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Summary

  1. Updates for Thursday 2 June 2016
  2. More updates from 07:00 on Friday
  3. Picture: Larne lifeboat at sea (by Trevor Hartnett)

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Enjoy the evening sunshine

That's all from us for today. We'll be back tomorrow with more updates on news, sport, traffic and weather from 07:00. We'll leave you with this picture of sunny Whitehead taken by Bill Allen. Goodnight.

Whitehead beach
Bill Allen

Is it going to last?

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You can see the latest forecast here.

Travel: Advice for motorists heading to Larne parade

Death of 100 trout in County Antrim river investigated

SF condemns Belfast shootings

Sinn Féin's Gerry Kelly has condemned two shootings in Belfast last night. 

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly
BBC

One man was shot in the leg near a school in Poleglass while another victim was shot in the feet in Ardoyne. Mr Kelly said those responsible "have learned nothing from the recent brutal murders of Conor McKee and Michael McGibbon". 

NI 'net recipient' of EU money

EU vote face off between Izzard and DUP

UUP welcomes end of ban on gay men giving blood

Ulster Unionist health spokesperson, Jo-Anne Dobson MLA, has welcomed the lifting of the lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood in Northern Ireland.

Jo-Anne Dobson
Pacemaker

"Northern Ireland has been left trailing behind the rest of the United Kingdom on this issue for far too long," she said.  

Going underground

As the Somme centenary approaches, archaeologists have been excavating trenches, in County Down, used for training during WW1. 

Archaeologists hope to breathe new life into the training trenches at Ballykinler
BBC

There are plans to restore them to a measure of how they looked 100 years ago.

The Milford man behind the penalty kick

Today marks the 125th anniversary of County Armagh man William McCrum's penalty-kick proposal being accepted by the International Football Association Board.

William McCrum grave
BBC

Milford man McCrum's legacy to the world has left fans of the beautiful game on the edge of their seats, time and time again.

Blood ban announcement made at Belfast LGBT Centre

Health Minister Michelle O'Neill announced she was lifting the ban on gay men donating blood at the Rainbow Project's Belfast LGBT Centre.

John O'Doherty and Michelle O'Neill
Pacemaker

"The Rainbow Project has been campaigning on this issue for over a decade and it is fantastic to finally see this unnecessary ban removed," John O'Doherty, Rainbow Project director, said. 

Single transfer test 'could take three years'

Kincora abuse reported 'as early as 1967'

Get the latest reaction to the gay blood ban move

45 firefighters tackle gorse blaze

Forty-five firefighters are tackling a gorse on the outskirts of Strabane.

Fire service
BBC

The fire service said the blaze is on a two-mile front at Stroanback, Dunnyboe.

SDLP condemns attacks on memorial

SDLP North Belfast MLA Nichola Mallon has condemned those behind an attack on a World War One memorial in Belfast's Woodvale Park. 

Woodvale memorial attack
Press Eye

"Over the last number of days, memorials throughout this city have come under attack by those concerned only with causing hurt and distress to those who have lost loved ones," she said.

Durham bowler earns Ireland cricket call-up

Durham seam bowler Barry McCarthy's fine start to the season has earned him an Ireland call-up for the one-day international series against Sri Lanka.

Barry McCarthy
Getty Images

The 23-year-old Dubliner, who took his maiden first-class five-wicket haul in May, is the one uncapped player in the squad for the games on 16 and 18 June.

Somme visit 'to demonstrate respect' says McGuinness

Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness has said it was important for him to visit the site of the Battle of the Somme "to demonstrate respect and to remember those who died".

Martin McGuinness
BBC

"As we move forward, we all have a responsibility to conduct ourselves in a way that is respectful and encourages reconciliation among our people," he said.  

Kingsmills forensic officer 'acted on own initiative'

Foster meets Kingsmills families

DUP leader Arlene Foster has met families of those murdered in the Kingsmills massacre, following the reopening of a criminal investigation into the murder of 10 Protestant workmen. 

Arlene Foster
BBC

"I would hope that the investigation can now move swiftly and the families would at least see some level of justice served," Mrs Foster said.

Guide dog owners' plea to stop 'discrimination'

Guide dog owners here say being turned away by businesses leaves them feeling "angry, upset and embarrassed".

Guide dogs
PA

More than 100 owners went to Westminister to voice their concerns to MP's. The DUP's Gavin Robinson is backing calls for businesses to be punished under the law if they illegally discriminate against guide dog owners.    

Alliance MLA delighted by end to blood ban

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has said the repeal of the ban on blood donations from gay men is a "massive step towards true equality".

