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Summary

  1. Sir Malcolm Rifkind resigns as chairman of Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee
  2. He will also step down as an MP following criticism over "cash-for-access" claims
  3. NHS waiting times target missed
  4. Oil and gas industry in 'bleak' 2014
  5. Top defence lawyer Joe Beltrami dies
  6. SPFL statement suggests Rangers won't be punished for sectarian chanting

Live Reporting

By Thomas McGuigan, Graham Fraser and Brian Ponsonby

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Bye for now

That's all from the Scotland Live team for today. We're back again from 07:00 on Wednesday.

Loch Ness RNLI make £1m appeal

The

RNLI hopes to raise £1m to pay for a lifeboat station to be built on the shores of Loch Ness.

Loch Ness RNLI
RNLI

Since the introduction of the lifeboat in 2008, its volunteers have been using a building the size of a small garage near Drumndrochit.

Loch Ness RNLI is Scotland's only inland lifeboat service and took over coverage of the loch from the Maritime and Coastguard Service.

The volunteers use an Atlantic 75 rigid inflatable lifeboat.

They work out of what is known as an Observe class station, which are stations in locations that are difficult to reach.

Tonight's forecast

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

Showers continue to fall for a time, still as snow over high ground with some wet snow to lower levels in some of the heavier ones.

But it's generally a brighter end to the day, as the showers and the strong northwesterly winds continue to very gradually ease, becoming largely dry this evening with just the isolated odd shower in the far north.

Then long clear spells develop this evening, especially further east, with temperatures falling away rather sharply to around freezing for most, but as low as -4C for inland Aberdeenshire - allowing a widespread frost to readily form, with a risk of icy patches where surfaces are damp or wet. Around 2C for the isles.

Later this evening and overnight, however, a more organised area of showery rain pushes in across the southwest of Scotland, with some patchy rain spreading up towards Strathclyde too.

A few snow flurries likely for the Southern Uplands. This all dying away overnight however, becoming drier by morning.

Man racially abused toilet attendant

A

man has admitted racially abusing a toilet attendant in a Glasgow nightclub.

John Keaney, insulted Olukunle Ogunzola when he was told to pay for mouthwash he had used in the toilets of Campus, on Sauchiehall Street, on 15 December 2013.

The 31-year-old, from Clydebank, admitted acting in a racially aggravated manner which was likely or intended to cause alarm and distress to Mr Ogunzola,

He also admitted assaulting Connor McFadden at the nightspot by punching him on the head to his injury.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, sentence on Keaney was deferred.

Sportsound live

On air 810MW with build-up to Dundee Utd v Inverness. Kick off 7.45pm. Plus we'll debate the SPFL's stance on sectarian singing.

'Confidence crisis' over new Highers

Jamie McIvor

BBC Scotland education correspondent

The teachers' union the SSTA is warning of a "crisis of confidence" over the new Highers.

Pupils taking exam
PA

The union says many of its members are worried about course materials and assessments.

The Highers are being revamped to tie them in better with the qualifications that have replaced Standard Grades.

But many fifth year students are still studying for the old Higher instead.

The SSTA asked members to take part in a survey on the new qualification. It says the survey highlights an "alarming lack of confidence".

The Scottish government has rejected this suggestion.

It said the advanced Higher had an emphasis on independent learning and was taken by a relatively small number of people - so should not create unmanageable extra pressures for teachers next year.

More on this story tomorrow.

Big Oil Debate on BBC2

Watch

Scotland 2015: The Big Oil Debate on BBC Two Scotland at 22:30.

Presenter Sarah Smith chairs a debate on the future of the North Sea oil industry with Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone, Liberal Democrat MP Sir Robert Smith, Labour MP Anne Begg, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP and Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvey MSP.

Man arrested over street stabbing

A 35-year-old man has been arrested by

police investigating the attempted murder of a man in North Lanarkshire.

Airdrie attempted murder
BBC

A 32-year-old man was left in a critical condition after being chased from a house and stabbed in Airdrie.

He was found seriously injured in the street following the attack in the town's Sycamore Drive, at about 03:10 on 8 February.

The man who has been arrested is expected to appear from police custody at Airdrie Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

Warning over mountain avalanches

Walkers and climbers have been warned that

the likelihood of avalanches in Scotland's mountains is high because of heavy snow and high winds.

Snow falling near CIC Hut on Ben Nevis
SAIS Lochaber

The Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) said the hazard was "high" in Lochaber, Creag Meagaidh, Glencoe and Northern Cairngorms.

The hazard in the Southern Cairngorms was described as "considerable".

