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Summary

  1. Steel plants handed to new owner
  2. China deal work 'could begin this year'
  3. Monk jailed for abusing pupils
  4. Recruitment shows upturn in Scotland
  5. Hologram research could stem fake goods

Live Reporting

By Caroline Blair

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight

Thank you for joining us on the Scotland Live page today. 

We will be back on Monday between 0800 and 1800, bringing you the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates from across Scotland. 

Until then, we will leave you with a selection of Your Pictures, taken since 1 April.

Commando Memorial
Daniel Spino
Daniel Spino, from Lancashire, stopped at the Commando Memorial near Spean Bridge while on holiday in the Highlands
Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye
Neil Hebden
Neil Hebden, from Newtonhill in Aberdeenshire, was at the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye at the end of March
Steam train
lain Galbraith
lain Galbraith watched the steam train pass through Boat of Garten on Sunday
Lairg
Sandy Forbat Monkman
Sandy Forbat Monkman was in Lairg, Sutherland.
Devil's Pulpit
Joe Mulgrew
Joe Mulgrew says it is worth the effort to see the Devil's Pulpit in Finnich Glen near Balloch

Rugby Sevens returns to Melrose

BBC Sport Scotland

Rugby Sevens

The game of Rugby Sevens will make its Olympic debut later this year at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Known as the short game, where seven players instead of 15 take to the field, the idea came from a local butcher in the Borders in the 1880s..

The game will return home at the weekend, as BBC Scotland's Cameron Buttle reports.

Rugby Sevens returns to Melrose

Man, 24, arrested over sex assault in Queen's Park

Police investigating the rape of a 37-year-old woman in a popular Glasgow park have arrested a man.

Officers said the 24-year-old had been detained in police custody in connection with a serious sexual assault in Queen's Park on 30 March.

Queen's Park at Pollokshaws Road
BBC
Queen's Park at Pollokshaws Road was sealed off while police investigated the crime

The park, at Pollockshaws Road and Balvicar Street, was cordoned off while police investigated the incident.

A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal, Police Scotland said.

Leaders outline employment policies in Holyrood campaign

Scotland's party leaders addressed the issue of employment while out on the Holyrood campaign trail.

Politicians out at campaigning events across Scotland took the chance to talk about their policies to create and protect jobs in Scotland.

Find out what they had to say, here.

Leaders collage
Various
Political leaders were out and about at campaign events across the country

Dunfermline player Craig Reid accused of attacking girlfriend

A Scottish footballer has appeared in court charged with assaulting his former partner days before Christmas.

Dunfermline defender Craig Reid, 30, denies attacking Natasha Munro at his flat in Glasgow on 21 December 2014.

Court papers claim that he did "struggle violently with her, strike her on the head, seize her by her hair, pull her hair, punch her on the body".

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, a trial was set for August.

Nato forces gather for Exercise Joint Warrior in Scotland

One of Europe's largest Nato exercises begins in Scotland this weekend.

Exercise Joint Warrior is held twice a year - in April and October - for thousands of army, navy and air force personnel.

Eurofighter
Thinkstock
Military activity around Scotland is set to increase

The training will see increased military activity at Faslane on the Clyde, RAF Lossiemouth in Moray and ranges at Cape Wrath in Sutherland.

The exercise runs until 23 April and will involve submarines, surface ships and aircraft including RAF Typhoons.

Ex-teacher to go on trial over sex remarks at Castlebrae High School in Edinburgh

A former Edinburgh teacher is to go on trial on charges of making sex remarks to a 13-year old girl, a 13-year old boy and to a female trainee teacher.

Gavin Atkinson, 58, has denied four offences alleged to have been committed at Castlebrae High School between 1 August and 24 December 2013.

Castlebrae High School
Google
The offences are alleged to have been committed at Castlebrae High School

It is alleged Mr Atkinson asked the girl to perform a lap dance and made comments of a sexual nature.

The trial is due to start next week at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Man accused of being naked in Stirling University library

A 27-year-old man will stand trial after being accused of walking naked around Stirling University's library.

Neil Cox faces a charge of indecent exposure following the alleged incident in the university's library, near Bridge of Allan, in January.

