On tonight's political programme, Helen Ford talks to the region's new General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress.
Beth Farhat explains that her priority is to campaign for higher wages, to improve people's health and reduce their risk of falling into debt:
You can see the full interview on Around The House tonight (Thursday 11th July) at 11.35pm.
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The 60-year-old takes charge of the Black Cats with immediate effect.
What has the weekend got in store for the Tyne Tees region?
The operation took around three hours to complete, with the remains being disposed of by a specialist animal by-product company.