SAIS forecasters said people should be "very wary" of certain areas on Ben Nevis such as the Castle Gullies.

Men held after police stand-offs

A lengthy stand-off between police and a man, following reports of a disturbance at a

house in the village of Foulden in Berwickshire, has ended.

Negotiations took place in an effort to get the man to leave the property in Kerrigan Way .

Two police vans, eight cars, two ambulances and a team police dogs were at the scene.

A police spokesman: "The situation has now been resolved and a man has been detained for breach of the peace."

In a separate incident, a man has been detained following a

stand-off with armed police in Falkirk.

Officers were called to Bruce Street in the town at about 11:30 following reports of concern for a man inside a house.

Police set up a cordon "to maintain public safety", and a spokeswoman confirmed that armed officers were among those at the scene.

The incident was brought to a conclusion at about 15:30.

Teenager jailed for raping girls

A teenager who raped two young girls and attempted to rape another has been jailed for 33 months.

Jordan Watson, 16, from Dunfermline, Fife, raped a 12-year-old girl in July 2013. He also raped a nine year old girl around the same time.

The High Court in Glasgow heard he tried to rape another girl, aged 10, on Hogmanay 2012.

Watson previously pleaded guilty to two rapes as well as attempted rape and a further charge under the Sexual Offences Act.

Judge Lord Burns said the offences were so serious, only a custodial sentence was "appropriate".

He added the sentence would have been three and a half years, but for the guilty pleas.

Watson was also placed on the sex offenders register.

Extra Glasgow flights from Isle of Man

The number of

direct flights between the Isle of Man and Glasgow is set to increase from May, Citywing has announced.

Citywing
Citywing

More than 8,000 people have used the service since it was reintroduced on 31 March 2014 ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

From May the company will operate 11 return flights a week.

Managing Director David Buck said the extra flights have been added to match a "clear demand".

Oil firm to cut more jobs

The

oil service company Archer has confirmed that it is losing more than 400 jobs from its UK operations, many of which are based in Aberdeen.

The company said 135 posts had already been lost from its north east operations, with a further 290 UK onshore and offshore jobs going in the next few months.

Archer announced yesterday that it was in the process of losing 1,000 jobs from its global operations because of what it calls "market conditions."

No baby death inquiry to be held

A

fatal accident inquiry will not be held after a man was convicted of murdering a six-week-old baby in Aberdeen, the BBC Scotland news website has learned.

Alexis Matheson
Not Specified
Baby Alexis Matheson died in December 2007 aged six weeks

Mark Simpson was jailed for a minimum of 20 years for killing his then-girlfriend's daughter Alexis Matheson by assaulting her in 2007.

Simpson had lived with the baby's mother Ilona Sheach.

The Crown Office said an FAI would not be held.

Ronson set for T in the Park

Mark Ronson is the latest big name act to be announced for this year's T in the Park at Strathallan Castle.

Mark Ronson
AP

Ronson, who enjoyed a Number One with the single Uptown Funk featuring Bruno Mars, will play a DJ set.

Festival organisers DF Concerts also confirmed that Everything Everything, Admiral Fallow, Jack Savoretti, Rae Morris, Marmozets and Saint Raymond had been added to the bill.

Tickets go on sale on Friday.

One to watch...

The #Scotland2015 team are getting ready for tonight's Big Oil Debate. They're live at 10.30pm on BBC Two Scotland.

Scotland 2015 Big Oil Debate
BBC

Colin Hendry on drink-drive charge

Former Blackburn Rovers, Rangers and Scotland footballer

Colin Hendry has been charged with a drink-drive offence.

Colin Hendry
PA

Lancashire Police said Mr Hendry was stopped by police officers in a blue Ford Focus on Church Road, Lytham at 01:15 GMT on Saturday.

Mr Hendry, of Coopers Row, Lytham was charged and bailed to appear before Blackpool Magistrates on 4 March.

His playing career took in Manchester City, Rangers, Bolton Wanderers, Coventry and Blackpool.

Police called to village stand-off

Police have been involved in a lengthy stand-off with a man following reports of a disturbance at a house in the Berwickshire village of Foulden.

Negotiations have been taking place in an effort to get the man to leave the property in Kerrigan Way.

Two police vans, eight cars, two ambulances and a team of police dogs were at the scene.

Insp Kevin Harris of Police Scotland said they had been called out at about 12:00 to the incident and there was no risk to the public.

Step change

The decision to demolish the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall steps is sparking debate over on our

BBC Scotland News Facebook page.

