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  1. Wednesday 3 May 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

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

You can still catch up with the latest news throughout the night on BBC TeesBBC NewcastleLook North, and online.

If you'd like to get in touch or share your North East pictures with us, you can do so on TwitterFacebook, or via email

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00, have a good evening.

Newcastle scientists develop hand 'which can see'

Sharon Barbour

BBC Look North

Bio-engineers in the North East have made a technological breakthough - they have developed a bionic hand "that can see". 

Scientists at Newcastle University have fitted an ordinary bionic prosthesis with a tiny camera and the hand has now learned how to see and reach for objects quickly and naturally. 

The team is now working with the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle in the hope of making this medical breakthrough available to patients.

You can watch my full report on Look North at 18:30.

Bionic hand

Weather: Clear night but feeling chilly

A dry, fine and mostly clear night with a few patches of cloud. Feeling chilly with a cold northeasterly breeze, this most notable along the coast. 

Some mist or fog over the hills is possible later. 

 Minimum Temperature: 6C (43F).

Alice Ruggles murder to be subject of documentary

A documentary is to be made about the murder of Alice Ruggles, who died at the hands of her ex-boyfriend following a stalking campaign.

Lance Corporal Trimaan "Harry" Dhillon was jailed for life last month for breaking into her Gateshead flat and cutting her throat.

ITV cameras happened to be filming with Northumbria Police's Homicide and Major Enquiry Team at the time the 999 call came in last October.

Their actions over the following hours will now form the focus of a programme, Alice's Story, planned to be shown in the  Autumn.

Alice Ruggles
Family photo
Middlesbrough players

Middlesbrough are charged with failing to control their players in Sunday's Premier League match against Manchester City.

Read more

More than 120 jobs lost as furniture firm ceases trading

BBC Newcastle

More than 120 jobs have been lost at a furniture maker. 

Hobart Rose, which was based in North Shields, made products for John Lewis and Next but ran into trouble because of a significant fall in sales and what it describes as Brexit challenged margins. 

A cost cutting programme was put in place but a deal couldn't be reached with creditors.

Severe disruption: A1(M) County Durham southbound

BBC News Travel

A1(M) County Durham southbound severe disruption, between J58 for A68 and J57 for A66.

A1(M) County Durham - Slow traffic and one lane blocked on A1(M) southbound between J58, A68 (Burtree) and J57 A66(M) Darlington, because of a broken down crane.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Woman fundraises for life-saving surgery

A Northumberland woman who's scheduled to have life saving surgery in Spain needs to raise another £30,000 in a fortnight for it to go ahead.

Melanie Hartshorn, 27, from Cramlington, suffers from EDS, a rare degenerative condition which means her skull could dislocate from her spine and she must lie flat all the time.

Her condition has deteriorated to such an extent that she now needs urgent treatment which costs £80,000.

Her fundraising page so far has raised £50,000.

Melanie Hartshorn

Spanish City dome dancers touch down for safekeeping

Two "dancing girls" which have graced the Spanish City dome for more than a century have been removed temporarily.

The copper statues will be placed in storage while the next stage of the £10m renovation of the Grade II listed building is carried out.

Project manager Andrew Coleman said: "These famous statues have looked over Whitley Bay for over a century and we have been extremely careful to not cause any damage when removing them. 

"They will be back in their rightful place once construction work has been completed to form the new cupolas." 

Statue removal
North Tyneside Council

Sunderland and Bournemouth face FA charges

Sunderland and Bournemouth have been charged with failing to control their players in Saturday's Premier League match at the Stadium of Light.

The Football Association charge relates to an incident in the 76th minute of Bournemouth's 1-0 win, which saw Sunderland relegated.

The clubs "failed to ensure that their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion", the FA said.

Sunderland and Bournemouth players
Getty Images

Geordie singer Cheryl's baby Bear 'bemusing' fans

Five weeks after his birth, Geordie singer Cheryl and boyfriend Liam Payne are reported to have named their baby son Bear.

If they'd chosen 'John' or 'David' the moment might have gone under the social media radar. 

However, announcing the newborn would be known as 'Bear Payne' prompted both a bemused and amused reaction from fans.

Twitter reaction

Initially responses were a mix of incredulity from some with others defending the unusual choice but the conversation fairly quickly moved on to wisecracks, snappy gags and puns.

While Niv, for instance, was unconvinced on Twitter, @FantasyAlien_ defended the couple's choice in reference to Kim Kardashian's choice of names for her children.

Liam Payne and Cheryl

Sunderland's David Moyes given an extension regarding FA charge

Ian Dennis

Senior football reporter at Liberty Stadium for 5 live Sport

The FA has granted David Moyes an extension regarding his charge in relation to comments made after the game against Burnley on 18 March.

