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Sean Maguire

Preston North End cruise to a 2-0 win against struggling 10-man Sunderland that boosts their promotion hopes.

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Brentford celebrate Lewis Macleod's equaliser

Ten-man Brentford's fading promotion hopes are dented by a 1-1 Championship draw with fellow hopefuls Middlesbrough.

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Our live coverage across the day

Our updates here have now finished for the week - thank you for joining us.

This feed will be updated with any breaking news, sport and travel. You can also keep up to date on BBC Newcastle, BBC Tees and on Look North.

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

Have you got news or photos you'd like to share with us? In that case you can tweet them to @BBCNewsNE, email them,or contact us via our Facebook page.

Your photos: Snow along Hadrian's Wall

It looks like the snow might be making a return over the weekend so we might see some more scenes such as this.

KD Watson tweeted us this beautiful photos of the snow along Hadrian's Wall.

He wrote: "The Sycamore Gap last Monday when I had a rare day off for hill running!"

Sycamore gap in the snow
KD Watson
Footprints in the snow on Hadrian's Wall
KD Watson

Kielder ospreys spotted in Africa

The smallest osprey chick to fledge at the Kielder Forest site last year has been sighted in West Africa.

Ospreys have been breeding in Northumberland since 2009, after an absence of 200 years.

Last year four chicks fledged from one of the nests and in early September began their migration to warmer climes - a journey of over 6,700 km.

"Acomb" the smallest chick has now been photographed in Senegal, and another 2017 osprey was spotted in Mauritania.

Joanna Dailey an osprey volunteer with the Kielder project said: “Mortality rates for ospreys are high in the first couple of years, and we know that only about one in three ospreys make successful return migrations to the UK.

"The fact that two of [the] four offspring who migrated, are now known to be alive, is a positive sign.”

Acomb in Southern Senegal
Steven Houston
Acomb in the nest in 2017
Kielder Osprey Project

Shearer inspires future Magpies legend

Alan Shearer tweet

Newborns sought for sleep study

Durham University is looking for parents-to-be or parents with newborn babies to take part in a study in their own homes.

Researchers at the Parent-Infant Sleep Lab want to find out how the hormone cortisol - important for stress response, immune system function, metabolism, and the body's daily sleep-wake cycle - develops in newborn babies.

The team is particularly looking at its development in babies who will be breastfed and who sleep next to or close to the parents, either in the same bed or the same room as the parents.

Expectant parents, or those with babies less than four weeks old, are invited to take part.


No let-up in schedule for Magpies

Uni vice-chancellor steps down for 'home reasons'

The vice-chancellor of Sunderland University is stepping down after four years at the helm.

Shirley Atkinson said that it had been an enormous privilege to lead the university, but unfortunately her home circumstances had changed and she would be unable to fulfil the role beyond the summer.

Shirley Atkinson
Sunderland University

We fully respect her decision to leave and have accepted her resignation with deep regret. The board has started the selection process for a new vice-chancellor."

John MowbrayChair of the board of governors

Temporary canal barriers erected following student's death

Temporary barriers have been put up near a stretch of canal in Manchester where a student was found dead earlier this month.

Charlie Pope

Charlie Pope, 19, from Ponteland, Northumberland left a city centre bar early on 1 March and was found later that day following a search of the Rochdale Canal just off Whitworth Street West.

His father Nick has called for safety railings to be built alongside waterways in the city and met this week with the council, emergency services and the Canal and River Trust.

Waterways Manager David Baldacchino said plastic barriers have been placed at Lock 89, behind Rain Bar to deter people from taking a shortcut over the lock gates and steer them towards a nearby footbridge instead.

Pools fans thanked for their generosity

Hartlepool thanks fans for the Just Giving appeal funds.

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Homes plan gets thumbs-up in 'high-risk' area

Lee Johnson

BBC Tees

More now on the story we reported earlier about a plan for almost 200 homes near a Darlington water park being approved by the local council.

Members of Middleton St George Parish Council said the proximity of the houses to the water park would make it a "high-risk" area - especially as the developers are aiming to attract families to the two, three, four and five-bedroom homes.

