The papers: Scotland's deficit 'black hole'

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The Scottish Daily Express says that Nicola Sturgeon has been challenged to halt her Scottish independence "crusade" after the latest public finance figures "showed the value of the Union" with the rest of the UK.
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By contrast, The National hails Scotland's economic recovery after the figures showed Scotland's debt was reducing as a percentage of GDP. The paper says Scots have "more than paid our way" after the figures also revealed higher public spending north of the border.
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The Daily Telegraph adopts the same line as The Express and reports that the SNP has been told it cannot break with the Union after the public finance figures showed a £13bn deficit for Scotland - four times that of the UK average, says the paper.
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The Scotsman also leads with the figures and reports that Scots benefit from £1,500 more in public spending per head than taxpayers across the UK as a whole.
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The Times takes the same line on the public spending figures but leads with the difficulties faced by US President Donald Trump, whose lawyer has pleaded guilty to using election campaign funding to pay two women who say they had affairs with the president.
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On the same story, the i newspaper says Donald Trump's presidency is in jeopardy as the threat of impeachment becomes a reality for the entrepreneur, who insists he has done nothing wrong.
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Closer to home, The Herald reports that Glasgow is facing an "unprecedented" financial crisis as the council moves to settle a £1bn equal pay claim to more than 6,000 women who have worked for the local authority.
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The Scottish Daily Mail leads with the arrest of nuns over allegations of abuse at the former Smyllum children's home in Lanark. The paper says the allegations stem from the ongoing Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.
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The Scottish Sun portrays UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson as a figure from Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks after he reportedly suggested arming tractors with guns as part of plans to solve an equipment crisis at his department.
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The Daily Record claims that Raymond Anderson snr, who is serving a minimum of 30 years for his part in a gangland murder, was ambushed inside Shotts prison in Lanarkshire on Wednesday.
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Britain's Got Talent star Antonio Francis, whose eye-popping act earned him the name Popeye, has died at the age of 54, reports The Star, which writes that the entertainer lay undiscovered for six days after suffering a stroke at his home.
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The concert promoter behind events such as T in the Park has said the popularity of the waterfront venue Slessor Gardens for performers in Dundee has meant they are unable to book the venue for the next two years.
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Plans have been unveiled to set up an action group to determine the future of Ugie Hospital in Peterhead, which the Press and Journal reports is in urgent need of investment and modernisation.

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