31/12/2016 BBC Newsline

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The PSNI have issued a warning about the use of illegal


and prescription drugs, after a number of sudden deaths


in Belfast, mostly involving teenagers and people


In a statement, the district commander for Belfast said


he was concerned about the number of recent deaths of young


Although knowing that numbers have been released,


Although no exact numbers have been released,


it's understand understood at least three people have died


Two of these deaths are believed to have happened in west Belfast


Chief Superintendent Chris Noble says postmortem examinations


have been carried out, but the police are waiting


for the results of toxicology tests to determine the cause


The police say in some cases possible links to drug or substance


abuse are still strong lines of enquiry.


They are urging people not to take drugs or prescription medication not


They've also warned of the dangers of mixing any type


Today's message has received support from alcohol and drugs charities.


I think the police are correct to put a statement out at this time of


year. Certainly it is a time when people drink excessive amounts of


alcohol and they don't see the added dangers and risks of taking it with


drugs prescribed medication is particularly to the drug-taking


population. People are now taking more one substance quite commonly


and they need reminded of the added risks that come with that.


Police have also said that anyone suspected of involvement


in the supply of drugs will be arrested and brought before


the courts to help reduce the threat of harmful and illegal activity.


Three Lithuanian men have appeared at Belfast Magistrates' Court


accused of conspiring to supply heroin.


It follows the discovery of ?500 worth of the drug yesterday.


Police told the court that heroin use has been escalating recently


and is linked to the deaths of four people.


An elderly woman remains in hospital after a fire at her home in west


The woman and a dog who were in the house


in Glengoland Gardens when the blaze began were rescued by fire crews


The property was badly damaged and the Fire Service say the cause


Just over 100 people in Northern Ireland feature


Among the recipients are the Northern Ireland Football


manager Michael O'Neill and the Paralympic


Michael O'Neil gets an MBE after leading Northern Ireland


to the Euro finals in the summer, the first time the team had


qualified for this stage of the championship.


Their success attracted thousands of fans who travelled to France


to support their team in what was viewed as a massive


It is a fantastic honour and totally unexpected, to be honest. I suppose


in many ways I am getting the recognition of what not only the


team but the Association of teams as well, you know, over the past year,


the Euros, but I think over the past two years for where we are now.


Paralympic swimmer Bethany Firth from County Down who won


Belfast Science Park creator Professor John McCanny has been


knighted in recognition of his services to higher education


I think the general public are probably not as aware as they might


be as to what actually goes on at the science Park these days. There


are something like 160 high-tech companies employed there so it helps


to shine a light on that and that's fantastic because they are a lot of


young people doing wonderful things. under his taxi in 1991,


has been awarded the MBE for services in support of victims


and survivors of the troubles. It is a great achievements not only


for me but also for my colleagues who have helped me. This is for the


victims of islands in Northern Ireland.


and from all walks of life featured in the New Year 's Honours list.


Rugby and Ulster were well beaten by Leinster in the Pro-12 league


Poor defending by Ulster let in Rory O'Loughlin for Leinster's


first try early in the first half and Luke McGrath put the home side


17-0 up at half time when he was able to run


through easily for their second try; a consolation try


from Ulster's Charles Piutau near the end of the game wasn't


enough and Leinster ran out winners by 22-7.


Now with the weather forecast for the New Year


The last weather forecast before 2017 on BBC newsline. Typically it


is raining but the Rangers clear most places by Ben Knight. The New


Year will be dry and cold for many of us but a warning has been issued


for icy roads tonight and tomorrow morning. They backed start to


celebrations but as the rain clear the way it should clear most places


by midnight. The second part of the night cold winds and a drop in


temperature. Some icy patches around and also wintry showers. A lot of


dry and cold weather to start 2017. It will feel it in that northerly


wind so wrapped up warm. If you fancy a walk it will be a day to


blow the cobwebs away. There will be some showers and snow on the hills,


likewise in Scotland on the mountains, too. A lot of bright


weather in northern Britain and in Northern Ireland and the republic,


too. Cold and rainy in Central and southern parts of Britain but the


fog will have gone. It will stay cold and frosty tomorrow night. The


first week of 2017 brings lots of dry weather, frost and ice and snow


on the hills but it will feel cold. From me and all of the weather team,


a happy New Year. Thank you for all of the lovely pictures.


Thanks for watching and have a very Happy New Year.


From everyone on the BBC Newsline team, goodbye.