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Trump demands funds for wall
The US government has been partially shut down for more than two weeks in a row over President Donald Trump’s plan for a steel barrier – or wall – on the border with Mexico. Mr Trump, in his first TV address to the nation from the Oval Office, attempted to put pressure on his Democratic rivals – who have voted not to fund the $5.7bn (£4.5bn) project – by describing the situation as “a growing humanitarian and security crisis”.
He also said that 90% of heroin sold in the US came through Mexico and cited cases of American citizens “savagely murdered in cold blood” by undocumented immigrants. But he did not declare a national emergency, as he has threatened to do.
Democrats responded by calling the situation at the border a “humanitarian challenge” and accusing Mr Trump of “holding the American people hostage”. So what is actually happening at the border? And what powers does Mr Trump have to ensure the wall is built?
MPs resume Brexit debate
It’s back. MPs will resume debating Theresa May’s Brexit agreement with the EU later following the Christmas break, with the big vote expected to take place next Tuesday. It was delayed from 11 December last year, when opposition from Labour and Conservative MPs pointed towards a defeat. The prime minister has since sought extra assurances from European leaders on the most contentious issues, the future of the Northern Ireland border being the most high profile.
The government suffered a defeat in a vote on the Finance Bill on Tuesday, when MPs backed a move to limit its ability to make tax changes in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Several former Conservative ministers rebelled. BBC Reality Check looks at whether Parliament can stop a no-deal scenario.
Heathrow: Police and military investigate drone sightings
First Gatwick, now Heathrow. Flights at the UK’s largest airport were temporarily halted on Tuesday when a drone was sighted in the area. The Metropolitan Police said a “full criminal investigation” was under way, with the military also looking into what happened. The disruption at Heathrow was far lower than that experienced at Gatwick shortly before Christmas, when 1,000 flights had to be cancelled.
Are podcasts helping to solve crimes?
By Flora Drury
On paper it was an old story, told many times over the years. In the early 1980s, Sydney housewife and mother-of-two Lynette Dawson disappeared.
But now, exactly 37 years after her husband Chris Dawson said he last saw her, investigators may finally be closer to finding out the truth. Last month, police finally made an arrest in the case: Lynette’s husband. He has always denied any involvement. It is hard to say exactly what prompted this latest development, but more than a few people have pointed towards a podcast released in May 2018.
What the papers say
Following the abuse of Conservative MP Anna Soubry outside Parliament, the i says it has heard from other politicians who have faced bullying and threats. Elsewhere, the Daily Telegraph describes the government’s defeat on Tuesday in a Finance Bill amendment vote as “first blood” to those opposed to a no-deal Brexit. The Daily Express accuses those involved of wanting to “steal” Brexit. Meanwhile, Metro leads on “chaos” at Heathrow following the sighting of a drone.
Moped crash Boy, 14, stabbed to death after collision in east London
‘Suspicious packages’ Australian police investigating incidents at consulates
Paddington Station Lighting failure caused delays, Network Rail says
Riviera glamour Owner of Nice’s Hotel Negresco dies aged 95
If you see one thing today
If you listen to one thing today
If you read one thing today
12:00 Theresa May faces the first Prime Minister’s Questions of the year, ahead of the resumption of the Brexit debate.
19:45 Holders Manchester City host League One’s Burton Albion in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final.
On this day
1986 Defence Secretary Michael Heseltine resigns in a row with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher over the future of the Westland helicopter company.
If you want to get this briefing by email, sign-up here The US government has been partially shut down for more than two weeks in a row over President Donald Trump’s plan for a steel barrier – or wall – on the border with Mexico.