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News diary 26 August-1 September: First Jeffrey Epstein hearing since financier's death and Bake Off returns

Jeffrey Epstein

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

On Monday, the three-day summit of G7 leaders wraps up in the French seaside city of Biarritz. Discussions on the final day are focused on digital issues and climate, particularly the Amazon rainforest fires, with leaders from non-G7 countries including Egypt, South, India, Australia participating in the talks today.

US President Donald Trump may hold a press conference to discuss his views of the gathering, having notably expressed support for re-admitting Russia to such summits.

The US Open tennis gets underway at Flushing Meadows in the final grand slam tournament of the year, with Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka the top seeds in the men’s and women’s draws having won the competition 12 months ago. Former champion Andy Murray misses the event, opting instead to continue his singles comeback in Majorca.

With yet another Brexit deadline looming and some on the continent apparently believing “no-deal” to now be the most likely scenario, the campaign by opposition parties to prevent the UK from leaving the EU without a deal gathers pace on Tuesday as Jeremy Corbyn hosts a meeting with fellow party leaders and prominent backbenchers for discussions aimed at preventing what the Labour leader called ‘a constitutional and political storm’.

New Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson was among the first to accept the invitation, though she reiterated her demand for Corbyn to explore alternatives to his proposed caretaker premiership.

The Great British Bake Off returns for its third series on Channel 4 with the youngest-ever line-up of contestants hoping to triumph in the famous tent. The show has lost viewers since moving from the BBC after 2016, though last year’s finale attracted a bigger audience than Channel 4’s first series and the younger cast this summer may be an attempt by the broadcaster to capture a younger demographic and increase viewing figures further.

The criminal case against late financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein (pictured) continues with a public hearing after federal prosecutors requested its dismissal following Epstein’s 10 August suicide.

In his order announcing the hearing, Judge Richard Berman invited Epstein’s accusers, who are said to be outraged that he was able to evade justice by killing himself while in federal custody, to address proceedings.

On Wednesday, the Children’s Society releases its Good Childhood report, an annual compilation of UK household surveys which looks at how children in the UK are coping with the pressures of modern life.

The report focuses particularly on children’s mental health and general wellbeing, and last year’s report found that “alarming” numbers of children are self-harming, with the issue of gender cited in several cases.

A by-election in the Scottish Parliament constituency of Shetland takes place on Thursday to replace outgoing MSP Tavish Scott. The area is a Liberal Democrat stronghold, with the party having held onto the constituency since the inaugural Holyrood elections in 1999.

Scott was re-elected in 2016 after securing 67.4 per cent of the vote, though the SNP has wheeled out its big guns during campaigning in an attempt to seize control of the seat.

The Ministry of Justice releases its annual forecast on the number of detainees in England and Wales for the next five years. Prison reform has been part of an early focus on law and order for new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and he announced this month that his administration would create 10,000 new prison places.

The pledge has, however, been criticised by former Justice Secretary David Gauke for its apparent failure to address the root causes of crime.

After years of cold calls, radio ads and a television campaign featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger’s animatronic head, the PPI compensation era ends with today’s deadline for claims.

The Financial Conduct Authority imposed the limit on claims after more than £35bn in compensation was paid out after 2011 to consumers who had been mis-sold payment protection insurance on financial products including credit cards and mortgages.

The well-travelled Dominic Raab is expected to attend an informal gathering of European foreign ministers in Helsinki on Thursday and Friday. The meeting is likely to be one of the final EU meetings attended by the Foreign Secretary following the Government’s announcement that it would stop attending most EU meetings from 1 September, with a representative present only for those “where the UK has a significant national interest in the outcome” such as security.

The Islamic Society of North America’s annual convention begins in Houston on Friday with The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah speaking on the opening night. A presidential forum follows on Saturday, when Bernie Sanders and Julian Castro are among the 2020 candidates addressing the crowds amid accusations that the Democratic campaign has so far failed to adequately acknowledge issues affecting Muslim Americans.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is due to deliver a video address on the Saturday night, when he may discuss the situation in Kashmir.

A “straight pride” parade takes place in Boston on Saturday. Organisers Super Happy Fun America claim the parade is intended to educate the public on so-called “heterophobia”, though the group has ties to white supremacist and alt-right groups and controversy-courting former Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos is set to attend.

The event has attracted fierce criticism from the city’s LGBTQ+ community and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has made clear that permitting the event to go ahead does not equate to an endorsement of its values.

Political figures descend on the Isle of Dogs for the annual Big Tent Ideas Festival established by transport minister and former No.10 Policy Board chair George Freeman. Billed as a “non-party political forum for people of all political persuasions”, the event tends to be dominated by figures from the Conservative Party, with previous speakers having included Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, former Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt and International Trade Secretary Liz Truss.

The festival, dubbed “Tory Glastonbury” by some, has this year teamed up with Extinction Rebellion to discuss tackling climate change.

Wales play Ireland at the Principality Stadium with Warren Gatland taking charge of the Grand Slam winners for the final time in Cardiff. The match is his last home fixture before the Rugby World Cup, after which Gatland returns to New Zealand to lead Super Rugby’s Chiefs franchise.

Elsewhere the highlights of the day’s Premier League action sees title holders Manchester City face Brighton and Burnley host runners-up Liverpool.

On Sunday, Donald Trump attends commemorations in Poland for the 80th anniversary of the Nazi invasion which marked the beginning of World War II.

The President is expected to deliver a speech at ceremonies in Warsaw which take place on the second of a three-day visit hosted by Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is also expected to attend today’s events, sparking speculation over a potential first meeting between the two leaders.

Meanwhile further US tariffs on Chinese imports are set to take effect as Donald Trump’s trade wars continue. Most tariffs have been delayed until 15 December to reduce the impact on consumers during the holiday shopping period, though China has said it will retaliate to any new tariffs with as-yet unspecified action. The Trump administration remains hopeful that a new negotiations round, planned for later in the month, will go ahead.

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

 

Picture: Reuters/Handout

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