While you were away…

Need to fake it ‘til you make it today? Look no further than these 10 big things that happened in the news since we wandered off just before Christmas. 

For we are one and free
State and territory borders coronavirus restrictions aside, “the indomitable spirit of Australians and the united effort that has always enabled us to prevail as a nation” has seen PM Scott Morrison usher through a change to our national anthem. Ditching ‘young’ for ‘one’, he said it’s also recognition that “our country’s story is ancient, as are the stories of the many First Nations peoples whose stewardship we rightly acknowledge and respect.” Not everyone’s a fan… 

Facebook removes Pete Evans
The celebrity chef/anti-vaxxer/COVID-sceptic saw his page taken down for repeated violations of policies on the sharing of misinformation about the coronavirus. His Instagram account is still going strong. Evans lost his book publishing deal late last year after he used a neo-Nazi symbol in a Facebook post. 

Nashville blast
A van exploded on Christmas Day in the tourist district of the US city of Nashville. It had been playing recorded messages warning passers-by of a bomb and telling people to evacuate. Three people were injured in the explosion that blew out windows in shops and offices for several blocks. The suspect, named as Anthony Quinn Warner, was killed in the blast.

Killer landslide in Norway
The hillside collapse that sent mud into the village of Ask, near Oslo, on Wednesday last week has resulted in 6 confirmed deaths with 4 people still missing. Officials say it was a ‘quick clay’ slide that can see the ground behave like a fluid when it comes under stress. The pictures are incredible

Rebels blamed for attack on government in Yemen
And when we say ‘an attack on the government’ we mean the ministers of the country’s new government was flying into the key city of Aden when they were hit by a missile attack. Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed blamed the Iranian-backed rebels who have been at the centre of the 6-year war that has created the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. PM Saeed and his ministers survived last Wednesday’s attack that killed at least 25 people and wounded 110 others.

Taking Brexit off the ‘to do’ list
After months of arguments over fishing rights and future business rules and years of divisive debate over the UK’s membership of the European Union, the 47-year relationship is O-V-A-H. A last-minute trade deal was struck right on the knocker of Christmas. We’d like to say ‘and they never spoke of it again’ but that doesn’t seem likely… 

Trump issues more pardons
And there were some big names. Paul Manafort – a campaign manager from the 2016 election and lobbyist who was sentenced to 7 years in prison after being convicted of bank and tax fraud. Charles Kushner – a billionaire property developer who is the father of Jared Kushner (Trump adviser/Ivanka Trump’s hubby). Roger Stone – Republican adviser who was pinged for lying to Congress about his connections to Russia. And 4 former US government contractors convicted in the 2007 ‘Blackwater’ massacre in Baghdad. 

Saudi women’s rights activist sentenced
Loujain al-Hathloul, the Saudi women’s rights activist detained three years ago by the Saudi government, was sentenced to 5 years and 8 months in jail after being found guilty of spying with foreign parties and conspiring against the kingdom. A series of adjustments means she has 3 months left to serve. Her supporters say she has been “sentenced for her activism for the very reforms that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi kingdom so proudly tout” – like allowing women to drive. 

Fashion icons gone but not forgotten
Fashion innovator Pierre Cardin at 98yo in Neuilly, near Paris. Respected for his technical skills as a designer and garment maker, he was probably better known in the latter part of his career for his business acumen. There was a time that his brand was on everything… And supermodel Stella Tennant also died at 50yo. Her family said her death was “sudden”.

Archie has an American accent
Well, Harry and Meghan’s 18-month-old is growing up in America…

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