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Summary

  1. Updates for Wednesday 20 April 2016
  2. More updates from 07:00 on Thursday
  3. Picture: Carlingford Lough, looking to Slieve Martin (by James Carlisle)

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Life's a beach...

And with that, another day is done, and a super one it was, too...

A view of Mussenden Temple from Downhill beach on Northern Ireland's north coast
Jason

Thanks to our reader, Jason, who was on Downhill beach today and sent in this stunning shot looking towards Mussenden Temple.

We'll be back tomorrow with all the news, weather and traffic updates you'll need, so join us from 07:00. Goodnight!

The sunshine is here to stay - for a while

Looks like we're in for another cracking day tomorrow - Angie Philips has the details.

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De La Salle teachers have 'lack of trust in leadership'

Teachers from the largest union at west Belfast's De La Salle College have said they will no longer co-operate with the school's principal.

De La Salle College in west Belfast
BBC

The Irish National Teachers Organisation says its members have a "lack of trust and confidence in the leadership of the school", where problems have been going on for the past few months. The principal has not issued a response.

800 new officers needed every year

At least 800 Irish police officers should be recruited every year to ensure effective policing, senior officers say.

Irish police officers in riot gear
PA

The claim was made at the annual conference of the Association of Garda Superintendents, with its president, Supt Noel Cunningham, saying up to 350 posts were vacated through retirement and "natural attrition" each year.

Crusaders' road to glory

BBC Sport NI

Crusaders clinched the Irish Premiership title last night with their win over north Belfast rivals Cliftonville at Solitude.

Crusaders captain Colin Coates celebrates with supporters
Stephen Hamilton / Press Eye

You can take a photographic journey through the twists and turns of the champions' season.

Belfast buses 'badly delayed'

On tonight's BBC Newsline...

BBC Newsline

Coming up on tonight's BBC Newsline, Teresa Craig will report from Malin Head, where filming is expected to begin on the latest Star Wars film.

A scene from near Malin Head in County Donegal
BBC

Julian Fowler has details on threats and attacks on businesses once owned by former billionaire Séan Quinn in Derrylin, and Mervyn Jess looks at how a parking row has erupted in south Belfast. 

Lights, camera, action - rehearsals under way for #GFAGen

We've been behind the scenes as Tara and Stephen get ready for tonight's #GFAGen debate.

Tara Mills and Stephen Nolan in talks with editor Kevin Kelly
BBC

You can read more about the 'Good Friday Agreement Generation' ahead of tonight's programme.

Drugs and suspected air pistol found

Company threat a 'deplorable act'

Police have appealed for information after a sign carrying a threat was erected outside a business in Derrylin in County Fermanagh yesterday.

A security guard outside a wind farm near Derrylin in County Fermanagh
BBC

Det Insp Brian Foster said the placard threat was "part of an ongoing campaign of intimidation directed at a local company".

Watercolour wonders

Facsimiles of 16 framed watercolour drawings by Mary Ward, the wife of the fifth Viscount of Bangor, have gone on display at Castle Ward on the edge of Strangford Lough after donors funded the reproduction work.

A drawing by Mary Ward
National Trust

The original drawings, which date from about 1850, have been preserved and remounted and are now safely in conservation storage.

Teen admits some US bomb hoax calls

A Newtownabbey teenager has admitted making some hoax bomb threats to several schools, airports and landmark locations in the United States.

Ben Megarry
Pacemaker

Ben Megarry, 19, of Harmin Park, pleaded guilty to 14 of 23 charges but denied the other nine.

Getting ready for the Good Friday Agreement Generation debate

Stephen Nolan and Tara Mills record a TV trail for tonight's debate

Arkinson search 'ordered by RUC chief'

Orders to search the home of the sister of Arlene Arkinson came from the top of the police force, a retired senior officer has told an inquest into the Castlederg teenager's disappearance.

Arlene Arkinson
Arkinson family

Kathleen Arkinson's home was searched in April 1996, two years after her sister's disappearance. Eric Anderson, a former RUC chief superintendent, said Sir Hugh Annesley gave authority for the search.

