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News Daily: Green sacked and May in Poland visit

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Damian Green sacked after porn allegations

Damian Green has left the cabinet after he was found to have made "inaccurate and misleading" statements about claims that Metropolitan Police officers had found pornography on his parliamentary computer in 2008. The first secretary of state - effectively Theresa May's deputy - breached the ministerial code, according to a report by the Cabinet Office.

In November, Mr Green denied claims that pornography had been found in a raid on his office connected with an investigation into the leaking of official documents. Later that month, he said no allegations had been put to him previously. But it emerged that lawyers for the Met had contacted his lawyers about them in 2008 and police had raised the matter with him in a phone call in 2013.

The Cabinet Office also investigated the claim that Mr Green, 61, had behaved inappropriately towards Conservative activist Kate Maltby in 2015 - which he has denied. It described her account as "plausible".

The prime minister "asked" Mr Green to resign and he did so. He wrote in a letter that he apologised that his "statements were misleading" on what he had known about the alleged discovery of pornography and for making Ms Maltby feel "uncomfortable".

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg says the departure of Mr Green, a close ally of Mrs May, makes the prime minister a "lonelier figure". Here is a profile of Mr Green.

May calls for close ties with Poland

Theresa May is visiting Poland, where she will announce plans for greater co-operation on defence and security with the UK. The relationship between the countries will still "matter greatly" after Brexit, she will say in Warsaw, as she backs an initiative to blunt Russian propaganda. Mrs May's visit comes shortly after the EU announced disciplinary measures against Poland, accusing the country of undermining the independence of its judges.

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Mistakes harm tens of thousands of mothers and babies

More than 276,000 mistakes in maternity care have been logged by NHS staff in England in the past two years - the equivalent to one for every five births. The BBC's Nick Triggle and Tom Calver found that almost a quarter of incidents had resulted in harm to mothers or babies. In 288 cases there was a death. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said preventing such incidents was a "top priority".

The woman using her body to fight for equality

By Ayeshea Perera, BBC News

"The first time I performed naked in a truly public space it was great fun," Mallika Taneja recalls. "There was a camera person there and if you watch his footage you can see a jerk when the lights come on because he literally fell over in shock. And someone in the audience said, 'Aiyo!'" But although it's the most talked about aspect of her play, the 33-year-old says nudity is not the point of her piece. It's meant to provoke people into thinking about whether women's clothing really has any correlation with sexual violence.

Read the full article

What the papers say

Damian Green's departure is the story on most front pages. "What a sad way to go" is the Daily Mail's headline, with the Guardian describing his loss as a "personal blow" to the prime minister. The Financial Times reports that Mr Green's exit removes one of the cabinet's most avowedly pro-European ministers. The Times says senior Conservatives will be unhappy over former Metropolitan Police officers allegedly breaking ethical guidelines to accuse Mr Green. Elsewhere, several newspapers highlight research suggesting that eating a portion of salad every day can help improve the memory of older people.

Daily digest

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Catalonia election Voters go to polls in contest dominated by independence issue

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Reality Check How many people are homeless?

Sensory overload When Christmas is just too much

Deep discovery 103-year-old Australian submarine wreck found off Papua New Guinea

Quiz of the year Have a go at part two of our mammoth memory test

If you see one thing today

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What's hiding in my dust?

If you listen to one thing today

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Colonel Gaddafi's ice hockey team

If you read one thing today

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The strangest things sent in the post

Lookahead

13:30 The official closing ceremony of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia is performed in The Hague, Netherlands. The tribunal has been in operation since 1993.

18:30 The Burning of the Clocks - in which hundreds of paper clocks are set alight to mark the winter solstice - takes place on Brighton seafront.

On this day

1988 A Pan Am jumbo jet with 258 passengers on board is blown up by a bomb and crashes on to the town of Lockerbie.

From elsewhere

The river that defies the desert (New York Times)

Cricketer's emotional letter after wife's cancer shock (Sydney Morning Herald)

The dark history of Christmas traditions (Independent)

Ten secrets of the sky (Daily Telegraph)

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