Foresight News rounds up the key events that need to be in your news diary this week…
Monday, 13 September
Afghanistan is set to feature prominently as the UN Human Rights Council opens its third session of the year in Geneva. It comes amid widespread scepticism regarding Taliban claims regarding their approach to human rights, underscored by disturbing scenes from Kabul last week. In the afternoon, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is among speakers at a high-level ministerial meeting on funding to support Afghans, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is appearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs for the first time since the Taliban takeover to discuss the situation in the country.
- September 17, 2021
- September 3, 2021
- August 6, 2021
An initial court hearing takes place today in the civil case against Prince Andrew brought by Virginia Giuffre, who has accused Andrew of sexually abusing her when she was 17. Giuffre alleges that she was sex-trafficked by Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein and forced to engage in sexual acts with the prince without her consent at their homes in London, Manhattan and the US Virgin Islands. The identities of alleged victims of Maxwell are due to be disclosed in federal court by today in the separate case against her. The former socialite and girlfriend of Epstein is set to go on trial in New York in November.
Fashion’s biggest night out returns as the delayed Met Gala takes place to close New York Fashion Week, with a focus on American designers. The high-profile fundraiser, always good for photos of celebrities in over-the-top eveningwear, is co-hosted his year by actor Timothée Chalamet, singer Bilie Eilish, poet Amanda Gorman and tennis star Naomi Osaka, fresh off her announcement that she may take a break from tennis after her loss at the US Open and recent concerns over her mental health.
Expect complaints from angry MPs about scrutiny of government business after Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg allocated just a single day for the Health and Social Care Levy Bill to complete its passage through the House of Commons. The bill will enact the prime minister’s long-awaited plan for reforming social care, with the headline-making (and manifesto-busting) National Insurance increase at its heart. The plan came under fire from all sides, including furious Tory supporters, but Boris Johnson will have been happy to see the respected IFS think tank describe the proposals as “broadly” progressive last week.
Liz Truss sets out Britain’s new post-Brexit trade strategy in a speech to the Policy Exchange think tank, in which she’ll also discuss the role of free trade in the government’s levelling up agenda. The Trade Secretary has already secured high-profile deals with Australia and Japan, and an agreement with New Zealand, despite a reported target being missed, is close to completion. Truss also has her sights on a landmark agreement with India, with a possible interim deal on the cards for 2021.
The iPhone 13 and a new watch are expected to be unveiled as Apple goes digital again for this year’s new product launch event. Tech sites are full of the usual rumours about possible new hardware releases, but the “California Streaming” tagline on the event invite may hint at a big reveal for Apple TV or the firm’s other subscription services.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is among speakers at the Royal Television Society meeting in Cambridge, alongside BBC Chair Richard Sharp, ITV CEO Carolyn McCall and Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon.
The industry will take a keen interest in Dowden’s remarks following recently-announced consultations on privatising Channel 4,and protecting viewers of streaming platforms from “harmful” material including misinformation and pseudoscience, as, unlike Sky or the BBC, streaming platforms are not subject to Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code.
SpaceX launches the first all-civilian crew into Space. The Inspiration 4 mission is billed as a philanthropic endeavour, with the goal of raising $200 million for St Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Among the crew members is former cancer patient at the hospital, Hayley Arceneaux, who, at 29-years-old, will become the youngest American in history to go into orbit.
Time announces the TIME100 naming the 100 most influential people who will define the world this year. The magazine’s TIME100 Next list, which highlights emerging leaders, included Rishi Sunak, Marcus Rashford, and Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, while last year’s main list featured world leaders like Joe Biden, Angela Merkel and Jair Bolsonaro alongside the likes of Megan Thee Stallion, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and The Weeknd.
Ben Wallace delivers Thursday’s keynote address on the penultimate day of the Defence & Security and Equipment International expo in London. The summer recess proved to be anything but restful for the Defence Secretary, splitting his time between the crisis in Afghanistan, rumours over the future of the Trident programme, and a rift with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. The speech is likely to offer the first indications of Britain’s new post-Afghanistan defence objectives, as the UK looks to re-frame its foreign policy relationship with the United States.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) publishes its report on the state of education across the world. The annual study analyses the education systems of the 34 OECD member countries, as well as a number of partner countries. The OECD report follows a recent study by Save the Children which claimed that education in a quarter of the world’s countries risks creating a “lost generation”, with over 1.5 billion children missing out on schooling during the pandemic.
Louis de Zoysa enters his formal plea at the Old Bailey after being charged with the murder of Metropolitan Police Sergeant Matt Ratana last September. The New Zealand native was shot in the chest while processing de Zoysa at the Croydon custody centre, and later died of his wounds in hospital. The 23-year-old, who also sustained a serious gunshot wound in the incident, was only charged in June, having previously been in a life-threatening condition in hospital.
The Liberal Democrats kick off conference season with a virtual event for the second year running. The party is promising increased access for virtual attendees this year with live debates and Q&As featuring party figures alongside the traditional leaders’ speeches. Home affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael opens proceedings today, with blue wall-destroying party leader Ed Davey speaking on Sunday.
It is the UK’s turn to host the world’s international clothing designers for London Fashion Week. This year’s event takes place as a hybrid of online and in-person events with major brands including Simone Rocha, Richard Quinn, Erdem, and Roksanda all staging physical shows. According to those in the know, this year’s autumn/winter season trends will centre around bold, bright colours and flowery winter patterns to rid ourselves of lockdown loungewear.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) holds its annual Congress virtually for the second year in a row. The event had been due to take place physically in Liverpool but was moved online following accusations of “serious sexual harassment”. With news of nearly 5,000 nursing vacancies in Scotland, the highest ever recorded in the run up to what is likely to be a challenging winter, expect the Congress to heavily scrutinise the prime minister’s social care reforms and the impact that the funding formulas will have on the profession.
A far-right rally takes place outside the US Capitol building, demanding “justice” for participants who have been jailed for their involvement in the 6 January insurrection. The demonstration, titled “Justice for the J6” has prompted renewed security concerns and fears of possible unrest. Over 600 people have been charged over the riot, many of whom continue to believe that the election was stolen from Donald Trump and refuse to admit to any wrongdoing, a position implicitly supported by Republican politicians’ downplaying of events.
Sunday, 19 September
The sudden death of actor Michael K. Williams has cast a shadow over proceedings as TV stars gather in Los Angeles for the 73rd Emmy Awards, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer. Williams – who rose to international stardom for his ground-breaking portrayal of Omar Little, a gay stick-up man in the Baltimore-set series The Wire – is nominated for an Emmy this year for his portrayal of Montrose Freeman in the HBO series Lovecraft Country. Brits nominated for key awards include Olivia Colman and Emma Corrin for their roles in The Crown, Kate Winslet for her role in Mare of Easttown, and Anya Taylor-Joy for her role in The Queen’s Gambit.
Tottenham and Chelsea meet in the Premier League in a match which is being dubbed the first-ever net-zero carbon game at the elite level. The match aims to educate fans on the role football can play in addressing climate change, as well as illustrating the individual actions that can be taken to reduce their carbon footprint. Spectators are encouraged to travel to the game via bicycle or public transport and are urged to consider choosing plant-based foods when at the stadium. Both Tottenham and Chelsea will be driven to the ground on coaches powered by biofuels which have been produced from food waste products.
The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.
Picture: Reuters/Francis Mascarenhas