The number of looked after children in Scotland has declined for the fourth year in a row.
Queen's Baton Continues Journey
More than 100 people will carry the Queen's Baton through Midlothian today as part of its journey across Scotland, with just weeks to go until the Commonwealth Games gets under way.
Actor Brian Cox will join charity workers, youth group leaders and various other local volunteers to carry the baton throughout the day.
It will travel down a ski slope, receive a guard of honour at Rosslyn Chapel and have its arrival marked by a piper during its tour of the area.
It returned to Scotland on Saturday after a 248-day journey around the Commonwealth visiting 69 nations in the build-up to Glasgow 2014.
The first baton bearer will ski down the slope at the Snowsports Centre at Hillend followed by skiers with flares before handing the baton over half-way down the route.
It will be carried to Rosslyn Chapel by Brian Cox, while schoolchildren will perform a guard of honour to welcome the baton at the gate of its grounds. The medieval building shot to fame after it featured in the Da Vinci Code film.
It will then travel through Penicuik, Rosewell, Bonnyrigg, Newtongrange and Gorebridge.
Other baton bearers include volunteer Burns Scott, 85, Jennifer Henderson, a young sport ambassador with Scottish and British swimming titles, Steven Waterston, a former soldier who volunteers and completes marathons although he has a neurological condition, and badminton player Colin Leslie.
Pupils playing the different Commonwealth sports will welcome it at Newbattle High School before it continues to Newbattle Abbey College where a piper will mark its arrival.
At Dalkeith Country Park a dance trail will travel through the park and an outdoor ceilidh will bring the celebrations of the Midlothian leg of the baton's journey to a close.
The baton was passed across the border on Saturday by triple Commonwealth gold medallist Daley Thompson who handed it over to Team Scotland athlete Eilidh Child in the town of Coldstream in the Borders.
It made its way to Edinburgh for a day of events culminating in a concert in Princes Street Garbens before visiting West Lothian yesterday.
It will visit more than 400 Scottish communities and be carried by more than 4,000 batonbearers, who are being recognised for their inspiration, hard work and impact on the lives of others during its journey around Scotland.
The baton was sent on its way by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on October 9 last year.
Its final destination will be the opening ceremony in Glasgow on July 23 where the Queen will read the special message contained inside the baton.
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: "It is now time to welcome the baton home and raise the levels of excitement in Scotland to fever pitch for what will be a truly spectacular year.''
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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