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Scotland’s papers: Strikes loom or ScotRail and Sunak riches

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The Scotsman reports politicians have demanded ScotRail must be ordered to resume talks with train drivers union Aslef in an attempt to avert huge service cuts. The Scottish government-owned train operator is said to be working on a revised ticket refund policy as a drastically reduced service is about to be introduced from Monday to deal with driver shortages.

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The Times reports that rail bosses are making plans to keep supermarkets stocked ahead of a possible strike by rail workers over pay and redundancies. The paper says a ballot by the RMT union and potential action by the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association could “bring the train network to a halt”.

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The Press and Journal also warns the rail service cuts could lead to supermarket shortages. Stuart Nicol, of Inverness Chamber of Commerce, told the paper: “It is concerning in terms of the impact on particularly hospitality and tourism.”

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“Rishi Gets Richer” is the headline in the Daily Record. The paper reports the chancellor and his wife, Akshata Murty, have made the annual Sunday Times Rich List with a £730m fortune.

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The Star also leads with the news that Mr Sunak and his wife have been named the 222nd richest people in Britain. The front page reads: “Spare a thought for impoverished Chancellor Rishi Sunak who has to endure the cost-of-living crisis with just £730m in the bank. Bless.”

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Consumers have been faced with “shocking” price hikes of more than 20% on hundreds of popular items over the past two years which are putting increasing pressure on household budgets, reports The Herald. The paper says new research has suggested a drop in the availability of supermarket discounts and budget ranges compared with two years ago.

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The cost-of-living crisis leads a number of Saturday’s papers. The front page of the Scottish Daily Mail tells Prime Minister Boris Johnson: “Fix cost of living crunch or lose election.” It says a poll conducted for the paper shows voters “want immediate action to help struggling families” and back measures including a windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas firms.

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Mr Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak face a cabinet mutiny over the issue, says the i. The paper reports ministers are concerned about the lack of a consistent message on the economy and that some dread having to appear on the morning broadcast round.

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The Royal Family have secretly opened their doors to house refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, the Scottish Daily Express reports. The paper also features a picture of bowel cancer campaigner Dame Deborah James, who has had a rose named in her honour.

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The Telegraph carries an interview with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in which she says she wants to see more modern weaponry sent to Moldova, to protect it from the threat of a Russian invasion. Ms Truss tells the paper she believes President Vladimir Putin still hopes to create a “greater Russia” despite the failure of his military to make more progress in Ukraine.

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Brexit is making the cost-of-living crisis “worse” and is contributing to the soaring bills and rising inflation hitting Scottish families, according to a senior MP. Pete Wishart told The National even Conservatives were now admitting their party’s hard Brexit was punishing households across the country.

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The Scottish Sun speaks to a dad-of-two from Bradford who has left his wife for a Ukrainian refugee 10 days after the family took her in. Security guard Tony Garenett told the paper: “We’re planning the rest of our life together.”

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The Evening Times features a picture of Rangers fans applauding the funeral cortege of club legend Jimmy Bell, who died earlier this month at the age of 69. Mr Bell, who had worked for Rangers for more than 30 years, initially drove the team buses to matches across the country, before moving on to his role as first team head of kit.

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The Courier leads with the story of a Rangers fan who was arrested on an outstanding warrant as he prepared to fly to Seville for the Europa League final. The paper says David Melville, 58, was left in “disbelief” as he was taken from Edinburgh Airport to Livingston police station.

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The Evening Express features the story of two Asda workers who saved the life of an 81-year-old customer after he suffered a heart attack in his local supermarket while shopping for milk.

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“I want to be smiling to the end” is the headline in the Weekend Telegraph. It is taken from an interview with a 30-year-old woman who has been told he has just six months to live.

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And the Edinburgh Evening News features the story of a a couple who are finally set to get married – after being engaged for 60 years.

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