Thousands attend WW1 Drumhead commemoration

The Drumhead service in Edinburgh The event heralded the start of the Scottish commemorations programme

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Thousands of people have taken part in Scotland's "Drumhead Service" at Edinburgh Castle, commemorating the centenary of World War One.

The service, featuring an altar of drums, replicated those held by frontline servicemen 100 years ago.

Military bands and about 100 marching veterans led a procession down the Royal Mile to a replica Commonwealth war graves cemetery in Holyrood Park.

Headstones represent 1,000 names listed at the Scottish National War Memorial.

The event was attended by politicians including First Minister Alex Salmond and Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, civic and religious leaders and military representatives.

The congregation followed the procession to Holyrood Park, where people were invited to leave poppies, wreaths or markers.

The altar of drums The altar of drums replicated services held by frontline servicemen 100 years ago

The service heralded the start of the Scottish commemorations programme.

Eight significant points in the conflict have been selected including the battles of Jutland and Gallipoli, as well as domestic incidents such as the Quintinshill rail disaster and the loss of HMY Iolaire.

The traditional service at the castle esplanade was conducted by senior chaplains from the Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.

First Minister Alex Salmond laid a wreath at a memorial in Holyrood Park, after the service First Minister Alex Salmond laid a wreath at a memorial in Holyrood Park, after the service

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend John Chalmers, said it was a chance for today's Scots to remember those who fell in the Great War and to ask what can be learned.

He said: "My prayer is that over the next few years, acts of commemoration will result in the more active pursuit of peace.

"It is not enough to remember the past, we must learn from it."

The Royal Marines band The procession down the Royal Maile was led by the Royal Marines band

First minister Alex Salmond, who laid a wreath at the temporary memorial at Holyrood Park, said: "Today's events were a fitting commemoration of the appalling loss of life in the conflict which began a century ago.

"Over the next five years we will ask the people of Scotland to join us in remembering a further seven events from the First World War that had a particularly significant impact on Scotland.

Brigadier David Allfrey, chief organiser of the event, said: "The multi-faith service on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle represents the moment before deployment; the procession down the Royal Mile will symbolise a 'March as to War' and the gathering in Holyrood Park, the approach to the front and assembly for military action.

"The memorial of over 1,000 headstones will provide a vital sense of scale and a focus for acts of individual and collective commemoration."

The Stone of Remembrance being saluted by the military The Stone of Remembrance was saluted by the military bands taking part in the procession

It is believed the service, procession and memorial was the first commemoration event of its scale to have ever been held in Scotland, with 5,000 people attending the service at the castle and thousands more watching the procession to Holyrood Park.

Tickets for the event were distributed to each of Scotland's 32 councils to ensure representation from across the whole country. The service was also broadcast on a large screen at the base of Arthur's Seat.

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    Jane, Stirling: Not enjoying the moralising going on around the "vouchers for stopping smoking" debate. To assume that women who continue to smoke don't care about their child is not only horrible, it's extremely naive. It ignores the inextricable and highly complex link between deprivation and poor life choices and health outcomes. Demonising individuals for huge socially patterned problems is morally wrong!!

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    Email: Vouchers for pregnant smokers - Your views

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    Community safety minister Paul Wheelhouse took part in the event at the Scottish Book Trust.

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    Duns Sheriff Court

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    Text 80295 Vouchers for pregnant smokers - Your views

    Lesley: My mum smoked all the way through three pregnancies, these babies all born healthy, now being almost 50, 48 and 47, with no serious health problems. Stop spending taxpayers' money, yet again, on predominantly non-taxpayers. Funny how so many of these people can smoke and drink alcohol but can't afford to eat - get your priorities right!!!

    Kate, Aberdeenshire: Surely alcohol and substance misuse has a far bigger impact on the developing foetus. An incentive to stop using legal highs etc would be money better spent. And yes I smoked during my first pregnancy (it was twins) and my children have not suffered any adverse effects from it.

    Wilma, Dundee: Smokers put in £12.5bn to the tax take each year so if some of this is going to try to help young women to stop then why not. Pity they could not do the same for pregnant women who drink and leave the baby with life-long problems.