Planning agents for the developers said the safety of children living near the water park was "a genuine concern" but they would work with the parish council "to do something positive".

Building work is expected to get under way in the autumn.

Murder accused claims friend carried out killing

A man accused of murdering a woman and torching her body in her car in Shiney Row has claimed his friend was the killer.

William McFall and Stephen Unwin deny raping and murdering Quyen Nguyen, 28, from Killingworth.

Mr McFall told Newcastle Crown Court he was outside having a cigarette when he heard Mr Unwin arguing with her on 14 August.

He said Mr Unwin then dragged the mother of two across the floor of the lounge by her hair, and threw her to the ground.

Quyen Nguyen
Family handout

He claimed he saw Mr Unwin tie Miss Nguyen's hands behind her back, cover her head and remove her clothes with scissors before attempting to rape her.

Mr McFall said: "I heard her say 'help me' a few times. I said 'Steve please let her go'.

"He smothered her and left her lifeless on the floor."

Mr Unwin has claimed throughout the trial that Mr McFall carried out the murder.

The trial continues.

Magpies step out in Spain

Players get into training at Spanish camp.

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Award win for tourism landmarks

There's good news for the region's tourism industry.

According to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, the UK as a whole saw a huge increase in visitor numbers last year, with a record year for overseas tourism.

This included Durham Cathedral, which had more than 800,000 visitors - an increase of 20,000 on the previous year.

In addition, County Durham and Northumberland have been recognised in the BBC Country File Magazine Awards for Tourism.

High Force waterfall came second in the Landmark of the Year category, and Northumberland was awarded National Park of the Year title.

High Force

Universal Credit could cost council £3.2m a year

Daniel Holland

Local Democracy Reporter

Rent arrears caused by Universal Credit could cost Newcastle City Council more than £3m a year by 2022, it is estmated.

The rollout of the controversial benefits scheme is already believed to be responsible for £1.36m of unpaid rent owed to the council, linked to delays in the processing of payment claims.

But a council report now states the figure could rise to £3.2m annually by 2022, as more households are moved over to the all-in-one benefit.

Newcastle was the first city to be chosen as a pilot site for the benefits overhaul, which council bosses have labelled a "disaster" for many of the city's most vulnerable residents.

There are currently 3,830 Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) tenants on Universal Credit, but that is estimated to rise to 12,000 by 2022.

Labour councillor Joyce McCarty, deputy leader of Newcastle City Council, said: "We know of far too many residents who have fallen into rent arrears when they are moved onto Universal Credit, often linked to the initial built-in delays in processing claims.

"In many cases these delays are hitting families who have barely enough money to live on, and risks trapping them in debt for years to come."

So far this year, the council's rent collection rate for tenants who have moved over to the new benefits system is 89.44%, compared to 98.84% for those not on Universal Credit. The estimate of £3.2m is based on the 2016/17 annual collection rate of 93.9%.

Newcastle Civic Centre

In a letter presented at last week's council meeting, employment minister Alok Sharma said the Government was making a "number of further improvements to Universal Credit" - include scrapping the seven-day wait at the start of Universal Credit claims and extending the repayment period for advances to 12 months.

From April, claimants who are already receiving housing benefits will be given an extra two weeks of payments to support them during the transfer to Universal Credit. The Government is also looking at paying housing costs directly to landlords to mitigate payment problems.

Homes plan gets go-ahead despite safety protests

Lee Johnson

BBC Tees

A scheme to build almost 200 family homes next to a water park in Darlington has been given approval despite warnings the move could lead to a child's death.

Members of Darlington Borough Council's planning committee granted planning permission for the development on land off High Stell, in Middleton St George.

The application for the 198 homes received 420 objections - many of them safety-related. The development received outline permission in 2016.

Concerns have been raised as there are no barriers between the proposed estate and the water park, which consists of three reservoirs left to the village by Northumbrian Water in the 1950s.

New river footpath to avoid rail walk

A new footpath has been constructed as an alternative to a flood-damaged section next to the River Wear in County Durham.

