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Summary

  1. Public inquiry to be held into historical sex abuse of children in care.
  2. Ally McCoist to remain Rangers manager despite handing in his resignation
  3. Court rules against midwives over abortion procedures
  4. Unemployment in Scotland falls by 11,000
  5. Council tax arrears 'highest in UK'
  6. SPFL withholds £250,000 due to Rangers
  7. Church moves closer to gay ministers

Live Reporting

By Thomas McGuigan, Louise Sayers and Calum Watson

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's it from the Scotland Live team this evening. We'll be back from 07:00 tomorrow, bringing you the latest updates on news, sport, travel and weather across Scotland.

Elgin's flood defences boosted

The final major piece of engineering has been put in place in Elgin as part of a

huge flood defence scheme.

The footbridge over the River Lossie is one of a series of improvements put in place after severe floods swamped local businesses and forced hundreds of residents from their homes.

Bridge in Elgin
BBC

Man tried to lead girl, 12, away

A man who tried

to lead a 12-year-old girl away while she was waiting outside a West Lothian school for her parents is being sought by police.

The incident happened at 19:20 on Tuesday outside Deans High School in Livingston.

Deans High School in Livingston
Google

The man made no attempt to force the girl away or follow her and police said he may simply have been drunk.

However, they are urging carers to ensure children have good transport arrangements home from festive events.

Evening Express

council homes
other

Tweets: Rent for Aberdeen council homes to increase next year. Full story
here.

Top cop backs body cameras

Scotland's Chief Constable has said

officers wearing body cameras could help improve the quality of evidence when cases are brought to court.

Sir Stephen House said that his personal view was that the police should be examining the potential for using body cameras.

A body camera that is being worn by a Cheshire Police officer
BBC

But he said the public would need to be consulted before any changes.

Sir Stephen was speaking at the launch of a campaign to highlight the increase in domestic abuse at Christmas.

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

  • On the outskirts of Edinburgh the M8 is very slow westbound after an accident between J2 for the M9 and J3 Livingston.
  • In the north of Edinburgh there is heavier than usual traffic because Lindsay Road is only open westbound. That means it is busy on Queensferry Road and surrounding areas.
  • In Glasgow the A8 eastbound is returning to normal after an accident was cleared just before the Shawhead flyover.
  • In Fife the A92 is slow eastbound at Cowdenbeath after an accident at the A909 junction.
  • There are advanced warnings from Calmac of possible disruptions on the ferries tomorrow and Friday between Oban and Castlebay, Castlebay and Ochboisdale and between Lochboisdale and Oban. Expect delays and or cancellations at short notice.
  • And tonight at the Erskine Bridge the A898 off-slip to A82 Dunglass is closed from 20:00 to 06:00, the diversion is well sign posted.

Peshawar massacre- First Minister's statement

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has commented on the news that two nephews of SNP Councillor Jahangir have both lost a son in yesterday's attack in Peshawar.

She said: "I am deeply saddened by this devastating news. My thoughts and deepest condolences are with Councillor Hanif and his family at what is a time of terrible sadness.

"I have been in touch with the Hanif family to express my condolences and we understand Councillor Hanif is now on his way to Pakistan to be with his family.

"It is now right that the family is given the space they need to grieve for the loss of their much loved children."

Child abuse inquiry reaction

A public inquiry is to be held to examine historic cases of child abuse in care, the Scottish government has announced.

Scotland's Children's Commissioner Tam Baillie said: "The effects of abuse are long lasting and very much in the present for those who have suffered, no matter how long ago it took place.

Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People Tam Baillie
(C) British Broadcasting Corporation

"This inquiry must ensure we fully comprehend the extent of historic institutional abuse and that we work together to ensure that we never witness these systemic failings again."

He added: "The inquiry's main priorities must be that the survivors of abuse are given the opportunity to speak and receive as much support as they need."

Edinburgh Evening News

Tweets: Police are tonight searching for a missing 75-year-old woman who hasn't been seen since 10.30am. Full story
here

Cloudy but mild

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

A cloudy evening for many, with some showers in the far North and Northern Isles. Patches of rain or drizzle in the South West too.

By the early hours, rain starts to pep up across the west and southwest and move north towards Inverness, but staying in the west of Scotland.

A mild night, with lows of 6 to 8 degrees. A few pockets of frost in sheltered parts of the Northeast. A fresh westerly wind around North and West coasts, strong at times.

Tomorrow fairly cloudy with some rain in the west, from Inverness to Dumfries. East of here, it's a drier start but cloudy.

