The most recent figures for GDP in Scotland showed a fall of 0.2% over the period of October to December at the same time as the UK economy grew by 0.7%.
Dumped Dog Beaten To Death
A dog has been found beaten to death in a "barbaric'' attack before being dumped in a canal.
The black and white male terrier's body was discovered by staff at the Falkirk Wheel on Monday and was pulled from the water to be taken for a post-mortem examination.
The Scottish SPCA said it is believed the dog's injuries, which include a fractured skull and broken ribs, were caused by being hit with a hammer or a forceful kick within the last week to 10 days.
The charity is reviewing CCTV footage in the area and has appealed for anyone with information to get in touch.
Inspector Leanne McPake said: "This dog had a severely fractured skull, multiple broken ribs and was badly bruised. A post-mortem concluded the dog died as a result of head trauma. Prior to this, he had his ribs broken with such force there was blood in his lung cavity.
"We believe the dog's injuries were inflicted with an instrument such as a hammer or a forceful kick. We know the dog was alive for several minutes after being struck, meaning his suffering was prolonged. His dead body was then callously dumped in the water.
"CCTV in the area is currently being reviewed. In the meantime we would appeal to anyone who knows of someone who owned a dog matching the description or has any other information to contact us.
"The dog was a small unneutered black and white male terrier type. He was wearing a very thin leather collar and it is thought he was a young adult. We believe this barbaric attack happened within the last seven to 10 days.
"We are very keen to find whoever is responsible for carrying out this horrifically cruel and brutal attack on a defenceless dog.''
The second meeting of a Ministerial Working Group to examine building and fire safety regulatory frameworks was held on Wednesday.
Research commissioned by the Trussell Trust showed that half of people using foodbanks said their incomes were "unsteady'' from week to week.
Frank's Law aims to end the situation where people under 65 who have conditions such as dementia, motor neurone disease, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and cancer have to pay for the care they need.
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