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Summary

  1. Updates for Wednesday 16 March 2016
  2. NI leaders and Barack Obama discuss prison officer death
  3. New advice group for US trade opening
  4. Two men charged over street violence
  5. Image: Belfast from Cavehill (by Bill Corr)

Live Reporting

By Fiona Murray and Nuala McCann

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    Hopefully there is no need to dodge the showers tonight. Join us again tomorrow for more news, weather, sport and travel updates.

  2. Adams angry at barring from White House

    Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has hit out after being stopped from entering the White House for a St Patrick's Day celebrations event.  

    Gerry Adams

    Mr Adams was told there was a security issue when he attempted to attend the event in Washington DC last night. He waited for about 80 minutes before deciding to leave.

  3. Ex-police officer rejects claims over Arkinson investigation

    A retired police officer has rejected suggestions that the investigation into the disappearance of schoolgirl Arlene Arkinson was haphazard. 

    Arlene Arkinson

    Former detective inspector, Neil Graham, was unable to provide an explanation for the delay in arresting child killer Robert Howard, who was the last person to see the teenager alive in August 1994. However, Mr Graham told the inquest into the teenager's death that all elements in the case would have been carefully considered by a senior team.

  4. Dates switched for Irish Cup semi-finals

    The dates for this year's Irish Cup semi-finals at Windsor Park have been switched at the request of the PSNI.  

    Crusaders v Glenavon

    Linfield's encounter with Lurgan Celtic which was originally scheduled for Friday, 1 April, will now take place a day later.  Crusaders clash against Glenavon is to go ahead on the Friday instead of Saturday 2 April.

  5. Smith and Washington get Northern Ireland call-up

    Uncapped duo Michael Smith and Conor Washington have been named in the Northern Ireland squad for the friendlies against Wales and Slovenia.  

    Conor Washington

    Peterborough United defender Smith, 27, and Queen's Park Rangers striker Washington, 23, are part of NI manager Michael O'Neill's 24-man squad.  

  6. Hamilton welcomes appeal court ruling on blood donations

    Health Minister Simon Hamilton has welcomed the Court of Appeal judgement on gay men giving blood, adding that his department had recently received "substantial new evidence" from SaBTO.

    Simon Hamilton

    "I will, as the judgement advises, carefully consider this without delay," he said.  

  7. St Patrick's Day strike by Luas staff is cancelled

    A St Patrick's Day strike by staff who work on the Luas - Dublin's tram system - has been cancelled after a partial breakthrough in a pay dispute.  

    Luas

    The dispute has been going on for some time and previous strikes have caused disruption for thousands of passengers.  

  8. Old Firm cake proves a sweet success

    A Glasgow Rangers birthday cake that reveals the colours of their Old Firm rivals Celtic when sliced has proved an online success for baker Lilian Johnstone.

    Old firm cake

    She was commissioned to make the cake as a prank by friends of Rangers fan Iain Orr. Lilian has now been inundated with orders after an image of the cake was shared via social media.

  9. NIO: Extra money for NI because of budget

    Mark Devenport

    BBC News NI Political Editor

    Northern Ireland Office sources say the chancellor's changes to the tax thresholds mean 800,000 people in Northern Ireland will be £182 per year better off by 2017/18. They add that 14,000 people will no longer pay tax at the higher 40% rate.

    George Osborne

    They calculate that the Stormont Executive will benefit by an extra £220m as a result of the Barnett formula, which is the calculation by which devolved regions get money as a result of spending increases in the overall UK budget.