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Summary

  1. Man charged with Latvian's murder
  2. Salmond 'joke' over Labour budget
  3. M74 delays after 'dog drives tractor'
  4. Biker dies on A85

Live Reporting

By Thomas McGuigan, Jo Perry and Marianne Taylor

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Cheerio for now...

Marianne Taylor

BBC Scotland news

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

Join us again tomorrow at 07:00 when we'll be back with all the latest news, sport, weather and travel from across the country.

Until then, you can keep up with developments at the

BBC News Scotland website.

Conservationist Balharry dies

The renowned Scottish conservationist Dick Balharry has died aged 77.

Dick Balharry
Gemma McDonald

His death, following a battle with cancer, came just days after he was honoured by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society for his services to conservation.

Mr Balharry, who was born on the outskirts of Dundee, became chairman of the John Muir Trust in 2003.

He later served as interim chairman of the National Trust for Scotland.

Man dies in A85 crash

A motorcylist has died following a crash on the A85.

Emergency services were called to the scene, between Loch Awe and Taynuilt in Argyll and Bute. at around 11:45.

Police said a 34-year-old man had died.

They have appealed for information from anyone who may have seen a silver Honda Fireblade motorcycle in the area before 11:30.

'Suspicious substances safe'

"Suspicious substances" being investigated in Dunoon earlier today were found to be "safe", police have said.

The Castle Street area of the town was closed down as bomb disposal experts and police examined the substances.

Cordons remain in place in Castle Street and enquiries are continuing.

Coming up later...

Scotland 2015

BBC Two Scotland

Tonight @ 10.30pm - As figures show the use of food banks has increased in Scotland, we ask whether the political row resonates with voters.

Manic to play Belladrum

Welsh rockers Manic Street Preachers have joined the line-up for this summer's Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival near Beauly.

Manic Street Preachers
BBC

The band will headline the festival's main stage on 7 August.

The Proclaimers will headline on 6 August and Leeds indie band Kaiser Chiefs will top the bill on the three-day event's final night on 8 August.

The Stranglers, New Model Army, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Stornoway and King Creosote will also perform.

Alexander makes tax pledge

Voters will miss out on future tax cuts worth £380 if they back either the SNP or Labour in the general election, the Lib Dems' Danny Alexander has said.

Danny Alexander
PA

Mr Alexander, who was campaigning in Gordon, Aberdeenshire, said workers across the country were £825 better off following increases in the income tax threshold.

He added: "In the next parliament we want to go further and get people another £380 income tax cut - under the SNP or Labour, people will not get that tax cut."

Man sexually abused toddler

Police are looking for a man who sexually assaulted a toddler in a street.

The boy was with his mother on Pennywell Gardens in Edinburgh at about 18:45 on Tuesday when the man came up and touched him inappropriately.

The suspect is described as 5ft 6ins to 6ft tall, stocky, unshaven, wearing a brown leather jacket, dark-coloured woolly hat and dark-coloured trousers.

He was last seen walking in the direction of Millennium public park.

Miliband: No SNP deal

Labour leader Ed Miliband has said Labour would not strike an "agreement" with the SNP following the general election, as he accused Prime Minister David Cameron of stirring up English "hatred" of the Scots.

Ed Miliband
Getty Images

Mr Miliband's comments, in an interview with the BBC's Jeremy Vine, appear to go further than previous statements.

Man charged with Glenrothes murder

A 28-year-old man has been charged with murder after a man was found dead in a flat.

The body of Aleksandrs Sokolovs, 29, who was Latvian, was found in the property in Tummel Road, Glenrothes, on Monday.

Police Scotland said a man is due to appear at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court on Thursday.

In a statement Mr Sokolovs's family said: "Aleksandrs was a very friendly person who loved to travel and experience different cultures.

"He was a loving son and brother, and will be missed by all persons who knew him."

Dry night ahead

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

Tonight: Mostly dry with clear spells. Mist will affect coasts, esp the West and Northwest, with some drizzle for far North & N Isles. 5C.

Starry, starry night

Chris Sharp from Edinburgh took this stunning shot of Belhaven Bay, near Dunbar, by night.

Dunbar
Chris Sharp

You can

email us your pictures here.

Crash on A85

Police are still at the scene of a serious road traffic collision in Stirlingshire.

The A85 at Crianlarich is currently closed following the collision, which took place at the A82 and A827 junctions around 16:20.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area.

Traffic is being turned back on to the A82 and down Loch Lomond-side where there are long delays.

Man sentenced for smashing teeth

A man who

punched a woman in the face leaving her unconscious outside an Edinburgh club has been sentenced to 100 hours unpaid work.

Heatie
BBC

Personal fitness trainer Michael Heatlie, 42, from Leith, must also pay his victim £7,660 for the unprovoked attack which smashed the woman's teeth.

Heatlie pleaded guilty to assaulting Fiona McCartney, 43, outside The Jam House in Queen Street on 29 June 2014.

His defence solicitor said Heatlie had been drinking to excess on the night.

Car crashed into shop

An elderly couple have been taken to hospital after a car smashed into a shop front in Aberdeen city centre.

