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Summary

  1. North Sea oil firms facing 'crisis'
  2. Jack & Emily favourite baby names in Scotland
  3. 'Ice pancakes' found on River Dee
  4. Home for Great Tapestry debated
  5. Tories call for house tax change

Live Reporting

By Thomas McGuigan, Louise Sayers, Calum Watson and Laura Cuthill

All times stated are UK

Get involved

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

Hearts' Neilson wants to add a striker

BBC Sport

Scotland

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson hopes

to add a striker to his Championship-leading squad in the transfer window.

But the 34-year-old reckons the Tynecastle outfit have enough quality to win the league even if they do not add to their ranks next month.

Robbie Neilson
SNS

"We need to bring in a striker as we've had a few injuries in that department," said Neilson.

However, when asked if he already has the players to win the title, he added: "I think we have, I hope we have."

Housebuilders dismay at planning delays

Douglas Fraser

Business and economy editor, Scotland

Scottish housebuilders and developers say they are disappointed by the latest figures showing long periods taken to reach planning decisions.

The criticism from the Scottish Property Federation and Homes for Scotland followed pressure from the new infrastructure secretary, Alex Neil, to speed up councils' decision-making processes.

house building
Getty Images

On average it takes more than 41 weeks to get a decision on major housing proposals

Homes for Scotland described the figure as "depressing".

Armed robbery in Edinburgh

Police in Edinburgh are investigating an armed robbery at a shop in Niddrie.

A man armed with a handgun stole a three figure sum of cash from Niddrie Licensed Grocers on Niddrie Mill Drive at around 13:10 on Thursday.

Police jacket
BBC

The suspect is described white, about 30 years old, 5ft10in to 6ft tall and "gaunt" appearance.

He was wearing a black hooded top, black scarf or similar covering mouth, black jogging trousers and white trainers and was carrying a black and white polythene shoppers bag.

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

  • An accident has been cleared on the M80 northbound between J8 & J9 Bannockburn. All lanes are now open and traffic is easing.
  • In Dunfermline the A907 Carnock Road has just been reopened following an accident earlier.
  • In Edinburgh, getting a lot of tweets to say there will be delays tonight going into Fort Kinnaird and Craigleith shopping area.
  • In Glasgow on Bearsden Road the earlier accident southbound at the railway bridge is still causing congestion and queues back along the switchback to Canniesburn Toll.
  • On the A90 Echline - Scotstoun Interchange there is a breakdown and all lanes are restricted northbound for up to 15 minutes.
  • Finally looking ahead to tomorrow's ferry crossings, Cal Mac have had to cancel the 07:00 sailing from Kennacraig and the 0945 sailing from Port Ellen as a result of adverse weather. All other sailings remain on amber alert so prepare for cancellations at short notice.

Hospital probes infection cluster

Infection control experts have started an investigation

into a cluster of C. difficile cases at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

There have been 14 cases identified, with patients being kept in isolation.

ERI
Other

Two of those infected have died but have been described as having "underlying conditions".

NHS Lothian has said all wards at the hospital remain open and infection prevention and control procedures have been reinforced.

Cold and blustery

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

A cold and windy night tonight, with frequent showers, mostly affecting northern and western Scotland.

The showers will fall as snow over high ground and high road routes, above around 200m.

Fewer showers in the east with clearer skies here. Overnight lows around freezing inland and around 2 or 3C for towns and cities.

Tomorrow a colder day with strong west or northwest winds. Frequent blustery wintry showers for northwest and western Scotland, with sleet to lower levels at times.

Tonight's Sportsound

BBC Sport

Scotland

What would you ask Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes? He's our guest on Sportsound, where we discuss the latest from St Mirren, Hearts and more.

Tune in, on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW and online, from 18:10.

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes
SNS

New tax powers 'may not be fair'

Douglas Fraser

Business and economy editor, Scotland

The cross-party agreement on devolving more tax powers to Holyrood may not be feasible or fair,

it has been claimed.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has published its assessment of the Smith Commission's plans, saying that "big issues have yet to be resolved".

smith commission
PA

Its main concern is with the calculation of the UK Treasury's block grant to the Scottish Parliament.

As more powers are devolved to Holyrood, it means the grant funding formula will have to be adjusted.

New year, new image

Scotland 2014

BBC Two Scotland

tweets: We're thinking of freshening up our opening titles, which iconic Scottish figures should we include? #scotland2014

Scotland 2014
BBC

Paton appeal thrown out

Chris McLaughlin

BBC Sport

tweets: Dundee Utd''s Paul Paton appeal against spitting charge had been thrown out. He receives a 2 match suspension.

North Sea Oil - Your views

Charlie, Edinburgh: Re the oil...the SNP said it was all "scaremongering" before the referendum. So what do they do now?..blame Westminster. Pathetic.

Nathan, Forres: The UK Government hold the reins on the oil and during the referendum Alex Salmond was very clear that he knew oil was a fluctuating commodity. I am glad to see Labour supporters back to their old tricks of all out attacking the SNP just for the hell of it.

Minister on maternity leave

Aileen Campbell has become the first Scottish government minister to go on maternity leave.

The children's minister, who is expecting her second child, is to give up more than half of her ministerial salary while she is on leave.

Aileen Campbell
BBC

She has requested the cash go back into the Scottish government's budget for children and families.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Ms Campbell would receive the "statutory maternity pay equivalent of her ministerial salary" while she is on leave.

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

  • High winds warnings remain on the Skye and Kessock bridges
  • Forth Road Bridge - 5 min delays southbound - 10 min northbound...
  • Edinburgh City Bypass - still seeing westbound delays at Gilmerton following a breakdown earlier
  • M8 Glasgow westbound - city bound delays from 14 Fruitmarket to Charing Cross - and heading onto the M77 near Kinning Park. A breakdown is blocking one lane - on the secondary carriageway from Seaward St.
  • M8 eastbound still slow from 22 Plantation to 15 Townhead
  • An accident on Bearsden Road just at the railway bridge partially blocking the road southbound heading toward Anniesland Cross - traffic back to Canniesburn Toll.

Clostridium difficile cases

Eleanor Bradford

BBC Scotland Health Correspondent

Infection control experts at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh are investigating a cluster of 14 Clostridium difficile cases.

The affected patients are in isolation and all wards remain open.

C. diff bug
Science Photo Library

It is not yet known whether any of the cases are linked.

Last month an inquiry into an outbreak of C. difficile at the Vale of Leven hospital in 2007 was highly critical of infection control procedures at the time.

However levels of C. difficile have fallen dramatically in the past seven years.

Man wants murder conviction quashed

A man who has twice been jailed for life after separate juries convicted him of the same murder has

sought to have the latest conviction quashed.

Ian Geddes, 59, was found guilty of killing his cousin Charles McKay in Inverness in March 2003 following a trial in 2005 and a re-trial in 2013.

Ian Geddes
Ciaran Donnelly

Geddes, of Inverness, denies the murder and claims he is the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

He has taken his case to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.

Council to reduce gritter fleet to save money

Steven McKenzie

BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

Highland Council is

getting rid of 12 gritters as part of its efforts to save £55m over four years.

The council currently has a fleet of 115 gritters for use on Scotland's longest local authority-managed road network.

Gritter
PA

The council said the 12 lorries were older vehicles and the fleet would be upgraded with more modern machines.

The move will affect 12 jobs but the council said it would seek to redeploy staff or phase out posts through retirement.

On the roads

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

Aberdeenshire: The road traffic accident on the B9077 east of Bridge of Feugh is now clear but there may still be delays.

Sickness bug closes hospital ward

A ward at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary has been temporarily closed due to an outbreak of sickness and diarrhoea.

Ward 16, where patients are treated for orthopaedic and gynaecological problems, is closed to new admissions, transfers and routine visiting.

