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Summary

  1. Glasgow bin lorry crash driver released from hospital
  2. Kirk presbyteries back gay ministers
  3. Winds of up to 100mph forecast for northern Scotland
  4. Woman 'sets her herself on fire' at police station
  5. Serial rapist jailed for 20 years
  6. Rangers give SPFL cash assurance

Live Reporting

By Thomas McGuigan, Rebecca Bailey and Graham Fraser

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Good night

    Graham Fraser

    BBC Scotland

    That is all for today's Scotland Live blog.

    Join us again tomorrow from 07:00 for all the latest from across the country.

  2. Interstellar in 70mm

    Edinburgh Filmhouse will be the first UK cinema outside London to show a traditional 70mm film projection of the blockbuster science fiction movie Interstellar.

    Interstellar
  3. Reporting in the rain

    Our environment and transport correspondent David Miller was soaked in the rain while doing a live broadcast for Reporting Scotland tonight.

    David Miller wet

    He tweets: Thanks all for the kind words. Must get #drookit more often. Hot shower beckons.

  4. Fancy some Scots sake?

    Permission to build what is claimed to be Scotland's first sake brewery has been granted by North Ayrshire Council.

    Beer-makers Arran Brewery purchased the site, at Dreghorn, from the council.

    The plans include a bottling facility, a beer hall, a brewing school, and a research and cultural centre on the site of a former primary school.

    Almost all the sake, an alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice, will be sold in Japan, where Arran Brewery currently sells beer.

  5. Man indecently exposed himself to walker

    A man who indecently exposed himself to a woman out walking in Fife is being sought by police.

    The incident happened in Ochil Terrace, Dunfermline, at about 16:30 on Friday.

    Police are appealing for witnesses. The man is white, in his early 20s with a round face. He was wearing a beanie-style hat, grey jogging bottoms and a puffa-style jacket.

    A 19-year-old man has already been detained in connection with the incident and a report has been sent to the procurator fiscal.

  6. Watch Reporting Scotland

    Reporting Scotland is on now. Watch it online.

    Reporting Scotland
  7. Drug dealing taxi driver jailed

    A taxi driver caught with drugs worth £143,000 in his car has been jailed for 30 months.

    John Donaldson was stopped by police as he headed towards his home town of Alloa in September, and told officers: "Bang to rights, big man".

    About 50kg of cannabis resin was found in the Mercedes Vito, and heroin was later found at the 55-year-old's home.

    A judge told Donaldson he would have faced a four-year sentence but for his early guilty pleas.

  8. Mackay-Steven latest

    Jim Spence

    BBC Sport

    tweets: Sheffield Utd the latest to be interested in Gary Mackay Steven. Around 100k mentioned and rejected by @dundeeunitedfc

  9. Scotland 2015

    Tonight on Scotland 2015, there will be a discussion on the shocking attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices in Paris.

    Gordon Aikman

    Also, campaigner Gordon Aikman (pictured) will be on the show to discuss the new funding boost for the fight against motor neurone disease.

    Tune in on BBC Two Scotland at 22:30.

  10. Hibs challenge Cummings ban

    Hibernian have revealed they will contest the one-match ban handed to Jason Cummings for an alleged offensive gesture in the Edinburgh derby.

    Jason Cummings

    The 19-year-old was offered the ban by the Scottish FA's compliance officer for an alleged breach of rule 200.

    Cummings is alleged to have made the gesture after scoring the opening goal in his side's 1-1 draw with Hearts at Tynecastle.

    A preliminary hearing will be held on Thursday.

  11. Councillors resign over vote

    Two councillors have resigned from Scottish Borders Council's ruling administration following a vote on funding for the Great Tapestry of Scotland.

    Councillors Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall of Scottish Borders Council

    Watson McAteer (pictured left) and Stuart Marshall have stepped down from the Independent group.

    They voted against spending £3.5m on a new building for the tapestry at Tweedbank.

    Group leader Sandy Aitchison said he was "disappointed" with their decision.

    The councillors, who both represent the Hawick and Denholm ward, said they felt pressure to tow a party line despite it being a free vote.

  12. Your pictures - Get involved

    Email us: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

    Dave Clark, from Milngavie, snapped this spectacular shot from the top of The Cobbler.

    the cobbler

    Email us your pictures and we will use the best in our weekly photo gallery.

  13. McFadden banned

    St Johnstone's James McFadden will miss three games through suspension after the club accepted his notice of complaint for an offensive gesture.

    James McFadden

    McFadden was given a two-match ban for the gesture on top of the automatic penalty for the red card he received against Hamilton on Sunday.

    The former Scotland star, 31, was sent off for two yellow card offences as Saints lost 1-0 at home on Sunday.

    McFadden moved to McDiarmid Park on a short-term deal in October.

  14. Trucker cleared over OAP death

    A lorry driver who ran over an 88-year-old woman has been cleared of causing her death by careless driving.

    Stephen Hendry

    Stephen Hendry said he never saw Agnes Brzezina when she was crushed under his 7.5 tonne lorry in Bonnybridge in 2013.

    The charge against the 56-year-old army veteran, who drove aid convoys in Bosnia and later got an MBE for services to the elderly, was found not proven following a trial in Stirling.

