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Summary

  1. Updates on Thursday 15 December 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

Our coverage here has come to an end - thank you for joining us. You can find the latest news online, on BBC Tees, on BBC Newcastle and on Look North.

We'll be back in the tomorrow morning with more news, sport, weather and travel from 08:00.

In the meantime you can use TwitterFacebook, or email if you would like to get in touch.

See you tomorrow.

Weather: Cloudy and misty overnight

It will be generally cloudy and misty during the evening and overnight. 

After a mostly dry start outbreaks of rain or drizzle will move up from the south for a time, clearing away northwards after around 04:00. Fog will affect the higher ground and the wind will be mainly light southerly or southeasterly. 

Minimum Temperature: 6C (43F).

Teesside school children take action over lack of Christmas decorations

Pupils from South Bank Primary School in Middlesbrough didn't think their area had enough decorations - so they made their own.

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Watch: Drugs Map of Britain

Newcastle features in BBC Three's Drugs Map of Britain series. Students like Marc say they are using ecstasy and MDMA to help them socialise and open up to their friends. But what risks are they taking?  

This content only works in the UK.

Meet the students born in the 90s who call themselves The Children of Ecstasy.
Stephen Bloomer in England shirt

A collection of memorabilia of one of the best known footballers of his day has been sold at auction for £320,000.

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Man dies after car overturns in Billingham

A man died when his car overturned on Teesside this afternoon.

The 66-year-old driver suffered severe injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene on Seaton Carew Road, Billingham.

Tweet of the day: Budgie invades Hartlepool United FC

Hartlepool Football Club had a surprise visitor.

They have called him Hartley and have taken to Twitter to try and locate his owner.

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Severe accident: A19 County Durham southbound

BBC Travel

A19 County Durham southbound severe accident, between A182 Hall Walks and A181.

A19 County Durham - A19 closed southbound between the A182 Hall Walks junction in Peterlee and the A181 junction in Wingate, because of an accident involving Four cars. Diversion in operation - onto the B1320 at Peterlee to rejoin the A19 at the B1281.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Severe accident: A1185 County Durham both ways

BBC Travel

A1185 County Durham both ways severe accident, between A178 Seaton Carew Road and Cowpen Lane.

A1185 County Durham - A1185 in Billingham closed and very slow traffic in both directions between the A178 Seaton Carew Road junction and the Cowpen Lane junction, because of an accident involving two vehicles.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

How festive does your work place look?

Diane has decorated her cleaning trolley here at the BBC office in Newcastle.

Diane with trolley covered in tinsel
BBC
Diane is a big fan of tinsel

Newcastle experts hope to be the first in the world to legally offer IVF using three people's DNA

A team from Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University say they will be the first to apply for a licence to allow the creation of babies from three people.

It comes after a decision made by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) earlier today to allow the process to happen.

The technique prevents children being born with deadly genetic diseases. 

The team say the project has only been made possible through women in our region donating their eggs.

Picture of baby
SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Babies made from two women and one man have been approved by the UK's fertility regulator

Newcastle University student dies from 'excess alcohol'

A student has died after drinking "excessive amounts of alcohol", police have said.

The 20-year-old at Newcastle University was taken to hospital on Tuesday in a "life threatening" condition. He died in hospital on Wednesday.

Northumbria Police said inquiries suggest his condition was a result of consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.

An investigation has been passed to the coroner.

Watch: Bradley Lowery mascot at Sunderland v Chelsea

Last night Bradley Lowery, who has terminal cancer, was a mascot at the Sunderland v Chelsea game.

The five-year-old from Blackhall Colliery near Hartlepool, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2013.  

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How the tax rules in a dispute have changed

In the past, if a wealthy individual saved themselves some tax and HM Revenue and Customs decided they should have paid more the resulting argument would end up in the courts.

The taxpayer wouldn't have to pay a penny extra while this was happening - and it could take years.

But, since 2009, HMRC has had accelerated payment notices - APNs - which have made its life easier, while not being entirely popular with some taxpayers.

Now, if HMRC thinks an individual has paid too little tax it issues an APN and they must pay up - within 90 days - and appeal to a tribunal afterwards if they think it's wrong.

Money and HM Revenue and Customs logo
Joe Giddens/ PA

The two sides of the tax avoidance debate

Investors in two data centres on Tyneside - many of them celebrities, footballers and other household names - are fighting HM Revenue and Customs over demands they repay tax they thought they'd saved.

Under 2011 enterprise zone rules they were allowed tax relief of more than they paid to build the centres.

The 675 of them paid £79m but were allowed £131m in tax "profit" to knock off tax bills.

While not commenting on this case specifically, HMRC says tax avoidance is "morally reprehensible" - but not illegal.

But the project's backers say HMRC appears to be backtracking on agreements it had previously made about what was allowed.

Money
Matt Cardy, Getty Images

Geordie celebrity Cheryl will feature tonight on BBC1's "Who Do You Think You Are?"

