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Summary

  1. Scottish parties begin campaigning
  2. Scots soldier dies in Florida
  3. Women charged over lone toddler
  4. New home for National Theatre of Scotland
  5. Aberdeen University to cut 150 jobs

Live Reporting

By Marianne Taylor

All times stated are UK

Get involved

See you tomorrow...

Marianne Taylor

BBC Scotland news

That's all from the Scotland Live team for today.

Join us tomorrow from 07:00 when we'll have all the latest news, sport and weather from across Scotland - including the latest on the election campaign.

Until then, you can keep up with developments at the

BBC News Scotland website.

In-depth analysis

Scotland 2015

BBC Two Scotland

tweets: And we're off! It's the start of #GE2015. We'll have the latest news and analysis at 10.30pm on @BBCTwo Scotland #Scotland2015

'We will miss him'

The army has said it is "deeply saddened" to hear of the

death of Scots soldier Shaun Cole in Florida.

Pte Cole had recently returned from serving in Sierra Leone, where he was helping with the fight against Ebola.

Shaun Cole
BBC

Commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Matt Munro said Pte Cole would be "missed terribly".

He added: "Only recently back from helping to battle the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone and a veteran of the conflict in Afghanistan, Shaun achieved an extraordinary amount in a military career that was full of promise but was tragically cut short. We will miss him terribly."

Coming up...

BBC Scotland News

On tonight's Reporting Scotland on BBC One now:

We'll be catching up with Scotland's politicians as campaigning for May's general election formally kicks off.

You can watch the programme live here.

Appeal for Polish

Polish should be taught in Scotland's secondary schools, according to a report being considered by ministers.

Polish flag
Thinkstock

The language is currently available at qualification only through community-run classes, often at weekends.

Research shows Polish is the language children are most likely to be hear in the playground, other than English.

Polish community leaders in Scotland have welcomed the report.

Windy and cold

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

Met Office warnings for wind and ice are in place across much of Scotland for tonight. Rain will continue to move north eastwards, falling as snow on higher ground, possibly slushy at lower levels.

Gusts could reach around 60-70 mph in the south.

Talks ahead of airport strike

The operator of Scotland's regional airports is due to hold talks with union leaders in an effort to stop a

48-hour strike by security staff.

Staff at AMSL, a firm that is part of Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (Hial), voted last week to strike from midday on 7 April.

Hial said it had made the offer of talks to resolve the pay dispute.

Prospect has accepted the offer, describing it as a "very welcome surprise".

New era for Scottish golf

Amateur golf in Scotland has a new governing body following the

Scottish Golf Union's amalgamation with the Scottish Ladies' Golfing Association.

Golfer
SNS Group

The proposal was voted through unanimously by all 16 area associations of the male-only SGU.

The new company, Scottish Golf Limited, will come into existence on 1 October.

"This is an historic day for Scottish amateur golf," said SGU chairman Tom Craig. "We can look to the future with excitement and optimism."

Coming up...

BBC Radio Scotland

Still to come on #Newsdrive: more on the general election, the new headquarters planned for the National Theatre of Scotland and an argument over cherry blossom.

You can listen live here.

Changes afoot...

Pauline McLean

BBC Scotland

tweets: Cindy Sughrue CEO @scottishballet stepping down for personal reasons. @HampsonChris taking over until new CEO is found.

New rules on school closures

Changes to the way final decisions on school closures in Scotland are made

have come into force.

A new independent panel now has the last say - not Scottish government ministers.

Council
BBC

The changes were brought in through last years Children and Young People Act.

The panel can block a closure, give it consent or ask a council to look at it again.

Former TA soldier guilty of assault

A former Territorial Army soldier has been found guilty of assaulting a stranger by punching him and repeatedly jumping on his head.

Brian Cassie, 30, of Galashiels, had denied carrying out the attack at the town's Bridge Inn.

A jury convicted him of the offence following a three-day trial at Selkirk Sheriff Court.

He was given a three-year community payback order with 300 hours of unpaid work.

The court heard how his victim in the August 2013 attack had suffered facial fractures which required major surgery.

