Panic in Downing Street, same-sex marriage in Chile, guns in Colorado, and sex in the city... kind of.
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Here's the audio version of today's newsletter.
So, was there a party or not?
Allegra Stratton - the woman in the ITV exclusive seen laughing about the suggested Christmas party - resigned yesterday while making an emotional on camera statement.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson started prime minister's questions by "apologising unreservedly for the offence that it has caused" and "the impression that it gives", adding he was "also furious to see that clip".
Meanwhile, police say they will not investigate the party due to "lack of evidence". They also cited a policy of not investigating "retrospective breaches of such regulations".
- The Omicron variant has now reportedly spread to 57 countries. However, the World Health Organisation said it is still too early to tell just how infectious it might be.
- Pfizer says booster shot is “promising” against Omicron variant. The pharmaceutical company has said that a third dose of its vaccine provides a similar level of effective antibodies for the omicron variant, as two doses did for other strains of the virus.
- In England, a 'plan B' will introduce new measures from Friday - including the need to wear face masks in many public settings, plus advice to work from home if possible. However, many noted with skepticism the decision by the prime minister to hold a 6pm news conference on this - with many suggesting it was an effort to impact the coverage of the Christmas party fallout.
- Finland's 36-year-old prime minister had to apologise after she went clubbing over the weekend despite knowing she had been in close contact with the foreign minister who had tested positive.
- In Ireland, the government is expected to announce new financial support measures for businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic. RTÉ News noted it will be targeted at those in the "hospitality, late night and live entertainment sectors".
New Zealand has outlined a plan to ban young people from ever being able to purchase a packet of cigarettes in their lifetime, in an effort to crackdown on the damages of smoking.
What do you mean? Well, from 2025 people aged 14 and under will never be allowed to purchase tobacco products.
Chile has legalised same-sex marriage - after the bill was overwhelmingly approved by parliament. It is the sixth of 12 nations in South America to legalise same-sex marriage.
Bigger picture: The change is viewed as a blow to the conservative presidential candidate José Antonio Kast, who has previously said “society works best with heterosexual couples”.
KEEPING AN EYE...
Brazilian football legend, Pele, was hospitalised again for chemotherapy treatment. According to widespread reports, he is in a stable condition, and is expected to be released within a few days. He is being treated for a colon tumour.
- BBC News: England braces for plan B Covid rule changes
- The Guardian: No 10 party: more Downing Street gatherings now under the spotlight
- The Financial Times: Johnson moves to plan B to control Omicron spread amid MP's anger
- Al Jazeera: US, Israel to discuss drills for Iran worst-case scenario: Report
- The Irish Times: Covid-19: Fears of restrictions on international Christmas travel if virus situation worsens
Earlier this week, Republican Congressman Thomas Massie went viral for a Christmas photo with his family, as all seven of them held a gun.
Now another Republican and staunch gun rights activist, Lauren Boebert, is hopping on the trend by releasing a photo of her alongside her four sons who all pose with guns.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) responded to the tweet, saying; "Tell me again where Christ said use the commemoration of my birth to flex violent weapons for personal political gain'?"
WATCHING OUT FOR...
After years of speculation, Sex and the City returns tonight with a new spin-off series, ‘Just Like That’. The 10-part series will air on HBO and features three of the four main characters from the original show.
It remains to be seen how much 'sex' in the city there'll be without Kim Cattrall..
RANDOM, BUT OKAY...
More than 40 camels were banned from a Saudi Arabian beauty contest, after being found to have had botox, facelifts or other cosmetic alterations. The beauty contest is part of the annual King Abdulaziz Camel Festival - and the camel breeder with the most attractive camel receives £50 million.
Some breeders stretched the noses of their camels, injected their camels’ heads and lips with botox, and used fillers to relax their faces.
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ON A LIGHTER NOTE...