The number of looked after children in Scotland has declined for the fourth year in a row.
Big Plans For Burns Night
Scotland is preparing to celebrate Burns Night with a programme of events honouring the Bard from Dumfries to Inverness.
Traditional Burns suppers will be held up and down the country on January 25, but dancing, piping and storytelling are also planned around the anniversary.
Six events will take place as part of Scotland's Winter Festivals, which runs every year from St Andrew's Day on November 30 to Burns Night.
Rabbie Burns's Ayrshire birthplace Alloway will host the Burns Big Street Party, while Edinburgh celebrates with Burns Unplugged at the National Museum of Scotland, an event combining contemporary and traditional music and the spoken word.
The Big Burns Supper Festival will take place in Dumfries from January 22, and Inverness will host ceilidhs, a pipe band procession and workshops as part of the Big Burns Stramash.
Social media users are being asked to share selfies via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with a Burns-related item such as a statue, painting, book of poems or plate of haggis, neeps and tatties.
The images will be combined to create a huge mosaic picture of Burns and will be shared at www.scotland.org/burns.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: ``Robert Burns's words are recognised around the world and his poetry, writing and songs continue to be enjoyed by millions.
``Burns Night is a great opportunity to celebrate Scotland's Bard and to enjoy Scotland's poetry, music and wider culture.''
The integration of transport policing into the national force will not put at risk counter-terrorism in Scotland, the Justice Secretary has said.
Waiting times for cancer patients have been described as "unacceptable'' by charities after new figures revealed key targets have been missed again.
MSPs are expected to back Nicola Sturgeon's call for a second independence referendum in a vote at Holyrood today.
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