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  1. Updates on Wednesday 21 September 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    That's it from us today - thank you for joining us. 

    There will be further updates this evening online, on BBC Tees and on BBC Newcastle and on Look North on BBC One.

    We'll be back here with more news, sport, weather and travel from across the North East from 08:00 tomorrow.

    If you'd like to get in touch with us, you can tweet us @BBCNewsNEemail us, or contact us through our Facebook page.

  2. Theatre fans offered 'pay what you want' deal

    Theatre-goers in Hartlepool are to be invited to "pay what you decide" in an initiative aimed at attracting new audiences. 

    Hartlepool Council, which runs Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre, will not charge an upfront fee for its two forthcoming productions.

    A spokesman said: "We are doing this to engage with new audiences who may not be traditional theatregoers and who are wary of purchasing a ticket for a show they might not enjoy.

     "This is an increasingly popular approach in the theatre-world."

    Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre
  3. Cloudy with scattered showers and light rain

    A cloudy evening, with a few scattered and occasionally heavy showers.

    These will give way to light and patchy rain later in the night.

    Check the forecast where you are.

  4. Labour MP 'received death threats after quitting shadow cabinet'

    Fergus Hewison

    BBC Newcastle political reporter

    As votes in the Labour leadership contest are due to be counted, one of our MPs has claimed she received death threats after resigning from the shadow front bench.

    Roberta Blackman Woods is the Labour MP for the City of Durham. 

    She was a shadow housing minister but quit the opposition front bench in June in protest at Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. 

    She told BBC Newcastle: "I kind of thought I’d got to a stage in my life where I was pretty unshockable.

    Roberta Blackman Woods

    "I have been absolutely shocked not only at what I have received but what other people have received as well.

    “I have received death threats. I have received loads of really personal abuse."

    BBC Newcastle has contacted Mr Corbyn's leadership campaign team for a response to the claims.

  5. Match stats for QPR v Sunderland tonight

    BBC Sport

    Read the match preview here.

    • This is the first League Cup meeting between the two sides.
    • QPR have won their last three matches against Sunderland in all competitions, conceding just one goal in the process.
    • This will be QPR's first appearance in the third round of the League Cup since the 2012-13 campaign, where they lost 3-2 at home to Reading.
    • After reaching the final in 2014, Sunderland have fallen at this stage of the competition in each of the last two seasons.
    • The Black Cats have won each of their last five League Cup games against sides from a lower division, last losing to Middlesbrough in October 2012.
  6. Clever footwork from Hodd keeps him at crease

    Yorkshire's Andy Hodd displays some lightning reflexes to keep the ball off his stumps against Middlesex on day two of the County Championship finale at Lord's.

  7. BreakingGirl, 15, raped in Stockton this morning

    A 15-year-old girl has been raped by a man in Stockton this morning, police say.

    She was attacked on a cycle path that runs from Hardwick to Elmtree at the back of Tithe Barn Road at 07:30.

    Police are now warning young girls not to walk alone in secluded areas.

    The attacker has blonde hair and was about 6ft. 

    Scene where a 15-year-old girl has been raped

    Inspector Matt Reeves said: “We are supporting the girl at this difficult time.

    “As a precautionary measure, young girls should walk in pairs in secluded areas and should always be aware of their surroundings. 

    "Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously.”

  8. Victorian serial killer letters sell for £1,051

    Letters to a Victorian serial killer have been sold for £1,051.

    Mary Ann Cotton, from West Auckland, County Durham, was hanged in Durham Prison in 1873 for poisoning her stepson with arsenic. 

    She is widely believed to have also killed three husbands, 10 children, a lover and her mother, collecting life insurance for each. 

    The batch of letters found in her prison cell were expected to raise £700 when they went under the hammer.

  9. Vandal-hit park suffers £2,000 damage

    Vandals have caused more than £2,000 of damage to a Hartlepool play park in the latest of a series of problems to hit the area.

    Councillors and snapped trees
    Image caption: Ten trees were snapped in the latest case of vandalism at the Bishop Cuthbert play park
  10. Written on the body - team advertising

    Catherine Lee

    BBC News online

    As employers are warned they could be missing out on top staff because they are rejecting candidates with tattoos, here are a couple of examples of body art from around our region - it is fair to say sport features highly.

    Middlesbrough fan tattoo
    Newcastle fan
    Sunderland tattoo
  11. Hope for Yorkshire after Lyth's stunning catch

    Yorkshire's Adam Lyth dives backwards to catch Steve Finn out with a stunning catch, with Middlesex all out for 270 on day two of the County Championship finale at Lord's.

  12. How regional papers reported the Horden bank robbery

    Here's how the Horden bank robbery is being reported across the regional media:

  13. Restoration work begins on landmark dome

    Specialist renovation work has begun on the Whitley Bay's Spanish City.

    The Grade II listed structure, with its landmark dome, has stood empty for a number of years but work is under way to prepare it for a commercial operator.

    It comes after North Tyneside Council successfully bid for a £3.47m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

    Spanish City

    Initial works will see the first floor ceiling removed to open up the rotunda area, so the dome can be viewed from inside the building.

    Spanish City dome
  14. Nissan cuts back on solar energy farm plan

    Sunderland Echo


    Nissan bosses have reduced the number of panels for a massive solar energy farm planned for its Sunderland plant.

    The car giant had previously been granted planning permission for 19,096 solar photovoltaic panels, as well as all the mounting systems, cabling, and CCTV needed to operate them.

    However, it has now applied to reduce the number of panels on the site at the rear of the plant to 17,920.

  15. Captain Gale out for a duck as Yorkshire struggle

    Captain Andrew Gale is out for a duck to reduce Yorkshire to 32-3 against Middlesex on day two of the County Championship finale at Lord's.

  16. Crowbar-wielding robbers target bank in armed raid

    Our reporter Andy Bell sent this video of the scene outside a bank targeted by three men armed with crowbars and a stick.

    View more on twitter
  17. Car appeal in Horden bank robbery

    Police investigating the armed bank robbery in Horden have appealed for anyone who noticed a suspicious vehicle, possibly a blue and a silver saloon car, in the area at the time to contact them.

    Insp Steve Thubron said “This is clearly a very shocking incident and we are in the very early stages of the investigation. 

    “We have officers from our response teams, CID and air support currently seeking those involved so people can expect to see a lot of police activity in Horden throughout the day."

  18. Map shows armed robbery and car dumped

    The scene of the armed robbery in Blackhills Road in Horden was under 1km (0.6 miles) from the Cotsford Park Estate, where the car was abandoned and set on fire.