The Met Police Chief is out, still no breakthrough on Ukraine, and a Russian figure skater's future is on thin ice.
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THURSDAY'S TOP LINES
Dame Cressida Dick is stepping down from her role as Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
What's the background here? She has been under intense pressure in recent months following a number of damning accusations against Met Police officers, including a recent report suggesting there was more than just a few "bad apples" within the force.
Just hours before the announcement, Dick said she had "absolutely no intention" of quitting. However, London Mayor Sadiq Khan later said he had no confidence in her as head of the UK's biggest police force.
Bigger picture: Krishnan Guru Murthy raised an interesting point on Channel 4 News last night;
"There are so many issues, of course, where Cressida Dick has been under fire. But right now, her replacement - and it's a political appointment remember, will effectively decide the future of the prime minister. Is that appropriate right now?"
The politics of it all: As BBC News noted, the commissioner is appointed by the Queen "on the advice of the Home Secretary". However, the commissioner requires the support and confidence of the London Mayor in order to fulfil the role. Mayor Sadiq Khan is a member of the Labour Party, the Home Secretary, of course, is a Conservative.
As The Times noted, the Home Secretary Priti Patel was "blindsided" by the Mayor's move, adding it "leaves the force rudderless when it is presiding over one of the most politically sensitive investigations in its history".
UKRAINE - WHAT'S THE LATEST?
President Biden has once again called on US citizens in the country to leave, saying "things could go crazy quickly".
Biden added US troops would not be sent into Ukraine to evacuate Americans if Russia were to invade.
What might have sparked those comments? Well, Russia and Ukraine both said they failed to reach a breakthrough following hours of talks between them, France and Germany. Also, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his British counterpart, Liz Truss, also held a very frosty joint press conference. According to BBC News, Lavrov said UK-Russian relations are at the "lowest point over the past few years".
Russian media went on to report geographical mistakes Truss made during the meeting. It makes for a pretty uncomfortable read.
KEEPING AN EYE...
In Australia, conservationists have warned Koala Bears are at risk of sliding towards extinction. The country's Environment Minister has even labeled them as "endangered" now.
ON THIN ICE
A Russian figure skater's gold medal at the Winter Olympics is now in doubt, after it was revealed she tested positive for a banned substance - heart medication - back on Christmas Day.
According to The Guardian, the skater has appealed her "provisional suspension" and hopes to compete in an individual competition on Tuesday.
- Remember the photo of the huge distance between Macron and Putin earlier this week? Well, it turns out the reason behind it was likely that Macron refused a Kremlin request to take a coronavirus test prior to his arrival.
- From today, double-vaccinated travellers arriving into England will no longer require proof of a negative test.
- Prince Charles has tested positive for coronavirus for the second time since the pandemic began. While there are reports he met the Queen two days before testing positive, she apparently is not showing any symptoms.
- In New Zealand, the number of anti-vaccine protestors outside the parliament have risen, as police take a softened approach at the situation. As RTÉ News noted, 122 arrests were made the day before when "violent clashes" broke out. However, today was described as having a "festive mood".
- BBC News: Biden says US citizens should leave Ukraine now
- The Guardian: 'Things could go crazy quickly', Biden warns on Ukraine as talks in Berlin fail
- The Financial Times: US inflation surges to 7.5% in fastest annual rise for 40 years
- Al Jazeera: 'Things could go crazy quickly': Biden urges US citizens to leave Ukraine
- The Irish Times: Cost of living: state to cut public transport fares and offer €200 energy rebate
WEIRDEST HEADLINE OF THE DAY
The allegations are documented in a book by a comedian who interviewed Biden back when he was vice president. According to the article, Biden - who never shies away from his Irish heritage - showed the interviewer poems his late mother, Catherine Finnegan, had written documenting her dislike of the English.
ANOTHER TINDER SWINDLER?
A British fraudster has been jailed for four and a half years after conning a woman he met on Tinder out of £140,000.
Richard Dexter convinced a millionairess he was worth £6.8 million back in 2015.
Speaking of... if you've heard about it but haven't yet watched The Tinder Swindler on Netflix - here is your call to action! It is mind blowing 🤯 Trailer 👇🏽
10 years since the death of singing sensation, Whitney Houston.
WATCHING OUT FOR...
Rooney - a documentary about footballer Wayne Rooney - releases on Amazon Prime today. In it, Rooney and his wife Coleen open up about his past issues with drinking, admitted he feared at one point it could lead to his death.
Here is a fascinating article about it, and below is the official trailer 👇🏽
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...
What a multitasker.