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Summary

  1. Police Scotland cannot reclaim £76m of VAT
  2. Sturgeon: 'Work to do' on university access
  3. Man charged over police chase taxi death
  4. Autumn ruling on bin lorry prosecution

Live Reporting

By Jo Perry and Christopher Sleight

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's it from Scotland Live for today. Join us again tomorrow from 08:00

We'll bring you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates from around the country, as they happen. Bye for now.

A8/M8 update from BBC Travel Scotland

Glasgow fly-half to make full recovery, says Townsend

BBC Sport Scotland

Gregor Townsend says Finn Russell is expected to make a full recovery from the "very bad" head injury sustained in Glasgow Warriors' Pro12 semi-final defeat by Connacht in May.

The Warriors head coach told BBC Scotland that the fly-half, 23, should be back training later this month.

Finn Russell, right
SNS

"He sees a lot of specialists every week and they've been really pleased by how he's progressing," said Townsend.

"He was in yesterday and he's taking things step-by-step."

Police probe after Edinburgh woman loses life savings to fraudsters

The woman, in her late 60s, was persuaded to transfer her savings into a fraudulent bank account after the "vishing" fraud.

The fraudsters told the woman, who is from the Ravelston area, that someone had to tried to to buy a television from Argos using her bankcard.

Credit cards
Thinkstock

They convinced her they were genuine bank employees by mimicking the bank’s phone number on her phone and told her to transfer a five-figure sum of money into a "holding account".

She went to the branch and withdrew the cash and handed it over to them when they turned up at her door Tuesday.

Police said they were following a "number of positive lines of inquiry".

A74(m) update from Traffic Scotland

Police arrest further 12 people over violence and disorder at Scottish Cup Final

The arrests were made during a number of operations at addresses in Edinburgh, Fife and Glasgow on Thursday morning.

Police Scotland said 10 men - aged 17, 18, 21, 23, 23, 29, 29, 29, 34 and 50 years, were arrested and now detained in custody for a number of offences, including assault, vandalism, disorder and antisocial behaviour.

Scottish Cup Final
BBC

A further two men, aged 18 years, are the subject of a report to the Procurator Fiscal in connection with alleged disorder and assault at the game.

It brings the total number of arrests made in relation to the disorder on 21 May to 28.

Police appeal after man indecently exposes himself to woman in Clackmannanshire park

The man approached a 33-year-old woman in Greenfield Park, Alloa, between midnight and 01:00 on Monday.

He is described as being between 26 and 30 years old with light blonde mid-length hair, possibly with a middle parting.

Police
BBC

Det Insp Allyson Blair said: “This was a distressing experience for the woman and I am keen to trace this individual as soon as possible.

"We are particularly keen to speak to two people who were in the park just prior to the incident.”

Road closed for Transpotting 2 filming

A North Lanarkshire road was closed overnight to allow crews to film Trainspotting 2.

Stars Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller were in an ageing BMW convertible, driving up and down the A725 near Raith Junction for most of the night.

Filming moved from The Orb pub earlier in the evening in nearby Bellshill, to Orbiston Junction where a mile-long section of the road was closed by police after Scottish government approval.

Trainspotting 2
Transport Scotland

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: "It’s not every day we are approached by a production company asking to film on the trunk road network, and when we heard it was for the sequel to cult-classic Trainspotting, we were keen to make it happen.

"It takes a great deal of coordination to accommodate filming requests. We are mindful of the impact of a road closure and aim to minimise any potential disruption to road users.

"We were delighted to welcome Danny Boyle and the cast on site to film on the A725.”

From BBC Scotland Weather

Silver taxi clue in hunt for thieves behind second cash transfer robbery at Helensburgh bank

Police say CCTV from the night of the robbery showed passengers getting into the back of two silver private hire taxis around the time of the robbery.

It comes after two men escaped with a cash box after targeting G4S staff inside Santander in West Princes Street at 00:35 on Wednesday.

That robbery occurred two months after two men escaped with a five-figure sum of cash from the same bank in a similar early-morning raid.

Santander
Google

Det Insp Douglas Wilson, who is leading the investigation, said the passengers from the taxis might have encountered a dark coloured Hi-lux 4x4, a blue high-powered Audi estate and a Vauxhall Zafira which may have been used by the suspects.