    He said he was relieved by the verdict, but felt "so sorry for that wee woman".

  15. Rapist chef jailed

    A former chef has been jailed for six years at the High Court in Edinburgh for raping women at two hotels.

    George Webster, 28, assaulted his first victim, who was 23, at Scotlands Hotel in Pitlochry on 7 June 2013.

    On 4 May last year, he raped a 22-year-old woman at the Golf View Hotel in Nairn.

    Judge Edward Bowen QC told Webster, who has been in prison since May, that he would be placed on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

  16. On the roads

    BBC Scotland Travel

    Latest

    The A87 Skye Bridge is still closed to high sided vehicles, as is the Forth Road Bridge. Meanwhile, the A92 Tay Road Bridge is closed to double deckers. This is all due to the windy conditions.

    In Midlothian, the A702 is partially blocked by an accident between the A703 Seafield Moor Road and Mauricewood Road. It's causing delays in both directions between Hillend and Carlops.

    On the M8, in Renfrewshire, a breakdown is blocking one lane eastbound towards Glasgow and is causing delays. It is between the airport at J28 and J27 Arkleston.

    On the M74 by Larkhall, there are delays southbound of 25 minutes due to a broken down HGV blocking one lane. Traffic is slow back to J6 Hamilton.

  17. Tomorrow's weather

    BBC Scotland Weather

    Latest

    There will be bright spells, with frequent showers on Thursday. Rain will fall on many towns and cities, with a risk of hail or sleet.

    Given any altitude, these showers will turn increasingly wintry, with the risk of some very light accumulations of snow down to around 100m. However, most of the snow will be above 300 to 400m - affecting the highest hills and high road routes.

    It will be a cooler day, despite any sunny spells outwith the showers - there will be highs of 5 to 7 degrees.

    However, during Thursday evening and overnight into Friday, a spell of stormy weather will arrive.

  18. Family recognise sex attacker

    An Aberdeen sex attacker who was recognised in a CCTV image by his family has been jailed for 14 months.

    CCTV

    Craig Taylor, 24, was confronted by his mother after police circulated the picture following an incident in Spring Garden in August 2013.

    Taylor was originally charged with attempting to rape a 39-year-old woman.

    He was jailed after admitting assault while the victim was under the influence of alcohol, lowering her clothes and exposing himself.

    Taylor's sister had contacted police.

  19. Tonight's weather

    BBC Scotland Weather

    Latest

    The rain will clear through Wednesday night, replaced by showers and cooler air - these will be wintry on the hills and increasingly move to lower levels as well by the end of the night.

    Overnight, there will be lows of 3C or 4C. There will be a touch of frost in sheltered eastern parts, with risk of icy stretches likely for Perthshire, Angus and Aberdeenshire.

  20. Death crash sentence cut

    A Lincolnshire man who was jailed for killing a Canadian tourist in a crash in the Scottish Borders has had his sentence cut by appeal judges.

    Andrew File

    Andrew File, 42, of Sleaford, was given a three-year term after being convicted of causing death by careless driving.

    A court heard he caused the death of Murielle Vaillant, 57, from Quebec, on the A701 near Tweedsmuir in May 2012.

    Judges ruled three years in jail was excessive and reduced his sentence to two years.

  21. North/south divide

    Brian Taylor

    Political editor, Scotland

    Seldom has the disjuncture in politics, north and south of the Border, been more evident than in the controversy which has attended Jim Murphy's comments about using a "mansion tax" to hire nurses in Scotland.

    Scottish border

    To be clear, there is nothing particularly extraordinary in the actual content of Mr Murphy's suggestion.

    Arithmetically, it is a simple restatement of the distribution of resources which is a core function of the shared polity and economy known as the United Kingdom.

  22. Tune in

    Newsdrive is getting under way on BBC Radio Scotland.

    BBC Radio Scotland's Newsdrive

    Listen live to the programme here.

  23. Your Pictures

    Email us: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

    Isobel Morrison sent us this picture, saying that it was a fantastic day "for a traipse thro the heather".

    Shadows fall on a snowy mountain view

    Email us your pictures, or tweet using #ScotlandLive.

  24. Serial rapist jailed

    A serial rapist convicted of abusing a string of women across Tayside over three decades has been jailed for 20 years.

    Allan Johnstone was convicted of 26 charges, including the rape of six women in the Dundee and Forfar area between 1983 and 2004.

    The 50-year-old was convicted of abducting and assaulting women and also of kicking a young boy on the body.

    Lord Bannatyne told Johnstone his was one of the worst cases he had heard.

  25. Kirk presbyteries back gay ministers

    A majority of Church of Scotland presbyteries have voted in favour of the ordination of gay minsters.

    The Kirk said 32 of the 45 presbyteries voted in favour of proposals to allow ministers and deacons who are in a civil partnership to apply for vacant posts.

    The Kirk

    The remaining 13 presbyteries opposed the move.

    A final decision on the issue will be taken at May's General Assembly in Edinburgh.

    A total of 1,391 presbytery members voted in favour and 1,153 against, resulting in a 54.6% to 45.4% split.

