Residents flee as flames approach wealthy California enclave

Residents piled into cars and fled on Saturday, turning downtown Santa Barbara into “a ghost town” as surging winds drove one of the biggest fires in California’s history toward the city and the nearby wealthy enclave of Montecito.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth went through a commissioning ceremony this month (Andrew Matthews/PA)

New warships and planes at risk due to doubt over MoD savings – MPs

Plans for new warships, planes and armoured vehicles could be put at risk because of concerns about the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) ability to find more than £7 billion in savings, a parliamentary committee has warned.

Jessica Richards and her daughter Elliana Shand (Sean Doyle/PA)

Girl abducted by schizophrenic mother ‘has been abroad at least three times’

A girl thought to have been abducted by her schizophrenic mother in breach of a judge’s order after social workers raised concerns has travelled to at least three different countries since vanishing about six months ago, evidence shows.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (left) and Tanaiste Simon Coveney during a press conference at Government Buildings in Dublin (Laura Hutton/PA)

Irish Government ‘needs to repair relationship with DUP’

The Irish Government’s relationship with the DUP needs to be repaired, a minister said.

The driver of the Maserati was arrested at the scene (PA)

Police officers seriously hurt in collision with Maserati

Two police officers are seriously injured after they were hit by a Maserati as they walked back to their vehicle.

Bruno Langley was given a 12-month community order at Manchester Magistrates' Court last month for sexually molesting women in a club while drunk. (Ian West/PA Wire)

Former soap actor insists he is not a danger to society

Ex-Coronation Street star Bruno Langley has said the sexual assaults he carried out were “dreadful” but insisted he is not a danger to society.

Prince Harry interviews Barack Obama (The Obama Foundation/PA)

Prince Harry quizzed Barack Obama for Today programme interview

Prince Harry has interviewed Barack Obama for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Tom Watson said nothing should be ruled out (PA)

Mixed messages from Labour figures over new vote on terms of Brexit negotiation

Senior Labour figures have clashed over whether there should be a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

Nadine Dorries said the 11 rebels should face deselection (PA)

Tory Brexit rebels risking Corbyn government, says arch Leaver Nadine Dorries

Tory Brexit rebels risk putting Jeremy Corbyn in power, a prominent Eurosceptic warned as the fallout from Theresa May’s first Commons defeat over Europe continued.

Theresa May attends a church service near her Maidenhead constituency (Steve Parsons/PA)

Theresa May condemns series of threats against MPs

Theresa May has condemned threats of violence against politicians after a series of incidents in which MPs received death threats and abuse.

Lynn Nolan spent six months creating a nativity scene made entirely out of fruit cake, (Aaron Chown/P)A

Six-foot nativity scene a piece of cake for baker Lynn

An amateur baker who created a 6ft nativity scene out of cake has said it took her six months.

Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke appearing on the Andrew Marr Show (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA)

Some benefits sanctions cases ‘where we got it wrong’, admits Cabinet minister

The benefits sanctions regime helps encourage welfare claimants into work but there have been “cases where we got it wrong”, the Cabinet minister responsible for the system said.

Low-achieving pupils are being excluded before their exams, the children's commissioner said (David Davies/PA)

Schools should face fines for tactical off-rolling, children’s commissioner says

Schools should be fined if they are “gaming the system” by informally excluding low-achieving pupils ahead of the exam season in order to preserve their league table scores, the children’s commissioner for England has said.

The directive limits the working week to 48 hours (PA)

Trade unions hit out at plan to axe directive limiting working week

Trade unions have hit out at a “ministerial plot” to scrap the Working Time Directive.

Work on Icon has passed the halfway mark (Blackpool Pleasure Beach/PA)

Blackpool’s new rollercoaster takes shape with opening due in spring 2018

Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s new rollercoaster Icon is taking shape and can be seen rising from the ground for the first time as work proceeds on the attraction.

The scene of a multi-vehicle crash at the entrance to the underpass on Lee Bank Middleway, near Edgbaston (Aaron Chown/PA)

Six killed and one critically injured in multi-vehicle crash in Birmingham

Six people have died in an early morning crash involving a taxi and two cars in Birmingham.

December 22 is expected to see the worst delays (PA)

RAC warns drivers to avoid travelling on pre-Christmas ‘Frantic Friday’

Drivers are being urged to avoid travelling on “Frantic Friday” next week when the last of the year’s commuter traffic will clash with the Christmas getaway.

The post appeared to lampoon Diane Abbott for her grasp of numbers (PA)

Bookmaker accused over blackface Diane Abbott tweet

A bookmaker has been accused of racism after it posted an “impressive” picture of a man blacked-up as politician Diane Abbott on social media.

: A plane flies past the Shard in central London, as the sky takes on an unusual orange colour caused by Storm Ophelia (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Terror attacks, political turmoil and royal news in a dramatic year to remember

Political turmoil, terror attacks, the Grenfell tragedy and royal news have been some of the defining themes of 2017.

Some Prime customers have raised concerns over expected delivery dates (PA)

Advertising watchdog considers Amazon Prime delivery complaints

Complaints about packages not being delivered on time by Amazon in the lead-up to Christmas are being considered by the advertising watchdog.

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