News diary for 21-26 May: Leveson attending 'fake news' inqury as Zuckerberg meets members of European Parliament

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

Ahead of the formal opening of the full inquiry into the Grenfell Tower tragedy, commemoration hearings mark the start of public evidence on Monday.

All 71 victims will be remembered as part of the inquiry’s opening section, which is expected to conclude on May 31.

Last week, the Hackitt review concluded that there had been a ‘race to the bottom’ building regulations, though a proposal to ban combustible cladding, which many Grenfell survivors had demanded, did not materialise.

The trial of Husnain Rashid, who is accused of encouraging extremists to attack Prince George at his London primary school, is also due to begin at Woolwich Crown Court on Monday.

Rashid also faces charges of calling for attacks at the Wimbledon Championships and the upcoming World Cup in Russia. The trial is expected to be heard over six weeks.

Tuesday marks one year since 22 people were killed after an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena, when 22-year-old Salman Abedi detonated a home-made bomb in the arena’s foyer.

A memorial service at Manchester Cathedral is among the commemorative events planned, with Prime Minster Theresa May and the Duke of Cambridge due to attend.

There will also be Manchester Together event in Albert square, which will see choirs join together as well as a communal singalong.

In what’s likely been interpreted as a snub by Damian Collins and the DCMS Committee, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg attends a private meeting with members of the European Parliament on Tuesday to discuss the use of personal data by the social media platform and its associates.

Among attendees will be the leaders of the political groupings in Brussels, which includes the outspoken ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt.

Following on from his Brussels meeting, Zuckerberg is set to hold a one-on-one meeting with Emmanuel Macron during the French President’s “Tech for Good” on Wednesday.

Other major tech figures are also expected to attend the event, with Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, IBM’s Ginni Rometty and Intel’s Brian Krzanich also on the guest list.

In the UK, Iain Duncan Smith switches his attention from Brexit during a grilling by the Work and Pensions Committee on the rollout of the Universal Credit programme.

The welfare overhaul has been dogged by delays and late payments, with some claimants reportedly waiting six weeks for their first payment. As the architect of the policy during his tenure as Work and Pensions Secretary, Duncan Smith can expect a difficult hearing.

Leveson Inquiry chairman Sir Brian Leveson (pictured) is before the DCMS Committee’s inquiry into fake news on Wednesday, from 2.15pm. MPs will use the opportunity to ask  Leveson about his views on media regulation, and how social media has transformed the way the public consume news.

Also before committees are Brexit Ministers Suella Braverman and Sue Baker, and Justice Secretary David Gauke.

In the first release of its kind since Amber Rudd resigned as Home Secretary over the Windrush scandal, the Home Office publishes its quarterly immigration statistics.

The figures are sure to keep the spotlight firmly fixed on the workings of the UK’s immigration system amid enormous scrutiny.

Fresh from his meeting with President Trump in the United States last month, Emmanuel Macron embarks on his latest foreign trip as he heads to Russia.

The French President’s schedule for the two-day visit includes an address at the St Petersburg Forum and talks with Vladimir Putin, where the situation in Syria and the future of the Iran nuclear deal are likely to dominate the agenda.

On Friday, a referendum takes place on whether to repeal the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution and overturn the existing legal position on access to abortion in the country. In what will be the sixth vote on the issue for Ireland since 1983, the Yes campaign has seen a strong lead in the polls steadily reduced in the last week.

And Friday marks the compliance deadline for GDPR, the EU’s data privacy scheme. Many firms’ offer of prizes in return for consent to receive email communications is perhaps understandable when the penalties for failing to comply with the regulations include fines up of to 4 per cent of global turnover.

The Champions League final on Saturday evening sees Liverpool meet Real Madrid in Kiev. Zinedine Zidane’s side are looking to secure their fourth European crown in five years, with Liverpool having last lifted the trophy in 2005.

Before the action gets underway in Kiev, Wembley plays host to the Championship playoff final. Aston Villa and Fulham compete for the division’s final promotion spot, with the two sides hoping to join Wolves and Cardiff City in the Premier League from next season.

The highlight of the formula one season comes on Sunday as the drivers take to the streets of Monaco. The $64,000 question in Monte Carlo will be whether Lewis Hamilton can extend his lead at the top of the championship after a fortunate victory in Azerbaijan, or if Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel can close the gap on his Mercedes rival.

Tennis fans also turn their attention to Roland Garros as the French Open gets underway. There’s only one name to beat in the men’s singles draw as Rafael Nadal looks to win a staggering 11th French Open title, and Serena Williams is likely to make her return to grand-slam tennis in the women’s section following the birth of her daughter last year.

Picture: Reuters/Daniel Munoz

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