Record ticket sales as Edinburgh International Festival opens

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The Edinburgh International Festival was set to break ticket sales records when it opened on Friday.

More than 50 concerts starring some of the world's finest musicians will be staged at venues across the city.

They include the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by Oliver Knussen and starring pianist Kirill Gerstein, at the Usher Hall.

More than 13,000 tickets have been sold for the opening weekend of the festival which runs until Sunday 31 August.

It will conclude with the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert - the largest in the world - with more than 400,000 fireworks fired from Edinburgh Castle.

Festival director Jonathan Mills said "We have prepared for months to welcome the 2,400 artists coming from all corners of the globe to Edinburgh.

"It is terrific to see it all coming together, and to see first glimpses of world premieres which will thrill audiences from Edinburgh, Scotland and the world."

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  1.  
    14:26: Worth a gander

    The record for the number of pink-footed geese flocking to Montrose Basin has been smashed for the second time in a week.

    Volunteers counted a record 70,153 geese at the Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve last week.

    Pink-footed geese

    And a new survey as part of the Icelandic Breeding Goose Census has now recorded 78,970 birds at the site.

    Around 372,000 pink-footed geese spend the winter in the UK, thought to be about 90% of the world's population.

     
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    Text 80295 13:55: Carrier bag charges - Your Views

    G. Belfast: The plastic bag charge is no problem here. You get used to carrying bags with you. Also, it has made a massive reduction in the amount of litter lying around here in N Ireland. Well worth it.

    Brian Horsburgh, Peebles: When u buy an expensive branded product, the shop will charge for the bag (as they are obliged to do) but there is nothing to prevent them from then giving u a refund equivalent to the cost of the bag - simple!

     
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    13:48: Mohammad turns one Daily Record

    Tweets: Pakistan gas blast baby, who suffered 80 percent burns to his face, celebrates first birthday in Scotland.

    Read the full story here.

     
  4.  
    Text 80295 13:42: Carrier bag charges - Your Views

    Anon: 5p for plastic bags is nothing new, it has been this way in Wales for years. Everyone there has just learnt to take bags with them.

     
  5.  
    13:39: BT jobs for Aberdeen Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    Tweets: BT Openreach to recruit 500 more technicians, most based in London, Surrey and Aberdeen.

     
  6.  
    13:38: Making waves in the shinty world... BBC World News

    What's rarer than a sighting of the Loch Ness monster? An African shinty player!

    African shinty player
     
  7.  
    13:30: Tune in

    Tune into BBC One Scotland for the lunchtime edition of Reporting Scotland.

    Today's top lines include the World's End murders trial and the new 5p cost of carrier bags.

    Watch the programme live here.

     
  8.  
    13:29: Increase in child poverty

    The number of children in Scotland living in poverty has risen by 60,000 over the last year, according to a report.

    Child in Glasgow

    The social mobility and child poverty commission said Scotland had lost its position as the country with the lowest levels of child poverty in the UK.

    However, Scotland had a lower level of relative poverty after housing costs.

     
  9.  
    Text 80295 13:25: Carrier bag charges - Your Views

    Liz, Banff: Is it true the 5p inc vat? Does this stay in Scotland?

    Barry in Blantyre: Anyone over 60 can remember when there were no poly bags (or supermarkets). It was just common sense to take a shopping bag with you. Bags were introduced to publicise the shop, nothing more.

     
  10.  
    newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk 13:16: 'Dismal' Aberdeen - Your Views

    James, Glasgow: I've lived in Aberdeen for a couple of years and whilst I loved the work I was doing, the city itself is grim; boarded up shops and dilapidated buildings. I worked for the council and the bickering has delivered nothing, got them nowhere. Shameful, self-centred attitudes of the administration.

     
  11.  
    13:12: Teeing up success

    A new marketing drive has been launched to help Perthshire capitalise on hosting the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

    VisitScotland has chipped in £15,000 to a group of local golf businesses which hope to drive home Scotland's reputation as the "home of golf".

