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Summary

  1. Councils face more budget pressures
  2. SNP 'could take safest Labour seat'
  3. Dave King will 'delay taking Ibrox chair'
  4. Princes Street closed after Scott Monument fall
  5. Scotland's cricketers see World Cup hopes dashed

Live Reporting

By Thomas McGuigan, Rachael Connors and Graham Fraser

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night

Graham Fraser

BBC Scotland

That is all for today's Scotland Live blog. Join us again tomorrow from 07:00.

Conspiracy to rob

Six men have appeared in court charged with conspiracy to rob commercial premises in St Andrews.

Prosecutors claim the men travelled to the Fife town with two stolen motor scooters, tape, knives, sledgehammers, a machete and a meat cleaver.

The men made no plea or declaration when they appeared at separate private hearings at Dundee Sheriff Court.

They were Kevin Mulheron, Paul Hogwood, Peter Attwood, Thomas Slayford, Benson Aluko and Kai McGinley.

'Rangers need more than £20m in short term'

Dave King has arrived in Glasgow ahead of the Rangers EGM.

Dave King
BBC

Asked how much money it would take to turn round the club's fortunes, he told reporters at Glasgow Airport: "It is difficult to say.

"I have said about 20 (million) in the short term, but I am concerned that some of the comments I have heard more recently is there are probably other areas of the club where money has got to be spent as well.

"There is maintenance and things that has not been done. It will be north of £20m in the short to medium term."

The South African shareholder is expected to assume control of the club following Friday's meeting.

'No indication' foster child violent

The social worker of a boy who stabbed his foster mother to death has told a fatal accident inquiry there was "no indication" the child was violent.

Dawn McKenzie
BBC

Stephen Lorimer was asked if there was anything he had observed or been told that gave him cause for concern.

Mr Lorimer said: "There was no mental health diagnosis and no indication he was going to be violent to anyone."

Dawn McKenzie, 34, was stabbed by the 13-year-old in her home in Hamilton in 2011.

Reporting Scotland

Reporting Scotland is on BBC One Scotland now.

Reporting Scotland
BBC

Watch it here.

M8 reopens

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

The M8 has reopened westbound at J3a Bathgate following a road traffic accident.

Agassi: 'Murray will win more Grand Slams'

Former world number one Andre Agassi believes Andy Murray will win more Grand Slams as his "skill set on the court is unique".

Davis Cup: 'Golden age of Tennis' says Agassi
BBC Sport

He also adds that "this is the golden age of tennis" thanks to the top four of Murray, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Murray will be in Davis Cup action for Great Britain against the United States on Friday and Agassi praises US captain Jim Courier for having a great work ethic.

CCTV image of robbery

Police have released images of a man they want to trace in connection with a robbery at a West Lothian betting shop.

CCTV
Police Scotland

The robbery took place at Ladbrokes Bookmakers in the Carmondean area of Livingston on Saturday 13 December 2014 at about 19:20.

The man is white, with a Scottish accent, about 5ft 8in, and of medium build.

He was wearing light grey jogging bottoms, gloves and black trainers.

Ciftci could play against Celtic

Dundee United forward Nadir Ciftci's alleged act of violent conduct by deliberately striking an opposing player with an arm has been 'not proven' at a Scottish FA disciplinary tribunal.

Nadir Ciftci
SNS

Ciftci was offered a two-match suspension following the alleged incident involving Inverness Caledonian Thistle defender Gary Warren before challenging the charge.

The outcome means Ciftci is free to play against Celtic in Sunday's Scottish Cup tie.

Disruption at Expressway

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

Glasgow's Clydeside Expressway - city-bound traffic is gridlocked at the Transport Museum.

M8 closed - Update

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

M8 closed westbound at J3a (Bathgate). A recovery vehicle has arrived.

Racist attempted murder

Three men are to stand trial charged with carrying out a racist attempted murder in Edinburgh.

Danny McCann, 22, Aiden O'Reilly, 22, and Liam Gartland, 26, faced the accusation at the High Court in Glasgow.

The trio are alleged to have attacked Arun Nair in Edinburgh's Dalry area on 6 April 2014.

The charge includes claims Mr Nair was jumped and stamped upon, hit with a glass bottle and a metal baton.

Celtic clarify Peter Lawwell comments

Celtic have sought to clarify comments made by chief executive Peter Lawwell at a press conference earlier today.

Peter Lawwell
SNS

In a series of

tweets, the club said: "Following today's press conference, for clarification: Peter Lawwell is well aware and proud of Celtic's history and the Club's Irish roots.

"To clarify any misunderstanding, Peter's comments related to the longstanding position of the Club. People who promote proscribed terrorist organisations are not welcome at Celtic."

At the press conference, the Celtic chief executive had said: "I don't recognise Celtic being associated with sectarianism. I don't recognise Celtic being associated with Irish republicanism.

"I don't accept Irish republicanism is in Celtic's history, anywhere in Celtic's history. This is a club, since 1888, that has welcomed everyone. It's been inclusive, it's been diverse and open to all."

