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  1. Updates on Wednesday 7 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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  1. Our live coverage across the day

    Thanks for joining us. Our updates are now finished for the day.

    To keep up with whats happening overnight, head to BBC Tees, BBC Newcastle, Look North, and online.

    We leave you with this lovely photo of the sun shining at Penshaw Monument earlier after a few days of non-stop rain.

    Poppies at Penshaw

    If you have a photo to send us, you can get in touch via @BBCNewsNE, email us, or contact us via our Facebook page.

    We'll be back tomorrow morning from 08:00.

  2. Man brandished bottle and demanded cash from shop staff

    Police are hunting a man who threatened staff at a Hartlepool shop and demanded cash.

    The man, captured on CCTV, entered the Cascade Premier Store on Andrews Street at 21:20 on 1 June and brandished a bottle at a member of staff who refused to hand over cash from the till.

    Cleveland Police said he eventually made off empty handed.

    Shop threat suspect
  3. Thieves ransack charity super store

    Two men stole hundreds of watches and computers from a hospice's charity shop days after it opened.

    The men broke their way into the St T's Superstore on McMullen Road in Darlington on 24 May.

    Store opening

    They took 200 watches, including exclusive Mont Blanc, Armani and DKNY timepieces, which had been donated from local hotel and gym lost properties, and laptops worth in total thousands of pounds.

    They also took they keys to the Mowden Park shop which they then raided.

    Money raised by the stores supports St Teresa's Hospice.

    Retail manager Marjorie McInytre said: “It is hard to believe that people would do such a thing when the hospice movement exists to provide a free service to people with life-limiting illnesses and support for their families. That could be the perpetrators’ mothers, brothers or friends.

    “What they did that night will deprive us of the ability to provide this service to someone and I really don’t understand that at all. It’s hard to believe people can be so callous.”

  4. Fans call for Tiote number to be retired

    BBC Sport

    Over 1,000 Newcastle fans have signed an online petition asking for the shirt number formerly worn by the late Cheick Tiote to be retired. Tiote, who died on Monday after collapsing during training with Chinese club Beijing Enterprises, wore the number 24 during his time at St James' Park.

    Cheick Tiote
  5. Grand National shirt up for auction

    The saddle cloth which was worn when One for Arthur won this year's Grand National has been donated to the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

    A former jockey who works behind the scenes at racecourses across the North donated the signed memorabilia to raise money for the charity.

    The framed piece, alongside a race card signed by all Grand National 40 jockeys and a photograph of One For Arthur, go up for auction on eBay at 20:30.

    Grand National shirt
  6. Festival memories sought for 30th celebration

    BBC Tees

    Organisers of the Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF) are appealing for people's memories of the event as it celebrates its 30th anniversary.


    Stokcton Borough Council said it wants some "nostalgia" from the festival's past.

    Reuben Kench, the council’s director of culture, leisure and events, said: “SIRF holds a special place in people’s hearts and we want to celebrate its birthday in style.


    “If you’ve got any SIRF stories, photographs, items, or video footage, whether they’re from back in the 80s and 90s, or more recent times, we’d love to hear from you."

    Memories can be posted to the event's Facebook page.

    This year's festival will run from 3 to 6 August and will feature 30 individual shows.

  7. Teaching edged out football

    BBC Sport

    Sunderland Ladies captain Steph Bannon tells BBC Look North she retired to allow her teaching career to be the priority rather than football.

    Video content

    Video caption: Steph Bannon: Sunderland ladies captain content with decision to retire
  8. GE2017: 'I'm finally getting to do something rather than just talk'

    We've spoken to young people who are getting engaged in politics:

    "Before [now] myself and my friends have only ever been able to discuss it," says Niamh Dunne, from Darlington.

    "Now, we are actually getting to do something about it."

    Niamh got interested in politics through her A-level sociology.

    Education is a big issue for her in this election - in particular the cost of university, which she hopes to start in September.

