Live updates


Family demand fresh answers for son's mystery death

Julie and Les Sheppard are campaigning for more support for British abroad Credit: ITV News Border

Julie and Les Sheppard are travelling from Selkirk to London to demand answers for their son's death.

Andrew Watt died in France four years ago. His parents argue that there was a lack of support from the British foreign office to find out the details of their son's death.

When the son's body returned to the UK it was discovered his heart and brain had been removed.

Last October the pair joined other families whose relatives had died abroad and protested about the lack of support available in that situation.

Julie and Les Sheppard will join other angry families at London's foreign Office on Tuesday at 11am in a bid to get their voices heard.

Every energy technology has associated risk

Researchers at Durham University have published a major report looking into the dangers of fracking. They say fracking, which involves fracturing rocks to release shale gas, is relatively safe. But drilling boreholes, whether for fracking or not, is potentially dangerous.

Richard Davies from Durham University says there is some sort of risk with every energy technology.


Archaeologists find Civil War artefacts at Auckland Castle

An archaeologist explores a trench at Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland. The team have found fragments of a stained glass window, pottery, and charred bricks which could have come from an explosion during the Civil Qar era.

An archaeologist explores a trench at Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland

Archaeologists uncover building remains at Auckland Castle site

A team from Durham University is digging in the grounds of Auckland Castle in Bishop Auckland before work to turn the historic site into a tourist destination begins. It has revealed new information about the site's 900 year history.

Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a building near the castle's Scotland Wing, alongside evidence of burning.

The castle's head curator, Dr Chris Ferguson, believes the volume of debris could suggest a 'very dramatic end' to what looks to have been a substantial structure.

"Sir Arthur Hazlerigg, was one of the five MPs who led the rebellion against Charles I in 1642, he was appointed Oliver Cromwell's general in the North East,"

"In 1650 he bought Auckland Castle after the then Bishop of Durham had fled at the height of the civil war.

"We know he set about what was later described as the 'ravenous sacrilege' of the building and that he proceeded to blow up the 350-year-old chapel with gunpowder with the intention of reusing the stone in a new mansion.

"If gunpowder was indeed used then that could account for the astounding amount of wreckage that has been found."

– The castle's head curator, Dr Chris Ferguson

"Whatever happened here is from a time when records were either vague or non-existent, so anything we find will help add to the overall picture of the castle."

– Natalie Swann, project archaeologist at Durham University


'English Civil War' artefacts unearthed at Auckland Castle

Artefacts from what's thought to be the English Civil war have been unearthed at Auckland Castle. Archaeologists from Durham University have been excavating the site which will be open to the public at the end of the month.

Discoveries on site

The Auckland Castle Trust hopes to uncover 900 years of history.

Hundreds of years of history

After 10 days of digging in Bishop Auckland, remains of a building have been laid bare in a trench on an area close to the castle's Scotland Wing.

Working at the excavation site

Auckland Castle's head curator, Dr Chris Ferguson, says the volume of debris is a 'puzzle and could suggest a very dramatic end' to what looks to be a substantial structure.

Bishop Auckland

Video flying through space shows how universe would look to Captain Kirk

On the day scientists in the United States announced they may have detected echoes of the Big Bang at the start of the universe, researchers in the UK showed off a unique image of the cosmos in more recent times.

The team from Durham University used data from telescopes and satellites to put together a detailed map of thousands of galaxies, which Dr Peder Norberg compared to the view Captain Kirk and his team in Star Trek would have from their flights around space:

Durham Vice-Chancellor to retire

Professor Chris Higgins Credit: Durham University

Professor Chris Higgins, the Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, has announced that he will retire on September 30th.

He will remain as Vice-Chancellor Emeritus until his successor is appointed and a successful handover completed.

He has been in the role for the last seven years.

He said:

"I will, of course, be very sad at leaving the University I love, and friends and colleagues I admire. However, the timing is right.

"The University and its Colleges is probably in the best shape it has ever been, academically and financially, providing a strong platform for my successor to take the University and its Colleges to even greater heights.

Load more updates


Today's top stories