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Summary

  1. Updates on Friday 27 May 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Julie Cush

BBC Newcastle

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

And that's us for the bank holiday - We'll be back from 08:00 on Tuesday with more news, sport, weather and travel updates and hope you can join us then.

In the meantime there will be updates online, on BBC Newcastle and BBC Tees and Look North tonight and over the weekend.

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

Newcastle United cut season ticket prices after relegation

Newcastle United have cut season tickets by 10% after they were relegated to the Championship following their miserable season.

The club announced in February that it had reduced all junior season ticket prices for next season by up to 54%, as well as freezing adult season ticket prices. 

Now a new 10% discount has been applied to the prices sent to fans in February and supporters will receive refunds or reductions in their monthly payments. 

MD Lee Charnley said: "With our future under Rafa now secured, we're delighted to announce price reductions across the board for all supporters."

Lee Charnley, left, became managing director of Newcastle in April 2014
Getty Images

Travel: Heavier than usual traffic on A688 in Bishop Auckland

BBC Travel

Very slow traffic and heavier than usual traffic on A688 westbound in Bishop Auckland between the A689 junction and the A6072 South Church Road junction. 

Congestion to the Durham Road junction.  

Very slow traffic and heavier than usual traffic on A1 northbound between Morpeth South Turn Off in Clifton and Morpeth North Turn Off in Morpeth. In the roadworks area.  

Get the latest travel news for Tyne and Wear and Teesside.

Should takeaways display food hygiene ratings?

Jonathan Swingler

Puffin island goes under Springwatch spotlight

The Farne Islands are set to be beamed into the living rooms of millions of viewers as the BBC’s Springwatch returns on Monday, 

Daily updates will be broadcast on BBC2, as presenters Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan showcase the wildlife action.

Alongside them, reporter Iolo Williams has made the Farne Islands his home for the three weeks. 

He’ll be bringing viewers the best spectacles of the season, including the breeding puffin population and the Atlantic grey seal colony.

Farne Islands
Joe Cornish

Home to over 85,000 breeding pairs of seabirds, the Farne Islands are looked after by the National Trust and, in particular a hardy team of rangers, who spend up to 10 months of the year living on the islands.    

Puffin
Joe Cornish

Army tanks arrives ahead of popular airshow

Stuart Whincup

BBC Look North

Gateshead to play host to League One side Fleetwood

Matthew Raisbeck

BBC Newcastle Sport

Gateshead will host League One side Fleetwood Town in a friendly at 19:30 on Wednesday 27 July.

Help needed to identify damaging graffiti tags

Vandals have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage across Gateshead. 

Graffiti has recently appeared in a number of locations including the town centre, Bensham and the Shipcote area. The damage will cost the local authority thousands of pounds to repair and police are appealing for help to identify the tags. 

Graffiti in Gateshead
Northumbria Police

Fresh appeal to help find missing Hartlepool man

'Judge' toddler murder accused case with 'dispassion'

The jury in the case of a mother and her civil partner accused of murdering a two-year-old boy have been told to be "dispassionate" when deciding their verdict. 

The judge, Lord Burns, went through the options available to members in terms of the charges against Rachel and Nyomi Fee who are accused of killing Rachel's son Liam.

He told them to consider the evidence "dispassionately and without speculation". 

Liam Fee
Police

Birthday greetings to Gazza from NUFC

Former Newcastle and Middlesbrough midfielder Paul Gascoigne is 49 today.

View more on twitter

Liam Fee murder trial: Jury retires to consider verdict

The jury in the Liam Fee murder trial has retired to consider its verdict.

Rachel, 31, and Nyomi Fee, 29, deny murdering the two-year-old in a house near Glenrothes on 22 March 2014 and blaming his death on another child.

The women, who are both originally from Ryton, Gateshead, deny all the charges against them.

The trial has been running for more than six weeks at the High Court in Livingston.

Defendants in Fee case
BBC

Durham gala friends appeal for support

Drone 200ft above aircraft 'posed no collision risk'

A suspected drone flying illegally 200ft above an aircraft was not close enough to cause a crash, a report has concluded. 

