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  1. Updates on Friday 3 February 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Jack Skelton

    BBC Sport

    Jermain Defoe

    Jack Skelton

    BBC Sport

    Sunderland score four first-half goals to thrash Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park as the Black Cats move level on points with their relegation rivals.

    Read more
  2. Our live coverage across the day

    Damian O'Neil

    BBC Look North

    That's it from our local live coverage for the week. Thanks for joining us.

    You can catch up with the latest news tonight on BBC TeesBBC NewcastleLook North and online.

    You can get in touch using TwitterFacebook, or via email at

    We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday to do it again.   

    Have a great weekend.

  3. Cambridge 'less posh than Bristol'

    Students walking into the university laboratory

    Cambridge University now has fewer privately-educated students than universities such as Bristol, Durham and St Andrews, entry figures reveal.

    The figures show there are now more state-educated pupils at Cambridge - 61.9% - than Bristol, which has 61.4%.

    In response, the University of Bristol has already announced far-reaching plans to assist applicants from poorer backgrounds or who have been at underachieving schools.

    Bristol will make offers two grades lower than the standard offer for applicants who have been at schools in the lowest-achieving 40% for A-level results.

  4. Video content

    Video caption: Rafael Benitez: Newcastle United boss reassures fans he will stay for promotion bid

    Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has told fans he will not quit, despite speculation surrounding his future.

  5. Newcastle council tax to rise as £30m cuts bite

    Newcastle City Council says it plans to increase council tax by 4.95% to "protect front line services" as it tries to save £30m next year.

    It needs to cut a total of £70m by 2020, in addition to the £221m it has already cut from its budget over the past six years, it says.

    Council leader Nick Forbes described the council tax increase as a "sticking plaster over a gaping wound". 

    The council would have to be self-funding by 2020, signalling "an end to the post-war consensus in which government grant paid for bin collections, street cleaning, tree planting, libraries, social workers and community centres", he said.

    A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said the council will have "more than £940m to spend between now and 2020" plus an share of an extra £900m for social care in England.

  6. Tributes paid to dead firefighter

    Damian O'Neil

    BBC Look North

    Friends and colleagues of a Northumberland firefighter have been paying tribute after he died suddenly during  a training course.

    Tom Naples, from Alnwick, collapsed yesterday afternoon. 

    Councillor Dave Ledger, who's Chair of Northumberland Fire Authority, said: "It is with great sadness we learned of the death of one of our firefighters. 

    "The thoughts of everyone at Northumberland County Council are with the officer's family, friends and colleagues at this time".

  7. Police continue to investigate death of un-named man

    The death of a man in his 30s who was found in a street in Middlesbrough is still being treated as unexplained. 

    He was discovered in an alleyway between Peel Street and Palmer Street yesterday morning.

    Police believe they now know his identity, but a post-mortem examination failed to establish how he died. 

    Further tests will now be carried out. 

  8. Joey Barton accepts FA betting charge

    BBC Sport

    Former Newcastle midfielder midfielder Joey Barton has accepted a Football Association charge that he placed 1,260 bets on matches over the past 10 years.

    Barton, who was charged in December, has requested a personal hearing before being sanctioned for breaking FA rules by betting on "matches or competitions" between 26 March 2006 and 13 May 2016.

    It is expected Barton will offer mitigation for the breaches.

    Players in England's top eight tiers are banned from betting on football.

    Barton, 34, rejoined Burnley last month, having left Rangers in November.

    Joey Barton
  9. Judges consider child-murderer's appeal

    A woman from Tyneside who was jailed for murdering her infant son is waiting to see if her appeal against her conviction has been successful. 

    Rachel Fee was jailed for life, along with her partner Nyomi Fee, after two-year-old Liam Fee died at their home near Gelnrothes, in Fife. 

    His death followed a prolonged campaign of abuse. 

    He suffered fatal heart injuries similar to those found on road crash victims, and spent the last few days of his life in agony from an untreated broken leg and fractured arm. 

    Rachel Fee and Liam

    Fee argues that the judge in her 2016 trial misdirected the jury about the lesser charge of culpable homicide. 

    Her lawyer argued that the judge did not present to the jury "the possibility that they could convict Nyomi Fee of murder and convict the appellant Rachel Fee of culpable homicide".

    Senior judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh said they would deliver their decision at a later date.

  10. 'Rugby is a great sport for women'


    Video content

    Video caption: Women's Six Nations: Danielle Waterman says rugby is 'an amazing sport for women'

    It's not only the men's Six Nations that kicks off this weekend. The women's equivalent gets under way, too, with Scotland hosting Ireland this evening,followed tomorrow by Wales v Italy and - arguably the pick of the ties - England v France at Twickenham

    The women's game is really taking off across the UK, so watch England full-back Danielle Waterman explain her love of rugby and the different versions you can play - and if you're inspired to pick up the oval ball yourself, check out our Get Inspired guide.

    England Women v France Women kicks off at 19:35 GMT on Saturday, with live coverage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, plus highlights of all three matches on BBC Two at 22:45 GMT.

  11. Gateshead Council says it won't pay for Trump visit

    Damian O'Neil

    BBC Look North

    President Trump's official state visit to the UK has already caused more controversy than when Bob Dylan went electric but, one thing's for sure, if for some reason he decides to visit Gateshead while he's over here, he'll get no help from the local authority.

    Gateshead Council has vowed to withhold "any council resources" from being used to pay for Trump's visit. It's not clear which parts of Gateshead might feature on the president's list of places to see. 

    North East
    Image caption: Is he coming to Gateshead? Almost certainly not.

    But whether Trump might like to Tweet from where the Get Carter car park used to be, or have a wander round the bus interchange, he won't be given a penny of local funding to help him do it.  

    A motion calling the president's Muslim travel ban "extreme and discriminatory" has been passed unanimously by the council. It was proposed by 53-year-old councillor Jonathan Wallace. He told The Independent his aim was "to achieve a situation in which local government isn't paying for this visit". 

  12. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: A139 County Durham northbound

    BBC Travel

    A139 County Durham northbound severe disruption, at A19 Fleet Bridge Road.

    A139 County Durham - A139 in Norton lane closed on exit slip road northbound at the A19 Fleet Bridge Road junction, because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

    Check local traffic and travel reports for:

  13. BreakingFirefighter dies during training course

    A firefighter has died during a training course, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service has said.

    Tom Naples, from Alnwick in Northumberland, collapsed yesterday afternoon.

    Chief Fire Officer Paul Hedley said: "Despite the unstinting efforts of his course colleagues and members of North East Ambulance Service he was unable to be revived. 

    "Tom was an extremely well respected and popular member of the service and was well known throughout NFRS having completed 30 years service at Berwick, Alnwick, Morpeth and Cramlington."

    Police and the Health and Safety Executive have been informed 

    Tom Naples
  14. Police issue appeal over missing teenager

    Northumbria Police are appealing for help in finding Lee Regan, who is 15 and from the Cowgate area of Newcastle. 

    He hasn't been seen since Wednesday, January 25 and police are concerned for his welfare. 

    He is white, 5ft 7in with blonde hair, green eyes and a pale complexion. He was last seen wearing a navy tracksuit. 

    North East
    Image caption: Missing Lee Regan