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President Michael D Higgins has said in a statement that he will run for a second term in the Áras.

Previously, the figure head had said on the night of his election in 2011 that he would not seek another term in the position.

However, in recent years he has changed his mind and it was widely speculated that he would seek re-election.

Last autumn, the president said he would set out his intentions by September 2018, on seeking a second-term.

Nevertheless in recent weeks, he signalled that he would make his position known this month. 

A statement issued today stated:

“President Michael D. Higgins wishes to confirm that he will be offering himself as an independent candidate, under Article 12.4.4 of Bunreacht Na hÉireann, when the Ministerial Order for a Presidential Election is made later in the year.

“The Government has been informed of this decision.

“The President’s programme of official duties and engagements continues.”

Would you re-elect Michael D Higgins? 

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Today, an internal election will take place in the Dail to decide who will lead the Fine Gael party. 

Members of the Fine Gael parliamentary party will vote this morning between 9am and 12 noon. 

This morning, Taoiseach Enda Kenny took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the election and candidates, and expressed words of support for both. 

'I remember this day almost 15 years ago & the sense of excitement & possibility.'

'On this very important day in their lives, I want to wish both @simoncoveney and @campaignforleo every good wish in today's election.'

'Their participation in this internal election has been democratically valuable & has energised the @FineGael party across Ireland.'

'I pledge my full support to whoever is elected, in the important work at Govt level, to which the new leader will have to dedicate their life in service of the people of this great Republic.'

'My enduring belief in the potential of this country is boundless.'

The result is expected later today.

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A little after 11.30am local time from the New Yorker Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, a clearly deflated but nevertheless resolute Hillary Clinton delivered her concession speech.

And it was tinged with heartfelt words of passion which moved many around her to tears.

In the aftermath of a defeat that shocked the world, her address marked the first time that the 69-year-old politician publicly reached out to her supporters.

Walking out onto the stage in the last hour, Ms Clinton was surrounded by continued applause and warm shouts of support.

As she called her Democratic nomination, “one of the greatest honours of my life,” her voice faltered with emotion.

“I am sorry that we did not win this election for the values we hold and the vision we share for this country,” she stated.

And though she admitted that “our nation is more deeply divided than we thought,” she reiterated that “the American dream is big enough for all of us”.

She furthermore highlighted America’s “cherished” peaceful transferral of power, and said that President-elect Trump should be afforded “an open mind and a chance to lead”.

Indeed, drawing on the reality TV star’s own wording during his victory speech, early in her address she had stated that she hoped Donald would indeed “be a successful president for all Americans”.

“We poured our hearts into this campaign,” Clinton uttered, adding that she had spent her "entire adult life fighting for what I believe in".

Turning her attentions to the younger people of America – a group which had overwhelmingly leant its support to her campaign – she said: "I’ve had successes and I’ve had set backs – many really painful ones.

"You will have successes and set backs too but never stop believing that fighting for what is right is worth it."

Before her arrival on stage, a tearful-looking former vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, 58, emerged alongside his wife, Anne.

Talking to the crowd, he spoke of how Hillary “has been and is a history maker in everything she has done.”

“I’m proud of Hillary because she loves this country,” Kaine stated, highlighting that she had been “in battles before”.

“She’ll be in battles again,” he said, later adding: “Til her very last breath she’s going to be battling for the values that she believes in.”

Ms Clinton had planned to speak to the crowd at the Jacob Javits Center during the night.

However, when it became clear that her loss was all but inevitable only her animated campaign manager, John Podesta, appeared telling the shocked and dismayed gathering that there would be no comment until the morning.

Still, he managed to be positive. "We will be back, and we will have more to say," he announced. "Let's get those votes counted, and let's bring this home."

President-elect Donald Trump, who himself seemed surprised at the convincing nature of his win (a win which defied almost every poll published in advance of voting) had addressed his own supporters at around 3am at the city's Hilton hotel.

An hour later he called on his presidential rival to concede defeat – although he did say that America owed her "a major debt of gratitude for her debt to our country".

Clinton had secured 228 electoral votes compared to Trumps’ victorious 279. She did nab important swing states such as Virginia, Nevada, and Colorado, but the former Apprentice boss locked down Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida to storm to victory. 

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She’s gone glitter cowgirl, netted one piece and who could forget that infamous meat dress?

But in recent month’s Lady Gaga’s style could be described as verging on ordinary.

