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Summary

  1. Updates for Wednesday 20 July 2016
  2. More updates from 07:00 on Thursday
  3. Picture: Dromore, County Down (by Paul McFarland)

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Good night

That's the end of our live coverage for today but we'll be back again on Thursday from 07:00 with all the news, sport, weather and travel. See you then.

After yesterday's sun, normal service resumes

Olympic hopeful seeks to set new Irish record

European 1500m medallist Ciara Mageean looks set to chase the Irish 800m record in her final race before the Olympics at Friday's Morton Games.

Mageean (left) won a 1500m bronze at the European Championships earlier this month
Getty Images

With organisers Clonliffe Harriers having assembled a decent field, Mageean looks capable of breaking Rose-Anne Galligan's Irish mark of 2:00.58.

Ice-cream van goes for a dip

No fire hydrant abuse convictions in the last 10 years

Youths opening fire hydrants to release fountains of cool water in hot weather could be described as a Belfast tradition - but it is an criminal offence. There have been 11 such incidents over the last week.

Hydrant being closed
NI Water

However, the BBC has learned that no one has been prosecuted in the past 10 years in relation to fire hydrant abuse. NI Water say they are rarely able to obtain sufficient evidence to bring a prosecution.   

Crash near Ballynahinch causing long tailbacks

Coming up on tonight's BBC Newsline

Irish taxpayers must pay extra 280m euros to EU

The Republic of Ireland is going to have to contribute an extra 280m euros (£234m) to the EU budget next year because of its heavily distorted growth figures.

EU flag
Getty Images

Data published last week showed the country's gross domestic product (GDP) had grown by a staggering 26% in 2015. The figures were skewed by the activities of multinational companies that use Dublin as a centre for financing and taxation operations.

Village will fight bank closure 'to the bitter end'

Residents of Belleck, County Fermanagh, have vowed to fight plans to close the last bank in their village "to the bitter end".

Belleek Chamber of Commerce vows to fight closure of last remaining bank in village

Belleek Chamber of Commerce chairperson Bridie Gormley said the Bank of Ireland branch closure would mean a "two and a half hour round trip to do our banking from now on".  She said it was a service "we cannot do without".

Coming up on Evening Extra: More on Brokenshire's first NIQs

Pints and pouts but no pounds for Belleek customers

Three cars crash near Belfast City Airport

UUP fear Brexit border controls between NI and GB

Ulster Unionist Party MP Danny Kinahan has expressed concern that the government could tighten border controls between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Danny Kinahan
BBC

"I do not want to see a change to the current border arrangements on the island of Ireland, nor do I want to see a firm border placed at Stranraer, but it is hard to see how one or the other can be avoided." 

Teenage boys still in custody after scrambler crash

Two teenage boys, aged 15 and 17, are still being questioned after a woman was critically injured in a scrambler motorbike crash on the outskirts of west Belfast.

Police at scene of crash in Colin Glen Forest Park
Press Eye

The mother of three was walking her dog along a pathway near the lake when she was struck by the scrambler.

Republic faces €280m euros bill for 'lepreconomics'

Man released in Lurgan dissident investigation

McGuinness to push for inquest funding

Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness says he'll press the government to release funds for Troubles-related inquests to go ahead.

Martin McGuinness
Pacemaker

Northern Ireland's top judge said in May that securing the funding is "a matter of urgency", and now Mr McGuinness says: "The DUP has refused to discuss the issue but this should not stop the British government releasing the funds."

Suspected gun found near community centre

Police have found what they believe to be a gun near a community centre in Strabane, County Tyrone.

Police office
BBC

It was discovered behind a row of bushes in the  Ballycolman estate this morning.

Strabane security alert ends

The security alert at Spout Road in Strabane, County Tyrone has ended.

Police at scene of Strabane alert
BBC

Police said a number of suspicious objects discovered during a search of open land have been taken away for further examination, but said no further details were available.

Woman settles racial discrimination case

A black woman who said an immigration officer stopped her at Belfast City Airport and told she "looked foreign and not from here" has accepted a £2,000 settlement from the Home Office.

George Best Belfast City Airport
BBC

The woman is a British citizen who has lived and worked in the UK for 16 years. She said: "I thought then, and I still think now, that I was stopped because I am black."

Heavy rain warning for motorway traffic

Funeral takes place for toddler hit by car

The funeral has taken place for two-year-old Ronan McGavigan, who was knocked down by a car in Londonderry on Sunday.