Police Scotland has paid £76.5m in VAT since force established, chief constable says

In a letter to the Commons Home Affairs Committee, Phil Gormley said Police Scotland was the only force in the UK unable to reclaim the tax.

Police
BBC

The anomaly came about because as a national force, rather than one controlled by local authorities, Police Scotland is not exempt from VAT.

The reorganised Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is also unable to reclaim VAT it pays out.

Policing in Scotland was controlled by local authorities until 2013, when the national force was created.

Watch: Neil Lennon discusses challenge of moving Hibs on from the Championship

Judy Murray to be awarded honorary degree from Glasgow University

She is being made a Doctor of the University in recognition of her contribution to tennis at grassroots and professional level.

Judy Muray
All Sport/Getty Images

Formerly a national coach for Scotland, Judy Murray has previously been awarded honorary degrees from Stirling and Edinburgh universities.

The 56-year-old, who is mother to Wimbledon champion Andy and Australian Open doubles winner Jamie, is one of 22 people being honoured by Glasgow University at a ceremony next Wednesday.

Charity condemns online trolls who targeted abuse at carers through social media

Carers Trust Scotland said the Twitter hashtag RealCarersWeek, which was set up to mark Carers Week, was being used to post abusive images.

Two women holding hands
Science Photo Library

It's understood the posts have come from a number of different accounts and some carers have reported them to the police.

The charity said Twitter appeared to have moved quickly to delete the offensive posts and were urging carers who received anything similar to report them.

Plastics packaging group RPC set to buy Greenock-based British Polythene Industries in £261m deal

The companies said they had reached agreement on a cash and share offer.

British Polythene Industries building in Greenock
Google

BPI produces about 275,000 tonnes a year of polythene films for a wide range of markets, including agriculture and horticulture.

Shares in the company soared by about a third on news of the proposed transaction, which has still to be cleared by regulators.

Watch: Sisiter of Scots judo star says she is 'fighting to recover'

The sister of judo star Stephanie Inglis says she is showing signs of recovery after sustaining head injuries in a Vietnam motorbike accident.

Stacey Inglis told the BBC that she had opened her eyes and held her father's hand.

She said the family hoped to bring the 27-year-old judo player home soon and were immensely grateful for all the support they have had.  

Big change in the weather coming on Friday

From BBC Scotland Weather

Arrests as almost £500,000 worth of drugs discovered in cars

Police said they stopped four vehicles on Wednesday in Glasgow and Renfrew.

Officers found 9kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of £360,000. They also recovered £125,000 in cash.

Police
BBC

Four men, aged 50, 39, 36 and 24, were arrested and detained in connection with alleged drugs offences.

In a separate operation, another vehicle was stopped on Wednesday evening in Glasgow.

Officers discovered about 58kg of cannabis resin with an estimated street value of £125,000.

A 34 year-old man was arrested.

Glasgow Warriors artificial pitch approved at Scotstoun home

BBC Sport Scotland

Glasgow City Council has approved plans for a major upgrade of its Scotstoun Stadium, where Glasgow Warriors play, at a cost of £750,000.

Work will begin later this month with the laying of a new all weather synthetic playing pitch in time to host Warriors' home games for 2016-17.

Glasgow Warriors pitch
SNS

There will also be improvements to the 400m outdoor running track.

And the adjacent training pitch will be upgraded to provide a new throws area compliant for field events.

Aberdeen's 'witchcraft' history unveiled

New light has been shed on the persecution of witches during the transformation of a 900-year-old church.

The Mither Kirk project has excavated the Church of St Nicholas which will eventually house a heritage centre.

The Kirk, which was a witches prison in the 1500s, has an iron ring in the walls where women and men convicted of witchcraft were chained before being burned at the stake. 

All the details were carefully recorded in archives which will be put on public display.

Tory MPs accused of 'mansplaining' during Commons debates on spying powers and arms sales

House of Commons

Parliament

SNP frontbencher Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh said the men patronised women MPs during debates on the Investigatory Powers Bill and arms sales to Saudi Arabia, repeatedly telling them they "don't understand".