He is alleged to have "repeatedly sat naked on a chair" and walked unclothed in the library.

It is alleged that in doing so, he knowingly exposed his private parts to a female borrower.

Petrofac Training Cup final: Rangers and Peterhead eye history

Clive Lindsay

BBC Scotland Sport

While title celebrations on the blue side of Glasgow have been hogging the Scottish headlines this week, the Blue Toon 180 miles further north has been quietly engulfed in a football fever of its own.

It is the backdrop to the final of a Cinderella cup final that has been thrust into unusual prominence - and moved from more humble venues normally chosen - because of the presence of a Rangers support that is expected to ensure a 52,000 sell-out at the national stadium.  

View more on twitter

The Ibrox club are fresh from clinching the Championship title to complete a four-year journey to the top flight that began in Scotland's fourth tier following liquidation.

Now they will be expecting another day of glory as they attempt to win the Petrofac Training Cup, the most recent incarnation of the Challenge Cup, for the first time in four attempts.

Read more.

Date: Sunday 10 April 

Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow 

Kick-off: 15:00 BST

Coverage: Live on BBC Alba, BBC Radio Scotland MW and BBC Sport online  

Laser holograms to keep forgers at bay

Feature

Kenneth Macdonald

BBC Scotland Science Correspondent

Scientists at Heriot-Watt university in Edinburgh have developed a new technique to fight counterfeiting. It uses high powered lasers to etch tiny 3D holograms directly onto metal objects to create security marks that can't be copied or peeled off. The researchers are sculpting the holograms using high powered laser pulses measured in billionths of a second.

Scientist adjusting the laser technology
BBC

I keep a Rolex in my sock drawer. Well it says Rolex on the face of the watch.

But given that it doesn't tick like one - and I bought it in a street market in Kuala Lumpur for a fiver - it would be remarkable if it wasn't a fake.

If only all counterfeiters were as unsophisticated. They're copying not just expensive watches, but electronics and even aircraft parts.

The potential dangers don't bear thinking about. But Prof Duncan Hand has come up with a countermeasure.

Read more.

Drugs worth over £23,000 recovered in Alloa police raid

Street drugs valued at more than £23,000 have been recovered following a police raid in Alloa.

Officers said heroin, amphetamine and cannabis was discovered after a search warrant was executed at a house in Torridon Court.

A local 36-year-old man and 33-year-old woman will appear at Alloa Sheriff Court in connection with the seizure.

Man appears in court charged with causing explosion that injured people at block of flats in Glasgow

Scott Peden, who is 30, is alleged to have ignited butane gas or similar in a bid to heat a substance that was suspected to contain drugs, in a pressure oven.

Fairburn Street
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Several people were badly hurt in the incident, which also killed a cat and dog, in Fairburn Street on 21 March.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, Mr Peden made no plea or declaration and was remanded in custody.

Woman subjected to 'traumatic' sexual assault after getting into black transit van

Police said the 38-year-old woman entered the van voluntarily before the attack happened on Wednesday at about 16:30 in Glasgow's Firpark Street.

Following the serious sexual assault, the suspect, who is described as having short black spiky hair and aged in his thirties, let the woman leave the van before driving off.

Firpark Street
Google
The attack took place in a black transit van at Firpark Street

Det Insp Graeme McLachlan said: “This was a very traumatic ordeal for the woman to endure and our inquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident."

He appealed for a man and woman, who walked past the van during the attack, to get in touch.

He added: "The woman was wearing a beige-coloured raincoat and was pulling a suitcase. The man was wearing a dark suit and carrying a briefcase. It is vital that this man and woman contact police urgently."

Traffic Scotland

Human remains are missing PC Gordon Semple, says family

Update

Human remains found in a flat are those of a police officer reported missing a week ago, his family has said.

Met PC Gordon Semple, 59, was last seen on 1 April after leaving a meeting in Southwark, south-east London.

On Thursday police found the remains at a flat on the Peabody Estate in Southwark Street. A man, 49, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Met Police statement after a man was arrested over missing PC Gordon Semple

Three men charged in connection with Dundee housebreakings

Three men have been charged in connection with housebreakings in Dundee this week.

Police said two men, aged 34 and 39, have been charged after a property in Stirling Street was broken into on Wednesday.

