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  1. Updates on Friday 18 August 2017
  2. London-based steelworks job a 'sick joke'
  3. Car and house targeted in shootings
  4. Marine denies stealing military kit

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Lee Cattermole (right)

Tom Garry

BBC Sport

Sunderland lose for the first time under manager Simon Grayson as visitors Leeds extend their unbeaten start to 2017-18.

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Barrie McKay

Goals from Barrie McKay and Daryl Murphy help Nottingham Forest beat Middlesbrough to make it three wins from four games.

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Our live coverage across the day

That's all for today - thank you for joining us.

To keep up with what's happening overnight, head to BBC Tees, BBC Newcastle, Look North, and online.

You can tweet your photos to @BBCNewsNE, email them, or contact us via our Facebook page.

Fingers crossed this weekend's weather is as nice as it has been the past few days.

We'll be back on Monday from 08:00.

Simonside Hills
Valerie Seaward

Rail strike 'timed to hit people returning from holidays'

The boss of Arriva Rail North has accused staff who are to strike next month of targeting those returning to schools and colleges.

The RMT union has announced further strikes over the introduction of driver-only trains on 1 September and 4 September.

Arriva's managing director Alan Chaplin said: "Following our meeting with RMT's general secretary, there is no doubt that the trade union calling two days of strikes timed to coincide with people across the North returning to school, college and work after the holidays, will damage the region's economy, significantly disrupt our customers' lives, and impact local businesses.

"We are prepared to guarantee jobs and current pay for all our conductors for the next eight years, until the end of our franchise.

"Our offers to discuss every detail on the future responsibilities and training for on-board colleagues have been rejected by RMT."

My thoughts on Huddersfield v Newcastle

Simon Brotherton

Radio 5 live

"Huddersfield will certainly have made a few people sit up and take notice following their impressive 3-0 win at Crystal Palace last weekend.

"It was the perfect start to life in the Premier League but head coach David Wagner was right to keep things in perspective.

"Still, the atmosphere will no doubt be at fever pitch at the John Smith's stadium on Sunday, and why not - 45 years is a long time to wait to play at home in the top flight.

"Newcastle are likely to be cagey and cautious opponents in this one. With Jonjo Shelvey suspended and both Florian Lejeune and Paul Dummett injured, Rafael Benitez would surely be happy with a first point of the new season."

Nick Barnes' notes ahead of Sunderland v Leeds

Nick Barnes

BBC Newcastle's Sunderland commentator

Sunderland go into this weekend's match with Leeds sixth in the Championship table after winning five points from the first three games.

The last time Sunderland chalked up five points from their first three games was under Steve Bruce in August 2009 - six points from two wins.

Here are my notes so far and a breakdown of what the include on the Sunderland website.

Nick Barnes' Leeds notes

Police officers raise £1,225 for RNLI

BBC Tees

Sixteen student police officers have raised £1,225 for the RNLI in Redcar by completing a series of challenges.

The officers, known as Cohort 5, pledged to raise funds throughout their 19-week training period.

Events included a boxing match, the Ali Brownlee 5k Riverside Run and weekly cake sales at Kirkleatham Police Office.

Cheque presentation
Cleveland Police

PC Leon Webster said: “We wanted to support a local charity and we agreed that the RNLI was an extremely deserving cause, and actually one which we frequently work alongside."

Dave Cocks, lifeboat operations manager at Redcar RNLI, said: "We are a busy lifeboat station and, as a charity, every penny we spend saving lives comes from donations."

Police shootings response 'reassuring'

BBC Tees

A resident has said he feels reassured by a heavy police presence in Billingham in the wake of two shootings.

A cyclist fired a handgun at a stationary car on Windlestone Road on Tuesday while shots were fired at an empty house on Hylton Road on Wednesday.

One man told BBC Tees he had seen the police helicopter and armed units in the area.

He said: "We've lived in the village seven years and seen the odd police car pass through on their way someone else. This is the most police activity I've seen.

"It shows they are doing their job, there is crime everywhere in society, obviously they felt the need to be here and it is reassuring."

Benitez: Huddersfield will be a 'tough game'

BBC Sport

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez says Sunday's clash against Huddersfield will be tough.

The Terriers, who are in the Premier League for the first time, started their season with a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Benitez said: "Huddersfield did really well the other day against Crystal Palace, and it will be a tough game, for sure.

"What I have to do is concentrate on what we can do now, and make sure the players are ready for this game.

"I think we know how they play and they know how we play. If we do well, we will have more confidence for the next games.

"The mood is positive - the team has been working very hard."

Rafa Benitez

Tips for a special parkrun weekend

It's a special weekend in parks around the country.

Tomorrow, those who take part in their local parkrun might find themselves jogging alongside some of the country's sporting stars.

It's all part of campaign for National Lottery funded athletes to give back and say thank you.