Child abuse inquiry - reaction

The Scottish government has announced a statutory public inquiry into the historical abuse of children in care.

Labour's Iain Gray welcomed the decision - but said it should have been taken sooner.

Child on stairs
Thinkstock

He said: "It is 10 years since the former first minister Jack McConnell apologised on behalf of the Scottish people to the survivors of institutional child abuse.

"For a moral imperative, this has proceeded and progressed too slowly. This next step has taken too long, but we are taking it today."

Fresh move for traveller camp law

Ken Banks

BBC Scotland North East reporter

Aberdeen City Council is launching fresh moves to tackle illegal traveller encampments.

A previous attempt to introduce a by-law was rejected by the Scottish government in October.

Howes Road
BBC

Now the council is to examine whether a camping by-law in operation in part of Loch Lomond might work in the city.

However a spokeswoman for Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority said their situation was very different.

Aberdeen City Council was told earlier this year it had provided insufficient evidence that adequate action had been taken over the accommodation needs of travellers. They had identified Howes Road, between Northfield and Bucksburn, as the preferred location.

Hearts bosses have funds for players

BBC Sport

Scotland

Hearts owner Ann Budge says

funds are available to strengthen the squad as the Edinburgh side attempt to stay top of the Scottish Championship.

It all depends on who head coach Robbie Neilson and director of football Craig Levein are able to target.

Hearts owner Ann Budge
SNS Group Craig Foy

"If Craig and Robbie identify the right person to bring in that they believe can make a difference, at the right price, we will be as supportive as we possibly can," Budge said after the first Hearts annual meeting since her takeover.

In recent days, Hearts became the first Scottish club to become an official living wage employer and have paid off debts owed to players by the previous administration.

Teen jailed over dangerous driving

Philip Sim

Tayside and Central reporter, BBC Scotland

A teenager, who flipped his car and injured his three passengers just months after passing his driving test,

has been jailed for nine months.

Luke Clark admitted driving dangerously when he overturned his Vauxhall Corsa on the A809 road at Killearn in April.

Stirling Sheriff Court
BBC

The 19-year-old and his three passengers were all hurt in the crash.

Sheriff Wyllie Robertson said it was his "painful" duty to jail Clark despite his lack of any previous convictions.

Peshawar massacre - councillor travels to Pakistan

A Glasgow city councillor is travelling to Pakistan after losing two relatives in the Peshawar school massacre.

Candles lit for victims in Karachi, Pakistan. 16 Dec 2014
Getty Images

More than a 140 people, mostly children were killed in yesterday's attack.

Two grand nephews of the Southside central councillor Jahangir Hanif were among those to lose their lives.

Plans to cut teachers delayed

Highland Council has deferred by a year a plan to cut 15 secondary school teacher posts.

The jobs were to go over two years starting next year.

The local authority announced the delay at a briefing held ahead of a meeting of the full council on Thursday when a range of savings will be debated.

Highland Council is trying to find savings of £55m over the next five years. Councillors will meet in Inverness to discuss planned cuts.

Hill wind turbine plans approved

Giancarlo Rinaldi

South Scotland reporter, BBC Scotland news website

A wind farm in Upper Nithsdale has been approved despite opposition from council planning officers.

They had recommended that councillors refuse Element Power's application to build nine turbines at Twentyshilling Hill, two miles south of Sanquhar.

wind turbines
Dave Cheskin/ PA

Two local community councils had supported the scheme with the other offering no objection.

Approval was given by Dumfries and Galloway Council's planning committee subject to conditions.

Syria fighter

Police Scotland are liaising with the Met Police and others regarding an ongoing investigation into reports of UK nationals engaging in combat abroad.

Jamie Read, 24, originally from Cumbria, but living in Lanarkshire, has now returned to Britain.

He had been in Syria fighting against the Islamic State, something he said he was compelled to do after the killing of aid worker Alan Henning.

Police said Mr Read, who was questioned at Heathrow airport on his return, has been helping with their inquiries.

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

  • In Edinburgh, the A901 Lindsay Road in Granton is still closed both ways for accident investigation work - that's between Great Michael Rise and Craighall Road.
  • Traffic's heavier than normal on & around Ferry Road, Newhaven Road & Craighall Road
  • In Aberdeenshire, the B974 remains closed at the snow gates between Fettercairn & Banchory.
  • In the Highlands and Islands, there are high wind warnings on the Skye and Kessock Bridges.
  • There's disruption to East Coast and Cross Country rail services between Newcastle and Edinburgh Waverley, after an incident on the line between Morpeth and Berwick-upon-Tweed. All lines are currently blocked and there could be disruption until around 19:00
  • Stagecoach reports delays on bus services between Kilmarnock and Ardrossan
  • Northlink Ferries - bad weather is affecting sailings between Aberdeen and Lerwick

Bouncer cleared of Aberdeen murder

A bouncer has been

cleared of murdering a man in Aberdeen city centre last year.

