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  1. Updates on Tuesday 4 July 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.

MP calls for tougher restrictions on drone use

Drones could cause a "catastrophic incident" by flying too close to planes unless tougher regulations are brought in, Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald has warned.

Mr McDonald, who is Labour's shadow transport secretary, accused ministers of failing to tackle the threat caused by drones, describing a sharp increase in near misses with 33 incidents in the first five months of the year.

Andy McDonald

Top pilots warned over the potential danger after flights were disrupted on Sunday when a drone flew too close to Gatwick Airport.

Mr McDonald said: "With the proliferation of drones in recent years, we have also seen a sharp increase in the number of near misses with planes.

"Latest figures show there were 33 such incidents confirmed in the first five months of this year and 70 last year, whereas there were only 29 in 2015 and just 10 the five years before that.

"Those in the aviation industry have expressed their concern over the Government's failure to bring in legislation to tackle this worrying trend."

The government said it would look at the legislation surrounding the use of drones.

MP calls for more locally-trained GPs

More needs to be done to recruit and retain GPs in the North East, a Labour MP has told the House of Commons.

Houghton and Sunderland South's Bridget Phillipson, said her constituency is suffering a particular difficulty in retaining trained doctors.

Bridget Phillipson

She said: "In recent years the number of family doctors in Sunderland has plummeted.

"All the evidence shows that doctors are more likely to stay in the areas where they have trained."

She called on the government to fund new medical places in the city.

Health Minister Steve Brine said the government was already funding training for increasing numbers of medics, including those in the North East.

He said since 2016, 10 newly-qualified GPs had been recruited through a scheme based in Sunderland.

Your photos: Home alone puffin

This solitary chap was snapped by Lee Fisher during a visit to the Farne Islands.

You can just make out the blurry image of Bamburgh Castle in the background.

Lee Fisher

Severe disruption: A1058 Tyne And Wear westbound

BBC News Travel

A1058 Tyne And Wear westbound severe disruption, at Norham Road.

A1058 Tyne And Wear - The main road is closed, with traffic being routed around the junction and back on again, and heavy traffic on A1058 Coast Road westbound in North Shields at the Norham Road junction, because of flooding. Diversion in operation - via the exit slip road and entry slip road.

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

Extra cash to tackle potholes

County council bosses in Northumberland have pledged an extra £500,000 to tackle potholes.

The authority said the cash was on top of £20m already being spent on the problem.

The county's five local councils are each being allocated £100,000 to spend on the worst affected routes.


A county council spokesman said: “Keeping our 3,000 miles of roads in good condition is a priority for us and this scheme is an excellent way for local areas to identify key locations for improvement.

“Local councillors know their own roads extremely well and where the issues are, and we are committed to more decision making at a local level.

“The scheme will ensure areas of concern are being flagged and long-standing issues with potholes and road surfaces corrected in a timely manner.”

Banker's £14m claim against Ashley was just 'drink banter'

Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has accused investment banker Jeffrey Blue (pictured) of using "drink banter" as evidence he is owed £14m.

Lawyers for Mr Ashley have described Mr Blue's claim as an "opportunistic try-on".

And in a writtent statement Mr Ashley has told the High Court: "I can't believe that (Mr Blue) is now trying to take me for £14m off the back of some drink banter that he is seeking to engineer into something more."

Mr Ashley's barrister David Cavender QC, told the High Court: "The claim appears to have been issued on the basis that the threat of negative press alone would compel Mr Ashley to settle.

"In truth, there was no purported agreement and Mr Blue could not have thought so at the time."

Jeffrey Blue

Mr Cavender said Mr Ashley "fairly" said he could not recall details of conversations in the Horse & Groom "particularly in the light of the amount of drinking".

"He does recall 'that there was a lot of banter and bravado'," said Mr Cavender.

"He does not recall any discussion about whether Mr Blue would be paid a sum of money if the share price reached #8 a share."

Mr Cavender added: "He says if there was 'it would have been obvious that he was joking'."

The court has already been told that Mr Ashley would "nap under the table" during "boring meetings" at the pub.

The hearing continues.

Brad Walker

Crewe Alexandra sign midfielder Brad Walker on a two-year contract from Hartlepool after agreeing a compensation package.

Read more

Walker leaves Pools for Crewe

BBC Tees

BBC Tees Sport

Confirmed - Brad Walker has left Hartlepool United.

He's signed for League Two side Crewe Alexandra.

Drones used to crack crime on troubled estate

Cleveland Police has turned to drones in an effort to crack down on crime and anti-social behaviour on a Middlesbrough estate.

The force said since the technology was introduced as a trial last month, it had already helped deal with public order offences, criminal damage and in the arrest of a man suspected of assaulting a police officer on the town's Grover Hill estate.

