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⏳ Wednesday Fix: Omicron is Omnipresent

⏳ Wednesday Fix: Omicron is Omnipresent

Morning all,

Belarus is back in the headlines, OJ is free, cannabis is legal in Malta, and Omicron is... well, nearly everywhere according to the World Health Organisation.

Until tomorrow,


The husband of Belarus' opposition figure has been sentenced to 18 years in jail for "inciting hatred and social unrest".

Remember: Svetlana Tikhanovskaya ran against President Lukashenko in the August 2020 elections - a vote that was widely considered rigged in Lukashenko's favour. Tikhanovskaya only ran because her husband, Sergei, was the original candidate but was arrested in May 2020. The couple have been separated for a long time, and Tikhanovskaya fled to neighbouring Lithuania for her safety following the election.

Worth noting: As Politico noted, there are now said to be more than 900 political prisoners in Belarus.

Want to know more about Belarus? Here's our piece from earlier this year: Belarus - Europe's Last Dictatorship.

OJ Simpson is officially a free man. The former athlete - who was famously acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife and Ron Goldman - has finished parole early.

Worth noting: He served nine years in jail for armed robbery, but was released in 2017. His parole had been due to end in February.


Katie Price is expected to be sentenced today.

Remember: Back in September, the former-model admitted to drink-driving, driving without insurance and while disqualified - and she could face jail time. There were also reports at the time that Price admitted to officers who arrived on the scene that she had taken drugs.

According to The Evening Standard, her sentencing is listed for 2pm.

Derek Chauvin - the former police officer convicted of the murder of George Floyd - is expected to appear in court today to change a verdict from not guilty to guilty.

What is this about? He is expected to plead guilty to a charge of violating George Floyd's civil rights.

Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton is set to receive a knighthood at Windsor Castle later today, just days after the controversial loss to Max Verstappen.

For anyone not over the loss, or still not really grasping what happened, Ros is here to help.

The UK's Supreme Court is set to make an important ruling relating to the extreme interrogation tactics used on 12 men - the so-called "Hooded Men" - in Northern Ireland in 1971.

Worth noting: The court is set to rule on whether or not the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) were right to conclude the British government did not authorise the use torture against prisoners in the 1970s.

"It included being hooded, placed in stress positions for long periods, subjected to sustained loud noise and denied food water and sleep. The men also said they were beaten and thrown hooded from helicopters which they believed were flying at height, but were in fact hovering close to the ground." - RTÉ News context

As RTÉ News noted, a judgement is expected at 9:45am.


  • At this point, the World Health Organisation estimates that the Omicron variant is "probably" in most countries, with the director-general saying it is spreading "at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant".
  • The US coronavirus death toll has surpassed 800,000, and is the highest number of any country in the world.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered the embarrassment of having nearly 100 Conservative MPs vote against his government over the plans for a Covid pass requirement to enter certain events. In spite of the rebellion, support from Labour got it over the line, and the requirement begins from today.


As Ghislaine Maxwell's trial continues, we're keeping an eye to see if the judge allows three defence witnesses testify using either their first name or a pseudonym.

Why? The three potential witnesses for the defence said they wanted to testify anonymously to avoid "unwanted attention". It is not clear if they are people in the public eye, or if the judge will grant that request.

Worth noting: While three of Ghislaine's accusers testified anonymously, that is not unusual for victim witnesses. Also, this trial appears to be moving along a lot more quickly than previously estimated. We'll keep an eye...


Malta has become the first country in the EU to legalise cannabis for personal use at home.

People in Malta will now be able to grow a limited amount - up to seven grams - and "cultivate up to four plants at home".

"We are legislating to address a problem, with a harm reduction approach by regulating the sector so that people don't have to resort to the black market." - Prime Minister Robert Abela




Why? Because the singer told Howard Stern she believes porn is a "disgrace".

Eilish acknowledged she started watching porn at the age of 11, and it "destroyed" her brain because of the "abusive" BDSM-style she used to watch.


Where's my early Christmas present?