A guide for journalists’ to the big diary stories of the week ahead – provided by Foresight News.
Today (Monday) brings the opening day of the trial of three young men, Anthony McCalla, 19, Nathaniel Grant, 21, and Kazeem Kolawole, 19, who are all accused trying to murder a man they’d chased into a grocery store in Brixton, and causing grievous bodily harm to two innocent bystanders after firing shots into the shop last March.
The seemingly unending series of conflabs aimed at resolving the Eurozone crisis continues Monday as EU President Herman Van Rompuy chairs an informal summit of EU leaders, where talks are expected to centre on job creation, growth and the brand new fiscal stability treaty that Prime Minister David Cameron apparently doesn’t regret blocking.
Monday also marks the 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, when British Army paratroopers killed 13 people and wounded 17 others during a civil rights march in Londonderry’s Bogside district. Following the 201 Saville report, which found no justification for the shooting of civilians, David Cameron issued an apology for the incident on behalf of the UK Government.
All self assessment tax returns should be submitted by Tuesday; or at least that was the case before the intransigent Public and Commercial Services Union made plans to stage a series of small strikes in HMRC centres over the introduction of private companies into the authority’s affairs. So, in a bout of New Year goodwill, HMRC bigwigs has decided to only issue fines for assessments provided after February 2, while still retaining the statutory deadline of Tuesday.
Israeli President Shimon Peres hosts the annual Herzliya policy conference in Israel, delivering the opening day’s keynote speech on Tuesday. No international conference in 2012 would be complete without a strong economic flavour, and Herzliya doesn’t disappoint with World Bank President Robert Zoellick also addressing the gathered glitterati on Tuesday.
In a landmark Lords defeat last week, the ermine-cloaked bishops led the fight against the government’s Welfare Reform Bill, with a proposed £26,000 benefit cap per household central among their gripes. And on Tuesday the Bill is back among the Lords for its third reading with a consideration of the ennobled amendments set for the Commons on Wednesday.
Noted court enthusiast Julian Assange reappears in the dock this week, with a Supreme Court hearing on his planned extradition to Sweden for alleged sexual assault taking place on Wednesday and Thursday. The Supreme Court’s judgment, which will likely be reserved for a later date, looks to be the controversial Wikileaks founder’s last hope of avoid extradition.
Sun editor Dominic Mohan appears at a session of the Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions Thursday for a grilling by MPs and peers also on Thursday. Mohan made his thoughts on the regulation of the press clear in his earlier appearance at the Leveson Inquiry where he said overregulation risked inflicting a ‘mortal blow to the newspaper industry’. He joins Lord Hunt, chair of the embattled Press Complaints Commission, the Sun’s group managing editor Richard Caseby and News Group’s deputy legal manager Justin Walford.
Friday sees the Munich Conference on Security Policy take place in, controversially, Munich. The Conference is a major gathering attended by Prime Ministers and Ministers of Defence from NATO countries and with Iran’s nuclear ambitions garnering headlines, a missile defence shield straining Russian-NATO relations and the ongoing war in Afghanistan continuing to cost lives, there’ll be plenty on the agenda.
Closer to home, Friday also marks the last day for those with Olympics tickets to sell them back to the London Organising Committee, after which they presumably won’t be sold on by a shifty looking Seb Coe in a trench coat outside Olympic venues. In a classic display of British ingenuity which bodes well for the Summer sports-travaganza , the resale system launched on January 6 to the sound of a thousand servers exploding, forcing a complete redesign. Still, six months to go.
Sticking with the sporting theme, Saturday sees a clash with the tartan as England take on Scotland in their first RBS 6 Nations tie at Murrayfield. While the squad is still to be announced, all eyes will be on interim coach Stuart Lancaster who’ll no doubt be hoping to turn around the team’s tarnished reputation after a disastrous World Cup.
Rounding off the week, Sauli Niinisto faces off against Pekka Haavisto in the runoffs for Finland’s presidential election on Sunday. While Niinsto secured 37 per cent of the first round against Haavisto’s 19%, it’s far from the easy win the conservative favourite might have expected. Haavisto is the first openly gay candidate to run for head of state in the country.