Deaf-friendly swimming

A charity has announced plans to help more deaf children in Scotland take up swimming.

Swimming lesson - generic image
PA

According to the National Deaf Children's Society noisy pool environments and challenges around removing hearing aids and implants mean many children find it hard to learn to swim.

The charity has received a financial boost of £50,000 in lottery funding to develop the programme at clubs and schools across the country over the next two years.

Swim instructor Eleanor Connelly said: "By making small and simple changes, swimming teachers and coaches will be able to include deaf children and young people in mainstream swimming sessions."

Rennie hails 'proud record'

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have also launched their campaign for May's general election, promising to "balance Britain's books" and invest an extra £800m in the Scottish NHS.

Leader Willie Rennie toured Kirkintilloch with local candidate Jo Swinson.

Willie rennie
PA

He said: "With taxes down, pensions up, new jobs and more childcare, Liberal Democrats have a record to be proud of in government.

"We have held government in the centre ground. We have provided stability in the face of one of the toughest recessions in living memory. Our priorities for a stronger economy and a fairer society are distinctly liberal priorities."

Man to stand trial over city rape

A man is to stand trial charged with raping a woman in Glasgow city centre.

Police at the scene
BBC

Daly McSorley is accused of attacking the 24-year-old in Brunswick Street, in the Merchant City, on 8 June last year.

It is claimed the 23-year-old, from Hamilton, seized hold of the woman by the body and pinned her against a wall.

Mr McSorley's advocate pleaded not guilty on his behalf during a short hearing at the High Court in Glasgow. A trial date was set for August.

Murder accused 'saturated in blood'

The Martin Toner murder trial has been told that

one of the accused was seen with a shirt "saturated in blood" on the day of the alleged killing.

Martin Toner
Police handout

Ross Agnew, 38, told the High Court in Glasgow that he did not give police this information when Mr Toner's body was found as he was too afraid.

He was giving evidence at the trial of Douglas Fleming and John McDonald.

Both men deny murdering Mr Toner, whose body was found in a field at Langbank weeks after he went missing in 2004.

Drug arrest case prompts warning

Police officers should seek

immediate medical attention for prisoners they believe have swallowed drugs, according to a recommendation from the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner.

Prison bars
BBC

It follows an inquiry into the arrest of a man who ended up in intensive care after taking legal highs.

The incident happened on 1 December 2014 in Edinburgh.

The investigation found officers should have ensured the man was examined sooner by a healthcare professional.

Your pictures - Get involved

Email: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

Neil Hebden from Newtonhill, Aberdeenshire, grabbed a pic of this "cheeky-looking seal" enjoying the early spring sunshine on the coast near Newburgh.

seal
Neil hebden

Email us your pictures from around the country for our photo gallery and we will use the best.

Ward reopens after norovirus outbreak

A ward at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee has re-opened to new patients after it was locked down following an outbreak of norovirus, the NHS has confirmed.

The Short Stay Medicine Unit was closed to new admissions as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the virus, more commonly known as the winter vomiting bug.

The proclaimers in Edinburgh

Nick Eardley

BBC News

tweets: Proclamation dissolving Westminster Parliament read from Mercat Cross in Edinburgh.

parliament dissolved
Nick eardley

Stand up for healthy living

NHS Highland has encouraged its employees

to hold meetings standing up rather than sitting down to help improve their health.

NHS Highland poster
NHS Highland

The message forms part of the health board's internal Beware The Chair campaign.

It said ill health related to inactivity was the fourth biggest killer in Britain.

The campaign also suggests that staff stand up three times every hour and to go for walks in their lunch breaks.

Strachan's verdict

BBC Sport

Scotland

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has praised the efforts of Gibraltar following the 6-1 Euro qualifier victory at Hampden.

Gordon Strachan
BBC

.

Biker killed in crash is named

Police have named a motorcyclist who died in a crash near Forfar as Glasgow man Andrew Cassels.

The 57-year-old was travelling on the A932 road between Forfar and Arbroath at 16:20 on Saturday when the crash took place.

