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  1. We are trying out a new format for our news coverage. This is a test live page

Live Reporting

By Matthew Davis and Esther Webber

All times stated are UK

  1. Post update

    That concludes our live page trial for today.

  2. Post update

    White House National Security Council

    tweets: President Obama called PM Abbott last night to express condolences on behalf of American people

    and: POTUS conveyed admiration for strength, resilience, & compassion of #Australian people #Sydney

    and: POTUS reiterated the US stands ready to provide assistance as #Australia moves forward in the aftermath of the hostage situation #Sydney

  3. Latest headlines

    Allegations of murder and torture made against British soldiers by Iraqi detainees after a 2004 battle were "deliberate lies", an inquiry rules.

    Funerals are being held in Peshawar after Pakistan's deadliest Taliban attack left 132 children and nine staff dead at a school.

    The first female bishop for the Church of England has been announced as vicar Reverend Libby Lane, just a month after the historic change to canon law.

    Wage growth picked up in the three months to October and outstripped the rise in the cost of living, while unemployment fell again, official figures show.

  4. BreakingBreaking News

    A radical Muslim student who aspired to fly the black flag of Isis over Downing Street has been found guilty of planning to join rebel forces in Syria.

    David Souaan, 20, was accused of preparing for terrorist acts around the time he was stopped at Heathrow Airport on May 31.

    The prosecution said he had visited Syria in December last year and was on his way back to fight the jihadist cause when he was arrested.

  5. Al Sweady Inquiry

    Michael Fallon

    In a statement to MPs on the inquiry's findings, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said there had been a delay in conceding that Iraqis who had died were killed on the battlefield.

    He condemned this delay as "inexplicable and shameful". He challenged the lawyers representing the detainees to issue an apology for attempting to "traduce the reputation" of the accused soldiers and said they would be investigated by a professional standards body.

  6. Peshawar school attack

    Martha Kearney

    Presenter, WATO

    A leading expert on the Taliban has told the World at One that the Pakistani Taliban attack on the Peshawar school was a sign that the army offensive in Waziristan has been successful, leaving the group "annoyed and antagonised".

    Ahmed Rashid said the aim of the attack was to demoralise the Pakistani army, and could be read as as a message to the child activist Malala Yousafzai. Rashid said the Pakistani Taliban "wanted to show that their opposition to what (Yousafzai) stands for is still very much there".

    You can hear the interview on the World at One at 13:00 GMT.

  7. Prime Minister's Questions

    David Cameron and and Ed Miliband have focused on the economy in their exchanges at prime minister's questions, with the Labour leader claiming the Conservatives' plan "is not about balancing the books - it's about slashing the state".

    The prime minister responded that unemployment is down and the economy is growing faster than any other major economy, on which Mr Miliband had "absolutely nothing to say".

  8. Russia rouble slump

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (R) chairs a meeting on economic issues

    Russian finance minister Alexei Moiseyev has been quoted by Russia's Interfax news agency as saying the government is going to sell foreign currency "as much as necessary and as long as necessary." The hope is this will stop the rouble's slide against the US dollar. It comes as prime minister Dmitry Medvedev called a meeting with the heads of Russia's largest exporters and pledged to implement a "package of measures" to prevent a further decline in the currency.

  9. Custody death charges

    More on the news that three police staff have been charged with manslaughter over the death of Thomas Orchard days after he collapsed in custody. Mr Orchard, 32, collapsed in a cell at Heavitree Road Police Station, Exeter, after his arrest in 2012 and died in hospital. Sgt Jan Kingshott and civilian detention officers Simon Tansley and Michael Marsden are also charged with misconduct in public office.

  10. BreakingPeshawar school attack

    Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has promised to improve security and tackle terrorism. He was speaking to reporters in Peshawar.

  11. Post update

    Nick Robinson

    Political editor

    tweets: You know those election leaders debates? Think they've just had the first one in #pmqs. Only 4 months to go....

  12. BreakingBreaking News

    A 13-year-old boy has been remanded to youth detention accommodation at Highbury Corner Youth Court.

    The boy - who cannot be named - is charged with the murder of Christopher Barry who was stabbed to death in Edmonton in north London on Sunday.

  13. Prime Minister's Questions

    David Cameron is on his feet for the last Prime Minister's Questions of 2014. He starts by condemning the terrorist attack on a cafe in Sydney and the Taliban attack on a school in Pakistan, saying the latter attack was "heartbreaking" and has left the world "shocked and numb". Follow all the updates on our dedicated live page.

  14. Latest headlines

    Funerals are being held in Peshawar after Pakistan's deadliest Taliban attack left 132 children and nine staff dead at a school.

    British soldiers mistreated nine detainees after 2004 battle in Iraq but murder allegations were untrue, a public inquiry rules.

    For the first time, a woman has been made a bishop in the Church of England. Libby Lane will be the new Bishop of Stockport.

    The latest official figures show that wage growth in the UK is picking up and unemployment has fallen again - albeit at the slowest quarterly rate for a year.