Cregagh Road crash causing delays

BBC NI Travel

A crash between a car and a bus is causing delays on Belfast's Cregagh Road.

Police at a checkpoint
BBC

Police say traffic is particularly heavy for traffic coming from Forestside towards Castlereagh and from Cregagh Road onto Upper Knockbreda Road.

Highland in the Mourneland

Many of you have been making the most of this glorious spell of weather by getting out there with your cameras and sending us some of your shots.

Highland cattle stand next to a dilapadated outhouse near Spelga Dam in the Mourne mountains
Paul McFarland

Paul McFarland has been up to Spelga Dam in the Mournes where he spotted some highland cattle soaking up the sun. You can send your snaps to us at bbcnewsni@bbc.co.uk.

Alpha strike action called off

Proposed strike action by staff at one of Northern Ireland's largest newspaper operators has been called off after talks between a trade union and the company.

Newspapers on a printing press
AFP/Getty Images

Journalists at eight papers owned by the Alpha Newspaper Group were due to begin three days of industrial action tomorrow in a row over union recognition and pay.

But Alpha and the National Union of Journalists say they are "pleased" with the outcome of talks and "look forward to a strong future for the group".

Grant's on tour - and he's loving it

Actor Richard E Grant is touring some of Northern Ireland's most recognisable sights and today he's been up north at Armoy's Dark Hedges and the Giant's Causeway.

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View more on twitter

Porch damaged in arson attack

#GFAGen - first time voters put politicians on the spot

The Good Friday Agreement Generation debate - 18 years after the Good Friday Agreement, first-time voters from across Northern Ireland put the politicians on the spot about the issues which matter to them.

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Watch the live election debate tonight at 21:00 on BBC1 and the BBC News Channel. You can also follow the discussion on Twitter and we'll be posting updates on Snapchat #GFAGen

Inishowen, far, far away...

Get ready for some Darth Malin - film crews for the next Star Wars film are believed to have arrived in County Donegal.

Star Wars
Associated Press

Trucks and cranes have descended on the the Inishowen Peninsula at Malin Head in recent days and, according to local journalist Stephen Maguire, "there's huge excitement in the area".

Crane firm withdraws over threats

A crane hire company that had been working at windfarm near Derrylin in County Fermanagh has pulled out after receiving threats.

Slieve Rushen windfarm
BBC

Slieve Rushen windfarm was once part of the empire of businessman Sean Quinn. Aidan Kelleher, the managing director of East Cork Crane Hire, told the BBC he was not prepared to put his workers in danger.

Football: Mark Lawrenson vs Carl Frampton, round one...

If it's The Jackal against Lawro, we're backing King Carl...

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Thrones duo set for Ulster University honour

Robbie Meredith

BBC News NI Arts Correspondent

The co-creators of the multi-award winning TV drama Game of Thrones are to receive honorary degrees from Ulster University.

Kit Harrington as Jon Snow in Game Of Thrones
Sky

David Benioff and Daniel B Weiss will receive doctorate of fine art degrees for distinguished services to the arts in a ceremony in the autumn.

Lennon 'would welcome' Celtic return

BBC Sport

Neil Lennon would be up for a return to Celtic as the club's manager with Ronny Deila stepping down at the end of the season.

Neil Lennon holding a Celtic scarf as he is unveiled as the club's manager in 2010
PA

The Lurgan man spent four years in charge of the Hoops but is now a free agent.

"I'm not promoting myself for the job," he told the BBC, "but if I get the chance to speak to the Celtic board then I will."

BBC Talkback packing up after election special

BBC Talkback have finished their outside broadcast focusing on South Belfast ahead of the assembly election. But, don't worry if you missed it - you can listen back here.

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View more on twitter

Prison officer death accused's court bid rejected

A man charged in connection with the murder of prison officer David Black has failed in a bid to overturn an order for him to stand trial.

Damien McLaughlin
Pacemaker

Damien McLaughlin, 39, of Kilmascally Road in Dungannon, faces four charges linked to the 2012 killing.