Officers investigating the incident said no other vehicle is thought to have been involved.

Investigations into the full circumstances are continuing, and officers have appealed for witnesses.

Caravan park development approved

Plans for a large-scale housing development and relocation of

a caravan park in Peebles have been approved by councillors.

Caravan park
Chris Eilbeck

Aberdeen Asset Management applied to redevelop the site at the Rosetta Caravan Park on Rosetta Road.

It received planning permission in principle to build about 130 houses - mainly detached properties.

The scheme had encountered opposition from Peebles Community Council and Peebles Civic Society.

Baby 'could have been saved'

A fatal accident inquiry has found that

a baby who died after being starved of oxygen at birth could have been saved if doctors had carried out a Caesarian sooner.

Crosshouse
Google

Elijah Stirling died six months after his delayed birth at Crosshouse Hospital in Ayrshire.

His mother Jennifer Kennedy told the inquiry he was a "fighter" but she had been told "his birth was his death".

NHS Ayrshire and Arran has already accepted the failings that led to Elijah's death in May 2011 and apologised.

Brown talks of 'social justice election'

Labour has pledged to spend an extra £800m in Scotland on the NHS, tackling poverty and creating jobs if it forms the next government, former prime minister Gordon Brown announced as he joined the election campaign today.

Gordon Brown
PA

Speaking in Glasgow, Mr Brown, who is stepping down as an MP after 32 years, described the forthcoming poll as "the social justice election".

He said: "While others want to talk about coalitions, deals, pacts, hung parliaments, confidence and supply motions - insider Westminster talk - we will spend all our time discussing with the people what really matters: poverty, unemployment, deprivation, bad housing, inequality and the neglect of the NHS."

Fletcher's a faith healer

BBC Sport

Scotland

Steven Fletcher was delighted to repay manager Gordon Strachan's faith in him by

scoring Scotland's first hat-trick since Colin Stein in 1969.

Steven Fletcher celebrates scoring for Scotland against Gibraltar
SNS Group Rob Casey

"It meant a lot that he stuck with me, but that's the way he is," the 28-year-old Sunderland striker said after the 6-1 defeat of Gibraltar.

"I only realised after the match that I'm the first Scottish player to do that in so long. That was a shock.

"I'm delighted to have repaid a bit of that faith."

Abuser 'tried to buy silence'

A man who groomed and abused a schoolboy then took him to Rangers matches in a bid to buy his silence has been jailed for seven years.

Vincent Hill, 60, admitted sexually and indecently assaulting the boy at addresses in Paisley, Inchinnan and Erskine, all Renfrewshire.

The abuse began when the boy was aged 12 and lasted from 1998 until 2002.

The High Court in Glasgow heard that Hill was arrested in 2013 after his victim revealed the abuse to his wife.

Chartered surveyor firms to merge

Chartered surveyor firm

Allied Surveyors Scotland has announced it is merging with rivals Murray and Muir.

Allied Surveyors Scotland branch
Google

Allied said the move would strengthen its market share in Scotland, particularly in the central belt.

The combined firm will have 30 offices across Scotland, employing more than 160 staff and 36 directors, and an annual turnover of £10m.

Murray and Muir's 14 staff in Glasgow and Edinburgh will move to Allied offices.

Your pictures - Get involved

Email: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

Elton Wright from Dundee took this picture of the south of Loch Lomond at Balloch, "just as the sun was rising over a calm water".

locj lomond
Elton wright

Email us your pictures from around the country for our photo gallery and we will use the best.

Davidson favours minority government

During the launch of her party's campaign, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson was asked for her view on how the Tories should proceed if they did not win a majority.

She said: "I think I would prefer a minority government, and we've seen in Scotland how that can work.

"A Tory majority doesn't look likely right now...but we are working towards it, and we will continue to do so.

"We have seen, not least in Scotland in 2011, that the last six weeks can completely change the numbers. There is a lot of politics to go between now and May 7."

Wind turbine plan kicked out

Scottish Borders Council's planning committee has unanimously rejected plans for a wind farm in the hills between Lauder and Stow.

