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  1. Updates on Friday 8 January 2016

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 Monday.

    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. Woman attacked while using cash machine in Billingham

    A 27-year-old woman was assaulted in an attempted robbery on Teesside. 

    The victim was at the cash machine at the shopping precinct in Low Grange Avenue at the junction with Flodden Way in Billingham on Tuesday at 21:50 when she was attacked. 

    A man grabbed her by the throat and demanded money but she told him she had none and he left.

  3. Travel: Northumberland road only just passable due to snow

    BBC Travel

    Way up near Otterburn in Northumberland, the road is only just passable on A68 between the A696 junction in Elishaw and Carter Bar in Huntford because of snow.

    And towards Barnard Castle, there's very slow traffic and heavier than usual traffic on the A66 in both directions in West Layton at the Waitlands Lane junction.

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

  4. Newcastle boss denies transfer speculation

    Juliette Ferrington

    BBC Sport

    Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren says he is keeping shtum about transfer speculation. 

    He told me: "You can name them all (players the club have been linked with) and we will be denying them."

    He also revealed he expects this weekend's game against Watford will be "probably one of the toughest away game you can have. It's not going to be easy".

  5. Glen Durrant out of BDO World Championships

    Phil Cartwright

    BBC Sport

    Huddersfield's Scott Waites came from 4-2 behind to beat Middlesbrough's Glen Durrant and reach the last four of the BDO World Championships at Lakeside.

    Durrant, the world number one and top seed, had looked certain to progress but ninth seed Waites - the 2013 world champion - took the final three sets without reply.

    Waites will play fellow Englishman Jamie Hughes in the semi-finals on Saturday.

  6. Concern over 999 'legal highs' call-outs

    Ambulance chiefs have issued a warning after an increase in the number of call-outs to victims of "legal highs". 

    Over the past 72 hours, more than 40 calls to the 999 service have been made, with symptoms ranging from seizures, unconsciousness, shortness of breath and vomiting.

    Other symptoms include aggression, palpitations, agitation and foaming at the mouth, the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) said.

    Legal highs
  7. Warning of widespread frost and ice patches

     Any showery rain will clear to leave a dry night with clear periods and light winds. A widespread frost is expected with some icy patches.  

    The Met Office is warning people to take care as many patches of ice will be untreated overnight into Saturday morning.

    Check the forecast near you.

    BBC weather
  8. Football Focus: The highest shorts in the Premier League?

    BBC Sport

    Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole explains to Kevin Kilbane why he wears his shorts so high.

    Video content

    Video caption: The highest shorts in Premier League?

    Watch more from Lee Cattermole on Football Focus, Saturday 9 January at 12:10 GMT on BBC One and online.  

  9. Landslide which shut rail line 'still moving'

    The landslide which closed the rail line between Hexham and Corbridge in Northumberland is still moving.

    Toby Higgins from Network Rail said: "There's still water coming out of the bank, and soil and trees coming down, and that's the reason why the line's got to stay closed, and will do for the next few months" 

    "We still don't really know what we're dealing with, there are tens of thousands of tonnes of soil and earth still moving down the bank on to the line."

    Landslide in Corbridge
  10. Rail line hit by landslip 'closed for months'

    The rail line between Corbridge and Hexham in Northumberland which has been hit by a landslide will be "closed for months", a Network Rail engineer says.

    He referred to tens of thousands of tonnes of debris that needs to be cleared.

    Rail services between Newcastle and Carlisle are currently severely disrupted.

    Corbridge landslide
  11. Splitting rent in Newcastle 'pays off for tenants'

    Newcastle is one of the top places where it pays for tenants to get a flatmate, a property website has found. 

    Rightmove's research found that renters outside London could save an average of £210 a month - or £2,520 a year - if they share a two-bedroom flat rather than renting out a one-bedroom flat alone. 

    Looking across the regions, Newcastle was found to be one of the most cost-effective places to move from a one bed to a two-bed. 

    The average monthly rent advertised on a one-bed flat in Newcastle was £553, compared with an average rent of £614 on a two-bedroom flat. 

