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  1. Updates on Wednesday 5 July 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

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 lovely photo taken by Billy Atkinson earlier this week of a female roe deer in woods near Chester-le-Street.

Roe deer
Billy Atkinson

Weather: Mainly dry tonight, turning brighter later tomorrow

Mostly dry tonight, but also cloudy. Some patchy drizzle and hill fog is possible over the hills and other high ground.

Minimum Temperature: 12C (54F).

Tomorrow it will be largely cloudy through the morning with a chance of showers. Through the afternoon turning generally drier, brighter and very warm, but isolated thunderstorms may develop later.

Maximum Temperature: 21C (70F).

County Durham dog found dumped in a river hundreds of miles away

The body of a dog from County Durham has been found hundreds of miles away in a river with a rope around its neck.

Staffordshire bull terrier found in Llangollen River in North Wales
Staffordshire bull terrier found in Llangollen River in North Wales

The Staffordshire bull terrior was discovered two weeks ago. It was attached to a lump of wood in the Llangollen River in North Wales. '

It was microchipped but the RSPCA says its chip hasn't been able to lead its officers to the dog's owners.

Woman raped in Ashington

A woman was raped in Ashington in the early hours of this morning, police said.

The victim was attacked in the North Seaton area of the Northumberland town.

Det Ch Insp Helen Anderson of Northumbria Police said: "The victim is our utmost priority and our specialist officers are working closely with her to offer all the support she needs.

"While we are treating this as an isolated incident we do have officers on patrol in the area to reassure the public."

Northumbria police reassuring public over proposed changes to front desks

Northumbria Police says the changes to the opening hours of its front desks will not affect the number of operational stations across the force or the availability of front line officers.

Since Monday, all its front desks, apart from the one at Sunderland have only been open during daytime hours.

The force says it wants to reassure the public after the union, Unison circulated a petition about the changes.

"We are still wrestling with the impact of austerity and the cuts that we have faced in Northumbria are the largest of any force in the country. This has meant that we have to make difficult decisions whilst striving to deliver the best possible service to our communities. "

Chief Constable Steve AshmanNorthumbria Police
Northumbria Police HQ
Nothumbria Police
Northumbria Police HQ

MP applauded over comments in women's pensions debate

Easington Labour MP Grahame Morris was applauded in Parliament as he led a debate on resolving the so called "WASPI" pensions issue.

He was highlighting what he calls an "injustice." It concerns women born in the 50s who say they had little or no notice that their retirement age was being increased - leading them to claim they face financial difficulties bridging the gap to when they will now be entitled to a pension.

Mr Morris said he believes the matter needs special consideration

The Government says the decision to increase women's retirement age was made more than 20 years ago to bring it in line with men.

Applause broke out after Mr Morris made his closing remarks in the debate - asking for dignity for the WASPI women.

MPs and members of the public gallery reacted angrily as the pensions minister Guy Opperman said support was available for women in their 60s to retrain or seek apprenticeships to find work until their pensions now began.

Mr Opperman, who is Hexham Conservative MP, also said that much work had been done since 1995 to alert women to their increasing retirement age. But the Conservative Minister said the Government would not be changing the new rules.

Call out for would-be firefighters

Cleveland Fire Brigade is hosting an open event at Yarm Fire Station.

View more on twitter

HMS Ocean to visit Sunderland for the last time

Sunderland's adopted ship HMS Ocean will visit the city for the last time this week.

Ocean will be here for six days from tomorrow afternoon and the arrival will include a nine-gun salute.

The ship is being decommissioned and will be replaced by the brand new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2018 after 20 years in service.

View more on twitter

North East family business sells out to national chain

Hartlepool Mail


An award-winning South Tyneside family business has been sold to a national firm.

Bradley Lowery 'still fighting'

Terminally-ill Bradley Lowery is still fighting, a family friend has posted.

The six-year-old, from Blackhall Colliery, near Hartlepool, has neuroblastoma and is receiving palliative care at home. At the weekend his family said he was having difficulty breathing and he was visited by footballer Jermain Defoe (pictured).

The Facebook post reads: "Hi Guys Lynn here Update on Brad.

"Bradley is still fighting to stay with us. Nobody knows where he is getting the strength from or how he is doing it.

