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Summary

  1. Updates for Wednesday 1 June 2016
  2. A coroner is to decide whether to reopen inquests into the deaths of 21 people in two IRA bombs in Birmingham in 1974
  3. Martin McGuinness begins a two day trip to Belgium and France where he will visit the sites of two WW1 battles
  4. The Republic of Ireland announce their final squad for this summer's European Championship
  5. Picture: Evening light at Baronscourt, County Down (by Alwyn Curry)

Live Reporting

By Fiona Murray and Niall Glynn

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight!

Dog wearing sunglasses
Pacemaker

On the hottest day of the year so far, we're off home to enjoy what's left of the sunshine. We'll be back tomorrow from 7am but until then you can keep up to date with BBC News NI.

Spotlight now available on iPlayer

Last night's Spotlight is now available on the BBC iPlayer.

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Student backlash over QUB history lessons remark

History students have hit back at the vice chancellor of Queen's University, Belfast, who said: "Society doesn't need a 21-year-old that's a Sixth Century historian."

Queen's University, Belfast
BBC

Patrick Johnston made the comment in an interview with the Belfast Telegraph and his remarks sparked a backlash of anger from students online. It also led to the creation of the Twitter account @QUBsixthcentury.

Sinn Féin minister recites poetry at British soldier's grave

Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness has paid his respects at the grave of the Irish war poet Francis Ledwidge, who died fighting for the British Army in Belgium during World War One.

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The former IRA commander and current deputy first minister of Northern Ireland is visiting WW1 battlefields as "part of a journey towards reconciliation".

New Lord Mayor of Belfast elected by fellow councillors

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Coming up on BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra

Former Anglo Irish Bank officials found guilty

Two former Anglo Irish Bank executives have been found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the bank's investors in the run-up to the Irish banking crisis.

Anglo Irish Bank
BBC

John Bowe and Willie McAteer worked at the debt-laden bank which had to be rescued by the Irish government in 2009 at a cost of about 30bn euros (£23bn) to taxpayers. The pair were convicted on the 84th day of the longest ever criminal trial in the Republic of Ireland.

Today is the hottest day of the year so far

Frampton criticises Olympic boxing changes

Former world champion Carl Frampton and a number of other high-profile fighters have hit out at the decision to allow professionals to box at the Olympics.

Carl Frampton
Getty Images

Frampton says amateur and pro boxing are "two different sports", claiming: "It's like a badminton player playing tennis."

Up 20 graves damaged in Londonderry

About 20 headstones and memorials have been damaged in an overnight attack at the City Cemetery on Lone Moor Road, Derry.

City Cemetery, Derry
BBC

Insp Jennifer Hudson said: "This will obviously cause distress to a number of families and the local community."

Ten NI beaches win blue flag awards

Ten of Northern Ireland's beaches have won International Blue Flag Awards.

Blue flag beaches
BBC

The annual awards recognise beaches with "world class" facilities and water quality.  

Keane furious after Republic of Ireland defeat

Republic of Ireland assistant boss Roy Keane said the management was furious with the team's display in Monday's Euro 2016 warm-up defeat by Belarus.

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane
INPHO

The Republic fielded a largely second string side in the 2-1 loss in Cork but Keane was still totally unimpressed. "We wanted to kill some of them last night," he said.

Birmingham relative condemns former IRA man

Julie Hambleton, whose sister was killed in the Birmingham pub bombings, has confronted a former head of IRA intelligence, after he said that those who planted the bombs were participants "in a just war".

Birmingham bomb
PA

Ms Hambleton accused Kieran Conway of being "delusional" and said his statements were "horrendous".

House fire victim rescued by off-duty firefighter

A man in his 50s has been rescued from a house fire in County Down by an off-duty trainee firefighter. 

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Gheorge Toma noticed smoke coming from the roof of the property in Main Street, Greyabbey. He rescued an unconscious man from an upstairs bedroom.

100 searches and 23 arrests since hotel shooting

Police in the Republic of Ireland have conducted almost 100 searches and arrested 23 people since a man was shot dead at boxing weigh-in event at a Dublin hotel earlier this year.

Scene of Regency Hotel gun attack
AFP

David Byrne, 33, was murdered at the Regency Hotel on 5 February, in an attack which is believed to be linked to an ongoing criminal feud.

Former RUC officers no longer involved in investigations

Former RUC officers are no longer helping to investigate controversial Northern Ireland killings, it has been revealed in the High Court.

High Court
BBC

Counsel for the chief constable disclosed that a contract under which ex-policemen and women were temporarily rehired ended 18 months ago and there are no plans to renew it.

First meeting of new Finance Committee

Stormont's new Finance Committee is meeting right now for the first time since last month's Assembly elections.

Claire Hanna
BBC

Its deputy chairperson Claire Hanna, of the SDLP, has told members that the committee's work investigating the sale of NAMA Northern Ireland assets should be continued.  You can follow the meeting as it happens with Stormont Live.

Irish skies are smiling

Birmingham bombs decision 'historic moment'

The Belfast law firm which is representing some of the families of the Birmingham pub bombings victims has said the decision to resume the inquests was "an historic and memorable moment for the relatives".

Birmingham pub bomb
PA

"Only through an independent and human rights compliant mechanism of investigation can the answers to the many questions surrounding the Birmingham pub bombings of 1974 be asked and answered," solicitor Kevin Winters says.

Delays at Holywood Arches

Delays for motorway traffic in Belfast

Schools have right to use academic selection says minister

Education Minister Peter Weir has said he supports "the right of schools to use and have academic selection".

Peter Weir
BBC

"My concern is if you didn't have any form of selection, Northern Ireland would move towards a much cruder form of academic selection like in England. In terms of social impact, this could be worse," he told the education committee. 

'No evidence' intelligence officers involved in Kincora

Senior officers in MI5 and MI6 have said they can find no evidence that intelligence officers were involved in or condoned abuse at Kincora Boy's Home in Belfast.

Kincora
Pacemaker

Woman's face slashed 'in homophobic hate crime'

Full details of drug driving arrests in NI

Almost 600 motorists were charged with driving under the influence of drugs in the past year, new figures from the PSNI have revealed.

Road closed sign after fatal crash
BBC

There were 3,259 arrests on suspicion of drink or drug driving in Northern Ireland from March 2015 to April 2016. 

Traffic queues clear as lane reopens

Background to Bessbrook murder investigation

Police investigating the murder of disabled pensioner Eugene Carr in Bessbrook, County Armagh, are questioning a man in connection with his death. 

Carr murder scene
BBC

Mr Carr was attacked and stabbed during a burglary at his home in the early hours of 31 August 2015. At the time, police said they believe a hook had been used.  Mr Carr died months later.

UUP appoints agriculture spokesperson

Man arrested in connection with Bessbrook murder

Former Sinn Féin MLA loses legal battle over libel case

Former Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan, who was ordered to pay nearly £50,000 damages for posting a defamatory tweet about a unionist MP, has lost his legal action against being denied libel insurance.

Phil Flanagan
BBC

Mr Flanagan apologised for tweeting unfounded allegations about UUP MP Tom Elliot in 2014, but later sued the insurance firm used by Assembly members after it refused to indemnify him. Today, a High Court judge ruled AIG was entitled to withhold cover because Mr Flanagan knew the tweet was defamatory.

Things are heating up in NI

Road reopens after Greyabbey house fire