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Police probe whether embassy worker found dead in Beirut was sexually assaulted

Lebanese police are investigating whether a British embassy worker strangled and dumped by the side of a motorway was sexually assaulted.

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The post appeared to lampoon Diane Abbott for her grasp of numbers (PA)

Bookmaker apologises over tweet of blackface darts fan dressed as Diane Abbott

A bookmaker accused of racism after it posted a picture of a darts fan blacked-up as politician Diane Abbott has apologised.

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Brendan Cox is facing his second Christmas without Jo (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Jo Cox’s widower talks of challenges of bringing up children alone

The widower of murdered MP Jo Cox has spoken about the difficulty of being a single parent as he praised a campaign designed to tackle loneliness at Christmas.

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Jessica Richards and her daughter Elliana Shand (Sean Doyle/PA)

Girl abducted by schizophrenic mother ‘has been abroad at least three times’

A girl thought to have been abducted by her schizophrenic mother in breach of a judge’s order after social workers raised concerns has travelled to at least three different countries since vanishing about six months ago, evidence shows.

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Low-achieving pupils are being excluded before their exams, the children's commissioner said (David Davies/PA)

Schools should face fines for tactical off-rolling, children’s commissioner says

Schools should be fined if they are “gaming the system” by informally excluding low-achieving pupils ahead of the exam season in order to preserve their league table scores, the children’s commissioner for England has said.

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Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke appearing on the Andrew Marr Show (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA)

Some benefits sanctions cases ‘where we got it wrong’, admits Cabinet minister

The benefits sanctions regime helps encourage welfare claimants into work but there have been “cases where we got it wrong”, the Cabinet minister responsible for the system said.

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Two police officers were hit by a Maserati (PA)

Police officer critically ill after being hit by Maserati

A police officer is in a critical condition in hospital after he and a female colleague were struck by a Maserati as they helped deal with an unrelated early-morning incident.

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Tom Watson said nothing should be ruled out (PA)

Mixed messages from Labour figures over new vote on terms of Brexit negotiation

Senior Labour figures have clashed over whether there should be a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

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Bruno Langley was given a 12-month community order at Manchester Magistrates' Court last month for sexually molesting women in a club while drunk. (Ian West/PA Wire)

Former soap actor insists he is not a danger to society

Ex-Coronation Street star Bruno Langley has said the sexual assaults he carried out were “dreadful” but insisted he is not a danger to society.

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Steve McQueen (Matt Crossick/PA)

Artist Steve McQueen to film Grenfell Tower tribute

Director and artist Steve McQueen is filming an artwork as a “lasting memorial” to the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

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Prince Harry interviews Barack Obama (The Obama Foundation/PA)

Prince Harry quizzed Barack Obama for Today programme interview

Prince Harry has interviewed Barack Obama for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

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Nadine Dorries said the 11 rebels should face deselection (PA)

Tory Brexit rebels risking Corbyn government, says arch Leaver Nadine Dorries

Tory Brexit rebels risk putting Jeremy Corbyn in power, a prominent Eurosceptic warned as the fallout from Theresa May’s first Commons defeat over Europe continued.

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Flames advance towards a large fire break in Santa Barbara, California (Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP)

Thousands of firefighters battle California blaze as colleague’s funeral held

Thousands of firefighters tried to shield coastal communities from one of the biggest wildfires in California’s history as a funeral procession was held in honour of one of their colleagues who was killed battling the flames.

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The scene of a multi-vehicle crash at the entrance to the underpass on Lee Bank Middleway, near Edgbaston (Aaron Chown/PA)

‘Happy, loving’ taxi driver killed in multi-car crash on last job of the night

A taxi driver killed in a multi-car crash in Birmingham phoned his wife to say he would be home after his last fare before the horror smash, his brother said.

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The budget carrier is one of Europe's largest airlines  (Nick Ansell/PA)

Ryanair pilots suspend pre-Christmas strike

Ryanair pilots have suspended a pre-Christmas one-day strike, union bosses have announced.

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The directive limits the working week to 48 hours (PA)

Trade unions hit out at plan to axe directive limiting working week

Trade unions have hit out at a “ministerial plot” to scrap the Working Time Directive.

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (left) and Tanaiste Simon Coveney during a press conference at Government Buildings in Dublin (Laura Hutton/PA)

Irish Government ‘needs to repair relationship with DUP’

The Irish Government’s relationship with the DUP needs to be repaired, a minister said.

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Mrs May was boosted by the terms of a statement agreed by the EU27 at the European Council summit in Brussels (Jonathan Brady/PA)

May vows to seek trade deals with other countries despite EU rules

Theresa May will tell MPs that the UK will seek to sign trade deals with countries around the world despite potentially being bound by European Union rules for around two years after Brexit.

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The HMS Queen Elizabeth went through a commissioning ceremony this month (Andrew Matthews/PA)

New warships and planes at risk due to doubt over MoD savings – MPs

Plans for new warships, planes and armoured vehicles could be put at risk because of concerns about the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) ability to find more than £7 billion in savings, a parliamentary committee has warned.

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: A plane flies past the Shard in central London, as the sky takes on an unusual orange colour caused by Storm Ophelia (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Terror attacks, political turmoil and royal news in a dramatic year to remember

Political turmoil, terror attacks, the Grenfell tragedy and royal news have been some of the defining themes of 2017.

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