The inquiry into the fatal police shooting of Azelle Rodney resumes in London on Monday with the submission of closing arguments. The Crown Prosecution Service is to examine new evidence presented to the inquiry which appears to contradict the official explanation for why Rodney was shot six times by a police marksman, with a final report by inquiry chair Sir Christopher Holland expected next year.
The two-year anniversary on Monday of the self-immolation of Tunisian street trader Mohamed Bouazizi comes at a time when the subsequent regional exhilaration generated by the Arab Spring seems almost unthinkable, as Syria’s implosion continues, Egypt’s revolution stutters and Israeli-Palestinian antagonism escalates.
And fresh from a successful rocket launch last week, North Korea marks the first anniversary of the death of the Dear Leader on Monday.
In the High Court, the mother who went into hiding to prevent her son from undergoing radiotherapy treatment continues her legal battle against doctors on Tuesday. Sally Roberts has stated that she feels the treatment is ‘unnecessary’ because her son Neon has already undergone surgery to remove a brain tumour, with doctors from the trusts claiming that the treatment was essential because the cancer was likely to recur without it.
The commission set up in the wake of the £290m fine handed down to Barclays for its manipulation of Libor rates is due to present its proposals for legislative action by Tueday, having taken evidence from ministers, regulators and bank bosses since its establishment in July. The Commission, headed by Treasury Select Committee chair Andrew Tyrie, was urged by Chancellor George Osborne during an evidence session last month not to ‘[get] to the top of the snakes and ladders board and then [go] all the way down the big snake that takes you to the bottom again’.
It’s another news bonanza this Wednesday, with a presidential election due in South Korea – where frontrunners Park Geun-hye and Moon Jae-in have both vowed to seek a dialogue with North Korea in the event of victory – coming at the same time as the presentation of banking reform legislation in France and the launch of an expedition to the International Space Station in Kazakhstan.
Domestically, the results of GCSE exam resits, which took place last month after a grading controversy which left thousands of students with lower than expected grades in English exams, are due to be released by Ofqual, while the BBC Trust holds its December meeting by which chairman Lord Patten requested an update on whether ‘current child protection policy, processes, guidance and training are fit for purpose’ in the wake of allegations of child abuse directed at Jimmy Savile.
The latest revision to US third quarter GDP figures are due on Thursday. The latest figures put growth at 2.7% year-on-year, although automatic tax increases kicking in on January 1, followed by spending cuts on January 2 – the so-called ‘fiscal cliff – could quickly spell the end of any good news announced Thursday.
Wikileaker Julian Assange is set to address supporters from the Ecuadorian Embassy later the same day, as he marks six months nestled against the bosom of Rafael Correa. Assange took refuge in the Embassy on June 20 in order to avoid extradition to Sweden, where authorities want to question him for alleged sexual assault.
On Friday, a European Court of Justice ruling that prevents the use of gender as a risk factor by insurers, comes into force, meaning it will be illegal for insurers to charge higher premiums to either men or women on the basis of their sex. The rule-change effects only new contracts entered into from this point, but has drawn fire from the insurance industry who believe it will drive up premiums across the board.
All of which will be deeply irrelevant, should the Mayan calendar’s prediction on the end of the world come true, with the Olmec civilisation completing its 5,125 year cycle of existence today. With climate change unavoidable, the economy on the rocks and a Spice Girls musical in existence, it’s probably for the best.
Should we make it out of Armageddon alive, however, Saturday sees the continuation of Egypt’s hugely controversial referendum on a draft constitution, with remaining areas not covered in the December 15 casting their vote today. Embattled President Mohammed Morsi announced the referendum December 1, to either approve or reject a draft constitution slammed by opposition groups as undermining freedoms and failing to rein in the country’s military.