Morning top 5: Kenny becomes longest serving FG Taoiseach; May stands firm over TV debates

The top stories this Thursday morning...

Theresa May's standing firm on not taking part in televised leaders' debates ahead of the UK's general election in June.

The British Prime Minister says she is going to campaign by discussing issues with people up and down the country instead.

Opposition leaders, however, claim she is 'running scared', and British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he will take part in debates.

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A €1.6bn public pay demand has been branded 'wildly optimistic' by the Government.

The union for executive grades in the civil service is holding its annual conference in Galway today where the claim will be discussed in detail.

The Irish Independent says PSEU General Secretary Tom Geraghty thinks the wage rise is 'very realistic', despite being double the amount being given under the Lansdowne Road Agreement.

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It is a landmark day for Enda Kenny today as he officially becomes the longest serving Fine Gael Taoiseach.

His 2,234th day as leader exceeds the record of John A Costello, who was in charge in the 1950s.

Enda Kenny has been under pressure to stand down in recent months - he has indicated, however, that he will go at a time of his own choosing.

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has accused Iran of 'alarming ongoing provocations' to destablise countries in the Middle East.

He has also said the US will review its Iranian policies.

In comments quoted by Reuters, Mr Tillerson said: "A comprehensive Iran policy requires we address all of the threats posed by Iran and it is clear there are many."

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A soldier is among three people killed during a day of anti-government protests in Venezuela.

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in protest against President Maduro amid economic chaos and accusations that he is eroding democracy.

US car giant General Motors has suspended operations in the country, claiming authorities had illegally seized their factory.