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  1. Updates on Thursday 25 August 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Our live updates are now over - thank you for joining us.

    There will be further updates online, on BBC Newcastle, BBC Tees and on Look North during the evening and tonight.

    We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow to bring you all the news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East.

    If you would like to get in touch you can on TwitterFacebook, or via email at        

  2. Weather: Cloudy this evening with mist in places.

    Owain Wyn Evans

    Weather presenter, BBC Look North

    Cool and cloudy this evening with mist in places. 

    Heavy, showery rain will then spread north, perhaps briefly thundery in places, before largely clearing after midnight. 

    Feeling fresher during the early hours with clear spells developing.  

    Check the forecast where you are here.

    Weather graphic
  3. Travel: Fog affecting visibility on the A19

    BBC Travel

    Fog and visibility is reduced on the A19 between the B1320 Burnhope Way junction in Peterlee and the A183 junction in Penshaw.

    And in Northumberland there's queuing traffic on the A1 southbound between Chevington Moor Turn Off in Causey Park and Longhorsley Turn Off in Morpeth. In the roadworks area.

    Check the latest travel updates here.

  4. Olympic runner thanks public after being reunited with her phone

    A North East Olympic athlete has thanked the public after being reunited with her phone which holds pictures of her trip to Rio. 

    Marathon runner Alyson Dixon made an appeal on social media after losing her phone near the Saucy Burger restaurant in her home city of Sunderland on Tuesday night. 

     After her pleas were shared on Twitter, she sent a follow-up message to say: "Thank you for all the retweets, extremely happy to say my phone has been found. 

     "Now off to back up all my photos!!"

    Alyson Dixo
  5. Motorcyclist in critical condition after crash with another biker in Northumberland

    A motorcyclist is in a critical condition after a crash with another biker in Northumberland.

    A red Honda bike and a green Kawasaki collided on the A1068 near Alnwick at 19:45 on Tuesday.

    The rider of the Kawasaki sustained serious injuries and was taken to the Royal Victoria infirmary. 

    The driver of the Honda was taken to Northumbrian Hospital in Cramlington with serious but non-life threatening injuries and he is described as stable.

  6. Health boss says recruitment 'benefits from children's hospital links'

    The chief executive of the trust that runs hospitals in North Cumbria says links with a specialist children's unit in North East England is already bringing benefits in recruitment.

    Great North Children's Hospital

    Stephen Eames, the chief executive of the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, says links have been forged with the Great North Children's Hospital.

    Quote Message: Before we did that we couldn’t get anyone to come for jobs here. Now we've done that we find we've got candidates." from Stephen Eames Chief executive, North Cumbria Hospitals University Trust
    Stephen EamesChief executive, North Cumbria Hospitals University Trust
  7. North East athletes selected for national sport event

    A number of young athletes from the North East have been selected to compete in the 2016 School Games.

    The games are a national event at Loughborough University and Sheffield from September.

    Some 15 athletes from Newcastle, Newton Aycliffe and Whitley Bay, as well as other North East locations, will take part in the four-day event.

    Caitlin Barber
  8. 'One person representing Berwick to Barnard Castle can't be good for democracy'

    Implementation of the North East elected mayor would see the region receive £30m government funding for the next 30 years, as well as new powers on transport, skills and training. 

    Nick Forbes, Newcastle City Council leader, said: "Other parts of England like Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool will press ahead and if we don't get alongside my fear is the North East will be overlooked and left out. 

    "There's a very real chance our region's economy will suffer." 

    But Unison is among opponents of the plan. Regional secretary Clare Williams said: "To have one person representing Berwick down to Barnard Castle can't be good for democracy. 

    "We have local councils who are elected by their communities, so we're against being told by this government we have to have an elected mayor."

    George Osborne signed the devolution deal earlier this year
  9. Analysis: How the government is pushing the North East to elect a mayor

    Luke Walton

    BBC Look North

    It was a devolution deal that, briefly at least, appeared to bridge the political divide. 

