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News diary 23-29 September: Jeremy Corbyn to address Labour conference and Afghanistan goes to the polls

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

A Supreme Court decision on the lawfulness of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament is expected early this week, following a three-day hearing that dominated the news and raised questions about whether Johnson could simply prorogue parliament again if the court rules against the Government.

Supreme Court President Lady Hale closed the hearing warning that “it is not a simple question”, and with a reminder that the court will not be ruling on “when and on what terms the United Kingdom leaves European Union”.

The Labour Party conference begins over the weekend, and Monday sees John McDonnell addressing delegates in Brighton. McDonnell’s speech is likely to focus a no-deal Brexit’s impact on the UK economy, though the Shadow Chancellor could also use his time on the stage to formalise the party’s support for the abolition of private schools.

The day’s action is rounded off by speeches from Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry and Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer.

The annual UN General Debate kicks off on Tuesday, continuing throughout the week with speeches from leaders from around the world.

Much attention will be focused on the opening day addresses from Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron, and Boris Johnson, who will be using his spare time in New York to try to come up with a Brexit deal.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson is up before conference, with the address likely to throw the Watson-Corbyn relationship back under the microscope as the party’s senior leadership figures continue their rift over Labour’s approach to Brexit.

Watson has voiced his belief that the party should “unequivocally back Remain” in a second referendum before a general election – a position not shared by his superior.

Thomas Cook Group is due to publish a trading update following news that the company could fall into administration unless it secures an extra £200m in funds. The travel company’s collapse could leave some 600,000 travellers stranded, including more than 150,000 Brits.

Two US House committees hold hearings on vape-related illnesses on Tuesday and Wednesday. The hearings take place amid a recent surge in lung illnesses associated with vaping and e-cigarettes, with the seventh vaping-related death announced earlier this month. The Trump administration has proposed a ban on flavoured vaping devices, which has been followed by similar state-led bans.

The Labour conference reaches its conclusion on Wednesday as Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) delivers his keynote address. In the build-up to his speech, the Labour leader has faced calls for the party to prioritise adopting a clear Remain stance ahead of a possible second EU referendum.

Labour’s public position and infighting on Brexit has unsurprisingly dominated this year’s conference, though observers will be equally keen for clarification on suggestions of the potential return of “clause IV” in the party’s constitution.

Another top highlight from the UN debate will be Iran’s Hassan Rouhani, whose plans to attend are back on after visa issues were resolved. Traditional show-stoppers Benjamin Netanyahu and Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro are not travelling to New York this year.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) publishes another of its special reports, this time on how climate change affects oceans and the earth’s cryosphere, which covers sea ice, glaciers and ice caps.

A leaked version of the report reportedly warns that warming oceans and rising sea levels could combine to create “catastrophic superstorms” and are “poised to unleash misery on a global scale”.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders releases its latest monthly update on production on Thursday in what will be a crucial bellwether for the UK’s car industry. The previous set of figures in August made for grim reading, as the automotive sector was confirmed as having endured its worst period of decline in almost two decades.

Honda announcing the closure of its Swindon plant in April and Ford following suit at its Bridgend site in June have contributed to a forgettable year for the sector, though news of Ineos planning to build its new 4×4 in south Wales has given it a welcome shot in the arm.

Kobe plays host to England’s second game of the 2019 Rugby World Cup as Eddie Jones’ side take on the United States. Though an upset would seem unlikely without some divine intervention, the USA head into the match in good form after wins over Samoa, Scotland, and Canada in the last 12 months. The two sides last met at a Rugby World Cup in 2007 where England claimed a 28-10 victory.

The Duke of Sussex pays an emotional visit to Angola on Friday as his family’s tour of southern Africa continues. Among the prince’s engagements are visits to sites which had previously been the focal point of Princess Diana’s work to ban landmines.

Prince Harry visits the same region where now iconic photographs of his mother were taken in 1997, and is expected to name a new orthopaedic centre after the late princess as part of the trip. The Duke isn’t joined in Angola by his wife or infant son, who remain in South Africa.

Rounding out a week of climate action that began with a Climate Strike in the UK and included the UN Climate Summit, people from around the world will suspend school or work for a day to take part in the Earth Strike.

The strike protests aim to pressure world governments to take action on climate change and recognise climate science, with strikers demanding an end to the use of fossil fuels and a transition to renewable energy in the pursuit of “climate justice”.

On Saturday, long-suffering Afghans head to the polls in presidential elections. They come amid almost daily suicide attacks and dwindling hopes of a peace deal with the Taliban, after President Trump cancelled a planned meeting at Camp David. The broad field of candidates includes current President Ashraf Ghani, his deputy Abdullah Abdullah, as well as former warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

Sunday marks the opening of the Conservative Party conference, with a speech from Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and a panel on Brexit with Stephen Barclay, Jacob Rhys-Mogg and Michael Gove. The more interesting action might be off the stage, however, when rebel Rory Stewart – who was among 21 Conservatives to have the whip withdrawn on 3 September – sits down with Lord Finkelstein at an Onward fringe event.

Austria holds parliamentary elections that were triggered by a scandal involving Heinz-Christian Strache, then-Vice Chancellor and leader of the far-right Freedom Party. Strache was caught on camera appearing to collude with a woman he believed was the daughter of a Russian oligarch. The youthful Chancellor, Austrian People’s Party leader Sebastian Kurz, may yet serve another term, given his party’s strong standing in polls.

Wales face Australia at the Rugby World Cup in a crucial match which likely determines who will ultimately win Pool D. Both teams are heavily favoured to qualify for the quarterfinals, but topping the group will have huge significance for the tournament’s later stages. Welsh preparations for the game have been far from ideal, though, following the dismissal of assistant coach Rob Howley.

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

Picture: Reuters/Hannah McKay 

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