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Summary

  1. Miliband rules out coalition with SNP
  2. 'Jihadi bride' denies recruiting girls
  3. Meteor photographed from Loch Ness
  4. Sturgeon: SNP 'will be positive for whole UK'
  5. Man admits careless driving death
  6. Walker dies after Ben Lomond 'fall'

Live Reporting

By Sandy Murray, Louise Sayers and Marianne Taylor

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Bye for now...

Marianne Taylor

BBC Scotland news

Right, that's all from the Scotland Live team for today.

Hope you can join us again bright and early at 07:00 tomorrow.

Until then, you can keep up with all the news on the

BBC News Scotland website.

Catch a falling star...

Coastguards in Stornoway were inundated with calls from members of the public who

reported seeing flares in the sky on Sunday night. Sightings were reported from North Uist, Mull and Oban.

The flares actually were part of a meteorite shower which lit up the sky over the North Sea just after 21:00.

Meteor shower
John Alasdair Macdonald/The Hebridean Explorer

Writer Duncan Lunan explained what was going on to BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland presenter Gary Robertson: "It looks as if we might have passed across a belt of debris from a comet."

Listen to his full explanation here.

Coming up later...

Scotland 2014

BBC Two Scotland

On tonight's show: #EdMiliband has ruled out a formal coalition with the #SNP. But what about an informal one? Join us at 10.30pm on @BBCTwo

New loch home for rare seahorse

An endangered seahorse could be saved from extinction with the help of the sea-life aquarium at Loch Lomond.

Seahorse
Thinkstock

The big-bellied seahorse, which is native to Australia, is harvested for Chinese medicine.

It's now hoped the species can be given a boost by breeding them in captivity, and releasing them.

'Nothing has changed'

Ed Miliband has

ruled out a formal Labour-SNP coalition in the event of a hung parliament after May's election.

But SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said Mr Miliband's comments did "not change anything", as the parties could still reach an informal arrangement to "keep the Tories out of power".

Watch a full BBC interview with Ms Sturgeon here.

Weather outlook

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

A mostly dry, cloudy night to come. Clear skies over the north-west Highlands, where the temperatures will dip. Showers will continue to affect eastern parts, mainly Aberdeenshire, Angus and the Northern Isles. They'll become increasingly isolated as the night goes on. Winds will be light for most, although a fresh south-easterly wind will persist over the Northern Isles.

Safeguarding peat bog

The environment minister has been visiting a site where a

pioneering technique is being used to try to safeguard a "vital" peat bog.

Digger on peat bog
BBC

Scottish Wildlife Trust invited Aileen McLeod to Carsegowan Moss in Galloway to see first hand the "peat bunding" approach being used.

It involves low ground-pressure excavators removing damaged surface layers with deeper peat used to build up a low embankment.

This helps to hold back and slow the flow of water from the site.

Your views - energy policy

Email: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

Douglas, Islay: Whatever the rights and wrongs of the argument, there is no doubt the Scottish government have firmly placed all their eggs in one basket with their obsession with wind power. I do wonder how much this has cost and in particular the cost to compensate the companies to switch off the turbines.

Man admits causing woman's death

A Fife street cleaner who reversed over an OAP and dragged her along the road, which killed her,

has admitted causing death by careless driving.

Mary McNeill, 76, was struck by the council vehicle in Moray Way North, Dalgety Bay on 23 May 2013.

Mrs McNeill, from Dalgety Bay, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Allan Mackie, 45, from Leven, said he was "deeply remorseful" and apologised to family and friends through his defence advocate.

Nuances behind the blunt message

Brian Taylor

Political editor, Scotland

Politicians hope that it is the blunt message, endlessly repeated, which percolates through and resides in the collective consciousness of the electorate.

But the nuances bear inspection too. Such is certainly the case with the declaration delivered by Ed Miliband that his Labour party will not enter a coalition with the SNP in the event of a hung parliament at Westminster after May's election.

Read my blog on his declaration here.

Your views - coalition?

Alan Cameron: It would seem that Milliband, Cameron and even the BBC Westminster reporters somehow miss the fact that Alex Salmond is not the leader of the SNP, and he has to actually be elected to Westminster in the first place. I thought Stuart Hosie was the Westminster leader and Nicola Sturgeon the first minister? Alex certainly still scares Westminster...

Man convicted of murder

A man has been convicted of murder over a revenge attack where another man was stabbed to death in his Glasgow home.

Alan Whitelaw
Other

John Ramsay, 50, stabbed 39-year-old Alan Whitelaw eight times in the neck and arm at his the victim's flat in Maryhill on 1 July 2014.

He claimed the killing was accidental after Mr Whitelaw attacked him but a jury at the High Court in Glasgow unanimously convicted him of murder.

