Clarity is the word of the day - Djokovic finally provides some, Boris Johnson will have the opportunity later today, and Russia... well... let's see how the talks go.
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Novak Djokovic has admitted to 'errors' in a lengthy statement as the ongoing debate about his entry to Australia continues.
What was Djokovic's error? He said he participated in an interview in December after learning he had tested positive, saying he didn't cancel it because he "didn't want to let the journalist down".
What else? The player also acknowledged his travel declaration was incorrectly filled out by a member of his team, saying he had not travelled in the 14 days before arrival to Australia. As BBC News noted, "recent reports suggest the 34-year-old had travelled to Serbia and then to Spain prior to the trip".
What's at stake here? The reason Djokovic might be fighting so hard to play in the Australian Open is because; #1 he's defending his title #2 if he wins this Grand Slam he would become the most successful men's tennis player in history.
ON TODAY'S AGENDA...
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will face MPs today during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.
It happens every Wednesday at noon, but will be a particularly interesting week as Johnson will undoubtedly face question after question about the alleged May 2020 staff gathering at Downing Street.
"MPs privately have been spitting chips, accusing the PM of dishonesty, of tarring the whole party, of failing to get a grip, of - frankly - some things that are too rude to be written down." - Laura Kuenssberg
Remember: Following the ITV News exclusive on Monday about the alleged gathering, Downing Street declined to clarify whether or not the prime minister and his wife attended. Instead saying an independent investigation was underway. BBC News has a report suggesting Sue Gray - the civil servant conducting the investigation - "is expected to report shortly".
Tweet of the day? 👇🏽
ALSO HAPPENING TODAY...
In Brussels, Russian and NATO representatives will meet today to discuss the presence of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine, and Russian demands for NATO.
The Economist had an interesting article on this over the weekend, but you will need a subscription to read it.
"Many of these [Russian] demands are so extravagant and so detrimental to Europe's security that they may really be an ultimatum drafted to be rejected, creating a pretext for another invasion of Ukraine." - The Economist.
The Kremlin said it sees "no significant reason for optimism" ahead of the talks, according to The Guardian.
KEEPING AN EYE...
There are a number of reports suggesting an English rugby player may have been arrested over the weekend on suspicion of rape.
The player cannot be named for legal reasons, but reports suggest an attack occurred in a nightclub on Saturday. Police said "a woman in her late teens was reported to have been sexually assaulted".
According to The Telegraph, a woman was also questioned by police. She was held by police "on suspicion of administering a substance with intent to cause a sexual offence," before both were released on bail.
In Ireland, a new bill giving adopted people the absolute right to access their birth certificate, is expected to be approved by Cabinet later today.
What's the background here? Adopted people - particularly in light of the mother and baby homes scandal - have fought for decades to have the right to access their birth certs. They were often denied, with the privacy of the biological mother cited as a reason.
As The Irish Times noted, "birth mothers will be able to register their preference for no contact".
In the US, President Biden wants to change the rules in the Senate for passing legislation.
Why? Think about it this way - US Congress includes the House of Representatives and the Senate, in the same way Ireland has the Dáil and the Seanad, and the UK has the House of Commons and House of Lords.
Anyway, when a bill passes in the House of Representatives - which currently has a Democrat majority - it moves to the Senate. For most legislation to pass in the Senate, a majority of 60% support is required.
Okay, so why the need to change the rules? The problem for Biden is that there are currently 50 Democrat Senators and 50 Republican Senators. This even split The even split means Biden's administration are finding it increasingly difficult to pass legislation. In order to change the rules, Biden needs a majority to vote in favour. In situations where there is a tie in a Senate vote, the vice president can cast the deciding vote. Biden would need support from all 50 of his Democrats on this, with support from at least two in doubt. Much of the media put low expectations on Biden's actual chances of bringing in the change.
A ROYAL SNUB
Princess Delphine - a 'love child' of Belgium's former king - said the monarch was so rude to her he reduced her to tears when she first attempted to be recognised as his biological daughter.
What's the background here? King Albert is said to have had an 18-year affair with Delphine's aristocratic mother. A biography once claimed he decided to stay with his wife, Queen Paola, rather than abdicate and be with Delphine's mother. When Delphine was 17 years old, she reportedly learned the king was in fact her father.
The legal battle: In 2013, Delphine launched legal proceedings. Within weeks, King Albert abdicated in favour of his son, citing ill health. Albert refused to take a paternity test until the court said he would be fined €5,000 each day until he took it. Below is a photo of Princess Delphine meeting her half-brother, the current King of Belgium, for the first time in 2020.
- In Ireland, changes to the rules for some close contacts are expected to be announced. NPHET has advised the government that close contacts should no longer have to isolate if they have received a booster vaccine and have no symptoms. The Irish Times reported the changes are "likely to be relaxed before the weekend". The Cabinet will meet today to finalise a decision.
- The European Medicines Agency says the surge in Omicron cases across Europe "is pushing Covid-19 towards being an endemic disease that humanity can live with".
The cost of Covid: A staggering 600,000 people cancelled their flights from Heathrow over the Christmas period. The airport is calling for coronavirus testing to be dropped, saying it carried 12% less passengers in 2021 than it did in 2020.
- BBC News: Djokovic admits breaking isolation while positive
- The Guardian: Furious Tories pile pressure on Boris Johnson over No 10 parties
- The Financial Times: China applies brakes to Africa lending
- Al Jazeera: Omicron pushing COVID from pandemic to endemic: EU agency
- The Irish Times: Rules to be eased as Omicron sweeps across Europe
WATCHING OUT FOR...
Neymar: The Perfect Chaos
On January 25, a series about footballer Neymar will be released on Netflix. The trailer has just been released, and features interviews with Lionel Messi and David Beckham.
"Beloved worldwide but also a lightning rod for criticism, Neymar shares the highs and lows of his personal life and brilliant football career." - Netflix description
Hang on, so you summarise the news for us every day for free, AND you reward us for just telling friends about it?
Am. Yeah. Please share ✌🏽
Five years since President Obama surprised his vice president, Joe Biden, by awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom during the last week of his term in office.
It actually makes for quite a sweet moment - click below to watch.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE
Look, I'll chat to you about it later.