    Niamh Dunne

    "The NHS and the continuation of free healthcare are also important," she tells Newsbeat.

    "To be able to vote sooner than I thought and on my 18th birthday is going to be an exciting process for me."

  9. Your photos: Dark afternoon by the river

    Valerie Seaward sent us this photo of cloudy Alnwick Castle and river.

    If you have a photo to send us, you can get in touch via @BBCNewsNE, email us, or contact us via our Facebook page.

    Alnwick Castle and river
  10. 'Little Legs' thanks saviours for heart help

    Duncan Leatherdale

    BBC News Online

    A man who had a heart attack at a meeting of a running club has thanked the off-duty paramedics who saved his life.

    Steven Curry, 56, a keen runner nicknamed Little Legs, from Dinnington Village, collapsed at a meeting of Birtley Athletics Group at Monkton Stadium.

    Two members of the group, Fiona Jones a paramedic from Chester-le-Street and nurse practitioner Kerry Barnett, ran to his aid.

    Little legs thanks saviours

    Mr Curry, a father of one, said: “I cycled 50 miles on the bike the day before and though I was a little tired, I felt OK. I remember finishing the race, but then coming to and wondering why everyone was making a fuss of me.

    "I was definitely in the right place at the right time; if I’d stayed home that night it might have happened in front of my son and I might not have made it.”

    He thanked his saviours and the ambulance crew who took him to hospital.

    He said: "I need to say to tell them all what a difference they’ve made, for bringing me back to my family and for helping reassure me that everything was OK."

  11. Police officer 'dragged by car at drink-drive checkpoint'

    BBC Tees

    A police officer was dragged several metres by a car at a drink-drive checkpoint, Durham Police have said.

    The force said the car was one of more than 70 stopped for tests on the outskirts of Durham on Sunday.

    A spokesman said: "One person failed and tried to drive off as the officer tried to take the keys from the ignition.

    "The officer was carried along for several metres resting on the doorframe, before the car stopped. She wasn't hurt."

    A man has been charged with driving with excess alcohol and dangerous driving.

  12. Simple blood test 'might predict surgery survival'

    Francesca Williams

    BBC News

    A simple blood test might be able to predict a patient's likelihood of survivalafter surgery, a new study suggests.

    Levels of troponin, a protein released during a heart attack, in the blood may be able to help doctors know which patients need more intensive monitoring after their operation, experts from James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough said.

    Researchers, who are presenting their study to the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester, measured the level of troponin in blood samples taken from 993 patients before they underwent elective or emergency surgery - none of the patients underwent cardiac surgery.


    A quarter of the patients who had troponin levels of 50 nanograms per litre (ng/l) or over before their surgery died within six months, the researchers found. This figure rose to 37% dying within a year of their operation. Meanwhile, among patients who showed pre-operative troponin level of less than 17ng/l, just 2.5% died within six months. This figure rose to 3.7% of patients with lower levels of the protein dying within 12 months of their surgery.

    Dr Matthew Jackson said the link is not yet understood.

    Professor Metin Avkiran, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: "This study suggests that an elevated troponin level in the blood before non-cardiac surgery, in the absence of a heart attack, is predictive of poor patient survival during the first 12 months after such surgery. If we can understand the underlying causes of heart injury in such patients, their treatment may be tailored to improve outcome after non-cardiac surgery."

  13. England boot camp 'replicated penalty pressure'

    BBC Sport

    England striker Jermain Defoe says the squad's visit to a Royal Marines boot camp could help the players cope with the emotion of penalty shootouts.

    The Sunderland striker, who is on the verge of joining Bournemouth, said having his team-mates watching him complete the 'sheep dip' (pictured below) was a "pressure moment".

    Defoe does sheep dip

    "It's the sort of pressure when you're in a penalty shootout and the lads are waiting for you to step up," he said.

    "Going forward it helps you, brings you closer together. You know you've got your team-mates who will help you."