Mark Lawrenson takes on 'I, Tonya' stars Margot Robbie & Allison Janney to predict this weekend's Carabao Cup final and Premier League fixtures.Read more
It will be largely dry tonight with clear periods for most, although there is a small chance of seeing the odd light sleet or snow shower locally.
Turning cold with the risk of a frost developing.
Cheryl has hit back at claims her appearance with boyfriend Liam Payne at the Brits was a "stunt".
On Twitter, she said the theory - reported by the Sun- was "ludicrous and a bit weird".
"No one cares who's been speculatively arguing or not in their relationships," she wrote in a post.
Cheryl and Liam put on a loved-up display on the red carpet at the Brits on Wednesday amid speculation their relationship has hit the rocks.
A strike on Northern Rail services is taking place on 3 March.
Northern Rail will be operating a reduced service on the day of the strike and so delays are expected.
This 73-year-old woman happens to be a perfect gym partner.
A police dog has helped to locate a suspect following a robbery in Walker.
Four-legged hero Ruben found a man underneath a parked van after a 60-year-old man was hit with a hammer in the same car park.
He was taken to hospital with serious, but non-life threatening, facial injuries.
A man has now been charged in connection with the incident and appeared before magistrates in Bedlington, where he was remanded in custody until a future hearing at Newcastle Crown Court
A second man has also been charged in connection with the incident and will appear before magistrates in Bedlington today.
Mark Lambert, Ben Glynn and James Horwill return, while fly-half Demetri Catrakilis is on the bench after five months out with a throat injury.
Newcastle Falcons welcome back captain Will Welch from a head injury.
Flanker Mark Wilson returns from a hamstring problem while full-back Simon Hammersley replaces Alex Tait in the other change from the win over Bath.
A weightlifter from Newcastle who says she was a "terrible teen" has turned her life around and is now the successful owner of a new type of healthy 'fast' food restaurant. "I was into every single bit of trouble you can imagine. And I couldn't really find what I wanted to do," said Carley Jones, owner of Kettlebell Kitchen. The 32-year-old turned her life around after moving to Manchester and working her way up to co-own a call centre. She opened the restaurant in 2016 and is planning to branch out into other areas after the concept really took off. "I am obsessed. I wake up it's the first thing I think about. I go to sleep, it's the last thing I think about. I don't sleep much!" This clip is originally from BBC Radio 5 live.
Today's report into Operation Sanctuary determined that professionals should only rely on victims' statements to prosecute perpetrators when it is "unavoidable due to lack of other evidence".
This is said to be to protect victims and stop offenders before damage has been caused.
The review was also "unable" to gain a true understanding of the offences through communicating with the perpetrators, as they were "undeterred by involvement of the police and other agencies".
The report adds: "There is an urgent need for guidance to robustly address these issues."
David Spicer, the man who wrote today's report, is a barrister and former chair of the British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
He has worked on more than 30 Serious Case Reviews (SCRs), Child Practice Review Reports and Multi-Agency Vulnerable Adult Review Reports.
Recently, he has undertaken more than 16 SCRs, most notably into the death of London girl Victoria Climbie in 2001.
Today marks two years since the boiler house at Didcot A Power Station collapsed, killing four men.
Workers Ken Cresswell, 57, John Shaw, 61, both from Rotherham, Michael Collings, 53, from Teesside, and Christopher Huxtable, 34, from Swansea, died in the collapse.
Sadie Cresswell, daughter of Mr Cresswell, wrote on Facebook that "nobody should go to work and not come home ever".
Didcot mayor Jackie Billington said the flag at the council's offices was at half mast to remember the victims.
Thames Valley Police says it is not known when its investigation into the incident will be complete.
Manslaughter charges are being considered, but the demolition company Coleman and Company, which employed the men, said there were "no grounds" for that.
Keith Cundall, the lawyer who represents three of the families, said: "The families want answers as to why this tragedy occurred, however they also know that an investigation of this sort will take time."
The government is being warned it's likely vulnerable women are being abused extensively across the UK, and much of it is unrecognised.
The review into Operation Sanctuary found that while there were similarities to grooming networks in other cities, the exploitation of adults was "unique" and had to be addressed urgently.
Speaking at a news conference, the author of the report, David Spicer, said all agencies, people and officials have to be alert.
Dr Spicer said that it may be "easy to identify if a child is not attending school regularly" or "continually going missing", however that may not always be the case.
