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  1. Bank of England 'has referendum contingency plan'
  2. Employment in Scotland reaches record high, according to official figures
  3. Plan to celebrate Forth Road Bridge's 50th birthday
  4. Call for action on parasitic ticks

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Bye for now

Marianne Taylor

BBC Scotland news

Right, that's all from Scotland Live for today. Join us again at 08:00 tomorrow for more news, sport, weather and travel from across the country.

Meantime, you can keep up to date via the

BBC News Scotland website or on
Radio Scotland.

Round two...

First Minister Alex Salmond and Better Together leader Alistair Darling will go head-to-head in a televised referendum debate on the BBC on Monday 25 August.

Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling

The debate, which will take place at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow between 20:30 and 22:00, will be shown live on BBC One in Scotland and on BBC Two in the rest of the UK.

It follows a debate between the two men on STV on Tuesday 5 August.

Coming up at 18:30

Don't forget, Jackie Bird will be interviewing First Minister Alex Salmond on this evening's Reporting Scotland.

You can

watch the programme live online here.

Murray win

Andy Murray beat Joao Sousa 6-3 6-3 to reach the last 16 of the Cincinnati Masters.

Andy Murray through in Cincinnati

The eighth seed was well in control throughout against the world number 37 and will face either 11th seed John Isner or Australia's Marinko Matosevic in the next round.

Top tunes

@Team_Scotland : Music motivates. Find out what tracks motivate Team Scotland athletes. #GoScotland...

Backing for refs' pay claim

Former referee Stuart Dougal has backed officials in their battle for higher wages in Championship games.

With Rangers, Hearts and Hibs all now in the second tier, referees insist the matches merit more than the current £195 paid. Premiership matches pay £840.

Dougal, below, told BBC Scotland: "What's brought it to a head is the anomaly of the Championship having Rangers Hibs and Hearts in it, making it arguably stronger and more interesting than the Premiership."

Stuart Dougal

Tomorrow's weather

Christopher Blanchett

BBC Weather presenter

It'll be a bright start to Thursday with dry and bright spells across most of the country.

However, scattered showers will develop, some of them heavy with a risk of thunder, particularly across central and southern Scotland later in the day. Coastal areas should stay mainly dry.

Temperatures will reach 16C in the north and 18C in the south.

VAT fraud penalty

An Aberdeenshire

farmer jailed for a VAT fraud of more than £650,000 has been made subject to a confiscation order for £20,000.

Ella Thom, 50, from Banchory, submitted fraudulent VAT repayment claims for more than six years.

She was jailed for two years and three months in December.

The confiscation order was made at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

Crash victim

A 26-year-old man killed in an

Aberdeen car crash has been named.

Liam Thornton, from the city, died after the crash involving two cars on the A956 Charleston flyover on Tuesday evening. A four-year-old boy and a woman were also hurt in the crash.

Murray takes first set

Andy Murray has taken the first set 6-3 in his Cincinnati Open second round match against Portugal's Jaoa Sousa.

The Scot looks in good form and has played some impressive tennis against the world number 37 as he continues his preparations for the US Open.

Polling cards

Earlier we told how polling cards for September's referendum are being sent out to voters tomorrow and Friday.

Here's what the card will look like...

Referendum polling card

Glasgow 2014 runner banned

Former 400m world champion

Amantle Montsho faces a two-year ban after her B Sample drugs test from the Commonwealth Games came back positive.

Amantle Montsho
Getty Images

Montsho, 31, had been provisionally suspended after her A Sample failed a doping test following the 400m final.

The Botswana athlete, who finished fourth, has until 22 August to appeal to the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Victims fund launched

A new Scottish government fund will allow victims or their families to share in almost £1m a year of cash seized from criminals.

The fund is designed to pay for costs incurred by victims of crime, such as funeral costs or moving costs to help victims get away from abusers or their associates.

Launching the scheme, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "The measures coming into force today mark a major milestone in improving the rights of, and support for, victims in our justice system."

Champions League confidence

Glasgow City manager Eddie Wolecki Black says his side can qualify for the last 32 of the

Uefa Women's Champions League despite their injury problems.

Glasgow City
Greame Berry

The Scottish champions go head-to-head with Ukrainian club FC Zhilstroy-1 at Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium.

