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  1. Updates on Wednesday 31 May 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

That is the end of today's updates. Thanks for joining us.

You can catch up with any other news overnight on BBC Tees, BBC Newcastle, Look North, and online.

If you have a photo you'd like to share with us, you can get in touch via @BBCNewsNE, email us, or contact us on our Facebook page.

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00.

Sunset at Northumberlandia
Alison Leddy from Blyth

Weather: Some sunshine and light winds

A dry end to the day with some evening sunshine and light winds.

It will become a little cloudier overnight, perhaps with the odd spot of rain over western hills by the morning.

Check the forecast where you are here.

Weather graphic

The kids getting ink like their parents

Airbrushed tattoos for children is an American craze which has now been brought to Gateshead by artist Vicky McAdam.

Gateshead tattoo artist gives children their parents' 'ink'

BBC Weather Watchers: Sunny Penshaw

It's a beautiful day across the North East.

Check out this BBC Weather Watchers picture of Penshaw Monument in the sunshine.

Penshaw Monument in the sunshine

Thanks to Jeanne for the snap.

Visit the BBC Weather Watchers website if you'd like to join.

Man in his 60s assaulted in Ashington

Police are appealing for information after a 63-year-old man was assaulted at Hirst Park, Ashington on Sunday evening.

The man had intervened as a large group of youths had been drinking and behaving in a rowdy manner.

Youths then attacked and punched the man before running off.

An ambulance was called and the man was treated in hospital before being discharged.

Police cars
Northumbria Police

Newsnight and Newsbeat Newcastle election debate - Brexit

Last night BBC Newsnight and BBC Newsbeat held a generation gap election debate with older and young voters in Newcastle.

Watch the video below to see some of the views aired on the subject of Brexit:

View more on twitter

Defence Secretary visits North East

Charity celebrates 15 years of saving lives

The Great North Air Ambulance highlights the stories of 15 patients whose lives were saved.

View more on twitter

Your photos: Swans enjoy the sunshine

Ashely Corr sent us this lovely photo of a family of Mute swans taken at Herrington Park in Sunderland this morning.

If you have a photo you'd like to share with us, you can get in touch via @BBCNewsNE, email us, or contact us via our Facebook page.

Ashley Corr
If I were Prime Minister: Middlesbrough kids share their ideas
What would you do if you were Prime Minister for the day? Check out what kids in Middlesbrough, England, had to say!

North East & Cumbria Election 2017 debate reaction

There has been plenty of reaction to last night's BBC North East & Cumbria General Election 2017 debate:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

If you missed the debate, you can watch it below:

Wanted man back in prison

Northumbria Police has arrested a man who had been wanted for two weeks but refused to hand himself in,

Mark Anthony Barrett, 41, breached the terms of his licence.

At court a judge ordered Barrett, from Winlaton, Gateshead, to be returned to prison for the remaining 28 days of his sentence.

He was also handed a 22-week suspended sentence for breaching the terms of his licence.

Mark Anthony Barrett
Northumbria Police

Guide dog owners refused taxis

Guide dog owner Linda Oliver from Stockton is calling for taxi drivers to be given mandatory disability training.

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association says 42% of its guide dog owners have been refused access to a taxi or minicab because of their dog.

View more on facebook

Fertility doctors make egg donation appeal

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

Fertility doctors in Newcastle are asking North East women to consider donating their eggs.

Women who can't use their own eggs face a three-year wait at the Newcastle Fertility Clinic because of a shortage of donors.

They're also needed for three-person IVF.

The clinic is the first in the world to be given a licence to carry out the treatment, which it says will prevent babies dying from genetic diseases.

IVF eggs
Science Photo Library

Man trapped after Middlesbrough town centre fall

Manchester benefit concert 'too soon'

BBC Newcastle

The granddad of a South Shields teenager who was caught up in the Manchester attack says it's "too soon" to hold a benefit concert in the city.

Last night it was announced that Ariana Grande will perform this Sunday along with other stars including Take That and Katy Perry .

Those who were at last week's concert are being offered free tickets.

Billy Kennedy rang BBC Newcastle on hearing the announcement and said his 14-year-old grandaughter won't be going.

Ariana Grande

Middlesbrough artist decorates derelict buildings

BBC Tees

Have you spotted this urban artwork in Middlesbrough?

Local artist Eamonn McGovern showed us his latest work.

View more on facebook

Protest under way at public inquiry into Druridge Bay opencast mine

Film festival to bring red carpet glamour to North East

Sharuna Sagar

BBC Look North

A film festival for the North East will have its regional launch today.

The Newcastle International Film Festival was announced in Cannes last week and now a local event will be staged at the Vermont hotel in Newcastle.

The festival is expected to attract up to 60,000 visitors.

Spread over four days, the event will take place at venues around the North East in March next year.

Lady Susan Zetland

Lady Susan Zetland pulled out on to a busy highway causing a three-vehicle crash, a jury hears.

Read more

Newsnight and Newsbeat Newcastle election debate highlights

Last night BBC Newsnight and BBC Newsbeat held a generation gap election debate with older and young voters in Newcastle.

Among the many topics discussed was affordable housing.

View more on twitter

If you missed it you can watch it on BBC iPlayer.

Slavery gang jailed

The Shields Gazette

Here's today's front page and a link to our top story.

The Shields Gazette front page
The Shields Gazette

Pair charged over church roof lead theft

BBC Tees

Two men have been charged with theft after lead was stolen from the roof of Darlington's historic St Cuthbert's Church on Monday.

The pair, aged 18 and 20, have been released on bail and are due before Newton Aycliffe magistrates on 15 June.

Live election debate on Middlesbrough South seat

BBC Tees

We're hosting a debate on the General Election right now.

We're focusing on the Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland seat.

Its last incumbent, Labour's Tom Blenkinsop has decided not to stand.

So just like Hartlepool there will be a new MP for this interesting constituency.

Hear from Conservative Simon Clarke, Labour's Tracy Harvey and Chris Foote-Wood from the Liberal Democrats

Listen live here:

Public inquiry into beauty spot opencast plan

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

A public inquiry starts today into what have been some of the most bitterly contested plans for opencasting seen for some years in the region.

Campaigners want to stop the Banks Group from removing three million tonnes of coal from land at Highthorn, just inland from the beach at Druridge Bay, which has long been regarded as one of the area's beauty spots.

The company says it's safeguarding local jobs, but opponents are afraid of the impact on tourism.

Druridge Bay

Family selling home to launch respite centre

Colin Briggs

Look North

The parents of a teenager with cerebral palsy are selling their Teesside home to create a dedicated respite centre for other families like them who need support.

Julie Connaughton, from Maltby near Stockton, is concerned about the kind of care 16-year-old James might receive in the long-term future, when she and husband Paul are no longer able to look after him.

The centre they're planning, near Stokesley, would enable people like James to live semi-independently, while also offering respite breaks for families.

Julie Connaughton and her son, James

Voters press election contenders in TV debate

Voters from around the North East and Cumbria put their questions to politicians last night, ahead of next week's General Election.

An audience at Gateshead College questioned the main parties on issues including Brexit, health and education for a BBC debate programme called Election 2017 Where You Live.

If you missed it you can watch it below:

Weather: Cooler start but expect sunshine

BBC Weather

It will be a cooler start to the day than of late, but dry and bright.

It will remain dry and sunny and feel warm inland by the afternoon with light winds. Expect it to be cooler near the coast with sea breezes developing.

There'll be a dry end to the day with some evening sunshine. It will become generally cloudier overnight, perhaps with the odd spot of rain over western hills by the morning.

Weather forecast, 31 May 2017

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