    Gleneagles Kings Course

    The investment is part of a year-long £31,000 marketing campaign, which aims to attract an extra 1,500 golfers.

    Tourism bosses estimate hosting the Ryder Cup was worth £40m in direct marketing benefit for Scotland.

     
  12.  
    13:05: Who voted 'No'? Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    Middle class obscured in a Scots myth. My blog on the quieter people who voted 'No' in the #indyref: icymi

     
  13.  
    Text 80295 12:58: Carrier bag charges - Your Views

    Al, Croftfoot: It is now becoming evident that the well-meaning 5p plastic bag legislation has been ill-thought through prior to its implementation.

    Giles from Selkirk: If we had educated and disciplined people on dropping litter over last 30 years then we wouldn't have this bag charge. What about all the cans, bottles etc that litter our roadsides?

     
  14.  
    12:44: Puppy farm horror Evening Express

    Tweets: SSPCA tells of dog neglect horror after three men admit running puppy farm.

    Read the full story here.

     
  15.  
    12:37: Hospital travel costs

    NHS Highland is "looking into the issue" of pensioners forced to pay a large proportion of their weekly state pension to travel to and from hospital appointments.

    A spokesperson said it recognised the that the situation is "not ideal".

    Old people on bus

    Pensioners in Kintyre must pay to go to an appointment in Glasgow or Oban if they have been assessed as not qualifying for NHS transport. They can reclaim the costs a month later.

    Argyll MP Alan Reid said it appeared some of the patients could be treated more locally, but if they have to travel they should not be left out of pocket for weeks while their travel claim is dealt with.

     
  16.  
    12:29: Scotland rugby squad

    Edinburgh lock Grant Gilchrist has been named captain in Scotland's 33-man squad for the autumn internationals against Argentina, New Zealand and Tonga.

    Edinburgh and Scotland lock Grant Gilchrist

    However, there is no place in the squad for former Scotland captains Kelly Brown and Al Kellock.

    The only uncapped player called up by Vern Cotter is Glasgow Warriors centre Mark Bennett.

     
  17.  
    12:24: World's End murders

    A 90-year-old retired forensic pathologist has given evidence in the trial of a man accused of murdering two teenage girls 37 years ago.

    Dr Robert Nagle was appearing as a witness in the trial of Angus Sinclair at the High Court in Livingston.

    Christine Eadie and Helen Scott

    Mr Sinclair denies raping and murdering Christine Eadie and Helen Scott, who were last seen at the World's End pub in Edinburgh on 15 October 1977.

    Dr Nagle said that someone had knelt on Ms Eadie and throttled her.

    He said the injuries on the murdered 17-year-old old were consistent with someone who had been repeatedly punched and subjected to blunt force injuries.

     
  18.  
    12:18: Jobs boost

    The number of people placed in permanent jobs in Scotland has increased for the 19th consecutive month, according to a report published by Bank of Scotland.

    Medical industry jobs on rise

    Nursing, medical and care sector, IT and computing and engineering industries showed the greatest increases in demand for staff.

    The report on jobs also showed that permanent starting salaries also continued to rise sharply, which experts say is because of a lack of available candidates for vacancies.

    Finance Secretary John Swinney welcomed the figures, saying they showed "further evidence of a strengthening labour market in Scotland".

     
  19.  
    12:12: Who is your hero? BBC Get Inspired

    tweets: Don't miss the #BBCUnsungHero nomination deadline. You have until 23:59 tonight.

    BBC Get Inspired

    Before submitting take a look at the terms and conditions to check that your unsung hero is eligible.

    Submit your nomination here.

     
  20.  
    12:07: Never Miss A Beat.. John Beattie BBC Scotland

    My colleague through the years :-)

    Jackei Bird

    You can listen to the John Beattie Show here.

     
  21.  
    12:00: BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    CalMac- bad weather on the way - check tomorrow's ferries. Possible disruption warning for Sound of Harris, Islay, Ullapool/Stornoway.