The incident happened at Nova on Chapel Street this afternoon.

A witness described feeling the building shake as the car hit. It's not known how badly injured the man and woman are.

No customers or staff were hurt.

Salmond laughs off budget 'joke'

Alex Salmond has said his suggestion he would be writing Labour's Budget if it won power in May was meant as a

"light-hearted" remark.

Alex Salmond
Getty Images

The former first minister was filmed making the joke at an SNP fundraising event on 13 April.

The video was tweeted by David Cameron, who said voters would be shocked.

But Mr Salmond said the prime minister clearly had a "sense of humour bypass."

The spat came as Mr Cameron was heard jokingly comparing Mr Salmond to a pickpocket in an off-camera remark heard by viewers on ITV's This Morning programme.

Bridge inspection ordered

A special

inspection of one of the Forth Road Bridge's main cables has been ordered after an increase in wire breaks.

Forth Road Bridge
PA

The inspection will focus on the cable on the east side of the crossing, near the top of the south tower.

Each of the main cables is made up of almost 12,000 individual steel wires. The bridge authorities said there are "no immediate safety concerns".

Special microphones are used to identify the sound of a wire snapping.

A85 closure

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

#A85 both ways btw Crianlarich & Killin is *closed* due to a serious RTC. More details when we get them.

Bomb squad at 'ongoing incident' in Dunoon

The bomb squad and police are dealing with an ongoing incident in Dunoon.

Cordons have been put in place around the scene in the Castle Street area of the town.

Police say inquiries are under way.

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: "Police officers in Dunoon are dealing with an ongoing incident in the Castle Street area.

"Cordons have been put in place to allow the incident to be managed."

Teenager found guilty of rape

A teenager has been detained for three years for raping a 13-year-old girl in a wooded area in Glasgow.

The 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was aged 14 when he attacked the girl in the city's Pollok area in January last year.

He denied the charge but was found guilty of raping his victim, who had drunk alcohol, while she was "incapable of giving or with-holding consent".

The rapist showed no emotion as he was led away at the High Court in Glasgow.

Conservatives' respite pledge

Carers who look after a loved-one for more than 50 hours a week will get fully-funded respite under the Conservatives, the party in Scotland has said.

Carer
BBC

The week-long carers' break guarantee would reward the "unsung heroes of our society", Scottish Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said.

The party has pledged an extra £8bn a year for the NHS in the UK, £800m of which would come to Scotland.

Via Twitter

Hot stuff...

BBC Scotland Weather

Latest

Hi folks, it's Gillian. Glorious out there! Top temps: Inverness, Aviemore, Aboyne, Tyndrum, Strathallan and Glasgow - all at 20C.

Coming up at 16:00

Newsdrive

BBC Radio Scotland

Join Mhairi Stuart for all the latest news, sport, weather and travel.

Newdrive webpage
BBC

On tonight's program she'll be discussing the worsening migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.

She'll also be looking at the stock market's response to Tesco, which posted its worst ever financial results.

And just how did Don the sheepdog manage to drive a tractor onto the M74?

Listen live

here

'Errors delayed cancer diagnosis'

Errors led to an "unreasonable delay" in diagnosing cancer in a woman who later died after the disease recurred following surgery, a watchdog says.

GP generic
Spl

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) said a GP practice's care of the patient fell below General Medical Council standards.

The

SPSO has upheld a complaint that the doctors did not reasonably diagnose an "extremely large" tumour.

The practice also did not identify the recurrence of cancer.

The GP practice in the NHS Highland health board area has not been named.

'Laughing gas' stolen from hospital

Police are investigating

the theft of nitrous oxide gas cylinders from Perth Royal Infirmary.

Perth Royal Infirmary
Josie Campbell

The metal containers filled with the substance, commonly known as "laughing gas", were taken sometime between 16:20 on Friday and 05:20 on Sunday.

Nitrous oxide is sometimes used as a recreational drug or as a fuel additive in cars.

Officers have appealed for information.

Oil revenues

@TimReidBBC

Tim Reid

Political correspondent, BBC News

The SNP's deputy leader Stewart Hosie has dismissed the "fears and smears of our political opponents".

It follows the latest projections by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) about a growing fiscal gap which would result from full fiscal autonomy.

Stewart Hosie
EPA

Speaking on BBC2's Daily Politics general election debate on the economy, Mr Hosie said the IFS had said the deficit in Scotland would halve by the end of this parliament and said that £15bn of expected onshore revenue was "five times the expected shortfall in the oil revenues".

England opt out of Victory Shield

BBC Sport

Scotland

The Football Association has announced

England will no longer compete in the Victory Shield, the long-running under-16 event between the home nations.

Scotland against England in this season's Victory Shield
Getty Images

England have won the tournament a record 35 times since World War II but the FA wants their young players to face opposition from further afield.

An FA statement said: "It's important to prioritise exposing them to European and world opposition."

Wales won the Victory Shield last term and Scotland triumphed the year before.

Virtual reality tour to boost visitors

A virtual reality tour of Angus has been created in a bid to

drum up tourism for the region.