It is alleged the Sunderland manager's remarks were improper and/or threatening and/or brought the game into disrepute, contrary to FA Rule E3(1). 

Initially he had until 18:00 BST today to respond but the FA has given David Moyes additional time until next week.

Rosemary 'could help students' memories'

With the exam season approaching and revision under way, researchers at Northumbria University have suggested that the smell of rosemary could enhance memory.

A study found that pupils working in a room with the aroma of rosemary, in the form of an essential oil, achieved 5% to 7% better results in memory tests.

The findings - which were consistent with tests on adults - will be presented at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society.


Football gossip: Moyes to leave Sunderland

BBC Sport

Sunderland manager David Moyes is poised to resign following the club's relegation to the Championship, less than a year after joining on a four-year contract(Sun)

Click here for more football gossip.

No Hartlepool UKIP candidate announcement until Monday

Richard Moss

Political Editor, BBC Look North

I'm told there'll be no news from UKIP about their candidate for their General Election target seat of Hartlepool until Monday.

I understand members picked Phil Broughton, but the decision needs to be ratified.

UKIP is also in the process of ratifying other selections, so there will not be any formal announcements regarding further North East candidates just yet.

Severe accident: A688 County Durham both ways

BBC News Travel

A688 County Durham both ways severe accident, between A177 and A167.

A688 County Durham - A688 in Thinford blocked and queuing traffic in both directions between the A177 junction and the A167 junction, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Pescara midfielder Sulley Muntari banned for racism protest

BBC Sport

Former Sunderland midfielder Sulley Muntari has been banned for one game after he protested against racist abuse in Italy.

The Pescara man was booked for dissent after asking the referee to stop Sunday's Serie A match against Cagliari, claiming he was being racially abused.

Muntari being sent off
Getty Images

The 32-year-old ex-Ghana international then walked off the pitch in protest - for which he received a second yellow card, officials have now confirmed.

They added not enough fans took part in the abuse to trigger action.

Mum's charity aims to support struggling parents

BBC Tees

A Stockton woman is sharing her experience of post-natal depression in an effort to encourage other parents to talk about their troubles.

Stephanie Addison set up the charity Raindrops to Rainbows after facing difficulties 10 years ago when she gave birth to her second child.

The charity is hosting events at the Edge Bar all week to coincide with Maternal Mental Health Awareness Day (TODAY).

Stephanie hopes parents will ask for support instead of hiding it from loved ones as she once did.

'Jury fan fears' over footballer brawl trial

A Newcastle United footballer who denies violent disorder should not be tried in the city, the prosecution has said. 

Rolando Aarons, 21, is charged with violent disorder along with six others, following an alleged fight in a bar in October. 

The winger, who lives in Montagu Avenue, Gosforth, appeared in the dock at Newcastle Crown Court to deny the offence, as did six co-accused. 

Ian West, prosecuting, said if the trial was held in the city Newcastle fans or supporters of rival teams could end up on the jury, and he called for it to be held on Teesside.

Rolando Aarons

Teenager fatally injured when motorcyle hits tree

A teenager was fatally injured when his motorcycle hit a tree.

Police were called to Lancefield Avenue in the Walker area of Newcastle on Tuesday night, after the Yamaha 125cc left the road.

The 18-year-old rider suffered serious injuries and later died in hospital.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or saw the motorcycle around the time - 21:00 BST - is asked to contact Northumbria Police.

One-Day Cup: Yorkshire v Durham

Martin Emmerson

BBC Newcastle

Royal London One-Day Cup gets under way.

View more on twitter

Man arrested in hospice 'finance irregularity' probe

A man has been arrested as part of investigation into "financial irregularities" at a Teesside Hospice.

Cleveland Police said the 62-year-old was held after concerns were raised over finance matters at Butterwick Hospice in Stockton. 

A spokeswoman said he was later released with no bail conditions, and the probe was ongoing.

Butterwick Hospice

Pokemon spotting at St James' Park

If you're the kind of person who likes to wander around with your nose in a smartphone, hoping to catch yourself a Pokemon, then stick this in your diary.

An attempt at collecting together the greatest number of people dressed at Pokemon characters is being made at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park stadium on 17 June.

Organisers are planning to "smash" the current Guinness World Record of 250.

Cosplay characters at NUFC
Sorted PR

The attempt is part of the SunnyCon Anime Expo 2017, running from 16 to 18 June.

SunnyCon organiser, Donna Yeoman said: "The costume must be accurate from head to toe and it must be a character from the franchise, whether human or Pokémon."