  26. Aircraft searches for Cemfjord debris

    An aircraft has been searching for debris from a cargo ship which sank in the Pentland Firth with eight men on board.

    The upturned hull of the Cemfjord - which was carrying cement - was spotted by a passing ferry on Saturday and later sank.

    The upturned hull of the Cemfjord

    No trace of the crew was found despite an extensive search operation.

    The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said a fixed wing aircraft was conducting a search.

  27. Un-shellfish quotas

    Craig Swan

    BBC Scotland news

    The Scottish government is considering proposals to limit dredging and trawling in inshore waters to conserve fish and shellfish stocks.

    The proposed restrictions on the way prawns, lobster and scallops can be caught in inshore waters include banning the use of dredging and trawling in a 1-3 mile limit.

    Lobsters

    A report looking into what the impact of this would be on jobs and the economy has concluded that overall, Scotland would benefit over a 20-year period, because improved marine recreation would generate many more jobs than those lost in the commercial fishing sector.

    However, more remote fishing areas in the Highlands and Islands could be hit by the proposals, as they could see net job losses and income from fishing decline by millions of pounds.

    The report suggests this could be minimised by imposing any restrictions selectively to areas like the North East, the Clyde and South West of Scotland, where the greatest benefits from increased marine recreation would be felt.

  28. No laughing matter

    Thousands of pounds worth of nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, has been stolen from Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.

    A total of 26 cylinders were taken from the hospital's gas compound store between Saturday and Tuesday.

    The cylinders are blue, about 5ft 6in (1.68m) tall, hold 9,000 litres of gas and together are worth about £4,000.

    Police want to trace two people seen locally in a white van with roof bars between 14:00 and 19:00 on Saturday.

  29. Salmond responds to Davidson

    Alex Salmond has told the BBC he is not seeking to become a minister in the next UK government.

    "I have no ambitions in that direction," he said. "But if it was going to scare the Tories it might be worth doing".

    Alex Salmond

    He said the public were looking forward to the SNP having "substantial influence" at Westminster after the general election.

    The former first minister said it was "unlikely" that his party would enter a formal coalition.

    However, he said the only thing that had been ruled out was "any alliance, informal or formal, with the Tories".

    His comments came after Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, said the idea of Mr Salmond as deputy prime minister "scares the bejesus out of me".

  30. Cameron on voting age

    The Prime Minister has floated the idea that the voting age for Westminster elections could be cut to 16 and 17, the same as for the recent Scottish independence referendum.

    Cameron at PMQs

    David Cameron said he personally thought the present voting age of 18 for elections was correct, but that he would listen to the arguments.

    The issue was raised by the Glasgow Labour MP John Robertson at Prime Minister's Questions.

  31. United reject Mackay-Steven bids

    Gary Mackay-Steven expects to be with Dundee United until the summer after revealing the club have rejected bids for him.

    Gary Mackay-Steven

    The in-form 24-year-old winger is out of contract at the end of the season and there has been speculation he could leave in January.

    But Mackay-Steven said: "As far as I know there's been a bid in, or bids in.

    "But they've been rejected so I'm still a Dundee United player and will be until the summer."

  32. New plans for Edinburgh marina

    A masterplan for Edinburgh Marina - a 400-berth marina, residential, retail and spa hotel development for Granton Harbour - has been submitted.

    An artist's impression of the marina

    The Edinburgh Marina development will deliver new homes for over 4,000 residents as well as local employment opportunities for up to 700 people.

    There will also be a larger community boatyard and improved facilities for local yacht clubs.

    Changes to the design have been made since it was approved last year.

  33. Coming up

    Gary Robertson

    BBC Radio Scotland

    tweets: Politics Scotland BBC1 1500; More #MND nurses, Assisted Suicide Bill, MSPs discuss active travel (cycling) + Magnus Gardham @heraldscotland

  34. Obesity costs 'up to £4bn a year'

    Obesity could be costing Scotland up to £4.6bn a year, according to a new report.

    The figure came in a Scottish Parliament briefing which said the problem was putting a "significant and growing burden" on the nation.

    An obese person

    According to 2013 figures, almost two thirds of adults were overweight, with 27.1% classed as being obese,.

    The government launched a strategy in 2010 to tackle Scotland's "obesity time bomb".

    The new report, produced by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (Spice), said the problem could be costing the NHS as much as £600m a year.

    It said that, including other factors, the total annual economic cost could be between £0.9bn and £4.6bn.

  35. New Zealand couple death 'not suspicious'

    The deaths of an elderly Scottish couple in New Zealand are not being treated as suspicious.

    Mitch and Gladys Hogg were in their 80s and originally from the Borders.

    They were found at their home in the Brockville area of Dunedin by their son on Sunday morning.

  36. Woman 'set self on fire' at police station

    Aileen Clarke

    BBC Scotland

    A woman is being treated in hospital in Glasgow for severe burns after apparently setting herself on fire at a police station in Clydebank.

    It happened just before 10:00.

    Officers went to help her before the fire service and ambulance arrived and she was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

    Police have not released the woman's name but an investigation is already under way.

  37. On air now: Reporting Scotland

    Reporting Scotland is on air now, and has more information on moves to boost the number of motor neurone disease nurses.

