News Daily: Damian Green claims and Catalan election

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'Downing Street knew' of Damian Green claims in 2016

The writer and Conservative activist who claims Damian Green made inappropriate advances towards her says she told Downing Street about his alleged behaviour in 2016.

Kate Maltby alleges that the MP "fleetingly" touched her knee in a pub in 2015 and, in 2016, sent her a "suggestive" text message. Mr Green denies the allegations.

He resigned as first secretary of state - effectively Theresa May's deputy - on Wednesday, after an inquiry found he had made "misleading" statements after pornography was reportedly found on a computer in his Westminster office.

Downing Street denies that the prime minister knew anything about Ms Maltby's allegations. A source added that "everyone should be able to work in politics without fear or harassment".

BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw asks whether a police vendetta prompted Mr Green's downfall.

Catalan election: Slim majority for pro-independence parties

The result of the election in Catalonia is in, with pro-independence parties winning a slim, reduced majority in the region's parliament.

Ousted former separatist leader Carles Puigdemont said this meant "no-one can dispute" the desire of the Catalan people to leave Spain.

However, the Citizens party, which wants Catalonia to remain a semi-autonomous part of the country, has won the most seats.

The Madrid government set up the election after dissolving the Catalan parliament following October's declaration of independence. The result leaves the region as divided as ever, writes the BBC's Kevin Connolly.

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UK to warn Russia over cyber attacks

Boris Johnson is to visit Russia later, becoming the first UK foreign secretary to do so for five years. He will deliver a message to Vladimir Putin's government that cyber attacks will not be tolerated.

The trip has been cancelled twice before, and BBC diplomatic correspondent James Robbins says relations between the two countries are "at best very bad; at worst, appalling".

Why do US gun sales spike at Christmas?

By Owen Amos, BBC News, Washington DC

Music plays. The tree sparkles. Customers wish each other Happy Christmas. There are some differences, though. Firstly, Bing Crosby is drowned out by the bang-bang from the firing range out back. Secondly, the lights on the tree are made from shotgun shells. It's Christmas at the gun store. Come on in...

Read the full article

What the papers say

Photographs of Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle are shown on most front pages. "Look of love... and a £56k dress" is the Sun's headline, while Metro's is "Merry kissmas". Meanwhile, the i reports that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants to become deputy prime minister. The Mail leads on Boris Johnson's "cyber war threat" to the Russian government. And the Daily Express focuses on what it calls a "breakthrough" in efforts to treat Alzheimer's.

Daily digest

Christmas getaway Travellers warned over delays on "frantic Friday"

Cover change Traditional blue UK passports to return after Brexit

Sea pollution MPs call for curbs on plastic bottles and packaging

Almost there Try the penultimate part of our quiz of the year

If you see one thing today

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How a threatened island attracts tourists

If you listen to one thing today

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Return to the Moon

If you read one thing today

Top 10 albums of 2017


12:30 The London Stock Exchange closes early for Christmas. It will reopen on 27 December.

13:30 The funeral of Imtiaz Mohammed, the taxi driver who was among six people killed a car crash in Birmingham on Sunday, is held at the city's Central Mosque.

On this day

1972 The Chilean Air force finds 14 survivors from a plane that crashed in the Argentine Andes more than two months earlier. It is later revealed that the group had to eat human flesh to ward off starvation.

From elsewhere

How the US busses around its homeless (Guardian)

Estonia, the digital republic (New Yorker)

Colombia's healing begins (National Geographic)

What's wrong with Apple 'slowing down' older iPhones? (Slate)

BBC News Daily is taking a break over the festive period and will return on Tuesday 2 January. In the meantime, have a very merry Chistmas and happy new year.

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