Kellie Armstrong
BBC

"Only this week I submitted a question pushing the minister to end this ridiculous ban, so I am delighted that only days later that is now the case," said Ms Armstrong.

Black Box arts venue put up for sale

Robbie Meredith

BBC News NI Arts and Education Correspondent

The building which houses Belfast Black Box arts venue has been put up for sale, with a price tag of £825,000 plus VAT. 

Black Box
BBC

The BBC understands that the use of the building as an arts venue is expected to continue for the immediate future. The Black Box trust currently operates the venue.

War memorial attack disgraceful says UUP

The UUP has described an attack on Woodvale Park First World War Memorial as "disgraceful".

War memorial graffiti
Press Eye

"There is something badly wrong with anyone who would seek to desecrate a War Memorial in such a manner," Councillor David Browne said. 

Police get extra 80 hours to question loyalist

The PSNI have been granted an extra 80 hours to question leading loyalist Winston 'Winkie' Rea about interviews he gave as part of the Boston College history project.

Winston Rea
Pacemaker

Mr Rea was arrested on Tuesday and is being questioned about the murders of Catholic men John Devine in July 1989 and John O'Hara in April 1991. 

€1.4m drugs seized in Dublin

Drugs worth more than €1.4m have been seized by police in Dublin. 

Drugs seizure
An Garda Síochána

Operation Thistle targeted organised criminals in the south of the city. Heroin and cannabis herb were seized at premises in the Kevin Street area on Wednesday. One man was arrested. 

Blood ban decision 'victory for equality'

SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan has welcomed the decision to lift what he described as the "ludicrous" ban on blood donations from gay men.

Mark H Durkan
BBC

Mr Durkan described it as a "victory for equality and common sense".

Attacked cat's survival a 'miracle'

NI flag chair 'withdrawn' from Tesco stores

The Irish News reports that the supermarket, Tesco, has withdrawn a camping chair featuring the NI flag from all its stores in Northern Ireland. 

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Minister lifts ban on blood donations from gay men

Health Minister Michelle O'Neill has announced the ban on Northern Ireland blood donations by gay men is to be lifted from 1 September.

Michelle O'Neill
Pacemaker

 "The safety of donated blood depends on two things: donor selection and the testing of blood. Every blood donation is tested for HIV and a number of other organisms," she said. 

Strike action could disrupt EU poll preparation

Industrial action at the Northern Ireland Electoral Office will disrupt preparation for the EU referendum, the public service union Nipsa has said.

Polling station
Adrian Dennis

Strike action has been scheduled for Friday, 3 June and Tuesday, 7 June.These dates are the deadlines for postal vote applications and voter registration for the 23 June vote.

Sexton set to miss South Africa tour

Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton is likely to miss the summer tour to South Africa because of a shoulder injury.

Johnny Sexton
Inpho

Leinster's Sexton was injured during Saturday's 20-10 Pro12 final defeat by Connacht. It is believed the 30-year-old had an operation on his shoulder on Wednesday.

Will Grigg's... heading up the charts

It's hoped he can help NI top its group at Euro 2016 - but striker Will Grigg could also top the download charts after inspiring a song about his skills on the pitch. 

Northern Ireland striker Will Grigg
BBC

'Will Grigg's On Fire' - a reworking of GALA’s 1997 hit ‘Freed From Desire’ - is at no 7 in the iTunes UK top 100 song downloads.

BHS set to go into liquidation

Kincora: Inquiry hears ex-resident's statements

The inquiry into historical child sex abuse at Kincora Boys' Home has heard about statements given to the RUC in the 1980s by former residents. 

Former Kincora Boys' Home in Belfast
BBC

Justice minister attends prison officer 'passing out' event

Justice Minister Claire Sugden has attended a passing out ceremony for new recruits of the Northern Ireland Prison Service. 

Claire Sugden
Michael Cooper

Twenty new recruits - 15 men and five women - graduated from the Prison Service College at Hydebank Wood and will start work at Maghaberry Prison next week.

Gay blood donation: Ban in NI to be lifted

Northern Ireland's lifetime ban on gay men donating blood is to be lifted from 1 September. Health Minister Michelle O'Neill is due to make the announcement later.

Blood donation
BBC

The ban was lifted in England, Scotland and Wales in November 2011.

Two arrests over Bangor cannabis factory

Weir 'won't give preferential treatment'

The new education minister, the DUP's Peter Weir, has said he will be a minister for all schools and won't give preferential treatment to one sector over another.

Peter Weir
BBC

He was speaking after he visited a new £15m building project at the Irish medium school Coláiste Feirste.

More on fight that led to officers' arrests