9am Briefing: Police probe death after body found in street

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POLICE are investigating the death of a man after his body was found on a street in the Capital.

The 67-year-old was discovered in Gillespie Crescent, Bruntsfield, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

It is understood he was a resident at Gillespie Lodge, a sheltered housing complex.

The man has not yet been named by police who are treating the death as unexplained.

A Lothian and Borders police spokesman said: “Police are investigating after the body of a 67-year-old man was found in the street in Gillespie Crescent in Edinburgh in the early hours of the morning.”

* THE SNP today dismissed moves by the UK Government to lay down how and when a referendum on independence should be held.

Prime Minister David Cameron is said to be planning legislation to make a referendum legally binding, but also insisting on a single Yes or No question and a date within 18 months.

But First Minister Alex Salmond said: “The Scottish Government achieved an overwhelming mandate from the people of Scotland to hold the referendum in the second half of this parliamentary term, and that is exactly what we will do.

“Instead of sabre-rattling on the referendum, the UK Government should be amending and improving the Scotland Bill.”

* VISITOR numbers at Edinburgh Zoo have quadrupled since the arrival of the giant pandas.

Iain Valentine, spokesman for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said a maximum of 10,000 people would normally be expected in December but this year, there had been four times that amount.

* A LOTHIANS father-of-six who is facing extradition to the United States for allegedly exporting chemicals to make drugs has gone on hunger strike as he continues to fight for freedom.

Brian Howes, 47, from Bo’ness, is currently on remand in Addiewell Prison until his appeal is heard by the Supreme Court.

In August, Howes and his wife, Kerry Anne, won the right to take their case to the UK’s highest court in London in the latest round of their legal battle.

Mr Howes said: “It’s my last and final stand against extradition that comes up next month.

“This is really my last chance to do something about it.”

* DRINKERS should give themselves two alcohol-free days a week, a committee of MPs said today.

The Commons’ Science and Technology Committee believed abstaining from alcohol at least twice a week would help people’s health.

Revealing the findings of their inquiry, the MPs also demanded a review of sensible drinking guidelines amid fears they are unclear, and called on ministers to “exercise proper scrutiny and oversight” over how health messages collided with the industry’s “business objectives”.