    Sally Macnair on Repscot

    Watch it on BBC One Scotland or online here.

  38. Nuclear 'rethink'

    SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has said her party could force a future UK Labour government to "rethink" plans for a new generation of nuclear weapons.

    Nicola Sturgeon

    The Scottish first minister said a strong team of SNP MPs after the May election meant the administration could be held to account.

    Ms Sturgeon said she would never do a political deal with any party which supported nuclear weapons.

    Labour has favoured options to retain a "credible" nuclear deterrent.

  39. Oil price fall

    The price of Brent crude oil has fallen below $50 a barrel for the first time since May 2009.

    oil rig

    It fell more than a dollar to $49.92 a barrel in early trading on Wednesday before edging back above the $50 mark.

    Slowing global growth and increased supply of oil and gas have pushed prices sharply lower in recent weeks.

    The price of oil traded in the United States, known as West Texas Intermediate crude, has already fallen below $50.

  40. Record sales of cars

    A record number of new cars were sold in Scotland last year, according to industry figures.

    cars sold

    A total of 221,570 cars were registered in 2014, beating the previous year's figure by 8.3%.

    In December alone, 13,230 units were sold - a year-on-year increase of nearly 27%.

    The UK as a whole experienced an increase of nearly 8.7% last month, with a total of 166,198 units registered.

  41. Managerial change?

    Jane Lewis

    BBC Scotland

    Hamilton Accies' manager Alex Neil is in #Norwich having talks. Accies were approached last night.

  42. Ruth Davidson - Your Views

    Email us: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

    Sheila Noble: Couldn't agree more with Ruth Davidson's sentiments. The thought of Alex Salmond at Westminster is bad enough and I'm sure the possibility of his ever becoming depute PM scares the bejesus out of the majority of well informed Scots and Brits

  43. Ruth Davidson - Your Views

    Text using 80295

    Nathan, Forres: It is utterly ridiculous for Ruth Davidson to suggest "everybody across the UK understands that a person who pays tax in Kirkcaldy helps to support the system in Carlisle and vice versa". You only have to look on news threads, listen to chat shows and social media to know that people just don't get that. It's part of how the referendum was lost. People thought we were too wee and too poor to survive alone - including Ruth!

  44. Your Pictures

    Email us: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

    Neil Tuckwell took this photograph at Loch Pityoulish near Aviemore - he said it looked incredible in the afternoon light.

    In the afternoon light, Loch Pityoulish gleams blue and white

    He also sent us another picture, taken at North Kessock looking over the Beauly Firth, while he was out for an early morning walk.

    A spectrum of oranges and blues in the sky and the water at the Beauly Firth

    We've received some beautiful winter photographs today - if you want to send us yours, you can do so by emailing us or tweeting using #ScotlandLive.

  45. Labour backs immediate work programme devolution

    Labour is backing the immediate devolution of the work programme to Holyrood.

    Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran has called for a fast-track transfer of the scheme, which helps unemployed people find and keep work, ahead of a meeting with the UK government.

    Margaret Curran

    The Smith Commission agreement on further devolution said the programme should come under Holyrood control when the current commercial arrangements expire.

    The Scottish government has complained that the UK government is in the process of extending these contracts.

    Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael was looking into the matter.

  46. Your Pictures

    Email us: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

    Beata Widel, who lives in Poland, took this picture during a trip to Scotland - it's the view from Eilean Donan Castle.

    Hills and water - the view from Eilean Donan

    You can email us your pictures, or tweet using #ScotlandLive.

  47. Man detained in Kyle of Lochalsh

    Steven McKenzie

    BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

    A 38-year-old man was detained by armed police following an incident in Kyle of Lochalsh on Tuesday night.

    An armed response unit and police dog section were sent to a property in the village following reports of a man with an offensive weapon.

    Police Scotland was alerted at about 19:25 and the incident was resolved at about midnight.

    A police spokeswoman said no one was injured in the incident, which saw part of the village cordoned off.

  48. Never Miss A Beatt...

    John Beattie

    BBC Scotland

    Given that a top class sportsman is fined for smoking in the showers, rugby legend Sandy Carmichael will join me @BBCRadioScot to discuss. It is extraordinary, is it not, that you used to be able to smoke on a plane?

    The John Beattie Show

    Listen live to the programme here.

  49. Your Pictures

    Email us: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

    Emily, Arbroath: New Year's health kick, coastal path from Arbroath to Carnoustie. In front of me a very sweet elderly couple walking from East Haven to Carnoustie. Photo does not capture the cold!

    Emily's picture of walking along coastal path from Arbroath to Carnoustie

    Email us your pictures or tweet using #ScotlandLive.

  50. Woman suffers burn injuries in police office

    A police office in West Dunbartonshire has been closed to the public after a woman suffered serious burn injuries in the reception area.

    Police said she was injured in the public area of the station, in Motrose Street, Clydebank, at 09:55.

    The woman has been taken to hospital and the public entrance to the station has been closed until further notice.

  51. NHS Grampian: A&E under pressure

    Forty five non-urgent operations have been cancelled at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary today because of high levels of demand in Accident and Emergency.

