A journalists' guide to the big stories for the week ahead (Nov 28-Dec 4)


A journalists’ guide to the big stories for the week ahead – provided by Foresight News.

Egypt today holds parliamentary elections for the lower house, the first since President Hosni Mubarak’s ousting on February 11th – as long as the ruling military council adheres to its promise following the resurgence of rioting in Cairo.

From Tahrir Square to Engalnd’s mean streets as the independent panel on riots is expected to launch its interim findings today. Chaired by Jobcentre Plus chief executive Darra Singh, and announced by the Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg, the report is looking at the genesis of August’s rioting.

The United Nations climate change conference opens today in Durban, following the Cancún talks in December, 2010. Expect two weeks of wrangling and much debate before last-minute agreements are concocted immediately prior to the conference’s close on December 9th.

George Osborne’s much-anticipated Autumn Statement is delivered on Tuesday, alongside the Office for Budget Responsibility’s figures, with an update on the UK economy and an announcement of measures to be taken for the improvement of growth – such as the well-trailed credit easing scheme for businesses provided by the Treasury.

Two psychiatrists tasked with assessing the mental health of Anders Breivik submit their report on Tuesday. Breivik has been interred in isolation since he was arrested in July for the murder of 77 people in Oslo and on the island of Utoya, Norway.

Many members of the UK’s public sector unions will be failing to report for duty on Wednesday, as two million people are expected to strike on what the Trades Union Congress general secretary, Brendan Barber, has described as a ‘day of action’. The unions are picking their fight over Government plans to raise public sector pensions contributions, and have become increasingly belligerent following the continued failure of negotiations and Government attacks on the unions’ actions.

The House of Commons takes the time to debate cuts to the nation’s beloved BBC on Thursday, following a backbench business motion. There’s also a discussion on debt advice and debt management, which will take a look, among other things, at the unscrupulous practices of many private debt management companies.

Noted Aston Villa fan David Cameron will be anxiously watching as England discover just how costly Wayne Rooney’s three match ban will be at Euro 2012 when the draw for the group stages takes place in Kiev on Friday.

A favourable draw could well lighten the Prime Minister’s mood ahead of the annual Franco-British summit, this year hosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, where the serious business of defence cooperation is again on the agenda.

Two weeks after the installation of Lucas Papademos as Greek Prime Minister, the country’s Parliament begins debating its budget for 2012 with the much healthier prospect of a 5.4% deficit thanks to additional austerity measures and the proposed cancellation of some €100bn in Government debt. The vote takes place on December 7.

The beginning of the Vladimir Putin’s return to power as President of Russia begins with Sunday’s parliamentary elections. Current President Dmitry Medvedev heads the United Russia party list in the ballot, meaning he would become Prime Minister should the party repeat its 2007 election victory, clearing the way for Putin to stand in next year’s Presidential election.

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