Wembley clash postpones hospice 'dash'

The Shields Gazette

St Clare’s Hospice has postponed its annual Rainbow Dash event in support of South Shields Football Club’s match at Wembley

The colour run, which was to be held on the same day as the football match, has been rescheduled to 9 July, at Monkton Stadium.

Last year's Rainbow Dash
Shields Gazette

Mayoral hopefuls ready for final push

BBC Tees

It's the last day of campaigning in the first ever Tees Valley mayoral election.

Four people are vying for the job, which would see them get £15m to spend across Darlington, Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland.

The candidates are, in alphabetical order by surname, Chris Foote Wood for the Liberal Democrats, Ben Houchen for the Conservatives, Labour's Sue Jeffrey and John Tennant from UKIP.  

You can find out what else the role will entail with our handy guide.

Images from Tees Valley

Witnesses of suspected arson sought

A fire at allotments in Gateshead has left "significant" damage, costing about £5,000 to make good, police have said.

Pigeon crees, building and parts of the allotment were burned in what Northumbria Police suspect was an arson attack.

It happened at lunchtime on Bank Holiday Monday off Cobden Street in the Mount Pleasent area.

Most of the pigeons escaped but about 10 high value racing birds were killed.

Will cathedral play host to Hollywood blockbuster?

BBC Newcastle

Durham Cathedral will be closed to visitors from tomorrow - and while staff are staying mum, the word on the street is a blockbuster movie is being filmed there.

Prop vans, screens and security crews have been spotted on Palace Green in what's widely speculated to be preparation for the filming of the latest Avengers superhero adventure.

Avengers: Infinity War is due out next year and will be the follow-up to 2015's box-office topping Age of Ultron (pictured) starring Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man and Chris Evans as Captain America.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Country music singer entertained for decades

Hartlepool Mail


Tributes are being paid to a Hartlepool singer who started singing in pubs for fun and went on to achieve national acclaim.

Johnny Larkin entertained countless people by singing country music for over 60 years.

He passed away last Friday aged 91 after a series of health problems.

Johnny Larkin
Hartlepool Mail

Paula Radcliffe on Wearside ahead of half marathon

One of the all-time greats of distance running is in the North East today ahead of the Sunderland City Half Marathon.

Paula Radcliffe is in the city to check the route of the run, which she will compete in this Sunday.

Runners will head through the city centre, up to the seafront at Roker and through areas such as Ashbrooke before making their way to the finish line at Keel Square.

Paula Radcliffe in action
Getty Images

Brent Delta platform to be moved on to quayside

Colin Briggs

Look North

The next stage in the Delta platform recycling project will begin unfolding this morning as workers in the offshore yard of Able UK, near Hartlepool, prepare to move the mammoth oil and gas platform on to a specially built quayside for dismantling.

The 24,000-tone Delta topside from the North Sea's Brent field was brought into the yard yesterday after a 115-mile journey.

Able UK hopes to recycle almost all of the rig, with its steel and equipment offered for sale globally. The contract, with rig owner Shell, will create 50 jobs and take about a year to complete.

Brent Delta has been taken to Hartlepool

Hartlepool United: Chairman Gary Coxall announces resignation

BBC Sport

Hartlepool United chairman Gary Coxall has resigned, saying continuing in the role "would divide the club".

The team is 23rd in League Two ahead of the final game of the season against Doncaster, and two points adrift of safety.

Gary Coxall
Rex Features

Manager Dave Jones was sacked on 24 April, two days after club president Jeff Stelling called for him to leave during a live television broadcast.

Chief executive Pam Duxbury will take over Coxall's duties while continuing in her current role.

Weather: Staying dry with sunny spells

BBC Weather

Any early cloud is likely to be short-lived, leaving another fine day.

It will be quite warm with lengthy spells of sunshine, but cooler near the coast as the easterly breeze freshens.

Weather forecast, Wednesday 3 May

Region's 4G coverage 'among best in country'

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

Good news and bad news on the mobile phone front today. Here in our part of Great Britain we have some of the country's best 4G coverage and data speeds.

Middlesbrough comes top, putting Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester and London to shame, while the data speeds on Tyneside and Wearside comfortably outstrip Leeds and Edinburgh.

But before you get too excited, the survey by consumer group Which? says that still leaves us 54th in the world - lagging behind the likes of Estonia and Peru. 

Welcome to our live coverage

Welcome to BBC Local Live.

We'll be with you throughout the day to bring you the latest news, weather, sport and travel updates from across the North East.

Have you got any photos you'd like to share with us? In that case you can tweet them to @BBCNewsNEemail, or contact us via our Facebook page.