St Mary's lighthouse at sunset

Sunday across the NE

Dry and fine on Sunday, with good sunny spells rather than unbroken sunshine

Live updates

Launch of £1bn scheme for free school meals

Almost two million school children will receive a free hot school meal from today under a new £1bn government scheme.

The major new initiative, first announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg last year, will see every five to seven-year-old at England's 16,500 primary schools eligible for free dinners.

Ministers have insisted that the move will save families up to £400 per year as well having health and education benefits for youngsters.

Nick Clegg referred to trialling of the scheme, which took place in Durham: "All the evidence, including the pilots in Durham and Newham, shows that free school meals will not only help ease the pressure on household budgets and encourage positive eating, but will also help improve concentration and raise educational performance so that, regardless of their background, every child can have the best possible start in life."

Letting boards 'affecting the character' of Jesmond

Newcastle City Council has successfully applied to ban signs advertising rental properties in some areas of the city.

It follows years of complaints from residents who say the boards lower the quality and appearance of their streets.

From January, any landlord or letting agent displaying boards without permission in Jesmond, Heaton, Gosforth and Sandyford could face fines of up to £2,500.

Kath Lawless, of Newcastle City Council, says the boards have "brought the area down":

But John Henderson, of Acorn Properties, has spoken of the inevitable affect on business:

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Celebrating 100 transplants at Freeman Hospital

Heart patients who owe their lives to Newcastle's Freeman Hospital joined a celebration to mark a special milestone.

The Freeman is home to the largest adult congenital heart transplant centre in the world and staff there have now carried out 100 transplants on people who had a defect of the heart at birth.

To mark the achievement patients came to the centre to help release 100 balloons, each containing a special message.

Julie Harrison reports:

Pedestrian killed in collision with taxi in Newcastle

A pedestrian hit by a taxi in Newcastle has died.

At 2.30am on Sunday, 31st August, a taxi collided with a pedestrian on the northbound slip-road from Swan House roundabout to New Bridge Street on the Central Motorway in the city centre.

The pedestrian, a man aged 26, was taken to the RVI hospital where he subsequently died.

Police are appealing for any witnesses who were in the area or has any information about the incident to contact them.

Woman in Newcastle goes missing after being found

Police are appealing for help in tracing a missing woman in Newcastle.

Lynda Foulkes has been reported missing previously and often frequents Northumberland lakes and the coast. She also has addresses in the Manchester area and was previously found in Scotland.

Lynda, 46, was last seen at 11am on Sunday, 31st August, at Denmark Street in Byker where she is currently living.

It is believed she's driving a black Honda Jazz, registration ND62 XDP.

Lynda is described as white, between 4ft 9ins and 5ft 1inch tall, of slight build with short dark curly hair.

Lynda Foulkes

Police appeal for help in tracing missing 18-year-old

Stevey Burrows

Police are appealing for help in tracing a missing person in Newcastle.

18-year-old Stevey Burrows was reported missing from Tyneside Foyer at Westgate Road on Saturday, 16th August. He has not been seen since Wednesday, 13th August.

Stevey is described as 5ft 10ins tall of slim build, with brown hair, and he usually wears a beanie hat.

Anyone with any information should contact the police.

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Scientists and religious groups clash over three-parent IVF

Scientists and religious groups have clashed over proposals for three-parent IVF, which are being debated in Westminster later today.

"If we're going to allow parents to chose what sort of genes their children have, that's a massive Rubicon and that's such a big Rubicon that in every other country this is not legal."

– Colin Hart, from The Christian Institute

"This research is about providing women who carry a specific sort of genetic disease reproductive choice. We already have ability for some genetic diseases to select on specific embryos."

– Professor Doug Turnbull, from Newcastle University, speaking to ITV News Tyne Tees

Newcastle scientists call for three-parent IVF

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Scientists at Newcastle university want the IVF treatment to be legalised to prevent rare genetic illnesses. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
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Critics say the procedure would be completely unethical. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

A controversial technique that could see babies born to three biological parents is being debated at Westminster later.

Scientists at Newcastle university want the IVF treatment to be legalised to prevent rare genetic illnesses. However, critics say the procedure would be completely unethical.

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