⏳ Thursday Fix: Finding... out the truth?
Did Meghan and Harry use careful wording to mislead the public? Is it acceptable for MPs to have a second paid job? Has COP26 produced solid commitments?
Let's find out.
Here is the podcast version of today's newsletter.
FINDING...OUT THE TRUTH?
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex indirectly cooperated with the authors of the 'Finding Freedom' book about their departure from the royal family, according to their former communications secretary.
The claim is contrary to repeated insistences from the couple that they "did not contribute" to the tell-all. Jason Knauf - who worked for them - made the assertion in a witness statement submitted to court.
Knauf told the court the book was discussed with the royal couple "on a routine basis," adding Prince Harry had emailed him saying "we have to be able to say we didn't have anything to do with it".
The duchess issued an apology to the court on Wednesday, saying while she knew her former aide cooperated with the authors, the "extent of the information he shared is unknown to me".
Why is there a court case anyway? Okay. In 2018, Meghan wrote a letter to her father following the royal wedding he did not attend, after he was caught staging paparazzi photos and had reported health issues. Thomas Markle gave that letter to the Mail on Sunday, who published it. Meghan later sued the publishers of the Mail on Sunday for publishing the private letter - and won the case. The publishers are now appealing that decision, arguing the letter was written with the knowledge it could be leaked.
Okay, what's going on with that case? The hearing is expected to finish today. Knauf told the court Meghan was aware the letter could be leaked, and admitted to being "meticulous" in her choice of words as a result.
"Given I've only ever called him 'daddy' it may make sense to open as such, despite him being less than paternal, and in the unfortunate event that it leaked it would pull at the heartstrings."
As COP26 draws to a close, the US and China announced a surprise agreement to cooperate together on tackling climate change.
As Reuters noted, the two countries are the world's "largest emitters of carbon dioxide".
Meanwhile, an interview with Mary Robinson was widely circulated online. Robinson got emotional while talking about the importance of the event, but was also critical of some of the world's top emitters, accusing them of blocking progress.
Speaking to The Irish Times, Robinson accused Saudi Arabia, Russia, Brazil, China and Australia of not making sufficient commitments.
CONSERVATIVES PRESSURE CONTINUES
Sir Geoffrey Cox, the former Tory attorney general, faces ongoing scrutiny over the amount of money he has made outside of parliament.
In an exclusive report this morning, The Guardian alleges Cox has made £6m from a second paid job since he entered parliament.
Why is Cox being scrutinised? This is part of the slew of sleaze allegations the Conservative party has faced recently, particularly since the resignation of Owen Paterson. It recently emerged that Cox spent a month this year working from the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. The Guardian also alleges Cox missed 12 votes in the House of Commons, and has used his parliamentary office to conduct other work.
Critics have pointed to a "neglect" of constituents, supporters applaud his fantastic work ethic and say he never tried to hide his other work as a barrister.
ON TODAY'S AGENDA...
The funeral of British military veteran Dennis Hutchings is scheduled to take place later today.
Remember: Hutchings died last month after contracting Covid-19 while in Belfast. He was there to face trial over a fatal shooting in 1974. The case garnered a lot of media attention and sparked plenty of debate about historical prosecutions. The families of many victims want justice, while the British government has argued to move on peacefully, those cases should be dropped.
KEEPING AN EYE...
On the multiple reports that Steven Gerrard is close to signing as Aston Villa's new head coach. An Aston Villa correspondent for Birmingham Live suggested the deal was "all but done".
- BBC News: Meghan apologises to court over biography briefings
- The Guardian: Boris Johnson drags Tories ever deeper into sleaze bath
- The Financial Times: Bill Ackman tries to win neighbours' support for divisive glass penthouse
- Al Jazeera: As Covid-19 rages, more in Singapore go hungry
- The Irish Times: Coronavirus: Full work from home policy looms
Remembrance Sunday, or 'Armistice Day'. It commemorates the agreement that ended WWI - on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
A moment of silence is often observed at 11am.
TODAY ALSO MARKS...
Ten years since Michael D Higgins became president of Ireland. He is the country's 9th president, where each term is seven years long and a maximum of two consecutive terms can be carried out.
Michael, if you're happy (and you know it) clap your hands...
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...