16:43 UK time, Friday, 27 June 2014
The Chancellor wants to create a northern powerhouse through railways, science and mayors but can he deliver?
Works of art belonging to the Duke of Northumberland are sold for more than £32m at auction after his estate was left with a massive bill for flood damage.
An investigation is under way after a man dies on a cycle path in Newcastle.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka says the strike action by public sector workers is about "demonstrating that they've had enough".
He told BBC Radio 5 live: "If that means that fire stations and schools are closed, and there are delays at airports and that people find that they are inconvenienced, whilst we regret the inconvenience, what we're really trying to say is that everyone depends on our members' services, so start paying them a decent wage."
Cloud will increase during the afternoon with occasional heavy rain arriving towards eastern areas later. Feeling cool near coasts with outbreaks of rain and brisk northerly breezes.
Maximum temperature: 16C (61F). Check the forecast near you.
A tortoise is set to stroll into the record books as the fastest in the world. The current record has been held since 1977, when one named Charlie travelled 5.48m (18ft) in 43.7 seconds.
But Bertie, from Adventure Valley in County Durham, has been timed covering the same distance in 19.59 seconds.
Guinness World Records said it has been informed of the attempt and is awaiting evidence before the claim can be verified.
Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet is confident striker Jozy Altidore will be fit for pre-season despite having his World Cup ruined by injury.
The 24-year-old frontman damaged a hamstring in the United States' opening Group G game against Ghana, and although he was named on the bench for the last-16 defeat by Belgium, he played no further part in Brazil.
Poyet told safc.com: "We know hamstring injuries are tricky and that you have to be careful not to come back too quickly. I am sure, if nothing goes wrong, that when Jozy is back with us for pre-season he is going to be fit to start training without any problems."
The top local headlines at 15:00:
We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. Tell us what you think.
The managing director of a five-star North East hotel and spa resort has stepped down.
How come everyone had bad hair cuts when they were a kid? Look what my dad's just sent me:
There's a handy guide here to why the strikes are happening, who has walked out, and what unions hope it will achieve.
The top local headlines at 14:00:
Northumbria Police say they made a mistake earlier when they said a man had been found stabbed to death on a cycle path.
What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like your feedback about this service.
Six former British soldiers arrested in India are believed to have had the charges against them dropped, meaning they'll be free to go home.
The six, including Nick Dunn from Ashington in Northumberland, were working for an American security company on board an anti-piracy vessel but were accused of entering Indian waters illegally and also illegally possessing firearms.
Although they were then freed from prison they haven't been allowed to leave India until a judge formally ended all legal proceedings. Mr Dunn's sister Lisa says she's been told that has now happened. Watch BBC One at 13:30 or catch up here.
The top headlines at 13:00:
Police and the fire service say they're treating a fire in North Ormesby, in which a 50-year old-woman died, as unexplained.
Emergency crews were called to Wharton Street just before midnight.
A man has been stabbed to death near a cycle path in Newcastle.
The victim, who was in his 20s, was found by police at 11:00 this morning at The Oval in Walker. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
An area around where he was found has been cordoned off while officers investigate.
Paul Gilroy is from Unison and is at a picket line at Newcastle civic centre.
He told BBC Newcastle: "We apologise for any disruption that's been caused and we would hope that people would understand there's a political dynamic to this strike as well, which is about the government's attack on low paid workers, so our fight is their fight as well."
Amble RNLI in Northumberland is seeking the public's help to raise £200,000 for a new lifeboat.
I'm reporting from Newcastle fire station as firefighters become the latest group to join the public sector strike.
That's a 25th half century for Mark Stoneman which came in 109 balls, with five fours. Durham are now 89-2 against Yorkshire, 106 behind.
Keep up to date with the live scorecard.
I've been speaking to the people on the picket line in Gateshead at Charles Thorp Comprehensive School.
Nicola Moore, a teaching assistant at the school said: "Unison members are effectively seeing a 20% loss of the value of their wages during the term of this government.
"As far as the action today has gone, we've had no negative response."
Newcastle United are ready to mount a fresh bid to re-sign Loic Remy after re-igniting talks with priority target Remy Cabella.
I'm waiting to go live on the News Channel. I've only been working in the North East since November and people said "oh, you'll be cold up there", but it's a beautiful day today.
The top headlines at 11:00:
Firefighters have been monitoring a fire involving hundreds of tractor tyres at Little Gordon Farm at Lands Bank, near Bishop Auckland.
People living in the area have been advised to keep their doors and windows shut owing to the thick smoke, which can be seen for miles around.
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue tweets: Regarding the incident at Little Gordon Farm, a crew has been in attendance all night, the fire is still burning under supervision.
Today's strikes enable ministers to turn up the heat on Labour by pressing them to condemn the industrial action being carried out by their big union supporters.