Singer Cheryl knew little about her family history but tracing her roots in our region she discovered a sea-faring ancestor and the story of her long-forgotten great-grandfather, a soldier in the First World War who fought in one of the most famous battles on the western front.

The programme goes out tonight at 20:00 on BBC 1 .

Geordie singer Cheryl
BBC
Geordie singer Cheryl

School remains open despite strike

Some staff at a top-performing Teesside school have gone on strike over what they describe as excessive workloads. 

The action, at Our Lady and St Bede Catholic Academy in Stockton, is being taken by members of the NASUWT union. 

About one third of teachers are involved, and the union said five further strike days were planned. 

The school remains open, and a spokesman said its focus was on the children but it supported its staff's "lawful right to take action".

Pickets outside school
BBC

Car collides with train at Howdon Metro Station

More on the police incident which was causing delays to Metros between Howdon and St James earlier.

Police were called to Howdon Lane at 11.35 after a car collided with a train.

No one was injured and the Skoda Octavia was removed from the track.

Services are back up and running again.

Babies made from three people approved in UK

Babies made from two women and one man have been approved by the UK's fertility regulator.

The historic and controversial move is to prevent children being born with deadly genetic diseases.

Doctors in Newcastle - who developed an advanced form of IVF - are expected to be the first to offer the procedure.

New born baby
SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Babies made from two women and one man have been approved by the UK's fertility regulator.

Travel: Metro delays due to 'police incident'

Man who died in Middlesbrough collision named

A man who died when his car left the road at the junction of Thornfield Road and Barker Road on Tuesday has been named as Danny King (pictured below with his wife Sheila).

His family has paid tribute to him saying: “Our dad was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother and uncle.

“He was a funny, kind and selfless man who spent his life helping others. He will leave a massive hole in our lives and the lives of the people he touched.

“Our family will be forever grateful to the members of the public, police officers and paramedics who battled to save him.”

Photo of Danny King with his wife
King family
Danny King with his wife Sheila

What is it celebrities and footballers have been investing in?

Francesca Williams

BBC News

So, the likes of Wayne Rooney, Arsene Wenger, Jimmy Carr and Rick Parfitt - among many others - benefited from tax allowances that were designed to boost economic growth in deprived areas.

They paid for two Tyneside data centres - Cobalt Data Centre 2 and Cobalt Data Centre 3 - and got more back in tax relief than they'd invested.

But what - I hear you ask - is a data centre?

Information graphic
BBC

Weather: A cloudy but mostly dry day

Owain Wyn Evans

Weather presenter, BBC Look North

A rather cloudy and misty start with some fog on hills.

There will be the chance of some patchy, light rain or drizzle at times, but most places will remain dry.

Weather
BBC
Liverpool celebrate

Luke Reddy

BBC Sport

Liverpool produce a dominant display as Adam Lallana scores twice and creates another goal against Middlesbrough.

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HMRC claws back celebrities' tax profit on empty data centres

HM Revenue and Customs is demanding tax payments from footballers and celebrities who received millions of pounds of tax relief by investing in buildings on North Tyneside.

Wayne Rooney, Arsene Wenger, Kenny Dalglish, Jimmy Carr, Rick Parfitt and Dr Lady Ann Redgrave are among 675 investors in the two data centres, many of them well known.

The centres were intended to house computer servers but have never been occupied.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing, nor that investors were aware the centres would not have tenants within a reasonable time.

Clockwise from top left: Kenny Dalglish, Rick Parfitt, Wayne Rooney, Jimmy Carr, Lady Ann Redgrave, Arsene Wenger
Getty Images

Bradley Lowery scores penalty as Sunderland mascot

A five-year-old boy with terminal cancer appeared as a mascot at the Sunderland v Chelsea game and scored a penalty against the Blues. 

Bradley Lowery, from Blackhall Colliery near Hartlepool, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2013, and has family has now been told that all treatment can do will be buy him time.

Striker Jermain Defoe carried him on to the pitch where fans chanted his name.

Bradley Lowery with Jermain Defoe
PA

The Sunderland fan also warmed up with the players, including Chelsea star Diego Costa.

Bradley Lowery with Diego Costa
Reuters
Cesc Fabregas

Gary Rose

BBC Sport

Chelsea move six points clear at the top of the Premier League as Cesc Fabregas' first-half goal beats Sunderland.

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School remains open despite strike action

Staff at a Stockton school are staging strike action over what they have described as excessive workloads. 

It is the first of six planned actions by NASUWT members at Our Lady and St Bede Catholic Academy. 

The school said the strike only affects a third of its staff and it will remain open.

It also said it had made "concrete proposals" to solve the dispute.

Our Lady and St Bede Catholic Academy
Google
Gary Ballance

Yorkshire appoint Gary Ballance as their new captain in all formats after Andrew Gale's recent appointment as coach.

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