Ramsay faces a mandatory life term when he is sentenced next month.

Union: 'Longannet not a political football'

Prospect, the energy workers union, has told politicians to stop treating Longannet power station like a "political football" and work together to secure its future.

Last week it emerged that the Fife plant will close by the end of March 2016 unless owner Scottish Power secures a short-term contract with the National Grid.

Longannet
Getty Images

Deputy First Minister John Swinney visited the plant today and blamed the current crisis on UK energy policies, while the Conservatives have blamed the situation on the Scottish government's "obsession with wind power".

Prospect negotiator Richard Hardy said: "This issue is about jobs and the ability of all companies to develop new generation assets for Scotland."

Oil rig collision

This is the Apache Forties Echo platform involved in the

supply boat collision.

Oil platform
BBC

Murphy: 'No backroom deals'

Earlier today, Labour leader

Ed Miliband ruled out a formal coalition with the SNP.

The party's Scottish leader Jim Murphy said: "Both Labour and the SNP have now ruled out a coalition.

Jim Murphy
Getty Images

"There will be no backroom coalition deals between Labour and the SNP after the election. It's clearer than ever that the way to get a Labour government and remove David Cameron from Downing Street is to vote Labour."

Hague on Miliband

Tim Reid

Political correspondent, BBC News

William Hague says Miliband hasn't changed anything - "it leaves open the possibility/probabilty" of a deal with the SNP

'Jihadi bride' denial

James Cook

Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

The parents of a so-called

jihadi bride from Scotland have said their daughter denies recruiting three London girls to the cause of Islamic State.

Aqsa Mahmood
BBC - family handout

Khalida and Muzaffar Mahmood told the BBC they were in touch with 20-year-old Aqsa Mahmood last week.

They said she insisted she had not been in touch with the Bethnal Green girls.

Cleaning up

A syndicate of

18 school cleaners from Saltcoats has won £1m in the EuroMillions UK Millionaire Maker draw, with each member taking away £55,555.55.

St Matthews Syndicate celebrate their win
Ashley Coombes

The all-female group from St Matthew's Academy have been playing the same numbers for four years but buy their draw from a different shop each week - to keep things lucky.

The ladies say they intend to spend their winnings on a number of things including sunshine holidays, new televisions and decorating their homes.

World Championship curling

The Scottish women's curling team beat the USA 9-2 in their latest round robin tie.

Womens curling
Getty Images

Eve Muirhead's rink has now recorded two wins and two defeats in the Women's World Championships in Japan as they prepare for their next game against Norway.

North Sea platform rescue

Some workers have been taken off a North Sea platform after a collision with a supply vessel.

The incident happened at the Forties Echo platform.

There were not believed to be any injuries.

Laura Bicker

Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

In Aberdeen North talking #GE2015 for @BBCNews and this little guy turns up. Wonder what he thinks?

Seal
BBC

Video: Miliband and Hosie

Ed Miliband has ruled out a Labour-SNP coalition in the event of a hung Parliament after May's election.

Ed Miliband speaking in Leeds
BBC
Mr Miliband accused the Conservatives of "scaring people"

Meanwhile, SNP Deputy Leader

Stewart Hosie says the general election is not about Scottish independence, but the SNP is calling for "progressive change" over austerity, the NHS and Trident policy.

Ebola nurse

Catriona Renton

BBC Scotland

Meet nurse Alasdair Kerr who has returned from Sierra Leone where he was working to fight #ebola reporting scotland 1830

Elderly woman dies in fire

A woman has died in an early morning house fire in the Rearquhar area near Dornoch. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was alerted to the blaze in a single storey house at 00:42.

Fire crews from Dornoch and Tain were sent to the scene and firefighters wearing breathing apparatus searched the house.

SFRS said: "Sadly during the search firefighters found one elderly female fatality inside."

The fire service and Police Scotland will hold a joint investigation into the cause of the fire.

Tim Reid

Political correspondent, BBC News

Jim Murphy: If SNP wants to vote for Labour proposals that is up to them. Scotland would take a pretty dim view if SNP brought down a Lab gov

Head hunt

Education chiefs in the Borders are

holding a recruitment drive in an attempt to fill headteacher posts.

Chairs in a classroom
Thinkstock

An open day is being held at the Macdonald Cardrona Hotel near Peebles on 28 March.

As well as eight headteacher jobs there is a large number of other vacancies in Borders schools.

Questions for Willie Rennie

The Scottish Liberal Democrats will be holding their spring conference in Aberdeen.

Willie Rennie
bbc

As part of BBC Scotland's coverage, party leader Willie Rennie will take part in a half-hour webcast in which he will answer your questions. If you have something to ask Mr Rennie, email newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

Please put "webchat questions" in the message field of your email.