     
  22.  
    11:42: Weather update BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    A cloudy afternoon across much of the country with scattered showers, most of them across the West, while eastern Scotland stays drier and brighter with some spells of sunshine.

    It'll be cooler than in recent days, with temperatures reaching 14C in the best of the sunshine, and a brisk west or south-westerly breeze.

    Later this afternoon, winds will strengthen, reaching gale force through the Minches by this evening.

     
  23.  
    Text 80295 11:41: Carrier bag charge - Your Views

    Nikki, Edinburgh: In my honest opinion, all shops should stop supplying bags, forcing people to take their own. Six wee string bags would hold most people's shopping and would cost them virtually nothing.

    Rachel, Kirkcudbright: What about the vast amounts of plastic our groceries are packaged in. This 5p charge is putting the onus on the customer who has no say or control over this excess use of packaging! The manufactures' should be taxed on the waste their products they produce.

    Andrew, Aberdeen: If I'm paying 5p per bag then I'll want better quality bags.

     
  24.  
    11:36: Carrier bag charges John Beattie BBC Scotland

    5p charge for plastic bags comes into force today, anyone out there had to pay for one today?

     
  25.  
    11:34: OAP 'critical' after Edinburgh crash

    A 74-year-old woman is in a critical condition after being hit by a car at traffic lights in Edinburgh.

    Police said the Ford Fiesta struck the woman when the vehicle moved away from the lights at the junction of Charlotte Square and Rose Street at about 19:30 on Sunday.

    Officers were keen to speak to the driver of a green BMW which was also at the traffic lights.

    They appealed for witnesses to contact the police.

     
  26.  
    @TheScotsman 11:30: The Scotsman

    tweets: Average pension pots in Scotland will only give people a "comfortable" retirement income for 5 years, research finds.

    Read the full story here.

     
  27.  
    11:23: Retail therapy

    The number of people passing through shops in Scotland rose last month, with footfall up 2% compared to last September.

    Shopping bags

    Scotland recorded the highest footfall figures of any area of the UK, with out-of-town retail the standout performer.

    Shopper traffic through the high street also rose from previous months but shopping centres were quieter, seeing a slight dip.

    The Scottish Retail Consortium, who released the statistics, says this is because they're dominated by fashion retailers - who suffered from the unusually warm weather last month.

     
  28.  
    11:15: Wrestles in the net... BBC Sport

    You remember the one where Dundee celebrated a goal with a #WWE move? Here it is...

    Jim McAlister and Dundee goalscorer Gary Harkins
    Randy Orton tweet
     
  29.  
    11:03: Tug for broken down cargo ship

    A coastguard tug is attending an incident in the Pentland Firth, five miles north of Dounreay.

    Herakles

    The 95m-long cargo ship broke down after passing through the Firth last night, before drifting back eastwards.

    The ship raised the alarm shortly after 22:00 and the Shetland Coastguard tasked emergency tug 'Herakles' to attend the scene.

     
  30.  
    10:59: Delivering festive cheer

    Royal Mail is launching its Christmas recruitment drive - employing an additional 1,100 temporary staff in Scotland to work from November to early January.

    Christmas cards being sorted in Royal Mail office

    Its parcels business, Parcelforce Worldwide, is also recruiting 2,000 extra people across the UK.

     
  31.  
    10:55: Stormy waters BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    Cal Mac - Armadale to Mallaig - Due to the poor weather forecast, all sailings have been restricted for the day.

     
  32.  
    newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk 10:54: Carrier bag charge - Your Views

    Alan Cameron, Aberdeen: In response to Michael Laurier's comments that the plastic bag charge "denies people, for no real valid reason, their basic human rights"... I can think of a great deal of human rights denials in the world which are of far greater consequence than not getting one of Mr Laurier's Plastic Bags. These bags were almost unknown when I was child, and a 'message bag' just had potatoes, and veg tipped into it. No bags of any kind and that was in the 60's.