With an inferior goal difference, only a win will be enough for City to top Group 4 and qualify.

Carney analysis

Kamal Ahmed

BBC Business editor

So, now we know. After much speculation and oblique references, Mark Carney has made it clear. The Bank of England has contingency plans whatever the outcome of the Scottish referendum.

Read my full analysis here.

Mark Carney

Scotland 2014


tweets: What could Scotland learn from SanFrancisco? Special report by @collettasmith and the tech industry tonight on #Scotland2014

Panda enclosure to shut

Edinburgh Zoo's panda enclosure is to close this weekend following the announcement of

female bear Tian Tian's pregnancy.

Tian Tian relaxing in her enclosure
Getty Images

The zoo said visitors with pre-booked tickets would be allowed in until Friday, after which the enclosure would shut "until further notice".

It added that those with tickets valid after 15 August would be contacted by email with details of how to rearrange their visit.

The zoo thanked the public for their understanding "during this exciting, but delicate, period".

If all goes well, Tian Tian could give birth at the end of the month.

Traffic update

BBC Scotland Travel


Drivers in Clackmannanshire should expect delays with the B934 being closed both ways after a lorry shed its load between Dunning and Yetts O'Muckhart.

There is still a convoy system in place on the A835 south of Ullapool at Leckmelm as a clear-up takes place following flood damage.

In Aberdeenshire, the A980 is still closed for repairs due to flood damage between Alford and Lumphanan. Drivers are being directed via a signed diversion.

Care home death

A care home has been fined £8,000 after the

death of an elderly resident who became trapped between her mattress and a bed rail.

Care home
Thomas nugent

Marjory Black, 85, had previously fallen out of her bed at Cairndhu House nursing home in Helensburgh, Argyll.

Dumbarton Sheriff Court heard a smaller air mattress was put on her bed but it left a gap which she slipped into.

Body find

Police have confirmed the identity of a man whose body was found in the water off the coast of Copinsay, Orkney, last week.

They said he was local man Michael Ritch, 33, who had been reported missing by his family on 24 July.

Disappointment for Celtic

Kheredine Idessane

BBC Scotland

#Celtic say they're "extremely disappointed and concerned" that their proposal to bring in a 'safe standing' area at C Park's been rejected

Polling cards issued

Polling cards are being dispatched tomorrow and Friday to every registered voter in Scotland ahead of the independence referendum on September 18.

Ballots boxes

Chief counting officer Mary Pitcaithly urged eligible voters to make sure they are registered to vote.

She said: "Only people who are registered to vote and are aged 16 or over on the day of the referendum will be entitled to vote, so it is vital that those who want to take part ensure their details are on the electoral register.

"It may be worth taking the time to check your details are on the register and that they are up to date, particularly if you've changed address in recent months."

Are you eligible to vote?

Read our guide here.

Peterhead lifeboat

The Peterhead lifeboat has been to the aid of a vessel "without steerage".

Peterhead lifeboat

The RNLI's 'The Misses Robertson of Kintail' launched on Tuesday to rescue a Peterhead vessel 'Fruitful Bough'.

Peterhead lifeboat coxswain Andy Brown said: "Without any means of steering the vessel it proved to be a very challenging tow."

Scottish Premiership action

There's a full card of action tonight in the Scottish Premiership with all of the top flight teams in action.

Dundee United v Motherwell Inverness Caley v Dundee

Kilmarnock v Aberdeen Partick Thistle v Ross County

St Johnstone v Celtic St Mirren v Hamilton

All of the games have a 19:45 kick-off time.

There will be live updates on the

BBC Sport website plus live commentary from St Johnstone v Celtic on Radio Scotland 810MW and on digital.

Pauline McLean

BBC Scotland arts correspondent


tweets: The Scottish/Swedish vampire drama which is proving to be the hottest hit with teenagers in London this summer. More on Reporting Scotland

Dundee drugs raid

Two men have been charged after police

recovered cannabis with a street value of £30,000 in Dundee.

Officers also recovered cocaine with a potential street value of £2,500 during an intelligence-led operation in the Riverside area of the city.

Two men, aged 74 and 31, have been charged with drugs offences.

