Programming Note: We’ll be off Monday, Jan. 17 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day but will be back in your inboxes on Wednesday.
Ukraine says government websites hit by ‘massive cyber attack.’ At least 10 websites ceased functioning Friday morning. The government is yet to attribute blame.
Question of the day: Is war with Russia more likely, or less likely, after this week’s talks? National security adviser Jake Sullivan said he would not be pushed to “put any kind of likelihood on it” before going on to say “the threat of military invasion is high,” and noting the U.S. government holds “no illusions” about the situation. “Diplomacy is the more sensible path. The Russians will have to make their own assessment,” Sullivan said at a press briefing. It’s worth reading the full remarks if you didn’t catch them live.
Double fault: Djokovic’s Australian visa canceled again — now faces three-year ban: Australia’s immigration minister overruled a local court, based on new information that the world’s No.1 male tennis player Novak Djokovic misled authorities about his travel and compliance with Covid rules when attempting to enter Australia to play the first tennis “grand slam” tournament of the year. He now risks a three-year ban from Australia. While Djokovic plans another appeal, unlike the previous court hearing, his chances of victory are slim: This time his lawyers have to argue the minister has illegally used his broad powers to ban Djokovic.
WHAT MERKEL DOES NEXT
Global Insider hears that U.N. Secretary General António Guterres has written to former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, asking her to lead a “high-level advisory board” on how to develop and manage global public goods (such as oceans or the ozone layer). Merkel would be providing follow-up to Guterres’ “Our Common Agenda” report released in September. Guterres is still waiting for a reply. U.N. spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric did not comment by the time Global Insider published.
If an advisory position isn’t to Merkel’s liking, another post some U.N. diplomats are keen for her to fill is that of U.N. climate chief. Patricia Espinosa’s term as head of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change is up in the summer. Others who’d love the job include South Africa’s former foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and Nigerian environment chief Sharon Ikeazor. Don’t rule out Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley — who got plaudits for her U.N. General Assembly and COP26 speeches in 2021. The inside candidate could be current U.N. envoy Selwin Hart, a climate adviser in Guterres’ office.
IS BORIS JOHNSON FINALLY DOWN TO HIS NINTH POLITICAL LIFE?
Boris Johnson admits he attended a drinks party at his office while the rest of the country was in strict lockdown, and the senior official investigating that party is also investigating two other parties held in Downing Street the night before Prince Philip’s 2021 funeral, the Daily Telegraph reported. Three parties in your workplace while the rest of the country was under strict Covid lockdown isn’t a great look. He…
Read More: What Angela Merkel does next- POLITICO