Thankfully the star has now corrected that impression by stepping out in a bizarre tulle ensemble in a unique show of support for US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

 

In times of stress I like to be fashionable. #Election2016 #GoVote #ImWithHer

A photo posted by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) on

Last night, the 30-year-old hitmaker took to Instagram to reveal the eye-catching outfit which appears to involve visible underwear, a partially mesh skirt, a feather-topped cowboy hat and a whole lot of tightly scrunched tulle.

Each of the four images she uploaded is branded with an election focused caption.  These include “In times of stress I like to be fashionable #Election2016 #GoVote #ImWithHer” and “Let’s go you modern suffragettes, go put on your hats and #GoVote ‘Corsets Off’”.

 

#Vote #GoVote no matter who you're with. But #ImWithHer

A video posted by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) on

 

 

Let's go you modern suffragettes, go put on your hats and #GoVote  "Corsets Off!"

A photo posted by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) on

 

 

Corsets off.  LET DO THIS. #Election2016 Spread the word to #GoVote

A photo posted by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) on

The Diamond Heart singer is one of a long line of celebrities to publicly endorse Hillary Clinton for president.

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He may be one of music’s most beloved golden boys, but that doesn’t mean Justin Timberlake is totally immune from trouble.

The Cry Me a River singer landed himself in hot water this week when he snapped himself voting in the US presidential election in his home state of Tennessee.

Alongside a picture of himself posing in a polling station, the singer wrote: “I just flew from LA to Memphis to #rockthevote!!! No excuses, my good people! There could be early voting in your town, too.”

After sharing the image on Instagram, the 35-year-old was reported for violating a new Tennessee law which prohibits voters from using phones for any purpose while voting.

Yesterday, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office released a statement saying it had been “made aware of a possible violation of election law” and that “the matter is under review by the D.A.’s Office”.

But luckily for Justin, the office seems to have since changed its mind as Local Memphis has reported that the D.A. will not be reviewing JT’s case.

 

NBD… Just hanging with The Notorious at #UFC200

A photo posted by Justin Timberlake (@justintimberlake) on

In a second statement, D.A. Amy Weirich said: “The statement released earlier today by my office regarding Justin Timberlake and an investigation was incorrect and was released without my knowledge.”

“I am out of town at a conference.  No one in our office is currently investigating this matter nor will we be using our limited resources to do so.”

 

I see you…getting your #TimberlakeAndChill on…. @netflix

A photo posted by Justin Timberlake (@justintimberlake) on

Sounds like Justin won't be spending 30 days in jail after all!

Feat image: Shutterstock

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Ever look at your dog chasing his own tail and think ‘that mutt is a born leader’?  No, neither have we – but apparently in Minnesota canine politics isn’t all that uncommon.

The small US town of Cormorant has elected a nine-year-old Great Pyreness named Duke as its official mayor for the third year in a row after the giant fluffy white dog achieved a landslide victory in the town’s public vote.

According to the Mail Online, not one member of the town’s 1,000 person population ran against Duke in the election and the only other potential politician to earn a vote was Duke’s girlfriend Lassie who received one single show of support – was it from Duke?

Cormorant resident Karen Nelson told WDAY that she can think of no one in the area who could lead as well as the pampered pooch does.

She said: “I don't know who would run against him, because he's done such great things for the community.”

The prized pet first rose to power back in 2014 after he emerged top dog in the town’s write-in vote.  Since then he has dominated the area’s politics with his consistent ability to achieve electoral success.

For now Duke is the only dog in America to hold the title of mayor, but given the high level of satisfaction among his constituents maybe doggie politics could be the way to go.

Top centre image: Detroit Lakes Tribune

Centre image: AP

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If you're in Galway at the moment, you're going to see some very unusual election posters – and very unusual faces on said election posters.

Each poster was shared on Twitter by GoVote – a group encouraging people to go out and vote on Friday, while also having a bit of craic.

So, if Daniel O Donnell, Conor McGregor or Barney The Dinosaur takes your fancy, here's the promises they're making: 

Liam Neeson is totally our fave.  

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Fine Geal TD Alan Shatter believes his campaign posters are “being sabotaged”, because apparently, cable ties are being cut on them so they fall down or are blown away by the wind.

It is claimed that a campaign poster was retrieved from the garden of one of Alan's team members and they said it is clear the ties were cut, as holes were not torn into the picture.

Mr Shatter said that it is “unfortunate that at least one if not more of my political opponents have no respect for democracy and appear intent on sabotaging my election campaign”.

"I believe we should never give in to bullies or prejudice," he added. Sorry about your posters, Alan!

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