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  1. Updates on Thursday 26 May 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

Updates for the North East have now finished here for the day - thank you for joining us. 

We'll be back from 08:00 on Friday with more news, sport, weather and travel updates and hope you can join us then.

If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet usemail us, or contact us via our Facebook page.   

Weather: Remaining cloudy and damp overnight

BBC Weather

Remaining rather cloudy and damp into the evening and overnight, with light onshore winds continuing to bring in mist, low cloud and hill fog in from the North Sea.  

Weather graphic

Check the weather where you are.

Tonight's Look North: Investigation in Yearby remains

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

Tune in to Look North tonight at 18:30 for more on the investigation into the remains found in farmland in Yearby, near Redcar.

Football: Boro to sign Ajax winger Fischer

BBC Sport

Viktor Fischer
Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Middlesbrough are starting their preparations for their return to the Premier League as they will sign winger Viktor Fischer from Ajax at the start of the international transfer window, BBC Tees reports.

Denmark international Fischer, 21, has been with the Amsterdam club since 2011, scoring scored 24 goals in 79 league games, and visited Boro for a medical and agreed terms.

"It's the greatest league in the world and I feel really ready," Fischer told Danish TV station TV2.

Two men jailed after stealing 27p at knife-point in Newcastle

Two men have been jailed after they stole 27p from two homeless men and "slashed" one with a knife.

It happened last year in the city centre.

Twenty-year-old Thomas Paul Keenan and 22-year-old Steven Smith, both of no fixed abode, threatened two homeless men who were sleeping in a car park in Lisle Street.

They were armed with knives and slashed one of the two men before stealing 27p from them.

Steven Smith and Thomas Keenan
Northumbria Police

Both of the men were charged with two counts of robbery and threatening a person with a bladed article.

They appeared at Newcastle Crown Court this month, where Keenan was jailed for 20 months and Smith 17 months.

Everything visitors to England v Australia game at Stadium of Light need to know

Sunderland Echo


It's nearly the Euros, and England are warming up ahead of the tournament.

Glorious defeat in the semis? Washed out in the group stages? Who knows.

And if you're going to see them play Australia at the Stadium of Light tomorrow, you might want to plan your journey in advance, the Northern Echo is warning.

Stadium of Light
Sunderland Echo

Family pay tribute to Ebchester crash death victim

A man who died following a collision on Ebchester Bank has been described as a "much loved son" in a tribute from his parents.

Alastair Gill
Durham Constabulary

Alastair Gill, 33, from Consett, was airlifted to the RVI in Newcastle after driving into a stone wall near to The Derwent Walk. 

He remained in a critical condition until he passed away on Tuesday.

He leaves two children, a girl aged five and an 11-year-old boy.

His parents paid tribute to him, saying: "He was a much loved son and will be sadly missed. We wish to thank everyone for their support and ask to be left alone so we can grieve in peace."

Travel: Slow traffic on A68 due to accident

BBC Travel

There's slow traffic on the A68 Woodland Road in Darlington near the Pierremont Crescent junction, because of an accident.

Three men arrested for fraud after concerns about cheap TVs

Three men have been arrested for fraud after concerns were raised about men selling cheap TVs in Pallion Retail Park in Sunderland.

A short time later a further report was received from a man saying he'd been sold a broken TV.

Three men aged 33, 26 and 20 were arrested and are currently in police custody.

Rodents named after Ant and Dec 'went bald from grooming each other too much'

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

Two pet Degus named after Geordie duo Ant and Dec have been treated by PDSA vets after some "over-enthusiastic grooming" turned them bald.

Their owner said she was worried the rodents had "become so close it was harming their health".

Ant and Dec the pet Degus

PDSA vet Duncan Senior said Ant and Dec were prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs and their fur has grown back.

Meanwhile, the real Ant and Dec responded on Twitter, saying they groom each other "just enough".

View more on twitter

Seaburn lighthouse revamp to 'take it off at risk register'

The refurbishment of a 19th Century lighthouse will see it taken off English Heritage's "at risk" register, a senior councillor has said.


Seaburn's Grade II* white lighthouse will be repaired as part of Sunderland City Council's seafront regeneration.

It has been considered "at risk" since structural issues were identified in December 2014.

Council cabinet secretary Mel Speding said it had a "very special place in people's hearts" and that it was one of the most recognisable landmarks in the city.

Football: Boro keen on departing Ramirez

BBC Sport

Southampton have confirmed the departure of £12m midfielder Gaston Ramirez with Middlesbrough understood to be keen on signing the 25-year-old permanently after a loan spell at the Riverside last season. 

The Uruguay international was a club-record signing for Saints in 2012 but started just 28 matches in four years at St Mary's.

Ramirez was frozen out by current boss Ronald Koeman and spent last term on loan with Hull before ending the current season at Middlesbrough.

MPs launch EU campaign in Newcastle

Richard Moss

Political Editor, BBC Look North

Labour MPs Hilary Benn and Cat McKinnel have made a trip to the Angel of the North alongside a team of activists to speak to EU voters.

Hilary Benn and Cat McKinnel

And UKIP's Nigel Farage is speaking to voters on Northumberland street, after addressing them from the top deck of his bus.