     
  33.  
    newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk 10:53: Is Aberdeen 'dismal' and 'tired'?

    Does Aberdeen deserve the accolade of "most dismal town"?

    David Motion emails: Yes, a city with so much money has no excuses to be so architecturally and culturally deprived. Never have I lived in a city that has so little to offer. Shameful!

     
  34.  
    10:47: Batten down the hatches The Scotsman

    Tweets: Gale force winds are set to cause travel disruption for much of Scotland over the next few days.

    Read the full story here.

     
  35.  
    10:34: Building profits

    The Scottish house builder CALA has announced record profits.

    Builder

    The company made a pre-tax profit of £27m in the year to the end of June - a rise of 117% on the previous year.

    This included what it called a "strong performance" from the English house builder Banner Homes, which it bought in March.

    House sales for the group reached a record level.

     
  36.  
    Text your views to 80295, email newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk, or tweet #ScotlandLive 10:23: Carrier bag charge -Your Views

    Carol, Largs: In Ireland, clothing etc is packed in recyclable paper bags. You're only charged for plastic bags in the supermarkets.

    Lorna, Stirling: I will be paying for a new bag when I buy clothing. This is taking it too far.

    Lee, Perth: I can't believe that people are moaning about a 5p bag! Seriously, if that all you've got to worry about in your life you can afford to pay for a 5p bag.

     
  37.  
    10:07: Textbook planning

    Accommodation for almost 200 students is to be created in Aberdeen to cope with demand.

    Planning permission has been granted for a 196-bed complex with parking for 20 cars and 70 bicycles on Powis Place, near Aberdeen University.

    Image if plan
     
  38.  
    10:00: Kaye Adams tribute to Lynda Bellingham

    BBC Radio Scotland presenter Kaye Adams has paid tribute to actress and presenter Lynda Bellingham, who has died at the age of 66.

    Lynda Bellingham

    Kaye, who worked with Lynda on ITV's "Loose Women", has described her late colleague, who was battling cancer, as "fun, energetic and dynamic".

    "She just made you feel good about yourself, and good about the world. She was a very optimistic, very positive with a wicked sense of humour."

     
  39.  
    Text 80295 09:54: Carrier bag charge - Your Views

    Glyn Evans, Beauly: 5p for a bag won't make much of a difference! Charge 20p a bag up to a maximum of £1 in any one visit. Put the profits into a welfare fund to help the most impoverished and vulnerable children in the country. Admittedly, this creates a slight dilemma between Eco and charity but if these bags were biodegradable and marketed as multi-purpose (refuse bags, small bin liners etc etc) this could make a real difference to the welfare of many people in this country. All it takes is a wee change of mindset. Or is that too socialist for today's capitalist society?

     
  40.  
    09:45: Smoke bombs at Almondvale Edinburgh Evening News

    Tweets: Boy had to be carried from Hibs game after smoke bombs let off.

    Read the full story here.

     
  41.  
    09:43: 'Tired' Aberdeen?

    After Aberdeen was nominated for a Carbuncle Award - which highlights poor architecture and planning - a senior councillor has admitted the city is looking "tired".

    Aberdeen

    The Granite City is in the running for the 'Plook in the Plinth' prize, with Urban Realm describing it as "the place where architecture goes to die".

    Fellow nominees for "most dismal town" include Cumbernauld and Lochgelly.

    Does Aberdeen deserve this dubious honour? Do you have a more apt choice to offer? Get in touch via text using 80295, email here or tweet using #ScotlandLive.

     
  42.  
    Text 80295 09:34: Carrier bag charge - Get Involved

    Elaine: M&S already charge 5p per bag and have been doing it for some time, it would seem, without much complaint. However, if I shop there I make sure I take my own bag which has now become a habit I don't even think about.

    Graham: It's all very well taxing carrier bags but what about the plastic bottles, fast food containers and cans? Just walk about our streets and look along our road network and see the mess. I'm Scottish but we are a dirty bunch. We need a general keep Scotland tidy campaign.

