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  1. Updates on Wednesday 23 December 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Live updates for the North East have now finished. We'll have more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 on Christmas Eve.

    We hope you can join us then.

    If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet us, email, or contact us through our Facebook page.

  2. Video: Malala visits fellow education champion

    World-famous teenager Malala Yousafzai has been on Tyneside to visit a fellow education campaigner.

    Malala became a role model for millions of people after the Taliban tried to kill her for daring to campaign for girls' education.

    Watch the video here.

    Malala Yousafzai on Tyneside

    Last year she won the Nobel Peace Prize and she met Syrian teenager Muzoon Almellehan in a Jordanian refugee camp.

    The pair became friends and now they've been reunited in Newcastle after Muzoon's family was granted refugee status on Tyneside.

  3. Teenager jailed for Newcastle park rape

    A teenager has been jailed after raping a woman in a Newcastle park. 

    Bobby Joe Barclay, 18, will spend seven years and three months in jail, with a further six years on extended licence.

    Bobby Barclay

    Barclay, of Edgeware Road, Gateshead, attacked the 25-year-old woman as she walked through Exhibition Park in the early hours of 24 June.

    He was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting rape and sexually assaulting another woman on the same night in Gosforth.

  4. On tonight's BBC Look North

    BBC Look North

    North East and Cumbria

    A three-year-old boy with a serious mystery illness has been given a new lease of life as doctors try to diagnose his condition.

    Zak McCarthy, from Houghton-le-Spring, can't eat, talk or walk, and is being looked after by experts at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

    To make his life more bearable, an acquaintance of Zak's grandmother has stepped forward to fund a "mini park" for him at home.

    We'll have more on this story on BBC Look North at 18:30 on BBC One.

  5. 'No change' in Pavel Srnicek after cardiac arrest

    There's been no change in the condition of former Newcastle goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek following his cardiac arrest, his agent Steve Wraith says. 

    Czech Srnicek, 47, who also had spells with Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth and West Ham, collapsed while out jogging in Ostrava on Sunday. 

    Mr Wraith said: "His brother Milan has asked me to thank the football fans and players from around the world who have been sending their best wishes. 

    "The family have read the reports from the UK coverage that we have sent them and it has helped them greatly."

    Pavel Srnicek
  6. Travel: A1 closed in Newcastle after 'multi-vehicle accident'

    BBC Travel

    The A1 in Gosforth is closed and there's queuing traffic northbound between the Kenton Bar Roundabout and Kingston Park because of a multi-vehicle accident. 

    The A187 in Newcastle is also closed northbound between the Tyne Tunnel and Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate because of an accident involving a motorcycle and recovery work. 

    A diversion is in operation via the A193 and Burden Street.  

    And the A689 Belle Vue Way in Hartlepool is closed and there's queuing traffic in both directions between the B1277 Brenda Road junction and the Burn Road junction because of an accident involving a vehicle.  

    Get more traffic information on the BBC Travel website for Tyne & Wear and Teesside.    

  7. Weather: Cloud will increase with heavy rain later

    Paul Mooney

    BBC Weather

    Cloud will increase through the evening with a few showers persisting over the Cheviots.

    Rain will become more persistent and heavier later in the night and winds will become southerly and strengthen with gales over exposed hills.

    Weather forecast

      Minimum temperature: 5C (41F). Check the forecast near you.

  8. Police appeal to find missing teenager

    Police are appealing for help to locate a missing girl in Newcastle.

    Jessica Dack, who is 13 and from Great Park in Newcastle, has not been seen since 17 December.

    Jessica Dack
  9. Man dies in collision with central reservation

    A motorcyclist has died after crashing into the central reservation of the A187 in North Shields.

    The crash happened at about 12:30 this afternoon and a man was pronounced dead at the scene.

    A second biker, also involved in the crash, has been taken to hospital with injuries not believed to be life threatening.

  10. Thousands of starlings fill the sky in Gateshead

    The sky above Shibdon Pond in Gateshead was filled with thousands of flying and swooping starlings what is known as a murmuration.

    Watch the video here.

  11. Little boy who surprised police with gifts gets his reward

    After a little boy called Ross called into Redcar police station to wish one of the PCSOs a merry Christmas and brought her a small gift, officers have been repaying his kindness.

    Today they invited Ross up to Kirkleatham police station with his older brother and parents, and they surprised him with some presents of his own.

    Ross and his presents
  12. Travel: One vehicle accident closes A689

    BBC Travel

    The A689 Belle Vue Way in Hartlepool is closed and there's queuing traffic in both directions between the B1277 Brenda Road junction and the Burn Road junction because of an accident involving a vehicle.

    Get more traffic information on the BBC Travel website for Tyne & Wear and Teesside.  

    View more on twitter
  13. England name Ben Stokes in ODI and T20 squads

    BBC Sport

    Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes has been named in England's 15-man squads for the one-day and Twenty20 series against South Africa.

    See who else has been picked in the full squad here.

    England cricketers

    The five-match ODI series will start on 3 February, with the first of three T20s on 17 February.

    Players only involved in the limited-overs squads will arrive on 23 January.

  14. Sunderland 'opposed' Swansea fixture move

    BBC Newcastle

    Sunderland say they "strongly opposed" their game at Swansea being moved and "made strenuous representations to the Premier League to that effect."

    The match has been put back 24 hours and will now be played at 19:45 on Wednesday 13 January.

    The club say it means fans will travel almost 2,000 miles in one week to support their team.  

    The change was made at Swansea's request because they wanted an extra day between their FA Cup tie with Oxford on the Sunday and the Sunderland game.

  15. Council encourage vote for national park

    Northumberland County Council is encouraging people to vote for Northumberland National Park to be crowned the UK's National park of the year.

    Northumberland National Park

    The park is in the running for the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards - after Countryfile presenter, Ellie Harrison nominated it.

    It's up against the Cairngorms, the Pembrokeshire Coast, the Norfolk Broads and the New Forest.

  16. Six-year-old raises hundreds for homeless

    A six-year-old girl from Stockton has raised hundreds of pounds to help homeless people on Teesside.

    Heidi Dawson says the money will be used to buy food and supplies.

    She told BBC Tees: "I don't like people being sad and I want people to help me so that there won't be any homeless people."

    Hear her interview here.

    Heidi Dawson
  17. Steve McClaren: Cisse scan 'inconclusive'

    Steve McClaren says striker Papiss Cisse is a doubt for Boxing Day's game against Everton.

    The Senegal forward has picked up a groin injury and an initial scan on the injury has proven to be inconclusive.

    Papiss Cisse

    McClaren also says Jamaal Lascelles is back in training, and Rolando Aarons could return this week.

    The Magpies are three games unbeaten in the league, following two heavy defeats against Leicester and Crystal Palace.