Bonfire Night diary

Our reporter Jonny Blair spent the evening shadowing Tyne and Wear's 'blue watch' crew, based at Gateshead Community Fire Station.

Live updates

Sasha's life was saved by the Freeman Hospital - now she's in the final of a national singing competition

Sasha
Sasha singing Credit: David France

Sasha France's life was saved by the Freeman Hospital after she underwent two major heart operations as a baby.

Now, age 10, Sasha is singing her way to the national final of Teenstar - the UK's largest singing competition for youngsters.

Sasha's dad, David, sent us this video of her and her pal Luke practicing for the final.

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47 people from our region have been arrested for suspected paedophilia

Scout leaders, doctors and police officers are amongst those who have been arrested for suspected paedophilia in our region and beyond.

Northumbria Police have now confirmed that they have arrested 19 people in connection with a nationwide operation by the National Crime Agency. This is the force area with the largest number of arrests in our region.

Cleveland Police have arrested 12 people, North Yorkshire have arrested 11, five people have been arrested in Durham.

The operation targeted internet users who accessed child abuse images, but it has already led to charges for serious sexual assault.

More than four hundred children who were in the care, custody or control of the suspects have been safeguarded.

More than 28 people have been arrested for suspected paedophilia

Doctors, teachers and former police officers - from our region - are amongst the 660 suspected paedophiles who have been arrested in the biggest operation of its kind.

The six month long action has been led by The National Crime Agency.

Cleveland Police have arrested 12 people, North Yorkshire have arrested 11, five people have been arrested in Durham and Northumbria Police have arrested 19 people.

The operation targeted internet users who accessed child abuse images, but it has already led to charges for serious sexual assault.

More than four hundred children who were in the care, custody or control of the suspects have been safeguarded.

Mike Ashley bows out of Sports Direct profit-share scheme

Mike Ashley
Credit: PA

Mike Ashley has bowed out of a controversial profit-share scheme which could see 3,000 permanent staff receive a piece of £200m if profits double in 2019.

The scheme recently came under fire from investors groups and the Institute of Directors who were planning to vote against Chairman Keith Hellawell and other board members because they were unhappy with the arrangement.

In a statement on the Sport's Direct website today the company confirms that despite approval from a panel of independent shareholders that he could receive a payout he has - after discussions with the board - decided to refuse his payout.

Keith Hellawell, Non-Executive Chairman of Sports Direct International plc, said:

"The resolution passed by shareholders to implement the 2015 Bonus Share Scheme clearly recognises the success of previous company-wide schemes, and the significant contribution from Mike.

"On behalf of the entire Board, I should like to thank shareholders for the trust and confidence that they have demonstrated towards the team.

"Mike remains fully committed to achieving the scheme's stretch targets. Regarding the allocation of shares, Mike's focus is on ensuring that the scheme aligns all employees to achieve the Company's objectives.

"Following recent unhelpful speculation surrounding his potential allocation, he is determined to ensure that there is the maximum number of shares available for the eligible employees."

Mike Ashley has not received a salary or any bonus since Sports Direct was floated in 2007 when he received £929m.

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Praise for motorbike blood delivery volunteers

Medical experts have praised a charity which uses motorbike riders to deliver vital blood supplies to hospitals.

Volunteers at Northumbria Blood Bikes transport emergency stocks between the hours of 7pm and 7am, which saves health trusts having to pay for taxis.

The organisation works in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear and has just started delivering to Darlington Memorial Hospital.

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