A u-turn in the UK leads to a resignation, while a bad week for Biden means he needs votes more than ever - a week is a long time in politics.
Here's the podcast version of today's newsletter.
THURSDAY'S TOP LINES
It has been a bad week for the Conservative party in the UK. Following widespread backlash over Wednesday's vote to change the process of how MPs are investigated, they made a U-turn yesterday - but many have reported the damage was already done.
Within hours of that U-turn, Owen Paterson - the Conservative MP at the centre of the lobbying row - resigned.
Remember: He was facing a 30-day suspension after an investigation found he lobbied on behalf of two companies that paid him more than £100,000 annually. The suspension was avoided, after Conservative MPs voted to change the process for investigating MPs.
In a statement, Paterson maintained his innocence. He also said his children called on him to resign, to stop the memory of his wife - who took her own life in 2020 - from becoming "a political football".
A man has admitted to the murder of two women in the 1980s, in a gruesome case where further details have shocked the nation.
Described as "one of Britain's worst sex offenders," David Fuller is also accused of using his role as a hospital electrician to gain access to a morgue and have sex with dozens of corpses.
Fuller - who faces a whole-life sentence - filmed himself at least 25 times having sex with corpses. The Crown Prosecution Service described the offences as "of a kind no British court has seen before".
ON TODAY'S AGENDA...
In the US, it's expected to be a big day for Biden's presidency. The House of Representatives is moving towards voting on two important bills that cover a significant part of the president's domestic agenda.
The first bill: a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill to improve roads, bridges, water systems etc. This already passed a vote in the Senate back in August, but there is a dispute over how it would be paid for. While Democrats claim they don't need to raise taxes to cover the cost of it, the Congressional Budget Office said it would add $256bn to the deficit over the next decade. Also, progressive Democrats in the House are reluctant to commit their support to it until votes for the other bill are secured.
The second bill: A $1.85 trillion social safety net, climate and tax bill. This includes more financial support to families, universal prekindergarten, and health care subsidies etc. This was originally a $3.5 trillion bill, but was scaled back to meet the demands of moderate Democrats.
There's a lot of politics at play here, but after the disappointing results for Democrats earlier this week, the votes are crucial for Biden. Joe, blink if you think the vote will pass.
The World Health Organisation has warned there could be a further 500,000 coronavirus deaths in Europe by February, as infection rates surge across the continent.
According to Al Jazeera, in the last week alone Europe's hospitalisation figures have doubled. In fact, Germany just reported its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began - nearly 34,000.
Meanwhile, the UK has become the first country to approve a pill to treat coronavirus. According to BBC News, the pill taken twice a day at home has the potential to cut the risk of death and hospitalisation by half.
- BBC News: Kirk Douglas assaulted Natalie Wood, sister alleges
- The Guardian: Tories engulfed in sleaze crisis after U-turn and Owen Paterson resignation
- The Financial Times: Tory MP in sleaze row quits as Johnson makes U-turn on standards reform
- Al Jazeera: US submarine commander fired after South China Sea crash
- The Irish Times: I'm a Mexican-Irish chef. We grew up eating avocados. But I'll never touch them again.
Guy Fawkes Day in the UK.
Not familiar with it? Okay, let's rewind to 17th Century England - where Catholicism was heavily repressed. When King James I ascended to the throne in 1603 some believed he may be more tolerant. This was not the case.
In response, 13 Catholics plotted to kill him by blowing up parliament with gunpowder. Guy Fawkes was the man in charge of the explosives. However, the plot was foiled after an anonymous letter alerted the authorities.
Fawkes was caught red-handed and executed with 8 of his co-conspirators. When the plot was revealed, Londoners lit celebratory bonfires - something still done to this day, along with fireworks.
Although, The Guardian gave the new music a pretty harsh two out of five stars.
"The glamour promised by this album’s two terrific singles goes horribly unfulfilled." - The Guardian review
Spencer - a new movie about Diana, Princess of Wales, releases in cinema today. Diana is portrayed by actor Kristen Stewart, who has received rave reviews for her portrayal of the late 'people's princess'.
The movie documents a number of days over Christmas at Sandringham, as the marriage between Diana and Prince Charles falls apart.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...
When people ask what starting your own business is like 😎#TooBlessedtobeStressed