The empty space of a former statue makes for a scene with as much significance and symbolism as what was there before.
There's nothing there now, but it tells you everything.
Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy has been charged with another count of rape.
Background: In August, the footballer was arrested, suspended from the football club, and has since been denied bail many times. He now faces seven counts of rape, and one count of sexual assault. The eight offences relate to five different women, aged 16 and older.
What next? Mendy was originally scheduled to go on trial in January 22', but it has been delayed to later in the year. He will stand trial alongside a co-accused, a 40-year-old man.
An important memorial in Hong Kong, commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, has been removed from a university after more than 20 years.
According to widespread reports, the removal occurred at around midnight, and is yet another example of Beijing's tightening control over the once semi-autonomous city.
What was the Tiananmen Square massacre? Back in 1989, huge student-led protests calling for democracy and freedom of speech went on for weeks. Hundreds of thousands gathered in Tiananmen Square - a huge public area in Beijing. It is also next to where the Forbidden City is - the place where Chinese emperors used to reside. After weeks of protests, the army was brought in. They opened fire on the crowd.
As CNN reported, "no official death toll was ever released by the Chinese government, but human rights groups estimate it was the hundreds, if not thousands".
Did you know? One of the most famous photos of the last century is from Tiananmen Square. It shows an unidentified man - often referred to as the "Unknown Rebel" - standing in the way of army tanks.
Jurors in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell have failed to reach a verdict after more than two full days of deliberations. They will now take a break for Christmas, and resume on Monday, December 27.
KEEPING AN EYE
Dominic Cummings - the prime minister's former friend turned foe - has teased an expose at some point today. If it's newsworthy, we'll tell you all about it.
Here is a link to his blog - #eyespeeled. 👀
Meanwhile, London's Metropolitan Police had referred themselves to the police watchdog . Why? Over their handling of the Downing Street Christmas party... you know, the alleged one.
Okay, what did the watchdog say? They're not going to investigate how they police handled the situation.
So, the UK recorded more than 100,000 cases on Wednesday - for the first time. Ever.
Spain is now urging people to wear face masks while outside in public spaces, and former prime minister Tony Blair said anyone eligible who has not yet received a vaccine is, well, "an idiot".
Is there any promising news? Actually there is. Maybe. There have been three studies that all suggest you are much less likely to be hospitalised if you have Omicron than if you have the Delta variant.
Where are the studies from? South Africa, Scotland, and England.
Okay great, how much less likely? Varying stats on this. The South Africa study suggests you are 80% less likely, while the English one puts the figure at 40%. The Scottish study reckons you are about 65% less likely, but it is worth noting it is being considered a "small study" and was based on a study of a few cases.
What's the reaction? Experts have said it makes for good news, to a degree - we still need to be cautious.
- BBC News: Ministers watch data as studies say Omicron risk lower
- The Guardian: James Franco admits sleeping with students and says he had sex addiction
- The Financial Times: Omicron cases less likely to require hospital treatment, studies show
- Al Jazeera: Omicron: What we know about the symptoms
- The Irish Times: A first Christmas in our home outside Dublin: 'We've landed in paradise'
Why? Because the actor acknowledged he has been in recovery for sex addiction since 2016. A few years ago, the actor was accused of exploiting women who were students at an acting school he set up. Franco has acknowledged he had sex with some of them.
It is undoubtedly a very candid interview. Here are the different segments.
With Santa en route, we take a liiiittle break. There'll be a NewsFix email tomorrow, and then after a weekend off we'll be back on Monday, but a little bit later in the day.
Between December 27 and 31, NewsFix will be delivered at 10am, and with a couple of in-depth pieces dotted throughout the week ✌🏽
#SPREAD THE LOVE
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...