Dumfries Infirmary
OTher

Five patients and one member of staff have symptoms of sickness and diarrhoea, an NHS spokeswoman said.

Norovirus has not been confirmed.

The hospital's infection control team is monitoring the situation and appropriate procedures have been put in place.

Oil industry latest

Douglas Fraser

Business and economy editor, Scotland

tweets: Oil industry worldwide faces 37% cut in spend ($170bn), due to price fall - if it's to retain debt levels, says
@WoodMackenzie analysts.

Pedestrian killed by car

An 81-year-old man has died after being hit by a car in Edinburgh.

Harry Slade was involved in a collision with a car in Lindsay Road in the Leith area of the city on Wednesday afternoon.

Police accident sign
PA

The road was closed for around four hours while the accident was investigated.

Police are appealing for any witnesses to come forward.

Commuter relief

Evening Express

tweets: Major Aberdeen road to reopen today

Read the full story

here.

On Newsdrive

BBC Radio Scotland

  • Is the North Sea oil industry really "in crisis?"
  • What are ice pancakes and why are they turning up in Scotland?
  • Plans to turn one of Edinburgh's landmarks into a luxury hotel
  • The favourite baby names of 2014
Newsdrive web page
BBC

Listen on 92-95FM, 810MW, on digital radio or

online

On the roads

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

Aberdeenshire: road traffic accident on the B9077 about a mile east of Bridge of Feugh. Emergency services at the scene. Delays both ways.

Bats 'showing signs of recovery'

Steven McKenzie

BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

Populations of 10 British bat species are stable or increasing following previous years of decline,

a new report has suggested.

The species included Daubenton's and Brandt's.

Pipistrelle
PA

The Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) enlisted more than 3,500 volunteers to help with its National Bat Monitoring Programme.

The citizen science project collected data from 3,272 sites across Great Britain from 1997 to 2012.

North Sea Oil - Your Views

Email us: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

Jim: Killer question from Kezia Dugdale on the oil price collapse at her first FMQ's. In addition to understanding how the Scottish government could be so "unsighted" on oil prices it would be good to know how they would have filled the resulting £(multi-billion) black hole in Scotland's finances. We are fortunate not to be in the process of finding out!

North Sea Oil - Your Views

Text us on 80295

Lorna: Kezia Dugdale knows fine well that UK is in charge of oil. Westminster has been asleep on the job in not creating an oil fund. Sad that Labour is back to taking pleasure from a crisis where people will lose jobs.

Great Tapestry - Get Involved

Email us: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

Charles Pilgrim: I was reading the news website this morning concerning the recent Historical Tapestry of Scotland and where it might find a home. It struck me that an ideal location would be in the Mills of New Lanark. It is a more central Scottish location than the Borders, shares a similar weaving heritage which has international fame, and already has the visitor infrastructure required for such an item.

Charitable Christmas

Edinburgh Evening News

tweets: Appeal to give city homeless a Christmas dinner so successful it could feed them all year.

Appeal to but Christmas meals for Edinburgh's homeless population has proved such a hit that it will keep them fed all year.
Edinburgh Evening News

Read the full story here.

Dundee Utd's Paton challenges ban

BBC Sport

Scotland

A Scottish Football Association disciplinary panel will convene on Thursday after

Paul Paton contested Tuesday's notice of complaint.

Dundee United's Paul Paton and Aberdeen's Jonny Hayes
SNS

The notice from the SFA's compliance officer offered the Dundee United midfielder a two-match suspension after the 27-year-old was accused of spitting at Aberdeen winger Jonny Hayes.

The Dons player has defended Paton on social media site Twitter.

"Just wanna clear it up that Paul Paton never spat at me,"

Hayes tweeted.

Happy Howl-idays

Police Scotland Dogs

tweets: Here's our latest recruit Griffin is getting into the #Christmas spirit today!

