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  1. Updates on Monday 24 July 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage throughout 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.

Tyne Tees presenter Pam Royle makes skin cancer plea

TV newsreader Pam Royle is hoping her diagnosis of skin cancer will inspire others to have themselves checked for the disease.

Ms Royle, who presents ITV Tyne Tees, was diagnosed with invasive melanoma last August after finding a mark on her leg.

Tyne Tees' Pam Royle makes skin cancer plea

She has had surgery and there is no sign the cancer has spread. Ms Royle, who lives near Darlington, urged people with new or unusual marks to get them checked.

She said she initially dismissed the mark above her left knee as a thorn from a countryside walk, but after two weeks she had a closer look and saw the tiny dark freckle had developed a light brown ring round it.

Drowning victim's mum in water safety plea

BBC Newcastle

A mother whose son drowned in the sea last summer says she's doing what she can to teach others about water safety as the school holidays start.

Sarah Hall's 17-year-old son, Liam, had been in a dinghy near Roker Harbour last August when the accident happened.

He and his friends had taken a trip on a sunny day in calm seas, but the dinghy began drifting further out to sea and taking in water.

At Liam's inquest, the coroner said she would write to Sunderland City Council about water safety in the area.

Liam Hall
Family photo

Delays expected as A66 repairs take place

BBC Tees

Motorists are being warned to expect delays as essential repairs take place along the A66 in Middlesbrough.

Works to the central reservation safety barrier are needed between Newport Interchange and Cargo Fleet Roundabout.

The work is expected by completed by 1 August.

Emergency services facing Superspice battle

BBC Radio 5 live

Stronger strains of the psychoactive drug Spice are hitting the streets, according to emergency services speaking to the BBC.

The former legal high is now a banned substance and leaves users in a "zombie-like" state. It's hit prisons and homeless people particularly hard - with emergency services saying they're trying to find new ways of dealing with the problem. The new strain is being called Superspice.

Ron Hogg, the Police, Crime and Victims' Commissioner for Durham, told us earlier it's time for the government to look again at drugs policy in the UK.

"The operation has been driven underground and the drug is now easily accessible to street dealers, which is why homeless people are people targeted," he said.

"Let's have a debate about where we are and what we are doing. Who controls the market? It's organised crime."

Packet of Spice
Getty Images

Bradley Lowery Foundation outlines aims for the charity

Anna Snowdon

BBC Tees Reporter

A post on Bradley Lowery's Facebook page has outlined the aims for The Bradley Lowery Foundation.

Bradley Lowery

The post outlines the foundation's seven criteria, from providing families help with fundraising campaigns to giving grants.

The application for the Bradley Lowery Foundation has been submitted. The family are currently awaiting a response from the The Charity Commission

Police dog retires after nine years of service

Anna Snowdon

BBC Tees Reporter

He's been in the service for almost nine years, and now police dog Ben is putting his paws up for retirement.

Ben with students from Tudhoe Colliery Primary School
Durham Police
Ben with students from Tudhoe Colliery Primary School

Ben is one half of the Durham Police dog duo, Jet and Ben. They have worked with thousands of school children, educating them on issues like 'stranger danger' and internet safety.

The hunt is now on to find a new puppy to recruit after Ben leaves the force.

We will be very sad to see him go but we wish him well in his retirement. I’m sure he will enjoy chilling out and relaxing with his new family.”

PCSO Claire KerrBen's handler

Appeal to help find missing woman

Anna Snowdon

BBC Tees Reporter

Durham Police are appealing for help to find Linda Keating from County Durham.

She was last seen at her home in Peterlee last Wednesday morning.

Linda Keating
Durham Police

Linda was last seen wearing a three-quarter length white coat, carrying a shoulder bag and a white plastic bag.

Anyone with information about Linda should call Durham Police on 101 with any information.

Cyber safety ratings for fridges, suggests chief constable

Anna Snowdon

BBC Tees Reporter

Durham Police Chief Constable Mike Barton has suggested that televisions and fridges that connect to the internet should carry cyber security ratings.

A modern kitchen

He has proposed the idea to help protect households from fraudsters and hackers in the era of the "internet of things", and says customers should be able to check cyber security ratings at the same time as checking the energy efficiency of an appliance.

There have been previous warnings in an official report that smart phones, watches and televisions could be targeted by cyber criminals.

Adam Hickey

Durham all-rounder Adam Hickey is facing surgery to repair the collarbone fracture suffered in T20 Blast defeat by Lancashire Lightning.

Read more

Hundreds of stricken animals rescued by firefighters

BBC Tees

Firefighters across the North East rescued more than 500 animals between 2014 and 2016, according to figures obtained by the BBC.

In Tyne & Wear, a horse was rescued after becoming trapped in the metal framework of a quad bike trailer.

And in Darlington, two pet rats were rescued from a drainage pipe while a cat was removed from the extractor fan of a pizza shop.

An animal is cut free by firefighters
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue

Nationally there have been 15,000 rescues at a cost of around £6m.

Dominic Brown, from Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, says being called out is preferable to the alternative.

"The owner will invariably try to rescue the animal themselves and that's a much more dangerous situation for someone who is not trained, does not have the right protective equipment, doesn't have the right level of knowledge about what they're doing - whether that's working at height or in fast-flowing water.

"They get themselves in trouble and then we're called out to rescue a person rather than an animal."

