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  1. Updates on Thursday 29 June 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. 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.

    We'll leave you with this photo of a wild sea at Tynemouth taken by Press Association photographer Owen Humphreys.

    Sea at Tynemouth
  2. Weather: Staying clouding and damp with drier spells later

    It will remain generally cloudy and damp through the evening and overnight, with further spells of mostly light rain and drizzle.

    Some lengthier drier spells should develop towards the end of the night, but it will remain cloudy.

    Minimum Temperature: 13C (55F).

  3. Fischer leaves Middlesbrough

    BBC Sport

    Mainz have signed winger Victor Fischer from Middlesbrough on a four-year contract.

    The 23-year-old Denmark international, who joined Middlesbrough from Ajax at the start of last season, made just 13 Premier League appearances as the Teesside club were relegated from the top flight.

    "Sporting director Rouven Schroeder and head coach Sandro Schwarz absolutely convinced me about the path Mainz is on," Fischer said. "I want to become a part of this team and this club quickly, find my form and show my qualities as an attacking player."

    Victor Fischer
  4. Inside Sunderland's women's refuge

    Diane says she'd be dead without the women's refuge Wearside Women in Need (WWIN), near Sunderland.

    The organisation helps women who've experienced domestic violence but Sunderland City Council failed to renew its contract in a recent round of cost-cutting measures.

    Instead, the council is making some funds available for a new set-up and WWIN, which has operated in the area for decades, says it will be putting in a bid.

    Video content

    Video caption: Inside the secret world of a women's refuge
  5. Part-time Cleveland firefighters plan sparks row

    BBC Tees

    Cleveland Fire Brigade insists lives won't be put at risk by plans to appoint part-time firefighters.

    They would provide an on-call service at eight stations across its area - and would need to live within five minutes of their station.

    But the Fire Brigades Union says the number of firefighters in Cleveland has been reduced from 500 to 300 over the last decade and adds the move will risk the safety of the public and firefighters.

  6. Six Darlington players named in England women's rugby squad

    BBC Sport

    Six players from Darlington Mowden Park Sharks have been named in the 28-player squad for August's Women's Rugby World Cup in Ireland.

    The squad includes Zoe Aldcroft, Heather Kerr, Abbie Scott, La Toya Mason, Tamara Taylor and Katy Mclean.

    View more on twitter
  7. Coast-to-coast walk raises fostering funds

    Fostering experts in Middlesbrough have donned their walking boots for an 11-day coast-to-coast fundraising trek.

    Beginning at St Bees, in Cumbria, last Friday, the 187-mile (300km) adventure will end at Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire, on Monday.

    Middlesbrough Council's family placement team is aiming to raise awareness of the need to recruit foster carers in the Tees Valley area.

    It certainly looks picturesque if this photo of walk leader Brian Foulger and his wife Karen at Lining Crag above Borrowdale is anything to go by.

    Brian Foulger and his wife Karen at Lining Crag above Borrowdale
  8. New operating theatres close to open

    BBC Tees

    Patients at Darlington Memorial Hospital will soon receive treatment in six new state-of-the-art operating theatres.

    Development work is almost complete and surgical teams will begin using them shortly.

    It's all part of a £20m investment in the hospital.

    View more on twitter
  9. Bournemouth sign Jermain Defoe on three-year deal

    BBC Sport

    Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has re-signed for former club Bournemouth on a free transfer.

    The England international, 34, joined the Black Cats in January 2015, scoring 15 league goals last season.

    The former Tottenham, Portsmouth, West Ham and Charlton player is seventh on the Premier League all-time goals list with 158 in 468 appearances.

    A teenage Defoe spent the 2000-01 season on loan at Bournemouth from West Ham, scoring in 10 successive matches.

    Defoe moved to Sunderland after a brief spell at MLS side Toronto and after saving the club from relegation in the 2015/16 season with 15 goals, he signed a contract extension until 2019.

    Jermain Defoe
  10. Cricket: Durham v Worcestershire abandoned in the rain

    Martin Emmerson

    BBC Newcastle

    The umpires have abandoned play in Chester-le-Street following a 14:00 inspection. The covers are saturated and it appears some water may have got under them and on to the square as well.

    It has been raining for more than 24 hours and the last play at the ground was at 17:25 on Tuesday.

    It means Durham take eight points from the draw and Worcestershire 12.

    As an experiment the pink ball match attracted slightly more supporters through the gate on the first day than normally expected, but since then it's been a damp squib.

    Who knows? If this had been played last week, or the week before in the heat, it could have been a great success. But the consensus from BBC commentators across the country this week seems to be that it's an experiment they should not repeat next year.

  11. Your photos: Tree sparrows on fence

    Birds don't seem to mind the bad weather we are having.

    Daz photographed theses two tree sparrows on his fence in Acklam.

    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.

    Tree sparrows on fence
  12. Sunderland takeover discussions end

    BBC Sport

    Along side the Grayson announcement, Sunderland have also confirmed that the proposed sale of the club is off.

    The Black Cats say owner Ellis Short will "continue his commitment, financially and personally", after talks with a German consortium ended.

    Sunderland are looking for a new manager to replace David Moyes.

    The Scot resigned in May after the club's relegation from the top flight.

    Sunderland said earlier in June that their search for a new manager was on hold while talks over a potential sale of the club were ongoing.