9am Briefing: Police 'told that Pilley's ex spotted near woods' on day she vanished

POLICE investigating the disappearance of Suzanne Pilley have reportedly been told her ex-lover was spotted sleeping in his car in woods near a remote Argyll loch the day after she vanished.

It was reported today officers were told a Forestry Commission worker in the area saw David Gilroy asleep in his car.

Detectives are now understood to be speaking to local boat owners to find out if they noticed any suspicious movement on the loch, or reported any unauthorised use of their boats, around the time of 5 May - the day after Miss Pilley disappeared.

Connery opens film festival

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SIR Sean Connery and Britt Ekland added a touch of James Bond to the opening gala of the 64th Edinburgh International Film Festival.

The former 007, who turns 80 in August and is celebrating his birthday early as part of the festival, joked with fans and signed autographs as he walked the red carpet at the screening of acclaimed French animator Sylvain Chomet's The Illusionist last night.

McAveety quits

LABOUR MSP Frank McAveety has quit as convener of the Scottish Parliament's petitions committee after it emerged the female member of the public he had been eyeing up was a schoolgirl on work experience.

A microphone picked up Mr McAveety telling an official: "There's a very attractive girl in the second row: dark and dusky."

It later emerged the girl in question was on work experience with the Green MSPs. A source today confirmed she was "15 or 16".

Pigs to be created with incurable diseases

SCIENTISTS in Edinburgh are working to create pigs genetically engineered to suffer from incurable diseases, to help drug companies test new treatments.

A team of researchers at the world-famous Roslin Institute is trying to produce pigs with the lethal lung condition cystic fibrosis and an eye disease that leads to blindness in humans, it was reported today.

If successful, the animals will then be passed to drug companies who will use them to test new forms of gene therapy.

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The research has sparked outrage from animal rights organisations.

Call to save hospitals 6m a year

HOSPITALS could save 6 million a year if they used locum doctors more efficiently, a public spending watchdog said today.

In 2008-09 health boards spent around 47 million on locum doctors, who cover other medics who are off sick or on holiday, or when posts are vacant.

The total is around double the amount spent in real terms in 1996-97.

Audit Scotland said money can be saved if those boards with the highest bills for locums reduced their costs to the national average.