News Daily: Baby deaths NHS trust got £1m, and IS 'getting stronger'

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Baby deaths: NHS trust was paid almost £1m for good care

Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust - at the centre of England's largest inquiry into baby deaths - was given almost £1m for providing good maternity care, the BBC has learned. Weeks after the payment, inspectors rated its maternity care as inadequate. Here is the full story.

An interim report on the trust, leaked last month, said mothers and babies had died amid a "toxic" culture stretching back 40 years.

IS 'getting stronger' in Iraq

It is two years since the Islamic State (IS) group lost the last of the territory it held in Iraq, but intelligence sources have told the BBC it is re-organising there. A top Kurdish counter-terrorism official said militants were using better tactics and had more money, making it "more difficult to flush them out". He added that they were "like al-Qaeda on steroids".

IS no longer wants to control any land, so it can avoid being a target, one intelligence agency leader said. Read the BBC's Orla Guerin's piece on the situation in Iraq.

Football racism: Players' group demands inquiry

The referee had to stop play during Tottenham's 2-0 loss to Chelsea on Sunday, after Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger complained of hearing monkey noises from the crowd. Following this, the Professional Footballers' Association has called for a full inquiry into racism within the sport.

Tottenham have also promised to take the "strongest possible action". Match of the Day pundits give their views on the incident.

Thomas Cook: Ex-staff tell of benefits delays

Dozens of Thomas Cook ex-staff, who lost their jobs when the travel operator collapsed in September, have told the BBC that they have repeatedly been denied job seeker's allowance. The problem stems from confusion over whether they are entitled to this or universal credit, as the company's administration process continues.

Betty Knight, who worked as cabin crew for 12 years, said: "I am reeling." The government has apologised for the confusion. We describe what went wrong at Thomas Cook.

Growing up in the town where it's always Christmas

By BBC Newsbeat

You know how to get to Santa's house, right? That's right. Head up Santa Claus Lane, of course. Then make a right on to Saint Nicholas Drive, just by the Wendy's burger bar.

Not an ordinary set of directions, maybe. But then again North Pole, Alaska is not an ordinary town. Just ask 21-year-old Cody Meyer. He grew up in North Pole and now works at the Santa Claus House.

Don't call him an elf, though. He already has enough trouble explaining where he's from when he meets new friends online.

What the papers say

The wet weather makes headlines. The Guardian reports that the situation in northern England has prompted council leaders to ask the government for more anti-flood funding, while the Financial Times says waterlogged houses are set to become more common. Elsewhere, a Times investigation suggests extremists in UK prisons are holding makeshift Sharia trials. And the Daily Mirror leads with a plea for donors for four-year-old Harry Lee, who needs a new heart.

Daily digest

Labour election failure Ex-leader Ed Miliband joins panel reviewing party's defeat

Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip spends third night in hospital

Australia bushfires PM rules out "reckless" cuts to coal industry

France strike Trains for lone children back on after outcry over cancellations

If you see one thing today

If you listen to one thing today

If you read one thing today


Today Everton Football Club submits its planning application for a 52-000-seater stadium at Bramley Moore Dock, Liverpool.

10:00 TV presenter Caroline Flack is due to appear at Highbury Magistrates' Court, London, having been charged with assault.

On this day

1992 A national newspaper publishes the Queen's Christmas speech two days ahead of schedule, sparking an investigation by the BBC into the unprecedented leak.

From elsewhere

See you next year

BBC News Daily is taking a break until Thursday, 2 January. A very merry Christmas and happy new year to all our readers.