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  1. Updates on Wednesday 8 March 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

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

    You can still catch up with the latest news throughout the night on  BBC Tees ,   BBC Newcastle ,   Look North  and online.

    If you'd like to get in touch or share your North East pictures with us, you can do so on   Twitter ,   Facebook  , or via   email at  .

    We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00, have a good evening.

  2. Weather: Dry with clear spells overnight, blustery tomorrow

    It's been a breezy but lovely, sunny day. Phil Smith took this striking photo of Roker Pier.

    This evening and tonight will be mostly dry with clear spells and patchy cloud overnight. However, there will be a chance of a few isolated showers and it will stay breezy especially over the Cheviot Hills and Whitfield Moor. Minimum Temperature: 5C (41F).

    Sun shining on the sea at Roker

    Tomorrow will be a dry and mild day with sunny spells. However blustery winds are likely to continue for much of the day, before gradually easing into the evening. Maximum Temperature: 11C (52F).   

  3. Northumberland woman with Down's Syndrome gives evidence to parliamentary committee

    A Northumberland woman says she hopes her appearance before a government committee will encourage other disabled people to speak about causes they are passionate about.

    Tess Bolt, from Hexham, who has Down's Syndrome, gave evidence about supported housing to the joint Work and Pensions and Communities and Local Government Select Committee who are assessing the Government's plans to overhaul the supported housing sector. 

    She is a resident of Mencap's housing arm, Golden Lane Housing.

          Tessa Bolt from Hexham is the first person with Down Syndrome to give evidence in Parliament
    Image caption: Tessa Bolt

    She said: "Supported housing is something that I am really passionate about and I am really happy that the committee will get to hear about it from someone who has a learning disability and uses supported housing." 

  4. Blue plaque unveiled to remember Newcastle suffragette

    To mark International Women's Day a special plaque has been unveiled in Newcastle's Grey Street. 

    Unveiled by the city's Lord Mayor, Councillor Hazel Stephenson, the plaque commemorates the famous Newcastle suffragette, Kathleen Brown. 

    It symbolised the moment of Kathleen's release from prison in 1909, where she'd been sentenced for throwing stones at the windows of Whitehall during a protest trying to win the right to vote for women. Kathleen then returned to Newcastle to a hero's welcome. 

    Blue plaque
  5. Burglars target Gateshead business premises

    Police have said they "have not ruled out" whether three burglaries at businesses premises in Gateshead might be linked.

    During the incidents, in the Bensham area, copper piping, cable, money and even baked goods were taken.

    Northumbria Police is investigating and has stepped up patrols in the area.

  6. Your photos: Souter Lighthouse in the sunshine

    A big thank you to Billy Davies from Hebburn who took this picture of Souter Lighthouse this morning. 

    If you have any weather photos we'd love to see them.

    What a beautiful blue sky. Fingers crossed that Spring has finally sprung.

    If you have any photos you'd like to send us you can Tweet us  @BBCNewsNEemail , or contact us through our  Facebook page

    Souter Lighthouse
  7. Two of region's biggest employers hoping to employ more women

    View more on twitter

    Two of the region's biggest companies have chosen International Women's Day to announce they want to recruit more women. 

    Northumbrian Water and Northern Powergrid are forecasting a huge skills gap in the coming years - particularly in new technology.  

          Northumbrian Water and Northern Powergrid want to recruit more women.
    Image caption: One of the companies hoping to attract more female employees

    They say more than 200,000 new recruits are needed in the next 10 years - and want more women to work with them.  

  8. Drug driver blamed injured eight-year-old for collision on wasteland

    Sunderland Echo


    A man who collided with an eight-year-old boy while driving a pick-up truck off the road blamed the injured youngster for what happened.

    Ryan Crake
  9. Budget 2017: Key points for the North East

    Richard Moss

    Political Editor, BBC Look North

    Philip Hammond has been delivering his first Budget as chancellor.   

    There will be £2bn of extra funding for social care for councils over the next few years, so that is a recognition that the councils are struggling. But for a lot of North East Labour MPs it simply isn't enough because the demands on the services here are so strong.

