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Summary

  1. Updates for Thursday 19 May 2016
  2. Crucial political talks could decide fate of next Stormont Executive
  3. Teaching union calls for urgent action against growing use of iPads and tablets in schools
  4. Irish Open getting under way in County Kildare
  5. Picture: Shrove Lighthouse, Inishowen, County Donegal (by James Gardiner)

Live Reporting

By Fiona Murray and Karen Atkinson

All times stated are UK

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Colum Eastowood

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has announced that the party will go into opposition at Stormont.

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Good night

Thanks for your company on a day of political drama. Join us tomorrow for more news, sport, travel and weather updates.

More showers to come this evening!

Looks like more showers are on the way - catch up on the latest weather forecast here.

Still some heavy showers around this evening. @WeatherCee will have the latest forecast @bbcnewsline shortly.

Still some heavy showers around this evening. @WeatherCee will have the latest forecast @bbcnewsline shortly.

Sean Quinn leaves Quinn Industrial by "mutual agreement"

The County Fermanagh businessman Sean Quinn is to leave the operation he once controlled. 

Sean Quinn
BBC

He was taken on as a consultant by the new owners of Quinn Industrial Holdings in 2014, but there has been growing tension between him and the firm's management team.   

Eastwood says PfG is about "bluer sky and greener grass"

- @columeastwood tells @bbcnewsline that current Stormont Programme for Govt is about "bluer sky and greener grass"

Eastwood explains opposition move on @bbcnewsline

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood prepares to explain his move into opposition to @bbcnewsline

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood prepares to explain his move into opposition to @bbcnewsline

Second Baptist church attack in 24 hours

A second Northern Ireland Baptist church has been attacked in under 24 hours. Police received a report of a window smashed at the church on Cornagrade Road in Enniskillen this morning. 

Baptist Church attacked
BBC

It follows an attack on the Rathfriland Baptist Church last night. 

Momentous day at NI Assembly

A momentous day @niassembly - @SDLPlive joins @uuponline in opposition. @allianceparty rules itself out of the Justice job. More @bbctheview

Nesbitt congratulates SDLP

Congratulations SDLP! Looking forward to the first cross community Opposition at Stormont @uuponline @SDLPlive

Ministers confident 'challenges' will be resolved

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness says he and First Minister Arlene Foster are confident the challenges of putting an administration together will be resolved.

Martin McGuinness and Arlene Foster say they are confident challenges can be overcome

Eastwood: SDLP has made "bold decision"

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood says his party has made "a bold decision that did not come lightly" in terms of going into opposition. 

Colm Eastwood
BBC

He added that the party has been "100 per cent honest" with the electorate. 

BreakingSDLP goes into opposition

The SDLP announces it will go into opposition in the Northern Ireland Executive. 

Basking shark school filmed by drone

A school of sharks enjoyed the recent spell of spring sunshine off the coast of County Waterford.

Basking sharks
James McCarthy

The basking sharks - the second largest fish in the world - were filmed by County Cork photographer James McCarthy using drone technology.

Belfast waterfront court battle settled

A High Court battle that threatened to delay major new developments on Belfast's waterfront has been settled. 

Titanic Quarter
Titanic Quarter Ltd

The city's harbour commissioners and developer Titanic Quarter Ltd were in dispute over an agreement for the 185-acre site's regeneration.  

Ballygrooby crash is cleared

Ford: Ministers "don't want a serious discussion"

Alliance leader David Ford says he's "not in a position to recommend to the Alliance Party Council this evening that we should nominate a justice minister".

Senior Alliance members in Stormont
BBC

He said there was "no point having Alliance in the justice ministry unless we're making a difference"  and accused the First and Deputy First Minister of not wanting to have a serious discussion.  

Is a different kind of Stormont emerging?

A very different Stormont appears to be emerging - we'll have all the latest on the SDLP and Alliance @bbcnewsline 6.30 @bbconeni

Crash at Ballygrooby

Ofmdfm meetings dismissed as "performance art"

Ford: 'Not in position to recommend' justice minister role

David Ford: 'Not in a position to recommend Alliance Party take the justice minister role'

Alliance say petition of concern is a sticking point

David Ford not in a position to recommend Alliance taking Justice role

Barking mad!