    NHS Grampian

    However, NHS Grampian has denied some reports that it is suffering a shortage of mattresses and drugs.

    Yesterday, 20 operations were postponed as medical staff started redirecting patients to minor injury units and their GPs because of growing pressure on the A&E department.

  52. Laptop sparks house fire

    The fire service has issued a warning after a laptop left charging unattended sparked a house fire in Falkirk.

    Crews were called to Gairdock Drive in Carronshore at 12:40 on Tuesday after the fire broke out in a bedroom.

    Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used a hose jet to extinguish the "well developed" fire, which caused "extensive damage" to the house.

    Watch manager Mike Fitches said the laptop had been left charging while no-one was home and had overheated.

    "This incident had the potential to be even more serious," he said. "We can't stress enough how important it is to unplug any chargers before you go out."

  53. Update: bin lorry crash

    One patient remains in hospital following the fatal bin lorry crash in George Square.

    The bin lorry crash

    A 64-year-old woman is in Glasgow Royal Infirmary in a stable condition. A 14-year-old girl has now been released.

    The bin lorry driver - a 57-year-old man - was released from the Western Infirmary on Monday evening.

  54. Twenty's plenty

    David Miller

    BBC Scotland transport correspondent

    Council leaders in Edinburgh are to push ahead with plans to introduce a 20mph speed limit across much of the capital.

    Twenty's Plenty sign

    More than 80% of the capital's roads will have a 20mph speed limit, once the changes are fully implemented, and will include the whole of the city centre.

    Work on the scheme is to begin later this year. It follows a consultation exercise, which the council says showed strong support for the move. It's designed to improve safety and encourage more people to walk or cycle, while ensuring the capital's bus network continues to run efficiently.

    Campaigners are urging towns and cities throughout Scotland to follow suit.

  55. A very prosperous Christmas

    Edinburgh's Christmas festival has reported a 40% rise in ticket sales on last year.

    There were more than 500,000 tickets sold for shows and attractions and footfall was up 5% in the city centre.

    A discount scheme for local residents may have further boosted sales.

  56. Unclean hospital

    Inspectors from Scotland's hospital hygiene watchdog found blood and contamination on nearly all trolley beds in the maternity unit and throughout the 'stitch' room in the Accident and Emergency department of Crosshouse hospital in Ayrshire.

    A blood stain to the underside of a patient trolley, and blood drips on wheeled bowls
    Image caption: Left to right: contamination to underside of patient trolley bed (accident and emergency department), and contamination to wheeled bowls (stitch room, accident and emergency department)

    The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate were so concerned that they immediately alerted management to the situation. Despite reassurances, they found contamination on all the trolley beds when they returned the next day.

    However, following an unannounced inspection later in November, inspectors said significant improvements had been made and all the equipment they saw was clean and ready for use.

  57. Your Pictures

    Email us: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

    Iain Taylor from Kirkcaldy took this picture at Dysart, on his first day back in Scotland after two weeks away.

    North Berwick Law in background; blue waves and fishing boats in foreground

    He calls this picture 'Blues': sunshine, blue sky, blue water, and North Berwick Law in the background.

    We've had some lovely pictures in today already - keep them coming! Email us or tweet using #ScotlandLive.

  58. Scots Tory leader vexed by Salmond

    The Scottish Conservative leader says the prospect of Alex Salmond becoming the UK's next deputy prime minister "scares the bejesus out of me".

    Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson

    Speaking ahead of May's general election, Ruth Davidson said a minority Labour government propped up by the SNP would be unworkable.

    Ms Davidson has also set a target to increase her party's share of the vote in Scotland, where it has just one MP.

    She said the first-past-the-post system had held the Scottish Tories back.

  59. Abandoned dog - Your Views

    Email us: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

    Tracey, Edinburgh: It isn't good enough to leave an animal somewhere and hope for the best. It isn't always a responsible person who may find them. Dogs and cats are stolen and used as bait dogs by the horrendous individuals involved in dog fighting. There are many things that can happen to an abandoned animal and the stress of being left alone is huge. It looks like Kai was cared for, but animal abandonment is, quite rightly, against the law, and perilous for the animals involved.

  60. Two held over cannabis find

    Cannabis with an estimated street value of £10,000 has been seized by police in Aberdeen.

    The recovery was made in the Midstocket area of the city on Tuesday.

    Police Scotland said two men, aged 19 and 24, were detained over the find.

    They are expected to appear at Aberdeen Sheriff Court later today.

  61. Your Pictures

    Email us: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

    John Dyer took this photo of "a snapper being snapped" on a sunny winter's day, on the forest trail at the Baron's Haugh in Motherwell.

    Black and white photo of a photographer taking a photo in a wood

    Email us your pictures or tweet them using #ScotlandLive, and we'll publish the best.

  62. Mansion tax - Your Views

    Email us: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

    Graeme Cooper: London "cash cow" for Scottish spending! Is this a bad joke? What happened to the pooling and sharing? UK taxes, not London I would think. Scotland hydrocarbon revenues over the decades, "cash cow" anyone? And 100s of billions at that. Both laughable and pathetic.

