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  1. Updates on Monday 14 March 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Rebecca Turner

    BBC North East

    Updates for the North East have now finished for the day.

    We'll be back with more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00 on Tuesday, which will hopefully be as sunny as it was today. 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. Tonight's weather: Touch of frost

    BBC Weather

    Staying dry into the evening and overnight, with a touch of frost possible in inland rural areas.

    Coastal districts in particular should see increasingly cloudy conditions, perhaps culimnating in extensive low cloud and sea fog towards dawn.  

    Check the weather where you are.

  3. 'Fatberg' cleared from Durham sewer but 'whole sewer needs replacing'

    Following the sewer collapse on Sunderland Road in Durham, which the council said was "totally blocked with fat" for almost 30m, repairs have been taking place.

    Northumbrian Water say they've now managed to suck all the fat out, but Durham County Council say the "whole sewer needs replacing" and the road will remain closed until Friday.

    Sunderland Road sewer being cleared
  4. Tipu Sultan trial jury sent home after day of considering verdicts

    Adrian Pitches

    BBC Look North

    The jury at the trial of two men accused of the shotgun murder of takeaway manager Tipu Sultan has been sent home after a day spent considering their verdicts.

    Michael McDougall, 47, and Michael Mullen, 24, both deny murder.

    Mr Sultan was shot at close range with a sawn-off shotgun inside the Herbs and Spice takeaway in South Shields on 7 April last year.  

  5. Crufts superstar 'Geordie Girl' pops into the BBC Newcastle studios

    Crufts Best in Show winner Devon, and her owner Marie Burns from County Durham visited the BBC Newcastle studios today to show off their trophy.

    Here she is with the presenters of Today's North East Steph Finnon and Martin Emmerson.

    Crufts winner Devon with her owner in the BBC Newcastle studio
  6. Sportsday: Benitez - good choice or not?

    BBC Sport

    BBC Sportsday has been asking if Newcastle's new manager Rafael Benitez is the right man for the job?

    Rafael Benitez

    Alex Robertson: Certainly was the best man for the job, could easily see him getting a Europa League spot next season without a doubt.

    Ronnie Williams: If we stay up it be interesting to see who he keeps and sells and seeing if he is allowed to pick the players he wants.

    Steven Bell: Not the right man, should have gone for someone used to scrapping at the bottom, but then that wouldn't have pleased the fans..

  7. Suspicious object found on South Shields beach to be examined

    Roayl Navy divers will inspect a suspicious object found on South Shields beach at the weekend.

    On Saturday afternoon, a member of the public alerted South Shields Voluntary Life Brigade, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.

    In a statement the MCA said: "The object is covered by the tide and not accessible by members of the public. There is no confirmation of what it is at this stage.  

    "The UK Coastguard has informed the Royal Navy Divers Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team and they will inspect the object in due course."

  8. Teen accused of murder 'tried to commit suicide three times in the last week'

    A 15-year-old girl accused of murdering Angela Wrightson (pictured) has "tried to commit suicide three times in the last week", a jury has heard.

    Mr Justice Globe told the jury at Leeds Crown Court that the girl had a history of self-harming, and that "there have been incidents of attempted suicide."   

    He said: "In the context of her giving evidence, there have been three such incidents", one of which was "at this court last Friday".  

    Angela Wrightson

    Miss Wrightson was found in her blood-spattered living room in Hartlepool in December 2014 with more than 100 injuries.

    Two teenage girls deny murder.

  9. Two arrested after street fight in Gateshead spills out into the road

    Police are appealing for witnesses after a fight between two men near to the Cash Convertors store in Jackson Street, Gateshead, last Tuesday afternoon spilled inside the store, and then out on to the main road forcing vehicles to stop.

    Two men have been arrested in connection with the incident and have been bailed pending further enquiries.

  10. Warning about bogus callers after incident over the weekend

    Residents are being warned about a bogus caller after a man visited an address "for a contact telephone number for the next door neighbour" and attempted to distract the resident while inside the house. 

    It happened on Saturday on Well Bank Road in Usworth in Washington.

    Once in the house, Northumbria Police say the man attempted to distract the occupant by asking for the phone book and a cup of tea.

    Northumbria Police say the occupant was "wary of the man and did not let him out of sight" while he was in the house and he then left.

  11. Police offering reward in hunt for wanted Newcastle man

    A reward is being offered in the search for a man who is wanted for breaching the terms of a prison licence.

