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  1. Updates on Wednesday 16 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 tomorrow. 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. Police seek taxi driver as witness in rape inquiry

    Two men have been arrested on suspicion of rape in South Shields.

    Police say they'd like to speak to a taxi driver who may have taken the victim to an address in Hyde Street in the early hours of Sunday morning.

    Det Con Alison Brown said: "The taxi driver may have information that can help in our inquiries and we're keen to speak to them as a witness."  

  3. Tonight's weather: Cloudy and drizzly with flurries of snow

    BBC Weather

    Mostly cloudy overnight with isolated outbreaks of drizzle, and perhaps a few light flurries of snow over the Pennines.

    Patchy fog, mainly along the coast and over hills.

    Northeasterly winds will turn light and variable. Feeling chilly.  

    Video content

    Video caption: Weather: weather_northeast.avi
  4. Teesside Labour MP says Obsborne's Budget 'has failed Teesside'

    Today’s Budget "provided no clear indication that this Tory government have any intention of turning the fortunes of Teesside around", a Labour MP claims  

    Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Tom Blenkinsop added: "The biggest issue facing the area remains the fallout from the closure of SSI and there is not a single mention of the steel industry in the Budget booklet.

    "This budget provided the opportunity for George Osborne provide the cash required to sort out the site, instead they are leaving it to rot."

  5. Fabio Borini: Newcastle have 'copied' Sunderland with Benitez appointment

    BBC Sport

    Sunderland striker Fabio Borini says hiring Rafa Benitez will not enable Newcastle to win the Tyne-Wear derby.

    Fabio Borini

    The Magpies lost to Leicester on Monday in former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss Benitez's first game in charge.

    "Usually that's our trick. We change the manager two games before, then we lose the first one and then we win the derby. They copied us.

    "They have tried to do the same but I don't think it will work," 24-year-old Borini told BBC Newcastle.

  6. Schoolgirl accused of murdering Angela Wrightson 'had history of family violence'

    A teenage girl accused of murdering a woman in her home in Hartlepool "had a family background of violence, which would trivialise her perception of what level of force would be deemed excessive", a court has heard.

    The girl, who was not in court, had also experienced hallucinations, the jury heard, but Dr Chakrabarti said they were "not significant enough" to indicate a psychotic illness.

    "Her mental impairment means her behaviour is aggressive, dangerous and cruel to others," he told the court.

    "Her mental abnormality, coupled with her low IQ and the commonality of violence in her home life, provides a reason for the attack on Angela Wrightson," Dr Chakrabarti said.

    The girl and her co-accused deny murdering Angela Wrightson, 39. The trial continues.

  7. Video: How the Budget will affect you

    Some of the key tax and spending announcements from George Osborne's 2016 Budget, are set out by Huw Edwards, soon after the chancellor delivered his speech.  

    Video content

    Video caption: Some of the key announcements from George Osborne's 2016 Budget
  8. Teen accused of murdering Angela Wrightson 'had a mental condition'

    A girl accused of murdering a vulnerable woman had a mental condition which meant she did not understand what she was doing, a court has heard.

    Angela Wrightson (pictured) was beaten to death in her home in Hartlepool in December 2014.

    Two girls, then aged 13 and 14, deny murder.

    The older girl has admitted manslaughter.

    Angela Wrightson

    Forensic psychiatrist Dr Indranil Chakrabarti was giving evidence at Leeds Crown Court with regard to the older girl, who is now 15.

    He said the girl had a condition called Other Mixed Disorder of Conduct and Emotions which made her act in an "aggressive, violent and cruel" way.

    She also has a very low IQ - of between 60 and 70 - Dr Chakrabarti said, which made it difficult for her to understand the consequences of her actions "either for herself or for her victim".

  9. Budget 2016: Newcastle Airport voices concerns over APD

    Newcastle Airport say it is "disappointed" that the devolution of Air Passenger Duty was not addressed in today's Budget statement. 


    Chief executive David Law says: "We are already seeing airline behaviour changing in response to the prospect of lower APD north of the border."

    He says plans for new flights are being made from Scottish airports rather than in the north, and although he "understands that a decision on this matter is yet to be made", he will "continue to call upon the Prime Minister to honour the promise made in 2015 to protect English regional airports".

  10. Budget speech in words and numbers

    The Chancellor's speech was 9,223 words long. 

    "Next generation" was a key theme and a phrase used 18 times by Mr Osborne. 

    Here's a word cloud created by our BBC Politics colleagues who are live reporting on all the reaction to the budget.

    Budget speech
  11. Roads cash announcement 'allows long-term dualling'

    Richard Moss

    Political Editor, BBC Look North

    One Conservative tells me the A66/A69 announcement in the Budget is a commitment to long-term dualling - but it will allow scope for some improvements pre-2020.  

  12. Middlesbrough FC to team up with council on school project

    A project on Teesside sees Middlesbrough Football Club teaming up with the local council to help children move from primary to secondary school.

    Children in school in Tees

    More than 300 children will receive support from "transition coaches" from the later years of primary education through to their first years at secondary school.

    Middlesbrough Mayor Dave Budd said: “It is a fresh approach which has the potential to change lives for the better, and we are pleased to be able to support it.”

  13. More headlines from the Budget 2016

    Other things mentioned by the Treasury in the full budget documents:

    • The government will invest £15m in the National Institute for Smart Data Innovation in Newcastle, subject to an approved business case. 
    • It says: "This new facility will bring together industry, the public sector and universities to create the skills, ideas and resources needed to exploit the opportunities offered by 'Smart Data'."
    • Announcement of a National Centre for Ageing Science and Innovation in Newcastle.
    • A £100m improvement to the A19/A1058 Coast Road Junction in Newcastle.
  14. Chancellor: 'More money to help clean up after flooding'

    The government will allocate more money to help areas recover from the floods, Chancellor George Osborne says.

    In the Budget documents, it says there will be an additional £130m to repair roads and bridges in Northumberland, Durham and North Yorkshire  

    It adds: "This funding will enable repairs to the Ovingham Bridge in Northumberland."

  15. Will the A66 and A69 be revamped?

    Here's some more detail from the Budget about the infrastructure improvements announced by George Osborne.

    Mr Osborne told The Commons: "My honourable friends for Carlisle, Penrith and Hexham have told us not to neglect the north Pennines, so we'll upgrade the A66 and A69 too."

    However the full Treasury document says there will be £75m "to fast-track development of major new road schemes including on the M60, A66 and A69 and Trans-Pennine tunnel".

    It says this money is to "develop a business case for these schemes by the end of the year" and the "options to enhance" the roads.

    So it seems to be slightly less than a cast-iron commitment to definitely improve them.

  16. Two 'Freedoms of the City of Sunderland' to be discussed

    Sunderland City Council's cabinet says it considering recommending freedoms to former Sunderland AFC player Jimmy Montgomery and businessman John Hays.

    Council leader Paul Watson said: "Here are two individuals who have made huge and notable contributions to Sunderland and life in our city."

    The move will be discussed next Wednesday.

  17. Budget 2016: A66 'to be upgraded'

    Richard Moss

    Political Editor, BBC Look North

    The Chancellor pledges to upgrade the A66 and A69 - there will be close attention to the detail on that - finance and the timetable.