Alec Baldwin, Sebastian Kurz, and Lewis Hamilton - three men in the spotlight this morning, all - to varying degrees - under pressure.
THURSDAY'S TOP LINES
Alec Baldwin acknowledged his career might be over - adding he doesn't care if it is - following the accidental on-set fatal shooting of cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins.
Baldwin also said he "let go of the hammer" on the gun, but insisted he never pulled the trigger. Investigations continue into how live ammunition could have ended up on the set of that movie.
Baldwin also went on to say "guilt" is not one of the things he feels, adding "someone is responsible for what happened, and I can't say who that is, but I know it's not me".
Austria's Sebastian Kurz - the former chancellor who was forced to resign in October amid allegations of corruption - said he is leaving politics entirely.
During a speech on Thursday, Kurz said he is "neither a saint nor a criminal". While he stepped down as chancellor, he had remained leader of his political party.
Hours later, the country's current chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg - who reluctantly took the job when Kurz stepped down - announced his resignation. He will remain in position until their party chooses a successor, and said he would prefer to see one person become chancellor and leader of the party.
"Kurz faces a criminal investigation for alleged perjury, blackmail and breach of trust (accusations he denies) in connection with a sweeping political scandal involving manipulated polls, payoffs to journalists and an intricate system of patronage that prosecutors say he masterminded." - Content from Politico
Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton is under pressure to hit the brakes and reverse a controversial sponsorship deal between Mercedes and Kingspan.
Kingspan are the driver's new sponsors, and the deal has caused outrage as they are the same firm "that made combustible insulation used on Grenfell Tower".
Adding to the pressure, Cabinet minister Michael Gove has now weighed in, describing the sponsorship deal as "truly shocking".
Remember: In June 2017, a huge fire on the Grenfell tower in London led to the deaths of 72 people.
"The public inquiry into the disaster has heard that prior to Grenfell, Kingspan changed the composition of its plastic foam boards, and tests showed that they burned 'like a raging inferno'". - Context from The Guardian
OMICRON - WHAT'S THE LATEST?
Germany announced a nationwide lockdown for anyone who is not vaccinated. Also, if it passes in parliament, the country will introduce mandatory vaccinations in the new year.
How bad are Germany's figures? According to The New York Times, coronavirus deaths in Germany have increased by 54% in the last two weeks, while cases are up by 32%. Our World in Data suggests around 70% of the country's adult population is vaccinated at this point.
IN OTHER OMICRON NEWS...
- BBC News - citing 'reports' - said the Omicron variant has now been found in up to 30 countries
- Australia has reported its first case of the new variant.
- The US has introduced new travel rules for arrivals to the US amid an effort to curb the spread of the new variant.
- In Ireland, Ministers are today expected to discuss possible measures for Christmas - including capacity limits in pubs and restaurants, and limits on how many households can mix.
- Greece will fine anyone over the age of 60 who refuses to be vaccinated €100 a month from January.
Here is a link to what is honestly an excellent list, documenting the restrictions introduced by each country in response to Omicron.
In Paraguay last year, more than 1,000 girls aged 14 and younger gave birth.
When it comes to girls between the ages of 15 and 19, more than 12,000 had a baby in 2019.
If you read anything today, let it be this CNN report - Sexual violence and abortion restrictions in Paraguay are fuelling an epidemic of childhood pregnancy
Here is a link to the full Amnesty International report.
Elle magazine's entire collection of content will no longer feature fur, in an effort to boost awareness for animal welfare.
According to The Guardian, it is "the first major publication" to make such a move. The company has about 100 million visits to its online sites each month.
Speaking about the "fur-free future," the company's international director told Reuters it makes for a great opportunity to "bolster the demand for sustainable and innovative alternatives and foster a more humane fashion industry".
Did you know? Earlier this year, Israel became the first country in the world to actually ban the selling of fur to the fashion industry.
"A 2020 YouGov survey found that 93% of British people refuse to wear natural fur... 90% of French opposed the fur trade, while 86% of Italians expressed opposition." - Context from The Guardian
- BBC News: Baldwin says career may be over after shooting
- The Guardian: Old Bexley and Sidcup byelection: Tories retain true-blue seat (the seat previously held by the late MP James Brokenshire, who died of lung cancer in October)
- The Financial Times: The FT's 25 most influential women in 2021
- Al Jazeera: WHO urges Asia-Pacific to prepare amid Omicron cases in US: Live
- The Irish Times: Further Covid restrictions for Christmas to be discussed
ELTON & ED 🎄
Elton John and Ed Sheeran have just debuted a Christmas song, in a duet to raise money for charity.
It will be their own charities - the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation, and the Elton John AIDS Foundation - that both benefit.
Here is a link to watch the movie video from 8am.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...
Want to feel like you have no talent? Watch this.