A first sentence in Myanmar, an explosive report about drug use in parliament, and the firing of a network's top anchor.
Below is the audio version of today's newsletter!
WHAT'S THE LATEST?
Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced to four years in jail.
According to AFP, she was found guilty of both incitement and violation of pandemic restrictions - and was sentenced to two years for each.
Remember: Aung San Suu Kyi was Myanmar's leader in all but name, as the constitution blocked her from being president. In November 2020, her party had a decisive victory in the election. However, the military - without providing evidence - said it was a fraudulent election. On February 1, they staged a military coup on what would have been the first day of the new parliament. Aung San Suu Kyi and a number of other prominent politicians were detained.
Worth noting: As Al Jazeera pointed out, today's sentence is only the first in a dozen charges Aung San Suu Kyi faces.
"Other cases against the Nobel Peace Prize laureate include multiple charges of corruption, violations of a state secrets act, and a telecoms law that altogether carry a maximum sentence of more than a century in prison." - Al Jazeera context
Here is a link to our recent piece, Myanmar: The Constant Struggle for Democracy.
The Speaker of the UK's House of Commons is set to call in police this week, over claims drug use in parliament is "rife".
Sky News reported there is "growing evidence" that both cocaine and cannabis is being used openly in parliament.
According to The Sunday Times, 11 out of 12 locations tested found traces of cocaine, with some of them being areas with access limited to MPs.
"A former MP is alleged to have put his drug dealer on the parliamentary payroll, claiming that the man was a member of his staff as a way of paying him for the drugs. That same former MP is rumoured to have dealt drugs himself." - Context from The Sunday Times' explosive report.
KEEPING AN EYE...
According to CNN, the Biden administration is set to announce - at some point this week - that there will be a US diplomatic boycott of the Beijing winter olympics next year.
The move would mean American athletes could still compete, but no government figures would attend - sending a message against China's record of human rights abuses.
"The people of Africa cannot be blamed for the immorally low level of vaccinations available to them. Nor should they be collectively punished for identifying and sharing crucial science and health information with the world." - António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations
At this point, the Omicron variant has now been reported in at least 38 countries, and around 16 US states.
According to the World Health Organisation, there have so far been no deaths reported in connection with this variant.
Here is a really excellent article with some very helpful information.
COVERING THE COVERAGE
On Saturday, CNN announced they had fired prime time anchor Chris Cuomo "effective immediately".
Remember: Cuomo was indefinitely suspended last week after documents revealed the extent to which he helped his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, when he faced multiple sexual harassment claims. CNN hired a "respected law firm" to conduct a further review. They say that on Friday, "additional information" came to light, leading to Cuomo's firing on Saturday.
The New York Times reported that "additional information" was an accusation of sexual misconduct against Chris Cuomo, made by a former junior colleague at another TV network. The NYT described it as a "stunning downfall for the network’s top-rated host".
Roughly three quarters of girls surveyed said they have received explicit photos of male genitalia online, with most of them unwanted and unsolicited.
"Young people in the UK are facing a crisis of online sexual violence. Despite these young people saying they felt disgusted, embarrassed and confused about the sending and receiving of non-consensual images, they rarely want to talk about their online experiences for fear of victim-blaming and worry that reporting will make matters worse." - Professor Jessica Ringrose
GILBOA PRISON BREAK
If you watch one thing today, let it be this. Back in September during Jewish New Year, six Palestinians made an astonishing escape from a high security Israeli prison, digging a tunnel with a "rusty spoon".
It was a highly embarrassing incident for Israeli authorities, with multiple reports the guard in the watchtower - directly above where the six escaped from - was fast asleep while on duty.
All six were rearrested within weeks, and are due in court this week. Below is a fascinating piece, exploring important context, and portraying the very different perspective on this between Palestinians and Israelis.
- BBC News: Next pandemic could be more lethal - jab creator
- The Guardian: Middle-class drug users could lose UK passports under Boris Johnson's plans
- The Financial Times: Data on Omicron's severity is 'encouraging', says US health chief
- Al Jazeera: Myanmar's Suu Kyi sentenced to four years in jail
- The Irish Times: Irexit leader wages war on Covid certs in role paid by EU
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab went viral yesterday when discussing the fallout over an alleged Christmas gathering at Downing Street last year.
During an interview with Andrew Marr, Raab said police "don't normally" investigate things from the past. The clip has been viewed 5.6 million times in less than 24 hours.
Also going viral, a Republican Congressman sparked a huge debate online after uploading a photo of himself and his family all brandishing their guns.
Kentucky's Thomas Massie uploaded the photo with a "Merry Christmas!" message. The photo was uploaded just days after the most recent school shooting in the US, which left four people dead.
According to BBC News, Massie is opposed to any type of gun reform - saying they would not prevent school shootings - and also called for the age to buy handguns to be lowered from 21 to 18 earlier this year.
Hanukkah ends at nightfall today - a Jewish festival also known as the “festival of lights”. The festival lasts for eight days, and is celebrated with a nightly lighting of a menorah - an ancient Hebrew lampstand. The Hebrew word ‘Chanukah’ means ‘dedication’ - the festival celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...
Where do they teach this?