Crash on M22 near Randalstown

Those cow puns just keep on coming...

' And won't you stay awhile...'

'...down by the Lagan side.'  

View more on twitter

Delta Print sold in £80m deal

Delta Print, the Belfast-based printing and packaging firm, has been sold in a £80m deal. The buyer is Huhtamaki, a Finnish-based packaging company, which already has a factory in Lurgan.

Delta Print
BBC

Delta Print was owned by the west Belfast man Terry Cross who founded the business in 1981.

SDLP opposition to Programme for Government is "dishonest"

The first and deputy first ministers have described the SDLP's opposition to the Programme for Government. as dishonest.

In a joint statement, Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness said: "For the SDLP to now claim they do not agree with the Programme for Government process is dishonest given that they were part of developing it."  

Eglinton man gets £3,000 fine for waste offences

An Eglinton man has been fined £3,000 at Londonderry Magistrates' Court for waste offences. William Brian O'Donnell, 42, of Craigbrack Road had pleaded guilty to four charges. 

Londonderry Magistrates' Court
BBC

The NI Environment Agency found construction and demolition waste at a site in Eglinton when it visited a number of times between September 2013 and March 2015. Mr O'Donnell did not hold a licence or an exemption to deposit or store waste at this location.   

Wells condemns attack on Baptist Church

DUP MLA Jim Wells has expressed "outrage" at the arson attack on Rathfriland Baptist Church last night. 

Tyres had been placed against the side of the church and set on fire
Press Eye
Tyres had been placed against the side of the church and set on fire

The South Down MLA described it as "an act of cowardice and destruction which is unfortunately an increasing trend across Northern Ireland".

Stormont meetings over Justice ministry

Gareth Gordon

BBC News NI Political Correspondent

Independent Unionist MLA Claire Sugden and the Green Party leader Steven Agnew have met with the First and Deputy First ministers about the possibility of taking the Justice ministry.  

Steven Agnew
BBC

An Alliance delegation has left Stormont Castle after a meeting which lasted 10 minutes.

SDLP leave Ofmdfm meeting "very disappointed"

Snow Direction or One Patrol?!

That 'wagon wheel' keeps on rolling...

Country crooner Nathan Carter has offered free concert tickets to a super fan who had his windows smashed by a neighbour after repeatedly playing the song, 'Wagon Wheel'

View more on twitter

County Antrim is in top 10 friendliest counties in UK

The 'Ballymena Times' is reporting that Antrim is the third most 'friendly' county in the UK. 

View more on twitter

But of course the same research says Fermanagh is the friendliest with Armagh coming in in second - and that the top six counties are all in Northern Ireland. 

Church members forced to meet elsewhere after arson attack

Rathfriland Baptist Church says its congregation will have to meet elsewhere after an arson attack on its building last night. 

Ian Wilson
BBC

The church's pastor, Ian Wilson, says it will be several weeks before they are able to use the building again. 

Second car recall in Ireland over fire risk

Thousands of Zafira B cars in Ireland are being recalled for the second time over fire risk fears. 

Vauxhall Zafira on fire
PA

Last year, the German car brand, Opel, recalled 8,200 cars in Ireland following a series of fires. The company said they were caused by incorrect repairs of blower motor resistors and its thermal fuse.   

From dog house to the House on the Hill

Two of the PSNI's highly trained canines will be competing this weekend at the 56th National Police Dog Trials at Stormont. 

The four-legged officers will demonstrate a variety of skills during the three-day event
PSNI

PDs Mike and Finn were both successful at the regional competition and will now compete against some of the most skilled police dogs in the UK for the national title - last won by PSNI 11 years ago.

UUP MLA condemns arson attack

South Down MLA Harold McKee has condemned last night's arson attack on Rathfriland Baptist Church, describing it as "an absolute disgrace".

The church was damaged by the fire
Press Eye

He said the local community shared his "shock and anger" as they woke this morning and offered his support to the congregation. 

Does Islam oppress Muslim women in NI?

Is Islam oppressive to Muslim women in NI? Tonight on @bbcnewsline we meet two women from v different backgrounds.

Is Islam oppressive to Muslim women in NI? Tonight on @bbcnewsline we meet two women from v different backgrounds.