Commons Leader Chris Grayling insisted the SNP did not understand defence issues and claimed its policies "make no sense" but said he did not condone patronising comments.

Chris Grayling in House of Commons
BBC

Ms Ahmed-Sheikh said she was happy to explain to Tory backbenchers that women were as good at men at understanding complicated laws and debates.

'No reason' Brexit would lead to independence, says Vote Leave

From BBC Scotland's Westminster correspondent

View more on twitter

Campaigning for Vote Remain earlier, former UK prime minister Sir John Major said there was a "serious risk" of another Scottish independence referendum following a vote to leave the EU.

He said if Scotland found itself out of the EU, he could "envisage a different result" to the one in 2014.

A 21-year-old man appears in court charged with causing crash that killed woman on way home from son's wedding

Marie Laurie, 57, from Easterhouse, had just got into a taxi with her husband when it was struck by a car that was being chased by police.

Steven Bennie appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Wednesday charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

He made no plea or declaration and was granted bail.

Crash site and Marie Laurie
BBC

EU leave vote could lead to Scottish independence, says John Major

Former UK Prime Minister Sir John Major has said Scotland could vote for independence if the UK voted to leave the EU.

He said political pressure for a second independence vote could be uncontrollable and politically irresistible if Scotland voted to stay, but the UK as a whole voted to leave.

Sir John is campaigning with former PM Tony Blair to remain in the EU.

Sir John Major with Tony Blair
PA

Vote Leave has argued that the Scottish fishing and farming industries have been "decimated" by the EU, and that Brexit would see full control over these policy areas handed to the Scottish Parliament.

Families bringing private prosecution against Glasgow bin lorry crash driver given two weeks to set out legal arguments

Six people died when a bin lorry being driven by Harry Clarke went out of control after he blacked out at the wheel on 22 December 2014.

Harry Clarke
PA

Relatives of victims Erin McQuade and Jack and Lorraine Sweeney want to prosecute Mr Clarke privately after a Fatal Accident Inquiry into the case found he had lied about his medical history.

Lawyers for the families at the Court of Session in Edinburgh were given two weeks to adjust their applications.

The judge said the issue of whether a private prosecution on the charge of causing death by dangerous driving could go ahead, would be decided at a hearing in October or November.

Alan Cumming and Ray Mears among big names appearing at Edinburgh International Book Festival

American author Jonathan Safran Foer, former BBC director general Mark Thompson and cyclists David Millar, Chris Boardman and Mark Beaumont are also in the line-up.

Alan Cumming and Ray Mears
PA/BBC

Organisers of the August festival - believed to be the biggest of its kind in the world - say this year's theme can be summed up as "Project No Fear" and will explore the power of the human mind to imagine a better world.

More than 800 writers, poets, illustrators, politicians, journalists, historians, scientists, philosophers and playwrights from 55 countries are to take part in the 17-day event at Charlotte Square Gardens.

Reward of £10,000 being offered for information following murder of man in Kirkcaldy

Darren Adie, who was 42, was found unconscious in Tweed Avenue, close to its junction with Lawson Street, at about 18:45 on 28 May.

He died later in hospital.

Darren Adie
BBC

The charity Crimestoppers says the killing has left Mr Adie's family devastated.

Pele: My five-minute interview with Brazilian great

David Currie

BBC Sport Scotland

Out of the blue, an email arrives. Would you like to interview Edson Arantes Di Nasciemento aka Pele, aka the greatest footballer in the history of the game?

Predictably, there are some catches.

Pele
Gett

Firstly, you have do it by telephone. Secondly, you have to ask him why he's coming to Scotland and, thirdly, you only have five minutes.

Frost versus Nixon this won't be and that's fine by me.

What questions to ask the three-time World Cup winner?

Read the full interview with Pele.

St Andrews hospital evacuated after a car crashed into a wall of the building

The early morning collision caused a fire at the St Andrews Memorial Hospital in Largo Road.

Crash
Lorraine MacFarlane

LinkPolice Scotland said the Audi car was found ablaze and "embedded" in the wall of the building.

Officers traced a 27-year-old man to a nearby property and he was taken into custody in relation to road traffic offences.