"He has been very close to going with the angels but he pulls himself out of it.

"It is a hard time for us waiting and watching for our baby to take his last breath he started with fighting and he is ending with fighting."

Jermain Defoe and Bradley Lowery
Family photo

County Durham MP secures debate on women's pensions

BBC Newcastle

Easington MP Grahame Morris (pictured) secured a debate in Parliament's Westminster Hall today about the State Pension age for women.

View more on twitter
Grahame Morris
Grahame Morris MP Easington

The campaign group Waspi - Women Against State Pension Inequality - argues women born in the 1950s, thought they'd retire at 60, but will now have to retire at - or after - 65, the same as men. T

The group says the the way the changes were implemented is unfair, with little or no personal notice. The Government's arguing it's already made concessions worth more than £1bn to limit the impact of the rising state pension age.

Ashley calls £15m pub promise 'nonsense'

Billionaire Mike Ashley said a claim that he agreed to pay a finance expert £15m during a drinking session in a pub is 'nonsense'.

Investment banker Jeffrey Blue said the Newcastle United owner promised to pay him £15m if he increased Sports Direct's share price to £8 each.

He was paid £1m but is suing Mr Ashley for the rest at London's High Court.

Mr Ashley said it "would be obvious" to anyone at the pub where they were drinking that he "was not serious".

Mike Ashley (left)

Newcastle University student wins £20,000 art prize

Final year art student Joy Labinjo has won £20,000 after coming first in this year's Woon Foundation Painting and Sculpture Prize.

The competition targets artists who are at the beginning of their careers and has been described as the "Turner Prize for beginners".

Joy Labinjo
Northumbria University
Joy Labinjo Woon Prize 2017 winner
Mr Wee Teng Woon
Northumbria University
Northumbria graduate Mr Wee Teng Woon established the Woon foundation with his three brothers

The Woon Foundation Painting and Sculpture Prize, jointly hosted by Northumbria University and BALTIC, has a prizes of up to £20,000 for student artists.

Hartlepool United starts National League season at Dover

The fixtures are out for the National League and Hartlepool United will start the season at home against Dover on Saturday 5 August.

View more on twitter

Cheaper rail fares now available on day of departure

Millions of rail passengers can now buy cheaper "advance" tickets on the day of departure, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has announced.

Until now, advance fares have generally only been available up until midnight on the day before.

Eight train operators are offering the service, claiming that the cheaper tickets can be bought as little as 10 minutes before the train leaves.

But advance fares are for a limited number of seats and often sell out.

Advance tickets can potentially be bought on the day with CrossCounty, Grand Central, Greater Anglia, Northern, Transpennine Express, Virgin Trains East Coast, Virgin West Coast and Caledonian Sleeper.

Passengers at Kings Cross
Getty Images

Man arrested in connection with Gateshead crossbow investigation

BBC Newcastle

A man has been arrested following reports of a man with a crossbow in Gateshead last night.

A cordon was put in place yesterday evening in Avenue Road while a property was searched.

A weapon was recovered and Northumbria Police said a man who had been spoken to was not at the address.

He was arrested later and remains in custody.

Protest as South Tyneside hospital consultation begins

A protest has been taking place this morning to coincide with the start of a consultation on the reorganisation of health services in South Tyneside and Sunderland.

Doctors, nurses and NHS staff have come up with different options for the delivery of stroke, maternity and children's services - these could be moved from South Tyneside to Sunderland hospital.

Health bosses say the changes will make the service more efficient but campaigners have labelled them 'a downgrading of care'.

People and patients are being invited to have their say from today.

View more on twitter

Revised plans for potash mine near Whitby

The company behind plans for a new £1.7bn potash mine in North Yorkshire has published revised proposals for the site.

Plans for Potash mine
Sirius Minerals

Developer Sirius Minerals wants to mine on land near Whitby and build a 23-mile tunnel to a processing plant in Teesside.

Sirius Minerals says among the "minor alterations" is the relocation of some approved buildings.

The changes are designed to simplify the mine infrastructure and make the construction process more efficient, the firm says.

It's been discussing its proposals with the local planning authority and says it will submit an amended application in the next few days.

CCTV image after food store knife threat

Police have released a CCTV image of a man they want to speak to in connection with a theft at a convenience store in Byker.