The pilot, who was approaching Newcastle Airport on April 16, reported spotting a black and red disc-shaped object the size of a gull moving above, but ruled out birds or a balloon.

Radar footage was examined, but the object - which appeared to be moving with the wind away from the shore near Seaton Sluice - was never found, the UK Airprox Board (UKAB) said.

Plane
Getty Images

Middlesbrough burglary death: Three arrested on suspicion of murder

Three men have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a man collapsed while reporting a burglary at a police station and later died.

Laurence French, 50, became seriously ill and collapsed at Middlesbrough police station at 21:30 on Wednesday. He died later in hospital.

Police believe Mr French may have been burgled at his home in Alwent Road before attending the station.

Alwent Road
Google

The three men, aged 39, 40 and 42, remain in police custody.

They have also been arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary.

A fourth man, aged 66, has been arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods.

Mr French is believed to have been a vulnerable individual and may have been targeted because of it, Cleveland Police said.

T20 Blast matches today

BBC Sport

There's a number of T20 Blast matches going on across the country later today - here's our live coverage:

Lancashire v Durham – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/cricket/36364301

Yorkshire v Leicestershire – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/cricket/36364304

Fans 50,000-voice euphoria challenges sound expert

More used to recording the dawn chorus, award-winning sound recordist Chris Watson confesses that one of the sounds he found hardest to capture in recent weeks was a human chorus at St James' Park on the Town Moor.  

He said he found it more difficult to record sounds in the deserts of Nambia compared to recording Newcastle United scoring a goal. 

"I love the contrast of the quiet ambient sound of the moor and then that massive assembley of 50,000 at St James' - the gathering of voices and the rare sound of the ball hitting the back of the net", he explained. 

The recording is part of a project with BBC Newcastle and local photographers documenting the sounds of the Town Moor over a year. 

St James'
Kaleel Zibe

Flood clean-up bill reaches £3m six months on

More than £3m has been spent so far on repairs in the Tyne Valley which are still continuing six months after devastating floods. 

Repairs include work in Haydon Bridge to stabilise the flood wall at Brigwood, strengthening the flood wall and stopping leakage through it at Temple Houses, the Environment Agency said. 

Ongoing work includes repairs at a scour in the river bank near the old A69 road bridge to protect the flood wall. 

Work already done includes repairs in Corbridge, where 20 tonnes of clay was used to restore the flood bank at Station Road.

Gossip Column: Wijnaldum considering his Newcastle future?

BBC Sport

A couple of snippets from today's Gossip Column:

Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes will be fulfilling a lifelong dream by making his debut in the Premier League next season, but his first task will be to find his picture and stick it in the Panini sticker book. (Gazette Live)

Georginio Wijnaldum's agent admits the Dutchman is considering his Newcastle future and could leave the club this summer. The 25-year-old has been linked with a £12m move to Roma. (The Chronicle)

Karanka set to face old boss Mourinho in the Premier League

Lloyd Watson

BBC News Online

Jose Mourinho's appointment at Manchester Utd means Middlesbrough's season has just become a little bit more exciting.

Boro boss Aitor Karanka was his assistant at Real Madrid before taking over at The Riverside.

Can the apprentice dethrone the master next year?

Jose v Karanka graphic
BBC

Ashley yet to comment on chopper Sports Direct refusal

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has yet to comment on a Westminster committee's refusal to allow him to helicopter them to his Sports Direct HQ.

Ashley was asked to attend a meeting with MPs on the back of a BBC investigation into working practices at Sports Direct's warehouse, based in Shirebrook.

A spokesman for Sports Direct said: "We are disappointed that members of the committee have chosen not to visit Shirebrook in order to see working conditions with their own eyes, as we continue to believe that this is obviously the best way forward.

"The committee are well aware that Mike Ashley's proposal to attend Westminster on 7 June was made on the understanding that MPs would visit Shirebrook on any day in advance of 6 June.

"The committee are clearly being unfair, Mike will therefore now seek legal advice with regard to his position in relation to 7 June."