Will Scotland be independent? Your views

Email: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

Douglas, Islay: Based on the latest financial figures we would be mad to vote for independence. Let us be satisfied with the additional powers and see where that takes Scotland.

Eileen, Edinburgh: I believe Scotland is moving towards independence. If you look at the referendum map of 45/55 % you see that this is fairly uniform over the entire country. If England votes Tory then you are guaranteeing it!

Miliband: No coalition with SNP

Ed Miliband has

ruled out a Labour-SNP coalition in the event of a hung Parliament after May's election.

Ed Miliband
BBC

The Labour leader said any alliance would "not happen" as there were "big differences" between the two parties.

"There will be no SNP ministers in any government I lead," he said, claiming such talk was "scare-mongering" by his Conservative opponents.

The SNP has said it could help support a minority Labour government in power if there is no outright winner in May.

Poverty figures 'a disgrace'

Half a million people in Scotland, including 100,000 children, have been living in severe poverty, according to new figures.

CHildren in poverty
BBC

Research by the Scottish government covering the year 2012-2013 showed relative poverty had decreased over the last 10 years, but a greater proportion of people were living in "extreme" or "severe" circumstances.

The report cites UK government welfare reforms as a "key factor" in the rise.

Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil said it was "a disgrace" that so many people were living in poverty.

Killer stripped of assets

A drug dealer who is serving a life term for murdering three people in a deliberate house fire in Helensburgh

has been stripped of his assets.

Scott Snowden, 39, set the fire on 24 July 2011 that killed Thomas Sharkey Snr, 55, his son Thomas Jnr, 21, and daughter, Bridget, eight.

Sharkey family
Other

He was jailed for a minimum of 33 years. Co-accused Robert Jennings, 51, was jailed for 29 years.

Snowden will face a Proceeds of Crime bill for £119,000 if he is ever freed.

Analysis: Miliband on the SNP

James Landale

Deputy political editor

Two things have driven this announcement. One is internal pressure from Labour MPs in Scotland and England who say that unless a coalition is ruled out, they'll continue to be put in a very difficult position on the doorsteps.

Secondly, it's the relentlessness of the Conservative campaign. They've published attack ads, led on the issue in Prime Minister's Wuestions.

That has, anecdotally at least, begun to bite in some constituencies.

But Ed Miliband has only ruled out coalition - something that's unlikely to happen anyway. He hasn't ruled out any looser arrangement or pact.

Man left baby blind and brain damaged

A man has admitted

assaulting a five-week old baby boy who was left blind and brain damaged.

Stephen Sweeney, 27, is believed to have shaken and squeezed the infant at Hunters Quay caravan park in Dunoon, Argyll and Bute, on 3 September 2013.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that when Sweeney was asked by a relative of the child if he "had lost it" he replied: "I don't know - I was tired."

Sentence on Sweeney was deferred and his bail was continued.

'Loose' deal?

@TimReidBBC

Labour will not go into coalition with SNP says Ed M and but doesn't rule out looser deal with SNP.

Miliband rules out coalition

Laura Kuenssberg

Chief correspondent, Newsnight

Ed Miliband has just ruled out a formal coalition with the SNP - there'd be no SNP ministers.

Ebola conference in EK

The UK's contribution to tackling the Ebola crisis will be

examined at a conference in South Lanarkshire later.

Ebola treatment
Reuters

Military personnel, aid workers and medics will attend the event in East Kilbride hosted by the Department for International Development.

It will highlight the work of charities and volunteers who have worked to combat the virus across West Africa.

More than 10,000 people have died across Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone since the outbreak began last year.

Fire death man named

Police have identified a 64-year-old man found dead at the scene of a house fire in Dumfries on Friday evening.

James Thomson was pronounced dead at the incident on Birch Walk at about 18:00.

A statement from police said he lived alone at the house where the fire broke out.

A joint police and fire service examination of the scene has taken place and concluded there were no suspicious circumstances.

The procurator fiscal has been informed of the death.

Scotland squad

BBC Sport

Scotland

Bournemouth winger Matt Ritchie has received his first call up to the

Scotland squad for games against Northern Ireland and Gibraltar.

Matt Ritchie
Getty Images

Strikers Jordan Rhodes, of Blackburn Rovers, and Ross McCormack, of Fulham, earn recalls to the squad.

Celtic winger James Forrest is also back after his return to fitness.

Your views - will Scotland ever be independent?

Text 80295

Jennifer, Largs: Yes I think Scotland will become independent sooner rather than later and I can't wait!

Barney, Neilston: No matter what Nicola Sturgeon says, we should all hope that we don't become independent - if we go by their figures! It doesn't take a genius to work out that if we did, the biggest bank in Scotland would be a chain of food banks.

Anon: Federation absolutely essential - we can benefit ourselves and the rest of the world by remaining independent but united.