News Buried treasure: Miners who worked in Smallcleugh, one of the long disused mines nearby

A Canadian company has discovered that Nenthead may be sitting on one of Europe's biggest deposits

NHS accused of wasting £27m on uneaten hospital food

147,000 meals left unserved in 2011-12 by one NHS trust

Building tycoon Lawrie Barratt dies age 85

Tributes have been paid to building tycoon Sir Lawrie Barratt after died at the age of 85.

Neil Black: The mentor who knew how to find winning line

Jim Alder was the man who got Neil Black into athletics and who guided him, as his coach, to victories over Steve Cram and Sebastian Coe. The 72-year-old has long been an inspirational figure in the North-east, the trailblazer who paved the way for Brendan Foster, Mike McLeod, Charlie Spedding and Cram – all Olympic medal winners.

Closure of two search-and-rescue helicopter bases 'could cost lives'

Moves to shut two search-and-rescue helicopter bases could cost lives, a senior MP warned Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary.

G4S won a contract in June to house asylum-seekers in the north of England, but is believed to have run into problems with sub-contractors

Bungling Olympic security firm G4S loses contract to run Wolds prison and fails to win any additional prison contracts

G4S paid the price for the fiasco over security for the London Olympics today when it was stripped of a contract to run a prison and missed out on other jail contracts.

Deadly ash tree 'dieback' disease now found in 115 sites and a further six counties

The spread of the deadly fungus threatening all 80m British ash trees cannot be stopped, a leading Government scientist has said, and Britain’s woods and forests will have to undergo major change as a result.

This year ’s British Matchplay Scrabble Championships were played out over the three days of the Bank Holiday weekend

Quaazy, zowpig and splawder: Scrabble plans to include English regional terms in dictionary

Scrabble lovers could soon be racking up double-digit scores with words like quaazy, zowpig and splawder.

McDermid says: 'My five-year plan is to stay alive and write more books'

My Secret Life: Val McDermid, 57, author

'I wanted to be Joni Mitchell'

There are 250,000 adult badgers in the UK

Will badger cull stop spread of TB in cattle?

It's the great countryside controversy of the day. NFU president Peter Kendall and TV naturalist Chris Packham argue for and against the cull

A block of flats in Newburn, Newcastle had to be evacuated after floods washed away its foundations

Flooded communities counting costs of storms

Communities in flooded parts of the UK are counting the cost of the most intense September storm for 30 years as swollen river levels start to recede.

Designer and architectural historian Charles Jencks

1,300ft sculpture of reclining woman sculpted into Northumbria landscape

A 1,300ft-long reclining woman which is the world's largest human form sculpted into the landscape is to open to the public next month.

As They Really Were: The Citizens of Alnwick 1831, by Keith Middlemas

What’s so special about Alnwick? The Northumbrian dormitory town about 30 miles outside Newcastle is home to a medieval castle, a Morrisons and a population of around 8,000. It also happens to be the home town of University of Sussex History professor Keith Middlemas and local artist Percy Forster.

Come to Northumberland for cheap alcohol, Scots urged

Council set to capitalise on 'golden opportunity' presented by price rise over border
Sid Waddell at the microphone: a graduate of Cambridge University, he peppered his commentaries with historical references

Sid Waddell: Voice of darts who raised the sport to an epic plane

Sid Waddell was a broadcaster who popularised and almost single-handed propelled darts into the modern sporting era. With his death at the age of 72 from bowel cancer, the sporting world has lost one of its most colourful and beloved commentators.

Heavy rain causes landslide and leaves homes flooded

Heavy rain over the weekend caused a landslip, and left homes knee-deep in floodwater.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture