Foresight News provides a look-ahead to the key events that need to be in your news diary for next week…
The UK election is in full swing and party leaders continue to criss-cross the country ahead of the 12 December vote, but away from the campaign trail there’s plenty to focus on…
- February 21, 2020
- February 14, 2020
- February 10, 2020
The new rate for the UK’s living wage, calculated annually based on the cost of living and paid voluntarily by employers, is announced on Monday.
Distinct from the government-set national minimum and living wages, the rates were set last year at £10 for London and £9 for the rest of the UK. In a pledge which is likely to make it into the Labour election manifesto, Jeremy Corbyn promised in May this year to implement a £10 per hour wage for all workers.
A ruling is scheduled in the case of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, in one of several cases connected to the 1MDB fund scandal. Specifically, today’s ruling is set to determine if the former prime minster is outright acquitted, or whether he is forced to present a defence.
The High Court in London hands down its judgment in the case between Vote Leave and the Electoral Commission on Tuesday. Vote Leave – the group that led the argument for Britain to split from the European Union – seeks a judicial review to challenge the Electoral Commission’s report on their expenses during the 2016 referendum.
The commission’s report in July 2018 found that Vote Leave had broken electoral law by exceeding its £7m spending limit. Investigators who were sent in to examine Vote Leave’s finances are now understood to have passed a file to prosecutors.
Disney+, the new streaming service from the iconic studio, launches in the United States. The platform, priced at $6.99 a year, aims to rival Netflix, Amazon Prime and the newly-released Apple TV Plus, and will contain films and shows from Disney itself, Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar.
Disney chief executive Bob Iger announced last week that Disney+ would launch in the UK on 31 March next year.
The first hearing in the public phase of the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump takes place on Wednesday, when Acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent appear before the US House Intelligence committee.
The hearing follows the release of Taylor’s deposition transcript in which he confirmed the whistleblower’s claim that Ukrainian officials had been pressured to intervene in US policy by launching investigations into President Trump’s political rivals. Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch testifies in a separate session on Friday.
Meanwhile, the President hosts his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks at the White House. The visit follows a tumultuous period in which the Trump administration imposed and then lifted sanctions on Turkey in response to the country’s military invasion against Kurdish forces in Northern Syria.
The talks, also the first face-to-face meeting since Trump’s bizarre letter to Erdogan last month, are likely to revolve around the ongoing situation at the Syrian border and ongoing hostilities with the Kurds.
In Bruges, Donald Tusk addresses a ceremony to mark the start of the College of Europe’s new academic year. The outgoing European Council president delivers what’s effectively a valedictory speech ahead of the end of his term on 30 November, and speculation is now mounting over the post-Brexit future for Tusk after he ruled himself out of next year’s Polish presidential election.
England welcome Montenegro to Wembley on Thursday in a game which likely sees the Three Lions securing qualification for next summer’s European Championships. Gareth Southgate’s side need only a draw to progress to Euro 2020, though a defeat for Sunday’s opponents Kosovo against the Czech Republic would also book their place.
The final book by Raymond Briggs, author of children’s classics including The Snowman, is published in the UK. Time for Lights Out is based on the author’s experience as an evacuee in the Second World War and is illustrated with his own pencil drawings.
Twitter is set to confirm final details of its new advertising policy on Friday after founder Jack Dorsey announced plans to end political ads on the site.
While the potential financial impact on the company is thought to be minimal, the decision is likely to focus attention on perceived inaction by rival Facebook over the spread of misinformation on social media. The new policy is also a welcome step for a platform which has been accused of inconsistency in the past over its treatment of inflammatory content.
The annual Children in Need fundraiser, which has raised more than £1bn for disadvantaged children and young people across the UK since 1980, is broadcast on the BBC.
This year’s compilation album, sold to raise money for the charity and including songs from actors such as Olivia Colman, was recently pulled from the main album chart after it was wrongly categorised, with Children in Need chief executive Simon Antrobus stating he was “deeply saddened” by the decision.
A presidential election takes place on Saturday in Sri Lanka, where incumbent Maithripala Sirisena is not running for a second term after coming to power in 2015.
Sirisena’s tenure is unlikely to be remembered fondly, particularly after a Parliamentary committee last month cited the feud between the president and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as a contributing factor in security failures ahead of the devastating bomb attacks in Colombo in 2018. Former defence chief Gotabaya Rajapaksa is considered the favourite of the 30-plus candidates standing in today’s poll.
A run-off election takes place in Louisiana, where Democratic incumbent Governor John Bel Edwards faces Republican Eddie Rispone after failing to gain over 50 per cent of the vote in the 12 October jungle primary.
President Trump has publicly endorsed Rispone, though the connection to Trump proved not to be enough for Republican Matt Bevin in last week’s gubernatorial election in Kentucky in which Democrat Andy Beshear achieved a surprise victory.
The latest series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here kicks off on Sunday, with celebrities aiming to be crowned King or Queen of the Jungle this year rumoured to include former footballer Ian Wright, US reality star and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, and former Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle.
Former Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow was reportedly turned down as a contestant after demanding a seven figure fee to participate.
The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.
Picture: Reuters/Leah Millis