A fire in Cape Town sparks outrage, a resignation prompts concerns in Sudan, and the release of a confidential arrangement is being eagerly anticipated by the public... and the palace.
Click below for the podcast version of today's NewsFix.
THE LATEST HEADLINES
South Africa's parliament building was severely damaged by a fire on Sunday. A man has been arrested and is due in court on Tuesday.
According to BBC News, the man faces charges of "arson, housebreaking and theft".
While there were no injuries, President Ramaphosa described the incident as a "terrible and devastating" event.
Aoife Beary, the Irish woman who survived the Berkley balcony collapse in 2015, has died at the age of 27. According to Irish media reports, Beary suffered a stroke on Wednesday, and died in hospital on Saturday night.
Remember: In 2015, six Irish students spending the summer in California died when a fourth floor balcony they were on collapsed. The tragedy left seven others including Beary - who was celebrating her 21st birthday that night - with severe injuries.
ON TODAY'S AGENDA...
A confidential settlement from 2009 between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre is scheduled to be released today following an order by US judges.
Remember: Giuffre is the woman who claims she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew on multiple occasions, including when she was just 17 years old. It is a claim Prince Andrew has vehemently denied, but in 2021 Giuffre filed a civil lawsuit against him in New York.
Coming up this week: On Tuesday, a judge is set to hear arguments on whether or not to dismiss the civil lawsuit. Prince Andrew's legal team argue it should be dismissed, citing the fact Giuffre now lives in Australia. If the judge does dismiss the case, multiple media reports suggest that's as far as it can go. However, if the case is not dismissed, a trial is expected sometime between September and December of this year. The release of the 2009 settlement today is significant, because Prince Andrew's lawyers believe it will stop the civil lawsuit against him.
We'll keep an eye 👀
- In the UK, daily coronavirus case numbers have been above 100,000 for the last 12 days, according to BBC News. That being said, ministers suggest there is nothing in the data at the moment that suggests new restrictions are needed in England.
- In Ireland, up to 6,000 healthcare staff are currently on coronavirus-related leave, according to The Irish Times. Meanwhile, schools are set to reopen on Thursday despite a surge in the number of cases.
The new Dutch government will include a record number of women - including ten out of 20 Cabinet ministers.
The new government will be sworn in on January 10, and Prime Minister Mark Rutte will begin his fourth term in office.
PIN DROP - WHAT'S GOING ON IN SUDAN?
The country's prime minister, Abdalla Hamdok, has resigned following protests.
The resignation comes just weeks after he was reinstated, following a military coup in October.
Basic summary: In 2019, President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown after decades of authoritarian rule. In 2019, Abdalla Hamdok became prime minister. Al Jazeera described him as "an economist and former United Nations official widely respected by the international community".
There has been ongoing tension between the military and those who want a civilian-led government. In October, the military placed Prime Minister Hamdok under house arrest in a coup. In November, Hamdok and the military agreed on a deal - Hamdok would lead a government until elections, but with military oversight.
What's the problem? Many pro-democracy protestors demonstrated against the deal, saying they do not trust the military. With Hamdok now resigning, it leaves the military in full control.
More than half of the UK's black children live in poverty, according to research conducted by the Labour Party.
According to the study, black children are now "twice as likely to be growing up poor" than white children. The Guardian is leading with the exclusive story this morning, after the Labour Party released the findings to them. Labour are quoted as saying the research highlights "Conservative incompetence and denialism about the existence of structural racism".
Worth noting: While the article's headline is solely about black children, the article goes on to say Bangladeshi and Pakistini children were statistically more likely to live in poverty.
- BBC News: Thousands hurt attempting lockdown activities
- The Guardian: Britain got it wrong on Covid: Long lockdown did more harm than good, says scientist
- The Financial Times: Finland insists on its right to join NATO in defiance of Russia
- Al Jazeera: The Indian economy is growing fast, but problems loom
- The Irish Times: What do the experts believe will happen with Covid-19 in 2022?
The world's oldest person, Japan's Kane Tanaka, turned 119 on January 2. Tanaka was born in 1903.
What's her secret? Well, she apparently has a weakness for fizzy drinks and chocolate.
Tanaka's birthday also sparked conversation online about Japan's ageing population. According to The Guardian, the country has a record 86,510 people aged 100 or more.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...
Well, that was actually quite wholesome.