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News diary 9-15 September: Boris Johnson to visit Ireland and BBC's Brexitcast show starts

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

The dramatic return of Parliament last week saw Boris Johnson lose his first four votes as Prime Minister, and the action resumes on Monday when the Benn/Burt Bill returns to the Commons after two days of debate in the House of Lords.

Once passed, the Bill will require the Prime Minister to break his “do or die” pledge and request another extension to the Article 50 period if a Brexit deal has not been agreed by 19 October.

MPs are then set to vote for the second time inside seven days on whether to hold an early general election. Jeremy Corbyn will join the other opposition MPs in voting against the motion in an attempt to delay a vote and increase the pressure on the already-embattled Prime Minister. All of this means the expected prorogation of Parliament could be the least controversial of the day’s events.

Before it all kicks off in the Commons, Johnson travels to Dublin for his first face-to-face talks with Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar.

Johnson was criticised for failing to speak to the Taoiseach in the days after his election, and though the pair have since spoken by phone, there was a hint of the difficulties inherent in the relationship in Varadkar’s assertion last week that Ireland must stand its ground in discussions over the backstop.

US President Donald Trump holds a 2020 campaign rally in North Carolina, one of a handful of states seen as particularly important to his re-election campaign.

The event takes place the day before a tightly-fought and closely-watched special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, which was ordered following reports of voter fraud.

On Tuesday, Apple holds its annual launch event, which is expected to introduce the iPhone 11, 11 Max/11 Pro and 11R. The internet has been awash with predictions and expectations, with claims that the new iPhones will feature three cameras and an ultra-wide lens, moving away from Apple’s recent trend to keep the camera element streamlined.

Other suggestions include wireless phone charging to challenge rivals Samsung and Huawei, with the Silicon Valley giant likely to try to use the models to offset falling demand for Apple in China and the effects of the US-China trade war.

England welcome Kosovo to Southampton as they look to maintain their 100 per cent start to their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign. Gareth Southgate’s side top Group A after wins over the Czech Republic and Montenegro, who sit second and fifth in the group respectively.

Matt Hancock addresses the second day of Public Health England’s annual conference on Wednesday. The conference, which focuses on improvements in public health and ways to reduce health inequalities, comes after Hancock announced plans to launch a National Artificial Intelligence Lab as part of the NHS’s investment in new technologies.

The final match of the 2019 Ashes series gets underway at The Oval on Thursday, with the game either set to be a series decider or a dead rubber. Ben Stokes’s heroics in the third test at Headingly tied the series at 1-1, meaning Joe Root’s side will regain the Ashes by winning one of the remaining two tests and avoiding defeat in the other.

The match is also England’s last taste of test cricket before the tail end of 2019 and tours of New Zealand and South Africa await.

BBC’s Brexitcast, the award-winning podcast hosted by political editor Laura Kuenssberg, Europe editor Katya Adler and correspondents Adam Fleming and Chris Mason (pictured), debuts on BBC One as a replacement for Andrew Neil’s long-running This Week programme.

The first BBC podcast to be commissioned for television, Brexitcast’s mix of unusual recording locations, informal chat and incisive analysis has proven a hit with listeners since it debuted in 2017. A successful transition to TV could spark a trend for on-screen podcasts.

Following a summer of airport disruption, four members of Heathrow Pause, an off-shoot of Extinction Rebellion, plan to fly toy drones in Heathrow Airport’s exclusion zone on Friday.

The drones, which organisers say will not be flown within flight paths, are being deployed to draw attention to the climate crisis, but Heathrow Airport has denounced the protest as “criminal and counterproductive”. According to Heathrow Pause, the four protesters are willing to be ‘arrested peacefully’.

Prominent North of England politicians including Jake Berry and Andy Burnham gather in Rotherham for the second annual Convention of the North conference. The conference is being described as a “crucial moment” in the political calendar given that the region is likely to be the principal battleground in the forthcoming  election.

Targeting Leave seats in Labour constituencies will be a key strategy for the Conservative Party, and numerous reports suggest the Prime Minister will also make an appearance at the event.

Liberal Democrat members gather in Bournemouth on Saturday for the start of the party’s autumn conference. The party is resurgent after losing three-quarters of its MPs in 2015, performing well in by-elections and benefiting from defections from both the Labour and Conservative parties.

Recent polling which puts the party only a point behind Labour should give new leader Jo Swinson cause for confidence going into an election campaign this autumn.

Lineal World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury returns to the ring in Las Vegas to face undefeated Swede Otto Wallin. A win for Fury at the T-Mobile Arena could open the possibility of a fight against fellow heavyweight division high-flyers Anthony Joshua or Andy Ruiz Jr before the end of the year.

Back on this side of the Atlantic, the Premier League’s highlights see Manchester United taking on Leicester City and Liverpool hosting Newcastle. The Tour of Britain cycling event also reaches its conclusion with a 166km stage into Manchester.

On Sunday, Tunisians head to the polls to elect a new president following the death of President Beji Caid Essebsi in July. Essebsi was Tunisia’s first democratically-elected head of state, voted in after the overthrow of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in the wake of protests that sparked the Arab Spring.

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

Picture: BBC

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