News Daily: Brexit deal deadline and police force 'failings'

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Brexit crunch time

It's almost time. At around 19:00 GMT, MPs will finally vote on Theresa May's EU withdrawal deal - and barring any last-minute upsets, it looks likely she'll be defeated. The prime minister gave it one final shot on Monday, pointing to new written assurances from the EU about the Northern Irish "backstop" - one of the key sticking points. But despite that, about 100 Conservative MPs and 10 DUP MPs could join Labour and the other opposition parties to vote the deal down.

Before they do that, though, MPs will also get a chance to reshape the deal by tabling amendments to it. Proposals include giving MPs a vote on whether to implement the backstop and ruling out the possibility of no deal. It's up to Commons Speaker John Bercow which amendments get put to a vote and as you'll probably remember, the last time he chose one it was somewhat controversial. Read more on the issue of amendments.

If the deal does fail, what happens next? BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg looks at eight possible outcomes - among them, a "softer" Brexit, a vote of no confidence in the government, or even some permanent party splits. You can also read more on the economic impact of all things Brexit here.

We'll have a live page running all day, bringing you updates and analysis from Westminster and beyond, so stick with us.

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'Failing victims'

One of the UK's biggest police forces has failed to record more than 16,600 violent and sexual crimes each year, according to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. The watchdog said West Midlands Police was "failing victims of crime", sometimes by simply not believing them. Deputy Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe said the force was confident its position was "much improved" and the report failed to recognise that. About three-quarters of police forces around the country have already been inspected and of those, two-thirds have been rated as either "inadequate" or "requiring improvement".

Fees divide

The wealthiest students in England are going to university for the lowest cost, say researchers, because they're able to pay their tuition fees up front and avoid interest rates of 6.3% paid by other students. The Intergenerational Foundation says the 10% who don't need to take out a loan therefore have a "serious economic advantage" when they leave. The think tank says it "makes a mockery" of claims that the system is fair for poorer students. The government said it was carrying out a review, but loans allowed students unable to self-fund to get access to university. Find out who are the biggest winners and losers when it comes to degrees.

The once homeless man bringing web access to the Bronx

By Padraig Belton, Technology of Business reporter, BBC News

Eight years ago, Marlin Jenkins passed a five-year-old girl outside a Bronx library on his way home. "She was crying to her mother about not being able to finish her homework because she didn't have internet access at home, and the library was closed," he says. "I'll never forget the mother's face, she was distraught and it was heartbreaking." The experience inspired him to found Neture in 2015, a start-up offering low-income Bronx residents free access to online education, healthcare and finance resources.

Read the full article

What the papers say

Most papers are not discussing the likely outcome of the Brexit vote so much as the scale of defeat Theresa May faces. Both the Times and the Daily Telegraph suggest the number could top the 166 recorded against the first Labour government of 1924; the worst defeat in any comparable vote. The Daily Mail and Daily Express appeal directly to MPs to back the agreement. "Provide the certainty the nation yearns for - or lead us into a dark and hazardous unknown," urges the former. The latter tells MPs: "Don't lose our trust forever." From the opposite perspective, the Daily Mirror urges Mrs May to "open up your eyes and ears and start looking for a Plan B". Finally, let's look across the Channel. Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine describes a sense of "helplessness" in Brussels after senior EU figures tried to offer Theresa May extra reassurances about the withdrawal agreement. French newspaper Liberation wonders how Jeremy Corbyn's call for an election would help solve the Brexit issue.

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