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  1. Updates on Thursday 12 November 2015
  2. News, sport, travel and weather resumes at 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Live updates for the north-east of England have finished for the day.

    We'll be back from 08:00 on Friday with the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates. Join us then.

  2. Potash mine job losses: 2018 will see 'similar' reduction

    The executive vice president of Boulby Potash mine has warned there could be further cuts after 360 job losses were announced at Boulby Potash Mine in East Cleveland.

    He said: "When the potash business is complete, which will be some time in 2018... there will be a similar reduction to the one we're going through today.

    "So we can get down to a size that can manage and a cost structure that can support the business."

    A 45-day consultation period is now under way with staff and affected contractors.

  3. Potash mine job losses 'further and significant' blow - NECC

    Hundreds of jobs are set to be axed at Cleveland Potash mine, at Boulby.

    North East Chamber of Commerce chief executive James Ramsbotham said: “This is a further and significant blow for the area and will have a serious effect on the local economy.

    "The Tees Valley community has pulled together over the SSI closure and no doubt will do so again following this announcement. 

    “There are jobs available in the local economy and NECC will be working with the council and Job Centre Plus to make sure we give the company and the workforce as much support as possible.”

  4. Weather: Any heavy rain will quickly clear

    Sara Thornton

    BBC Weather

    Some short bursts of locally, heavy rain will quickly clear this evening, followed by a few showers overnight, possibly heavy, and turning wintry over higher parts of the Pennines.

    Weather forecast

      Minimum temperature: 4C (39F). Check the forecast near you.

  5. On tonight's BBC Look North

    Carol Malia

    BBC Look North

    There's another bitter blow as a potash mine announces more than 300 jobs are to go.

    And uncertainty for civil servants across the North too as HMRC unveils plans to close eight of its offices.

    We'll also be live in Durham as the first night of the Lumiere Festival opens.

    Join us then on BBC One at 18:30.

    Durham Cathedral
  6. Renewed appeal after 'brutal attack' on shop owner

    The impact on a man's family "cannot be underestimated" four years after he was attacked in his shop on Wearside, police say.

    In 2011, Oxclose Convenience store in Oxclose village was targeted by two men who police are still looking for.

    The shopkeeper suffered serious head injuries in a "brutal attack" but shop owner David Basrai managed to make his way home and call 999.

    David Basrai

    Acting Det Sgt Iain Saville said: "[His family] continue to suffer and cannot move on from this terrifying experience knowing the men responsible have not been brought to justice."

  7. Firework in hood leaves man with perforated eardrum

    A man suffered a perforated eardrum and burn marks on his hands after a firework was set off in his hood in Sunderland.

    The 21-year-old was walking along Hunter Street near Lowerson Avenue in Shiney Row when he was approached by three men.

    One of which placed the firework into the man's hood at 22:00 on Thursday 5 November and it then exploded.

  8. Sinkhole in Newcastle: Woman led to safety

    A woman had to be led along a narrow piece of road back to safety after a sinkhole appeared near her garage in Newcastle, the fire service says.

    Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said that she was concerned she couldn't get out of her garage safely and called for help.

    It's thought to be more than 20ft (6m) wide and emergency services are at the scene.

    Sinkhole in Newcastle
  9. Professor Cox opens £20m education centre

    A £20m centre has opened in Middlesbrough promoting the teaching of science, technology, engineering and maths.

    Middlesbrough College's new stem centre will be used by both teenagers and adults to help prepare them for a career in industry and has been officially opened by Professor Brian Cox.

    Watch a video of his visit here.

    Professor Brian Cox
  10. Sunderland Christmas lights switch on rescheduled

    Sunderland's Christmas Lights switch on event has been rescheduled for Tuesday in Keel Square, its organisers say.

    And there's more good news that the event will still have Andrea Faustini from The X Factor going along to press the important button. The event is due to kick-off at 18:30.

    Meanwhile, Lola Saunders, another former X Factor contestant from East Boldon, is to switch on the Christmas lights at the Metro Centre in Gateshead along with The Moffatt family from Channel 4's Gogglebox, on Sunday.

  11. Newcastle sinkhole 'really shocking' - neighbour

    A sinkhole that has appeared in Newcastle has revealed old mine workings in an area which used to have a number of pits.

    A man who lives nearby said he was told by the police not to go out the back of his house after the sinkhole appeared.

    Sinkhole in Newcastle

    He said "I thought at first 'That's my garage gone', but it's a bit further along from me.

    "It's the main pit shaft - it's all pit workings round here. It's really shocking to have it happen."

  12. 'Another blow in awful few months' - Northern Powerhouse MP

    Mark Denten

    BBC Look North

    Northern Powerhouse Minister and Stockton South Conservative MP James Wharton has spoken about the job losses announced at Boulby potash mine.

    He said: "This is terrible news which will clearly have an awful impact on those involved and comes at a very difficult time for the economy in Redcar and Cleveland.

    "We need to look at what we can do to bring in investment and to support the Teesside economy, and I am going to be looking very closely at what options there might be.

    "There is a lot of good news around too, but this is another blow in what has been an awful few months."

  13. Teaching assistants claim they face pay cut

    A group of teaching assistants in County Durham say they could have their salaries cut by between £1,000 and £5,000 a year by not being paid during school holidays.

    Durham County Council is proposing paying 2,700 staff only for term-time hours.

    The council says the plan will "remove any inequity as payment would only apply for hours worked as with other school and council employees".

  14. Complex meshes on the ceiling of Durham Cathedral

    A light art installation entitled Complex Meshes 2015 is projected on to the roof of the nave of Durham Cathedral as part of Lumiere Durham light festival, which runs until Sunday.

    Organisers say that visitors to Lumiere don't need a ticket if visiting after 19:30 and that about half of the installations are outside of the ticketed area.

    Complex Meshes 2015
  15. Emergency teams attend sinkhole in Newcastle

    We have more on the news that a sinkhole has appeared on a residential street in Newcastle.

    The council says an emergency response team from the National Coal Board is at the scene near Craster Square in Coxlodge, Gosforth, along with police and fire crews.

    Sinkhole in Newcastle

    A Newcastle City Council spokesman said: "We understand that this an old shaft connected to former mine workings that belong to the National Coal Board.

    "Northumbria Police and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service are both in attendance, as well as the council's technical and structural engineering teams who are providing assistance to emergency services."

  16. Lumiere festival of light returns to Durham

    The Lumiere festival of light returns to Durham today and runs until Sunday.

    The event, in its fourth appearance having been held every second year since 2009, attracted more than 175,000 people in 2013.

    We can give you sneak preview - including a light art installation entitled "Supercube".

  17. 'No-one injured' after horse box crashes into house

    Durham Police have released a statement after a "suspected stolen horse box" crashed into a house in Darlington.

    It says: "The incident happened at about 00:30 this morning in the Beaumont Hill area of the town.

    "Although no one was injured significant damage has been caused to the property."

  18. Sunderland Christmas light switch on postponed

    The switch on of Sunderland’s Christmas Lights, which was due to take place tonight, has been postponed.

    A spokesman for organisers Sunderland Live says: "Given the national weather forecast of high winds and rain,  we have regretfully decided to postpone the Christmas Switch-On event.

    "The decision was only taken after carefully considering the safety and comfort of spectators, and we will be announcing  a new date as soon as possible."

    They added the event will be rescheduled.

  19. HMRC staff to move to Newcastle regional centre

    Luke Walton

    BBC News

    The UK's tax authority is to close 137 local offices and replace them with 13 regional centres, raising fears over job losses.

    HMRC is closing tax offices in Middlesbrough, Washington, Stockton, Peterlee and Sunderland, with most staff moving to a regional centre in Newcastle.

    HMRC says "modernisation" will mean "high quality jobs" in a cost-effective building. It also promises to minimise redundancies.

    Planned closure dates: Middlesbrough 2018-20, Peterlee 2020-2021, Stockton 2020-2021, Sunderland 2019-2020 and Washington 2024-2025.

  20. Potash job losses: 'Another blow to the community' Redcar MP

    Anna Turley, Labour MP for Redcar, says she is "really saddened" to hear that hundreds of jobs are to be lost at the country's only potash mine.

    She said: "This is yet another blow to the community, who have already been subjected to thousands of job losses from the closure of SSI in Redcar in the last few weeks. 

    "I will be supporting my colleague Tom Blenkinsop MP on Monday when he will be seeking an urgent question regarding the crisis the industry in Teesside is facing."

  21. Goalkeeper Fulop dies: Sunderland 'heartbroken'

    Sunderland have paid tribute to their former keeper who has died at the age of 32.

    The club’s chief executive Margaret Byrne said on their website: “We are devastated to hear of Marton’s passing. He was a genuinely lovely man, liked and respected by everyone at the club during his four years with us.

    “It is desperately sad when we lose a member of our Sunderland family but to lose one so young and in such circumstances is simply heartbreaking."

    View more on twitter

    Sunderland are flying their flags at half mast today as a tribute to their former player.

  22. Marton Fulop dies: Career in focus

    BBC Sport

    Former Sunderland Marton Fulop has died at the age of 32, his first club MTK Budapest have announced on their website.

    The ex-Hungary international had a tumour removed from his arm in 2013 but was cleared to continue his career.

    Fulop had spells at Chesterfield, Coventry and Sunderland followed before he made the move to Wearside permanently in January 2007.

    He stayed with the Black Cats until 2010, making more than 40 appearances - although he also had loan stints at Leicester and Stoke during that time.

    Marton Fulop

    Fulop's English career:

    • Tottenham - 0 games
    • Chesterfield (loan) - 7 games
    • Coventry (loan) - 31 games
    • Sunderland - 50 games
    • Leicester (loan) - 24 games
    • Stoke (loan) - 0 games
    • Man City (loan) - 3 games
    • Ipswich - 38 games
    • West Brom - 3 games
  23. HMRC confirms closure plans

    HMRC has confirmed its reorganisation plan, which will involve replacing 137 offices around the country with 13 regional centres.  

    It hopes to generate £100m a year in savings by 2025, especially because they are going to move more work out of central London. 

    The Longbenton office will remain, but offices in Middlesbrough and Thornaby are under threat.

    Chief executive Lin Homer said: "HMRC has too many expensive, isolated and outdated offices. This makes it difficult for us to collaborate, modernise our ways of working, and make the changes we need to transform our service to customers and clamp down further on the minority who try to cheat the system."

  24. Potash mine job cuts 'devastating news' - MP

    BBC Tees

    Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop told BBC Tees: "It's truly devastating news for those miners and their families.

    "I'll be raising this on Monday to see what government support can be put in place to try and assist in the process.

    "I can't recall another period of time where it's been like this, it just seems to be everywhere you look we are seeing huge amounts of redundancies... it's truly unprecedented."

  25. Analysis - What is polysulphate?

    ICL UK says potash reserves "are dropping" and it needs to "boost potassium inputs to compensate".

    Polysulphate, which is used as a fertiliser, comes from the polyhalite layer of rock, more 1,000m below the North Sea off the North Yorkshire coast.

    It also has "valuable levels" of potassium, magnesium and calcium and is particularly suitable for crops which prefer low levels of chloride in the soil, such as tobacco, grapes and other fruits, and where higher dry-matters are desired in potatoes.

  26. Boulby potash: 'More jobs to go in 2018'

    Lloyd Watson

    BBC Local Live

    Here are how some of the local newspapers are covering the job losses at the Boulby potash mine:

    The Gazette says that "350 further jobs are expected to go in 2018, it has been confirmed".  

    The Northern Echo says: "The restructuring stems from the reduction in the level of economically-feasible potash reserves at Boulby, which the company estimates will be depleted by 2018."

  27. Firm to speak to unions over potash job losses

    The owner of the Boulby potash mine says it will remain a "significant employer" on Teesside but will be smaller.

    Peter Smith from the firm says: "We understand that proposals for staffing reductions will cause concerns for employees and their families, as well as the wider community in East Cleveland. 

    "No decisions will be finalised until the consultation with the trade unions has been completed."

  28. MP: My heart goes out to miners losing jobs

    Middlesbrough South Labour MP Tom Blenkinsopp says: "My heart goes out to all those miners who will be going through consultation.

    "I have to say this is yet more hard news for our area.

    "It just seems to be everywhere you look, we are seeing huge amounts of redundancy in our industry and it's surely unprecedented, and all within the borough of Redcar and Cleveland."

  29. Jobs cuts at Boulby 'vital' to save company

    Cutting hundreds of jobs at the Boulby potash mine is "vital" to secure the future of the company, bosses say. 

    Peter Smith, executive vice president-potash at ICL, said: "In recent months we encountered geological problems which have affected previously high-yielding areas of the mine. 

    "In addition, our exploration programme, validated by independent consultants, confirmed further geological difficulties, which means that we have only a very limited level of economically feasible potash reserves.

    "The reality of our potash reserves running out by 2018 means that we must develop a new business strategy if we are to continue mining at Boulby."

  30. Boulby job cuts 'due to running out of potash'

    The decision to cut hundreds of jobs at Boulby near Redcar in Teesside is due to the fact the mine is running out of potash, bosses say.

    It will change over the coming years into a plant producing polysulphate - the only place in the world to do so.

    The firm says there is approximately one billion tonnes available and it hopes to produce a million tonnes a year by 2020.

  31. BreakingHundreds of jobs at risk at potash mine

    Hundreds of jobs are at risk at the Boulby potash mine on Teesside.