On Friday morning a number of items were stolen from the Heron's Foods on Welbeck Road.

A member of the public was also threatened with a knife.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police.

CCTV image
Northumbria Police

Protest planned as South Tyneside health consultation starts

BBC Newcastle

Campaigners say lives could be put at risk if some health services are moved from South Tyneside to Sunderland.

Doctors, nurses and NHS staff have come up with different options for stroke, maternity and children's services which could mean reorginisation.

A protest is planned this morning to coincide with the start of a consultation.

Health bosses though say the changes will make the service more efficient and drive up standards.

Centre opens to help improve town's health

BBC Tees

A new centre to help improve the health of people in Middlesbrough opens today.


According to Public Health England, people in the town are generally less healthy than the rest of the country.

The Live Well Centre in Dundas House in the town centre will offer a one-stop shop for dealing with issues such as anxiety and depression and drug and alcohol addiction.

Lisa Jones, the manager of the centre, says the aim is to improve the overall well-being of people in Middlesbrough

Day three of Derbyshire v Durham

Martin Emmerson

BBC Newcastle

Ready for day three of Derbyshire v Durham @DerbyshireCCC v @DurhamCricket in Chesterfield.

At close of play on Tuesday Durham were 274-8 trailing Derbyshire by 94 runs with two wickers remaining.

Listen here:

MH17 prosecution will take place in the Netherlands

Anna Holligan

Reporter BBC News, The Hague

The trial of those suspected of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet MH17 will take place in the Netherlands.

The Dutch ministry of security and justice made the announcement ahead of the third anniversary of the air disaster in eastern Ukraine.

So far no-one been charged with the deaths of the 298 people who were on board

Two Newcastle United fans, John Alder and Liam Sweeney, were among those who died when the plane was hit by a missile over Ukraine in 2014.

John Alder and Liam Sweeney
Durham Police/Facebook

Mike Ashley to give evidence at High Court

Newcastle United owner and Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley will today give evidence at a High Court trial after being sued by a finance expert who says he reneged on a £15m deal.

The Newcastle United owner is being sued by Jeffrey Blue at London's High Court.

Mr Blue said he was promised £15m if he managed to increase Sports Direct's share price to £8, but that he only received £1m.

But Mr Ashley said their meetings were drink-fuelled "banter".

Mike Ashley arriving at the High Court

Durham Miners' Gala road closures warning

Police have warned motorists to keep the roads in Durham City clear for this year's Miners' Gala - or face the risk of having their vehicles towed away.

The "big meeting" - now in its 133rd year - takes place on Saturday, and as usual a number of streets in and around the city will be closed to traffic for much of the day.

You can see the full list of closures here.

Durham Miners' Gala

Watch: Search for new hound as Scrappy Firedog retires

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue service is looking for a new firedog as Scappy retires.

View more on facebook

Rain clearing, but remaining cloudy and dull

Lisa Gallagher

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

A dull start to the day with hill fog and outbreaks of light rain or drizzle. It will gradually brighten up

It will gradually become drier throughout the afternoon, but cloudy conditions will still linger, apart from the chance of a few bright spells to the rest of the region.

Imran Tahir

Spinner Imran Tahir takes 5-98 on his Derbyshire debut to put the hosts in a good position against Durham.

Read more

Severe accident: A1(M) Tyne And Wear southbound

BBC News Travel

A1(M) Tyne And Wear southbound severe accident, between J65 for A194 and J64 for A195 affecting Chowdene Bank.

A1(M) Tyne And Wear - A1(M) in Birtley partially blocked and slow traffic southbound between J65 A194(M) and J64, A195 (Washington), because of an accident. Congestion on A1 to Coalhouse Roundabout.

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

Weapon recovered following crossbow sighting

BBC Newcastle

A weapon has been recovered following reports of a man with a crossbow in Gateshead.

Officers were called out yesterday evening to Avenue Road, and a cordon was put up while a property was searched.

Northumbria Police said early enquiries suggested the incident was domestic related, it had made contact with a man, and would deal with any offences.

Good morning. Welcome to our live coverage

We'll be here until 18:00 bringing you news, sport, weather and travel from across the North East.

If you'd like to get in touch you can Tweet us @BBCNewsNE, email, or contact us via our Facebook page.