Video Nato agree to heighten defences, court to consider verdict in Smith trial

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Nato meeting

Nato leaders agreed to bolster defences, particularly in Eastern Europe, at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday.

US president Joe Biden is among the world leaders in attendance, confirming the group will deploy four new combat units in Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary.

Leaders will also develop plans for additional forces and capabilities before their June summit, a statement from Mr Biden added.

The Nato meeting regarding the situation in Ukraine comes as Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy called for a global sign of unity, marking one month since Russia's invasion of the country.

Labour leadership

Ivana Bacik has been confirmed as the new leader of the Labour Party.

The leadership contest came following the sudden resignation of Alan Kelly earlier this month.

No other candidate came forward to contest the position, however, it had been widely expected that Ms Bacik would take over.

Royal visit

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Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla have visited Waterford city as they continue their tour of Ireland.

The pair, who are on their sixth official joint trip to the Republic, took in the sights of the city, fresh from their two-day stint in the North.

It was the royal couple’s first time officially visiting the county, with a trip to Co Tipperary next on their agenda, where they will finish their visit on Friday.

Lisa Smith trial

The Special Criminal Court has ruled that there is sufficient evidence for it to consider whether former soldier Lisa Smith was a member of Isis and if she funded the terrorist organisation.

Ms Smith's lawyers had applied to the court to direct not-guilty verdicts on the grounds that there is no evidence to support the prosecution case and that to even consider a verdict would be unfair and could lead to a miscarriage of justice.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt on Thursday said that he can see no basis as to how it would be unfair to ask the court to assess the evidence and consider verdicts, adding that the prosecution case, taken at it highest, could support a conviction without necessarily leading to a miscarriage of justice.

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