    Sean Tait, 27, from Belgrave Parade, Newcastle, is believed to be staying in the west end of the city and there have been reported sightings in the Elswick area.

    Sean Tait

    The independent charity Crimestoppers is now offering a cash reward of up to £1,000 for information that leads to his arrest and charge.

  12. Newcastle's new manager Rafael Benitez: 'I think we can do it'

    BBC Sport

    Newcastle United will play their first match with Rafael Benitez as manager tonight.

    Previous manager Steve McClaren was sacked, having won just six of 28 Premier League games while in charge.

    They're playing Leicester, who have lost just one of their last 17 league games at the King Power Stadium.

    Rafael Benitez

    New manager Rafael Benitez says: "We need to give confidence to our players, to organise the team in the way that we want to do things, and I think we can do it." 

    You can see the BBC Sport preview of the match including predictions here.

  13. Missing Hartlepool cat rescued from under floorboards

    A missing cat has been rescued from under floorboards in a derelict house that had recently caught fire.

    Felix the cat

    It is believed Felix got trapped in the property in Raby Gardens in Hartlepool after the blaze was put out and the doors and windows were boarded up.

    The owner called emergency services after hearing cries from inside the house and was referred to the RSPCA.

  14. Teesside airport 'crazy' train service mocked

    Train passengers staged a tongue-in cheek rally on one of the country's least used services.

    Teesside Airport station has just two trains a week, both on a Sunday.

    The station is situated more than half a mile (1km) away from the airport.  

    Independent travel company Chester-le-Track station master Alex Nelson said: "You wouldn't want to carry your luggage all the way from the station to the terminal - it's a long way."

    Members of Stockton and Darlington Railway youth team and the Royal Society of St George

    Members of Stockton and Darlington Railway youth team and the Royal Society of St George were among 28 passengers who took part in the "protest".

    "We're just drawing attention to how weird this is. It's a bit of fun," Mr Nelson said.

  15. Travel: A19 closed northbound by multi-vehicle collision

    BBC Travel

    The A19 in Thornaby is closed and there is queuing traffic northbound between the A1130 Levick Crescent junction and the A66 junction, because of a multi-vehicle accident. Congestion to the A174 junction.  

    More details on the BBC Travel website for Teesside.

  16. Newcastle teenager's Beatles photos up for auction

    Rare promotional photos of The Beatles given to a teenager by an Apple Records security guard are to be auctioned.

    The Beatles promotional pictures

    Barbara Henderson, from Newcastle, was 18 in 1971 when she knocked on the door of the record company's London offices.

    "It was 10 o'clock at night and amazingly he answered the door," she said.

    The company's security guard had taken Ms Henderson and her friend around the building and given them photos and albums, she said.  

  17. Darlington Citizen's Advice Bureau has become a 'hate crime reporting centre'

    Darlington Citizens Advice say they've recently made their bureau a "hate crime reporting centre."

    They say a hate crime can be "anything from assault, to name-calling, harassment and blackmail, and is any crime or incident which is perceived by a person to be because of hostility or prejudice based on religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity or transgender identity."

    According to their figures, in 2014/15, there were 456 incidents of hate crime recorded by Durham Police, an increase of 31 incidents from the previous year.

    The most reported hate crimes in those two years were related to race and sexual orientation.

  18. Sunderland 'boilers on prescription' plan cuts GP visits

    A scheme allowing GPs to 'prescribe' boilers to patients in damp, cold homes has resulted in a large drop in doctors visits, the group leading it says.

    Margaret and John Boulton

    Patients with respiratory diseases in Sunderland made worse by the cold have been referred on to the scheme by the city's clinical commissioning group.

    Housing firm Gentoo, which is running the project, said participants' GP appointments had fallen by 60%.

  19. Scottish air passenger duty consultation: Newcastle Airport concerned about impact

    Fiona Trott

    BBC News

    There will be a consultation on plans to halve air passenger duty on flights from Scottish airports, it has been announced.

    Control of the tax is due to be devolved to Holyrood when the Scotland Bill becomes law. SNP ministers have said they will cut the duty by 50% between April 2018 and 2021, if they win the Holyrood election on 5 May.

    Newcastle Airport is calling on the Prime Minister to match any reduction over the border amid fears passengers could be lost to Scotland.

    Airport planning director Graeme Mason (pictured) says he fears about 250,000 passengers could be lost.

    Graeme Mason