The 200-metre section at Holebeck between Wolsingham and Frosterley has been subject to years of erosion, meaning that walkers were travelling along a very narrow strip between the river and the Weardale Railway, with some walking along the live railway.

A council spokesman said: "After assessing the options we teamed up with the railway to construct a new footpath along the edge of the railway’s land, and so moving it away from the river and securing a future-proofed route.

“The footpath is one of Weardale’s busiest, popular with both locals and visitors alike."

New River Wear footpath
Durham County Council

From Frankenstein to Shrek: South Shields welcomes monsters

South Shields is set to host an exhibition of monsters from history, horror stories and Hollywood.

Monsters! The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly, opens at The Word: National Centre for the Written Word at the weekend.

Created to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Gothic horror story Frankenstein, it brings visitors up close to beasts of early mythology and the modern, digital creations of Pixar and Disney.

Frankenstein's monster display
The Word
The Word

Tania Robinson, from The Word, said: "We couldn't let the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein go by without marking it in some way.

"Creating an exhibition based on monsters gave us the chance to have some fun with the whole genre of horror writing and to explore the creatures that have frightened or entertained people through the centuries."

Benitez - It's no holiday

Rafa Benitez
Getty Images

Newcastle United are looking to avoid negative headlines during their sunshine break in Spain this week and with Rafa Benitez at the helm, they have every chance of succeeding on that score.

Different managers have different ways of working with their players but the work theme for United in Spain, coupled with a booze ban, should ensure minds stay focused.

Every player has been told the purpose of the trip by Benitez and know that work is the only thing on the agenda.

(Newcastle Chronicle)

Sheep on road is a 'bah' to traffic

More details on why traffic has been brought to a standstill on the A1M...

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Severe disruption: A1(M) County Durham both ways

BBC News Travel

A1(M) County Durham both ways severe disruption, between J63 for A167 and J62 for A690 affecting J65 for A194.

A1(M) County Durham - Stationary traffic on A1(M) in both directions between J63, A167 (Chester-le-Street) and J62, A690 (Carrville), because of all traffic being temporarily held and sheep on the road. Congestion to J65 A194(M).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Wind warning for tomorrow morning

We already know about the warning for snow and ice from this afternoon and the weekend and now added to that is a yellow warning for wind.

It is in place for the North East tomorrow from 00:05 until 11:00.

The Met Office warning says: "Some very strong, gusty winds are likely during Saturday morning.

"Some delays to road and rail transport are likely with journeys taking longer. Delays for high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges seem likely. Short term loss of power and other services is also possible."

View more on twitter

Pulis speaks ahead of Brentford match

Nisha Joshi

BBC broadcast journalist

Boro boss Tony Pulis says Ayala is the only injury concern ahead of their trip to Brentford tomorrow.

He is delighted with Bamford but says Assombalonga has trained well and has spoken to him about being ready when he’s needed.

On the new Konstantopoulos deal he says the squad players are very important to the team.

Tony Pulis press conference

Social media appeal leads to arrest

A man has been arrested after reports of indecent exposure near school.

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Now you see it......

It's the South Tyneside International Magic Festival.

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Hartlepool pensioner’s bank accounts cleaned out by scammers

Hartlepool Mail


Fraudsters cleaned out a Hartlepool pensioner’s bank accounts after he fell victim to a phone scam.

Hartepool Mail front page

Ambitious Seagulls to host Magpies, Terriers and Trotters

Cornish Stuff

Mousehole AFC, aka the Seagulls, and the Endorsed Academy have announced an exciting new annual pre-season tournament, to be hosted at the West Cornwall club’s home, Trungle Parc, featuring Premier League clubs Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town, as well as Championship side Bolton Wanderers.

Weather warnings increase over weekend

The weather forecast is steadily getting worse thanks to the mini "Best of the East" heading across the UK.

The North East has a yellow warning for snow and ice for this evening all the way through until Sunday.

And there's an amber warning tomorrow for the Midlands up to York.

So stay in, or make sure you wrap up warm...