Steven Fletcher rapped for missing post about wife's speeding

Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher has been told off by the courts for not managing his mail properly. 

The player was fined for failing to disclose his wife was driving his car when it was caught speeding on the A66 at Appleby. 

Steven Fletcher
Getty Images

He claimed he missed notices of prosecution because he was away from his Billingham home for three months. 

Carlisle magistrates told the 29-year-old, who is on loan at Marseille, he needed to organise his post better. 

The footballer was fined £1,000 and given six penalty points. He was also ordered to pay £620 costs and a £100 surcharge. 

The court heard he was sent several letters requesting information on who was driving the car and given notice of an intended prosecution. 

He had denied failing to disclose the information but magistrates found him guilty after a two-hour trial concluded he should have had a more effective system for dealing with post in his absence. 

Fletcher signed for Sunderland from Wolverhampton Wanderers for £12m in 2012 and went on to score 23 goals in 94 games for the Black Cats. He joined Marseille on loan in January and has scored two goals in 12 games.  

Extra patrols to catch sneak intruders

Extra patrols will be out in force in Gateshead after four intruders were disturbed sneaking into homes in Gateshead. 

Northumbria Police said four intruders targeted homes in Grisedale Gardens and Appleby Gardens areas in Low Fell over the last few days. 

They were all disturbed and fled empty-handed, police said. 

Officers are urging residents to lock their doors to deter would-be burglars. 

Northumbria Police
BBC

'Together for England' - Stadium of Light ready for Australia

Sunderland's Stadium of Light is getting ready for the England v Australia clash tonight:

View more on twitter

MP calls Mike Ashley's actions 'highly unusual'

The MP for Hartlepool has rejected Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley's conditional offer to appear before them on 7 June.

Mr Ashley, who owns Sports Direct, had said he would only visit Westminster to answer questions about his firm's working practices if the MPs visit the retail chain's offices in Derbyshire the day before. 

Sports Direct HQ
BBC

Iain Wright MP, chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee said: "Business leaders regularly give evidence to select committees in Westminster without imposing conditions.

"This is part and parcel of living and operating a business in a parliamentary democracy. It is highly unusual for select committees to have to resort to issuing a summons."

The businessman has refused to attend the meetings in the past and at one stage said the MPs involved were "a joke".  

Court system 'close to breaking' over delays

Victims and witnesses are being failed by a criminal justice system "close to breaking point", a report by an influential committee of MPs has revealed.

The Public Accounts Committee said the system was "bedevilled by long-standing poor performance including delays and inefficiencies" while cutbacks were affecting courts' ability to deliver justice. 

Around two-thirds of trials in the Crown Court were delayed or did not go ahead at all, the committee said.

The research found that defendants waiting to appear at Durham Crown Court could wait more than 240 days.

However, the situation is worse down South - in Sussex trials can take more than 400 days to get to court.  

Durham Crown Court
BBC

Weather: Cloudy and misty start brightening up later

Owain Wyn Evans

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

It's another fairly cloudy day across the North East, however there is hope that it will clear and the day will become brighter.

There will be a bit of mist around the coast, which will linger, but eventually fade away. 

On the whole the day will get brighter. 

Owain
BBC

Check the forecast near you.

Travel: Car fire in Newburn causing delays

BBC Travel

The A6085 High Street in Newburn in County Durham is blocked and there's queuing traffic at the Station Road junction because of a car fire.  

And there's heavier than usual and very slow traffic on the A689 Stockton Road westbound in Wolviston at the A19 junction in the roadworks.  

Get the latest travel news for Tyne and Wear and Teesside.

MPs reject Mike Ashley's helicopter offer

MPs have rejected an offer from the boss of Sports Direct to visit the firm's headquarters by helicopter.

Billionaire Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has been ordered to appear before a Commons committee to give evidence about working practices.

Mike Ashley
PA

Mr Ashley said he would meet MPs if they travelled to the firm's base in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, and offered to transport them in his own aircraft.

The group rejected this and said it expected him to appear on 7 June.

Morning, welcome to our live coverage

Julie Cush

BBC Newcastle

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