News Daily: May takes Brexit deal to MPs, and Trump aide quits 'after Melania row'

By Justin Parkinson
BBC News


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May promotes Brexit deal to MPs

The cabinet has backed it, but Theresa May faces the task later of selling the Brexit agreement she's reached with the EU to the House of Commons. And the atmosphere is set to be anything but gentle as she answers MPs' questions. The prime minister has faced criticism from Conservative Brexiteers and her Democratic Unionist Party backers, amid suggestions of plotting to force a no-confidence vote in her.

Labour has not yet said whether it will back the deal, although leader Jeremy Corbyn said he didn't feel it was in the national interest.

The draft agreement has angered Brexit-supporting MPs with its "backstop" provision allowing the creation of a temporary "EU-UK single customs territory" to prevent border checks in Ireland if the UK and EU do not reach a trade deal. The 585-page document also addresses the rights of UK and EU citizens and a "financial settlement" with the EU. Here's what's in it.

Even though the cabinet supported the agreement following a five-hour meeting on Wednesday, BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg says resignations remain a possibility. Meanwhile, BBC Europe editor Katya Adler looks at the EU's own worries about how things will pan out.

White House aide quits 'after Melania row'

The White House aide who reportedly quarrelled with First Lady Melania Trump over seating arrangements on a plane during a trip to Africa has resigned. Mrs Trump said earlier this week that Deputy National Security Adviser Mira Ricardel no longer deserved the "honour" of serving the administration. Her removal comes amid stories in the US media that President Donald Trump is considering a further shake-up of his team.

Meanwhile, Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against Mr Trump, has been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, according to police in Los Angeles. Mr Avenatti denies the claim.

Planet found

Could it support life? Astronomers have found a planet orbiting Barnard's star - one of the closest to the Sun. Described as a "super-Earth", the planet is "very rich in volatiles like water, hydrogen, carbon dioxide". On distance from Barnard's star - which is much smaller than the Sun - the estimated temperature would be about -150C on the surface. But a massive atmosphere could potentially warm the planet, making conditions there more liveable. The BBC's Paul Rincon asks where we should be looking for alien life.

How modern dating encourages racial prejudice

By Moya Lothian-McLean, BBC Three

"You're so my type," he told me, breezily.

I hoped his next words would describe some persistent attraction to short, loud girls who always had to be right. Or how he couldn't resist women who had a strange, fervent passion for Robbie Williams and were so lazy at cooking they'd eaten the same meal - one chicken breast accompanied by mixed veg (mange tout and broccoli) - for 365 days.

He kissed the top of my head and smiled.

"I love mixed-race girls."

What the papers say

Theresa May's Brexit plans are all over the front pages again. The Financial Times says the prime minister is braced for a "backlash" in the Commons, following Wednesday's "ferocious" cabinet meeting. The Guardian reports that ministers and Conservative MPs are split, while the Times predicts a hostile reception when she gives her statement. But the Express leads on the PM warning Brexit supporters that the UK could remain in the EU if her deal is rejected. Elsewhere, the Daily Star devotes its front page to the revelation that the Queen eats bananas using a fork.

Daily digest

California wildfires Town of Paradise "will need total rebuild"

Climate change Avoid beef and lamb to slow down global warning, report says

Christmas shopping Parents spending heavily on mystery toys

Time off Dr Who to skip Christmas Day special

If you see one thing today

If you listen to one thing today

If you read one thing today

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On this day

1998 The UK and the US pull back from the brink of war with Iraq after an offer to let UN weapons inspectors back into the country.

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