Journalists' guide to the week ahead (from Easter Monday onwards)

Here’s Press Gazette’s guide to the big news events of the week ahead provided by forward planning service Foresight News.

Yesterday marked twenty years since the Tories won a fourth successive election victory, the first under John Major and the last before Labour’s 1997 landslide. Telegraph columnist Peter Oborne recently defended the Major years, saying it was high time for a revaluation of the 1992 win, which came on the back of the ‘splendidly Tory’ manifesto. Oborne also notes that some bloke called David Cameron headed up the ’92 Conservative HQ political department.

That bloke crops up again this week, in fact, beginning a two-day visit to Japan to meet his counterpart Yoshihiko Noda on Tuesday. It’s expected that the two nations will sign a lucrative defence deal that would see the Land of the Rising Sun investing in major British defence projects over the next few years. Any agreement would be a boost to Britain’s largest manufacturing employer BAE, who’ve had a rough time of late, presumably softened by their ability to make products capable of destroying everything in their path.

Also on the international stage, Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights issues its judgement on terrorism suspect Babar Ahmad and radical cleric Abu Hamza’s bids to fight extradition to the US. Ahmad, Hamza and five others claim that extradition to the US on terrorism charges would violate the Convention on Human Rights, and the Court has already expressed the view that the six could face trial on the basis of evidence gained through torture if extradited.

Stateside, a Seminole County Grand Jury convenes to begin deliberating whether charges should be filed in the case of Trayvon Martin on Tuesday. Martin, a black teenager, was shot dead in a gated complex in the Florida city of Sandford by neighbourhood watch leader George Zimmerman. The case, which has sparked nationwide protests, centres on a key question: whether Zimmerman justifiably shot Martin because his own life was under threat, a right protected under Florida’s ‘Stand your ground’ law, or whether the killing was the result of racial profiling.

Wednesday sees Gordon Thompson appear for sentencing at the Old Bailey, after he was convicted of burning down the 150-year-old Reeves Furniture Store in Croydon during the London riots. The blaze became one of the iconic images of the carnage wrought by last August’s strife.

Kim Jong-un and his North Korean military coterie are planning to blast a rocket into the skies between Thursday and Monday. The Earth observation satellite is being launched to honour the centenary of the birth of Jong-un’s grandfather and the ‘Eternal President’ Kim Il-sung, who was the inaugural ruler of North Korea.

Iran is expected to return to nuclear talks on Friday with the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany at a yet-to-be-confirmed location. Tensions between Iran and several countries, most notably Israel, have been ramped up in recent months over the potential weaponisation of the Middle Eastern state’s nuclear programme.

Hacking group Anonymous are back in court on Friday as one of its members, James Jeffery, appears for sentencing at Southwark Crown Court after admitting that to the theft of 10,000 records of the personal details of women registered with the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. Judge Daphne Wickham described Jeffery as a “zealot with an anti-abortion campaign,” as she refused his application for bail in early March.

On Saturday families across the UK are united in having a flutter on the John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree racecourse. Grandparents and grandchildren alike will be placing bets on the best-named horses, such as Mr Frisk or Party Politics, in what is set to be the last BBC Grand National for some time as Channel 4 takes over the broadcast rights from next year.

And in a week of Titanic anniversaries, Sunday marks the centenary of the giant ship’s fateful sinking after she collided with an iceberg in the rough seas of the North Atlantic. Of the 2,224 passengers and crew on board, just 711 were rescued. To mark the sinking, a cruise arrives at the point the liner sank, with a service taking place at the precise location of the ship’s sinking, before embarking to the Titanic’s intended destination of New York.



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