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News diary 1-7 July: Tommy Robinson faces contempt of court retrial and Women's World Cup reaches final

Tommy Robinson

Foresight News provides a look-ahead to the key events that need to be in your news diary for next week…

Following their surge in popularity in the European elections in May, the Liberal Democrats hold a leadership election on Monday to determine Sir Vince Cable’s successor.

After a series of hustings in the last week of June, deputy leader Jo Swinson and former energy secretary Ed Davey will battle it out in the hope of becoming the leader of what is widely considered to be the key pro-Remain party. The result will be announced on 23 July.

In Brussels, Finland takes over the presidency of the European Council until December. Prime Minister Antti Rinne has already announced that he hopes that the main legacy of Finland’s EU presidency is getting the Union to commit to climate neutrality by 2050, something 18 of the 28 EU countries have individually already committed to.

The steer in policy towards climate change has been somewhat rapid, after only eight EU countries supported the commitment at the European Council summit in March. The UN Human Rights Council (UNCHR) has said it hopes the Finnish presidency will also focus on migrants’ issues, as well as asylum reform.

Japan resumes commercial whaling after withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) on 30 June, the first time the practice has been legal in the country for thirty years.

Japan has faced widespread international condemnation for its decision to recommence whaling, although the Japanese claim that the IWC is not operating on its original mandate of offsetting the preservation of whale stocks with the controlled development of the industry.

The first instance of whaling will resume with a fleet of five vessels setting off from northern Japan; they will reportedly stay within Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and not expand into Antarctic waters.

Prince Harry attends the National Youth Mentoring Summit on Tuesday, along with Schools Minister Nick Gibb. The summit is hosted by The Diana Award, which was set up in memory of Prince Harry’s mother and focuses on how to make young people’s lives better.

Over in Houston, Texas, the Kennedy Space Center gears up to launch NASA’s Orion spacecraft Ascent Abort-2 (AA-2), a critical safety test for the Orion to determine whether it will be ready for the US’s return to the Moon in 2024.

The test, which involves the AA-2 vehicle pulling the Orion test vehicle up into the atmosphere before it parachutes back down, could pave the way for the US to once again turn its attention to space exploration, after President Trump announced in June 2018 that the US would be setting up a ‘space force’ to ‘return Americans to the Moon’.

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee meets  to consider requests for the induction of new sites on its World Heritage List. Among the localities hoping to get UNESCO’s attention before the meeting is Venice, with the Italia Nostra – an Italian NGO dedicated to the protection and promotion of the country’s history and culture – hoping that UNESCO will move Venice onto the endangered list.

Venice has struggled with increased tourism, redevelopment and erosion of the lagoon in recent years, and lobbyists hope that the symbolic move will force the local government to afford it more stringent protections.

Vodafone becomes the second UK mobile provider to launch 5G services with the roll-out of its network in seven cities around the country on Wednesday.

Ahead of the roll-out, Vodafone joined rival network EE in announcing it would not offer 5G services on Huawei devices as the row over the Chinese firm’s involvement in the UK’s higher-speed network rumbles on. Vodafone will follow today’s launch by rolling-out in 12 English towns later this year.

England take on New Zealand in their final group stage match of the Cricket World Cup with progress to the semi-finals far from assured. A strong start of four consecutive wins for England was undermined by an emphatic loss to historic rivals Australia on 25 June and the tournament hosts were left requiring wins from their final two matches against two-time winners India and the unbeaten New Zealand.

Should they prevail, England’s reward for a fourth-placed finish would be a semi-final rematch with Australia.

America celebrates Independence Day on Thursday and President Donald Trump marks the occasion with an event in Washington, dubbed Salute to America, featuring flyovers and a military parade. The decision to deliver a Fourth of July address from the Lincoln Memorial has attracted criticism in some quarters given the president’s past form for delivering politicised remarks at traditionally non-partisan events.

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, the failed UKIP MEP candidate also known as Tommy Robinson (pictured), is scheduled to return to the Old Bailey to face a retrial over a contempt of court charge for which a previous conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal.

Having endured an embarrassing European elections campaign which ended with a lost deposit, Yaxley-Lennon will nonetheless use this latest hearing as an opportunity to boost his profile among supporters, who are due to gather outside the court.

Two leading US Democrats in the race to succeed Donald Trump hit the campaign trail in key states on Friday as Kamala Harris heads for Iowa and former Vice President Joe Biden visits Texas.

Texas has voted Republican in every Presidential ballot since 1980, but current polling suggests that the party’s hold on the Lone Star State may be weakening. A swing in support for the Democrats would bring the state’s 38 electoral college votes firmly into play, and see Texas becoming one of the crucial battleground states in the race for the White House.

Closer to home, the Church of England’s General Synod gets underway in York. The meeting’s agenda includes a debate on serious youth violence, with proposals for churches to provide “safe havens” for young people likely to be discussed in greater detail.

The world’s largest and most prestigious annual cycling event gets underway on Saturday with the Grand Depart of the Tour de France. Defending champion Geraint Thomas is among the favourites to claim the famous Yellow Jersey, though the Welshman is expected to face a stern challenge from the likes of Egan Bernal and Nairo Quintana.

Four-time winner Chris Froome misses this year’s edition as he continues to recover from his horror crash in early June.

As the Conservative leadership election prepares to enter its penultimate full week of campaigning, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt take part in hustings events in the East Midlands and Wales.

The two campaigns have enjoyed differing fortunes since the former and current Foreign Secretaries were confirmed as the final two candidates in the race to replace Theresa May. Thus far, Boris Johnson has largely been occupied with batting away questions surrounding his personal life, with Jeremy Hunt seizing the opportunity to fan the flames and call his Foreign Office predecessor’s trustworthiness into question.

Voters head to the polls in Greece on Sunday for parliamentary elections which are sure to be closely watched across the continent. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called the snap poll in the wake of his party’s disastrous performance in May’s European elections, which saw Syriza losing support to the opposition conservatives by some nine and a half points. A defeat for Syriza and Tsipras would see Greece electing its sixth prime minister in a decade.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup comes to an end in Lyon. After defeating Norway 3-0 in their quarter-final match, England will have to defeat either tournament favourites USA or hosts France to reach the final.

In the men’s game, Rio’s Maracana Stadium plays host to the final of the Copa America with Brazil on track for a place in the tournament showdown after a penalty shootout victory over Paraguay in their 27 June quarter-final tie.

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

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