Nigel Farage

Liam Fee murder trial: Mother admits neglect but not murder

The mother of Liam Fee neglected him but there was no evidence she assaulted or killed him, a jury been told.

Liam's mother Rachel and her partner Nyomi Fee

In his closing speech, Rachel Fee's lawyer, Brian McConnachie said there was evidence another boy killed Liam.

He said the jury must put aside any preconceptions and prejudices they might have and look dispassionately at the evidence in this harrowing case.

Rachel and Nyomi Fee, both originally from Ryton, deny murdering Liam near Glenrothes in March 2014 and blame his death on another child.

Ant and Dec share their support for 'Rafa the gaffa'

Missing 13-year-old boy last seen in Middlesbrough four days ago

A 13-year-old boy has been missing for four days.

Corey Mosley was last seen on Saturday afternoon in the Epworth Green area of Middlesbrough.

He was last seen wearing a grey North Face jacket.

Corey Mosely
Cleveland Police

Watch: Police investigate Yearby remains

The remains of a body were found on farmland in Yearby, near Redcar, on Wednesday afternoon.

Cleveland Police and forensic officers are still in the area, which has been cordoned off.

The family of Paul Kerrison, who has been missing since October 2014, have been informed. Police said at the time he had epilepsy and required regular medication.

Mr Kerrison was last seen near his home in the New Marske area after becoming separated from a friend.

BBC Tees reporter Louise Hobson is there now...

View more on twitter

Rafa Benitez drops in on Disabled Supporters Association party

After agreeing to stay at Newcastle United, boss Rafa Benitez dropped in on the the club's Disabled Supporters Association party.

They're an independent group for disabled fans their family and friends.

View more on twitter

Warning to school children drinking alcohol in Consett

Consett Police have issued a warning to those buying alcohol for underage children, saying they could be landed with a £90 fine.

They will be carrying out patrols in the area, after getting information about school pupils meeting up to drink.

This is a picture of the amount of alcohol they seized two weeks ago:

Seized alcohol
Consett Police

Poppy the Westie in her Chewbacca mask

You've seen that video, right? The one of the woman who buys the Chewbacca Star Wars mask then melts down into hysterics when she tries it out.

Well, BBC Tees have been talking about spoiling pets this morning and found out that dog owners use "guilt treats" such as steak and salmon - in a bid to make up for leaving them at home alone.

There is a link, honest.

Rachael from Teesside spoiled her Westie Poppy by giving her a Chewbacca mask... no hysterics, obviously.

View more on twitter

Benitez is 'idolised' at Newcastle United

Rafa Benitez fans
Getty Images

Mark Lawrenson and 5 live's senior football reporter Ian Dennis joined Will Perry discuss the news that Rafael Benitez has agreed to stay at St. James' Park.

5 Live also heard from Eric Dier ahead of England's next Euro 2016 warm-up fixture.

You can catch up here.

Remains of a body found in Yearby farmland

The remains of a body have been found in farmland in the Yearby area yesterday, police say. 

Police and forensic officers are still in the area, which has been cordoned off while investigations are carried out.

The family of Paul Kerrison, who has been missing since October 2014, have been informed and will be kept updated. 

SLS2: Will Magic Weekend return to Newcastle next season?

BBC Sport

Tanya Arnold is joined by Hull KR head of rugby Jamie Peacock to talk about the best of the action from Magic Weekend 2016 in Newcastle.

And what of the future of the event? Super League interim manager Mark Foster discusses what plans are in place for 2017 and whether Magic Weekend could return to the north east of England next year.

SLS2: Magic Weekend 2016 round-up

Weather: Dull, misty, outbreaks of rain

Largely dull with mist, fog on hills, and outbreaks of rain or drizzle.

But tending to become mainly dry later.

Feeling cool in light easterly winds.  

Check the weather where you are.

Chelsea Ladies 2-1 Sunderland Ladies

BBC Sport

Chelsea moved to within four points of Women's Super League One leaders Manchester City with a comeback win over struggling Sunderland.

Sunderland Ladies
The FA/Getty Images

Tata Steel: Government warned over pension cut plan

The government has been warned that a plan to cut pension benefits to help save Tata Steel's UK operations, including ones on Teesside, could take ministers down a 'dangerous path'.

Save Our Steel protest

Ex-pensions minister Steve Webb urged caution over "rushed changes" that he said could have implications for workers "well beyond the steel industry".

A £485m pension deficit has been deterring potential buyers of Tata.

Ministers are considering changing the measure used for British Steel pension increases to cut its liabilities.

Travel: Accident on A179

BBC Travel

The A179 in Hart is partially blocked and there's queuing traffic westbound between the Bamburgh Road junction and the Worset Lane junction, because of an accident. 

Keep up to date with the latest travel news for Tyne and Wear and Tees.

Rafael Benitez stays as Newcastle United manager

Rafael Benitez is staying as Newcastle United manager after signing a new three-year contract following their relegation from the Premier League.

Rafa Benitez

The 56-year-old Spaniard was appointed in March to replace Steve McClaren but failed to keep the Magpies in the top flight.

He had a break clause in his contract if Newcastle were relegated and was widely expected to leave the club.

"The love I could feel from the fans was a big influence for me," he said.

Morning, welcome to our live coverage

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

We'll be here until 18:00 with all your news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East.

If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet usemail us, or contact us via our Facebook page