    Owner ICL UK has begun consultation on 220 job losses and it is also cutting 140 contractors. 

    A statement said: "The company is dedicated to doing everything possible to support those employees affected, including helping them to find alternative employment."

  32. Latest headlines: Residents call for tougher action on fly-tipping and Lumiere returns to Durham for fourth time

    Here are the latest headlines so far this morning:

    People living in an area of Newcastle have called for tough action to be taken against fly-tippers.

    - The Lumiere Festival switches on for a four-night display to light up the city's streets, buildings - and even the river.

    - Durham County Council is proposing contract changes for teaching assistants that could see salaries cut by "up to 25%", campaigners say.

  33. Professor arrives to open new college centre

    BBC Tees

    Middlesbrough College is officially opening its new £20m Stem centre. 

    The guest of honour, Professor Brian Cox, has just arrived:

    Professor Brian Cox
  34. Caparo collapse: Event for workers to be held

    A special event is being held in Hartlepool to offer advice and support to the workers made redundant from the town's Caparo steel forge plant.

    Caparo plant

    Seventy-nine workers have recently been made redundant and a further 13 are expected to follow soon following the announcement that the company has gone into liquidation.  

  35. Professor Brian Cox to open £20m training centre

    Popular TV academic and one-time rock musician, Professor Brian Cox, will officially open a new £20m engineering training centre on Teesside later this morning.

    He will deliver a keynote lecture at Middlesbrough College's new Stem Centre. It will train thousands of new generation apprentices and deliver engineering training to those already working in the industry.

    Middlesbrough College

    Former SSI employees and contractors are being offered the chance to enrol on free or discounted courses.

  36. HMRC plan for 'fewer but larger offices'

    Staff at HM Revenue and Customs will be told about a 10-year plan to consolidate tax offices. 

    HMRC has faced criticism over its call-handling record, and its ability to answer more complex inquiries over the phone. 

    All drop-in centres for face-to-face advice have already been closed. 

    A HMRC statement says: "Today we will inform our staff about the future direction of our estate.

    "We have been clear for some time that this will mean fewer, but larger and more modern offices that will help us to deliver better services to our customers and bring in more tax revenue for public services."

  37. Local HMRC offices heading for closure?

    BBC Tees

    Workers at HMRC offices in the North East will find out the authority's plans for the future today.

    It's thought an announcement, to be made at 11:00, will say smaller offices will be closed, with a new focus on one large regional centre. 

    Offices at Middlesbrough and Thornaby could be in line for closure. Affected workers could be offered jobs at the Longbenton site on Tyneside.

    The Daily Telegraph says 170 offices across the country will close.

    View more on twitter
  38. Gossip: Spurs monitoring SAFC keeper pickford

    BBC Sport

    Here's a snippet from today's Gossip Column:

    Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is monitoring Sunderland's 21-year-old goalkeeper Jordon Pickford.(Daily Express) 

    Jordon Pickford
  39. Boy's Santa letter found 50 years after his death

    A story that gained a lot of interest yesterday was about a letter to Father Christmas written by a nine-year-old boy just before he died which has been found nearly 50 years later.

    Paul Trench's Christmas 1966 wish list was found tucked away in an old children's encyclopaedia by his older brother Ray.

    Letter written by boy

    Paul died suddenly in 1967. "He had a school medical one week and was gone the next," 65-year-old Mr Trench said.

    Finding the letter "after all these years" was "like being hit by a thunderbolt", he said.

  40. Weather: Dry start with sunny spells

    Kay Crewdson

    Weather presenter, BBC Look North

    A dry start to the day with some sunny spells, but sunshine increasingly hazy and thickening cloud bringing some outbreaks of heavy rain by evening. Becoming windy with gales developing on the hills. 

    Weather forecast

    Maximum temperature: 13C (55F). Check the forecast near you.

  41. Travel: Slow traffic on A690 in Durham

    BBC Travel

    There's slow traffic on the A690 eastbound in Durham between The Gates Roundabout and the Walkergate junction.

    And Ormesby Road is busy but moving inbound at the A1085 Longlands Road junction.  

    Get the latest travel news for Tyne and Wear and Teesside.

  42. Good morning. Welcome to our live coverage

    Lloyd Watson

    BBC Local Live

    Welcome to BBC Local Live. We'll be bringing you news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East.

    If you'd like us to feature your comments or pictures, send them to us by email, tweet us @BBCNewsNE or join our Facebook page.

    If you missed our live coverage yesterday, you can catch up here.