Officers trained to pilot drones are also working with Cleveland Fire Brigade and social housing providers, a force spokesman said.

Cleveland Police drone operator
Cleveland Police

He added: "We have had some great successes so far.

“Residents should be assured we will continue this operation as long as necessary and that they should continue to report concerns to us so that we can take action.

“Using the drone is an extremely valuable additional tool in our on-going fight against crime.

"Criminals should be aware we have been watching them and they could expect us to knock on their door to speak to them about their activity."

All commercial use of drones is covered by guidelines from the Civil Aviation Authority and organisations must register drones of a certain size with the regulator.

Severe accident: A183 Tyne And Wear both ways

BBC News Travel

A183 Tyne And Wear both ways severe accident, between A19 and A182.

A183 Tyne And Wear - A183 in Penshaw closed and very slow traffic in both directions between the A19 junction and the A182 junction, because of an accident.

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

Howson set to leave Norwich?

Rob Butler

BBC Radio Norfolk sport

The Press Association's Nick Mashiter is reporting that one of Norwich City's prize assets could be close to leaving.

Midfielder Jonny Howson is said to be ready for a move to Middlesbrough for a fee of about £5m.

The 29-year-old has been with the Canaries for the five years and was named Player Of The Season in 2016.

View more on twitter

Pawfect advice from retiring fire dog Scrappy

John Harle

BBC Newcastle

Man still has nightmares over workplace accident

The Shields Gazette

A former machinist who was seriously injured in a workplace accident says he still has nightmares about the day that changed his life forever.

South Shields man John Dennis (pictured) was working for Renown Oils and Gas Ltd in Washington when a component, weighing 1.6 tonnes, fell on him.

John Dennis
Shields Gazette

Getting ready for the second day of Durham's clash with Derbyshire

Martin Emmerson

BBC Newcastle

Shot man was victim of 'targeted attack'

A man was beaten with baseballs bats by a gang before being shot in the leg in what police have described as a "targeted attack" in Middlesbrough.

Four men are being hunted after the victim was set upon close to an industrial estate in the town's Murdock Road just before 09:00.

The man, in his 40s, was taken to the James Cook University Hospital, although his injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

A Cleveland Police spokesman said the four attackers got out of a blue Volkswagon Golf car which had "distinctive" silver wing mirrors and damaged a white Mercedes before turning on the man.

The Voilkswagon was later found burnt out in woods near Saltburn.

Det Ch Insp Steve Young said: “We are in the very early stages of this inquiry, however, indications so far suggest that this was a targeted incident.

"There will be increased patrols in the area whilst the investigation continues and anyone with information is urged to contact police.”

Yorkshire v Somerset: Play under way again

BBC Sport

Play has just resumed at Scarborough between Yorkshire and Somerset in the first division of the County Championship.

The White Rose reached 110-6 in reply to the visitors' first innings total of 268 all out.

You can listen to ball-by-ball commentary of the game here.

Ashley lawyers accuse banker of 'making up evidence'

An investment banker suing Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley over an alleged unpaid bill of £14m has been accused of making up evidence.

Jeffrey Blue (pictured right) says Mr Ashley, who also runs Sports Direct, promised to pay him £15m if he boosted the company's share price - but was only paid £1m.

The High Court was told the deal was allegedly struck in a London pub called the Horse & Groom in 2013.

Mike Ashley, right and Jeffrey Blue

Mr Blue came under attack from Mr Ashley's lawyers as he gave evidence during the second day of the hearing.

Barrister David Cavender QC, who is leading Mr Ashley's legal team, accused Mr Blue of "making up evidence".

Mr Ashley, who is due to give evidence on Wednesday, watched from the back of the court as Mr Blue was questioned by Mr Cavender.

Horse & Groom pub

Earlier the court was told that Mr Ashley once hosted a management meeting at the same pub, where he drank 12 pints and vomited into a fireplace.

The hearing continues.

Florian Lejeune 'very happy' with move to Newcastle

Paris-born Florian Lejeune has said he is 'very happy' with his move to Tyneside.

The centre-half is the second player to move to St. James’ Park this summer, following the permanent arrival of winger Christian Atsu in May.

Lejeune began his career with the Centre de Formation de Paris, before spending time with Racing Club de France, Beziers, Sete and Adge.

Florian Lejeune
Newcastle United

He said: “I’m very happy to have signed. Newcastle United is a big club, and I’m very happy to be here.

“When you have a manager like Rafa Benitez who wants you, you are very happy to come. Since I’ve been in touch with the manager, it was an easy decision for me to come here.”

Benitez added: “I would like to welcome Florian to Newcastle United. He is a player that has done very well this year in Spain. I have known about him for a while, since he began playing for Villarreal.

"He has progressed a lot as a player in the last few years and I know he will give us something different at the back - he is good with both feet, he's big and he's good in the air also.

