Foresight News provides a look-ahead to the key events that need to be in your news diary for next week…
England all-rounder Ben Stokes (pictured) is due before Bristol Crown Court on Monday for the start of his affray trial. Stokes was charged after an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September last year in which a man suffered a fractured eye socket, and the events led to his missing The Ashes tour last winter.
- February 14, 2020
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The case is expected to take around five days to be heard, which means he would potentially be unavailable for selection when England face India in the second test match of their series on August 9.
Also on Monday former Donald Trump campaign director Paul Manafort appears for trial in Virginia on fraud charges. The case opened on 31 July and involves allegations concerning false tax returns, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, and bank fraud. The prosecution case was laid out in detail last week; Manafort faces life imprisonment if convicted.
America’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal continues Monday with the expiration of a 90-day wind-down period, after which multiple sanctions are due to be re-imposed on Iran. The penalties cover areas such as the purchase of US banknotes, the Iranian automotive sector, and the Iranian trade in gold and precious metals.
On Tuesday the newly elected Colombian President, conservative Iván Duque, takes office. During the election campaign he was particularly critical of the peace accord with FARC guerrillas, prompting fears for the fledgling peace process that saw then-President Juan Manuel Santos awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. He now faces the task of negotiating a similar agreement with the National Liberation Army (ELN), the last guerrilla group fighting against government forces in Colombia.
In Washington DC, Gavin Williamson delivers an address at the Atlantic Council on European security and the US-UK special relationship. The Defence Secretary has clashed with Downing Street several times since his promotion, notably on Army pay and a controversial Troubles amnesty, and he may use this opportunity to address the rumbling row over defence spending.
Wednesday marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Amiens, the engagement which would ultimately bring about the end of the First World War. The centenary’s focal point is a memorial service at Amiens Cathedral, with Prime Minister Theresa May expected to attend alongside the Duke of Cambridge. The event has been jointly organised by the British, Australian, Canadian, French, and American Governments.
Lawmakers in Argentina’s senate debate and vote on proposals to legalise abortion after the legislation narrowly passed the Chamber of Deputies in June, with 129 representatives voting in favour of the proposals and 125 opposing the plans.
The debate over the legalisation of terminations has divided the country – hundreds of doctors took to the streets of Buenos Aries earlier this month to take part in anti-abortion protests, with the charity Amnesty International warning ahead of the vote that Argentinian women would be denied a human right if the Bill fails to pass.
Currently, abortions are only permitted in Argentina when the mother’s life or health are in danger or when the pregnancy is the result of a rape. If successful, the new legislation would legalise elective abortions in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
After assuming the rotating chairmanship of the UN Security Council at the start of this month, the UK leads its second session on Wednesday. Members are due to discuss the UN mission in Iraq, UNAMI, and will likely focus on the situation in the country after May’s parliamentary elections and the subsequent recount which has stymied efforts to form a coalition government.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse releases a highly anticipated report on Thursday into allegations of abuse at Ampleforth and Downside schools. When the inquiry took evidence as part of its investigations in November of last year, it heard that that boys as young as six had been abused by priests at Ampleforth. Recently the Department for Education intervened and warned the school could face closure if it fails to improve the safeguarding of pupils.
The last of golf’s majors for 2018 gets underway at Bellerive Country Club as players compete for the US PGA Championship. With the Ryder Cup starting in just a few weeks, the tournament also serves as the last opportunity for American and European hopefuls to force their way into contention for inclusion in Thomas Bjorn and Jim Furyk’s teams.
The Premier League returns on Friday with the first match of the new season between last year’s runners-up Manchester United and 2016 winners Leicester City. Both teams had players featuring in the latter stages of the World Cup so victory would be a welcome boost after a reduced pre-season and an early advantage over title rivals.
A full slate of fixtures takes place over the rest of the weekend, with Sunday’s clash between title holders Manchester City and an Arsene Wenger-less Arsenal the pick of the bunch.
On Saturday, the Parker Solar Probe, a NASA mission to study the Sun, is targeted for launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida. According to NASA, the Parker spacecraft, a small, car-sized vehicle, will be the first to “touch” the sun by flying directly into the star’s corona to study its outer atmosphere and solar winds. Five separate scientific investigations will take place during the mission with the results expected to provide the most detailed observations of our Sun to date.
And Sunday marks the anniversary of Unite the Right, a demonstration by alt-right groups in Charlottesville, Virginia, which descended into violence and resulted in the murder of a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, by a man who drove his vehicle into a crowd of counter-protesters.
In the wake of the events Donald Trump issued a now-notorious response in which he referred to hatred and bigotry on “many sides”, and critics have since cited the remarks as evidence for the president’s support for nationalist groups.
Organisers of last year’s demonstration, including “white civil rights” advocate Jason Kessler, are behind Unite the Right 2, a rally taking place in Washington DC’s Lafayette Park on Sunday afternoon. Kessler was refused permission to hold the rally in Charlottesville.
The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.
Picture: Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers