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  1. Updates on Friday 19 August 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Our live updates have now finished for the week - thank you for joining us. 

    We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday with news, weather and travel updates from across the North East.

    We'll also have plenty of updates on the weekend's football matches as Sunderland play Boro, Newcastle travel to Bristol City, Pools welcome Notts County and Darlington play Gloucester City.

    If you would like to get in touch you can tweet us @BBCNewsNEemail us, or contact us via our Facebook page.    

  2. Sunderland sign South African midfielder Steven Pienaar

    BBC Sport

    Sunderland manager David Moyes has brought in former Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar on a one-year deal.

    The 34-year-old was released by the Goodison Park side at the end of last season and had been training with the Black Cats.

    Pienaar was signed by Moyes for Everton in 2007 and then, after a stint at Tottenham, re-signed by the Scot in 2012 for a second spell at the club.

    Pienaar has played for Everton and Tottenham in the Premier League

    The South African has made 199 Premier League appearances, scoring 20 goals.

    Meanwhile, Sunderland defender Younes Kaboul is set to move to fellow Premier League club Watford.

    There are still doubts over centre-back Lamine Kone's future with the Black Cats after the 27-year-old told Moyes he wanted to leave.

    Sunderland play Middlesbrough on Sunday and Kone is out with a back injury.

  3. Clinic suspends terminations over patient safety fears

    A clinic which helps pregnant women undergo terminations has suspended some operations over concerns about patient safety, a watchdog says.

    The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says it is working with Marie Stopes International to make sure that patients are protected.

    Following a number of CQC inspections, Marie Stopes has:

    • Suspended termination of pregnancy provision for under-18s and vulnerable groups of women.
    • Suspended terminations under general anaesthetic or conscious sedation.
    • Suspended all surgical terminations at their Norwich centre.

    There is a Marie Stopes clinic in South Shields.

    Anyone concerned can call a special hotline number - 0300 123 1041 - which runs from 09:00 to 17:00 at the weekends and 09:00 to 20:00 during the week.

  4. Pools sign Donnelly afer trial spell

    BBC Tees

    BBC Tees Sport

    Hartlepool have signed defender Liam Donnelly on a permanent deal following a successful trial.  

  5. Travel: One lane closed on the A1 in Newcastle

    BBC Travel

    There's one lane closed and queuing traffic on the A1 northbound in Newcastle between the Westerhope Turn Off and Kenton Bar Roundabout because of an accident. Congestion to Dunston Interchange.  

    Get the latest travel news for Tyne and Wear and Teesside.

  6. Hospice blooms event postponed due to weather

    The Butterwick Blooms commemorative event due to be held in Newham Grange Park in Stockton tomorrow has been postponed due to the adverse weather forecast.

    The event was a showcase of hundreds of ceramic flowers made by potter Daisy Doodle in aid of the Butterwick Hospice.

    It is being rescheduled for Saturday, 3 September, when the Mayor of Stockton will individually present the personalised blooms to those who have ordered them.

    Some blooms
  7. Ex-Boro midfielder Greening talks treble and Tadcaster

    BBC Sport

    Former Middlesbrough midfielder Johnathan Greening has been talking to the BBC about his career, from the early days being part of Manchester United's 1999 treble-winning side to turning out for Tadcaster Albion (and helping remove fish from their pitch after a flood.

    Greening, now 37, joined Boro in 2001 and made 99 appearances for the club before leaving for West Bromwich Albion three years later.

    Greening and family
  8. Diesel stolen in Bltyh

    Thieves have stolen diesel from a firm in Blyth.

    They siphoned the fuel out of a tank at DA Johnstone Plant Hire on Coniston Road sometime between 15:00 and 17:20 on Tuesday.

    Northumbria Police is appealing for witnesses. 

  9. Theresa May backs Osborne's 'Northern Powerhouse'

    BBC Politics

    Theresa May has vowed to press ahead with George Osborne's "Northern Powerhouse" despite having fired him as chancellor.

    In a Yorkshire Post article, the prime minister promised to "help the great cities and towns of the North pool their strengths and take on the world".

    Theresa May

    The Northern Powerhouse is the name attached to the government's bid to create a rival economy to London and the South East in the north of England.

    It involves devolving new powers from Whitehall, improving transport links and creating new regional mayors to act as figureheads for their regions.

  10. Driver who left pedestrian in coma is jailed

    A drink driver who left a woman in a coma after crashing his car into her and a house has been jailed for four years.

    Lewis Heslop admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, drink driving, driving while disqualified and without insurance when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court.

    The 26-year-old of no fixed abode, crashed the silver Hyandai on Easson Road in Darlington on 13 June.

