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  1. Updates on Wednesday 28 June 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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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.

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00. Have a great evening.

Weather: Rain continuing this evening but clearing later

The wet and windy conditions will continue overnight although the rain is expected to slowly become lighter and more intermittent by midnight.

Minimum Temperature: 10C (50F).

Family says Bradley Lowery 'deteriorating fast'

Hartlepool Mail


The mum of battling Bradley Lowery today revealed that the cancer-stricken youngster is 'deteriorating fast'.

Bradley Lowery
Hartlepool Mail

Demonstration planned over tower block fire prevention

Andrew Hartley

BBC Look North

Extra fire safety tests are to be carried out on 38 tower blocks in Newcastle.

The move follows the launch of a campaign by residents for more action on fire prevention following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Tina Drury from Your Homes Newcastle, said: "As a result of emerging concerns from residents around the external insulation and render on our buildings, although it isn't a requirement for us to get that tested, we have decided in response to their concerns to be proactive and take precautionary measures and actually do some sample testing."

Tower blocks in Newcastle

A demonstration is planned outside Newcastle Civic Centre tonight ahead of a full council meeting.

Stars of screen... and stars to be honoured

Actress Brenda Blethyn OBE and Kielder Observatory director Gary Fildes (pictured) are among eight people being honoured by Sunderland University.

During this year's graduation ceremonies in July, they will be handed honorary awards at the Stadium of Light.

Brenda will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Arts in recognition of her outstanding acting career in film, television and the theatre and Gary will get an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding contribution to making astronomy and space science accessible to a wider audience.

Actress Brenda Blethyn OBE and Kielder Observatory director Gary Fildes
University of Sunderland

Other awardees include Ken Bremner, Paul Callaghan CBE, DL, FRSA, Felicity Finch, Heidi Mottram OBE, Dr Andrew Singleton and Lesley Spuhler OBE.

Bradley Lowery single video goes viral on Facebook

Anna Snowdon

BBC Tees Reporter

A video of a song supporting terminally-ill Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery has been watched more than 500,000 times.

The song called Smile For Bradley was written by two Hartlepool girls.

You can watch the video below:

View more on facebook

Your photos: At least someone's enjoying the rain...

The birds aren't bothered about the bad weather we're having this week!

This blue tit and blackbird were snapped in Acklam and Blyth in the rain.

Daz Mendoza
Jim Jones

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

Shields Road 'worst' shopping district

Shields Road in Byker, is the least attractive location to open a shop, according to a list ranking Britain's retail centres.

Property advisors, Harper Dennis Hobbs judged 1,000 shopping districts on how well the store mix suited local needs.

They also looked at vacancy rates and the numbers of "undesirable" shops such as pawnbrokers or betting shops.

Shields Road, Byker

Britain's bottom 10 retail locations:

  • Shields Road, Byker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • Harrow Road, Paddington, London
  • Stretford, Greater Manchester
  • Tonypandy, Wales
  • Walton Road, Liverpool
  • Burnt Oak, north London
  • Gateshead
  • Kirkby, Merseyside
  • Selly Oak, Birmingham
  • Shettleston Road, Glasgow

Durham County Cricket Club appoint new directors

Durham County Cricket Club has appointed two new directors as part of the club’s restructuring.

Businessmen Paul Woolston and Naynesh Desai, a senior partner with DDO Solicitors, will join current board members chairman Sir Ian Botham, chief executive David Harker, Phil Collins and Bob Jackson.

Durham Emirates

Terror attacks spark extra security at South Tyneside Festival

Visitors to this year's South Tyneside Festival may face delays as extra security measures have been introduced in the wake of the London and Manchester terror attacks.

The festival attracted more than 142,000 people in 2016, with more expected this year.

KT Tunstall, Busted (pictured below) and Sister Sledge are due to play between 9-30 July.

Busted are on the acts at this year's festival

South Tyneside Council and Northumbria Police reviewed the event's plans and visitors are now being advised to limit the number of bags they bring as all of them will be searched.

People are also being advised to leave any sharp implements at home.

We hope that these checks will give visitors extra reassurance that their safety remains a priority for us."

Councillor Alan KerrSouth Tyneside Council deputy leader

Fabio Borini poised for Italy return

BBC Sport

SAFC striker Fabio Borini is to undergo a medical at AC Milan on Thursday as he looks to complete a move back to Serie A.

The 26-year-old, who has also been courted by Lazio, flew to his native Italy on Wednesday in a bid to tie up the deal.

Reports in the Italian media have suggested he will complete a £5.3m permanent transfer, although the finer details of the proposed move are still to be finalised.

Fabio Borini
Getty Images

A successful conclusion to the negotiations would see Borini leave the Stadium of Light two years after his £10m switch from Liverpool on a four-year deal.

Man sought over suspected driving offence

Durham Police are appealing for help to find Rickie Lee Foster, 23, from Coundon.

Officers want to speak to him in connection with a suspected driving offence.

Rickie Lee Foster
Durham Police

'It's not going to be quick and it's not going to be easy'

Conservative Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, is heading to London later to speak to the Aviation Minister about the future of Durham Tees Valley Airport.

Being the airport was one of Mr Houchen's pledges as he became the area's first mayor in May.

He said: "Well when it comes to buying the airport, one of the meetings I have in London is to meet with the new aviation minister to talk about my plans for the airport and see what the government can do to help.

"I'll be working with the owners Peel Group to negotiate the position on that and I think we'll see some moment in the coming months, but it's not going to be quick and it's not going to be easy."