And they also expect widespread backing in the newspapers for their bullish stance.
So, while in public ministers will appear angered by the strikes, in private they may be good deal more relaxed. Read more of my analysis here.
Stockton South Conservative MP James Wharton tells the BBC said the strikes a part of a healthy democracy.
He said: "I respect people's right to strike if that's what they want to do, I'm not entirely pleased with the way that these strikes have come about but it's part of being in a healthy democracy.
"At the same time, we've got to recognise there are no easy answers to these problems. The country was left in a state of near-bankruptcy, difficult decisions are needed to put it right. We're putting in place out long-term economic plan and all the signs say it's working."
St Mary's Cathedral in Clayton Street, Newcastle, has been given £185,000 by the World War One Centenary Repairs Fund.
It is one of 22 cathedrals to receive nearly £5m in total. Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: "We are ensuring these magnificent buildings are preserved for future generations so they continue to serve their communities and congregations.
"This fund is just one part of the Government's preparations to ensure the UK is ready to remember and mark the heroic sacrifice so many made a century ago."
I'm talking tattoos - Do you make an instant judgement when you see someone with a tattoo on show?
There's a story today about a woman who was sacked for having a tattoo of a butterfly on her foot.
When it comes to your job, does it really matter if you have a tattoo on show? Call me on 0191 232 6565 with your opinion or tweet @BBCNewcastle.
The top headlines at 10:00:
We've had lots of reaction via text from our listeners on BBC Newcastle today.
Mike in Durham texts: "Unions paid Labour to pay the bankers' bonuses after both bankrupted the country and stole people's pensions. It's their turn now."
Martin in Whitburn texts: "Partial strikes won't make any difference, You need a national strike, that will bring the posh boys to their knees, and bust the coalition's indirect policies."
This is the Unison picket line at Newcastle civic centre. This is where public sector workers from many unions will rally later today.
A Durham shopping centre which is in administration has been bought for £11.85m by a London-based company.
The Gates Shopping Centre in Durham city, which includes shops, homes and parking, went into administration in 2012.
Its new owner, Clearbell Capital LLP, hopes to build a cinema, new restaurants and student accommodation at the site, as well as managing the existing complex. The company said it hoped it would "improve the offering" to the area.
Redcar and Cleveland Council leader and Labour councillor George Dunning tells me: "We can't be sure how many people are on strike but there's a lot of disruption.
"My youngest son is a teacher and he's affected by this, and I'm personally affected as I've got grandchildren off school.
"In a democratic society everybody has a right to strike. It's a last resort, the public sector has been pushed from pillar to post, we've lost 750 jobs here, and the government should seriously sit down and talk to the unions."
I'm at the picket line at Hartlepool Council for BBC Tees.
All of our councils say they've taken steps to minimise the impact on emergency and essential services, but people are advised that many council buildings will be closed to the public.
Picket lines will be mounted outside courts, council offices, job centres and fire stations, as firefighters are joining today's day of industrial action.
The top headlines at 09:00:
Here are workers striking at the Department for Work and Pensions offices in Longbenton. We'll be speaking to some of them on BBC Newcastle.
But the lead mining museum in Killhope and Hardwick Park remain open, Durham County Council says.
Teachers are on the picket line here in Gateshead at Charles Thorp Comprehensive School.
Tony Dabbs, one of the teachers, said: "The 1% increase is a bit of an insult, we're also interested in pensions, teachers being made to work harder, longer and getting less.
"For teachers it's also about work load, we're working longer than ever before, 60 hours a week for some primary school teachers and that's unsustainable."
In most North East councils, bin collections, libraries, job centres, care centres, museums, pools and leisure centres have also been hit by today's strike action.
Also shut by the pay dispute are Durham's Gala Theatre, Shildon Locomotion, DLI Museum and Newcastle's Grainger Market.
Bins will not be emptied, schools will not be opened and council workers will not go to work across much of the North East this morning.
Thousands of public sector workers in the North East are on strike today in a row with the government over pay.
More than 350 schools in our region are completely shut with hundreds of others partially closed.
A bright start in many areas, although cloud will increase later with occasionally heavy rain arriving in Seaham and towards the eastern areas during the afternoon.
Feeling cool near coast with outbreaks of rain and brisk northerly breezes. Maximum temperature: 16C (61F). Check the forecast near you.
Welcome to BBC Local Live this morning. I'll be bringing you news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East plus details on all the public sector strike action hitting the region.
Listen to live sport commentaries from any of the BBC's 40 Local Radio stations
The latest TV news, sport and weather for the North East and Cumbria
Archaeologist Ben Robinson flies over Hadrian's Wall to reveal a new view of its history
The latest political news, interviews and debate for the North East
The latest news, sport and weather for the North East and Cumbria
All the latest news and action for your team in rugby league's Super League.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.