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⏳ Friday Fix: The Final Straw?

⏳ Friday Fix: The Final Straw?

Morning all,

More allegations of Downing Street parties, a loss of military titles, and a revoked visa - for many this week, developments appear to have been the final straw.

Nowhere is this more true than in Ireland, where later today a vigil will take place for a woman murdered in broad daylight, in a public area, while out for a run.

Until tomorrow,

Your Fixers


Click the screenshot below to access the podcast version of today's NewsFix.


The 40-year-old man who had been detained for questioning in relation to the murder of Ashling Murphy has been eliminated from police inquiries, and is no longer considered a suspect.

The man reportedly denied any involvement in the Wednesday murder over the course of 27 hours of interviews. According to RTÉ News, detectives discovered "the man could not have been involved" following interviews with witnesses and DNA analysis.

According to The Irish Times, a motive remains unclear, and there is no evidence of a sexual assault at this point. The report also said "it is understood she was beaten and strangled and suffered a wound", and was alive when paramedics arrived on the scene "but efforts to save her were not successful".

The guards have appealed for information relating to a distinctive mountain bike.

A vigil for Ashling will take place outside the Dáil in Dublin at 4pm today, roughly the same time Ashling was murdered on Wednesday. *For non-Irish readers, the Dáil is Ireland's lower house of parliament, like the House of Commons. The vigil will take place outside parliament buildings.


The Australian Government has cancelled Novak Djokovic's visa and intends to deport him, just days ahead of the Australian Open beginning. The news broke just before 7am GMT.

According to BBC News, the tennis player's "only hope" now is a legal challenge to fight the decision and remain in the country.

"The decision means that Djokovic could be effectively barred from re-entering Australia for three years unless he can show in future bids that compelling circumstances exist, such as compassionate or Australian national interest grounds." - The Guardian context


Another day, another alleged Downing Street party.

This time The Telegraph have the exclusive, reporting two restriction-breaking leaving parties were held until the early hours at No 10, on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral in April.

"Someone was sent to the Co-op on the Strand, a busy street nearby, with a suitcase which was then filled with bottles of wine and brought back to Downing Street, according to one person at the gathering that night." - The Telegraph report

Worth noting: The report suggests the prime minister was not at Downing Street on the days in question.

What's been the response? Well, Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen revealed in a Telegraph piece he was submitting a vote of no confidence in the prime minister.

"There is an old saying in politics that it is the lie that gets you in the end, but that does not apply here. Whilst the lie is easily bad enough to make a reasonable person question the Prime Minister’s position, the truth is at least as bad. There is currently a moral vacuum at the heart of our government." - Andrew Bridgen


The Queen has stripped Prince Andrew of all of his military titles and patronages, just one day after a US judge refused to dismiss the civil lawsuit against him.

In what was described as a "swift and almost brutal" reaction, the Duke of York has also lost his 'HRH' - meaning His Royal Highness - title. According to the statement from Buckingham Palace, Prince Andrew will now battle the legal case against him "as a private citizen".

The move was seen to have been prompted by an open letter from "upset and angry" military veterans, who said it was "inconceivable" any other senior military officer in Prince Andrew's position would remain in post.  

So is he no longer Prince Andrew? No, he keeps the prince and 'Duke of York' titles, he just loses the 'HRH' at the beginning of those titles. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan, also lost it after stepping down from royal duties in 2020. Diana, Princess of Wales, lost it when she separated from Prince Charles.

Any other updates on this? Yes. Virginia Giuffre's lawyer  has suggested she is unlikely to settle for money alone, and will likely seek a public apology to ensure she is vindicated. That's obviously a tough spot for Prince Andrew, who has spent years repeatedly denying the accusations.

The UK's domestic intelligence agency MI5 has warned Members of Parliament about a possibly Chinese spy acting as a solicitor and infiltrating parliament.

According to multiple reports, MPs were sent a text on Tuesday about the London-based lawyer, who is alleged to have "knowingly engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the… Chinese Communist Party".

The solicitor, Christine Lee, has reportedly donated "hundreds of thousands of pounds" to a Labour MP. China's Embassy in London strongly denied the allegations.


The man serving a life sentence for the assassination of Robert F Kennedy in 1968 has been denied parole by California's Governor, Gavin Newsom.

Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian refugee, previously accepted full responsibility for the murder, and was originally given the death sentence for the killing. Earlier this year, California's Board of Parole Hearings found Sirhan suitable for parole. The case made the headlines because Kennedy's children expressed very different views on the matter, some in favour of parole, others vehemently against.

Newsom outlined his position in an LA Times Op-Ed.

"The most glaring proof of Sirhan’s deficient insight is his shifting narrative about his assassination of Kennedy, and his current refusal to accept responsibility for it. The evidence that Sirhan assassinated Kennedy is overwhelming and irrefutable." - Governor Newsom


Less than six months ago, the collapse of Kabul and frenzied withdrawal of US troops paved the way for a return to Taliban leadership in Afghanistan.

The chaotic transition led to a dilemma for many western countries on how to provide aid, given their stance of not recognising the Taliban as the legitimate government. It is currently estimated that more than half of the country's population is facing "acute" levels of hunger.

What's the latest? President Biden's administration committed this week to a further $308 million in humanitarian aid, and the provision of a million coronavirus vaccines.

Bigger picture: The UN has estimated $5 billion in aid is needed for Afghanistan in 2022 alone.  


  • Ocado and Next have followed IKEA's lead, announcing they will no longer be providing sick pay to unvaccinated staff who have to self isolate because they are a close contact. Worth noting: A staff member would receive sick pay if they actually test positive, just not if they are isolating due to possible exposure.
  • Meanwhile in the US, the Supreme Court has blocked President Biden's efforts to have vaccine mandates introduced in big businesses. However, the court did uphold a vaccine mandate for healthcare staff. Highlighting the split in the Supreme Court, all three liberal judges disagreed with the majority decision, issuing what CNN described as "a blistering dissent".
  • England's deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, is leaving his position  at the end of March, to take up a new academic role.



The tone of today's NewsFix called for a change in tune.

Below is an old clip of Ashling Murphy playing traditional Irish music, that has resurfaced this week. What a talent. What a loss.