Mournes carry coffin of Ronan McGavigan
Pacemaker

He was struck after running onto the Lone Moor Road as he played, the family's priest says.

Minister approves new muscular dystrophy drug

Marie-Louise Connolly

BBC News NI Health Correspondent

A drug to treat a particular form of the genetic disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy is to be made available in Northern Ireland.

Pills
Science Photo Library

Health Minister Michelle O'Neill says that while only a handful of patients would benefit, it's important the health service works to improve their lives.

Crash in Lisburn causing delays

Fermanagh boss to stay despite defeat

BBC Sport NI

Pete McGrath has decided to stay on as Fermanagh GAA football manager having mulled over his future after the controversial qualifier defeat by Mayo.

Pete McGrath
Press Eye

The former Down All-Ireland-winning boss told the Irish News that there is "a lot of potential within the squad".

'You can't eat a flag...'

BBC Newsline

What would you say if we told you that the flag commonly associated with Northern Ireland has no official status?

A man holds an Ulster banner
AFP

After the matter of a new "unity flag" for the region was raised in the House of Commons today, it reminded us of the time we sent our reporter Conor Macauley to ask folks what they thought of a few new designs.

Man in court over teen rape

Dan Stanton

BBC News NI

A Belfast man has appeared in court charged with raping a teenage boy in the west of the city in the early hours of Saturday.

Laganside Courts
BBC

A solicitor for Gerard Scannell, 39, of Ballymurphy Road, said there were consistent denials of the allegations during police interviews.

The ultimate fighting showdown?

BBC Sport NI

Could this really happen? Boxer Amir Khan syas he'd be willing to "put friendship aside" and fight Irishman Conor McGregor in the UFC.

Amir Khan and Conor McGregor
Reuters

"McGregor is a massive name in MMA and I'm a big name in boxing, so, globally, I think it would be a massive fight," he adds.

MP suggests new 'unity flag' for NI

The Conservative MP Henry Smith has asked if the new Northern Ireland ministers have considered adopting the cross of St Patrick as a "unity flag for all communities representing Northern Ireland".

Hydrant vandalism 'illegal and dangerous'

Vandalism to fire hydrants is not "harmless fun" and has "serious public safety implications", utility provider Northern Ireland Water says, after some were opened in Belfast in the past few days.

An NI Water worker closes a fire hydrant
NI Water

Sean McAleese from the utility provider adds: "I would appeal to everyone to help us stop this before the unthinkable scenario occurs where a fire breaks out and there is no water to deal with [it]."

No police action over killer tribute banner

A banner paying tribute to loyalist killer Billy Wright flies from a lamp post in Dungannon, but police say they won't take it down because not everyone will find it offensive.

The banner paying tribute to Billy Wright
Pacemaker

The Stephen Nolan Show has been debating the matter and you can listen back to it here.

Pair held over robbery and hijack attempt

Two men in their 20s have been arrested after a robbery and attempted hijacking in Newtownabbey last night.

Police vehicles
BBC

A man was threatened with a knife by two men outside a takeaway on the Antrim Road at about 23:30 and forced to hand over his wallet. They then tried to drag a driver from a car, but were arrested a short distance away and two knives were found.

No 'compulsory redundancies' at bank

John Campbell

BBC News NI Economics and Business Editor

Countryfile films in Fermanagh lakelands

There's nowhere quite like lovely Lough Erne, as the BBC's Countryfile programme has been finding out this week.

The Countryfile team film cattle on a boat
RSPB

Presenter Adam Henson visited Fermanagh to find out how the RSPB is working with farmers to help endangered wading birds and to see cattle and sheep being moved by boat between islands.

The Countryfile team film sheep on a boat
RSPB

The programme will air on BBC1 on Sunday 31 July.

Pensioner's death 'causing unrest'

An elderly man's death has "caused unrest among residents" in Banbridge, a DUP MLA says.

Carla Lockhart
BBC

Police are treating 85-year-old Frank Bratley's death as suspicious, and Carla Lockhart says people who know anything about his whereabouts between 07:00 and 14:00 yesterday should come forward to help the inquiry.

Bank closures 'regrettable and irresponsible'

Bank of Ireland's decision to close eight branches in Northern Ireland will make up to 54 staff redundant and effectively reduce its local branch network by a fifth.

Bank of Ireland sign
BBC
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The Financial Services Union said the move was "regrettable and irresponsible".