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  1. Updates on Tuesday 17 May 2016

Live Reporting

By Rebecca Turner

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Updates for the North East have now finished here for the day - thank you for joining us. 

We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow with more news, sport, weather and travel updates and hope you can join us then.

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

Drone footage of Flying Scotsman

Have you caught a glimpse of Flying Scotsman on the various trips through the region over the last week?

The famous train travelled back through the North East from Scotland earlier and we captured some fantastic drone footage of it travelling over the Royal Border Bridge in Berwick - take a look here.

Flying Scotsman in Berwick

Weather: Clouds increasing

BBC Weather

Staying fine and mainly dry this evening but cloud amounts will gradually increase from the west.

Rather cloudy overnight with outbreaks of rain developing, perhaps heavy at times, particularly towards dawn.  

Check the weather where you are.

Your photos: North Sea Producer leaves Middlesbrough

Here are some more pictures of the North Sea Producer ship leaving Middlesbrough earlier.

View more on twitter

Woman has bag snatched in Dunston

A  35-year-old woman had her bag snatched while walking in Gateshead, police say.

She was walking along the cycle path behind the Aldi store in Ellison Road, Dunston, on Monday afternoon when she was approached from behind by a male.

Police say he snatched a bag she was carrying and although the woman put up a struggle he stole it. She was not hurt but left "shaken and upset".

The offender, who is thought to be about 16, was on foot and with two other youths around the same age.

One was on a bike and the other two on foot and all were wearing dark clothing.

North East devolution deal welcomed

The decision to back plans for a directly-elected mayor in the North East has been welcomed.

The chairman of think tank Policy North, Stephen Purvis said: "For too long the North East has been left behind. Now is the time for the North East's councils to deliver on their devolution promise".

And James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is very positive to see the North East Combined Authority pressing ahead with a devolution deal,  just as the Tees Valley is.

"We need to harness all the expertise in the region to make a success of this, and we will be working with our elected representatives in the months ahead to ensure the business community can make a strong and positive contribution.”

Liam Fee murder trial: Accused says toddler 'self-harming'

One of the women accused of murdering two-year-old Liam Fee has been telling the court it was 'very upsetting' to see the toddler self-harming.

Rachel and Nyomi Fee

Nyomi Fee told the court she and her partner Rachel Fee were concerned about changes in Liam's behaviour and did not know what it was or how to stop it.

She said they believed he might have autism.

The couple, orginally from Ryton, deny killing the toddler at a house near Glenrothes in Fife in March 2014.

Your pictures: Flying Scotsman in Northumberland

Thanks to Julie Wilson for this picture of the Flying Scotsman in Northumberland.

Flying Scotsman

Elections for North East mayor to be held in May 2017

Luke Walton

BBC Look North

It has been confirmed that the North East will hold its first elections for a powerful city region mayor in May 2017 after six local authorities approved the Government-backed plans at a meeting in Durham. 

Northumberland, Newcastle, North and South Tyneside, Sunderland and Durham will all be part of the new mayoral authority which will take over responsibility for local transport, economic development, training and employment support. 

But Gateshead Council has opted out of the proposals, complaining they don't represent a good deal for the area. 

The four Tees Valley councils and Darlington are also on course for a new city region mayor in 2017 though the area's local authorities are yet to give the plan their final approval. 

Greater Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool city regions are among the areas also expected to be holding elections for city region mayors next year.

Plans for North East devolution backed

Luke Walton

BBC Look North

The North East combined authority has voted six to one to back plans for a directly elected mayor, with Gateshead the only one to vote against it.

The outgoing Gateshead leader Mick Henry said the devoution deal was not good enough but promised "open dialogue" with government and has not ruled out an eventual deal.

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes called for the North East to push for follow-up mayor deal to ramp up devolution powers and said "this is a journey" .

Unexploded World War One grenade found in Hexham

Part of Allendale Road in Hexham has been cordoned off after an unexploded grenade was found at a construction site.

Construction workers found the grenade this morning and called police who identified it as a World War One device.

Police say a number of properties have been evacuated and a cordon is in place.

The bomb disposal team are currently on the scene and will carry out a controlled explosion.

Sunderland man jailed for IS recruitment has sentence increased

A man from Sunderland who was found guilty of spreading Islamic State's message and planning to travel to Syria has had his prison term increased from five to eight years

Mohammed Kahar was found guilty last year.

Mohammad Kahar

The case was among a number reviewed by a panel of Court of Appeal Judges.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas explained that the Appeal Court had considered it "important" to give guidance on sentencing for offences under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 - which relates to the preparation of terrorist acts - because sentences had varied "very, very substantially".  

Cyclist hit by car being pursued by police

A cyclist is in hospital after being hit by a car which was being pursued by police in Bishop Auckland.

The crash happened on Walker Drive at 10:30.

Police say a Vauxhall Astra, was being followed by police before the crash.

The cyclist has been taken to the James Cook but their injuries are not yet know.

A 37-year-old man has been arrested.

Devolution decision meeting running late

North Sea Producer ship leaves Middlesbrough berth

Peter Harris

BBC Look North

The North Sea Producer ship, which has been berthed near Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium, left this morning.

People in the town have become pretty attached to it and it was seen as something of a talisman for Boro's successful promotion drive.

North Sea Producer

Cricket: Lancashire all out for 326, leaving Durham with 85 run lead

Byker Bridge graffiti: 'Please stay Rafa. You're all we have left'

There's a heartfelt graffiti plea on Byker Bridge, asking Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez to stay, as he considers his future with Newcastle United.