Armed police stopped drink drivers

Reevel Alderson

BBC Scotland's social affairs correspondent

Armed police officers have stopped drink drivers and helped search for missing people, MSPs have been told.

armed police
BBC

Holyrood's Justice Committee heard evidence on Police Scotland's controversial policy of armed officers carrying out routine tasks.

It emerged that since October armed officers had "engaged with the public" on more than 1,600 occasions.

But Assistant Chief Constable Bernie Higgins said that represented a major decrease in the practice.

Video: Llambias arrives in Glasgow

Watch Rangers chief executive Derek Llambias speaking to reporters after arriving in Glasgow for the club's extraordinary general meeting on Friday.

Derek Llambias
SNS

Llambias, who was accompanied by bodyguards, is expected to be voted off the board.

He challenged shareholder Dave King - who has called the EGM - to reveal who his nominated advisor to the stock exchange is, with WH Ireland having resigned from the role earlier this week.

Shopping centre could be sold

Steven McKenzie

BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

The biggest shopping centre in the Highlands could be sold to new owners.

Eastgate Shopping Centre
BBC

F&C Reit, which bought the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Inverness in 2013, said it has been approached by a number of buyers.

In a statement, the company added that it remained committed to plans to improve the centre.

Plans to add an eight-screen cinema and restaurants to the Eastgate were approved by Highland councillors in June last year.

M8 closed at Bathgate

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

The M8 Junction 3a (Bathgate) is closed westbound because of an accident. Police are diverting traffic off at junction 3a and back onto the motorway via the on-slip. Queues are reportedly back to J2 Claylands

This is generating a lot of extra traffic on the M9 leaving Edinburgh, heading toward Stirling, and southbound delays too on the M80 from 8 Bankhead to 6a Castlecary.

Celtic's kit deal

Celtic's new kit deal with sportswear firm New Balance, described as the biggest in the history of Scottish football by the club's chief executive Peter Lawwell, is thought to be worth nearly £6m a season to the Scottish champions.

Celtic's kit deal
SNS

Lawwell said the five year arrangement will have a positive effect on the team.

Fergie recommended McClair

The SFA's chief executive Stewart Regan says Sir Alex Ferguson's personal recommendation was a big factor in the appointment of Brian McClair as performance director.

Brian McClair
Getty Images

Regan also says McClair's achievements at Old Trafford in producing players for the first team was another reason.

McClair says he'll review all aspects of youth development and hopes to build on the work of his predecessor Mark Wotte.

The former Scotland, Celtic and Manchester United forward says "fun" is at the centre of his philosophy and placed an emphasis on making the game enjoyable for children.

McClair hopes to build consensus and will make engaging with clubs a priority when he takes up his position on 1 June.

Exhibition devoted to sight loss

A photographic exhibition featuring portraits of blind and partially sighted people living in Scotland has opened in Edinburgh.

Dennis Robertson
Trudy Stade

Subjects include MSP Dennis Robertson, author Gordon Anthony and stand-up comedian Jamie McDonald.

Photographer Trudy Stade says the aim of the exhibition is to challenge perceptions of people with sight loss.

M8 car crash causes delays

@TrafficScotland

Traffic Scotland

tweets: #M8 J3A Bathgate (W) - Overturned car in lane 1 (of 2) police are on scene and traffic very slow but moving past incident in lane 2 #BeAware

Regan: 'Rangers need stability'

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan says while he can't comment on the 'process' under way at Rangers at the moment, he says it's important that there's stability at the club.

Stewart Regan
SNS

He said: ''For Rangers fans in particular and those who've been watching the situation over the past three years, it's important there's stability and harmony at the club and whoever leads Rangers can get on with doing that and get into some positive shape again.''

He also said he couldn't comment on Dave King's decision not to become a director until cleared by the SFA.

Retired teacher on child porn charges

A retired teacher has appeared in court in Dundee accused of possessing child pornography.

Robert Lightband, 68, appeared at the city's Sheriff Court facing two charges.

They allege that he downloaded and possessed indecent images of children at his home in the city.

Mr Lightband, who taught at Menzieshill High School, appeared in private and made no plea.

He was released on bail.

General Election: Immigration

Email: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

Next week, BBC Scotland News examines the issue of immigration ahead of the General Election.

We want to hear what you think.

Immigration
Getty Images

Do Scots make immigrants feel welcome? Are too many people coming into the country, or do we need more? And what have migrants added to Scotland's culture?

We'll report on an exclusive poll and explore how Scottish attitudes to immigration differ from the rest of Britain.

Caley sign Kink

Clive Lindsay

BBC Sport

Inverness Caledonian Thistle have completed the signing of Estonia forward Tarmo Kink until the end of the season.

Tarmo Kink
Getty Images

Kink, 29, has played for Middlesbrough, Spartak Moscow and most recently Hungarian club Kaposvari Rakoczi.

