the leaders of America, France and Germany laying blame for the poisoning squarely at Moscow's door, according to the i newspaper.

In a new development, The Daily Telegraph quotes intelligence sources as saying that the nerve agent that poisoned Mr Skripal was apparently planted in his daughter's suitcase before she left Moscow.

The Scottish Daily Express wants the World Cup "ripped" out of Russian President Vladimir Putin's hands and claims pressure is growing for a mass boycott of the summer's event in retaliation for the Salisbury attack.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin could start a "freezing Cold War" by turning off supplies of gas to the UK just as the latest bout of cold weather arrives from the east, claims the Daily Star.

In other news, a Labour councillor is at the centre of a race row after claiming it was hard to see Transport Minister Humza Yousaf "under the Burka". The Daily Record reveals how Jim Dempster was suspended from the party after making the comment to shocked government officials.

The National is celebrating its 1000th edition and claims its publication has brought Scotland a thousand steps closer to independence.

The boom in contactless payments has fuelled a startling rise in fraud, according to the Daily Mail, which leads with official figures showing fraud on credit and debit cards has soared 51% in the past year.

One of the most historically-important buildings in Scotland could be partially demolished as part of plans to transform a derelict factory in Aberdeen, says The Press and Journal on plans for the Grey Mill.

A former SNP Dundee City councillor has been found guilty of sending racist text messages to a Muslim woman, reports The Courier, on the case of Craig Melville who previously represented the Maryfield ward.

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