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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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?