    Other good places to live included Swindon and Sheffield. 

  12. Verdict 'to help family of teenager move forward'

    After a man was sentenced to seven years in prison for abducting and having sex with a Teesside teenager, Det Con John Dodsworth said:    

    Quote Message: I hope that the sentence handed to Mark Cope today helps the victim and her family to move forward and I am pleased that another dangerous man has been removed from the streets.
    Quote Message: Anyone who is concerned about online activity or anyone who is a victim of abuse is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101, contact Barnardos or Childline or use the ‘report’ buttons on social networking applications. All information will be dealt with sensitively and professionally.”

    Advice on online safety can be found on the Cleveland Police website and guidance for young people can be found at

  13. Sports Direct shares fall as profits tumbles

    Shares in retailer Sports Direct have taken a tumble after the company said its profits will be lower than expected.

    The firm, which is controlled by Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, saw its shares fall 3.9% to 492p.

    The retailer said that since its interim results on 10 December, it had "seen a deterioration of trading conditions on the High Street and a continuation of the unseasonal weather".

    It added that it also expected similar trading conditions between now and the end of April.

    A spokesman said it was "no longer confident" of meeting its full-year underlying earnings target of £420m and expected the figure to be about£380m. 

    Sports Direct
  14. Lamine Kone's Sunderland move is off, says Allardyce

    BBC Sport

    Sunderland's deal to sign Lorient central defender Lamine Kone has .

    The Black Cats had a bid accepted for the Ivory Coast defender last week, but they signed Jan Kirchhoff from Bayern Munich on Thursday.

    "That has finished now, it's broken down. Negotiations have now stopped," said manager Sam Allardyce.

    Allardyce's side sit in 19th place in the Premier League and have conceded 39 goals - the most in the league.

    Lamine Kone
  15. Flood waters 'forcing' drivers on 60-mile detours

    Flood water is still affecting many of the roads in North Northumberland. 

    In the villages of Etal and Ford in the valley of the River Till between the Scottish border and the Cheviots roads and bridges have been been closed for the past week.

    Locals say detours are adding up to 60 miles each way to journeys that usually cover 10. 

    Sally Mackenzie said she hoped it wouldn't rain heavily. She said: "You don't know how much further water is going to creep up.

    "If it starts to rain again, the ground is saturated and the water's got no-where to go."

  16. Child sex victim's family's warning over online grooming

    The family of a Teesside girl who was groomed by sex offender Mark Cope are urging other parents to be vigilant when their children are online.

    Cope, 26, was jailed for seven years after admitting abducting and having sexual activity with a child.

    A statement from the girl's family said: “Since the incident we have felt devastated, angry and upset – as parents you just want to protect your children and you presume that you know everything that goes on. 

    "We are thankful that it wasn’t any worse, but, we just wish that it hadn’t happened at all.   “Any other parents concerned about their child’s activity online should be vigilant and should keep on asking them about who they are speaking to and remind them of the dangers of talking to strangers online."

  17. 'Nine hours lost' at car plant after gas pipe ruptured

    Some more on a story we brought you yesterday - Nine hours of production was lost at Nissan when contractors carrying out building work in the plant's paint shop fractured a gas main. 

    Both assembly lines were shut down, cutting production by about 1,000 cars. 

    The plant was back to normal last night and Nissan says the lost production will be made up during normal work time.

  18. 'Dangerous predator' preyed on vulnerable girl

    After a Birmingham man was sentenced to seven years in prison for abducting and having sex with a Teesside teenager, Det Con John Dodsworth said: “Mark Cope is a dangerous predator who preyed on a vulnerable young girl through social media and encouraged her to meet him, under the guise of being someone close to her own age in order to initiate contact with her. 

    “It is chilling to think that anyone would groom and take advantage of a young person, but it is especially concerning that there are those who would go to these lengths to do so. Thankfully, this incident did not conclude in an even worse outcome. “There are a number of things that parents can do to try to increase the safety of their children online and protect them from online predators, such as adjusting the settings on devices, including parental controls, discussing openly what is safe and appropriate to share and post online and explaining that people may not be who they say they are."