Unemployment in the North East has fallen by 11,000 in the three months to January 2012. The region is still the worst in the country for joblessness. The rate of unemployment is now 10.8%.
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Numbers of puffins on the UK's remote Farne Islands may be down 12% in the last five years, the National Trust has warned.
The Thai banks in charge of the former SSI site have agreed to a deal which could see the land transferred.
John Briers has been jailed for seven years for pocketing a "breathtaking" £700,000 of a South Tyneside branch of Age Concern.