  63. Electrical storms 'worst in 50 years'

    Steven McKenzie

    BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

    A BT spokesman says the electrical storms that affected phone services in the Hebrides, Argyll and Orkney were the worst seen in almost half a century, as the company continues to repair phone lines damaged by bad weather last month.

    The lightning came during a storm that started in the Arctic where it had rapidly developed in strength in a process known as explosive cyclogenesis, or what some scientists and forecasters refer to as a "weather bomb".

    Lightning struck 5,000 times across the Western Isles and northern Scotland during last month's weather bomb, according to Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD).

    As well as affecting phone lines, tens of thousands of people lost power.

  64. Winds of up to 90mph on their way...

    Steven McKenzie

    BBC Scotland Highlands and Islands reporter

    Two Atlantic storms are expected to batter northern Scotland, with winds gusting to speeds of up to 90mph or more, forecasters have warned.

    The Met Office has issued yellow "be aware" warnings for Scotland and northern England for Friday and Saturday.

    Large swells have been forecast for the sea off Scotland on Friday and Saturday

    The worst of the weather has been forecast for northern Scotland.

    The warnings came as BT continued to repair phone lines damaged by bad weather last month.

  65. Abandoned dog - Your Views

    Text using 80295

    Anon: Gave an old dog a home when his owner died; my Labrador made him welcome.

    Carol: We're judging this person and we don't know anything about them. It looks like they were hoping that someone would pick Kai up and give him a good home.

  66. 'Advantage popcorn...'

    @andy_murray

    Andy Murraytweets: Back in room after a tough loss to Poland today... Watching the future... Kokkinakis vs Tomic.. I need some popcorn

    Tennis on TV
  67. Bin lorry crash driver leave hospital

    The driver of a bin lorry that killed six people in Glasgow city centre has been released from hospital. The 57-year-old man had been receiving treatment at the city's Western Infirmary since the tragedy on 22 December.

    Eyewitnesses said he appeared to have been slumped over the wheel of the vehicle when it lost control in Queen Street and George Square. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed that two of the 10 people injured in the accident still remain in hospital in a stable condition.

  68. Feeling stressed?

    BBC Radio Scotland

    tweets: Coming up soon: We want to find out why more of us are feeling stressed. Have you ever suffered from stress? What's it like? Call 0500929500.

  69. Manager calms Accies Euro talk

    Hamilton Academical player-manager Alex Neil is refusing to entertain any notion that his side are aiming to qualify for European competition.

    The New Douglas Park club currently sit third in the Scottish Premiership on 39 points, four behind leaders Aberdeen and three adrift of Celtic.

    Alex Neil during a match

    "It's far too early to mention European football," he told BBC Scotland.

    "Top six is certainly achievable for us - that must be our aim now and I'd be disappointed if that wasn't the case."

  70. Your Pictures

    Email us: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

    Christopher Lonie sent in this unusually coloured picture of Oban Bay.

    Oban Bay, pink and orange in the sunset

    He also took this striking picture of the Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis.

    Three of the standing stones of Callanish, backlit by a rising sun

    He says he has lived on Lewis all his life and loves this beautiful landmark.

    Do you have a stunning photograph of where you live that you want to share? Email us or tweet us using #ScotlandLive.

  71. Buying and selling pets - Your Views

    Email us: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

    Tracey, Edinburgh: It's far too easy to buy and sell pets. There should be more legal protection for animals and stronger punishments for those involved in their abuse and neglect. What we should be doing is teaching respect for animals and animal welfare from nursery school onwards.

  72. Warriors learn from defeat

    Glasgow Warriors' Finn Russell says the team learned valuable lessons in their Pro 12 defeat by Edinburgh last Friday.

    The stand-off admits Glasgow have been working to improve their ruck speed after being caught out there by their rivals in the 20-8 loss at Murrayfield.

    Finn Russell in front of Scotscoun

    "We've been working a lot in the contact area," he told BBC Scotland.

    "The ruck speed was slow so we are looking to pick that up to get the best from our attack to create opportunities against Scarlets."

    Glasgow Warriors host Scarlets at Scotstoun on Friday. The BBC will have live coverage on BBC ALBA, BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Sport website.

  73. Abandoned dog - Your Views

    Text using 80295

    Arwen in Aberdeen: My kitty was a rescue. I would urge everyone to think before taking on a pet and to adopt don't shop.

    Anon: It's unfair to judge Kai's owners for assuming they abandoned him. Many people can't keep their pets in rented accommodation, so perhaps Kai's owners loved him dearly & left him where they hoped he would be cared for.

  74. 'Tax in Kirkcaldy helps pensioners in Carlisle'

    Ms Davidson continued: "As a leader in Scotland, I'm quite happy with the fact that we have more than £1,200 per head of population, higher public spending in Scotland than across the rest of the UK, because of our ageing demographic and geographical demographic.

    "Boris Johnson has said during the entire time he has been mayor of London that he'd like more autonomy over spending in London. It's perfectly acceptable for Boris to do that.

    Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy (left) and London mayor Boris Johnson

    "What I think is cynical is Jim Murphy actually doesn't care what rate the nursing rate is in Scotland.

