Another damning report lands at the doors of Downing Street, a reported BYOB event at the height of restrictions during the first wave. While Downing Street is declining to comment, a quick look online shows just about everyone else is.
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MONDAY'S MAIN LINES
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused to comment on whether or not he and his wife Carrie attended an outdoor gathering in the gardens of Downing Street in May 2020.
What's the latest? ITV News ran the exclusive on Monday evening. They have obtained an email purporting to show one of Johnson's senior aides inviting up to 100 people to the 'BYOB' event. It is thought roughly 30 attended. According to BBC News, witnesses have told them Johnson and Carrie were in attendance.
Remember: The reason why this there is so much upset now is because of the restrictions that were in place at the time. You could only meet one other person from a separate household outside, and were advised to stay two metres apart. Large gatherings were not allowed, and schools had not even reopened. For context, this alleged event reportedly happened days before the Dominic Cummings/Barnard Castle saga.
Bigger picture: This exposé does further damaged to a government forced to defend themselves against accusations of many lockdown-breaking gatherings before Christmas. The Metropolitan Police are now said to be in touch with the government over the "widespread reporting relating to alleged breaches".
Backlash: Needless to mention, the story is trending on Twitter with many opposition MPs weighing in. It's not often you'll find an MP tweeting 'FFS', but Lib Dem leader Ed Davey felt the need.
#JohnsonOut has been the top trend on Twitter in the UK overnight.
MONDAY'S OTHER MAIN LINES
Convicted murderer and heir to a real estate dynasty, Robert Durst, has died in jail at the age of 78, just months after being sentenced to life in jail for the murder of a longtime friend.
Background: For a long time, Durst was the suspect in three terrible murder cases. In the 1980s, his wife went missing and her body was never found. While there was never enough evidence to convict Durst, there was intense suspicion he was responsible. One of his staunchest defenders was Susan Berman. Years after Durst's wife's disappearance, Berman was shot in the back of the head at her home. Prosecutor's argued Durst killed her because she was about to tell authorities Durst had murdered his wife.
Another gruesome murder was that of his neighbour, who was dismembered.
The biggest twist of all? Let's just say Durst's own words were the most damning. Below is the trailer for the documentary The Jinx, highly worth a watch.
RIP DAVID SASSOLI
The president of the EU parliament, David Sassoli, died overnight in hospital in Italy. According to multiple media reports, Sassoli had been seriously ill since just after Christmas, due to a dysfunction of his immune system.
KEEPING AN EYE...
As mentioned in Monday's NewsFix, Russian and US diplomats met in Geneva yesterday to discuss the recent build up of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine.
US diplomats have said while the meeting was "frank and forthright", it remains to be seen whether or not there has been a breakthrough. CNN and multiple other outlets reported Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister saying Moscow had "no intention of launching military action" against Ukraine.
Looking ahead... In Brussels on Wednesday, NATO and Russian representatives will also meet, as western concerns mount over the fears Russia may be planning an invasion.
For anyone totally unfamiliar with how we got here, click on the picture below to access our Instagram explainer.
A WORLD FIRST
In the US, surgeons have successfully implanted the heart of a pig into a human patient, the first operation of its kind in the world.
As CNN reported, doctors are cautiously optimistic this could provide a life-saving option to many others in a similar situation to the 57-year-old man who received the heart.
Why is this so important? As RTÉ News noted, roughly 110,000 Americans wait for an organ transplant each year, with at least 6,000 dying before they ever have the opportunity to receive the operation. Organdonor.gov said 17 people die every day waiting for an an organ transplant.
The last seven years were the hottest on record "by a clear margin", according to EU scientists.
Sky News reported 2021 was the fifth hottest year ever recorded.
“At a global level the warming may appear gradual but it is the impact on extreme events in many different parts of the world that is dramatic. We should see the record breaking 2021 events, such as the heatwave in Canada and floods in Germany, as a punch in the face to make politicians and public alike wake up to the urgency of the climate emergency.” - Professor Rowan Sutton speaking to The Guardian
- In Ireland, more than a million infections have been recorded since the beginning of the pandemic. As Gavan Reilly noted, half of those "were notified in the last eight weeks". RTÉ News reported there are approximately 15,000 staff members currently absent due to Covid-related issues.
- In Uganda, schools have reopened for the first time since March 2020 in what has been described as "the world’s longest Covid-19 related school shutdown". According to authorities, it is estimated that up to a third of the 15 million children are not expected to return to education.
- IKEA sparked online debate on Monday, when it announced unvaccinated staff without an exemption would not receive sick pay if they have to isolate because they are a close contact.
On Monday, a number of Irish politicians expressed their desire to avoid imposing mandatory vaccinations. We asked you guys a few questions on our Instagram account;
- 87% said it is fair and right that the vaccination status of those in hospital with coronavirus be made public
- A slimmer majority of 52% said they were not in favour of mandatory vaccinations
- Nearly three quarters (74%) believe those who are vaccinated should be subjected to less severe restrictions than those who are not
- The tightest vote of all was from those who are vaccinated - 49% said they care if their friends chose not to receive the vaccine, 51% do not
- BBC News: 100 invited to Downing Street lockdown drinks
- The Guardian: Australian Border Force investigating whether Novak Djokovic made false travel claim
- The Financial Times: The EU vs The City of London: a slow puncture
- Al Jazeera: US man recovering after getting pig heart in world-first transplant
- The Irish Times: Coronavirus: Superior masks may better protect at-risk people, says NPHET
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...