    Lewis Heslop
    The crashed car

    He was also banned from driving for six years. Part of his jail term includes three months for breaching a conditional discharge which he was given by magistrates in Darlington in February for drink driving.

    The Northern Echo is reporting that the woman, a 41-year-old Polish mother-of-two, is still in a coma after the crash and her life has been shortened by her injuries.

  11. Sunderland target's Rangers move collapses

    BBC Sport

    Rangers' proposed move for Aston Villa's Joleon Lescott is off after the defender failed his medical, BBC Scotland understands.

    The 34-year-old ex-England centre-half had been offered a two-year contract at Ibrox and had been expected to sign once he passed his medical in Glasgow.

    Lescott had been linked with a move to Sunderland before his Rangers deal progressed.

    Joleon Lescott
  12. Lifebuoy vandalism 'endangering lives'

    Lives could be in danger after 10 lifebouys were removed from their moorings and thrown into the water, a council is warning.

    Seven buoys at Hebburn Marina and a further three at Hebburn Riverside Park were all removed last weekend.

    Moira Smith from South Tyneside Council said: “These actions may well be down to high jinks but the consequences could, quite literally, be deadly.

    “These lifebuoys are there for a reason and could save someone’s life in an accident. The people who are removing them are putting lives at risk so I would urge them to think very carefully about their actions.”

  13. Durham disruption expected as traffic lights installed

    Motorists are being warned of six weeks of disruption in Durham from Monday while a new £2.5m traffic light system is installed.

    The lights, which form part of the SCOOT system, will be installed on the Leazes Bowl roundabout.

    The restrictions will mean that people travelling eastbound on the A690 will not be able to turn right on to New Elvet Bridge after crossing Milburngate Bridge – instead being diverted up and round Gilesgate roundabout.

    Traffic plan

    While this stage of the work is ongoing, several bus services will be using different routes and members of the public are advised to check with their operator.

    Adrian White, head of transport and contract services, said: “We’re extremely grateful to everyone for their continued patience while we carry out these vital improvements which promise easier journeys in the future. 

    "We’ve now reached the most disruptive part of the works but, by constantly revising and adapting our approach to help the public, we’ve been able to reduce this stage by a month.”

  14. Man pushed and attacked by dog-walker

    A man was pushed and verbally abused by a dog walker in Seaton Carew, Cleveland Police says.

    The 21-year-old was approached and assaulted on Seaton Beach opposite the Norton Hotel at about 14:15 on Wednesday.

    The dog walker is a man in his late 40s to early 50s with white hair and he was wearing black shorts and a white polo to.

    He was walking a black and white Border Collie which answered to the name Maple.

  15. Victim of best-man fraudster 'shocked'

    One of the victims of best man fraudster Martyn Galvin has been speaking to BBC Tees about the moment he realised he had been conned.

    The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the stag party started to become suspicious after gathering for breakfast on the morning they were due to depart.

    “We rang Galvin and he answered the phone and he said he’d been in hospital overnight and was waiting for a doctor to come along. He rang again and said he’d just had a consultation with a doctor and they’d confirmed his cancer was terminal and he wouldn’t be able to make it.

    "We decided, ‘Let’s go to the airport and find out what’s going on’ because that’s what Galvin told us to do. He was he was terminal cancer [sic], there wasn’t a lot they could do and he was going to sign himself out of hospital. The whole thing just didn’t add up."

  16. De Jong set for Newcastle exit?

    BBC Sport

    Newcastle's 27-year-old forward Siem de Jong is close to completing a move back to his native Netherlands with PSV, according to Voetbal International. 

    Siem's 25-year-old brother Luuk de Jong -  who played for the Magpies in 2014 - is already at the Dutch champions.

    De Jong
  17. Windscreen shattered by rock thrown from bridge

    A car windscreen was smashed by a rock thrown from a bridge in Blyth.

    Northumbria Police said the "mindless act of vandalism", which happened at about 19:00 on the Spine Road in Bebside near to the roundabout next to Asda, could have injured or even killed someone.


    A VW Passat was damaged by the rock.

    Acting Inspector Lee Kennedy said: "We are carrying out extra patrol in this area anyone found to be responsible will be arrested.  

    "We want to make it clear that these types of incidents are extremely dangerous and those responsible must face the consequences." 

  18. Karaka gives views ahead of match against Sunderland

    Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka's side go into Sunday's match at Sunderland on the back of a positive performance - but a 1-1 draw - at home to Stoke on Saturday.

    "It is my first derby," Karanka says. "I have heard how big and important this game is for everyone. But for us it is another three points.

    "Everybody was really pleased after the Stoke game. We have to keep working harder every day. Everybody is fit to play except for Grant Leadbitter and Marten de Roon."