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Thousands see Newcastle girl's peace message

A Newcastle schoolgirl's speech about Islamophobia, which was inspired by her seven-year-old sister being blamed for the Paris atrocities, has been viewed by thousands of people online.

Isra Mohammed, 15, wrote the five-minute assembly which she has delivered to all 1,900 pupils at Kenton School, Newcastle, plus the 340 staff, explaining how her religion is one of peace.

The GCSE student has been asked to repeat the talk at other schools.

In her speech, she explained: "I have a seven-year-old sister who came home from school crying, when I asked why she said people in school were blaming her for the Paris attacks, she said that she didn't want to go back.

"I have a brother in year seven, he got bullied as people were telling him your religion is killing people."

She also explained how so-called Islamic State wanted to cause unrest between Muslims and the West, and that by sharing hatred towards others on social media, Islamophobes were helping the terrorists.

A video of her talk was put on YouTube and has been watched more than 5,500 times.

Bosses at Kenton School in Fawdon, where the motto is All Different, All Equal, asked her to repeat it for each year group.<

Since giving her presentation, Isra said the speech had changed some people's attitudes.

You can watch Isra's amazing assembly talk here:


Corbridge residents pull together for town clean-up

By @krisjepson

Tomorrow it will be one week since the River Tyne breached the flood defence wall in Corbridge. Last Saturday I met Nick Oliver as he and his family prepared for the worst.

He lifted computers onto tables, exercise equipment into his living room. All to no avail. By Saturday night the River Tyne was "bubbling up from the carpet". Soon his home would be submerged in nearly six feet of water.

Nick told me: "at first we kept it out with some towels and sandbags but it started to trickle in. Then we heard it underneath the dining room floor boards and that was weird when you've got water running under your house.

"Then suddenly it just sort of erupted and it came up very quickly. It was spurting through the floorboards, rushing in through the doors and windows and was rising dramatically."

Not much use now - Nick Oliver's piano after the flood

A terrifying experience that was replicated in 44 other Corbridge homes. This week I met Alex and Bill Watson.They too were stuck in their home and felt like they were "at sea" as they waited to be rescued. After a long, cold night, they were finally rescued on Sunday, leaving their home in a rubber boat. And on Tuesday I met Joan and Neil Robson. They lost all the photos of their children in the 2005 floods. Ten years later they've now lost all the grandchildren photos. Joan has shed a few tears this week, but she remains resolute.

Last night all the flooded out residents met in the village hall to share their experiences and they are determined to work with each other to rebuild Corbridge for the future.

You can watch a full report on the Corbridge clean-up here.

How well is your child's school doing?

Figures on school performance have been released by the Department for Education Credit: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

The Government has released the annual performance figures for state funded secondary schools in England.

You can find out how your child's school is performing by visiting this link.

The Department for Education supplies information about how primary level children are performing in reading, maths, grammar, punctuation and spelling. At secondary level, key information such as how many students gain five good GCSEs can help you decide if your child's school is providing a good education.


Region's libraries fare better than most

Credit: Jens Kalaene/DPA/Press Association Images

No libraries in the North East have closed in the last 12 months, according to new figures from the Press Association. The region is the only one in the country where there have been no closures.

At the bottom of the table was Wales, where 11% of libraries closed, representing a fall from 308 to 274 functioning libraries.

However expenditure on the North East's libraries was down by a fairly steep 7.2% - from £47 million to £43 million. The only region where expenditure fell more dramatically was in Yorkshire and the Humber, which had a 7.6% drop.

But visitor numbers remained strong, only experiencing a 2.% fall, compared with 10.9% in Yorkshire and the Humber.

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