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Irish voters turned out in force Friday for a historic referendum on whether same-sex marriage should become legal, after a campaign that has exposed divisions in the traditionally Catholic nation. After 15 hours of voting, the ballot boxes were sealed at 10:00pm (2100 GMT) across the republic, with polling stations reporting higher-than-expected voter numbers. State broadcaster RTE said polling stations were recording a higher turnout than usual for referendums, with voting levels in cities such as Dublin, Limerick and Waterford predicted to top 60 percent.
By Richard Cowan and Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Friday was poised to approve the "fast-track" authority that President Barack Obama says he needs to complete a 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal central to projecting American influence in Asia. The Republican-controlled Senate narrowly rejected a push by some lawmakers to include rules to punish currency manipulators, a measure the Obama administration worked to defeat. Under fast-track, lawmakers would give Obama and his successor in 2017 the power to negotiate trade deals with foreign governments knowing that Congress could offer input but only approve or disapprove the deals and not amend them.