They are expected to appear at Dundee Sheriff Court on 11 April.

Officers said a 37-year-old man has been charged in connection with a housebreaking in Broughty Ferry Road on Thursday.  

Body discovered in River Tay beside the Friarton Bridge near Perth

A Police Scotland spokeswoman confirmed the discovery at about 07:45 and said inquiries to establish the identity of the person were ongoing.

Robert McLaren
Police Scotland
The family of Robert McLaren have been informed of the find

It is understood that the family of Perth pensioner Robert McLaren, who has been missing since 20 February, have been informed.

Aberdeen Music Hall props and clothes put up for sale

Aberdeen Music Hall is selling off props, clothing, mirrors and other furniture ahead of a £7m revamp of the 155-year-old building.

A public sale of the items will be held at the venue on Saturday and Sunday.

Costumes and props
Aberdeen Performing Arts
Signs to direct patrons
Aberdeen Performing Arts

Aberdeen Performing Arts, the organisation that manages the hall, held the last performances there earlier this month.

The building is due to be fully closed to the public for 20-months of building work.

A new performance studio and new creative learning space will be created.

Drop in UK industrial output prompts fears over growth

The UK's industrial output fell 0.5% in February from a year earlier, the biggest decline since August 2013.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures also showed manufacturing output fell by 1.1% from January, and was down 1.8% from a year earlier.

Containers at Felixstowe port
Getty Images

The weaker-than-expected figures have raised fears that the UK economy slowed during the first quarter of the year.

Separate figures from the ONS showed that the UK's trade deficit in February was also worse than expected.

Largest collection of Queen's dresses ever shown in Scotland to go on display

The display will form part of a series of events to mark the monarch's 90th birthday.

The exhibition - Fashioning A Reign: 90 Years Of Style From The Queen's Wardrobe - will open at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on 21 April.

Purple coat and shawl of Isle of Skye tartan worn by Her Majesty at opening of Scottish Parliament
PA
Purple coat and shawl of Isle of Skye tartan worn by Her Majesty at opening of Scottish Parliament

The show will focus on significant events in the Queen's life, her support of British craft and design and tartan in royal dress.

Among the items on display will be the purple coat and shawl of Isle of Skye tartan worn by Her Majesty for the official opening of the Scottish Parliament on 1 July 1999.

Rare Scots maritime instrument found on Japanese WWII wreck in Pacific Ocean

A maritime instrument made by a Scottish company has been found on a Japanese ship sunk in the Pacific by American aircraft in World War II.

The discovery was made by Aberdeenshire diver Rod Macdonald at Palau, where several ships were sunk in a US raid.

The maritime instrument
Rod Macdonald
The instrument was used to gauge the list of the ship
Palau
Thinkstock
Mr Macdonald and fellow Stonehaven lifeboatman Paul Haynes dived wrecks at Palau

The clinometer navigation instrument was made by D McGregor & Co of Glasgow and Liverpool.

Mr Macdonald believes it was "pirated" from another ship for use on the Japanese-built freighter.

Fundraisers campaign to rebuild 1940's brakevan destroyed by Angus fire-raisers

The recently restored wagon at the volunteer-run Caledonian Railway in Brechin was set alight on Wednesday night.

The total cost of restoration is estimated at between £20,000 and £25,000.  

Damage to the brakevan
Caledonian Railway
Damage to the brakevan is estimated at between £20,000 and £25,000

The volunteers, who spent five months restoring the wagon in 2014, hope to raisean initial £5,000.

Over £1,200 has already been pledged.

Celtic: Erik Sviatchenko struggling to make Scottish Cup semi-final

Jonathan Sutherland

BBC Sport Scotland

Celtic boss Ronny Deila has confirmed that Erik Sviatchenko faces a fight to be fit in time for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers.

The Denmark defender will miss Saturday's Premiership match against Motherwell because of a thigh injury.

Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko
SNS
Erik Sviatchenko will miss the trip to face Motherwell

"He is out for tomorrow, but there is the opportunity for next weekend," said manager Ronny Deila.

"It is a thigh injury, so it could be some days, five to seven days or a little bit more. It is hard to say."