VR Carnoustie
Augmentic Visualisations

Angus Council's Visit Angus team have unveiled the technology at the VisitScotland expo in Aberdeen.

Dundee firm Augmentic Visualisations has created a 3D tour of local landmarks including Arbroath Abbey, the Angus Glens and Glamis Castle.

It's hoped the software could be used by travel agents and tour operators around the world to promote the area.

Chemical hazard sparks search

Police say they're following a positive line of enquiry after officers investigating the storage of potentially hazardous chemicals searched two homes in Aberdeen.

It follows operations in Cattofield Place and Rosebank Terrace this week.

The force said inquiries were ongoing but there was no indication the searches were linked to terrorism.

They added that there was no danger to the public.

Airport deal reached

An agreement in principle has been reached on a written offer to resolve a long-running dispute on airport security workers' pay.

Plane on beach
BBC

Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (Hial) made the offer, which was discussed in a meeting with the Prospect union.

More than 120 staff held a 48-hour strike earlier this month which led to the closure of Dundee Airport.

Hial's other 10 sites continued to operate during the action.

Mickelson to play at Scottish Open

BBC Sport

Scotland

Phil Mickelson will make his

sixth consecutive appearance at the Scottish Open when the tournament is held at Gullane Golf Club for the first time.

Phil Mickelson holds the Scottish Open trophy in 2013
SNS

The American will play the East Lothian course on 9-12 July as preparation for the Open Championship at St Andrews.

He lifted the Claret Jug at nearby Muirfield in 2013 a week after winning the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart.

The 44-year-old finished joint runner-up behind Jordan Spieth at the Masters earlier this month.

Boris Johnson defends 'Herod' remarks

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has defended remarks in which he suggested the prospect of the SNP wielding greater influence at Westminster was like putting Herod in charge of a baby farm.

Boris Johnson emerges through door with David Cameron
Reuters

He said that the SNP wanted to break up the UK so it was "hard to see how they can enter the government of the UK without some conflict in their purposes."

Speaking at the launch of a Conservative election poster in London, he added: "All the good stuff will be put at risk if you have a government that's basically hostile to wealth creation, and the problem with the SNP is they're way to the left, even of Labour."

Cocaine parcel man jailed

A Renfrew man caught sending cocaine from Costa Rica to an address in his home town has been jailed for five years after admitting supplying drugs.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how 56-year-old Hendry Robertson was arrested by customs officers at Heathrow Airport.

Police found the package, which contained cocaine thought to be worth £17,000.

M80 queues

@BBCTravelScot

BBC Scotland Travel

Latest

#M80 closed northbound at J4 at the M73 because of a vehicle fire. LONG Queues on M73 and M74.

M80 queues
BBC

A85 closed after 'serious accident'

The A85 in Argyll and Bute has been

closed in both directions after a serious road crash.

Police accident sign
BBC

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said emergency services were called to the scene, near Taynuilt, at about 11:45.

She said initial reports suggested the incident was "very serious".

The A85 has been closed between Oban and Tyndrum and police are directing traffic until an official diversion can be put in place.

Tesco Bank customers and profits up

Tesco Bank has

grown its customer base to 7.4 million over the past financial year and seen pre-tax profits rise by 10% to £168m.

Tesco Bank card
Dan Lewis/Visual Media

However, it has set aside a further £27m, on top of £63m last year, to pay compensation to customers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance.

A division of Tesco Group, the Edinburgh-based bank has expanded into mortgages and current accounts, at a cost that subdued the profit figures.

Lending rose by nearly 12% to £7.7bn.

Customer deposits were up nearly 14% to £6.9bn.

Sturgeon: We will grow economy

Nicola Sturgeon has played down new analysis which

projects an increase in Scotland's fiscal gap in the coming years.

Nicola Sturgeon
PA

Speaking during a campaign visit to Portobello, Edinburgh, the SNP leader said: "These are academic projections for years ahead that presume we do nothing to grow our economy.

"What I want to do is have increased powers in Scotland so we grow our economy faster, get more people into jobs, more people paying taxes and therefore raise our revenues.

"The argument and the concern of people I speak to in this election is not some academic projections for years in the future - it's about the cuts that Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems are proposing now, in this year, next year and the year after."

Ms Sturgeon also used the campaign visit to call on Labour to "match the SNP's commitment to boosting the NHS budgets across the UK".

What a hipster...

@BBCJohnBeattie

John Beattie

BBC Scotland

Some high tech help after my hip resurfacing...

watch here.

John Beattie
BBC

Looking sheepish?

It appears

Don the sheepdog's exploits at the controls of a tractor on the M74 this morning have made him an internet sensation.

Don
BBC

Here's a picture of Don looking a bit sheepish - but back in the driving, er passenger seat - a couple of hours after the event.

Northern skies

Steven McKenzie

BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

The crew of a Royal Canadian Navy frigate has captured images of the aurora borealis while taking part in a major Nato exercise off Scotland.

Northern lights
Maritime Task Force

The photographs were taken from HMCS Fredericton, one of more than 50 ships involved in Joint Warrior.

Held twice a year - in April and October - the UK-led exercise includes several locations in Scotland and in the sea off its coast.