The week ahead: BBC strike, pie man, Egypt, Edinburgh, MPC, football

Journalists’ guide to the week ahead provided by forward planning service Foresight News.

BBC journalists are absent from our screens again today as they take part in their second one-day strike following the NUJ vote in early July. The BBC’s annual report revealed £9miilion had been pared off the bill for its TV talent, but it appears Auntie hasn’t quite finished yet. The row over compulsory redundancies has left many at the Corporation incandescent, while the viewing public will no doubt be a little miffed, too, as they slog through a day of the uncomfortably unfamiliar presenter sat alone at his desk, flicking back and forth to an abundance of panoramic shots and narrated videos.

Tuesday brings 26-year-old Jonathan May-Bowles – aka Jonnie Marbles – back for another day in the Sun (one more likely than the other) after admitting his guilt to hurling a ‘shaving foam pie’ (Mr Blumenthal’s recipe?) at media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Already guilty of assault and behaviour ‘causing harassment, alarm or distress in a public place’, Mr Marbles can expect a baying press as his sentence is delivered, and possibly a calculated smile and wink from Wendi Murdoch in the public gallery.

Over on the other side of the Atlantic the deadline for America’s debt default looms on Tuesday. Back in May, US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner sent a letter warning congressional leaders that he could postpone a default till this day. Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans have been playing chicken with the $14.3trillion debt ceiling as they contest the relative merits of tax and public spending. The US Treasury has warned a failure to raise the debt level could risk an unprecedented national default – a heart-warming prospect.

On Wednesday attention will turn back to Egypt as former President Hosni Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal appear in a Cairo court charged with the premeditated murder and attempted murder of protestors during the January 25 revolution. The charge sheet is supplemented with allegations of profiteering, using their positions for illicit gains and squandering public funds. The allegedly nefarious trio will be joined by former Interior Minister Habib Al Adly and six aides, who are charged with murdering anti-government protestors and withdrawing police which led to riots and looting, in what should be a downbeat Ancien Régime reunion.

Another round of interest rate debates is wheeled into action on Thursday as the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee decides whether to keep rates at their close-to rock bottom position of 0.5 per cent or tweak them a little higher. Off the back of a 7-2 win at retaining the 0.5 per cent level in July, bank on Mervyn King to win his case again, assuming he hasn’t been held up watching the cricket.

Edinburgh’s showpiece 24-day Festival Fringe begins on Friday as all the slebs and comedians migrate to the outer reaches of our hemisphere, painstakingly taking their tweets with them. Expect lots of side-splitting 140-character snippets for anyone not at the festival, or even for those there – it’s not about you.

Listless lives will be kick-started back into action in the opening salvo of the English football season’s regular thud of fixtures on Saturday. Fans up and down the country are set to travel the well-trodden routes in their pilgrimages to the footballing crucibles, which will once more play host for the seemingly endless vicissitudes of a Football League season.

The sporting weekend’s crowning glory arrives on Sunday as Manchester United take on their parvenu rivals Manchester City in the FA Community Shield clash. United were streaking ahead in the summer’s battle of the transfers after adding big-money signings Phil Jones, Ashley Young and David De Gea to their league-winning squad. But FA Cup winners City replied last week with the marquee signing of Sergio Aguero, who by all accounts is looking forward to the dreary weather and the chance to take on the Blues’ fiercest rivals – at least until the money runs out.



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