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    Grant: Jim Hoy from Blairgowrie known as Shipper, hence Shipperhoy.

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    A taskforce which aims to support jobs across the energy sector will meet for the first time in Aberdeen.

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    The new Energy Jobs Taskforce, which was established by Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, will focus initially on the oil and gas industry.

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    Disappointment for Scotland's @GordonReid91 - knocked out of the Australian Open singles 6-2, 6-4 by his doubles partner here, Gustavo Fernandez, Arg.

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    The Scotch Whisky Association has backed research which shows our national drink is worth £5bn to the UK economy and urged Chancellor George Osborne to do more to help producers.

    Chief executive David Frost told BBC Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "I think the government took a great decision last year in abolishing the duty escalator and freezing duty on spirits and Scotch whisky.

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    Text 80295 Vouchers for pregnant smokers - Your views

    John Ross, Edinburgh: Research in other areas has shown that such financial incentives will only lead to an increase in smoking among pregnant women so that more women can claim reward for apparently stopping smoking later.

    Stephen Mather: Shame that some are more interested in health of their purse than health of their child.

    08:17: Vouchers for pregnant smokers

    One of the lead authors, Professor David Tappin, hopes the scheme will be rolled out across the UK.

    "It (the voucher) was £400 split into four points during pregnancy," he told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland. "The first point was if they engaged with the pregnancy cessation services, and set a quit date, they got £50.


    "Then, if they were quit four weeks later they got a second £50 voucher and if they had still quit after 12 weeks then they got a £100 voucher.

    "And, if they had quit towards the end of their pregnancy, they got a final £200 voucher.

    "When women are young, and the time they're having babies, if you stop them smoking at that point, their probably going to get the same life expectancy and health outcomes as a non-smoker.

    "This study has only been done in Glasgow and needs to be done in other places around the UK with different rates of smoking.

    "If that future study shows that it is cost effective, then I think National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) would recommend it."

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    snow on A82
    @bbcscotlandnews Vouchers for pregnant smokers - Your views

    Iain Dick tweets: I guess having a healthy full term baby isn't enough incentive!

    Louise Agnew: You would think their health and the health of their unborn baby would be incentive enough.

    Culag Park: Bonkers. Surely the incentive is to have a healthy baby? Why not give £400 vouchers to those who don't smoke as a thank you?

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    07:55: Monte Carlo Rally starts in Paisley

    Thousands of people are expected to gather in Paisley later for the UK start of the Monte Carlo Classic Rally.

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    About 70 classic cars - including Porsches, Mini Coopers and Linwood-built Hillman Imps - will set off from Paisley Abbey at about 18:45.

    They will join competing cars from the other start cities of Barcelona, Turin, Copenhagen and Reims on the 1,670-mile (2,688km) route to the French Riviera.

    The rally is expected to generate more than £1m for the Renfrewshire economy.

    Text 80295 Vouchers for pregnant smokers - Your views

    M: If a woman can't stop smoking for the health of her child then I don't think a financial incentive will do it. If that's what'll do it, then I think it's a sad state of affairs for their unborn child!

    07:42: What the papers say

    The Scottish Daily Mail claims an exclusive with a report that defence officials are secretly drawing up plans to move Britain's nuclear-armed submarines from Scotland to Wales.

    Scotland's newspapers

    The Scotsman leads with figures showing that almost half of all pupils taking Highers will sit the old exam rather than the new qualification.

    The Times focuses on the review of the spiralling costs of the new V&A project in Dundee.

    Read our full review of today's papers here.

    @BBCJamesCook Intelligence gathering... James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    What do Scotland's councils and GCHQ have in common? by @marceellison #BigBrother

    07:34: Councils' spying missions Marc Ellison Data journalist, BBC Scotland

    Scottish councils used covert surveillance on hundreds of occasions over the last three years, according to data obtained by BBC Scotland.


    Local authorities authorised 460 clandestine investigations into issues ranging from drugs and prostitution to dog fouling and underage sunbed use.

    The figures show an overall decline in the use of the powers.

    But campaigners said they were being used to investigate "less serious" crimes than originally planned.

