Morning top 5: Ecuador death toll passes 400; progress made at government talks

The top stories this Tuesday morning...

413 people are now known to have died in a powerful earthquake in Ecuador at the weekend, according to the latest government update.

The 7.8 magnitude tremor left thousands of others injured.

A 33-year-old nun from Derry, Sister Clare Theresa Crockett, was among those who died.


53 days after the general election and government formation talks finally appear to be making progress.

This is the longest time on record it has taken to form a government.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are discussing how a minority administration, led by Enda Kenny, would work.

However the issue of Irish water is still considered to be a sticking point for both parties.


The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) will elect a new president today.

It is the first vote since the former president Eddie Downey stepped down last year.

It followed controversy over pay levels of senior members of the organisation.

Votes from the IFA's 947 local branches will be counted in Dublin later this morning.


The National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) has denied allegations from Irish Rail that DART drivers are involved in unofficial industrial action.

The company is threatening legal action against the NBRU and SIPTU, after DART drivers refused to train in new staff.

The NBRU says drivers have the right to refuse to train new recruits.


A loud explosion has been heard in the centre of Afghanistan's capital city Kabul.

The news agency Reuters says witnesses have seen smoke and heard warning sirens near the US Embassy.

It is a week since the Taliban announced the start of their annual spring fighting season.