A cold shoulder for Boris, as Lord Frost resigns, citing "concerns about the current direction of travel" of the government - will there be a thawing in Johnson's troubles, or could a snowball effect be underway?
LORD FROST RESIGNS
Lord Frost - the UK's chief Brexit negotiator - resigned from the government on Saturday.
What was his major concern? Covid measures being reintroduced, and the general "direction of travel" of the government. The Financial Times reported a possible disagreement between Johnson and Frost, with Johnson allegedly no longer seeking "the immediate axing" of the European Court of Justice "from its role in enforcing the Northern Ireland protocol". The Irish Times said the resignation introduces a "dangerous uncertainty" in Brexit negotiations.
What now? Well, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss - who was a 'remainer' ahead of the 2016 referendum - will now take over as the UK's lead Brexit negotiator. Truss has only been in the position of Foreign Secretary since September, taking over from Dominic Raab.
Bigger picture: Given it has been quite a damaging few weeks for the prime minister, some see Truss as a possible replacement. As one Tory MP joked, this new responsibility "keep her busy and out of the country as much as possible".
Speaking of 'picture': The Guardian published this photo from May 2020 over the weekend, showing Boris and Carrie Johnson and a number of aides outside drinking wine. According to widespread reports, at the time people were being urged to stay two metres apart, even outdoors, and stay at home as much as possible.
When asked on our Instagram, 66% of you said you do not think Boris Johnson will still be prime minister by NYE.
- London's mayor Sadiq Khan declared a major incident over the surge in Omicron cases.
- In Ireland, it is now estimated that 52% of new cases are of the Omicron variant, meaning it is now the dominant strain. Meanwhile, hospitality venues will close from 8pm today.
- The Netherlands has re-entered a strict lockdown for the Christmas period. As ITV News reported, schools, universities, bars, restaurants and non-essential stores will remain closed until January 14.
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?
- A number of real-life Quidditch teams have expressed their intention to change the name of the sport, in an effort to "distance" themselves from Harry Potter author, JK Rowling. Why? The statement cites Rowling's "anti-trans positions in recent years," as well as a desire to lift constraints on sponsorship and broadcast deals. At the moment, the name 'Quidditch' is trademarked by Warner Bros.
- Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai has said on camera that she never accused anyone of sexually assaulting her.
- British tennis star Emma Raducanu was named BBC's Sports Personality of the Year.
KEEPING AN EYE...
- Jury deliberations in the trial of Elizabeth Holmes are set to begin today after a three-month trial. Remember: Holmes is facing charges of purposely manipulating investors and customers, telling them her finger-prick blood testing technology really worked. The company, Theranos - which was once valued at $9 billion - begun to unravel in 2015 following a series of explosive articles in The Wall Street Journal.
- Closing arguments in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell could begin today. Maxwell told the judge on Friday she was not going to testify in her own case. The trial has progressed a lot more quickly than expected. We'll keep a close eye for any significant developments. Click the photo below for a helpful explainer.
- BBC News: No 10 says garden photo shows work meeting
- The Guardian: Boris Johnson and staff pictured with wine in Downing Street garden in May 2020
- The Financial Times: Netherlands first EU country to re-enter lockdown as Omicron surges
- Al Jazeera: Former student activist wins Chile's presidential election
- The Irish Times: Experts urge government to prepare plan B for Omicron wave
Sunday marked the last Andrew Marr show on the BBC, while this week marks the last few days of John Snow presenting Channel 4 News.
Two familiar faces, two excellent interviewers, too much respect! While I'm sure there'll be a video compilation of Snow's highlights in the coming days, he has recorded an audio look back at the top moments in his career - available here.
The random facts you haven't asked for - coming to you over Christmas.
Political activist Piers Corbyn, and the brother of former Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, has been arrested after a video of him calling for violence against MPs circulated. The comments were widely condemned, and came weeks after the murder of Conservative MP, Sir David Amess.
"We've got to hammer to death those scum, those scum who have decided to go ahead with introducing new fascism... If your MP is one of them, go to their offices, and, well, I'd recommend burning them down." - Piers Corbyn
Also trending? This lovely thread, looking back over some key, viral, heartwarming and funny moments over the year. Worth a look through.
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ON A LIGHTER NOTE...
I'm too mature to find this funny, obviously.