If you want to get this briefing by email, sign up here
Taking back control?
Day one of the Brexit deal debate ran long into the night, and Theresa May will be hoping for a less tumultuous session when it resumes later. The PM suffered an extraordinary three defeats in the Commons on Tuesday at the hands of MPs determined to wrest control of the Brexit process from her.
As a result, the government has agreed to publish in full the legal advice it has received about the deal – something it really didn’t want to do. But more crucially, it lost out to MPs who want changes to the parliamentary process if the deal is rejected by the Commons next week. It means that instead of merely taking note of what ministers tell them, MPs would be able to exert more influence by voting on what they want the government to do.
On the face of it, our political editor Laura Kuenssberg says, that’s a strait jacket for Mrs May. But, she says, it might not be all bad because it could actually peel off some rebels on both sides and make it less likely that the PM will suffer a thumping defeat. Read more on why – and listen to Laura and the gang chew over everything on the latest Brexitcast.
Wednesday’s day of debate will focus on security.
Michael Flynn was once a fervent supporter of Donald Trump and served a brief tenure as his national security adviser. He later became a key subject in the probe into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 US election, and eventually, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about discussions he had with the Russian ambassador to Washington before Mr Trump entered the White House. Now the office behind the probe has said it isn’t seeking a jail sentence for Mr Flynn because of the information he has provided.
Much of its memo is redacted, but the BBC’s Anthony Zurcher says the bits that can be seen point towards explosive revelations to come. It says Mr Flynn provided first-hand detail about interactions with Russia, but also “substantial assistance in a criminal investigation”. Who is being investigated? For what? Our correspondent says those questions could cause Donald Trump and those close to him sleepless nights in the days ahead.
For the first time, a healthy baby has been born using a womb transplanted from a dead body. The procedure took place in Brazil in 2016, but details are just emerging. The 10 previous transplants from a dead donor failed or resulted in miscarriage. Read more on how womb transplants work.
Are any councils not struggling?
By Rachel Schraer, BBC Reality Check
Councils are in trouble – this much we know. They are cutting services, spending more than they planned and dipping into their rainy day funds. Perhaps the more pertinent question is not which councils are facing financial problems, but are there any that are managing to buck the trend? Pretty much no local authority in Britain has escaped the cuts. The only councils not to have made any since 2010 are the City of London and the Isles of Scilly, which are unique authorities with very small populations. Some have made smaller cuts than others though.
What the papers say
The papers give their verdicts on the triple Commons defeat inflicted on Theresa May. The Daily Telegraph says she “suffered humiliation on a historic scale”, while the Daily Mirror believes “weak and wobbly May has lost all authority”. The Financial Times thinks the amendment giving MPs more power has cut the chances of a no-deal Brexit, but the Daily Mail takes a dimmer view, calling the move “a recipe for chaos and betrayal”. The Daily Express also comes to the PM’s aide, insisting that the deal struck by “our courageous and indefatigable prime minister” is now the only way to ensure that Brexit is delivered. Elsewhere, the British PhD student who spent five months in jail in the United Arab Emirates, accused of spying, has given an interview to the Times. Matthew Hedges says he was forced to stand in ankle cuffs for whole days and was interrogated for 15 hours at a time.
Trade war China “to act swiftly” on commitments to US
Boohoo Fast-fashion retailer broke advertising rules
Subsidence Dry summer led to surge in problems
Homeless at Christmas “How will Santa find us?”
If you see one thing today
If you listen to one thing today
If you read one thing today
08:10 Matthew Hedges and his wife Daniela Tejada speak to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme
10:00 The High Court will decide whether to overturn a ruling which found that Deliveroo riders were not entitled to collective union bargaining rights because they are self-employed
On this day
1991 Administrators are called in to try to save the Maxwell business empire from bankruptcy