"He's been with us for a few days and impressed us," said Inverness manger John Hughes last week. "He can play anywhere in the front four."

The Highlanders sold top scorer Billy Mckay to Wigan earlier this year.

Glasgow joins SLGP

Laura Maxwell

BBC Scotland

Scotland's largest council has announced it is to join a new local government group.

Glasgow City Council
William Starkey

Glasgow is the second authority to move to the Scottish Local Government Partnership, which has been set up to rival the existing organisation - COSLA.

Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire councils are also expected to join the new partnership.

Lawwell says minority can't slur Celtic

Kheredine Idessane

BBC Scotland

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell says the club's name should not be "slurred" by a few individuals who misbehave at away games.

Celtic flares
SNS

Lawwell was referring to Uefa disciplinary measures taken against the club for fans lighting flares.

The most recent incident took place during last week's 1-0 defeat by Inter Milan at the San Siro.

However, Lawwell said he would be against introducing a strict liability rule for fan misbehaviour in Scotland.

The chief executive does not believe clubs should be punished for inappropriate behaviour by supporters at domestic matches.

Video - V&A

Construction work is getting under way on Dundee's new £80m V&A Museum of Design.

Artist's impression of V&A Dundee
Not specified

The project ran into controversy when it was revealed the cost had almost doubled from the original £45m.

A ceremony has been held on the site at Dundee's waterfront with architect Kengo Kuma and Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP.

Watch the report by BBC Scotland's Andrew Anderson.

Man admits possessing machine gun

A court has heard a man was caught with a sub-machine gun after police were called to a disturbance with his partner.

Darren McInally, 28, pleaded guilty at the High Court in Glasgow to possessing the gun and ammunition.

He also admitted assaulting his partner Hazel King, 22, at her cottage in Uplawmoor, Renfrewshire, last November.

Silverburn fire

Firefighters have attended a blaze at Silverburn Shopping Centre in Pollok.

The fire broke out in the kitchen of Prezzo restaurant on the ground floor of the complex at 12:00.

The flames were extinguished and no-one was hurt.

'Patchy rain'

@BBCScotWeather

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

Southern and eastern Scotland remain dry this afternoon and there will be some breaks in the cloud. Outbreaks of patchy rain will affect parts of the west.

Temperatures -9 or 10 C for many, 12 C in the northeast.

Quite a windy day with a fresh to strong south-westerly, touching gale force over the Outer Hebrides and Shetland.

Edinburgh jewellery raid: Man held

A man has been detained in connection with an armed robbery at an Edinburgh jewellers during which watches worth about £100,000 were taken.

Laing jewellers
BBC

The robbery took place at Laing the Jewellers in Frederick Street on Monday morning.

The man is being held after police carried out a search of a property in Chesser Grove.

Elaine Doyle murder appeal

A former soldier's appeal against his conviction for murdering teenager Elaine Doyle in 1986

has taken a step forward.

John Docherty /Elaine Doyle
BBC

Court of Criminal Appeal judges agreed to allow John Docherty's challenge to go ahead without limitation.

His defence is to argue that no "reasonable jury" would have returned a guilty verdict.

A previous decision by a single judge had allowed the ground of appeal to proceed but in a limited way.

Leave it out...

A 100-year-old Perthshire tree which is home to the world's oldest breeding osprey has finished ninth in the European Tree of the Year competition.

Lady's Tree
Niall Benvie

The current Scottish Tree of the Year

was beaten to the title by 'Oak tree on a football field' in Estonia.

Animal ban

A woman has been banned from keeping animals after she admitted abandoning cats, rats, a hamster and a pair of bearded dragons in a Dundee flat.

Stevie-Ley Murray fled the Benvie Road flat after her partner was arrested, leaving a menagerie of 19 animals.

Marischal Square fight

Protestors are to make a last ditch attempt to stop a controversial office and retail development being built in Aberdeen.

Artist's impression of Marischal Square development
Muse Developments

They have forced councillors to reconvene over the Marischal Square scheme, which they claim has been approved against the will of the city's residents.

BBC Scotland's Kevin Keane reports.

Rolling boulders inspire art project

Large rocks that roll around the seabed of a Scottish firth are the inspiration for a new £118,000 arts project.

Pentland Firth
HIE

The boulders, some believed to be as big as 328ft (100m) in diameter, are moved by fierce tides in the Pentland Firth.

Dundee-based artists Matthew Dalziel and Louise Scullion have been commissioned to create an artwork called Nomadic Boulders.

It will be put on permanent display in John O'Groats.

City sign Montgomery

Champions Glasgow City have signed the Scottish Women's Premier League's player of the year Kerry Montgomery (pictured left) from Spartans.

Kerry Montgomery
GCFC

The central midfielder joins ahead of City's opening league fixture on Sunday away to Hutchison Vale and in time for this month's Champions League quarter-final ties with Paris Saint-Germain.

"I'm very excited about the challenge ahead," said Montgomery, 26.