    H, Edinburgh: Yet another thing about the good auld days. Nae carrier bags when I wis wee. Jist get rid o them altogether. People will soon learn quick tae take a bag wi them.

     
  43.  
    newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk 09:29: Scottish Labour - Your Views

    James Martin, Glasgow: The problem with Labour is that we do not know what they stand for, but know they stand against ANYTHING that any SNP MSP says at Holyrood, or what any Tory says in Westminster. Yet, when Labour complain, they don't provide ideas to fix the problem and expect to be elected, by default, as simply "the other party". I really do think the Labour Party now embodies everything that is seen as wrong in politicians: self-serving, void of ideas and putting party before the people.

     
  44.  
    09:26: Travel update BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    tweets: CalMac weather warning overnight/tomorrow means Caledonian Isles will return to Brodick this evening to berth. Tomorrow 0700 ex Ardrossan.

     
  45.  
    09:18: Dementia care

    Speaking ahead of the conference on dementia in Glasgow today, health secretary Alex Neil said that Scotland is "leading the way" in care.

    Alex Neil

    However, he accepted that aspects of residence care rated "unsatisfactory" in the mental health commission report.

    "We are monitoring the implementation of these recommendations to make sure that those shortcomings are addressed quickly and comprehensively," said Mr Neil.

     
  46.  
    09:10: Once the referendum dust settles...

    On 19 September, hundreds of thousands of Scots woke up disappointed after the country voted to reject independence.

    Hope over Fear rally

    In the days before Scotland voted, political activity rocketed. In streets in the major cities, "Yes" and "No" campaigners gathered to rally their supporters and get their message across.

    How did it feel to be on the losing side? And where do they go from here?

     
  47.  
    09:01: Scottish Labour leadership Daily Record

    Tweets: Scottish Labour MP Jim Murphy rules out challenging Johann Lamont for the leadership.

    Read the full story here.

     
  48.  
    08:56: Dementia summit

    Scotland's largest dementia conference is taking place in Glasgow today.

    dementia conference

    The four-day event aims to find ways of overcoming the stigma attached to the condition, which affects almost 90,000 people in Scotland.

    Tonight, the Glasgow Declaration - a commitment to promoting the rights of people living with dementia across Europe - will be signed.

     
  49.  
    08:51: Alternative view: Bag charge is 'wrong'

    Not everyone is happy about the plastic bag charge.

    Michael Laurier, director of plastics manufacturer Symphony Environmental, says the new law is wrong.

    "It denies people, for no real valid reason, their basic human rights," he told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland.

    "It's taking away an everyday product, that people don't use just once. They've already paid for within their shopping bill and getting them to pay for it again.

    "It also forces them to buy more bin liners. When you refer to the Irish experience, the consumption of shopping bags dropped from 90-95% but the sale of bin liners went up 400%."

     
  50.  
    newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk 08:48: Carrier bag charge - Your Views

    Derek Reilly, Pontypridd: Frustrating charge - when you purchase clothes, no one has large bags. Beware: people will buy knives and not be willing to buy a bag so carry the knives around.

     
  51.  
    08:42: Football gossip

    West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is keeping tabs on Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk, reports the Scottish Sun.

    Celtic defender Virgil Van Dijk Are West Ham keen to 'hammer' out a deal with Celtic for defender Virgil van Dijk?

    This morning's back pages also mark Dave King's anticipated meeting in Glasgow this week with Rangers shareholder Mike Ashley.

    Read the rest of the sporting headlines in our newspaper round-up here.

     
  52.  
    08:37: Bag charge a 'major step forward'

    Calum Duncan, Scottish Programme Manager at the Marine Conservation Society, has welcomed the new 5p charge for single use carrier bags as a "major step forward".

    Plastic bags

    Speaking on Good Morning Scotland he said 750 million 'single use' carriers bags are used every year in Scotland.

