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News Daily: May's Brexit dash and Trump's Saudi 'shrug'

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Last-minute fisticuffs?

Image copyright Reuters

Theresa May dashes off to Brussels later for a meeting with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. For a Kodak moment, as BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg puts it. So what's really going on?

On the face of it, the two sides are scrambling to iron out the final kinks in the draft Brexit agreement. And indeed, stumbling blocks do remain over issues like Gibraltar and fishing. Some of those unhappy in Westminster also still believe there's room to make changes to the agreement - particularly the controversial customs "backstop".

In reality though, as Laura Kuenssberg explains, the prime minister has been pretty clear the agreement is essentially ready to be signed off. But creating the sense that even tiny tweaks could be on the table has made it possible for some of her unhappy ministers to stay on.

Our Europe editor Katya Adler agrees. No-one, she says, seriously thinks any EU country will refuse to sign up to the Brexit deal this weekend. But appearing to engage in last-minute fisticuffs with Mrs May will allow her to claim the final text was hard fought and hard won… in the fervent hope that will soften the stance of some of her many critics at home.

Those critics, led by Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, admitted on Tuesday that plans for a vote of no confidence in the PM had stalled.

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Trump's Saudi 'shrug'

Donald Trump says Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman "could very well" have known about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, adding: "Maybe he did and maybe he didn't!" Either way, in the words of our correspondent Anthony Zurcher, the president made clear, with a shrug, that Saudi Arabia is a key economic and security ally of the US, and morality and global leadership take a back seat to that.

Jamal Khashoggi - a prominent critic of the Saudi authorities - was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, sparking international outrage. The US Senate is calling on President Trump to order an investigation specifically on the role of the crown prince.

Fast food ads

McDonald's and Burger King must take steps to prevent fatty, sugary or salty products being promoted near schools, the Advertising Standards Authority says. It has upheld complaints about adverts for McFlurry and Whopper Jr products posted within 100 metres of primary schools. Billboard owner JCDecaux said they were placed there in error.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, research suggests that pointing the finger of blame entirely at parents for children's weight gain may be unfair. Instead, it found parents adapt their feeding styles in line with a child's natural weight and size, which is largely genetically influenced.

How is Black Friday changing how we shop?

By Lora Jones, BBC News

UK consumers are expected to spend over £2,000 each in the run-up to Christmas, according to research by Adobe. Many will be hoping to make the most of any deals on offer. Black Friday originated in the US, as a way of kicking off Christmas spending after Thanksgiving with the lure of great bargains. Most British retailers are now in on the action. Emails offering discounts have been hitting inboxes for days. But a few, including some of the biggest chains in the UK, are opting not to join the frenzy.

Read the full article

What the papers say

A week ago, Theresa May was the one under fire in the papers, but now they've turned the heat onto those rebelling against her. Many feature pictures of Dad's Army, after the campaign to topple her was likened to something from the classic sitcom. The Sun has a mocked-up picture of Jacob Rees-Mogg in the captain's uniform telling his sidekick: "Don't tell 'em your plan, Pike." "Who do you think you are kidding Mr Moggwaring?" asks the Daily Telegraph. The Daily Express says his "motley crew" has retreated with tails between their legs. However, the Daily Mail says more saboteurs might yet emerge.

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Lookahead

12:30 Events in Westminster will mark the 100th anniversary of the law change which allowed women to stand for Parliament

Today Court hearing in Abu Dhabi for British PhD student Matthew Hedges who is accused of spying for the UK government - he denies the claim

On this day

1974 Bombs planted by the IRA rip through two Birmingham pubs, killing 21 people and injuring 182 more

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