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Northern Ireland: Stormont rejects bid to relax abortion law

(File photo) Abortion is a extremely political topic in Northern Ireland, a country dominated by religion. Credit: PA

Proposals to relax Northern Ireland's strict abortion laws have been rejected.

Stormont Assembly members voted by a majority of 59 to 40 against amending legislation to allow terminations in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and sexual crime.

Amnesty International said failing to reform the law would be a "betrayal of women".

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Audiences 'laughing and crying' at Friends actor's play

Matthew Perry has told ITV News the audiences at his debut play in the West End have laughed and cried saying they are doing "all the things we want them to be doing".

He also warned people coming to see The End of Longing that the character he plays is a very different person to Chandler, the character from the US sitcom Friends that made his name.

"There's a lot of swearing that takes place in the play, you can't do that on Friends", he added.

Perry wrote The End of Longing, and stars in it, but he denied the character he plays is a version of himself.

He's a drunk, and I have a very well documented history with alcoholism, so we have that in common.

But it's not autobiographical, it's not me up there.

– Matthew Perry, actor

He also revealed that he started writing whilst working on Friends, pitching jokes to the writers, who he said listened and used them.

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Thousands of junior doctors walk out over contract dispute

Thousands of junior doctors walked out this morning in a second 24-hour strike over planned government changes to contracts which could see Saturdays reclassified as 'normal working hours'.

Negotiations have rumbled on - and tonight, ITV News learned Jeremy Hunt could impose the controversial new contracts within a matter of days.

Political correspondent Libby Wiener reports on the day's events:

Chris Christie pulls out of US Presidential race

Chris Christie finished in sixth-place in New Hampshire. Credit: Reuters/Gretchen Ertl

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has pulled out of the US Presidential race.

The decision comes after Republican candidate Christie finished in sixth-place in New Hampshire with just seven per cent of the vote.

Christie confirmed his decision in a message posted on Facebook.

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Businesses angry at 'unfair competition' in tax rules

A senior representative of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has said many businesses are angry at what they see as "two parallel tax systems" in the UK.

Answering a question on Google's tax settlement with the UK government, Dr Adam Marshall told ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills "there is still a long way to go until a lot of businesses feel that tax is a level playing field and there is no unfair competition out there".

There is certainly a sense of anger amongst many businesses over what they see as being two parallel tax systems.

One that applies to them and another that applies to a small number of global and often multinational companies who are often able to shift their profits around the world and conduct tax avoidance scheme.

– Dr Adam Marshall, BCC's Executive Director of Policy and External Affairs

The BCC's executive director of policy and external affairs added that there is a growing perception that "there is something not right in the system".

The British Chambers of Commerce represents thousands of businesses of all sizes and sectors, which altogether employ more than 5,000,000 people.

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