Griffin the German Shepherd
Police Scotland

Tapestry to stay in Tweedbank

Angela Soave

BBC Scottish Borders

Councillors in the Borders have agreed to provide funding

to bring the Great Tapestry Of Scotland to Tweedbank.

Tapestry Bannockburn
Alex Hewitt

Consultants forecast it will bring money to the local economy - and directly provide the equivalent of 17 full time jobs.

However, Conservatives were unhappy no attempt was made to source private investment before, they said, public money was committed. They warned services would suffer.

Gers board have fans' chief sympathy

BBC Sport

Scotland

Drew Roberton, general secretary of the Rangers Supporters Association, admits

his sympathies probably lie with the board in the stand-off with the club's manager, Ally McCoist.

Ally McCoist and coach Ian Durrant
SNS

McCoist, who has handed in his 12 months' notice, met chairman of the football board Sandy Easdale and director Derek Llambias on Wednesday.

But they did not agree on a deal to end his three-and-a-half year reign now.

"I've probably got more sympathy with the board in this one," said Roberton.

Medical imaging centre awarded £16m

Funding of £16m has been awarded to a new medical facility in Glasgow which aims to improve treatments for brain, stroke and cardiovascular diseases.

The Imaging Centre of Excellence will be based at the new South Glasgow University Hospital, which is due to open in 2015.

Artists image of the new faciluty
BBC - pr handout

The centre is part of a new Precision Medicine facility, which aims to pioneer more personalised treatments.

The funding was agreed as part of the

Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal.

Cloudy and turning colder

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

Fairly cloudy this afternoon with outbreaks of rain and drizzle in the west, the central belt and south. Heavy and persistent for a time across Highland, Argyll, Ayrshire and the South West

The rain drifts east and south for a spell, but generally drier conditions for eastern Scotland, including Aberdeen, Fife and Dundee.

Highs around 6 to 9C, but in the south we will see 10 to 12s.

Tonight winds continue to strengthen from the west to southwest, to widespread gales for the North and west coasts, even severe gales for the Northern Isles by the end of the night.

The showers become more frequent in the North and Northwest, wintry and heavier too with some snow above 100 to 200metres. The risk of icy stretches by morning.

Douglas Fraser

Business and economy editor, Scotland

Tweets: Saudi oil minister says he doesn't see OPEC cutting supplies to prop up price, but also that oil price drop is 'temporary'

Royal Mail reinstates festive service

Ken Banks

BBC Scotland North East reporter

Royal Mail has

backtracked on plans to withdraw from a popular festive lost Christmas cards service provided in Orkney for 25 years.

The annual appeal on BBC Radio Orkney helped local postal workers deliver hundreds of cards with incomplete or no addresses.

Christmas cards
BBC

The cards were read out by a member of Royal Mail staff, with listeners suggesting the intended recipient.

Royal Mail said its staff were too busy but agreed after BBC Scotland coverage.

Great Tapestry - Your Views

Email us: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

Harry Rather: Moving the tapestry to Tweedbank is a ridiculous idea. There are many towns in the Borders dying because of ridiculous planning decisions. Look at Galashiels for example where all roads lead to Tesco at the expense of local traders. Why move the Tapestry to a housing estate? Because that's what Tweedbank is. Move it to more deserving place that's been around for hundreds of years. Selkirk, Gala or Hawick.

Wanda Gillespie: I would be very disappointed if the Tapestry were housed permanently in the borders as I think it should be kept in the central belt where it will be much easier for visitors to have access to it. Probably Stirling is a good place as it is so central or Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Glasgow drugs raid

Police have arrested three people after they discovered cannabis growing inside a property in Duke Street, Glasgow.

They estimated that the find had a street value of more than £3,000. They also seized firearms from the property.

Police jacket
BBC

One man, aged 60, was arrested in connection with alleged firearms and drugs offences and two women, aged 37 and 34, were arrested in connection with alleged drugs offences.

The planned raid was carried out by officers from Glasgow's serious and organised crime team.