  15. Peshawar school attack

    The Pakistani Taliban have released a photograph that they say shows the fighters who stormed the school on Tuesday, murdering some 132 children and nine staff.

    Taliban photograph of the fighters who stormed a military-run school in Peshawar, Pakistan - 17 December 2014

    The number of people killed in the Peshawar attack has gone up to 144, according to Pakistani newspaper Express Tribune.

  16. Prime Minister's Questions

    The final prime minister's questions of the year gets under way at 12:00 GMT. You can follow every twist and turn on our dedicated live page. We'll reflect the key moments here, as well as the rest of the day's unfolding news.

  17. BreakingBreaking News

    Hospital death charges

    Three medical staff are to be charged with gross negligence manslaughter following the death of Jack Adcock, 6, at Leicester Royal Infirmary, the Crown Prosecution Service says.

  18. Al Sweady Inquiry

    Sir Thayne Forbes

    The inquiry's chair Sir Thayne Forbes says that the mistreatment carried out by British soldiers was "relatively minor compared with the original, very serious allegations".

    He told a press conference that the detainees' testimony had been made "wholly without regard for the truth".

  19. Al Sweady Inquiry

    Caroline Hawley

    World Affairs Correspondent

    More on the Al Sweady report's findings that detainees were ill-treated.

    • It says detainees should have been given some privacy while being strip-searched and should have been given proper food when they were first detained.
    • They should not have been deprived of sleep before they were questioned or shouted at during interrogation.
    • And it describes as "ill treatment" an interrogator banging a tent peg on a table and walking around a blindfolded detainee blowing on the back of his neck.
  20. Latest headlines

    British soldiers mistreated nine detainees after 2004 battle in Iraq, a public inquiry rules.

    For the first time, a woman has been made a bishop in the Church of England. Libby Lane will be the new Bishop of Stockport.

    The latest official figures show that unemployment has fallen again and average earnings have risen by more than inflation.

    Pakistan is holding three days of mourning for the victims of the massacre at a school in Peshawar yesterday.

    A Commons committee has blocked the recruitment of Speaker John's Bercow's choice as clerk and has recommended appointing a director general for the Commons.

  21. Backlog of 'overstayers'

    Danny Shaw

    Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

    A report has found that the Home Office has failed to deal with a backlog of almost 174,000 foreign nationals who should have been removed from the UK.

    The independent inspector of borders and immigration, John Vine, said the department must make "significant" improvements in the way it deals with "overstayers".

    He said the failure to do so could "undermine pubic confidence in immigration control".

  22. Al Sweady Inquiry

    More from the Al Sweady Inquiry report. It found that British forces responded to a deadly ambush by insurgents with "exemplary courage, resolution and professionalism".

    And it suggested that some of the detainees - all described as members or supporters of the Mahdi Army insurgent group - consciously lied about the most serious allegations to discredit British forces.

  23. BreakingBreaking News

    British soldiers mistreated nine Iraqi detainees following a fierce battle in May 2004, but allegations of murder and torture made against the British military were the product of "deliberate lies, reckless speculation and ingrained hostility", the judge-led Al Sweady public inquiry has found.

  24. BreakingBreaking News

    Norman Smith

    BBC Assistant Political Editor

    MPs have decided to block plans by the House of Commons Speaker John Bercow to recruit an Australian as the new Clerk to the Commons. The move to recruit Carol Mills - an official in the Australian senate - prompted anger among many MPs who felt she was unqualified for the post. Former Commons Speaker Baroness Boothroyd had predicted she would be "totally out of her depth".

  25. Unemployment falls

    Rachel Reeves

    Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves tells the BBC that while she welcomes the fall in unemployment, "I don't think this is any time for complacency."

    She said long-term youth unemployment had risen, which a Labour government would address by introducing a compulsory jobs guarantee for young people who had been out of work for more than a year.

    Those in work are "worse-off" than they were in 2010, Ms Reeves said, arguing her party would ensure "a wage that they can afford to live on".

  26. Al Sweady inquiry

    Iraqis detained

    The report of an inquiry into allegations of misconduct by British troops in Iraq 10 years ago is expected to be published at 11:00 GMT.

    The Al Sweady inquiry has already rejected claims that soldiers murdered captives and mutilated their bodies after a battle in 2004 - after the claims were withdrawn.

    Former Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Mike Jackson, told the BBC "the rule of law applies as much to soldiers as to anybody else".

    He said the reason a public inquiry had taken place was that "no civil police force was willing to take this on".

  27. First female bishop

    Norman Smith

    BBC Assistant Political Editor

    The Prime Minister has confirmed the government is to fast track legislation to allow female bishops to sit in the House of Lords. The bill is expected to be formally introduced in the Lords tomorrow.

    In a statement Mr Cameron said the government would "bring forward legislation this week to allow women bishops to sit in the Lords".

    It will not affect the new Bishop of Stockport as she is a junior or suffragan and will not be in line to take up a seat in the House of Lords.

  28. First female bishop


    The first female bishop in the Church of England, the Revd Libby Lane, has described her appointment as "an unexpected joy for me to be here today - a remarkable day for me and a historic day for the Church".