State of emergency bid for Euro 2016

Heading to France this summer to follow Northern Ireland or the Republic at the European Championship? Then this might be of interest...

Northern Ireland supporters at Windsor Park in Belfast
Reuters

The French government is planning to extend a state of emergency that was imposed after November's Paris attacks to cover the Euro 2016 tournament.

Given the scale of the event, Prime Minister Manuel Valls says, security has to be ensured.

Bombardier change job cuts plan

Julian O'Neill

BBC News NI Business Correspondent

Bombardier is adjusting its previously announced job cuts programme in Belfast, with a greater number of redundancies this year.

A Bombardier sign outside the company's Belfast unit
Pacemaker

The aerospace company said in February it was axing 1,080 posts over two years, about 20% of its Northern Ireland workforce.

But it now says up to 630 will go in 2016, as opposed to the 580 it had initially stated.

NI 'carafans' off to Euros 2016

In case you missed it on last night's BBC Newsline, here's the tale of the Northern Ireland football fans who have come up with a shrewd plan to cut the cost of their trip to Euro 2016.

A caravan painted in Northern Ireland green
BBC

As Mervyn Jess reports, they have clubbed together to buy a second-hand caravan that will be "hard to miss" when it arrives in France in June.

Priest praises Orange lodges' 'generosity'

Ardoyne priest Father Gary Donegan has praised the "generosity" shown by Orangemen at Twaddell after they called off their nightly protest so as not to interfere with a vigil for murder victim Michael McGibbon, the News Letter reports.

Fr Gary Donegal with Joanne McGibbon, the widow of murder victim Michael McGibbon
Pacemaker

“I got a call yesterday from a couple of leading loyalists to say that the protest was going to be suspended,” said Fr Donegan.

“I was able to make an announcement and acknowledge the generosity of the lodges in the church."

Allen's yer main Mann at Crucible

County Antrim's Mark Allen moved into the second round of the World Snooker Championship with a 10-3 win over debutant Mitchell Mann at the Crucible in Sheffield.

Mark Allen plays a shot at the World Snooker Championship
Getty Images

The world number seven led 6-3 overnight and rattled off four frames without reply to clinch it, meaning he will face either Joe Perry or Kyren Wilson in the last 16 on Sunday.

Wednesday's front pages: Irish News

Wednesday's front pages: Belfast Telegraph

Footballer returns to playing after Buncrana tragedy

Josh Daniels, a footballer for Derry City, has made his first appearance for the club since his mother and sister were among five people killed in the Buncrana pier tragedy last month.

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Daniels received a standing ovation when he came on as a second-half substitute in Derry's 2-0 win against Sligo Rovers.

Victims Commissioner appears before Westminster committee

About 500,000 people, one-third of the population here, have been affected by the Troubles in some way, Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson has told a Westminster committee.

Judith Thompson
BBC

Ms Thompson is appearing in front of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee. She says 200,000 of those people have mental health issues, 40,000 have suffered injuries and 3,720 have been bereaved.

Gun murder widow 'incredibly brave'

The widow of a man who was murdered in an alleyway gun attack is "incredibly brave", the Northern Ireland Secretary says.

Joanne McGibbon comforted by a friend at a vigil after her husband Michael's murder
Pacemaker

Michael McGibbon was shot in the legs on Friday night and his wife Joanne (pictured, centre) tried to save his life at the scene. Theresa Villiers told the House of Commons it is "utterly unacceptable that there are still people who believe they can take the law into their own hands and administer brutal and violent treatment".

Gobbins pathway set to reopen

The dramatic coastal pathway at the Gobbins in County Antrim is set to reopen in just over a fortnight, the Carrick Times reports.

The Gobbins coastal pathway
Pacemaker

It was damaged by storms Abigail and Frank in January, just five months after opening to the public for the first time in 50 years. Mid and East Antrim Borough Council says it will be back in action on Saturday 30 April.

BBC Talkback ready for South Belfast election special

BBC Talkback are ready for their outside broadcast focusing on South Belfast ahead of the assembly election. Tune in from noon.

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