By Simon Stone
By Simon Stone
By Joe Bradshaw
Our live coverage has ended for today but any breaking news, travel or sport will still appear here over the Christmas holidays.
We'll be back with more live updates from 08:00 on Monday 30 December and we hope you can join us then.
Have a very merry Christmas, wherever you are.
The rescue of a kitten from an industrial bin in Durham has been described as a Christmas miracle.
The 10-week-old tortie and white female was heard meowing by a member of the public before she was found in an alley off Providence Row on Friday evening.
An RSPCA animal collector had to use a ladder to climb into the tall bin to get her out, and said there was no way she could have got in there herself, as the lid was down.
Shane Lynn said: "There was nothing else in it apart from her so whoever closed the lid couldn’t have missed her being inside.
“There was metal fencing with signs saying ‘keep out’ so if she was dumped then the person responsible had no intention she’d be found.”
Although scared and hungry, she had suffered no ill effects, and will be looked after over the festive period before a home is sought for her.
“She’ll stay in foster care over the Christmas and new year period and the hub will look for a new home for her after that.”
Shane Lynn said: “She was so lucky. She could have died in there.
“It was a Christmas miracle that she was heard, and that the member of the public who did so was actually able to find her, and we’ve decided that should be her name - Miracle."
A huge tower block in Newcastle must have its cladding removed before it can be turned into flats because it does not comply with post-Grenfell fire safety rules.
Plans have been lodged to replace the aluminium cladding on the outside of Cale Cross House, next to the Tyne Bridge, before the building is converted into apartments.
According to documents lodged with Newcastle City Council, the existing cladding “would not be compliant” with fire safety regulations for residential accommodation.
The council confirmed work to remove and replace cladding on eight buildings in the city has been completed with progress on two more and investigations continuing on another.
A man has been arrested after an elderly woman died following a crash in County Durham.
The woman, who was 90, was taken to hospital after the car she was driving was involved in a collision with a van on the A67 at Winston on Monday.
She under went emergency surgery, but died on Friday.
Durham Police said the driver of the van was questioned on suspicion of causing death by careless driving, and later bailed.
Train crews on the Tyne and Wear Metro are to strike for two days in January.
The action by the RMT union follows another two-day strike and an ongoing overtime ban, after it and Aslef rejected a 15% pay increase and changes to rostering arrangements.
Operator Nexus said if it goes ahead no trains will run on 6 and 7 January, but it urged the RMT to enter into talks.
It said the days chosen for strike action include the first days of new school and college terms, and accused the union of "showing a disregard for the travelling public".
The RMT has previously said the network's driver pay and conditions "have been allowed to stagnate and slip way behind the industry norm".
Officers investigating an assault in South Shields have made a further arrest.
Shortly after 03:00 yesterday, police received a report that a 24-year-old man had been assaulted at an address on Whiteleas Way
Emergency services attended and the victim was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries consistent with a stabbing.
He currently remains in hospital in a critical but stable condition.
Police are questioning a 29-year-old man arrested on Monday night.
A 28-year-old woman earlier arrested in connection with the assault has now been released with no further action.
Local Democracy Reporting Service
Stretched cables and structural defects are behind the extended closure of the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge, councillors have been told.
The iconic 108-year-old structure was closed in July and it has now been revealed that suspension wires carrying the gondola need to be replaced.
Councillor Dennis McCabe, executive member for environment, told councillors that staff employed on the bridge were not qualified to do the work, meaning contractors had to be drafted in.
He also told the chamber that welding troubles had been uncovered after the council took on the bridge’s maintenance programme.
Details of the bridge’s problems were revealed after a question from Councillor Ron Arundale, who shared worries about the long closure.
He said: "I find this quite concerning given that eight years ago the bridge was thoroughly overhauled as part of its centenary."
However, Mr McCabe said he was confident the bridge would be reopened in the new year.