    She said she was "excited and not a little daunted", before paying tribute to the work of all those who campaigned for the change in Church law.

  29. BreakingBreaking News

    The Church of England has named the first female bishop as the Revd Libby Lane, currently Vicar of St Peter's, Hale, and St Elizabeth's, Ashley.

    You can read more about the issues behind the ordination of women as bishops here, and the views of those for and against the idea here.

  30. Hamas court ruling

    Simon Wilson

    BBC Europe bureaux editor, Brussels


    A European Union Court has annulled the EU decision to place the Palestinian militant group, Hamas, on a list of banned terrorist organisations, while ruling that the measures should stay in place for now pending a review. The BBC is urgently looking for clarification from the EU Council and Commission on what they will now do in the light of this judgement.

  31. Post update

    Chancellor George Osborne

    tweets: Major moment in UK recovery with unemployment down, more jobs & wages growing significantly above inflation #LongTermEconomicPlan

  32. Unemployment falls

    Iain Duncan Smith

    Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith hailed the data as "very good figures" and pointed out 95% of those in employment were in full-time work.

    He said the rise of average earnings above inflation together with falling food and petrol prices suggested "we're beginning to see an improvement in living standards".

  33. Peshawar school attack

    Dawn newspaper

    "It was an attack so horrifying, so shocking and numbing that the mind struggles to comprehend it. Helpless schoolchildren hunted down methodically and relentlessly by militants determined to kill as many as quickly as possible."

    How Pakistan's media has reacted to the massacre at a military-run school in Peshawar.

  34. Unemployment falls

    The Office for National Statistics also says that average earnings increased by 1.4% in the year to October, 0.4% up on the previous month. The number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance last month fell by 26,900 to 900,100.

  35. BreakingBreaking News

    Unemployment falls

    Unemployment fell by 63,000 in the three months to October to 1.96 million, official figures show.

  36. Russian rouble slump


    Russia's Central Bank has raised interest rates to 17%, but the rouble has continued to plummet, prompting fears of economic crisis. Russians are reminded of the dark days of 1998, when President Boris Yeltsin's government defaulted on its debt. But how severe are the problems and is there a way out?

  37. UK property market

    To Let signs in Birmingham

    The Building Societies' Association has published a report suggesting a quarter of people will "hold back" on their spending this Christmas in order to be able to pay their rent and bills.

    The survey also showed rent for new tenants rose 7.5% last year and that raising the money for a deposit is the biggest single barrier to buying a property.

    The BSA's head of mortgage policy, Paul Broadhead, said it showed that "despite generally positive news on the economy many people are not feeling the recovery in their pockets".

  38. The last Lama?

    Dalai Lama

    In case you missed it last night, the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has told the BBC's Newsnight programme that he realises that he may be the last to hold the title.

    In the wide-ranging interview, he was also asked about Britain's stance with China over the Hong Kong protests.

  39. Latest headlines

    Pakistan is to reintroduce the death penalty - a day after the the massacre by the Taliban of 132 children.

    Australian PM Tony Abbott says he wants to know why the gunman who held people hostage at a cafe in Sydney had been allowed to drop off a watch-list of potentially dangerous people.

    The Church of England is expected to appoint its first woman bishop since voting to break with hundreds of years of Christian tradition.

    The report of an inquiry into allegations of misconduct by British troops in Iraq 10 years ago is to be published this morning.

  40. Al-Sweady Inquiry

    Caroline Hawley

    World Affairs Correspondent

    Caroline Hawley

    Just heading in to the lock-in room in Fleet Street where the inquiry's findings will be unveiled at 11am. Journalists are being allowed to see an advance copy ahead of publication - pretty crucial given that the executive summary alone is 100 pages long so there'll be a lot to digest.

    The report will be the definitive verdict on what happened in the aftermath of the "Battle of Danny Boy" over a decade ago. The ministry of defence has accused the Iraqis who made claims of murder and mutilation of a "conspiracy" to pervert the course of justice. It says the allegations have caused the soldiers involved great anxiety and stress.

  41. Russian rouble slump

    Dollar rouble

    Trading in the Russian rouble continues to be volatile. At the moment a dollar buys around 70 roubles, a sharp decline from late on Tuesday when a dollar bought 64 roubles. As the chart above shows, at one stage on Tuesday a dollar was worth 77 roubles. Tech giant Apple says it has just halted online sales in Russia because the currency is too volatile.

  42. Pakistan school massacre

    Christina Lamb

    Christina Lamb, foreign correspondent at the Sunday Times, tells the BBC News Channel that while there have been other attacks on schools in Pakistan, there has been nothing on this scale.

    She says that the outrage across the country could mark a turning point in the country's attitude to the Taliban, adding: "If this doesn't persuade people to change nothing will".

    Explore what we know about how the attack unfolded.

  43. Pakistan school massacre

    Inside school

    The BBC's Mishal Hussain is the first journalist allowed into the school in Peshawar where a Taliban attack yesterday killed at least 132 children and nine staff.

    "What happened in this school marks a depth to which many here thought that the Taliban could never sink," she says.