    "Everybody across the UK understands that a person who pays tax into the system in Kirkcaldy helps to support pensioners that take money out of the system in Carlisle and vice versa.

    "That's what being part of one country is."

  75. 'Political football'

    Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has entered the debate on Scottish Labour's pledge that a UK-wide "mansion tax" would allow a future Labour government to create 1,000 new nursing posts in Scotland.

    The pledge was made by Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, who said most of the money raised would come from London and the south east.

    Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson

    Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, described the plan as "fiscally vindictive" to the south east of England, while Ms Davidson said she had "no problem" with the pooling and sharing of resources.

    "What I have a problem with is the Labour leader in Scotland using the health service as a political football and a cynical ploy to try to boost his pro-Scottish ratings up here," she told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland.

    "I think that Boris Johnson is, quite rightly as the Mayor of London, looking out for people in London which is overwhelmingly where a mansion tax would strike."

  76. On the roads

    BBC Scotland Travel

    Latest

    The A87 Skye Bridge is closed to high sided vehicles, and the A92 Tay Road Bridge is closed to double deckers.

    There's a speed restriction on the A90 Forth Road Bridge because of the windy conditions - traffic is looking slow at Dunf Wynd on the southbound approach, and it's slow to sluggish westbound on the Edinburgh city bypass at Straiton.

    Still in Edinburgh, we've had a tweet saying there are big city bound delays at Glencorse on the A701 Penicuik to Edinburgh road, possibly due to the phasing of the temporary lights.

    In the west, it's looking slow at the J4 slip of the M74, and again at J2 as you head into Glasgow. There are delays on the M80 northbound at J5 Auchenkilns.

  77. Coming up...

    BBC Radio Scotland

    On Morning Call with @LWhiteMedia: Is it too easy to buy and sell a pet? Call us on 0500 929500.

    The male Shar-Pei crossbreed Kai
  78. Motor Neurone Disease funding boost

    The NHS is to fund the specialist nurses who care for motor neurone disease (MND) patients in Scotland.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will also pledge to double the number of specialist nurses, who are currently paid for through charity donations.

    Gordon Aikman

    She made the decision within weeks of meeting MND campaigner Gordon Aikman.

    Mr Aikman, 29, was diagnosed with the incurable condition last year, when he was working for Better Together.

  79. Ferry updates

    @CalMac_Updates

    CalMac Service Info tweets:

    Ferry update: The 18:45 sailing from Uig - Lochmaddy will now depart at the earlier time of 14:15.

    There have been other changes, so keep checking if you're travelling today.

  80. Man airlifted to hospital

    A man has been airlifted to hospital after his car crashed down an embankment in Selkirk.

    The accident happened on the A7 just after 18:00 on Tuesday evening.

    He was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary with serious injuries.

  81. Your Pictures

    Email us: newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

    Bernadette McGowan took this picture looking south west from Glasgow's Necropolis on Tuesday.

    A cross in silhouette against a rose sky; tower blocks in the distance

    She said she had to be quick to capture this beautiful sunset, as the sky was darkening very quickly.

    Email us your pictures, or tweet them using #ScotlandLive and we'll publish the best of them.

  82. What's on the back pages?

    Celtic are tracking Brescia's Libyan midfielder Ahmad Benali, with the 22-year-old facing an uncertain future at the cash-strapped Italian Serie B outfit.

    Brescia's Libyan midfielder Ahmad Benali

    Former Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston has urged the Scottish FA to investigate Mike Ashley's role at Rangers, reports The Herald.

    Meanwhile, the Scottish Sun says Valencia's Scottish assistant manager Ian Cathro is being lined up as the new head coach at Ibrox.

    Read what else is making back-page headlines in our round-up here.

  83. Hoppy New Year

    A Shetland brewery has signed a deal to give its beers UK-wide distribution for the first time.

    Lerwick Brewery has teamed up with wholesaler Ooberstock.

    A brewer at Lerwick brewery

    Lerwick Brewery distribution manager Graham Mercer said: "Ooberstock is one of the industry's most well-connected suppliers. Securing UK-wide distribution is a major landmark."

    Ooberstock owner Stephen Brogan said: "We are thrilled to have them on board."

  84. ...and by sea

    BBC Scotland Travel

    Latest

    Wind is affecting some ferries today.

    Cancellations

    10:30 from Ullapool

    09:45 from Islay

    09:25 from Armadale

    07:55 from Wemyss Bay

    08:40 from Mallaig

    Suspensions

    Gourock - Dunoon

    Kilcreggan - until at least 09:00.

    Tarbert - Portavadie

    07:15 from Tarbert - Uig - there will be a review at 11:00.

    If you plan to travel today, do check ahead.

  85. What the papers say

    Jim Murphy's promise to fund an extra 1,000 nurses in Scotland is the lead for The Scotsman.

    Collage of front pages

    The Times and The Telegraph carry the same story - pointing out the money would come from the "Mansion Tax" on high value properties that are predominantly in the south of England.

    The National also focuses on the start of the general election campaign, with Nicola Sturgeon urging voters to make Scotland's voice heard.

    Find out what the rest of the papers are saying here.

  86. Met Office issue wind warning

    BBC Scotland Weather

    Latest

    Just a reminder that the Met Office have issued two yellow 'be aware' early warnings for wind.