    Other announcements made are extra help for business rates, £90m for roads in the North - we don't know the details of that at the moment.

    There was one mention of the Northern Powerhouse this year - there were six last year.

    Philip Hammond

    You can see a summary of the key points of the Budget here.

  10. CCTV and dash cam footage appeal in Redcar rape investigation

    Police investigating the rape of a woman after she was forced into a car in Redcar with her toddler are appealing for anyone with CCTV or dash cam footage from the area to get in touch.

    The woman aged in her 30s and her child  were abducted by two men  from Redcar seafront at lunchtime on Friday.  

    They were later forced out of a dark coloured saloon vehicle on Kirkleatham Lane, between the turn off for Kirkleatham Museum and the bus stop towards Redcar.

    Cleveland Police want people to contact them if they can remember seeing a woman and a child close to the Lakes Estate or in the Yearby area in Redcar sometime between 17:30 and 18:30 on Friday. 

          Police are appealing for help following a report of a rape in Redcar
    Quote Message: "Anyone with private CCTV or dash cam footage who was in the Lakes Estate and Longbeck area between 17:30 and 18:30 is asked to come forward and speak to police." from Det Ch Insp Steve Young Cleveland and North Yorkshire Major Investigation Team
    Det Ch Insp Steve Young Cleveland and North Yorkshire Major Investigation Team

    Extra patrols are continuing in the area and people are being urged to remain vigilant.

  11. MP urged girls to consider career in engineering

    On International Women's Day, Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah has urged girls to consider a career in engineering.

    There is currently a huge shortage of engineers across the country, and it is hoped targeting women will help make up the shortfall. 

    Chi Onwurah

    Chi Onwurah, who used to be an engineer herself, said: "Young girls don't get to see what engineers really do and what a difference it makes.

    "And then there's all sorts of cultural stereotypes.

    "I think the best way to sell engineering is to get women engineers to say how great it is, and then to make sure in schools young girls get experience of engineering."

  12. Sex offender arrested following appeal on BBC Crimewatch

    A convicted sex offender who had been on the run since last year has been arrested after a nationwide appeal including on BBC Crimewatch on Monday.

    Lisa Hauxwell, also known as Craig John Hauxwell, who is originally from Darlington had been convicted and sentenced to 14 years in prison in her absence for historical sex offences. Hauxwell carried out the offences while living as a man, but was sentenced under the name of Lisa.

    Police received more than 20 calls after the Crimewatch appeal on Monday and the following day officers in Nottinghamshire arrested Hauxwell.

    Lisa Hauxwell/Craig John Hauxwell

    Det Insp Yvonne Dutson said: "This a fantastic result and due entirely to the calls we had following the appeal on Crimewatch."

  13. Labour councillors at Durham County council threatened in letter

    Labour councillors and election candidates have been warned to be more aware of their personal security after death threats were issued in an anonymous letter to a police chief constable.

    The letter was addressed to Durham Police Chief Constable Mike Barton and was sent to police headquarters.

    Durham Police said: "There is no supporting intelligence to corroborate these threats. 

    "Unfortunately, letters of this nature are not uncommon and are generally sent to cause concern to the recipients without any real substance behind them. 

    "However, enquiries are taking place to trace the person responsible for the letter and we are liaising with Durham County Council to offer reassurance to those named." 

          Labour councillors threatened in a letter sent to Durham Police
    Image caption: Durham County Council headquarters
  14. Jail terms increased over murdered man

    Two people who assisted in the killing of a vulnerable man have had their prison sentences increased by the Court of Appeal .

    Lee Irving, 24, who had learning disabilities, was tortured and killed by people he thought were his friends in Newcastle in 2015.

    James Wheatley, 29, was jailed for 23 years for his murder in December.

    Wheatley's mother Julie Mills and his girlfriend Nicole Lawrence - who were convicted of causing or allowing Mr Irving's death and perverting the course of justice - have had their sentences increased by two and three years respectively.

    Lee Irving