Teenage passenger in critical condition after car hits tree in park

Police said the 17-year-old sustained serious injuries in the accident in Camperdown Park in Dundee on Wednesday.

Camperdown Park
Google

She is in a "critical but stable" condition at the city's Ninewells Hospital.

She was travelling in a red Ford Ka on the main drive in the park when it hit a tree at about 22:10.

The driver, a 17-year-old girl, and a male passenger, aged 19, suffered minor injuries and have been released from hospital after treatment.

Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward.

UK government warned possible cuts to police guarding Britain's nuclear arsenal could threaten national security

The warning comes from the Defence Police Federation, which says it may face a 15% reduction in its numbers and a change to its role in safeguarding Trident.

Trident
PA

Ministry of Defence Police officers protect facilities across the UK, including at the Faslane Naval base.

DPF chairman Eamonn Keating told the federation's annual conference there had been suggestions its role in guarding the nuclear deterrent might change.

The UK government said it would never make changes that would jeopardise security.

A68 closed north of Jedburgh due to serious road accident

Accident investigators are at the scene of the crash, which involves two cars.

Police accident sign
BBC

The road has been closed between Bonjedward and Cleikhimin following the accident shortly before 08:00.

Drivers in the area are being warned that the route could remain closed into this afternoon and are being urged to find an alternative route.

Nicola Sturgeon set to go head-to-head with former London mayor Boris Johnson in EU debate

The first minister will tell a UK audience that countries should be "independent and interdependent" in her bid to convince voters to remain in the European Union.

Nicola Sturgeon
Getty Images

She will face off against Mr Johnson during a two-hour live referendum debate on ITV tonight.

Chancellor George Osborne claims Brexit vote would deliver 'profound economic shock'

George Osborne is presenting a Scottish breakdown ofTreasury analysis of the possible effects of a UK exit from the EU.

He's expected to say that it could cost 43,000 Scottish jobs within two years, lower house prices and harm exports.

George Osborne with remain campaigners
PA

Leave campaigners in the European Union referendum debate have described the warnings as economic scaremongering.  

They added that Treasury forecasts were rarely accurate and argue that the UK - as the world’s fifth largest economy - would prosper outside the EU.

Teachers and lecturers gathering in Dundee for the annual general meeting of the EIS

The three-day event at the Caird Hall will feature debates on the key issues facing Scottish education such as tackling the attainment gap, bureaucracy surrounding National qualifications and investment in education.

Teacher standing in front of classroom
Science Photo Library

The union's general Secretary will address the conference tomorrow, while the Education Secretary John Swinney will respond to questions from the floor on Saturday.

Rural Affairs Secretary Fergus Ewing says he's hopeful June deadline for EU farm payments will be met

The Scottish government has been granted a three-month stay of execution by the European Union to ensure all those eligable farmers receive a payment from the fund.

Ministers had been faced with the threat of multi-million pound sanctions if the new computer system failed to deliver farm subsidy payments by the end of this month.

Combine harvester in field
BBC

The IT process is working much better for the SAF (single application form) payments and therefore that does show that although the problem is an IT problem, it is one that is gradually being solved.

Fergus EwingScottish government

Man arrested over Scottish Cup Final day assault in Edinburgh

A 37-year-old man was attacked at Haymarket Station at about 21:45 on 21 May.

Earlier that day there were violent scenes at Hampden when fans spilled onto the pitch after Hibs beat Rangers.

Haymarket Station
Thomas Nugent

British Transport Police said a 23-year-old man had been arrested in connection with the alleged assault.

He has been detained in police custody and is expected to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court later.

Scottish Gossip: Neil Lennon says he cannot wait to get started after becoming Hibernian boss, reports The Sun

BBC Sport Scotland

In the Daily Record, Lennon says "it feels great" to be named the new manager at Easter Road, and wants to get Hibs "back where they should be - in the Premiership".

And the Daily Mail reports that Murdo MacLeod thinks Hibs landing Lennon is as much of a coup as Celtic convincing Brendan Rodgers to move to Parkhead.

Read the rest of today's Scottish Gossip.

Scottish Gossip
BBC

Fort William train services disrupted after breakdown

From ScotRail