And, if you've never heard of of done a parkrun, it's really easy to get involved. Here's Team GB rowing legend Katherine Grainger to give you the low down in five simple steps....

Katherine Grainger's 5 steps to Parkrun

Benitez 'phoned friends' in terror-hit Barcelona

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has revealed he quickly telephoned friends in Barcelona when he heard the city had been hit by a terror attack.

Thirteen people were killed and more then 100 injured when a van ploughed into people in the city's popular Las Ramblas area on Thursday.

Madrid-born Benitez (pictured) said he was relieved to find none of them were affected.

Rafael Benitez

He said: "I have people, friends there, so I was phoning a couple of them to be sure that everything was fine.

"It's not just this one incident because there have been other ones, so we have to condemn that and regret all these things that are happening now.

"It's really important for us to stick together and help. How can you help in this situation? Just give as much information as you can in this case, the people who have been there."

London-based Redcar steelworks regeneration role will be 'crucial link'

A job which will be based in London to oversee the regeneration of the Redcar steelworks will be a "crucial link" between the capital and the the region, the Government says.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is advertising for a project lead for the Tees Mayoral Development Corporation.

Redcar Labour MP Anna Turley said it was a "sick joke" and should be based in the Tees Valley.

In a statement the DCLG said: "This Government is committed to delivering economic regeneration in the Tees Valley and we've been working closely with local partners on plans for the former SSI site.

"Our new project lead for the Mayoral Development Corporation will be a crucial link between Whitehall and our existing team in the region who are working closely with the new Mayor of Tees Valley Ben Houchen and his office."

SSI plant at Redcar
Getty Images

Unicef congratulates Muzoon on A-level results

UN children's agency Unicef has congratulated its ambassador Muzoon Almellehan after she picked up her A-level results yesterday.

The teenager, who campaigns for girls' education, moved to Newcastle from a refugee camp on Syria's border.

She picked up her results with classmates at Kenton School and you can watch our film here.

View more on twitter

Jewellery stolen from Middlesbrough home

BBC Tees

Jewellery said by police to be of "great sentimental value" has been stolen from a home in Middlesbrough.

Thieves targeted the house on Argyll Road at about 10:00 on Sunday, Cleveland Police said.

Around the same time, a man was seen acting suspiciously in nearby Marlborough Road.

Fire crews tackle Peterlee industrial estate blaze

Police 'helpless' against drug Spice

Police across the UK feel "helpless" in the fight against the former legal high Spice, a senior officer has said.

Spice is a term for a range of new psychoactive substances which the government banned in May 2016.

Commander Simon Bray from the National Police Chiefs' Council says the drug is a "significant challenge" for specific hotspot areas, with homeless communities in Manchester, Birmingham, parts of London and Newcastle affected.


He said enforcement activity was working to deal with the issue, but said "it can't just be about policing".

The North East Ambulance Service has provided figures to the BBC showing an increase in the number of call-outs relating to former legal highs since they were banned, with more than 100 incidents per month (compared with about 60 last June).

Man arrested over Stockton indecent exposures

A 31-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a string of indecent exposures in the Norton area.

Cleveland Police said the first incident happened on 29 July on a path between Milburn Crescent and Ida Street, the second was on 31 July and the third incident on 1 August in the bushes in the park close to Milburn Crescent.

He has been released while investigations continue.

Photo: Clouds arrive ahead of rain

Looks like we're in for a few showers today.

Press Association photographer Owen Humphreys took this shot of clouds arriving over Cullercoats.

Clouds over Cullercoats

We'd love to see your photos - you can tweet us @BBCNewsNE,email, or contact us via our Facebook page

Coast Road collision involved three vehicles

Some more on the crash we told you about earlier - One person suffered minor injuries in the three-car collision on the Coast Road in Newcastle.

Emergency services went to the scene near to the Wills Building at 12:30.

Police say there are no serious injuries. A diversion has been set up.

Mayor calls for A19 widening work to start earlier

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen wants upgrades on the A19 to be brought forward by at least a year.

The plan to widen a 3.1 mile (5km) stretch of the road between Norton and Wynyard is due to start in 2020 and be completed by 2022.

Conservative Mr Houchen has written to the Department for Transport for the work to start in late 2018 or early 2019.

"I have put a strong case to my colleagues in government and I hope that ministers agree with me that this is a serious opportunity to make life better for people in Tees Valley," he said.

Ben Houchen

Union 'anger and frustration' triggered fresh rail strike

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) has said "anger and frustration" prompted a decision to launch further strike action over the introduction of driver-only trains.

The union is against the move, which it claims is unsafe.

A number of strikes have taken place this year.

The latest stoppages will take place on Friday 1 September and Monday 4 September.

General secretary Mick Cash said: “We have been confronted with the sheer intransigence of Arriva Rail North and that means that we have no option but to confirm a further round of strike action .