Here's some of the reaction:

Dave Allan This is a step in the wrong direction

Zaphod Bebelbrox Looks like a 1940's anti tank obstacle

Stuart Pottie "People make Glasgow", but their views are ignored....

New Glasgow Concert Hall entrance

Jamie McIvor

BBC Scotland local government correspondent

This is the planned atrium entrance to Glasgow Royal Concert Hall which will replace the steps leading up from Buchanan Street.

New Concert Hall entrance
Glasgow City Council

Councillors voted today to allow the controversial redevelopment to take place despite a major online campaign to stop it.

The new atrium - which some say might bring a touch of Hollywood glamour to the Concert Hall - would also improve access for disabled people.

OAP admits causing fatal car crash

An 85-year-old woman has

admitted causing the deaths of her two friends after her careless driving resulted in a fatal crash.

Tibbermore crash
PPA

Leslie Garven was driving a group of friends on a day trip to Crieff in September 2012 when she pulled out onto the main road without giving way.

Two women aged 78 and 83 died following the crash near Tibbermore.

Sentence was deferred at Perth Sheriff Court, and Garven was banned from driving in the meantime.

Police incident

Cameron Buttle

BBC Scotland

Police at Kerrigan Way, Foulden following reports of a disturbance: "A cordon is in place while police work to resolve the situation."

Crime cash back 'disappointing'

Reevel Alderson

BBC Scotland's social affairs correspondent

Police Scotland is facing a £6m shortfall in its budget because of delays in receiving cash under Proceeds of Crime legislation.

Chief Constable Sir Stephen House told members of the Scottish Police Authority in many cases there was a "degradation" of value in the assets recovered.

In some cases the police were expecting hundreds of thousands of pounds in seized criminal assets, but were ending up with merely tens of thousands.

He said Police Scotland had exceeded its targets for recovering assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act but the amount received back was "disappointing."

Trusted carer jailed over theft

An Aberdeen carer who stole hundreds of pounds from a severely handicapped man has been jailed.

Carol Donald, 49, withdrew money from Terrence Farr's bank account.

Donald admitted stealing £900 from Mr Farr, who suffers from spina bifida and epilepsy, in January and February last year.

She was jailed for six months at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, where Sheriff Graeme Buchanan said it was a "gross breach of trust".

V&A contract signed

Dundee City Council has signed an £80m contract for the construction of the V&A Dundee museum.

V&A
Dundee Waterfront

BAM Construction Ltd will start building work on the design museum at the city's waterfront next month.

It was revealed in January that the project's price tag had almost doubled from an original £45m amid lengthy delays.

If work proceeds on schedule, the museum could be complete by the end of 2017, and ready to open by June 2018.

On air now...

Coming up on #Newsdrive: scallops, snakes and sword-making. On Radio Scotland or

online

Probe after man's death

An investigation is to be carried out into how

police handled the death of an 80-year-old man in the Highlands.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) has been asked by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Office to conduct the probe.

PIRC is an independent body that scrutinises the way police respond to complaints from the public.

The man, whose name has not been released, was found dead at his home in Inverness-shire on 15 February.

Scottish Water fined for killing fish

Scottish Water has been fined after it accidentally polluted a river, killing nearly 5,000 fish.

River Farg
Rob Burke

The body admitted polluting several kilometres of the River Farg with aluminium sulphate after an employee left a valve open at a water treatment facility in Perthshire.

Perth Sheriff Court heard that virtually all the trout and salmon in the vicinity at the time were killed.

The corporation, which is owned by the Scottish government, was fined £8,000.

Russell appeals ban

Scotland's Finn Russell has appealed against his two-week ban for a challenge deemed "reckless" by the Six Nations disciplinary committee.

Finn Russell
SNS

The stand-off was hit with the suspension for his challenge on Wales' Dan Biggar in Scotland's 26-23 defeat at Murrayfield on 15 February.

Russell is due to miss Sunday's match against Italy at Murrayfield.

His hearing, before an independent Six Nations Appeal Committee, will be held in London on Wednesday.

Teacher had 21,000 indecent images

A Dumfries and Galloway music teacher found with more than 21,000 indecent images of children has been made the subject of a community payback order.

Timothy Geaney, 69, admitted taking or permitting the images to be taken between April 2004 and February 2014.

A court heard most of the images were of young boys partially dressed in erotic poses with no sexual activity.

Geaney was made the subject of a payback order with a condition he is supervised for three years.

Murray wins in Dubai

Andy Murray began his Dubai Championships campaign with a 6-4 7-5 win over Luxembourg's Gilles Muller.

