Good evening. Dozens of migrants have been rescued after a boat capsized in the Channel early today, killing four people. Also in this briefing, China has pulled out six officials from the UK wanted for questioning over the assault of a protester. But, first, the headlines...
Evening briefing: Today's essential headlines
- Zara Aleena | Aspiring lawyer's 'spineless, savage' killer jailed
- Strikes | Union victory as court allows challenge to reforms
- 'Worst snow in 20 years' | Power cut for thousands on Shetland
- Just Stop Oil | Fine threat for driver who beeped protesters
- Biden snaps | 'You think I don't know how f—ing old I am?'
Chinese envoy flees UK after clash with protesters
It was the moment that sparked a stand-off in the relationship between the UK and China.
After video emerged appearing to show Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters being manhandled outside the Chinese consulate in Manchester, the Foreign Office requested that Beijing strip the six individuals of diplomatic immunity.
But it was announced today that the Chinese consul general and five other officials wanted for questioning by Greater Manchester Police over the clash with protesters are fleeing the country.
Zheng Xiyuan was among those who appeared to manhandle activists. Before tomorrow night's deadline for a decision on the police interview request, the Chinese embassy informed the Foreign Office that all six people had either left or were leaving the UK.
It means police will not be able to interview or charge any of those involved in the incident, which was partly captured on camera in October.
Political editor Ben Riley-Smith says it is the latest stand-off in a relationship between the UK and China that has become more fraught in recent years.
Four dead after migrant boat capsizes in Channel
Four people died in the Channel this morning after a small boat thought to be carrying nearly 50 migrants ran into difficulties.
Forty-three people were said to have been rescued in the operation involving up to 10 English and French vessels after they had got halfway across the Channel.
More than 30 of those rescued were pulled from the water, said a government source. Local Tory MP Sir Roger Gale this afternoon said that some of the survivors are still "fighting for their lives" in hospital, including women and children.
Images show survivors standing in the collapsed dinghy, knee deep in water after the capsizing at about 3am.
At Prime Minister's Questions, Rishi Sunak expressed his sorrow at the "tragic loss of human life" and paid tribute to the rescue team. Home affairs editor Charles Hymas and Patrick Sawer have our coverage.
Meanwhile, a Labour MP sparked anger for likening the Government's plan to house migrants in disused holiday parks to setting up "concentration camps".
Clive Lewis, a member of the hard-Left wing of the party, appeared to compare the policy to how British forces acted during the Boer war over a century ago.
Read how he faced a backlash from Conservative MPs over the "ridiculous" attack.
Meghan: Palace planted negative stories about me
The Duchess of Sussex has launched a fresh attack on Buckingham Palace. In a new Netflix trailer, Meghan accuses the palace of planting negative stories about her to make news about other members of the Royal family "go away".
Royal editor Hannah Furness says they are the most serious and potentially damaging claims in the documentary yet ahead of tomorrow's release of more episodes.
Meanwhile, it emerged the Sussexes' show edited one the late Queen's most famous speeches – appearing to put closer focus on her dedication to the British Empire.
Comment and analysis
- Jade McGlynn | Vladimir Putin is hiding from his own people
- Tom Harris | Lynch bandwagon has stalled – and he knows it
- Jeremy Warner | Why inflation is no longer an answer to debt
- Robert Tombs | Repatriating the Benin Bronzes is unforgivable
- Madeline Grant | Britain is turning twee – and is the worse for it
World news: Kyiv shoots down 13 kamikaze drones
Ukraine shot down all 13 Iranian kamikaze drones targeting Kyiv in a barrage of missile attacks on the capital today. Explosions rocked the central district and two administrative buildings were damaged, but city officials said air defences had prevented serious damage. In his latest dispatch from Ukraine, Ben Farmer reports from inside the secret drone factory manned by teenage engineering students. He explains how they are working day and night to build drones for the front line.
Wednesday long-read: How King Charles became a monarch for all faiths
Next year's Coronation will see our new King recognise and embrace every faith, not just the Church of England. From Islam to Eastern Orthodoxy, Catherine Pepinster examines his spiritual journey. Read the article
Sport briefing: France v Morocco – live coverage
Reigning World Cup champions France are preparing to face Morocco in their semi-final tie tonight – with the Middle East and Africa throwing their support behind the underdogs. Follow rolling coverage of the match, which kicks off at 7pm, in our live blog. It came as Morocco fans with tickets struggled to get to Doha after an airline was forced by Qatar authorities to cancel extra flights. Meanwhile, a security guard has died after falling from a stadium concourse at Argentina v the Netherlands.
- Xanthe Clay | 'I tried 19 types of supermarket mince pies – this one was the best'
- Staycation | 'We are spending Christmas in a campervan and my husband is horrified'
- Christmas | How to tell if your traditions are utterly common – or properly posh
Business briefing: Hopes that prices have peaked
Inflation eased back from its 41-year high in November as motorists saw slower increases in petrol and diesel costs, according to official data that raises hopes price rises have peaked. Economics editor Szu Ping Chan says the drop was larger than analysts expected, but reports that food prices jumped. Meanwhile, BT has been accused by rivals of wielding a "loaded revolver" over plans to cut its wholesale broadband prices.
Tonight starts now
Plan a stress-free Christmas | Lucy Denyer thinks she has the answer to a perfect Christmas: delegation. That, and military-level planning. She thinks you can never be too organised: dedicated planning notebook, memo on the fridge or full-on spreadsheet. Arguing that the festive battlefield is yours for the taking if your army is well organised, Lucy suggests five ways to nail Christmas with military precision.
Three things for you
- Watch | TV: Chris Kamara: Lost for Words, ITV, 9pm – and more
- Review | Paradise Now! 'A clever satire of modern feminism'
- Book | Travel: The glamorous but forgotten Italian ski resort
And finally... for this evening's downtime
The middle-class jacket that took over the world | Where Italians love handbags, the British are far more excited by waterproof coats. Laura Craik charts the history of the beloved Barbour – and how the heritage brand has kept its cool.
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