Here is our weekly journalists’ guide to the week ahead, provided by forward planning service Foresight News.
In the build-up to the new Premier League season, the last thing a club needs is to have one of its players in court, accused of driving around in their slick Mercedes after knocking back enough alcohol to leave them twice the legal limit. Thankfully, Blackburn Rovers don’t face that decidedly awkward prospect – because it’s their manager in the dock. Today, Steve Kean makes the trip to Macclesfield Magistrates Court, having pleaded not guilty to drink-driving on 14 May following his side’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.
Tuesday is shaping up to be another one of those world economy crunch days. First up we all find out how much money we’ve lost when the Office for National Statistics releases its monthly inflation figures, calculating rises in both the Consumer Price Index (CPI), a basket of selected goods you can no longer afford, and the Retail Price Index (RPI), a wider range of goods and services you could never afford.
With all holidays cancelled, Nicolas Sarkozy has a busy Tuesday in store as he meets Prime Minister Francois Fillon to discuss proposals on how to reduce France’s deficit, following reports that the ratings agencies have an eye on the country’s triple-A credit status. The French President then entertains German Chancellor Angela Merkel for discussion on the eurozone crisis. The amount of time allocated to small talk at the summit may well depend on news from across the Pyrenees, as Spain’s National Statistics Institute announces the country’s preliminary growth estimates for the April to June quarter.
On Wednesday a former UN employee appears at the International Criminal Court in The Hague to have his charges confirmed. Callixte Mbarushimana is alleged to have been the Executive Secretary of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebel group since July 2007, and is charged with five counts of crimes against humanity and six counts of war crimes, which were allegedly committed in Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo, in 2009.
The *big* story on Wednesday is surely the opening night of Celebrity Big Brother, the cultural reawakening which is sure to squeeze out the rest of Channel 5’s must-watch schedule. Rumours abound about which public figures have put themselves forward for ritual ridicule, with reports that Richard Desmond has used his cheque book to corral speaker’s wife, Sally Bercow, into the house, as well as the Irish quiffs Jedward, Big Fat Gypsy Paddy Doherty, The Only Way is Essex’s Amy Childs and sometime small screen star Pamela Anderson.
The cultural phenomenon that is A Level results day also returns to our screens Thursday, with gratuitous shots of bright young things filling up news bulletins. Cue a national day of reflection and mourning because either a) results aren’t quite as good as some other year, so all students have become stupid, or the more likely b) pass rates are at a record high because exams have become too easy, so the students are stupid anyway.
Nick Clegg may not be looking forward to Thursday and the release of his first biography, written by journalist Chris Bowers. Commissioned by Biteback publishing, the work will chart Clegg’s rise from MEP to party leader, then deputy Prime Minister and iconic figure of coalition derision.
If the thought of being plunged into national bankruptcy wasn’t bad enough for Spain’s weary citizens, then the idea of being denied their opening weekend of La Liga and Second Division games may be the last straw. The Spanish Footballers Association (AFE) has called a players’ strike for Saturday and Sunday’s fixtures, the first of two planned weekends, over a dispute with the Spanish Football League. The discord centres on the size of the players’ emergency fund, which is designed to help pay players’ wages when clubs sink into administration. The football league has, so far, refused to amend its proposal. That means no Messi or Ronaldo for the time being – if the dispute carries on for long enough the English clubs may have a chance in this year’s Champions League.