    These refer to Thursday night to Friday morning, and then again on Friday night to Saturday afternoon.

    There will be severe gales in the Far North on Friday, with high winds more widespread on Saturday.

    Disruption is likely to be caused by this stormy weather.

  87. Rangers latest

    Chris McLaughlin

    BBC Sport

    Rangers have assured the Scottish Professional Football League that they are not heading for administration despite their current financial troubles.

    Ibrox Stadium

    The club's chief executive Derek Llambias was called to a meeting at Hampden yesterday to clarify the situation following news of a late tax bill and a Stock Exchange announcement regarding the need for more cash before the end of the month.

  88. Passage to India?

    The story about the dog abandoned at Ayr railway station with its belongings in a suitcase has sparked interest at home and abroad.

    Male Shar-Pei crossbreed Kai was abandoned with his belongings in a suitcase

    Vijay from India says: Kai looks very cute, and calm dog:) If you don't find his owner, or if no-one would accept to him, would you be able to please send him to India? I will take care of him for rest of his life:) Have a lovely day!

  89. How Great Thou Art

    Pauline McLean

    BBC Scotland

    Glasgow School of Art and HIE to expand teaching in the Highlands. New campus expands existing institute of design innovation in Forres.

  90. Assisted suicide campaigners produce video

    Campaigners who back plans to legalise assisted suicide have produced a video aimed at tackling the "misconceptions and misunderstandings" surrounding the proposed legislation.

    Margo MacDonald

    The 'My Life, My Death, My Choice' campaign outlines who will be eligible, the safeguards which would be put in place and the processes involved.

    MSPs are due to take evidence on the Bill, which was brought forward by the late Margo MacDonald.

  91. Brain rehab centre 'must improve'

    Health inspectors have criticised a rehabilitation centre for people with brain injuries for its high turnover of nursing staff.

    Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) said nurses at the Murdostoun Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre lacked appropriate experience.

    A thermal imaging style picture of the brain

    Inspectors also said there was a high use of agency staff at the centre near Wishaw in North Lanarkshire.

    It has now been given until the end of next month to address the problem.

  92. By land...

    BBC Scotland Travel

    Latest

    The A87 Skye Bridge is closed to high sided vehicles, and the A92 Tay Road Bridge is closed to double deckers.

    There is a speed restriction on the A90 Forth Road Bridge because of the windy conditions. Traffic is not bad at the moment on the approach to the southbound bridge, but is picking up already on the westbound Edinburgh city bypass at Straiton.

    Police in Stirling are tweeting about surface water, so mind how you go.

    In North Berwick, the A198 is closed between Rhodes Holdings and Tantallon Studios, due to a fire at Castleton Farm.

    Trains-wise, a broken down train has caused disruption to services between Inverness and Wick. Replacement buses are being organised for early services.

  93. 'Record-breaking' numbers for Homecoming 2014

    A record-breaking two million people attended Homecoming events across Scotland last year, according to Visit Scotland.

    The tourism agency said many events sold out as the spotlight shone on the country.

    Europe"s Graeme McDowell celebrates winning his singles match on day three of the 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles

    Events such as the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and the 700th anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn helped bring tourists from across the world.

    There were 1,049 events in 2014, more than twice as many as in 2009.

  94. Today's weather

    BBC Scotland Weather

    Latest

    Today will be largely cloudy with outbreaks of heavy and persistent rain moving in to reach most parts. These will be heaviest in the west and central areas, including Glasgow, the M8 corridor and a good part of the Central Belt throughout the morning.

    The North East of Aberdeenshire, East Lothian and the Eastern Borders will be drier, with hints of brightness.

    It will be a windy day, with strong to gale force south to south west winds.

    Despite it being wet and windy, it will be milder than yesterday, with highs of 10C, and maybe 12 or 13 for Northern coastal areas.

  95. Coming up on GMS

    Gary Robertson

    BBC Radio Scotland

    At 07:10, we'll be examining the key facts of the assisted suicide bill, which is currently before the Scottish Parliament. They've been highlighted in a video made by group of campaigners.

    GMS screenshot

    We'll have the latest from the BBC's correspondent in Indonesia on AirAsia QZ8501, as the tail of the crashed plane has been found.

    And we'll take a look at what will be on the agenda when David Cameron and Angela Merkel meet for UK talks.

    You can listen live here or on digital radio.

  96. Smith report burning councillors suspended

    Four SNP councillors filmed setting fire to the Smith Commission report on new Holyrood powers have been suspended from the party for two months.

    Former council leader Brian Lawson and councillors Will Mylet, Mags MacLaren and Kenny MacLaren were involved in the stunt, carried out in December.

    The three councillors hold up pages of the Smith report over a barrel

    Filmed outside Renfrewshire Council headquarters in Paisley, it was posted on YouTube, but later removed.

    SNP officials said their actions fell far short of the standards expected.

    Opposition leaders in Scotland had been demanding action from the SNP in the wake of the incident.

  97. Rise and shine

    Thomas McGuigan

    BBC Scotland News

    Good morning and a warm welcome to Wednesday's edition of Scotland Live.