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News diary 10-16 June: First Tory leadership TV debate and Huawei security boss before MPs

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

After much early jostling and two very short-lived campaigns, the Conservative Party leadership election begins in earnest on Monday with the submission of nominations.

Under rules agreed last week by the 1922 Committee and the party’s board, candidates must have the backing of eight MPs including a proposer and seconder.

The rule changes mean that early frontrunners Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Jeremy Hunt and Dominic Raab are almost certain to be eligible for the first ballot, while the chasing pack will be quickly thinned out before a vote is cast.

A new five per cent tariff on all goods imported into the US from Mexico comes into effect after President Donald Trump announced a new front in his trade war.

Trump said that the tariffs would not be removed until “the illegal migration crisis is alleviated through effective actions taken by Mexico” and that they would increase in 5 per cent increments for the next three months without a satisfactory response.

There was an increase in the number of arrests by Mexican authorities at the US-Mexico border in the wake of the announcement, though Trump faced a backlash from Republicans in Congress amid suggestions that the president’s party could vote to block the introduction of the tariffs.

The UK’s Commons Science and Technology Committee questions Huawei global cyber security and privacy officer John Suffolk as part of its inquiry into UK telecommunications infrastructure.

Huawei, which has been under scrutiny for its alleged links to the Chinese government, has for many represented a political battle between China and the West. While UK mobile network EE refused to roll out 5G to Huawei devices, Russian telecoms company MTS recently announced it had signed a deal with Huawei for it to develop 5G in Russia over the coming year.

On Tuesday, outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker participates in a live interview hosted by Politico.

Covering the outcome of last month’s European elections, next steps for the EU and Juncker’s legacy after five years as one of the EU’s most important officials, the interview is likely to be closely watched by Conservative leadership hopefuls for signs that his oft-stated position on Brexit talks could be open to renegotiation.

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is expected to pass a resolution compelling former White House Counsel Don McGahn and Attorney General William Barr to comply with subpoenas issued by the House Judiciary Committee.

The vote has been prompted by Barr’s refusal to provide the committee with the full, unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has described the Trump administration’s approach to Congressional co-operation as “the biggest cover-up in American history” ahead of the vote.

In the wake of a recent BBC Panorama documentary, which unveiled apparent widespread abuse at private hospital Whorlton Hall, Care Quality Commission chief executive Ian Trenholm and Deputy Chief Inspector Dr Paul Lelliott are called in front of the Joint Committee on Human Rights on Wednesday.

The session comes after it emerged that a former CQC inspector wrote a report in 2015 flagging concerns about the hospital. The CQC has since launched an inquiry into its potential mishandling of the investigation, as media reports also show that the hospital had at least 100 visits by official agencies over the last year.

Prisons Minister Robert Buckland is questioned by members of the Justice Committee on probation reforms and prisoner rehabilitation. Buckland’s predecessor Rory Stewart, who became International Development Secretary in May before announcing his Conservative leadership bid, famously said last August he would resign in a year if he failed to reduce drugs and violence levels in certain UK prisons.

Figures released in January showed prison assaults were at a record high, while Aylesbury young offenders’ institute and HMP Bedford were placed in special measures in the last year due to deteriorating conditions.

The first votes in the Conservative leadership election are cast on Thursday in an opening ballot which could see the number of candidates significantly reduced and may even give an indication of the final pair who will be put to party members.

Party officials have reportedly urged candidates this year to avoid a repeat of the party’s 2016 leadership election, when Theresa May triumphed after only two rounds of voting and the withdrawal of her closest challenger Andrea Leadsom.

Nineties hitmakers The Spice Girls play the first of three gigs in London after reuniting for the first time since 2012.

The group, performing as a four-piece without Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham, have been criticised for the sound quality at some gigs on this tour, leading some fans to demand refunds.

The penultimate major golf tournament of the season gets underway in California, as Pebble Beach plays host to the US Open.

Defending champion Brooks Koepka, fresh from retaining his PGA Championship title last month, is aiming to become the first man since Walter Hagen in 1926 to win the same major tournament three years in a row. Former winners Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, and Jordan Spieth are likely to present the sternest opposition.

On Friday, Brenton Tarrant, the Australian national accused of carrying out the 15 March terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, is expected to enter pleas to nearly 100 charges of murder and attempted murder relating to the shootings at two mosques in the city.

At his last hearing on 5 April, Tarrant’s lawyers requested that his competence to enter pleas be assessed under New Zealand’s Mental Health Act, and the reports are expected to be completed by today’s hearing. Tarrant’s face can now be shown by media following a High Court ruling last week.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is due back in a London court as part of extradition proceedings brought by the United States. Assange was initially due to appear on 30 May, but ultimately missed the hearing as a result of ill health.

Plans for a further extradition request lodged by Swedish authorities were dealt a blow earlier this month, with a district court ruling that Assange does not need to be formally detained for questioning by Swedish prosecutors.

The hearing, due at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, could instead take place at Belmarsh prison, depending on Assange’s condition.

New regulations banning harmful gender stereotyping come into force after an Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) public consultation. The rules, which apply to both broadcast and non-broadcast media, mean that adverts will be judged against whether they include gender stereotypes “that are likely to cause harm, or serious or widespread offence”.

The Committees of Advertising Practice have published guidelines for advertisers on depictions likely to be banned, including a woman cleaning up while a man puts his feet up, or a man being unable to change a nappy.

Brazil plays host to the third Copa America in five years after 2016’s centenary edition of the South American tournament, and are among the favourites to regain the title after Chile’s two consecutive victories.

The host nation’s preparations have, however, been disrupted by controversy surrounding star player Neymar Jr, who was accused of raping a woman in a Paris hotel room and then ruled out of the tournament due to injury. Argentina, the continent’s other heavyweights, face future World Cup hosts Qatar at the group stage, while Japan are the tournament’s other guest nation.

Amanda Knox, the American student accused and then cleared of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in 2007, speaks at a conference in Modena hosted by the Italy Innocence Project on Saturday.

Knox’s attendance at the conference, which hosts people considered to have been wrongly convicted, marks the first time she has stepped on Italian soil since her release from prison in 2011. Kercher’s family have called her attendance “inappropriate and uncalled for”, and “designed to garner publicity and attention”.

With the opening stages of the leadership election taking place away from the prying eyes of the press and public, the remaining Conservative candidates line up on Sunday for the first of three TV debates.

Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy takes on hosting duties, with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis and Sky’s Kay Burley set to follow suit in the coming weeks.

Guatemaltecos head to the polls for presidential and parliamentary elections, with incumbent president Jimmy Morales prohibited from standing for a second term under the country’s constitution.

On 15 May, a Guatemalan court disqualified former Supreme Court president and anti-corruption candidate Thelma Aldana after she was accused of embezzlement and tax fraud. Zury Ríos Sosa, the daughter of former dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt, was also barred from the race, leaving former First Lady Sandra Torres, defeated by Morales in 2015, and businessman Roberto Arzú as the leading candidates.

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

Picture: Parliament/Mark Duffy/Handout

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