    The North East would accept the then Chancellor George Osborne's insistence on a directly-elected mayor, in return new powers and investment would come up the track from Whitheall. 

    But after the photo opportunities of last October, things haven't gone smoothly.

    In May, a meeting of Labour-led Durham County Council, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland supported the plan, but Gateshead opted out and many Labour MPs and activists have never been enthusiastic.

    Since then the arrival of a new Prime Minister brought suggestions ministers too were getting cold feet.

    But that has now been rejected in this new correspondence from Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.

    Devolution graphic
  10. BreakingNorth East 'risks losing £900m if mayor is not elected'

    BBC Look North

    North East and Cumbria

    The North East risks losing £900m of investment because of delays approving plans for a directly-elected mayor, the government has warned.

    A letter from Communities Secretary Sajid Javid to seven of the region's council leaders tells them that time to implement a devolution deal is running out.

    He says "I reaffirm the government's commitment to implementing the North East Devolution Deal in full" but goes on to warn "without an elected mayor the deal cannot progress". 

    It adds: "There is a significant risk now that we will run out of time to implement the deal unless you publish your governance review and scheme, and move forward with the consultation immediately."

    But critics say the mayor plan is undemocratic and won't deliver the investment promised.

    Communities Secretary Sajid Javid

    The North East Combined Authority represents Labour-led Durham County Council, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.  

    However Gateshead Council has voted against the move.

    Teesside has its own plans for an elected mayor.

  11. Traffic: Roads closed in Newcastle due to broken down bus

    BBC Travel

    The A186 Walker Road in Walker, Newcastle, is closed and there's slow traffic in both directions between the Ford Street junction and the B1312 Cut Bank junction, due to a broken down bus.

    Diversions are in operation and police are directing traffic.

    For more travel updates click here.

  12. Family pay tribute to motorcycle crash victim

    The family of a motorcyclist who died after a road collision in County Durham have paid tribute to him.

    Eric Winn, 72, died after his Suzuki GSF 1200 bike collided with a car between Windy Bank Road and the B6282, near the village of Woodland, Bishop Auckland.

    Mr Winn, from Holly West Gardens in Stanley, was a great-grandfather who retired 12 years ago from working at a factory on the Tanfield Lea Industrial Estate.

    A statement released today by his family said: “Eric was a devoted motorcyclist for over 56 years. Bikes were his sporting interest and offered him the opportunity to explore our region, and beyond."

  13. Three charged over Times Square attack

    Three people have been charged after a man was left with life-threatening injuries following a late-night street attack in Newcastle city centre.

    The 40-year-old victim was assaulted in Times Square at about 01:15 on Sunday. 

    Northumbria Police said the attacker left the scene before officers arrived.

    Two men aged 22 and a 20-year-old man, all from Newcastle, appeared at Bedlington Magistrates' Court this morning.

  14. Pupil lands A*s despite breaking his arm playing rugby

    A County Durham student who broke his arm playing rugby just after starting his exams has landed good grades in his GCSEs.

    Tom Harris, who attends Barnard Castle School, dictated his answers to school staff who then wrote them down.

    Tom achieved six A*s, two As and two Bs. 

    He said: "I'm very happy and really shocked at my results. I didn't know what to expect. 

    "I broke my elbow playing rugby after I'd taken just three exams. I had surgery, then had to go straight into a biology exam the next day. 

     "I took the rest of my exams in a separate room on my own and dictated my answers. "It was a bit different but I got used to it after a few exams."

  15. Manager of Teesside company defends BBC Two show

    A Teesside-based company manager has defended a reality show looking at life for low paid workers.

    Nifco UK managing director Mike Matthews takes the role of factory manager in Britain's Hardest Workers on BBC Two.

    It sees 20 people given low-paid jobs in various industries, with the winner taking home £15,500.

    Producers say the aim is to give a picture of everyday life for many working people - but critics claim it's exploiting misfortune.

    Mike Matthews says critics don't know the full story.

    What do you make of it? Watch the show below: