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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    That's all from us for today - thank you for joining us.

    You can stay in touch with the latest news overnight on BBC Tees, BBC Newcastle, Look North, and online.

    If you've got a story or a picture you'd like to share with us you can tweet us @BBCNewsNE, email, contact us via Look North's Facebook page.

    We're back at 08:00 tomorrow.

    We'll leave you with this photo of a dramatic sky above boats off Whitley Bay.

    Fishing boats off Whitley Bay
  2. Weather: Cloudy tonight with some patchy rain in places

    Tonight it will be generally cloudy with a chance of some patchy rain, in the south of the area. Light winds throughout. Widespread hill fog by dawn.

    Minimum Temperature: 3C (37F).

    Tomorrow it will be mainly dry and rather cloudy, with hill fog over the hills. Perhaps a few brighter, sunnier spells developing later. Remaining relatively mild with light winds.

    Maximum Temperature: 9C (48F).

  3. Vicar denies plane passenger grope

    A Northumberland vicar has denied groping a fellow passenger on a trans-Atlantic flight.

    Rev Peter McConnell, vicar at St Helen's Church in Longhorsley, is alleged to have sexually assaulted a male in his twenties on a British Airways plane from the United States in March.

    Appearing at Newcastle Crown Court, the 63-year-old pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault.

    He will return to the court for a trial due to start in August 2018.

    Rev Peter McConnell
  4. Help for homeless people at Christmas

    Damian O'Neil

    BBC Look North

    A church in Sunderland is one of many institutions opening its doors to show some Christmas spirit to those with nowhere to stay.

    St Mary's will be serving a Christmas lunch, and has been backed by fundraising efforts across the city. It includes Sunderland Football Club club where supporters were encouraged to "bring a tin" to a recent match.

    The items have been donated to St Mary's and other homeless support charities. The lunch is being served on Christmas Day from noon until 1.30pm.

  5. Why do we celebrate the solstice?

    It's the Winter Solstice today which is seen by many as the turning point when the nights reach their longest in the global north, and the days their longest in the global south.

    For us in the north, summer is on the (far) horizon.

    The Earth rotates the Sun on a tilt - at an angle of 23.5 degrees. This tilt gives us our seasons and, twice a year, our solstices. You can read more here.

    Video content

    Video caption: What is the winter solstice?
  6. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: A1 Tyne And Wear southbound

    BBC News Travel

    A1 Tyne And Wear southbound severe disruption, at A6127 Newcastle Bank affecting A184.

    A1 Tyne And Wear - Queuing traffic on A1 Western Bypass southbound in Birtley at the A6127 Newcastle Bank junction, because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to Dunston Interchange.

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

  7. Are you dreaming of a White Christmas? Fat chance

    Damian O'Neil

    BBC Look North

    Unless you're heading to the far north of Scotland, you're far more likely to encounter the usual dreary mix of rain and blustery wind when you get up on Christmas morning.

    The recent cold snap left many of us wondering whether this year we'd wake up to gleaming fields of pure white snowy goodness, punctuated with the occasional Robin and clutches of rosy-cheeked carol singers roasting chestnuts over impromptu open fires.

    But the north- east of England will instead be dominated by low-pressure conditions, which means spells of heavy rain and strong winds between Christmas and New Year.

    People with umbrellas
    Image caption: I'm dreaming of a beige Christmas
  8. The generosity of the bereaved

    Two crematoria in County Durham have donated a total of £10,000 to local charities as a result of surplus funds from a recycling scheme.

    Sands, a stillbirth and neo-natal death charity, and the North of England Children's Cancer Research Fund have each received cheques of £5,000 from Mountsett Crematorium and Durham Crematorium.

    Durham County Council is a member of the Metal Recycling Scheme run by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM), which recycles metals which are left after a cremation.

    Once written consent is given from a bereaved family, metals such as orthopaedic implants and materials used in the construction of the coffin are recycled by the ICCM with the proceeds donated to a charity of their choice.

    Graham Harrison, the county council's bereavement services manager, said: "We're massively indebted to the generous families that have kindly donated these recycled metals to charity.

    "Their consent, given at this difficult time for them, does mean that good causes continue to benefit."

    Mountsett crematorium
    Image caption: Bereavement generosity
  9. Airline scraps North East to Norwich flight

    BBC Tees

    Loganair has announced today that it'll no longer run its flight from Durham Tees Valley Airport to Norwich.

    Bosses say the flight 'wasn't performing in line with expectations with no signs of improving'. The service will be pulled from 7 January.

    However, the route between Durham Tees Valley and Aberdeen is proving a success and Loganair says it is making a series of schedule adjustments to enhance convenience for passengers, particularly for those in the Oil and Gas industries.

  10. Test your knowledge of 2017

    How good is your memory of the stories and people in the news in 2017?

    Here is the first part of the BBC News Quiz of the Year - people.

  11. Car driven into house 'part of ongoing feud'

    A car being driven into a house and set on fire was part of an ongoing feud in the traveller community, police said.

    No one was hurt in the crash in Yarm Road, Darlington, at 20:20 last night and the house was unoccupied.

    Durham Police are treating it as arson and are appealing for information.

    Ch Insp Sue Robinson, from Darlington Neighbourhood Police Team: "We can confirm the incident is connected to an ongoing feud in the traveller community.

    “The house is unoccupied and we believe that is why it was targeted.“The investigation into the incident is ongoing but we need people to come forward with information."

  12. Seal pups drone bonanza on Farne Islands

    Damian O'Neil

    BBC Look North

    Rangers on the Farne Islands have used a drone to help them record the second ever highest number of seal pups on the archipelago.

    It was thought this year's tally would break the previous record of 2,295 pups, until bad weather brought the count to a grinding halt at 2,010.

    The National Trust rangers live on the islands off the Northumberland Coast between April and December, with the annual seal count taking place over several months from October.

    Using the drone this year enabled them to map the locations of newly born seals and their parents without intruding on the newborns.

    Seal pup
    Image caption: A seal pup, earlier.
  13. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: A1(M) County Durham northbound

    BBC News Travel

    A1(M) County Durham northbound severe disruption, between J60 for A689 and J61 for A177.

    A1(M) County Durham - One lane closed on A1(M) northbound between J60, A689 (Bradbury) and J61, A177 (Bowburn), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

  14. Your photos: Red sky in Middlesbrough

    There was a stunning red sky across the North East yesterday morning and Frank Tommany took this photo from the Transporter Bridge, in Middlesbrough.

    Have you got any photos you'd like to share with us?

    In that case you can tweet them to@BBCNewsNE,email, or contact us viaLook North's Facebook page.

    Red sky in Middlesbrough
  15. Boy pushed off bike by thief

    A man pushed a 16-year-old boy off his bike and stole it, police said.

    The man approached the boy at 19:20 on Saturday outside Tesco, West Dyke Road, Redcar.

    The suspect is white, aged 20-25, 6ft and of medium build. He was wearing a navy hooded top, dark Adidas bottoms.

    Before he took the bike - a black and green Giant stance with red handlebars - he had an argument with a woman in the street.

  16. Video content

    Video caption: Traditional Christmas dinner given an Indian twist

    The traditional Christmas turkey dinner has been spiced up with an Indian twist.

  17. Selfless student makes the rest of us feel bad

    Damian O'Neil

    BBC Look North

    A 19-year-old sports development student from Sunderland University has won an award for clocking up more than 300 hours of volunteer work.

    Matt Harris' work in helping people with disabilities has landed him a Sunderland Caring for Carers Award. It follows his previous award of Volunteer of the Year, which he won in 2016.

    "I certainly don't do this for the awards", said Matt, who's from Washington, "but I was very flattered to be recognised because you're nominated through those people you're supporting. I just hope it encourages others to do the same".

    Matt Harris
    Image caption: 300 hours of volunteering