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Ten years ago: President Reagan used his weekly radio address to call on Congress to give more aid to the Nicaraguan Contras. Molly Yard was elected president of the National Organization for Women, succeeding Eleanor Smeal.

Five years ago: Britain’s opposition Labor Party chose John Smith as its leader, replacing Neil Kinnock.

One year ago: Recovery efforts continued off Long Island, N.Y., for the bodies of the 230 people who died in the fiery crash of TWA Flight 800; President Clinton urged Americans not to immediately assume that the crash was the work of terrorists.

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Early exit polls show strong support to lift Ireland ban on abortion

UPDATED: 3:05 p.m.

Ireland’s referendum Friday represented more than a vote on whether to end the country’s strict abortion ban. It was a battle for the very soul of a traditionally conservative Roman Catholic nation that has seen a wave of liberalization in recent years.