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News diary 5-11 August: LBC's Iain Dale quizzes Nicola Sturgeon at Edinburgh Fringe and UKIP elects new leader

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

Boris Johnson’s first full week in office suggested a high-energy, typically Boris premiership, as he took in a tour of the UK, made some purse string-loosening announcements, and unveiled a new economic philosophy.

But tense interactions with Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon foreshadowed the clashes that are most likely to trouble the self-styled Minister for the Union in the coming months.

Sturgeon’s opposition to Brexit and determination to pursue Scottish independence make her perhaps Johnson’s most difficult opponent, and both topics are sure to dominate the First Minister’s conversation on Monday with broadcaster Iain Dale (pictured) at the Edinburgh Fringe.

A sit-down with Sturgeon, coming so soon after her first meeting with Johnson, is the highlight of Dale’s 12-day fringe show, though conversations with John McDonnell, Heidi Allen and Sadiq Khan should also hold plenty of interest for festival-goers.

On Tuesday, Peru hosts the first international conference on Venezuela since discussions between the Maduro administration and Juan Guaidó’s opposition ended without agreement in Oslo two months ago.

An international consensus may prove difficult, however, as Russia, a key backer of the Maduro regime, has declined to participate in the 100-nation talks following Lima’s decision to exclude the Venezuelan government and opposition in an attempt to avoid “polarisation”.

On Wednesday, judges in Edinburgh hear Aaron Campbell’s appeal against his sentence for the abduction, rape and murder of six-year-old Alesha MacPhail. The 17-year-old was sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in prison in March, though the trial judge said “it may even be impossible” for Campbell to be released on bail in 2045 owing to the severity of the crime.

A British Airline Pilots Association ballot closes for Ryanair pilots threatening strike action in a dispute over pay and conditions, with the result due to be announced soon after.

Should the ballot be approved, strikes could start as early as 21 August following a two-week notice period, one of a series of travel disruptions planned for summer. That would coincide with the second round of strikes by Heathrow ground staff, with British Airways pilots striking later this summer following an unsuccessful attempt by British Airways to declare the strike invalid.

Following a spate of recent climate change publications from the EU, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the UK Met Office, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change publishes a special report on climate change which lands on Thursday.

The report looks at how climate change affects issues such as desertification, land degradation and food security, and will reportedly say that the extent of current global land exploitation is unsustainable and will counteract any efforts to halt global warming.

In the UK, the Premier League transfer window closes. The include Arsenal’s signing of Lille winger Nicolas Pepe for a club-record £72m, and Manchester City’s £62.8m signing of Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodrigo Hernández Cascante.

The ONS issues the latest monthly GDP forecast on Friday with a stark warning from the Bank of England over the UK’s economic outlook still ringing in the nation’s ears. The bank announced on 1 August that interest rates will be held at 0.75 per cent as a direct result of risks to the economy, borne out of the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit.

Threadneedle Street has pulled no punches in its assertions that the UK now faces a one in three chance of a recession – a prediction given added credence as the value of sterling slumps to a two-year low.

The race for the Premier League begins once again as European Champions Liverpool kick off the new season against Norwich. Manchester City are chasing their third consecutive title, a feat only achieved once before by rivals Manchester United. Last year’s runners-up Liverpool are again likely to present the sternest challenge to Pep Guardiola’s men over the coming nine months.

UKIP are expected to announce the result of the party’s latest leadership election on Saturday, with the winner becoming the group’s fifth permanent leader since October 2016.

The vote follows the resignation of Gerard Batten, whose controversial tenure at the head of the party will likely be best remembered for his appointment of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, better known as Tommy Robinson, as a special adviser. Candidates include former MEP Mike Hookem and UKIP London’s regional chairman Freddy Vachha.

The Cincinnati Masters tennis gets underway in Ohio with Andy Murray’s potential return to singles competition the highlight for UK fans. Murray has exclusively played doubles since returning from a hip operation but hopes to use Cincinnati to test the waters for a potential grand slam singles return at the US Open.

In Guatemala, former first lady Sandra Torres and Alejandro Giammattei take part in a run-off vote for the presidency on Sunday. Torres, who has made the fight against poverty the focal point of her candidacy, won the opening round in June after securing 25.7 per cent of the vote. Ahead of the second ballot, both candidates have seen their campaigns overshadowed by a controversial new immigration pact with the United States which has attracted criticism from across Guatemala.

Preparations for the upcoming Rugby World Cup enter their final stage as England host Wales in the first of four scheduled warm-up games. The match is the last opportunity for players to impress Eddie Jones before he names his final 31-man squad on 12 August. The two sides are scheduled to face each other again in Cardiff on 17 August before leaving for the Far East.

The news diary is provided in association with Foresight News.

Picture: Reuters/Andrew Yates

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