A guide to the big stories of the week ahead provided by Foresight News.
There’s more on David Cameron’s plate than the brouhaha over Jeremy Hunt’s alleged breach of the ministerial code, despite what you might hear in your average PMQs.
On Monday the Prime Minister is among world leaders attending the G20 Summit in Mexico, where talks will inevitably focus on Syria and the eurozone. Foreign Secretary William Hague last week announced that the possibility of ‘concerted international action’ on Syria would be discussed, while Cameron and US President Barack Obama have already spoken about the need for a plan to address the financial crisis in Europe.
Negotiations between the E3+3 group and Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme continue in Moscow on Monday, where the EU is represented by Foreign Affairs spokesperson Catherine Ashton. The group’s last meeting, held in Baghdad last month, resulted in Iranian accusations that there was a lack of commitment to finding a solution, while the presentation of a five point plan by lead negotiator Saeed Jalili passed most EU representatives by. With an oil embargo due to come into effect at the beginning of July, the mood for diplomacy in Iran may be short lived.
Global democracy icon Bono presents Burmese parliamentarian Aung San Suu Kyi with a humanitarian award in Dublin on Monday, as the Nobel Prize winner’s tour of Europe brings her to the British Isles. After meeting the U2 frontman and professional sunglasses-wearer, the rest of Suu Kyi’s UK trip, which includes the presentation of an honorary degree from the University of Oxford on Wednesday and an address to the House of Parliament on Thursday, will surely only pale in comparison.
With qualification from Group D potentially resting on a victory in their final game against Ukraine in Donetsk on Tuesday, England must not let anything – not selection issues, not the lack of support, not Wayne Rooney’s haircut – distract them from the task of beating the in-form hosts in front of their own fans.
A summit-heavy week continues on Wednesday at the Rio +20 conference on sustainable development, which takes place 20 years after the original UN conference that lead to the adoption of the Agenda 21 plan for global action. Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are among participants reviewing existing commitments and discussing the work towards the eradication of poverty and the concept of a green economy.
After redefining poverty last week, Iain Duncan Smith needn’t be concerned by the release of unemployment statistics on Wednesday; a quick swipe of his red pen in the Department for Work and Pensions dictionary, and problem solved.
Doctors strike on Thursday! Except, not really. As a result of changes to the NHS pension scheme members of the British Medical Association are undertaking industrial action which means that they’ll be in their usual places of work providing care to patients. The decision to take action still risks antagonising a public whose sympathy for strike action has lately been in marked decline, and with doctors’ pension payouts already among the most generous in the public sector, the equally generously-enumerated Health Secretary Andrew Lansley may find himself in the unusual position of capturing the mood of the public come the end of the action.
It was all going so well in Egypt. A new parliament, the expectation of a return to economic stability, and a presidential election with more than one candidate. Then, last week, the Mubarak-appointed Supreme Court dissolved parliament and declared that the army-backed candidate Ahmad Shafiq could remain in the presidential election race in what Muslim Brotherhood MP Mohamed el-Beltagy called a ‘fully fledged coup’. On Thursday the final results of the presidential election are expected to be announced; Mohamed ElBaradei, a one-time favourite for the position, said in the wake of last week’s events, ‘The election of a president in the absence of a constitution and a parliament is the election of a president with powers that not even the most entrenched dictatorships have known.’
Rebekah Brooks and her coterie of News International minions (and husband Charlie) are back before a judge on Friday for a pre-trial hearing at Southwark Crown Court. With last week’s appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court lasting under 10 minutes, Rebekah watchers were left with little to analyse beyond her choice of accessory.
As EU finance ministers wing their way to Luxembourg on Friday for another crunch ECOFIN council, popular bureaucrat Mario Monti welcomes Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and geography expert Mariano Rajoy to the Palazzo Chigi for a four-way summit on the eurozone. The meeting was pitched as a way to find common ground for tackling the debt crisis, with Monti last week backing Hollande’s calls for the launch of a Eurobond, but it seems that Angela Merkel’s patience with playing Atlas is wearing thin.
And finally on Sunday the schedule for the first day’s play at Wimbledon is released, so Andy Murray, fresh from a triumphant turn at Queen’s, can start plotting his way to the inevitable semi-final exit.