Gers want to keep Wallace

Rangers manager Ally McCoist says there's been no contact from Brighton and Hove Albion about defender Lee Wallace's availability, and stressed he doesn't want to lose the Scotland international.

Lee Wallace

Media speculation suggested the English Championship side were interested in the former Hearts full-back.

Nottingham Forest had two bids for Wallace turned down by Rangers in January.

Green awards

The Falkirk Herald

Falkirk Herald


Falkirk Council had its commitment to the environment recognised when it was named overall winner at a competition to find Scotland's greenest businesses and local authorities.

The council picked up two gongs at the Green Apple Environment Awards in Edinburgh on Monday for its delivery of The Helix project and the Falkirk Greenspace Initiative.

Daily Record

@Daily_Record tweets: Bank of England governor - We've planned ahead for Scotland becoming independent #indyref

Weather update

BBC Scotland Weather


Gillian Smart: There'll be a scattering of showers across the North this afternoon, the odd one will be heavy, driven in on brisk northwesterly winds.

Elsewhere, it will be largely dry and bright with some good spells of sunshine and just an odd light shower.

Temperatures will hit high teens, peaking around 20C towards Fife and the Lothians.

You can watch a full forecast


Holiday death

A 20-year-old Scot has died on the holiday

island of Ibiza.

Lewis Robertson was found dead in San Antonio on Monday. Police are investigating.

Mr Robertson, from Larkhall, South Lanarkshire, was thought to be on holiday on the Spanish island with friends.

Action urged over head injuries

A brain injuries expert has said that Scottish football needs to do more research into

treating head injuries.

Dr Willie Stewart urged football clubs to be more responsible in looking after people with head injuries.

Footballing head injury

The English FA have released new guidelines for head injury management in the professional game.

"I think that Scottish football could possibly take a lead from the Football Association", he told BBC Scotland's John Beattie Show.

He added: ""I think any sports organisation should really be getting behind this kind of measure now."

Road closed

BBC Scotland Travel


Sarah Cruickshank reports: Aberdeen - Countesswells Road closed in both directions due to a fallen tree between Craigton Road and Countesswells Avenue.

Gaza appeal

Scottish donations to the DEC Gaza Crisis Appeal continue to rise with £556,000 given so far.

Rubble in Gaza

The UK-wide appeal has raised £8m in the five days since it was launched.

Save the Children said: "These funds will help replenish urgently needed medical supplies, provide clean water and emergency shelter materials."

Your views on ticks: @BBCScotlandNews

Jim Fairlie

tweets: best way to control ticks is have sheep on the hills to help control them. Unfortunately more sheep going off hills.

Your views on ticks: email

Eric Witton, Aberdeen: Our cocker spaniel picks up a lot of ticks on her coat from the undergrowth and one or two have managed to anchor themselves to myself and my wife over the years.

The little green 'claw hammers' are widely available, come in a two size pack and are superb at removing ticks from animals and humans alike.

No deal on Hibs

A £3.5m bid to

buy out Hibs owner Sir Tom Farmer has been rejected, according to a statement by David Low.

Hibs bosses

The financial advisor was leading a consortium that reportedly included former Hibs chairman Malcolm McPherson.

Currency plans

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has said the institution has drawn up currency contingency plans, whatever the outcome of the Scottish referendum.

Mark Carney

Read more


Conservation effort praised

An innovative project to save an endangered wildflower has been shortlisted for a nature award.

The efforts of staff at Cairngorms National Park using translocation to increase the numbers of twinflower was commended with a RSPB Nature of Scotland Award.

Cairngorms National Park

The conservation effort involves carefully moving selected plants closer together to facilitate cross pollination and seed production.

Cairngorms Nature Officer Justin Prigmore, said: "It is exciting that this project has been recognised in the Species Champion category because it has been so innovative in seeking a solution to the conservation issues in Scotland."

Forth Road Bridge celebrations

A "river of fire" is to be the centrepiece of celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the

Forth Road Bridge.

Forth Road Bridge

Thousands of torch-bearers will form a kilometre long line across the bridge before a party in South Queensferry with music from Big Country and Bwani junction.

Tickets for the procession and party, on 13 September, go on sale on Friday.