Mobile mast firm Wireless Infrastructure Group looks to expand

A Lanarkshire mobile telecom firm has secured new investment which values the whole company at £300m and opens up funding for a major expansion plan.

Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG) has agreed to take on board a new shareholder.

Telecom mast
Thinkstock

The FTSE 250-listed fund 3i Infrastructure has committed £75m to take a 36% stake in the Bellshill-based firm.

The company builds and operates telecom masts in suburban and rural areas.

Statue of Polish 'Soldier Bear' to be unveiled in Duns

A life-sized statue of a bear which saw action in World War Two is to be installed in the Borders town of Duns.

Wojtek - nicknamed the "Soldier Bear" - was adopted by Polish troops and helped them carry ammunition.

A soldier gets to grips with Wojtek
The Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum
Wojtek was said to have a gentle nature despite his size
Wojtek and soldier
The Polish Institute and Sikorski
Wojtek was enlisted as a soldier and received double rations

After the war, he lived in Hutton in Berwickshire before ending his days at Edinburgh Zoo.

The new statue has been gifted to the people of Duns by its twin town of Zagan in Poland. It will be unveiled on 24 April in the town's market square.

Wojtek was adopted by Polish soldiers after he was rescued as a cub in the Middle East in 1943.

Hogging the limelight

An interesting day on the election campaign trail for Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie, while speaking to BBC Scotland reporter Steven Godden.

View more on twitter

BBC Weather update

Thousands of costumed characters head for Dundee DeeCon festival

Superheroes and Samurai are among the costumed characters expected at this year's Dundee DeeCon on Saturday.

The annual anime, animation and art convention attracted over 4,000 visitors to Dundee University Students' Union (DUSA) last year.

Students in costume
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design
Over 4,000 fans attended last year's DeeCon event

The event includes film screenings, exhibitions and the Cosplay Masquerade where the costumes are on display.

Proceeds will go Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design's animation degree show.

Fashion retailer Forever 21 to shut flagship Scottish store where it employs more than 150 people

The shop on Glasgow's Buchanan Street was opened three years ago but the Californian-based company has told staff it is closing the outlet in the city.

Forever 21 store on Buchancan Street
Thomas Nugent

Retailer H&M has announced it will move into the property.

Owners of the Buchanan Quarter building said there had been strong demand from parties interested in the 65,000sq ft space.

A spokesman for Land Securities said: "Immediately following the Forever 21 decision to exit, we received strong interest in the store on Buchanan Street and subsequently let the unit to H&M as a flagship.

"The strong demand for the space reinforces Glasgow city centre's position as the UK's top retail destination outside London."

London Scottish: Robbie Fergusson wins permanent deal

BBC Sport Scotland

Rugby Union

London Scottish have handed Robbie Fergusson a permanent contract after the 22-year-old centre impressed on loan from the Scottish Rugby Academy.

Head coach Peter Richards said: "Robbie has been hugely impressive."

Robbie Fergusson in action for Ayr
SNS
Robbie Fergusson played for Ayr in the Scottish Premiership

Fergusson broke into the first team at Scottish Premiership club Ayr aged 17 and made a couple of appearances for Pro12 club Glasgow Warriors before joining London Scottish in November.

He has become an ever-present for the English Championship club.

Dundee United boss expects to battle relegation until final day

Brian McLauchlin

BBC Sport Scotland

Dundee United manager Mixu Paatelainen expects the battle to avoid relegation to last until the season's final game.

Dundee United's Ryan Dow and Kilmarnock's Stuart Findlay
SNS
Dundee United are chasing Kilmarnock at the bottom of the table

United trail Kilmarnock by five points with six games left for play in the quest to remain in the Premiership.

"I think it will be tough and I think it will go right down to the wire," said the United manager.

"We do know that Kilmarnock will lose, Kilmarnock will win and they will probably draw. We just need to win more than them in order to survive."

Monk jailed for abusing pupils at St Joseph's List D School in Tranent

A Catholic monk who carried out a catalogue of abuse on pupils at an East Lothian residential school during "a regime of fear" has been jailed for seven years.

Michael Murphy, 82, was known as Brother Benedict at St Joseph's List D School in Tranent.