    "That's the highest per person than anywhere else in the UK; and that's 150 per person, per year," Mr Duncan added.

    "They're used for only about 20 minutes but the average carrier bag can take over 1,000 years to break down and fragment."

    What do you think about the charge? Text 80295, email us here or tweet using #ScotlandLive.

     
  53.  
    08:30: Tune in... Louise White Presenter, Morning Call

    Scottish Labour has found itself in a state of flux following the referendum. There have been rumours of challenges to leader Johann Lamont and former First Ministers Jack McConnell and Henry McLeish have urged the party to rediscover its "sense of purpose".

    Morning Call

    On today's programme I'm asking: has Scottish Labour lost its way? Also, is charging 5p for a carrier bag a waste of time?

    Give us a call on 0500 92 95 00 or text 80295.

    You can listen live to the programme, from 08:50, here.

     
  54.  
    08:24: Today's papers

    The Scottish Daily Mail leads with suggestions that a collapse in support for Scottish Labour could cost it victory at next year's general election.

    Scotland's newspapers

    Meanwhile, The Scottish Sun features the results of an investigation by the paper into the commission paid to online comparison sites.

    Read the rest of our newspaper round-up here.

     
  55.  
    08:16: 'Oh... Vienna'

    Andy Murray came from a set down to beat David Ferrer 5-7 6-2 7-5 in the final of the Vienna Open.

    The victory means the Scot moves ahead of Ferrer in the race to qualify for the World Tour Finals.

    Murray, 27, broke his opponent three times in the final set before holding his nerve to serve out the match and win only his second title of the year.

    Andy Murray following his Vienna Open title

    "It was a good finish to the week," Murray told BBC Radio 5 live after a match that lasted two hours 42 minutes," said the Scot.

    "It was a very long match and both of us were in the locker room struggling, limping around and very stiff and sore so it was a nice one to get through."

     
  56.  
    08:12: Starting salaries

    Starting pay for new recruits has been rising strongly, data on Scotland's labour market shows.

    It found that the numbers available for work had been falling while employers took on more staff.

    The Bank of Scotland survey for September saw weaker growth than in the previous three months.

    The number of vacancies grew, but at the slowest pace for 11 months.

    Glasgow had the highest growth in pay for permanent new recruits, and Dundee had the fastest rise in pay for those on temporary contracts.

     
  57.  
    08:08: Travel update BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    Stop-start at times westbound #A720 Edinburgh City by-pass Gilmerton to Dreghorn - about 5 miles of queuing traffic.

     
  58.  
    Text 80295 08:04: Carrier bag charge - Your Views

    PB, Glasgow: 5p a bag? About time. Next we want £500 a mile for every private car poisoning the air that we breathe!

    Jimmy in Alloa: Come off it guys, a 5p charge on plastic bags means we'll be paying twice the cost. The bags are already costed into the price of the goods we purchase.

     
  59.  
    08:03: How's the weather looking? BBC Scotland Weather Latest

    Morning all, Gillian here. Scattered showers today, mainly in the West; drier & brighter in the East. Temperature between 12-15C. Winds strengthening later.

     
  60.  
    08:00: Carrier bag charge

    A mandatory carrier bag charge has been introduced in Scotland for the first time.

    Shoppers will now have to pay a minimum of 5p per bag, with net proceeds to be donated to good causes.

    Carrier bag

    In May, MSPs voted to bring in the new regulations in an effort to tackle Scotland's litter problem.

    In addition to plastic bags, the fee has also been imposed on single-use carriers made from eco-friendly materials.

    The minimum charge applies to all retailers, not just supermarkets.

    Wales became the first part of the UK to introduce a minimum charge for single-use carrier bags in 2011, followed by Northern Ireland last year.

     
  61.  
    07:59: Welcome Thomas McGuigan BBC Scotland News

    Good morning and a warm welcome from the Scotland Live team. We'll bring you a comprehensive round up of the latest news, sport, travel and weather between now and 18:00.

     

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