Durham Tees Valley Airport

Burglary at Little Tinklers

Police are appealing for information following a burglary at a nursery in Corbridge.

Little Tinklers on Tinkler’s Bank was targeted some time between 18:30 on 22 June and 07:30 the following morning.

Thieves broke in via a secured window and went on to steal the nursery’s cash float, Northumbria Police said.

Weather: More rain to come

BBC Weather

This afternoon will remain cloudy and wet, with the rain turning heavy at times - but the far North of Northumberland could escape the worst of it!

It will also be feeling cool in the brisk winds, especially along the coast and also across the high ground.

Very cool for this time of year with a maximum temperature of 13C (55F).

Alina Jenkins

Concerns over 'inadequate' mental health services

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has raised concerns about two inpatient wards at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Gateshead.

It says the wards - Cragside Court and the Sunniside Unit - are not dementia-friendly, with patients unable to make drinks and snacks, and disorganised care records.

While "caring" staff are singled out for praise - two of the five areas inspected are deemed "inadequate", and two more "require improvement".

Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The inspectors say that community mental health services for older people also need to be improved.

The hospital says a "plan has been put in place to make changes".

Hartlepool United

Hartlepool United are taken over by HUFC Holdings Ltd, ending the tenure of former chairman Gary Coxall and owners JPNG.

Read more

Four arrests over scam phone calls

BBC Business Live

Four arrests have been made as part of an investigation into computer software service fraud, which is thought to cost hundreds of millions of pounds worldwide.

A collaboration between the City of London Police and Microsoft, the investigation has been looking into the tens of thousands of reports of software service fraud made each year.

It often involves the victim being contacted and told there is a problem with their computer and that the issue can be resolved - for a fee. But no fix occurs and once the fraudster has access to the victim's computer they can install potentially malicious software.

A 37-year-old man and 35-year-old woman were arrested in South Shields on suspicion of fraud and were later released pending further inquiries.

Woman on computer
Getty Images

A 29-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman, from Woking, Surrey, were arrested on suspicion of fraud and both have been bailed.

Rain prompts further police warnings

Cleveland and Durham Road Policing Unit has issued a warning to drivers after a number of collisions this morning.

View more on facebook

New MP makes first speech in parliament

BBC Tees

The new MP for North West Durham has made her first speech in parliament.

Labour's Laura Pidcock said: "I would like you to come and tell those people who have been sanctioned that things are better, or the teacher in my constituency who was recently made redundant.

"I would like you to come and talk to the 16,500 people in County Durham in receipt of food parcels.

"To the nurses, to the junior doctors, to the firefighters, come and tell them years of austerity have improved their practice or their profession."

MP Laura Pidcock

Primary teacher death: 'We are deeply shocked and saddened'

Tributes have been paid to a teacher found stabbed to death in Sunderland.

Julie Parkin, 39, was found with fatal injuries at an address in Kirkwall Close, Hylton Castle, in the early hours of Tuesday.

West Boldon Primary School headteacher, Joanne Weightman, said: "We are deeply shocked and saddened by this tragic news.

"She was a highly valued and respected member of staff who was popular with both pupils and colleagues.

"We are working with the local authority to offer support to students and staff and will co-operate fully with any police investigation."

West Boldon Primary School

A 35-year-old man arrested on suspicion of her murder is still in custody being questioned by officers.

Your photos: Rough weather at Saltburn

Well, it feels a little like we've skipped summer for Autumn.

Certainly looks that way in this photo from Weather Watcher Alastair taken at Saltburn yesterday afternoon.

Saltburn Pier

Ed Sheeran to play at St James' Park

BBC Entertainment and Arts

Fresh from headlining Glastonbury, Ed Sheeran has announced his European & UK 2018 tour.

And he's heading to St James' Park, in Newcastle, on 8 June 2018. Tickets go on sale on 8 July.

View more on instagram

Stab death woman, 39, identified

A woman found stabbed to death in Sunderland has been identified by police.

Julie Parkin, 39, was found with fatal injuries at an address in Kirkwall Close, Hylton Castle, in the early hours of Tuesday, Northumbria Police said.

A 35-year-old man arrested on suspicion of her murder is still in custody being questioned by officers.

A force spokesman said it was thought the pair were known to each other.

Police lights
Northumbria Police

Today's weather: Almost autumnal

BBC Weather

Cloudy, with outbreaks of rain and a strong north-easterly wind will leave it feeling autumnal. Maximum temperature 13C (55F).

It will remain cloudy with persistent and often heavy rain, with the wet and windy conditions expected to continue overnight.

Alina Jenkins

Police warning over heavy rain

Police have warned of the danger of surface water on the roads due to the persistent rain.

View more on twitter

Tailbacks on Leam Lane

There is heavy traffic on the southbound approach to Whitemare Pool roundabout this morning.

View more on twitter

Freeman Hospital has 'special status'

BBC Newcastle

NHS England says children's heart surgery should continue in Newcastle.

At a public meeting last night health bosses said the the unit at the Freeman Hospital has "special status".

There have been concerns over its future because it doesn't meet NHS standards, as specialist children's services are spread between there and the RVI.

A consultation is now under way.

Freeman Hospital

Good morning. Welcome to our live coverage

Good morning and welcome to BBC Local Live.

We'll be with you throughout the day to bring you the latest news, weather, sport and travel updates from across the North East.

Have you got any 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.

Here's a lovely photo of a squirrel sheltering from the rain in County Durham - here's hoping he doesn't have to do the same today!

Red squirrel
Tracey Laing