The debian packaging defines that a NEWS file should exist (debian/docs); however, no such file exists. This causes the packaging stage to fail with the following error:
I checked to see if this file is meant to be auto-generated but could find no obvious mechanism for doing so. I can get the package to build in two ways:
1. just add a NEWS file (touch NEWS in the top-level folder works)
2. Remove the line containing NEWS from the debian/docs file
If this file isn't actually needed removing it from the debian/docs is probably the best solution.