Weather graphic
Met Office

Slimani touch and go for crunch Huddersfield game

Islam Slimani
Getty Images

Newcastle's Islam Slimani is still sweating on his fitness ahead of the six-pointer against Huddersfield.

Rafa Benitez has urged the striker to stick to a stringent fitness plan if he wants to have any chance of being considered for selection against the Terriers at the end of the month.

Slimani has trained alone in the first couple of days of the club’s trip to Murcia and must wait before getting the nod to join in any small-sided games or drills that involve physical contact.

Benitez told NUFC TV: “He has a plan, he has to follow that plan. He is working with the fitness coach but he has to follow the plan.” (Newcastle Chronicle)

Brave children awarded in memory of Bradley Lowery

Sunderland Echo


Brave battler Bradley Lowery was looking down as 11 courageous children collected awards in his memory.

Sunderland Echo front page

Prescription rates for opioid drugs 'four times higher than London'

Prescription rates for opioid drugs in the North East and Cumbria are four times higher than in London, new analysis shows.

Now doctors are warning the NHS is fuelling an addiction crisis because of an increase in the prescribing of powerful painkillers.

Nearly 24 million opioids, such as morphine, were prescribed in 2017 - equivalent to 2,700 packs an hour.

A drugs counsellor and former user told the BBC the NHS was "creating drug addicts".

The Royal College of GPs said doctors would not prescribe opioid painkillers as a "quick fix".

Graphic on opioid prescriptions

Newcastle billboards feature nine local heroes

The Chronicle

Eye-catching billboards to celebrate Newcastle’s diverse spirit have started appearing across the city.

Stronger posters
The Chronicle

TV presenter Noel Edmonds offers apology

BBC Tees

TV presenter Noel Edmonds has apologised after suggesting a Teesside man's cancer may have been caused by his "negative attitude".

It's two years since a controversial Twitter exchange between Edmonds and Vaun Norman, from Ingleby Barwick, but the remarks were referred to during the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire Show this week.

Speaking for the first time about the exchange, Mr Norman told BBC Tees it had "riled" him because Edmonds was "dismissing people's lives, you're dismissing people who are struggling".

He had only survived cancer "through huge amounts of effort by very well trained, very experienced medical people and my own hard work - it is hard work having cancer", he said.

Noel Edmonds

Challenged by Victoria Derbyshire, Edmunds defended his comments.

"It's a perfectly reasonable question to ask somebody - do you think that your negative attitude has possibly contributed to the situation you find yourself in?" he said.

But after BBC Tees approached Mr Edmonds for a comment he offered Vaun a sincere apology for any upset and wished him a positive outcome from his treatment.

Four high rise towers fitted with spinkler systems

In the wake of last year's Grenfell Tower disaster, sprinkler systems are to be fitted to all four high-rise tower blocks on South Tyneside.

They're going into Ellen Court, Monastery Court and Wilkinson Court in Jarrow, and Durham Court in Hebburn.

South Tyneside Council says the buildings are already "deemed safe", with fireproof cladding systems - but the sprinklers will offer "extra reassurance" to residents.

The improvements will cost about £1.4m and work will start later this year.

'Mini Beast from the East' brings fresh snow warnings

Yellow snow warnings have been issued as a "mini Beast from the East" is expected to hit the UK.

The Met Office said north-eastern Scotland and England could see snow today with the rest of the country hit at the weekend, with up to 20cm falling.

Sunday will see "significant snowfall" with a maximum temperature of 1C.

Snowy road
Owen Humphreys/PA

Meteorologists said although it is the same Siberian weather as the "Beast from the East", which caused widespread disruption, it won't last as long.

The first warning for snow and ice comes into force at 15:00 GMT on Friday.

Weather: Chilly, windy and sleety

Owain Wyn Evans

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

Just as we'd hoped we'd closed the door on winter, it's coming back.

There are some weather warnings in force over the weekend - you can see the latest information here.

Today, a band of rain will turn increasingly to sleet or snow in places and it will get very windy and very cold.

Temperatures will reach about 6C but then dip later.

You can find the latest BBC forecast for your area here.

Weather map