"If he settles well into English football then I am sure he will be a success and will give us a lot of competition in this area.”

Loving dad Lee 'will be missed'

The Gazette


An ex-SSI steelworker who died suddenly after a night out taking cocaine has been remembered by his devastated family.

Popular local league footballer Lee Williamson died just months before his 30th birthday.

Gazette front page
Middlesbrough Gazette
Jordan Preston

Gateshead sign forward Jordan Preston on a one-year deal following the expiry of his contract at Guiseley.

Read more

Yorkshire v Somerset: Day Two

BBC Sport

The second day of Yorkshire's County Championship match against Somerset is now under way at Scarborough.

Yesterday the ground there really did look a picture:

Scarborough Cricket Festival

Yorkshire are batting and looking to add to their overnight total of 42/3, after earlier bowling the visitors out for 268.

Liam Plunkett starred with the ball on the opening day, taking 4-73.

You can listen to ball-by-ball coverage of the match right here.

Householders given first aid after kitchen fires fill homes with smoke

Sunderland Echo


Firefighters offered residents oxygen to help them recover from the fumes caused when fires broke out in their kitchens.

Crews from Washington were called to deal with two separate incidents in the town within the space of a few hours.

Kenilworth Court
Sunderland Echo

Cloudy, wet, and cool throughout the day

Lisa Gallagher

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

It will be a cloudy and wet day with persistent rain spreading across all parts and becoming heavier in places through the day.

Winds will be light and it will feel rather cool, with temperatures no higher than 15C (59F).


CCTV system suffers problems during £400,000 switch

Hartlepool Mail


CCTV coverage in Hartlepool has been disrupted during a move of the monitoring centre.

Crime-fighting cameras owned by Hartlepool Borough Council have previously been monitored by the Thirteen social housing provider at its base in Stranton.

Control room
Hartlepool Mail

BreakingMan shot in Middlesbrough

A man has been shot in Middlesbrough, police have said.

Officers were called to Murdock Road in the town shortly before 09:00.

The victim, in his 40s, was taken to James Cook University Hospital with leg injuries.

Cleveland Police said there would increased patrols in the area as inquiries are carried out.

An appeal for witnesses has been made.

Touching 'thank you' from Newcastle's U20 World Cup hero

Phil Mawson

BBC News

When so much is said about the "greedy game" that is English football, isn't it great to think there are up and coming players who appreciate the work of others.

Like here, where Newcastle United's young keeper Freddie Woodman sends a hand-written thank you to the England team's kit man Pat Frost.

Woodman, of course, made that amazing save against Venezuela's Adalberto Penaranda that secured the U20 World Cup title for England.

View more on twitter

Severe accident: A692 County Durham both ways

BBC News Travel

A692 County Durham both ways severe accident, between A693 and Pikesyde.

A692 County Durham - A692 in Dipton closed and heavy traffic in both directions between the A693 junction and the Pikesyde junction, because of an accident involving one vehicle earlier on.

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

Police release 'unbelievable' images of children playing in road

Police have released "shocking and unbelievable" images showing young children playing in the path of oncoming traffic on a busy road in Washington.

In the images. three young children can be seen playing by the roadside.

In one image two of the children are even seen lying in the middle of the road, while another image shows one of the children running out on to the road as a car drives past.

Children palying in road
Northumbria Police

The images, which were taken in Oxclose Road, near The Terraces in Columbia, were sent to police by a local councillor after residents raised concerns.

Officers are working to identify the children in the images so their parents can be spoken to about their "reckless behaviour".

Children playing in road
Northumbria Police

Insp Vicky Quinn said: "These images are shocking and truly unbelievable.

"The children, who appear to be very young, are risking their own safety and the safety of motorists and other road users by this reckless behaviour. Playing on or near busy roads is not safe.

"Parents should know where their children are playing and what they are doing when they go out and make sure they are safe and we would urge all parents to speak to their children about the importance of road safety and being safe."

Children playing in road
Northumbria Police

Severe accident: A1(M) County Durham southbound

BBC News Travel

A1(M) County Durham southbound severe accident, between J60 for A689 and J59 for A167.

A1(M) County Durham - A1(M) partially blocked and very slow traffic southbound between J60, A689 (Bradbury) and J59, A167 (Aycliffe), because of an accident involving one vehicle.

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

Police warn of A1M delays

Matt Critchley

Matt Critchley's 102 helps Derbyshire reach 332-9 on day one of their Division Two match against Durham at Chesterfield.

Read more

Magpies sign Florian Lejeune

Matthew Raisbeck

BBC Newcastle Sport

Newcastle United have confirmed the signing of Florian Lejeune from Eibar on a five-year deal.

Luis Suarez in action with Eibar's Florian Lejeun

Good morning. Welcome to our live coverage

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