"We are angry and frustrated that Arriva continue to fail to face up to the facts and also continue to ignore a perfectly reasonable union proposal to invite the government to join us in round table talks aimed at finding a solution."

BreakingRail workers to stage further strike

Workers on Northern rail services are to join colleagues on Southern Railway and Merseyrail in a strike over the first weekend in September in a long-running dispute over staffing and driver-only trains, the RMT union has announced.

Police at scene of collision in Newcastle

Your photos: How's that for a summer morning?

Jim Jones sent us this lovely photo of Seaton Sluice harbour.

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

Seaton Sluice harbour
Jim Jones

Police thank residents for explosion response

BBC Newcastle

Police have thanked neighbours for their response after a house in their street exploded.

The home in Rosslyn Avenue in Sunderland was destroyed and the next door partially demolished by the blast last Friday, which was caused by gas.

This is the moment a blast ripped through a house flattening in seconds

One woman in the house suffered burns but was saved from more serous injury by her fridge.

Acting Sgt Kirsty Pitchford said: "The generosity of The Salvation Army, Gentoo and the people of Sunderland was quite humbling to see.

"The local community made sure people who had been evacuated were looked after and had somewhere to go as well as get something to eat and drink."

Destroyed house
Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

BreakingCyclist shoots at car in second Billingham shooting

BBC Tees

A cyclist fired shots at a stationary car in one of two shootings in Billingham this week, it has emerged.

On Tuesday a man on a bike cycled up to a black car on Windlestone Road at about 14:45 and fired two shots from a handgun before riding away.

Then on Wednesday shots were fired at an empty house on Hylton Road at about 22:40.

No one was injured in either incident and Cleveland Police says they were targeted attacks.

Police van

Det Insp Jon Tapper said: “Yesterday evening officers attended a public meeting in the Billingham area to reassure the public that work is ongoing to bring those responsible to justice."

A 21-year-old man has been arrested this morning over the shootings with further arrests "anticipated".

Photo: Bus engulfed in flames

A bus caught fire right outside Billy Atkinson's house in Chester-le-Street last night and this photo shows how fierce the flames were.

No one was hurt and the blaze was put out by a crew from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service.

Bus fire
Billy Atkinson

Labour MPs critical job tweets 'show ignorance'

BBC Tees

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen has accused Redcar MP Anna Turley of failing to educate herself over a new job overseeing the regeneration of the Redcar steelworks.

Ms Turley (Labour) said it was a "sick joke" the new government position would be based in London rather than the North East.

Mr Houchen (Conservative) said the job needs to be in London to coordinate the government departments involved in "bringing that land back into use with mixed commercial, industrial, light industrial, advance manufacturing and everything in between".

He said: "I'm disappointed (Ms Turley) hasn't educated herself on probably the most important project in her constituency.

"The tweets she put out yesterday demonstrate five or six different levels of ignorance."

Weather: Sunshine and blustery showers

BBC Weather

Today will be a day of sunshine and blustery showers.

Some of the showers are likely to be heavy with a risk of thunder.


A windy day generally, the winds especially gusty near showers and it will feel cool.

Click here for more weather.

County Durham woman talks of Barcelona terror attacks

Catherine Young is originally from Consett and now lives and works in Barcelona.

She told BBC Tees what the current feeling is like in the city after terrorists killed 13 people and injured dozens.

She said: "It's awful, we're only five minutes away. I'd be lying if I feel completely safe, there's a lot of news and we don't really know what's happening.

"My friend messaged me and she just walked down the Ramblas and it's very quiet, there's tyre marks everywhere.

"I'm not completely safe but we have to just go on, otherwise they've won."

La Ramblas this morning
Catherine Young

North East stands with victims of Barcelona terror attack

People across the North East have been sending their thoughts to the victims of the Barcelona terror attacks.

Newcastle United player Victor Fernandez, who is from the city, took to social media after 13 people died and dozens were hurt when a van hit crowds on Las Ramblas.

He tweeted:

View more on twitter

Which translates as:

"All my support to all the people affected by the Barcelona attacks, I still can't understand how there can be people like that in the world."

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes also wrote:

View more on twitter

And the Bishop of Newcastle said:

View more on twitter

London-based Tees Valley job branded 'sick joke'

BBC Tees

A job overseeing the regeneration of the Redcar steelworks site has been branded a "sick joke" as is it based in London.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is advertising for a project lead for the Tees Valley's Mayoral Development Corporation with pay starting at £49,525.

Job ad
Department for Communities and Local Government

The job would be initially for two years and involve managing the future of the SSI site with "occasional trips to Tees Valley".

Redcar's Labour MP Anna Turley (pictured below) tweeted: "Seriously this drives me absolutely mad. There are so few jobs like this in the region. Why on earth is this a London-based job. Sick joke."

Anna Turley
Getty Images