The day’s top stories from BBC News. Delivered twice a day on weekdays, daily at weekends
Countries around the world step up Covid prevention measures
More travel bans and vaccine booster programmes as the Omicron variant is closely tracked. Also, the EU unveils a global infrastructure investment plan to rival China's Belt and Road initiative. And the sea goddess sculpture that is helping efforts to sustain coral reefs in the Caribbean.
Ex-Trump aide Mark Meadows to co-operate with 6 January investigations
The US congressional committee investigating the deadly assault on the Capitol building says Mark Meadows has agreed to appear before it 'soon'. Also, IS man is found guilty of genocide in Yazidi murder trial in Germany under the principle of Universal Jurisdiction, and the Arctic could see more rain than snow in thirty years.
Barbados becomes world's newest republic
The Caribbean island removes Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. Also: France's far right polemicist, Eric Zemmour announces his bid for the presidency, and Greece imposes fines for the over 60s if they don't get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Ghislaine Maxwell goes on trial for sex trafficking
The former British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell goes on trial in New York, accused of trafficking underage girls for Jeffrey Epstein; Also President Biden says the Omicron covid variant is a cause for concern, not panic. And Barbados becomes the world's youngest Republic.
WHO: Omicron poses very high global risk
The World Health Organisation calls for solidarity and a global push to get jabs to poorer countries. Japan closes its borders to foreigners, and we find out what we know about the new variant. Also, Jeffrey Epstein's former lover Ghislaine Maxwell goes on trial accused of sex trafficking, and after 40 days on the run, Chinese police recapture an escaped prisoner. But it was not just jail he was trying to avoid.
Omicron reaches Australia and Canada
In Europe, the Netherlands has the highest number of cases of the new Omicron strain. Also, a special report from Colombia where mass killings are continuing five years after a peace deal with left-wing rebels FARC, and the Indian stand-up comic who says he may have to give up his routine because of Hindu fundamentalists.
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