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Samoa work up a sweat!

Samoa working up a sweat in the gym at Gateshead Sports College.

Le Manu play Scotland in their final game in Pool B at St James' Park, Newcastle on Saturday.

Weight training:Samoa in action this morning in Gateshead Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
Samoa spinning Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Do you have a carrier bag 'stash'?

From today, you'll have to pay 5p if you want a carrier bag when you're doing your shopping in larger stores.

Might be a good time when to raid your carrier bag stash and take a few out with you next time you hit the high street.

Send us your 'carrier bag selfies' or pictures of your 'bag drawer' to

Here's a few to get you started...


Advocaat: what the papers say...

Credit: ITV

The Northern Echo, Paul Fraser - Sam Allardyce would want assurances that cash was available for squad investment in January if Sunderland are to stand any chance of persuading him to succeed Advocaat.

The Journal - Chronicle Live - The identity of Dick Adovcaat's replacement is likely to determine whether Sunderland continue with the sporting director model.

The Mirror - Sunderland are without a manager - 10 things we learned from the Premier League weekend.

Daily Mail, Craig Hope - Sunderland owner Ellis Short has told disillusioned sporting director Lee Congerton he must remain at the club and find Dick Advocaat’s replacement despite handing in his notice.

Acquisition of SSI coke ovens to be discussed this afternoon

Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Tom Blenkinsop says he understands a meeting between Hargreaves and receivers will take place this afternoon over acquisition of the coke ovens.

He confirmed reports Hargreaves have been keeping the coke ovens going for around the last couple of weeks by supplying coal at their own cost.

Suggestions that a deal had to be done by 9am this morning he claims are wide of the mark. As long as there is a prospect of a deal within a reasonable timeframe his feeling is that Hargreaves would continue to keep the ovens alive.

We have to wait now to see what comes out of those talks. These are important discussions involving lawyers and accountants. We need to give them the space to work towards a decision that will hopefully be a positive one.

– Tom Blenkinsop MP

North East MEP to call for review of State Aid Laws

Later today the Labour North East MEP, Paul Brannen will call for a review of EU state aid rules which the government say have prevented them intervening at Redcar.

UKIP’s Jonathan Arnott has already says he blames “EU state aid rules and British energy policy”. He is worried about the knock-on effect for other local firms and the community.

On Tuesday, MEPs are expected to agree to distribute £10m to former workers at three plants which have gone bust in Germany, Belgium and Italy.

Will the UK government - usually reluctant to apply for the money - put in a bid this time given the scale of the Redcar job losses?


  • The term ‘state aid’ refers to a form of assistance from public funded resources which is used to support organisations or businesses. This can range from government departments and local authorities to institutions such as the Big Lottery Fund.

  • Although the EU Treaty does not include a precise definition of what constitutes state aid, the Commission has declared that it includes:

  • Grants

  • Direct subsidies

  • Tax exemptions

  • Preferential interest rates

  • Loans guarantees

  • Provision of goods or services on preferential terms

  • Indemnities against losses

  • Contracts not open to competitive tendering

  • The rules restrict the support the public sector may provide to civil society organisations that operate in a commercial or economic environment. They do not apply to the whole of the sector, but only where the support could inhibit fair competition with other businesses.

  • The rules restrict the support the public sector may provide to civil society organisations that operate in a commercial or economic environment. They do not apply to the whole of the sector, but only where the support could inhibit fair competition with other businesses.


Hope that administrators will give an update on SSI crisis

Administrators spent the weekend assessing the SSI site's assets Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

It is hoped that more information will be released today by the administrators who are managing the mothballed SSI steelworks in Redcar. The Durham based coal-mining firm Hargreaves Services has submitted its plan to the official receivers to take over the site and maintain it, with the possibility of re-starting production when the global steel price increases. Any such deal would certainly bring some hope to the hundreds of workers and their families who have spent weeks fighting against closure, and the loss of 160 years of steelmaking on Teesside. SSI UK went into liquidation on Friday with the loss of the site's entire 2,200 workforce. Administrators have spent the weekend examining the assets at the site with a view to possibly selling parts off.

Arson attack in Sunderland

Police are appealing for witnesses following an arson attack in Sunderland.

Emergency services were called to reports of a fire at a house in Appleby Square just after 5am on Sunday morning.

No-one was in the house at the time of the fire and no-one was injured.

They found the front door had been deliberately set alight causing extensive damage to the door and the front of the house and extensive smoke damage to the interior of the property.

Police are treating the incident as arson.

Extra patrols will be in the area to carry out enquiries and offer reassurance to members of the public.

A 25-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson and remains in police custody at this time.

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