A journalists’ guide to the big stories for the week ahead – provided by Foresight News.
The Home Affairs Committee continues to investigate this summer’s relaxation of checks by the UK Border Agency, with Immigration Minister Damian Green and Home Office permanent secretary Dame Helen Ghosh due to appear on Tuesday in the wake of Brodie Clark’s evidence a week ago. The Committee will then presumably await with bated breath Thursday’s quarterly immigration statistics.
On Wednesday the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee releases the minutes of this month’s meeting, including members’ voting decisions. Last month the committee voted unanimously in favour of holding interest rates, with the previously anticipated by the end of 2011 now appearing unlikely to materialise until 2012 or 2013.
Wednesday also marks the Libyan national transitional council’s deadline to form a ‘transitional government’, as stipulated in the council’s constitution. The formation was said to be due within 30 days of the declaration of liberation on October 23, three days after Muammar Gaddafi’s death.
Thursday’s statistics on immigration are accompanied by the second estimate of third quarter GDP in the UK. Preliminary figures released at the beginning of November showed growth of 0.5 per cent, down from 0.8 per cent for the same period in 2010.
Parliamentary elections, which were not due until the autumn of 2012, take place in Morocco on Friday following the adoption of a new constitution in a July referendum. Recent elections further around the North African coast in Tunisia were won by the moderate Islamist Ennahda party; calls for a boycott by pro-democracy activists suggest Morocco may not follow in the electoral footsteps of its near neighbour.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Meshal are reportedly set to meet in Cairo on Friday, a day later than had been previously expected, for talks on reconciliation. The talks come in the wake of a Palestinian application for membership of the UN and its recognition by UNESCO.
And voters also go to the polls in New Zealand this week, with a general election and referendum scheduled for Saturday. New Zealanders are set to decide on whether to keep or discard their mixed-member proportional voting system along with Prime Minister John Key’s minority government.