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Gay couples can adopt in North

Gay rights campaigners have welcomed a court ruling that paves the way for same-sex couples in Northern Ireland to adopt.

It comes after a legal challenge yesterday by Health Minister Edwin Poots was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

The move brings Northern Ireland law into line with the rest of the UK, and means that couples who are not married, those in civil partnerships and same-sex couples will now be allowed to apply to be considered as adoptive parents.

1D PIP ROLLING STONES IN AWARD

One Direction have seen off competition from Glastonbury headliners The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay to be named the best live act at the Silver Clef Awards.

The boyband, who were put together during the X Factor in 2010, won the award in a public vote by picking up around a quarter of the 26,000 votes cast.

Band member Harry Styles thanked fans for voting for them at the awards, which are run by O2 and music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins.

SYRIAN SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS 4

A suicide attacker blew himself up near one of the main churches in the Syrian capital, killing at least four people and wounding several others, state-run TV has said.

The device was detonated in a predominantly Christian neighbourhood in Damascus's Old City yesterday, although it was not clear if the church was the target.

A government official said the suicide attacker was wearing an explosive belt and blew himself up about 50m from the church.

CHIMPS RETIRE FROM RESEARCH

The number of chimpanzees used in biomedical research is to be reduced, the US National Institutes of Health said yesterday. Most will be retired to sanctuaries.

The move was applauded by animal rights' groups.

"Chimpanzees are very special animals. We believe they deserve special consideration," said NIH Director, Dr Francis Collins.


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