Byker bridge
Gemma Osborne

Thanks to Gemma Osborne for this picture, if you have any pictures you'd like us to see you can tweet usemail us, or contact us via our Facebook page.  

Weather: Dry afternoon, a few outbreaks of rain in the evening

It will be a warm afternoon with plenty of sunshine. Cloud is expected to gradually build throughout the afternoon, however it should remain dry until this evening. 

A few outbreaks of rain are then possible. 

weather graphic

Maximum Temperature: 18C (64F). 

Robber 'brandished a knife' in South Shields shop

A man with a covered face "brandished a knife at a shop assistant" before demanding cash at a shop in South Shields, police said.

It happened at JVC News on Prince Edward Road on Saturday morning.

Police say the man demanded money be handed over and took a quantity of cash before leaving on a bike along Centenary Road in South Shields.

The shop assistant was not injured in the incident "but was left shaken".

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley asks MPs to attend Derbyshire HQ

Sports Direct's Mike Ashley has said he will appear before a government committee as long as MPs first visit his firm's headquarters in Derbyshire.

Mike Ashley

The Commons business committee has been trying to quiz Mr Ashley about working practices, including the use of zero-hours contracts.

The billionaire has refused to attend the meetings and at one stage said the MPs involved were "a joke".

The group will discuss Mr Ashley's letter at its meeting next week.

Alan Shearer: 'Wayne Rooney no longer England's top striker'

BBC Sport

Former Newcastle and England striker Alan Shearer believes Wayne Rooney is no longer England's number one striker.

England skipper and leading all Rooney has been named in a provisional 26-man squad for Euro 2016.

Shearer says the 30-year-old is more suited to a midfield role, behind Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy.

"There was always going to be a place for the captain and rightly so," he said. "But the days of Wayne being the number one striker are gone."

Alan Shearer

Man left with chemical burns after 'liquid squirted in face'

A 57-year-old man has been treated for chemical burns after being squirted in the face with liquid in Gateshead.

Police say he was walking in Helmsdale Avenue when he was approached by a man who "shouted at him and squirted a liquid into his face before running off".

The victim was taken to the RVI for treatment to chemical burn injuries to his face and remains in hosptial. 

The attacker is described as being white, about 5ft 6ins tall with "dark spiky hair".

He was wearing black shorts and no top.

The Flying Scotsman is coming back to the North East

The Flying Scotsman will be travelling back to the North East from Scotland today, having crossed the Forth Bridge.

It's expected to be travelling through the region around lunchtime on its way to Kings Cross.

The Flying Scotsman

Nissan Qashqais built in Sunderland accused of emission cheat by South Korea

Nissan Qashqai cars built at the firm's Sunderland plant in the UK were fitted with so-called emissions defeat devices, South Korean officials allege.

Nissan logo
Getty Images

South Korea's government said earlier it plans to fine the Japanese company 330 million won (£195,000; $279,920) for manipulating emissions tests.

It is the first time Nissan has been officially accused of cheating. It "firmly" denies the accusation.

The UK said its tests had found no evidence of cheating.

Supply teacher spend exceeds £800m

Primary and secondary schools in England struggling to recruit teachers spent £821m on supply staff last year, it has emerged.

Analysis by BBC News shows the equivalent of £168 was spent on each child in order to hire in extra staff to cover vacancies and absences.

Teachers unions say the amount of money spent reflects a "serious teacher recruitment and retention crisis".

In the North East, there's a spending rate of £153.99 per pupil, the fifth lowest in the country:

Supply teacher graph

Newcastle owner to appear before MPs if he can fly them to Sports Direct warehouse, claim reports

The Shields Gazette

Newcastle owner and Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley has finally agreed to appear before MPs at Westminister to give evidence about his company's employment practices, according to reports.

Mike Ashley

Seaham coastguards called out to car submerged in sea

Seaham coastguards were called out to a car stuck at Seaham marina on Sunday.

They say they arrived to find a vehicle "partially submerged" in the marina.

Submerged car in Seaham Marina
Seaham Coastguard

Two coastguard rescue officers wearing drysuits and life jackets went in the water and attached a rope to the vehicle to stop it floating out further, as the high tide was a couple of hours later.

The owner arranged for recovery the next morning at low tide.  

Weather: Warm day, plenty of sunshine

It will be a warm day with plenty of sunshine, especially during the morning.

Cloud is expected to gradually build throughout the day, however it should remain dry until the evening.

A few outbreaks of rain are then possible.  

Check the weather where you are.

Benitez 'close to staying at Newcastle'

BBC Sport

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez is very close to agreeing to stay at the club, according to Times journalist George Caulkin.

Rafa Benitez
Getty Images

The Spaniard had been expected to depart St James' Park following the Magpies’ relegation to the Championship. 

However, according to Caulkin, talks with owner Mike Ashley and managing director Lee Charnley have convinced him to stay.

“There was a three-hour meeting with Mike Ashley on Sunday night... he met with Lee Charnley – that's gone very positively indeed. He's already looking at potential signings for Newcastle", said Caulkin.

Listen to more here.

Temporary bridge to reopen 'vital' County Durham route

A temporary crossing is to be installed above a bridge in County Durham which closed after inspectors identified "issues with its structural integrity".

Deerness Bridge
Durham County Council

Traffic and pedestrians were banned from Deerness Bridge, between Ushaw Moor and New Brancepeth, on 13 April.

Durham County Council is to install a replacement Bailey bridge so people can cross the river while a permanent solution is developed.

The council said the "vital route" is expected to open by the end of May.

Morning, welcome to our live coverage

Rebecca Turner

BBC North East

We'll be here until 18:00 with all your news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East.

If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet usemail us, or contact us via our Facebook page