Some of the victims that were looked at in this Serious Case Review attended school regularly, and teachers were "certainly" not aware of what was happening.
He added: "Everybody has to be vigilant about the likelihood of this happening... everywhere."
A safeguarding manager for Newcastle City Council is urging victims of sexual abuse and exploitation to come forward.
Sam Keith says she is aware of how hard it can be for victims to share their stories, but insists professionals are "here to listen".
BBC Inside Out
Sarah (not her real name) was 19, extremely vulnerable and unable to look after herself.
Along with other at-risk teenagers she was regularly abused by older men.
In the new year of 2014, Sarah told the police she'd been raped by Abdul Minoyee.
A police officer took Sarah on a tour of the West End to try identify Minoyee's house and car and other places where these "parties" had taken place.
Sarah's information was a red flag - the abuse was on a much bigger scale.
The detective in charge of Sarah's case told his bosses that what she had said signalled something much bigger.
Days later the officer's hunch was given added weight when two girls in care reported that they'd been repeatedly raped by a group of older Asian men.
The girls were aged 14 and 15.
They described being driven into Newcastle where they were plied with alcohol and cocaine before being raped and beaten by several men.
They were given money before being returned home.
Last year it emerged a police officer was sacked for failing to investigate a sex offender's phone linked to Operation Sanctuary.
Northumbria Chief Constable Steve Ashman said the officer was dismissed after his actions were found to be "grossly negligent".
The officer had sight of Bahmani Ahmadi's phone but did not "interrogate" it when he dealt with a complaint from a teenage girl in 2012.
If the handset had been checked, it could have revealed the extent of his grooming, police said.
Mr Ashman said: "It was evident that an officer who had had an opportunity to investigate an individual offender hadn't done a very good job at all.
"In fact the standard of investigation fell so far short of what I would expect that we deemed it to be grossly negligent and he was dismissed."
The editor of Inside Out in the North East and Cumbria wrote a blog last year about how the BBC fought to report this story:
Here's a snippet:
Spring 2016. Inside Out Producer Dan Farthing rings from Newcastle Crown Court.
“You will not believe what I have just heard…” and what he went on to describe was indeed pretty extraordinary.
Dan was following a series of interlinked trials of more than twenty Asian men, accused of grooming vulnerable young teenagers in the west end of Newcastle. Reporting restrictions banning broadcasts until the conclusion of the final trial meant we’d seen little early evidence of Dan’s regular days on the press bench.
Then, out of the blue, the prosecution revealed Northumbria Police had used a CHIS - a covert human intelligence source - to supply information on so-called “parties” where teenagers were plied with drink and drugs and sexually assaulted.
The Serious Case Review published today was undertaken by the Newcastle Safeguarding Adults Board and Newcastle Safeguarding Children Board.
The main aim of the report was to "consider and learn" from sexual exploitation involving children and young adults in Newcastle.
Some of the key points it examined were:
- The complex nature of the exploitation
- The extreme impact it had on victims
- That exploitation happens to adults as well as children
- Difficulties identifying and preventing exploitation
The NSPCC has praised the Serious Case Review into Operation Sanctuary.
The charity states that "significant strides have been made" in dealing with child exploitation in Newcastle.
It added the crimes committed were "abhorrent" and highlighted that "knowledge must continue to be shared across the UK".
The Shields Gazette
The chief executive of Newcastle City Council believes that adults are "being abused as well as young women".
Pat Ritchie has spoken out about today's report, which she says is the first to identify that particular issue.
She added that it's important to acknowledged that abuse does not "automatically stop at 18".
Operation Sanctuary's Serious Case Review demonstrates "the enormous progress that has been made in Newcastle" in tackling grooming and exploitation, the Children's Society says.
The organisation, which supports, young people in Newcastle affected by child sexual exploitation, is concerned that victims across the UK continue to be let down by professionals.
It believes this comes as a result of a failure to recognise "vulnerable" people who are at risk.
The charity highlights that other areas can "learn lessons" from the work done in Newcastle, but insists that there is "more to do" in the city.
One of the Operation Sanctuary victims was "startled" after being cross examined about the compensation she received.
The victim says she was "accused" of coming forward only to receive money.
When cross-examined I was called a liar – that it was all untrue. It was hard to put up a fight. I knew the police believed me.”
You should not be questioned about stuff outside the time zone for the case. For me, some of it was years ago. For some it’s new and fresh. You can put it at the back of your mind.
I was questioned about a note for school asking for absence when I forged my mother’s signature years before."
The government has called the crimes committed in Operation Sanctuary "abhorrent".
In a statement, a spokesperson acknowledged the "devastating impact" the abuse has had on victims.
They added that they have "done more than any other government to tackle child abuse".
"We will now look carefully at the recommendations in the joint serious case review,” it said.
Six months after 18 people were convicted of sexual exploitation in Newcastle, one young woman who was exploited for years, claims it is still going on.
A charity that supports a number of women who were exploited as part of Operation Sanctuary says it is "very pleased" with today's Serious Case Review.
Changing Lives is helping 33 women affected by the abuse and said their trauma "cannot be underestimated".
The charity is particularly happy with the focus given to abuse being carried out into adulthood and welcomes "the recommendation for a national debate, review and guidance to highlight the need for long-term support for victims of any age"
Director Laura Seebohm said: “Indeed it is the bravery of the women who came forward and put themselves through the ordeal of giving evidence that led to so many perpetrators being brought to justice."
The government needs to research the "profiles, motivations and cultural and background influences of perpetrators of sexual exploitation", the Operation Sanctuary report claims.
Author David Spicer said the "model of abuse" seen in Sanctuary was used by men from a "predominantly Asian or British Minority Ethnic culture or background".
In the Newcastle case, most of the men were British-born but all came from Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, Iraqi, Iranian or Turkish communities.
The Quillam Foundation said 84% of the 264 offenders convicted of grooming between 2005 and 2017 were of south Asian heritage.
Mr Spicer said the perpetrator he spoke to "displayed no regret" and "spoke in a derogatory manner about a lack of morals in British girls".
When Doreen Moffitt's hair started to fall out during treatment for small cell lung cancer, daughter Lisa Wakeman and granddaughter Amba Moffitt decided to join her and get their hair cut short.
Lisa said her mam was "really upset about her hair coming out" so they wanted to help boost her confidence.
A victim says her ordeal was made worse by giving evidence at the criminal cases with the defendants in the room.
I should not have gone – I was so distressed in my head. They questioned me one after the other for 2-3 days.
I was talking about horrible stuff. It was intimidating. I was asked about a very intimate thing which was extremely distressing. It has caused me a lot of stress. I don’t know why they had to ask such a personal question.
They brought up personal issues – made me feel unclean. There were screens. I could see the jury. The perpetrators and their family members were there.
I had to see the doctor – who said I was not well enough. Then the trial was stopped - I don’t know why. I was told it was politics and to do with the jury.
I went back to heavy drinking. Lost control. The perpetrators were continually in my head. I was sectioned and detained.”
I had good support for the criminal court. Good preparation. But it made me angry. I was made out to be a liar and it made me feel low.
That came as a surprise – it was dreadful. I wasn’t expecting it. Afterwards I was very upset and couldn’t control myself. I started having dreams and flash backs.
I was asked about things in my records that I knew nothing about – my past and I didn’t know why.”
Towns and cities across the country can learn "a great deal" from Newcastle's experience of tackling the issue of women and girls being sexually exploited, the report's author says.
David Spicer said: “Unlike some other areas, Newcastle agencies did not try and sweep this under the carpet but actively went looking for it and as a result a large number of perpetrators were arrested and prosecuted, and victims saved from further trauma.
"That is not say that lessons have not been learned. Before 2014 perpetrators were not consistently investigated, disrupted and prosecuted.
"Professionals felt there was little chance of securing convictions for various reasons - a lack of co-operation by victims because of control by perpetrators, victims being undermined in court and a history of a cautious approach by the Crown Prosecution Service in bringing charges.
“However, once the true extent of the problem became apparent, the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the City Council and partners across the city put in place a range of measures to disrupt, arrest and imprison offenders while supporting victims regardless of whether they were able to give evidence in court or not."
One victim gave what the report called a "chilling account" of why she came forward and reported the attacks to the police:
I started seeing younger girls there being raped and not realising it. Schoolgirls in uniform with their school bags coming from school.”
Others painted a picture of dysfunctional lives seemingly devoid of hope:
I should have been taken away from my family before I was born. For neglect. It took until I was 14 years old.”
And another victim described how the scene was set for her abuse:
A man in his 20s waited outside the primary school. We said he was our friend. I was 10-11 years old.
In the park, I met R. I was in Year 8. He was asking my age and about school and why I was out so late.
He took us to his house. There were a huge number of people there… R. asked me for my number to keep in touch and that was the start of the problem.”