Andy Murray
Getty Images

The Scot, 27, came through in one hour and 45 minutes and will play Joao Sousa in round two, three weeks after beating the Portuguese at the Australian Open.

Top seed Novak Djokovic plays Canada's Vasek Pospisil later on Tuesday.

British number two James Ward could not build on his two qualifying wins as he lost 6-4 6-4 to Spain's Feliciano Lopez, the world number 13.

Bomb disposal remove item from house

Bomb disposal experts were called to a house in Ayrshire after police received reports of a suspicious item being put through a door.

Police and Royal Navy explosive experts were called to the house in Loreny Drive, Kilmarnock, at 04.25 on Tuesday.

The item was removed safely from the property. Police said inquiries were ongoing, but no arrests had been made.

A spokesman said: "Police and the Royal Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit attended and removed the item."

Walter Scott Prize shortlist

The longlist has been revealed for the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction to be awarded at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose in June.

The nominated books are:

Walter Scott Prize
BBC

Mesh implants 'as dangerous as asbestos'

Vaginal mesh implants are as dangerous as asbestos, MSPs on Holyrood's petitions committee have been told.

Adam Slater
BBC

They are holding an inquiry into the procedure, used to ease incontinence, after some women experienced painful complications.

Last year, the then Scottish health secretary Alex Neil urged health boards to suspend use of the implants.

Adam Slater (pictured), a US compensation lawyer, said "women are not told the truth" about the devices.

Blair ready for new chapter

Robert Blair will launch a new men's doubles partnership on Wednesday at the Yonex German Open in Mulheim.

Robert Blair
SNS

The 2006 world men's doubles silver medallist, 33, partners Japan's Shintaro Ikeda for the first time against second seeds Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa, also of Japan.

Blair said: "I'm really looking forward to competing with Shintaro and it's great that we are in the main draw.

"We are also playing the Swiss Open next month so it's an exciting time."

Concert hall steps to be demolished

Jamie McIvor

BBC Scotland local government correspondent

A controversial plan to demolish the steps outside Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is to go ahead as part of £390m expansion of Buchanan Galleries.

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall steps
Geograph

The steps are popular with shoppers and local workers, especially in the summer. But they now face demolition as part of the scheme to extend the shopping centre next door.

Hundreds of people had voiced their objections to the proposal to demolish the steps online. Supporters argue the changes will make it easier for disabled people to get into the concert hall.

Glasgow City Council's planning applications committee approved the expansion plan on Tuesday.

Tree hits train

Pictures have emerged of a train which struck a tree as it travelled between Inverness and Aberdeen (See 12:43).

damaged train
Duncan Scott

The driver and passengers were unhurt in the incident which happened at about 07:30 near the Slochd Summit south of Inverness.

damaged train
Duncan Scott

The train, Scotrail's 06:50 service, returned to Inverness and the line was closed until about 08:40.

Beltrami tribute

Thomas Ross, President of the Scottish Criminal Bar Association, has paid tribute to lawyer Joe Beltrami who has passed away at the age of 83.

He said: "The Scottish Criminal Bar Association is extremely sad to learn of the passing of Joseph Beltrami.

Joe Beltrami
BBC

"Perhaps the first lawyer in Scotland to specialise in criminal law, he laid the path for all of us to follow.

"No counsel instructed by him failed to learn from his guidance. Known fondly as 'Big Joe' - he will never be forgotten."

Reaction: Waiting times targets

After it emerged the NHS in Scotland has missed a target to treat 90% of patients within 18 weeks, Health Secretary Shona Robison said: "Health boards across Scotland continue to deliver some of the lowest waiting times on record.

hospital ward
PA

"However, much more needs to be done and we are committed to getting the right structures in place to ensure everyone is seen within the target time.

"I have made this clear to all boards and we will continue to work closely with them to help them deliver this."

Scottish Labour Health spokesperson, Jenny Marra, said: "Shona Robison must get on top of this immediately.

"Hard working NHS staff are doing the best they can but they are sorely lacking support from the SNP ministers in Edinburgh.

"Thousands of patients across the country are having their legal rights breached and thousands more are being let down when they have to wait and wait for treatment."

Police probe near miss

Police have appealed to drivers to get in touch after a YouTube video showed a near miss between a car and a lorry on the A9 in Easter Ross.

A9 near miss
Other

The video is said to have been recorded by a dashboard-mounted camera inside the car on Monday.

A spokesman from Police Scotland said: "Police have been made aware of video footage of a lorry on the A9 at the Tomich junction, near Invergordon.

"The footage is currently being reviewed and police would appeal for anyone who was in the area at time and has any information to make contact them on 101"