News diary 31 May-6 June: France quarantines Brits, bailiff eviction ban ends and BAFTA holds TV awards

Foresight News rounds up the key events that need to be in your news diary this week…

Monday

A temporary ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, first introduced in March last year to help renters whose finances had been hit by the pandemic, comes to an end after several extensions. The ban was also intended to prevent a surge in homelessness and the associated financial burden on local authorities, and the Crisis charity’s annual monitor noted the policy’s role in minimising homelessness in 2020. However, charities and public bodies continue to warn about the impact of the ban ending as council budgets remain stretched and rent arrears continue to rise.

Brits headed to France face a mandatory seven-day quarantine upon arrival from today, even with a recent negative PCR test, amid fears over the spread of the Indian COVID-19 variant in the UK. France is the latest European country to sound the alarm: Germany has required a two-week quarantine for UK visitors since 23 May, and Austria has announced a ban on direct flights from the UK from tomorrow.  The development pours cold water on prospective holidaymakers’ hopes for visiting the country even if France is moved to the UK’s green list in the next review, scheduled for 7 June.

The fallout from the Dyson report into Martin Bashir’s Princess Diana interview continues, with the BBC due to publish a report this week on why the broadcaster re-hired the presenter in 2016 despite the fact that questions had already been raised about the 1995 programme. Speaking on the Today programme, BBC director general Tim Davie said bringing Bashir back as a religion correspondent and then editor was “a big mistake”, and that ex-director of BBC Nations and Regions Ken Macquarrie would investigate the decision ahead of a wider review into BBC editorial practices.

Tuesday

Keir Starmer’s much-trailed appearance on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories airs on ITV, with the pre-billed subjects slightly overshadowed by the Labour leader’s headline-grabbing refusal to answer questions about drug-taking at university. The interview also covers Starmer’s childhood, his mother’s illness and his move from law into politics, and it airs in a week when, fortunately for the Labour leader, there’s no PMQs to prep for.

England manager Gareth Southgate names his final 26-man squad for this summer’s European Championships. His provisional squad included both Manchester United’s Harry Maguire and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, despite the pair continuing to struggle with injuries. Southgate dubbed England’s selection “more complicated than any other country”, as key players from Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City take part in European finals just days before today’s submission deadline.

President Joe Biden visits Oklahoma to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre. Biden’s visit follows the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd and renewed attention on the progress made to address systemic racism. As part of his trip, Biden meets with survivors of the massacre, now all over 100 years old, who recently testified before Congress to reaffirm their demand for reparations and racial justice. Up to 300 Black residents of Tulsa’s Greenwood District are believed to have been killed in what has been called the “the single worst incident of racial violence in American history”.

Wednesday

Google’s parent company Alphabet holds its annual shareholders’ meeting amid attempts by activist groups to force the tech giant to adopt proposals intended to make the company more accountable. Top of the list of demands are improved workplace protections, greater environmental oversight and protections for whistleblowers, with a resolution to review Alphabet’s existing whistleblowing policy on the agenda for a second year running.

The Queen celebrates 68 years on the throne with commemorations set to be much more muted this year compared to next year’s four-day bank holiday Platinum Jubilee, which will take place around her coronation anniversary rather than when she came to the throne in February.

Thursday

The UK hosts a meeting of G7 health ministers at Oxford University, the birthplace of the world-renowned Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The meeting comes as researchers at the Goethe-University of Frankfurt claim to have found the cause of rare blood clots linked to both the Oxford/AZ and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which caused many European countries to suspend their use and distribution in March. If the research in Germany is proved to be correct, the findings could lead to the jabs being altered to prevent future blood clotting incidents.

Tesla holds a delivery event at its Fremont factory for its new Model S Plaid. Named in tribute to Spaceballs, the $140,000 car is the company’s fastest yet, reaching 60mph in under two seconds. The event comes amid President Joe Biden’s push to expand the manufacturing of electric vehicles and proposal to boost tax credits up to $12,500 to incentivise their domestic production.

Friday

After last week’s preparatory virtual meeting, Rishi Sunak and Andrew Bailey host G7 finance ministers and central bank governors for the first face-to-face meeting in over a year. The grouping is edging closer to consensus on a global business tax after the Biden administration appeared to lower its suggested rate, and the Chancellor is under pressure domestically and from within the G7 to align the UK with the US proposal so global negotiations can progress over the coming months.

The independent tribunal investigating alleged crimes against humanity by the Chinese government against Uyghur peoples holds its first hearings. The “people’s tribunal” takes evidence across two separate sessions as it considers whether China has committed crimes against the ethnic group. Beijing has attracted international condemnation for its actions in the Xinjiang region, though vehemently denies the allegations being levelled. The first tranche of hearings is due to conclude on 7 June.

Saturday

Palestinians mark Naksa Day, commemorating the displacement which followed Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War. The anniversary of the war comes ahead of potential movement next week in the pending expulsion of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, which sparked the protests that led to the recent fighting. As tensions remain high following a two-week-old ceasefire, there are fears that protests today could lead to a repeat of events in 2011, when Israeli soldiers fired on demonstrators attempting to breach the Israeli border with Syria.

Former President Donald Trump, who has kept a relatively low profile since leaving office, heads to North Carolina to address the state Republican party’s annual convention. The appearance will do little to dampen rampant speculation that he plans to run again in 2024, despite reservations from a minority in the party, such as former House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney and North Carolina’s outgoing Senator Richard Burr,. Perhaps not coincidentally, there are rumours that Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara, who is married to his son Eric, is considering running for the North Carolina Senate seat being vacated by Burr.

Sunday

The BAFTA TV Awards reward the best individuals and programmes from the year’s small screen, with reality shows, soaps and dramas all recognised. The academy will be looking to rebuild its reputation in the wake of multiple accusations of bullying and sexual harassment levelled at actor and director Noel Clarke, just days after BAFTA honoured him with the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award despite having been made aware of the allegations ahead of the ceremony.

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

Picture: PA Wire/Jacob King

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