ABOUT 70 North-East teenagers have flown to Hungary for a tri-nation challenge against their hosts and youngsters from France.

Teams from the Hermitage School, Chester-le-Street, Greenfield School and Community Arts College, Newton Aycliffe, Durham Johnston School, Wellfield School, east Durham and St Bede's RC School, Lanchester, will compete in boys and girls cross country, girls five-a-side and boys football, boys basketball, as well as board games.

NEW ERA: Births and deaths could be registered on the Internet, and weddings could take place anywhere at any time, under proposed changes to restructure the registration service. The changes were discussed yesterday at a conference for registrars and local authority managers from around the country in Middlesbrough.

IRAQ FLOWERS: Yorkshire Air Museum, the largest dedicated memorial to Allied air forces in the UK, is inviting visitors to lay flowers in support of troops in Iraq. People can lay tributes in the memorial garden, airborne forces regimental oak or women's air service memorial, at Elvington. The museum is open 10am to 5pm daily. For details, call (01904) 608595.

TRAVELLERS LEAVE: A group of travellers who camped for several days on privately-owned land near the Joint Stocks rubbish tip at Coxhoe, County Durham, began leaving yesterday. About 14 caravans had been on the land but a Durham Police spokesman said the force had received no complaints about their presence.

KNIFE ROBBERY: A shop assistant is recovering after two men armed with knives held up Ye Olde Beer Shoppe, in Chester Road, Washington, Wearside at about 6.55pm on Wednesday. Police later arrested two men and a woman, but are keen to trace the fourth occupant of a blue Ford Escort seen at the shop. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0191-454 7555.

BOY FOUND: David Mark Fellows, 16, who went missing on Monday after leaving Benfield School, Newcastle, has returned home safe, said police.

SCHOOL CASH: Millionaire former motor magnate Sir Tom Cowie has given £50,000 to Southmoor Community School, Sunderland, for the school's bid to become the first specialist maths and computing school in the North-East.

FIRE CHARGE: A man appeared in court yesterday after a spate of fire attacks on vehicles in Ripon, North Yorkshire, at the weekend. Michael James Wright, 21, of Mill House, Ripon, was bailed until April 24 by Harrogate magistrates on four charges of recklessly or with intent destroying vehicles, three cars and a van on Sunday.

FASHION FUNDRAISER: A charity fashion show will be held at the Swallow Hotel, Stockton, in aid of the Butterwick Hospice. Doors open at 7pm on Sunday. Tickets, which cost £3.50 and include a glass of wine, are available from the hospice, on (01642) 624231.

NEW COXSWAIN: The lifeboat at Scarborough has a new coxswain following the retirement of Richard Constantine, a crew member for 20 years. His successor is Tommy Clark, 42, a builder who has been in the lifeboat crew for 18 years.

CAMPAIGN BOOST: Abbey National, Darlington, has donated £200 to the £25,000 campaign to refurbish the schoolroom at Heighington Methodist Chapel, near Darlington.