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Live Reporting

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  1. Ben Spencer

    Saracens move within a point of leaders Exeter Chiefs at the top of the Premiership with a three-try win against Newcastle Falcons.

    Read more
  2. Our live coverage across the day

    Our updates here have now finished for the day, and the week. Thank you for joining us.

    This feed will be updated with travel updates and any news and sport overnight.

    You can also keep up-to-date with the latest news, on BBC Newcastle and BBC Tees and on Look North.

    We'll be back with more updates on Monday.

  3. Watch: Question Time from Darlington

    The BBC's Question time came from Darlington last night.

    Host David Dimbleby was joined by energy minister Claire Perry, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, businessman and co-chair of the pressure group Leave Means Leave, Richard Tice, political columnist for the Times, Rachel Sylvester and broadcaster and author Terry Christian.

    You can watch the programme here.

  4. Physio funding row for woman with rare genetic condition

    BBC Newcastle

    A woman who spent years bedridden with a rare genetic condition says she can't understand why the NHS has decided to stop paying for her private physiotherapist.

    Melanie Hartshorn, from Cramlington, has Elhers-Danlos Syndrome which causes her joints to dislocate.

    She's been seeing the same private physio for the past 10 years, funded by the NHS. However, that has been stopped and she has been offered free treatment from a physio on the NHS.

    It comes after Melanie (pictured) raised £160,000 to pay for a crucial operation in Spain to fuse her skull to her spine.

    Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group, which made the decision, says NHS physiotherapists are qualified to treat her condition and that decisions about private treatment are made on a case-by-case basis and judged on clinical need.

    Melanie Hartshorn
  5. Drinks firm boss 'devastated' by burglary

    BBC Newcastle

    The boss of a family-run business has spoken of his devastation after thieves used stolen keys to enter his company and took a five-figure sum of money.

    The money was stolen from a safe inside the Primo Drinks unit on Sea View Industrial Estate, in Horden, on the evening of Sunday 17 December.


    Durham Police have just released CCTV images of two men. The keys had been taken from a car parked in Avenue Vivian, in Fencehouses, earlier that evening.

    Primo Drinks managing director Gavin Wright said: “After the immediate shock, I then began to realise just how devastating the consequences of this would be and the effect it would have on things like cash flow, morale, safety and security and the long-term effects it has on the profitability of the company and potential growth aspirations."

  6. Loan shark action week planned

    BBC Tees

    A week of action will be held in Middlesbrough to crack down on loan sharks who prey on vulnerable people.

    The Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) – a specialist unit that investigate and prosecute loan sharks – is working with Middlesbrough Council on a range of activities during February half-term.

    Loan Shark mascot

    The activities will run from 12 to 16 February and will raise awareness of the dangers of loan sharks and the help and support available to victims, while a zero-tolerance charter will be signed by various groups.

    Dave Budd, the mayor of Middlesbrough, said: “Loan sharks profit off other people’s misery. They prey on the vulnerable and cause untold damage to families and communities."

  7. Durham gets ready for Chinese New Year

    Durham will welcome the Year of the Dog with the traditional Chinese lion dance.

    The performance will start next Saturday at 12:30 in the Market Place. It will then proceed to the Prince Bishops Shopping Centre, Elvet Bridge and Framwellgate Bridge, followed by a visit to Clayport Library.

    The Chinese Lion dancing in Durham Market Place at a previous Chinese New Year celebration

    Durham Markets MD Colin Wilkes said:

    Quote Message: Our Chinese New Year celebrations always draw a great crowd, and as the lion dances in several different city centre locations, there are plenty of opportunities to catch the performance.
    Quote Message: As Chinese New Year coincides with the city’s Fire and Ice Festival, it’s a great opportunity to spend your Saturday in the city. We hope plenty of people will visit, and make the most of the city’s shops, restaurants and cafes as well as all the entertainment.”
  8. Atsu to hold Ghana orphan school fundraiser

    BBC Newcastle

    Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu is holding a charity event to build a school for orphans in his native Ghana.

    He is an ambassador for the charity Arms Around The Child, which helps some of the world's poorest children, after himself growing up in poverty.

    The footballer's father was a farmer and fisherman who died when Atsu was training at an academy in Ghana.


    Atsu's Black Star Gala in Gateshead aims to raise enough to build a school for local orphans.

    He said: "Understanding my own family's struggles with poverty, it's important to me to help the kids who are living in extreme adversity, abandoned, orphaned and often rescued from trafficking."

    Tickets for the event at the Newcastle Gateshead Hilton on 14 March cost £150.

  9. Fears road work will cause 'huge problems'

    Residents of Marske say planned changes to the main road into the town will cause huge traffic problems.

    Proposals are in place to build a footpath under a railway bridge.

    It would reduce the road to a single lane, which would be controlled by traffic lights.

    A public meeting is being held tonight. Campaigner Peter Finlinson is urging residents to have their say.

    He said: "We need to have our say and work together to protect our community."