Jonas Marcius, 23, denied murdering Craig Grant, 26, of Inverurie, outside the Tonik bar at the Galleria shopping centre, in August 2013.

Jonas Marcius
BBC

Marcius was found guilty of assault after a trial at the High Court in Aberdeen.

A witness told the trial Mr Grant was limp "like a teddy bear" after he was restrained by bouncers on the ground.

Review of retailers' charges

Steven McKenzie

BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

Citizens Advice Scotland has started a second review of online retailers' charges for deliveries to Scotland.

The first of the studies was done two years ago.

Parcels
Getty Images

It suggested at least one million Scots faced surcharges, late delivery or were refused delivery altogether when buying goods online.

Business minister Fergus Ewing has also renewed his call for firms to treat customers in remote and rural areas fairly.

A glittery problem

Huw Williams

BBC Scotland reporter

By the end of today, Royal Mail's mail centre at St Rollox in the east end of Glasgow will have

processed 2.6 million items.

That's pretty standard for this time of year.

Vacuum cleaner
BBC

But as well as the usual problems of incomplete addresses and missing post codes, the sorting machines are at risk because we love to send glittery cards.

"When people don't seal down their envelopes, glitter falls out into the machines and it can clog up some of the filters and block some of the beams," mailman Scott Young explains.

That's why Henry the vacuum cleaner is a vital member of the team.

McCoist remains Rangers manager

BBC Sport

Scotland

Ally McCoist has emerged from a meeting with Rangers board members still team manager despite having handed in his resignation on Thursday.

As it stands, the 52-year-old, whose side sit second in the Championship, will still be in charge of the team against Livingston on Saturday.

Rangers manager Ally McCoist
SNS

McCoist told the club of his intentions and the club confirmed on Monday that a 12-month notice period has begun.

His annual salary has reverted to £750,000 after a spell when it was cut.

Party crasher jailed for stabbing ex-partner

Man jailed for stabbing his former partner after he turned up uninvited to her flat-warming party.

John McIntyre, 51, attacked 39-year-old Alison Lyons when she found him standing in her bedroom at the flat in Greenock, Inverclyde, in August.

He also stabbed Ms Lyons' work-mate, 20-year-old Matthew Power.

McIntyre was jailed for five years and four months.

Plans to convert landmark into hotel

Developers have announced plans to

transform one of Edinburgh's most distinctive landmarks into a top hotel.

Duddingston House Properties (DHP) and the Urbanist Group are to launch a pre-planning application next month to convert the old Royal High School on Calton Hill.

Old Royal High School
Other

Along with institutional investors, they have raised more than £55m for the project.

The former boys' school opened in 1829 but has remained empty since 1968.

McCoist still in charge

Chris McLaughlin

BBC Sport

Tweets: Meeting between #Rangers and Ally McCoist over. He remains in charge and is preparing for next game.

Police appeal over Inverness stranger danger

Police have appealed for information following a second incident in Inverness involving a child being approached by a stranger.

In the first, a young child was approached by a man near the city's Drakies Primary School on 8 December.

At 18:20 on Tuesday, a man sitting in a car parked on Union Road spoke to a child on a nearby footpath.

Police said the man was with another man in a white, four-door car with red and white checkerboard livery.

The men were described as having tanned complexions.

Any travel trouble where you are?

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

If you're out today and spot problems, we REALLY appreciate you getting in touch. Tweet us or call 08000 92 95 88.

Coming up on Newsdrive

BBC Radio Scotland

  • The announcement of a public inquiry into historic sex abuse of children in care
  • Chief Constable Sir Stephen House on domestic abuse over the Festive period
  • The animal rights activists who think shearing sheep is cruel
  • The etiquette of Christmas card writing
Newdrive web page
BBC

Listen in from 16:00 on 92-95FM, 810MW, on digital radio and

online

Dunfermline Athletic: Jefferies stood down 'to ease pressure'

BBC Sport

Scotland

Jim Jefferies left role as

Dunfermline Athletic manager early to take pressure off young squad.

