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Ten years ago: Zhao Ziyang was appointed head of China’s Communist Party, succeeding his mentor, Deng Xiaoping.

Five years ago: On Election Day eve 1992, President Bush and Democratic challenger Bill Clinton stumped at a furious pace in several states. Movie producer Hal Roach died in Los Angeles at age 100.

One year ago: A tentative labor contract was reached between General Motors and the United Auto Workers, averting a national strike..

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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.