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Summary

  1. Updates for Wednesday 4 May 2016
  2. Leaders of the five main parties go head-to-head in debate before assembly election
  3. Amnesty International criticises Stormont Executive over failure to approve funding for legacy inquests
  4. Picture: Portrush, County Antrim (by Tim Nelson)

Live Reporting

By Fiona Murray and Sharon Ferguson

All times stated are UK

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Good evening

That's all from us today. Join us again tomorrow from 07:00 BST for the latest news updates. 

New manager appointed to lead Irish cricket team

Preparations underway for Blitz commemoration

Metal bar wedged on railway line in County Down

PSNI in County Down have revealed images of a metal bar which was wedged between the switches of a rail-way line on theirundefinedFacebook page

PSNI Down Facebook
PSNI Down Facebook

The metal bar was removed before trains were using the line. 

Students 'snap' the perfect cuppa in Shanghai

Two TV and film students won the chance to be part of the crew filming the World Barista Championships in Shanghai.

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Brandywell stadium to host EA Sports Cup semi-final

On Evening Extra

Coming up on BBC Newsline

Relive the weekend

Beat the mid-week blues by reliving the weekend on the BBC iPlayer and listen to Sunday Sequence 

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Weather: Tomorrow looks bright and breezy

Education Authority Chief warns of pressure after budget cut

The head of Northern Ireland's Education Authority (EA) has warned that it is facing due to a £22m reduction in its budget. 

Gavin Boyd
BBC

The EA's budget had previously been reduced from £405m in 2014/15 to approximately £396m in 2015/16.

Teenager loses driving licence for a year for dangerous driving

Armagh woman acquitted of bomb making charges

Orla O'Hanlon, 20, from south Armagh, has been acquitted of running a bomb-making factory for dissident republicans.

Orla O'Hanlon
Pacemaker

Her boyfriend, 21-year-old Keith McConnan, was cleared of the majority of charges but convicted of possessing a bag containing an improvised mobile phone and power supply in suspicious circumstances.   

Dancing to a new tune?

Reporter Claire Graham is putting on her dancing shoes. Will it help her agility like it did for American footballer Alex Collins?

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Tune in to BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra programme at 17:00 to find out how she got on.  

North West 200: Wilson in bid for glory

Lincolnshire's Ben Wilson will ride a new Aprilia machine in his bid for a first North West 200 victory.  

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Weather: Patches of rain but temperatures remain mild

NI rowers to compete at European Championships

Miss something?

If you missed BBC Talkback earlier today, you can catch up on the BBC iPlayer. 

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Glentoran supporters to commemorate Belfast Blitz

Star Wars Day

"My name is Captain Han Solo. I'll be your pilot for this flight to a galaxy far, far away..."

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Star Wars fans use 4 May as a day for celebrating the movies - 'May the Fourth be with you'

Fine Gael hopeful on independents deal

Fine Gael are meeting independent TDs in further talks aimed at forming a government in the Republic of Ireland.

Simon Coveney
BBC

Irish Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said he hoped an agreement could be made with the independents today.

'Newborn baby's body' found at recycling plant

The body of what is believed to be a new born baby has been discovered at a recycling facility in the Republic of Ireland, police have said.  

Garda
BBC

The discovery was made at the facility in Bray, County Wicklow, on Wednesday morning.  

NI Leaders' debate now available on iPlayer

If you missed the debate on BBC One last night, you can see it on the BBC iPlayer.

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Victims commissioner calls for inquests funding

The victims commissioner has reaffirmed her commitment to prioritise the progression of legacy inquests to ensure assurances made to families are fulfilled. 

Judith Thompson
BBC

Judith Thompson says adequate funding had always been an issue and said the commission would "redouble" its efforts to ensure the funding was made available "as soon as possible".   

Parents and pupils protest at school closure

Keefe signs new deal with Belfast Giants

Prison officer murder accused 'worked with victim'

A man accused of murdering the prison officer Adrian Ismay had a good working relationship with him, a court has been told.

Adrian Ismay
Ismay family

It emerged during a bail hearing that Christopher Alphonsos Robinson, from Aspen Park, Dunmurry, told the police he knew Mr Ismay as they had worked together as volunteers for the St John's Ambulance. Bail was granted.

Protest at Stormont after ministers fail to bid for inquest funding

Concern worldwide donation error update

Those affected by an administrative error that resulted in 100 times the normal donation amount being given to charity Concern Worldwide, will not need to contact their bank in order to be reimbursed.

Laptop typing
BBC

The charity say the full amount taken from bank accounts will now be automatically returned by Friday 6 May. The charity previously told supporters that they would have to ask the bank for a 'Direct Debit Indemnity Claim'. 

Families may sue over legacy inquests funding

Could sporting legends museum become reality?

Tributes to man who died in Ballyclare crash

Cancer patient 'on trolley for 15 hours'

A County Antrim woman says she is shocked and concerned about her mother who has been lying on a hospital trolley for more than 15 hours.  

Hospital
Pacemaker

The woman says her 83-year-old mother is dying of cancer and "extremely frail". When the family called Antrim Area Hospital earlier they were told their mum had spent last night on a trolley.

Man appears in court over murder of Paul McCauley

A 61-year-old man has appeared in court on offences linked to the murder of Paul McCauley. Charles Buckingham from Nash Court Gardens in Margate, Kent, faces three charges of withholding information.  

Paul McCauley
Family photo

Mr McCauley, from Londonderry, was attacked and left in a vegetative state in 2006 and died last year.

Firth qualifies for IPC European Swimming Championships

Bethany Firth has qualified for the final of the women's 100-metre breaststroke at the IPC European Swimming championships. 

Bethany Frith
Getty Images

Firth, from Seaforde, County Down, posted the second fastest time overall to go through to tonight's final in Portugal. It's the first time she's been in international competition as a Team GB swimmer since switching from Team Ireland.  

What's it like to train with Ulster?

A few lucky fans got the chance...

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Newtownstewart Orange hall attacked for third time

An Orange hall in County Tyrone has been attacked for the third time in three months.

Strawletterdallon Orange hall in Newtownstewart
Orange Order
Strawletterdallon Orange Hall in Newtownstewart
Orange Order

It is believed that Strawletterdallon Orange hall was attacked in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The hall was previously attacked twice in two days in February.   

Wetherspoon's sees rise in sales

LCJ disappointed over legacy inquests funds

Northern Ireland's most senior judge says he's disappointed the Stormont Executive has not yet bid for legacy inquest funding.  

Sir Declan Morgan
BBC

In a statement to the BBC, the lord chief justice said the incoming executive needed to agree a way forward "as a matter of urgency".