High Court in Edinburgh
Google

He was sentenced on Friday following a hearing before Lord Uist at the High Court in Edinburgh.

He denied a string of charges against but was found guilty on Thursday.

Family of Scottish Met Police officer Gordon Semple say 'world will be worse place without him'

A statement issued through Ronnie Semple on behalf of the family and Gordon Semple's partner Gary, said the 59-year-old would be sadly missed.

Gordon Semple
Gordon Semple

Gordon Semple, who was originally from Inverness, was last seen on 1 April after leaving a work meeting in Southwark.

On Thursday police found remains at a flat on the Peabody Estate in Southwark Street. A man, 49, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

I would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts during the past dreadful week. It has been a terrible time for us all, especially Gary. I would also like to thank Oliver Westbury for setting up 'Gordon Semple, 59 missing' Facebook appeal page and also other cousins and nephews who tried to find Gordon. Gordon will be sadly missed by all of his immediate family, his colleagues in the Met Police, former Bank of Scotland colleagues in Inverness & London, Friends from his Tartan Army Days, but most of all the hardest loss is for Gary at this time. Gordon was a much loved partner, brother, brother-in-law, uncle and cousin and our world will be a worse place without him.

Ronnie SempleGordon Semple's brother

Keys to steel mills at Dalzell and Clydebridge are formally handed to new owners

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon hailed international metal firm Liberty House's takeover from Tata Steel as a demonstration of the "art of the possible" at the handover ceremony in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire.

Sanjeev Gupta
BBC
Liberty House boss Sanjeev Gupta

The plants were secured last month in a "back-to-back" agreement, involving the Scottish government buying them from Tata Steel, and immediately selling them on to Liberty.

Ms Sturgeon offered to advise the UK and Welsh governments on its experience to prevent the closure of another Tata plant at Port Talbot in Wales.

Liberty House said it expects to create 150 jobs to get the plants up and running again.

VisitScotland use hit series Outlander to lure New Yorkers to Scotland for Tartan Day Parade

A bus featuring an image of the Callanish Stones along with the words “We don’t need special effects to create our drama” will be on show on the streets of Manhattan for this year's Tartan Day Parade on Sixth Avenue.

Sam Heughan stars as Jamie Fraser in the series
Getty Images
Sam Heughan stars as Jamie Fraser in the hit series

Grand Marshall of the parade will be Sam Heughan – the Dumfries & Galloway-born actor who stars as Jamie Fraser in the series.

He and Catriona Balfe, who co-stars as time-travelling nurse Claire Randall, are returning to UK screens for a second series of the romantic epic, which is shot in numerous locations around Scotland.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland said: "Outlander has taken the world by storm and it is important that we capitalise on the continued success of a series in which Scotland really is the star."

Inquiry to be held into controversial Whitelaw Brae wind farm plans

A public inquiry will be held into plans for a wind farm near Tweedsmuir in the Scottish Borders.

Developer 2020 Renewables want to erect 14 turbines, up to 133m (436ft) tall, at Whitelaw Brae.

Whitelaw Brae
Geograph - Richard Webb

Scottish Borders Council objected to the scheme, citing concerns about the cumulative visual impact on archaeological sites.

The inquiry will be held at Tweedsmuir village hall, from 23 August.

Picture update

Nine D-Day veterans are being awarded France's highest decoration for services to the country during World War II.

Veterans at Glasgow City Chambers
BBC
Veteran receiving medal
BBC

The Légion d'Honneur medals are being presented by the Consul General of France in Glasgow's City Chambers.

The special ceremony is being held for the veterans who served in different parts of the armed forces.

Veterans with medals
BBC

Man in serious condition in hospital after attack 'for no obvious reason' outside Edinburgh bar

The victim, who is in his 30's, was struck on the head by another man, also in his 30's, near Whistlebinkies bar on North Bridge.

He is in a serious but stable condition at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.  

Whistlebinkies pub
Google

The attacker made off along the Royal Mile heading east following the assault, which happened at about 03:00 this morning.  

Det Sgt Paul Greig said: “This would appear to have been a completely unprovoked attack that unfortunately resulted in an innocent man being seriously assaulted.“The victim had been enjoying a night out when the suspect approached him and attacked him for no obvious reason."