    07:27: 'Shark attack' on killer whale

    A shark has been suspected of biting a chunk out of the tail fluke of a killer whale well-known to whale and dolphin watchers in Scotland.

    Tail of orca called John Coe
    Killer whale John Coe

    Nicknamed John Coe, the male orca can be identified by a notch on its dorsal fin.

    The injury to its tail was spotted during a survey by the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT).

    The trust said consultations with experts suggested that it was "almost certainly" caused by a shark.

    John Coe is one of a small community of orcas regularly seen off Scotland's west coast.

    Text 80295 Fracking - Your views

    Peter: You do know there was a vote at Westminster this week regarding fracking? And guess what? Scottish Labour MPs abstained and Jim Murphy couldn't be bothered to even turn up.

    Lynn, Forfar: I hope you will point out that Jim Murphy didn't even attend Westminster for the fracking vote while he was telling us up here that is against fracking.

    07:20: Whisky jobs galore

    Scotch whisky contributes almost £5bn to the UK economy and supports more than 40,000 jobs, according to research commissioned by the industry.

    scotch whisky

    The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) said the sector now accounted for 25% of total UK food and drink exports.

    Its report also suggests that the industry's direct economic impact had grown by 21% since 2008, to £3.3bn.

    It found it added more value to the economy than shipbuilding, iron and steel, textiles or computing.

    07:15: Call for fracking ban

    Labour has urged Scottish ministers to take further steps to thwart the prospect of fracking for shale gas in Scotland.


    Energy Minister Fergus Ewing will make a statement on the issue at Holyrood today.

    Labour says he should use the opportunity to place a series of obstacles in the path of unconventional gas extraction.

    However, the Tories are warning that banning fracking could jeopardise Scottish jobs.

    @bbcscotlandnews Vouchers for pregnant smokers - Your views

    Fiona Shields tweets: Shopping vouchers for pregnant women who give up smoking?? What about those of us who didn't smoke? Where's my £400?

    @BBCGaryR Coming up... Gary Robertson BBC Radio Scotland

    Scottish space industry doubles its turnover in three years & employs over 5000 people. @macdonke looks at its prospects #bbcgms 0720

    Good Morning Scotland

    Listen live to the programme here.

    Text 80295 Vouchers for pregnant smokers - Your views

    John, Edinburgh: Unfortunately, research in other areas has shown that such financial incentives will only lead to an increase in smoking among pregnant women so that more women can claim reward for apparently stopping smoking later.

    Anon: Paying pregnant women to stop smoking: outrageous, ridiculous and an embarrassing waste of taxpayers' money, seeing as there was still an 80% failure rate. Surely if smoking in public places is banned due to the harm it causes people, then smoking whilst pregnant should be banned due to the harm it causes the poor unborn children?!

    07:06: Vouchers 'help pregnant smokers quit'

    Offering shopping vouchers worth £400 to pregnant smokers makes them more likely to quit the habit, say researchers.

    pregnant smoker

    They have published the results of a trial involving 600 women from Glasgow in the British Medical Journal.

    More than 20% of the women offered vouchers stopped smoking, compared with 9% given normal NHS support alone.

    The Royal College of Midwives said incentivising healthy behaviours using money was "not ideal" - and expensive.

    @BBCScotWeather Wintry weather warning BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    Met Office issues yellow 'be aware' warning for snow showers across Scotland. Valid from 8am today & lasting all day Thurs.

    Snow warning
    07:01: Snow on the way...

    Yellow "be aware" warnings have been issued by the Met Office for frequent snow showers across Scotland.

    The warnings are in place across the entire country from 08:00 on Wednesday to 23:55 on Thursday.

    About 5-10cm (1-3in) is expected at lower levels with 10cm (5in) over higher ground.

    Weather map

    BBC Weather's Chris Blanchett said: "By [this] morning, there will be snow across the northwest Highlands.

    "During the day that snow level will come down, and we'll see snow showers across central and southern Scotland as well."

    07:00: Rise and shine Thomas McGuigan BBC Scotland News

    Good morning and a wintry welcome form the Scotland Live team. Any snow where you are yet?

    Stay with us until 19:00 as we bring you news, sport, travel and weather from across the country.



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