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Thursday, 2 March, 2000, 17:38 GMT
Former pupil sues teaching order
A Catholic teaching order is being sued for 50,000 by a former pupil of a Dumfries secondary school who claims he suffered years of sexual abuse.

Michael Gorrie, who was a boarder at St Joseph's College in the town in the 1970s, has lodged the claim against the Marist Brothers who operated the school.

He says he suffered years off abuse at the hands of a teacher and is suing the order, which he says failed in its responsibilities to look after his health, welfare and safety.

The order is defending the action on the grounds that the teacher's actions were contrary to school rules, were done covertly, and could not have been detected.

Climbers told to stay off the mountains

Climbers have been warned to stay off the mountains in the Scottish Highlands because of the threat of avalanches.

Experts say there is a "high risk" of snow, ice and rock slides on Thursday on popular climbing routes on Ben Nevis, Lochnagar, the Northern corries of Cairngorm and Glencoe.

Frequent snow showers have created dangerously unstable overhanging snow slabs and avalanches are expected to occur throughout the day.

Lifeboat man goes to Africa

The coxswain of the Broughty Ferry lifeboat is to help rescue flood victims in Mozambique.

Jim Hughan is one of eight crew being sent out by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Five of the team will are volunteer lifeboat personnel - the other three are from the RNLI's full time staff.

They are taking out seven D-class inflatable lifeboats. They are expecting to fly to Mozambique on Thursday morning from RAF Manston.

Flare danger alert

A safety alert has been issued after burning phosphorus flares were washed up on an Ayrshire beach.

Four 10-inch canisters were spotted by walkers on Troon beach shortly before 1400 GMT on Tuesday.

They were made safe and removed by bomb disposal officers from Faslane Naval Base, while council workers scoured the surrounding coastline.

Further searches are to be made on Wednesday for the flares, which are believed to be similar to the type dislodged in recent years following pipe-laying work near the Beaufort's Dyke munitions dump in the Firth of Clyde.

Police chase bus

A police patrol chased a stolen single decker bus for several miles along country roads after it was taken from a depot in Fraserburgh.

The driver was finally halted by officers near Turriff 45 minutes later.

An 18-year-old man is now in police custody after the incident early on Wednesday morning.

Tobacco legal battle go-ahead

An Ayrshire man's legal battle with a tobacco company has moved a step closer to completion, seven years after his death.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh has refused to grant a further delay in an action raised by Alfred McTear against Imperial Tobacco before his death from lung cancer in 1993.

The action alleges the company caused Mr McTear's death and revolves around the fact that Mr McTear started smoking before health warnings were printed on packets.

The case, now being pursued by Mr McTear's wife Margaret, will begin later this year.

Trawlermen compensation hope

Aberdeen Central MP Frank Doran says he is hopeful trawlermen made redundant following the Cod War with Iceland more than 25 years ago will get compensation.

He said he has been "very encouraged" following a letter from Trade and Industry secretary Stephen Byers.

Thousands of trawlermen from the north-east of Scotland and ports in England are fighting for compensation after they lost their jobs in a row over Iceland's fishing limits.

The DTI has confirmed a compensation scheme is under active consideration but could give no indication of when a decision would be made.

Helicopter mayday call

A full emergency was declared at Aberdeen Airport after a North Sea helicopter with 14 people on board issued a mayday call.

The Bristow Sikorsky S-61 had just taken off from a drilling rig 100 miles north-east of Aberdeen when an engine fire warning light activated in the cockpit.

The crew shut down one engine as a precaution and alerted the emergency services.

Lifeboats from Aberdeen and Peterhead were called out but the aircraft landed safely at Aberdeen airport at midday.

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