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Democrat defeats Moore in Alabama race
He had President Donald Trump’s full backing, but Republican candidate Roy Moore has lost the contest to become a senator for Alabama. His opponent, Doug Jones, becomes the first Democrat to win a Senate seat in the US state in 25 years.
There’s been huge focus on the election, with Mr Moore facing allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls – which he denies. The lawyer, a firebrand conservative, has twice been removed from the state Supreme Court, believes that homosexual activity should be illegal, and has argued against removing segregationist language from the state constitution.
Mr Trump congratulated Mr Jones on a “hard-fought” victory, but Mr Moore was refusing to concede defeat, with 99% of votes counted. The election of a Democrat means the Republicans have a 51-49 majority in the Senate.
How does all this reflect on Mr Trump? It could be seen as a “rebuke” to the president, writes BBC North America reporter Anthony Zurcher, while Democrats will talk of an “anti-Trump wave”. He adds: “But Moore was such a flawed candidate that it may be too early to tell.”
Baby born with heart outside body ‘doing well’
Vanellope Hope Wilkins was born with her heart outside her body when she was delivered by Caesarean section three weeks ago. She has now had three operations to place the organ back inside her chest, and staff at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester say she is “doing really well and has proved very resilient”. Vanellope’s condition, ectopia cordis, affects a few babies per million births and most of those who have it are stillborn. The hospital says she is the first known survivor in the UK. It adds that Vanellope has a “long road ahead”, with infection the greatest risk, but her parents, Naomi Findlay and Dean Wilkins, say their daughter is a “real fighter”.
Rebellion threat to EU Withdrawal Bill
Several Conservative MPs are pushing for a legal guarantee that Parliament should get a vote on any Brexit deal before it is finalised. Led by former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, they are threatening to impose a House of Commons defeat on Theresa May’s government over the issue later today. Mrs May, who doesn’t have a majority and is vulnerable to such moves, said she was listening to MPs’ concerns. The Commons vote is expected to take place as part of the discussion of the EU Withdrawal Bill, designed to keep EU laws on the statute book after Brexit. Here’s BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg’s take on the situation.
Global education rankings to measure tolerance
By Sean Coughlan, education correspondent
It’s intended to find out how well young people can understand other people’s views and cultures, how they can look beyond the partisan echo chamber of social media and distinguish reliable evidence from fake news. It’s a challenge to intolerance and extremism. Andreas Schleicher, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s director of education, says international promises about the right to “quality education for all” now have to mean more than the “foundation knowledge” of maths, reading and science. They also need to be about “learning to live together”.
What the papers say
The Sun and the Daily Mirror lead on the operation to place baby Vanellope Hope Wilkins’s heart back inside her body, the Sun dubbing her “Brave Heart”. Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reports that problems with gas supplies will push up bills, and the i says the Conservative leadership is encouraging MPs to focus on environmental issues, to broaden the party’s electoral appeal. And the Daily Start rates the chance of a white Christmas as “odds-on”.
Fictitious Rolls-Royce “I was saved from a £10,000 car scam”
Better relations? US’s Tillerson “ready” for talks with North Korea
Intelligent life search Interstellar asteroid to be checked for signs of alien technology
Giant shelter London’s Euston Station to host the homeless on Christmas Day
If you watch one thing today
If you listen to one thing today
If you read one thing today
12:00 Theresa May takes part in the penultimate Prime Minister’s Questions session of the year.
19:00 The US Federal Open Market Committee releases its decision on interest rates.
On this day
1995 Hundreds of youths take to the streets of Brixton, south London attacking police, ransacking shops and burning cars, following the death of a black man in police custody.