Dunfermline Atheltic
SNS

After being knocked out of the Scottish Cup 3-1 by Stranraer, the Pars fans' criticism heightened when their promotion hopes suffered a blow, losing by the same score to Airdrieonians.

"What was the main reason, was that the players wouldn't be able to give of their best playing in that sort of atmosphere," said Jefferies.

Scottish government's historial abuse inquiry

Education secretary Angela Constance said that abusers

will "face the full force of the law" under statutory public inquiry into historical child sex abuse, where evidence of crimes are brought to light.

Abuse survivors Frank McCue, Jim Buckley and Frank Docherty have fought for years for an inquiry
BBC
Abuse survivors Frank McCue, Jim Buckley and Frank Docherty have fought for years for an inquiry

The move followed a number of scandals involving the abuse of children in care, including at institutions run by the Roman Catholic church.

It is said that victims' organisations are already being consulted on the scope of the inquiry.

Services affected after person hit by train

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

There's disruption to East Coast and Cross Country rail services between Newcastle and Edinburgh Waverley.

We're told that's because a person has been hit by a train between Morpeth and Berwick-upon-Tweed.

All lines are currently blocked and there's no estimate for when the line may reopen.

Army Reserve applications surge

Applications to join the Army Reserves in Scotland rose by 51% in the three months from September.

Lord Kitchener poster
Getty Images

Figures just released also show that applications to join the regular army also increased -- by 19%.

It follows a new recruitment campaign in which careers officers have taken part in more than four hundred and fifty events.

Historical abuse inquiry

Reevel Alderson

BBC Scotland's social affairs correspondent

The Scottish government has announced it will hold a public inquiry into historical allegations of the sexual abuse of children in care.

The Education Secretary, Angela Constance, told MSPs it would be a statutory inquiry with the power to compel witnesses to attend.

She said the inquiry would not compromise or interfere with ongoing criminal investigations.

She told Holyrood that victims' organisations are already being consulted on the scope of the inquiry.

Banking news

Douglas Fraser

Business and economy editor, Scotland

tweets: Breaking: UK govt to sell up to 15% of Lloyds Bank Group by next July, depending on market conditions: would leave at least 10% in public hands

Nine held in drugs raid

Ken Banks

BBC Scotland North East reporter

Nine people have been detained in an ongoing operation against "large scale" drug supply in Aberdeen.

Police Scotland said the operation was in the Torry area of the city, and involved local officers alongside the national specialist crime division.

Enquiries were said to be ongoing to trace other people.

Det Insp Doug Norrie said: "Today's enforcement activity is part of an on-going operation targeting those involved in the supply of drugs."

Christmas not cancelled

Police Scotland

Tweets: Our response to tweets about Santa...

Police Santa statement
Police Scotland

Sir Malcolm blames Alex Salmond for NHS "crisis"

Tim Reid

Political correspondent, BBC News

The MP for Gordon, Sir Malcolm Bruce, has blamed the former First Minister Alex Salmond for a "crisis" in the health service in the north east of Scotland.

Mr Salmond is bidding to win Sir Malcolm's seat in next year's general election.

Sir Malcolm Bruce
BBC

The Liberal Democrat MP is standing down, but in some pre-electioneering for his party at prime minister's questions, Sir Malcolm claimed that while NHS spending by the UK government had risen in real terms, health spending in Scotland had been cut by 1% under the Scottish government led until recently by Mr Salmond.

The Prime Minister said Scotland had had extra money to spend, but claimed the "Scottish Government had not translated the full amount".

Flats proposed for riverside site

Steven McKenzie

BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

Construction firm Tulloch Homes has proposed building 60 flats on the site of a demolished swimming pool in Inverness.

There were plans earlier this year for a hotel to be built on the ground at Glebe Street, overlooking the River Ness.

Inverness
BBC

However, Aberdeen-based Carlton Rock Ltd withdraw its planning application.

Tulloch Homes has notified Highland Council of its intention to apply for planning permission at a later date.

Midwife ruling reaction

BBC Radio Scotland

The Supreme Court has ruled that two Scottish Catholic midwives

must carry out managerial duties which involve abortion.

Gillian Smith, from the Royal College of Midwives, said the ruling would give clarity to women who decided to have a termination.

"It also gives support to women who are having to make one of the hardest decisions of their life because generally the women were are dealing with are the women who are having a termination of pregnancy, not for social reasons, but for foetal abnormality," she told BBC Radio Scotland's Beattie programme.

"For them it's really important having made that decision, that they know they have the support and will not be judged again."