Putin’s point –
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a message of defiance and ire towards the West at an annual news conference in Moscow in the face of the financial turmoil that has gripped the country. Mr. Putin put the blame on “external factors,” including Western sanctions and falling oil prices, for the collapse of the ruble. Vladimir Putin
Closed lot –
Sony have cancelled tours of their Los Angeles studios after it was found pass codes were part of the hack recently discovered and blamed on North Korea.
Republican dig heels in on Cuba –
Republicans in Congress are trying to find a way to stop or at least slow President Barack Obama’s plan to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba. The biggest obstacle to normal ties with Cuba is the 1996 embargo and with Republicans due to take control of both houses of Congress in January, the chances of changing this look unlikely.
Mandy Rice-Davies dies
Mandy Rice-Davies the woman who was at the centre of the so-called Profumo spy/sex scandal (along with her friend Christine Keeler) that threatened to topple Harold Macmillan’s government has died at the age of 70. Rice-Davies lived with Keeler, whose affair with war minister John Profumo prompted his resignation in 1963. She also claimed to have an affair with Lord Astor, but he denied it in court to which Rice-Davies famously replied “Well he would, wouldn’t he.”
US election 2016 result: Trump beats Clinton to take White House –
Donald Trump will become the 45th US president after a stunning victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton. The Republican nominee’s victory came down to a handful of key swing states, despite months of polling that favoured Mrs Clinton. The battlegrounds of Florida, Ohio and North Carolina cleared the way for his Brexit-style upset. Global markets plummeted, with the US dollar diving and gold prices surging. Mr Trump’s shock victory in Wisconsin put him over the 270 out of 538 electoral college votes needed to win the White House, after a gruelling and rancorous campaign. The US president-elect took to the stage with his family at his victory rally in a New York hotel ballroom and said: “I just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us on our victory.” [BBC] President elect Donald Trump