Big turnout for Newcastle's Pride festival

Newcastle's Pride festival saw the largest number of people parade through the city in the event's 10-year history.

Around 16,000 people walked through the city centre as part of the three-day celebration.

It's estimated the event brought more than £10m into the Newcastle economy last year.

The festival aims to reduce discrimination and improve understanding.

The event was first staged in August 2007 after a brief gap in Pride activities following the closure of Pride on the Tyne.

Pride marchers
Anthony Renton

Middlesbrough under-23 squad defender Anthony Renton is diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 18.

Read more

Middlesbrough player diagnosed with leukaemia

Anna Snowdon

BBC Tees Reporter

Middlesbrough Football Club have paid tribute to player Adam Renton, who has been diagnosed with leukaemia.

The 18-year-old is receiving treatment at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

View more on twitter
Robbin Ruiter

Sunderland boss Simon Grayson has yet to decide on a deal for trialist Robbin Ruiter despite a fine display at Bradford.

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Quorn to create 300 jobs at Billingham plant

Colin Briggs

Look North

A food company says it'll create hundreds of jobs on Teesside over the next five years.

Thanks to a rise in profits, the Quorn factory in Billingham is expanding.

Sales of the meat-free protein have grown by more than a third in America and Australia.

The firm's now investing £150m on Teesside as it aims to become a brand worth £1bn by 2027.

Food food packet

Northumberland man still awaiting Indian prison appeal

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

Northumberland man Nick Dunn has now served exactly two years of a five-year prison sentence in India - with no sign of a judge's decision on his appeal.

Nick, from Ashington, was among six men working on an anti-piracy ship which strayed into Indian waters. They were eventually sentenced for a series of weapons offences, which they deny.

They've been held now for four years and have been waiting eight months for news on their appeal. Earlier this month, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he'd leave no stone unturned in securing their release.

Nick Dunn

Rain did not dampen Sunderland Airshow spirits

Colin Briggs

Look North

The 29th Sunderland Airshow has been hailed a success despite some inclement weather, including heavy rain on Saturday that led to the cancellation or curtailment of some of the displays.

The Red Arrows performed on all three days and the conditions didn't put off many spectators on the Seaburn and Roker seafronts.

We'll have a round-up of the best of the airshow's sights and sounds in Look North later.

The Red Arrows perform at the Sunderland Airshow
Mike Delany

Newcastle Falcons fly-half Mike Delany leaves the Premiership club to re-join Bay of Plenty in his native New Zealand.

Read more

Former Sunderland keeper retires

Thomas Sorensen has announced he is retiring from professional football.

He played for Sunderland from 1998 to 2003, and helped the club finish 7th in both of their two first Premier League seasons.

It's been 17 years since he saved a penalty kick from Alan Shearer during a game against Newcastle United which earned him legendary status among Sunderland fans.

View more on instagram

Wedding bells for Cheryl?

Anna Snowdon

BBC Tees Reporter

Has Liam Payne headed in One Direction down the aisle with Cheryl?


Liam was interviewed French website On The Move about his new solo career and his influences, during which he referred to Cheryl as his "wife" several times.

I was writing with Pharrell when his wife was pregnant, along with my wife for that matter."

It hasn't been confirmed if a wedding did take place, the only images on social media from the couple so far are of their son, Bear.

View more on instagram

Missing Newcastle woman found

A missing Newcastle woman has spoken to police to let them know that she is safe and well.

An appeal for help to find Amy Potter, 19, was released last Wednesday.

View more on facebook

Are we looking at an electric future?

Consumers will save up to £40bn thanks to a revolution in the way electricity is made, used and stored, the government says.

New rules published today will make it easier for people to generate their own power with solar panels, store it in car batteries and sell it to the national grid.

Phil Taylor, professor in energy systems at Newcastle University, told Radio 4's Today programme these technologies are already available but are "expensive" and not yet "proven" to work on a large scale.

The UK could see savings of £40bn thanks to a revolution in electricity
Cristian Stuani

Cristhian Stuani leaves Championship club Middlesbrough to join Spanish side Girona for an undisclosed fee.

Read more

Gateshead gas holders to be dismantled

BBC Newcastle

Three huge gas holder tanks which have been part of the Gateshead skyline for a century are being demolished.

Work begins today to dismantle the structures and will take nine months.

They were built to supply gas to thousands of local people and until recently were used at peak times and in cold weather. However, advances in technology mean they are no longer in use.

They were targeted by the IRA in June 1993 and hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes when flames erupted.

Gateshead gas holders
James Drury
St James' Park Newcastle

Police said the move was a "sensible" response to recent terror attacks involving vehicles

Read more

Weather: Cloudy and damp

BBC Weather

It'll be a cloudy, damp and cool morning with outbreaks of rain, most persistent around the coast.

It will become dry in the afternoon with sunny spells developing. A strong breeze on the coast will slowly ease through the day.

Tonight, expect it to be mostly dry with winds becoming light. Cloud may thicken to give a few spots of drizzle around the coast.

Weather, Monday 24 July 2017

Check the forecast where you live here.

Sunderland manager David Moyes

Ex-Sunderland boss David Moyes behaved "entirely inappropriately" when he told reporter Vicki Sparks she might "get a slap", an independent panel rules

Read more

Welcome to our live coverage

Anna Snowdon

BBC Tees Reporter

Morning. 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.