A damning report, a grovelling apology, incriminating evidence, and an indefinite suspension - is it all too little too late?
Welcome to December.
Below is the podcast version of today's newsletter.
TUESDAY'S TOP LINES
The findings of a report looking into sexual harassment in Australia's parliament have been described as 'appalling' and 'disturbing' by the country's prime minister, Scott Morrison.
The findings described parliament as a "cloistered, alcohol-fueled environment where powerful men violated boundaries unchecked," according to The New York Times.
CNN noted that one in three people working in the country's parliament had experienced sexual harassment.
American author Alice Sebold has issued an apology to Anthony Broadwater, the man who spent 16 years in jail after being wrongly convicted of raping her.
Background: In 1981, Sebold was raped by a Black man while at university. Months later, she alerted police that she had seen the attacker in her neighbourhood, when Broadwater apparently said hello to her. Despite her failing to point him out in a police line up, Broadwater was convicted. He was only exonerated last week, after 23 years on the sex offenders list.
Worth noting: Sebold published a memoir called Lucky in 1999, documenting the rape. A production company had been working on a film adaptation of the memoir for Netflix. It is widely believed the project has now been scrapped in light of Broadwater's exoneration.
Here is a link to Alice Sebold's full apology.
ON TODAY'S AGENDA...
In what has been billed as a "world exclusive," an interview by Nigel Farage with former US president, Donald Trump, will air at 7pm today on GB News.
According to multiple media reports, in the interview - which has already been recorded - Trump is apparently critical about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and coy about whether or not he'll run for president again.
Ghislaine Maxwell's trial is underway, here are the latest headlines...
- A woman being referred to as 'Jane' is the first of four alleged victims to have testified. She claims she repeatedly had sexual relations with Epstein from the age of 14, with Maxwell often present and sometimes participating.
- The man who was Epstein's pilot for 25 years, described Maxwell as Epstein's "number two". He also recounted Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Kevin Spacey on Epstein's private jet, but said he saw no sexual activity while in the cockpit.
The World Health Organisation has advised against international travel for anyone either vulnerable or above the age of 60, as the Omicron variant continues to spread.
In Ireland, anyone arriving into the country from abroad will need to show a negative Covid test from Friday. This requirement also applies to people arriving from Britain, even though those travelling from Ireland to the UK have been made exempt from the same requirement.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the goal is to have a booster vaccine offered to every person over the age of 18 by the end of January.
Interesting perspectives: The CEO of vaccine producer BioNTech has urged people not to "freak out" over Omicron, saying while the variant might spread a lot faster it is unlikely to cause severe illness.
Meanwhile, Moderna's CEO struck a more concerned tone, saying vaccines were likely to be much less effective against the Omicron variant.
*Both of those articles are behind paywalls, here is a link to an Al Jazeera summary of them.
COVERING THE COVERAGE
CNN has indefinitely suspended one of its prime time anchors, Chris Cuomo, over the help he gave his brother - former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo - during a sexual harassment scandal earlier this year.
Remember: Andrew Cuomo was lauded as a hero while New York was the epicentre of the virus in New York, and featured as a regular guest on his brother's show. Months later, it was revealed there was significant under reporting in the number of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes.
What cemented his political downfall was multiple allegations of sexual harassment from former aides. Cuomo tried to stick it out, but was eventually forced to step down. Newly released documents show his brother, Chris, assisted Andrew's team to a much greater extent than previously understood.
- BBC News: US author apologises to man cleared of her rape
- The Guardian: Boris Johnson contradicts expert advice to curb Christmas socialising
- The Financial Times: Moderna chief predicts existing vaccines will struggle with Omicron
- Al Jazeera: 'Don't freak out' about Omicron, says BioNTech CEO
- The Irish Times: Laws to be fast-tracked to extend Government Covid powers
World AIDS Day - a day to raise awareness and mourn those who have died from the disease. It also seems an appropriate moment to reflect on the emergence of the epidemic back in the 1980s - and the stigma and homophobia that surrounded it. To learn more about this and how perceptions have changed - read our recent #DeepDive piece.
TODAY ALSO MARKS...
30 years since Ukrainian people voted overwhelmingly via referendum for independence. The vote had a turnout of 80% - and 90% of voters endorsed independence. The move was in defiance of political pressure from Moscow to remain as part of a restructured Soviet Union.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...
Let the Christmas drinks begin.