England, United Kingdom

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  1. Missing woman's partner 'grateful for support' as Pyrenees search continues

    The partner of a British woman missing in the Pyrenees has thanked the public for their messages of support nine days after she went missing.

    Esther Dingley, 37, from Durham, last messaged her partner Dan Colegate via Whatsapp on 22 November, when she was on top of Pic de Sauvegarde on the France-Spain border.

    She had been due to return from her solo walking trek on Wednesday but has not been seen.

    French authorities said six search teams had been out looking for her.

    In a message on social media Mr Colegate said: "I just wanted to write a short thank you for all of the support and messages that have arrived in the past few days.

    "I want to write a more complete update soon, but as of now there is still no sign of Esther anywhere in the area she was intending to explore, despite extensive searching from both sides of the border.

    "I'm going to do some more walking myself now before the sun goes down."

    The weekend she set out on the trek, the couple's story about their adventures around Europe in the camper van since 2014 was published by BBC News.

    Esther Dingley
  2. Army may support Darlington rapid coronavirus tests

    Local Democracy Reporting Service

    Darlington Borough Council is in talks with the Army to help it distribute 10,000 rapid turnaround Covid tests it has received from the Government.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has signalled mass community testing is the way out of Tier three restrictions, saying it involved “everybody working together to kick Covid out”.

    The lateral flow tests can process Covid-19 samples on site, with most generating results in under 30 minutes. The fast turnaround allows positive people to isolate quickly, reducing the spread of infection.

    Darlington Councillor Kevin Nicholson said the council’s director of public health was developing a plan on how best to use the tests, but suggested decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis.

    He said the council would work with employers, key businesses and community leaders in the coming weeks.

    Quote Message: We will be requesting military intervention to provide operational support to the local authority to make sure that we can fully maximise the effectiveness of the lateral flow tests.
    Quote Message: However, I don’t want people to think we are getting the Army in to test all Darlington residents." from Councillor Kevin Nicholson
    Councillor Kevin Nicholson
  3. Officers honoured for saving stab victim's life

    Two Durham Police officers have been awarded top lifesaving honours for saving the life of a man who had been stabbed in the throat.

    PCs Callan and Oliphant were called to reports of a fight in Forster Street, in Darlington, in January.

    When they arrived, they found a man whose carotid artery had been virtually severed, leading to significant blood loss.

    The pair applied pressure to stem the flow until paramedics arrived and he was taken to hospital, where he later made a full recovery.

    They have now been awarded certificates from the Royal Humane Society for their efforts.

    View more on twitter

    Chief Inspector Chris Knox, from Darlington Police, paid tribute to their professionalism and prompt action, without which the man "would have undoubtedly died".

    He added: “I would like to say a big thank you to these two officers – what they did was truly remarkable and their awards are thoroughly well deserved.”

  4. What does tier 3 mean?

    So the North East is heading for tier thee when lockdown ends on Wednesday 2 December, but what does that mean for us all?

    Health Correspondent Laura Foster uses cake to explain what you can and can't do in the new system.

    Video content

    Video caption: After lockdown: What is the new three tier system?
  5. BreakingParts of North East to go into tier 3 after lockdown

    Parts of the North East will face the toughest local Covid restrictions after the end of the national lockdown, it has been confirmed.

    Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland, Newcastle, Gateshead, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Sunderland, County Durham and Darlington will all be placed under tier three rules, when lockdown ends on Wednesday.


    The news, while not unexpected, will come as a devastating blow to the hospitality industry – with pubs, bars, and restaurants having to stay shut.

    And, unlike some other parts of the country, spectators will not be allowed back into football stadiums or to other large events.

    Residents will still be banned from socialising indoors with anyone outside their household or social bubble, though people will be allowed to meet in groups of up to six in outdoor public spaces and non-essential shops will reopen.

    The system will be regularly reviewed and an area's tier level may change before Christmas - the first review is scheduled for 16 December.

    Shoppers wearing masks

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "I know for those of you faced with tier 3 restrictions this will be a particularly difficult time but I want to reassure you that we’ll be supporting your areas with mass community testing and extra funding.

    “By following the rules together we can get out of these tough measures.”

  6. North East Conservatives ask for pay rise to be scrapped

    A number of North East Conservative MPs have asked for an expected pay increase to be stopped.

    Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison, Redcar MP Jacob Young, Stockton South MP Matt Vickers, North West Durham MP Richard Holden and Paul Howell, the MP for Sedgefield, have all signed a letter to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority asking for the 3% increase to be scrapped.

    They say they do not consider a pay rise appropriate or justifiable at a time when their constituents face uncertainty.

    View more on twitter
  7. North East weather: Cloudy skies, feeling milder

    BBC Weather

    Tonight will be a much milder night than last night, under mostly cloudy skies.

    There will be some patchy light rain or drizzle, followed by a spell of more persistent rain later in the night.

    Temperatures overnight will climb to 12C (53F) in the early hours.

    You can follow the latest BBC Weather forecast for your area, by searching for your location here

    Weather graphic
  8. North East weather: Cloudy and damp, becoming milder

    BBC Weather

    This afternoon will be mainly cloudy and damp with rain and drizzle at times.

    There will be a brisk south-westerly breeze, introducing milder air.

    Tonight will be a much warmer than last night, under mostly cloudy skies, with temperatures climbing to 9C to 11C (48F to 52F).

    You can see the latest BBC Weather forecast where you are, by searching for your location here.

    Weather graphic