Turbine
Thinkstock

Airvolution Energy wanted to site seven turbines at Muircleugh.

Councillors decided that its impact on the Southern Upland Way, the Eildons and Thirlestane Castle would be unacceptable.

They also had concerns that the scheme would cause a noise nuisance to nearby properties.

The company estimated the project could have generated enough electricity for more than 10,300 homes.

Davidson: 'Clear choice for voters'

The leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson, has launched her party's general election campaign.

Speaking in Edinburgh, Ms Davidson said the choice for voters was "very clear".

Ruth Davidson
Getty Images

She added: "Labour, the SNP and the Lib Dems simply aren't prepared for responsible government which keeps the recovery on track."

Ms Davidson described the Scottish Conservatives as "the party that takes on the establishment - the old Scottish Labour establishment, the centralising SNP establishment, the lazy, complacent central belt establishment that still thinks it knows best across Scotland but which is holding us back."

Rise in unpaid work by offenders

More than 1.8 million hours of unpaid work was carried out by offenders in Scotland last year as punishment for their offences,

figures have shown.

Offender in Community Payback vest
bbc

Of the 20,400 social work orders started in 2013-14, 78% contained an element of unpaid work.

The Scottish government said the successful completion rate for social work orders had risen in each of the last five years.

The figure rose from 59% in 2008-09 to 71% in 2013-14.

Kids' diet - Your views

Text 80295

John, Cleland: Surely parents should hear alarm bells when they are buying clothes 2, 3 or even 4 years older than their child.

Rab, Glasgow: What about underweight? I see lots of stick thin young girls about.

Metal bar attack on forestry worker

Police have launched an investigation after

a Dutch worker was attacked in a Galloway forest by three men using a metal bar.

Glentrool
Gordon Brown

The incident happened at about 08:00 on Saturday about two miles north of Glentrool near Newton Stewart.

The victim came across the trio after they had started the engine of a piece of his forestry machinery.

They attacked him with a metal bar before fleeing in what was described as a Ford Transit-type van.

Dead soldier named

A Scottish soldier who died while on holiday in Florida has been named.

Shaun Cole
Facebook

Pte Shaun Cole, who was in his 20s and from Edinburgh, was attending the Ultra Music festival in Miami with two friends.

Local media has reported that he died as a result of a head injury and his body was found on a pavement.

The Ministry of Defence has not formally confirmed Pte Cole's death, but it is understood he was serving with the Royal Scots Borderers.

Police in America said the former Tynecastle High School pupil had a blunt force trauma to the head, and they were still trying to establish whether his death was an accident or murder.

Warren misses out on Masters

BBC Sport

Scotland

Marc Warren has

narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Masters.

Marc Warren
Getty Images

The 33-year-old Scot has moved up one place to 51st in Monday's latest world golf rankings, but only the top 50 receive invites to Augusta National.

Warren finished equal 35th at the Texas Open on Sunday, but that was not enough to gather sufficient points.

It means that there will be only three Scots at the Masters - 1988 champion Sandy Lyle, Stephen Gallacher and Bradley Neil.

Serial shoplifter jailed

A serial shoplifter has been jailed for 48 days for stealing clothes from a Mothercare store in Glasgow.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Annette Daniel, 52, admitted stealing £180 of clothes from the shop in August 2013.

Co-accused Tracey Bennett, 45, was given a six-month restriction of liberty order after she admitted stealing from the store.

Sentence was deferred on a third woman, Janine O'Neill, 29, who admitted stealing from shops in Glasgow.

Sturgeon on the campaign trail

As campaigning for May's general election formally kicks off, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon joined activists in Glasgow's east end.

Following the party's conference in the city at the weekend, she said Scottish voters had the chance to win "real power" for Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon
PA

She added: "It matters to people in Scotland that good decisions are made at Westminster - and that's exactly why the SNP will join with other progressive parties to work for the common good for hard-pressed families across the UK.

"We will work to deliver the power we were promised in the referendum - to enable us to grow our economy and tackle poverty, making our country a fairer, more equal place for everyone who lives here."